Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back to Yasgur's Farm
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Krause Publications (July 16, 2019)
Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton
After all these years and all the books, documentaries, interviews etc.etc., do we really need another book on Woodstock? At first glance, the answer might seem to be a resounding "no" because the mud and music has been well-trodden for five decades now. On the other hand, the 50th anniversary may well be the Woodstock generation's last hurrah, at least in terms of creating events and issuing publications commemorating the major milestone in pop culture while many of the original participants are still alive and able to stroll down their various memory lanes. Just look over the line-up of performers scheduled for the official Golden Anniversary weekend--most of the musicians weren't even born back in '69. Yikes!
For me, the value in books like Greenblatt's is learning things I didn't know before or being refreshed on things I may have heard before but forgotten. For example, I've heard of performers like Sweetwater, the Incredible String Band, the Keef Hartly band, and Quill who played at Woodstock. I've never heard a note by any of them except for a few tunes by Sweetwater. As many have pointed out over the years, not appearing in the 1970 Michael Wadleigh documentary ended up being a lost career boost. Other acts like Janis Joplin, The Band, Creedence Clearwater, or the Grateful Dead didn't need the boost but wouldn't be folded into public awareness about their Woodstock appearances until they were included in later Wadleigh collector's editions when he released previously unseen footage. Then there were the acts who were there but didn't get filmed and then there were those who turned down the gig and didn't come to the party. At the time, they had good reasons to pass on the opportunity--no one knew what the Woodstock festival would mean.
The performers were the ones on stage, but the stories of the organizers and audience members were and are equally as much a part of Woodstock lore. In particular, just how close Woodstock came to becoming a disaster many times over, it seems to me, is well worth remembering. We really were the peace and love generation no matter how fleeting that moment flickered in time. That, it seems to me, is the reason to keep commemorating what was essentially a three day rock and roll concert that became a mythologized hippie highpoint thanks in large part to the film that reached an audience able to enjoy the concert in more comfortable theatre settings. Now, we get a different appreciation when folks like Greenblatt, who was there, share their experiences with those of us who think we wish we had been in the crowd.
In terms of Greenblatt's book, I hadn't seen the set lists of all the acts before and found them a real 50th anniversary treat. I had heard many of the musicians' anecdotes before, but not all of them collected here. Not by a long shot. I hadn't heard of the shunning Max Yasgur suffered by his unhappy neighbors after the concert was over.
In fact, I think it's fair to say Mike Greenblatt may have assembled the best one-stop Woodstock book for readers who might want one, just one, hardcover exploration of the concert and how it became the phenomena it did. It's a good companion piece to all the DVDs and CDs being issued to keep the music alive. Oh, of course, it's chock-full of colorful photos. Yep, a very good memento of an August weekend only a small slice of my generation got to experience first-hand. Like Michael Greenblatt.
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on June 25, 2019:
On Sunday June 23rd, Wesley Britton will be a guest on the Sci-Fi Roundtable Podcast. The live version will go out at 4:00 EST.
Here is a link for apple and another for non-apple to the show.
Forever and a Day: A James Bond Novel
Publisher: Jonathan Cape/Waterstone's, London, England; First Edition (2018)
Reviewed by: Dr. Wesley Britton
Beginning with John Pearson's 1973 James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007, Ian Fleming Publications has licensed a number of pre-Casino Royale Bond stories as part of their ongoing series of James Bond continuation novels. In addition, a number of unsanctioned books, often fictionalized versions of Ian Fleming's World War II experiences, have been published as alleged foreshadowings of the literary material Fleming would use in his James Bond yarns.
The longest-lasting sanctioned pre-MI5 Bond stories began with Charlie Higson's 2005 "Young James Bond" books which author Steve Cole took over in 2014.
In terms of the adult Bond, after long runs of Bond continuation novels by John Gardner and Raymond Benson, in which the character of Bond was "frozen in time" and emulated the cinematic aspects of the films, Ian Fleming Publications opted for a course change in 2014 beginning with Sebastian Faulks's Devil May care in a new series featuring books by various authors sticking as closely as possible to the spirit and flavor of the Fleming books, using settings and events occurring in the 1960s.
Then came Anthony Horowitz's well-received 2015 Trigger Mortis which took Bond back to the '50s, and included unused material by Ian Fleming himself. Horwitz, Bond, and a bit more unused Fleming material returned in 2018 with Forever and a Day, the latest offering set before the events in Casino Royale.
007 literary aficionados have been divided in their responses to Forever and a Day, with many a reader praising the book for its keeping close to the style and flavor of Fleming, its comparatively subtle introduction of many Bond tropes of the original novels, its revealing how James Bond got the 007 number, and the characters introduced by Horwitz, notably the love interest between Bond and "Madame Sixteen."
Add me to the list of critics who really, really liked Forever and a Day. I don't see much to complain about, especially as so many continuation novels were entertaining, readable, and completely forgettable. For me, Madame Sixteen is now one of my all-time favorite Bond girls, although calling her a "girl" isn't close to accurate. She's well-developed--in the literary sense--mature, resourceful, as good as an action companion as 007 could ever ask for.
True, that scene where supposed acid turns out to be merely water and some of the incursion scenes are a tad contrived, and nothing could be more contrived than Irwin Wolfe's rationalization for his motivations. But when was Ian Fleming ever flawless?
I'd wager most Bond literary fans have already read, evaluated, and passed judgement on Forever and a Day. It's the rest of you this review is for. If you're not a habitual reader of either Fleming or the continuation novels, is Forever and a Day a good read for you? Is it a good starting point, now being the first authorized 007 adventure in the chronological sequence of the canonical Bond?
Naturally, every reader should start with Fleming himself, and I recommend Dr. No, From Russia With Love, On Her Majesty's Secret Service, or Casino Royale. (Not coincidently, these became the best films.) In terms of continuation novels, yes, Forever and a Day is now an ideal starting point. It's the most memorable yarn in many a moon. More Horowitz, please.
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on June 15, 2019 at:
Seeking Beta readers for two short stories fro The Beta-Earth Chronicles
One is "A Day in the Death of the Magic Mabel" with a Word Count of 10196. Set 40 years in the future on our planet, it's set on a doomed cruise ship with a horrible fear-inducing chemical compound hidden somewhere on board. Can Mary Carpenter find it in time?
The other is "The Alien That Never Was" with a Word Count of 10772. It's set on Beta-Earth during the Alman Civil War with a distinctly WWII flavor. Can sexy special operatives of the Kirippean resistance fool the forces of the power-hungry Lunta?
If interested in an Advanced reader copy PDF, or Word file, of either of these yarns, reply to me here or email me at email@example.com.
Thanks in advance--
Shadow: A Grimdark Military Sci-fi (Warpmancer Book 1)
Print Length: 266 pages
Publisher: Warpmancer Press (May 15, 2018)
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Reviewed by: Wesley Britton
In closing notes to Shadow, author Nicholas Woode-Smith admits this novel is a major retelling of the first third of his earlier version of the same tale, The Fall of Zona Nox. So there are several groups of potential readers for Shadow--those already familiar with his epic and readers like me completely new to his world-building--and world-destroying- adventures.
The story centers on James Terrin, a rough-edged thief and street-fighter turned soldier who is a bit, just a bit, reminiscent of Harry Harrison's "Stainless Steel Rat." Unlike Harrison's Jim DiGriz, who's an intergalactic rascal and con-man portrayed in light, satirical stories, Terrin lives in a grim, violent, and dark world in the 36th century where everyone has to be constantly aware of the many ways death can burst through the door in brutal cities like Galis where humans and aliens must survive meager existences.
What DiGriz and Terrin have most in common is their being almost constantly on the run, escaping or nearly escaping would-be killers and captors. Terrin is often running down alleyways and over rooftops while miraculously not getting hit by assassins, soldiers, or gangsters.
One aspect that really impressed me is Woode-Smith's ability to introduce new species and layers of his world's "cultures" with economy and precise descriptions. He's able to paint his gritty, gruff, dangerous environments in vivid detail while never letting the action slow. The book doesn't really have a plot beyond Terrin's becoming more and more involved in the various competing deadly interests on Zona Nox, especially as he goes beyond fighting for his own survival and then becomes part of his planet's defense against invading aliens and their deadly talons.
It's very obvious that Shadow is the starting point for the author's reinvigorated Warpmancer series which means the yarn isn't a stand-alone adventure with any story-lines tied up on the final pages. If you get interested in Shadow, plan to carry on with the epic in the subsequent volumes, both book length and short stories already available. The sequels begin with Trooper: Warpmancer Book Two listed here:
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on May 30, 2019:
Columbo Under Glass: A critical analysis of the cases, clues and character of the Good Lieutenant
Paperback: 428 pages
Publisher: BearManor Media (July 7, 2016)
Sheldon Catz's Columbo Under Glass is not your typical TV series episode guide. It provides very little production history or background and includes no interviews with any of the participants. As Catz admits in his introduction, that ground was already expertly covered by TV historian Mark Dawidziak in his 1989 The Columbo File: A Casebook. Dawidziak was kind enough to write a complimentary foreword to the Catz study, saying he never thought his own book was the end-all and be-all for Columbo.
Instead, Under Glass is a very personal analysis of the long-running, on-again, off-again series of TV movies. Yes, Catz reviews every one of the episodes but most of his commentary is his own thoughts on what worked and especially what didn't in the scripts and acting. Frequently, it's difficult to understand why he invested so much time in Columbo as most of his analysis points to flaws he saw in how writers established the clues in each episode, whether or not the storylines were credible, whether or not the conclusions were well-thought out, or whether or not the characters were sympathetic or two-dimensional.
Then, in a number of essays, Catz analyzes the series from a wide range of angles, essentially retrodding the same ground he had covered in the episode guide in different ways. For example, "The Bloating Problem" re-examined why the 90 minute episodes were usually superior to the over-long two-hour TV movies. He looks at the "First Clues" that usually drew Columbo into pursuing a case and then the "Intermediate Clues and Some Delayed and Slippery Ones" that carried the plots forward for good or ill. He analyzes the various kinds of endings and complains about the lackluster Ed McBain novels rewritten into Columbo scripts. He writes about the developing character of Columbo, the "Morality of Columbo," the failed Mrs. Columbo spin-off, the supporting casts, the theme music, you name it. By the end of the tome, there's no "Just one more thing" left to talk about.
As with all such TV books, your interest in Columbo Under Glass is going to rely on your interest in Lieutenant Columbo as created by Richard Levinson and William Link and portrayed by Peter Falk from 1968 to 2003. Your interest may be piqued by the opportunity to match your own opinions with those of Catz. Odds are, most readers will find themselves skimming through the essays as so many points are revisited multiple times. But it's good to know there are those who still care about Columbo. So many of those old detective shows have disappeared without a trace.
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on May 24, 2019:
Illusional Reality by Karina Kantas
Reviewed by Alicia Smock from Roll Out Reviews.
Karina Kantas is a talented author who has dabbled in various genres and has reached a wide variety of audiences through her multiple fiction series, short stories, and flash fiction. Illusional Reality is the first in her young adult romantic fantasy duology and provides a pleasantly alluring introduction to this unique series. While the premise may seem a bit cliché and perhaps even predictable, Kantas has used her creativity to take this common fantasy premise and make it her own.
After a long day working as a marketing executive, imagine getting kicked out of a taxi in an unknown neighborhood, following a strange man named Salco who said you would be killed if you didn’t follow him, then nearly being killed anyway by a couple of strange otherworldly beings known as Senxs. Now imagine waking up from this crazy nightmare only to discover that Tsinia, the fantastical dream world you wake up in, is indeed reality and not only that, but that you are the last living heir to the throne of Tsinia which is on the brink of being overruled by the warlord of Senx, Darthorn. And, to top everything off, in order to create order amidst the chaos and stop your people from becoming eternally enslaved, a peace treaty is believed to be created if you wed Kovon, the son of Darthorn, within a very short window of time. Poor seemingly normal Becky is subjected to this crazy adventure and must do all that she can to save a land she has never known by facing off against a warlord using powers she never believed she possessed, while at the same time, struggling to not fall for a man she never expected to meet and is forbidden to love.
Let us begin by focusing on one of the hardest challenges any author faces when it comes to writing fantasy and science fiction: worldbuilding. There is no doubt that Kantas has succeeded in creating a memorable and unique world filled with equally unique beings and cultures. The world itself is described almost like an elven city found in various fantasy stories and most certainly a world would wish to visit or live in. Other than the imminent threat of doom, the land of Tsinia is beautiful and peaceful. The Tsinians are the main beings Kantas focuses on in Illusional Realty and they make for an enjoyable new race. Along with the elven-like land they reside in, they have the beauty and elegance of elves (without the pointy ears), yet they also have unique abilities that almost resemble superpowers (very similar to the X-Men).
One of the main highlights, as well as surprises, about the Tsinians is the way they speak. Rather than speaking with slang, abbreviations, lingo, etc., they speak very properly and eloquently. Imagine how people must have spoken in the 1700s or 1800s in high end society and that is more or less how Tsinians speak. It is most certainly surprising to find this in a young adult book; however, it is refreshing to read and perhaps even the young readers of today can, hopefully, pick up on this speech so they can stop speaking in text lingo.
Another challenge authors face, especially when they have quite a few characters within a shorter story as well as a shorter series, is giving each of their characters his or her own unique personality. Once again, Kantas has succeeded in giving her many characters just that. While some could have perhaps been developed a bit more, readers will be able to differentiate each of the characters by how he or she acts and what he or she does. With so many characters introduced, we shall focus on the main character: Becky on Earth/ Thya in Tsinia. She is most certainly a powerhouse woman and does not take crap from anyone, making for an excellent role model figure for the younger female readers. What is definitely refreshing about Becky/ Thya is how she reacts to discovering that she is a princess. It is on par with Mia from The Princess Diaries where she grudgingly accepts the fact that she is a princess, but in all honesty, truly does not want to be and Kantas continues to surprise her readers with Becky/ Thya’s decision as the story continues. Perhaps the only thing readers may have difficulty following are the names of the characters. Kantas is to be commended for all of the original names she created for her fantasy beings; however, it can become a bit tricky to follow who some of the characters are at times.
The story itself is alluring, though, with a concept that has been used time and time again within the fantasy genre, there are a few clichés readers will stumble upon. However, readers should not allow this to stop them from reading Illusional Realty. The “forbidden love” aspect of the story will seem both familiar and different for Kantas added additional surprises into the mix that readers will not expect. The feud between light and dark (Becky/ Thya and Darthorn/ Kovon) could have been expanded upon a bit more, but what is revealed to the readers is enjoyable and has its own unexpected twists as well. The talented Kantas has created an alluring twist on a familiar concept with Illusional Realty. She has taken fantasy elements and put enticing new twists onto cliché plots. While it would have been wonderful to read even more about the history and culture behind this new fantasy world, readers will enjoy the new fantastical land of Tsinia and will love reading the eloquent dialogue of the Tsinians. Readers will praise Becky/ Thya’s powerhouse character traits and will discover all of the other characters’ unique powers and personalities. Making for a quick read, readers will most certainly wish to pick up the second and final book in Kantas’ duology, The Quest, as soon as they have reached the last page to find out what happens next.
Here's an interview I did which gives more insight behind book 6 of The Beta-Earth Chronicles.
Question: Why a book on this subject?
Answer: Twice before, I thought I was done with the Beta-Earth Chronicles, first thinking book 4 was the end, then book 5 as I had gone as far as I could with the original characters. Then an editor suggested I write a Romeo and Juliet story with a new Adam and Eve. I took those two starting points and created a new cast of characters and sent them to our own planet 40 years in the future.
Question: What was the most interesting thing you discovered?
Answer: It’s very different to project what might happen on our earth from creating totally different alternate earths. Trying to describe what humanity might become in the aftermath of devastating global warming and weaponized biological plagues.
Question: What's in the book that no one yet knows about?
Answer: That we would become very localized in the aftermath of massive devastation to the point the U.S. would split into four countries. That keeping control of our lives would mean becoming tribal and more independent.
Question: The most fascinating character is . . . .?
Answer: That’s a toughie. I’d have to say a couple, Malcolm Renbourn II of Beta-Earth and his lover from our Alpha-Earth, Major Mary Carpenter.
Question: I'm only buying one book this year. Why should this be the one?
Answer: Well, this book includes a cosmic Romeo and Juliet story, sets up a new Adam and Eve, and has much, much more. As with the previous Beta-Earth books, expect originality, surprises, the unexpected, going where you’ve never gone before. I promise.
And, it works very well as a stand-alone book. This means you wouldn’t have to read the previous five books to understand what’s going on.
Question: What are you working on now?
Answer: Since Return to Alpha was published, I’ve been working on short stories that are both prequels and sequels to what happens in RTA. Several tales you can download for free at various book publicity sites—the rest you have to wait for until a collection of these stories is ready to go.
A new podcast from the Knights of the Sci-Fi Roundtable has been released to promote their members, their books, and their interests. Check it out:
Sci-Fi and Fantasy Spring Giveaway.
Here's your chance to pick up some great books.
New Box Set
Pick up the box set of the Shan Takhu Legacy
and get a BONUS short story.
New Book Releases
Anodyne Dreams by Clancy Weeks
Relic Hunter by Melinda Kucsera
MarvelousCon & Tax Cons by Rachel Ford
Safe Passage by Rachel Ford
Deconstruction by Steve M
Schrödinger's Dog by Allan Brewer
Druid's Portal: The Second Journey by Cindy Tomamichel releases May 22, 2019
Freebies and Sales
Get Max and the Banjo Ferret FREE
May 15 - 19, 2019
Get Sentient for $0.99. Sale ends on May 31
Blogs, Short Stories & Interviews
Transformation: A postapocalyptic flash fiction from Cindy Tomamichel
This month MF Metheringham IV reviews ‘A Game of Thrones’ by GRR Martin Satire at its finest.
Zachry Wheeler interviews Zora Marie on ZeeDub Bezzies.
If someone asked you to explain what's going on in the world right now, would you be able to?
What if the person who was asking had no prior knowledge of our world, how difficult would it be to help them makes sense of current events?
That's the challenge Alyce is presented with when she's kidnapped by aliens who want her help in creating a museum of curiosities based on Earth's culture.
Follow Alyce down the rabbit hole as she experiences the journey of a lifetime; the trip might just paint the reality you've become accustomed to in a new color...
“Characters are clever and in many cases entertaining while the commentary is clearly outlined and yet still thoughtfully delivered.”
“I stayed riveted to this book until the very end. You get that rabbit, Alyce.”
Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US, but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US, with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter!). Mistral's work includes a satirical science fiction novel, Answers From Alyce; a tongue-in-cheek animal rescuer’s guide, Animal Rescuer’s Guide to Staying (Relatively) Sane; a paranormal romance series, Spellbound Hearts; and a cyberpunk science fiction series, The Petri Dish Chronicles. All of Mistral’s work can be found on Amazon.
She thanks you humbly for purchasing and reading her books and would be honored if you would leave a review so that she can see what you thought.
Where you can find the book
Where to find Mistral
Follow her blog on which she posts excerpts, sneak peeks, interviews, pictures, and various other musings.
New Book on Woodstock’s 50th Anniversary Offers Front-Row Seat to Greatest Concert in History
STEVENS POINT, WI – The year was 1969. Richard Nixon was in the White House. Neil Armstrong was on the Moon. And revolution was in the air. In that backdrop, 500,000 young people gathered on a mid-August weekend in upstate New York for the promise of three days of peace and music. What they experienced at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair was something far greater.
Celebrating “the greatest peaceful event in history,” Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back to Yasgur’s Farm (Krause Publications) offers a dazzling and compelling front-row seat to the most important concert in rock history, an implausible happening filled with trials and triumphs that defined a generation.
Author and Woodstock attendee Mike Greenblatt brilliantly captures the power of music’s greatest performers such as Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Santana and the Who, while sharing stories both personal and audacious from the crowd of a half million strong who embraced not only the music but each other.
The book features a Foreword by Country Joe McDonald, whose rousing solo acoustic version of “The Fish Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” was one of the most memorable performances at Woodstock. Readers will enjoy interviews with such rock icons as Graham Nash, Carlos Santana, Joe Cocker, Richie Havens, Country Joe McDonald, Edgar Winter, members of Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sly & The Family Stone, Canned Heat, Sha Na Na, co-host Chip Monck, fans and countless others. In addition, all 32 performances at the festival are showcased.
Equal parts circus and surreal, Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back to Yasgur’s Farm tells a transcendent tale of a musical and mythical moment in time.
Advance Praise for Woodstock 50th Anniversary
“Straight from a long-haired hippie who experienced all that Woodstock had to offer — the beauty, the mud, the music and the cultural eccentricities — Mike Greenblatt has carried Woodstock deep within his soul ever since. Fifty years later, he writes with charming alacrity about that weekend, his memory on fire, lighting up the personal details of what occurred at this once-in-a-lifetime communal concert event.
— Pat Prince, editor, Goldmine magazine
“Mike Greenblatt’s long-awaited debut book on Woodstock— filled with his own hilarious memories and impressive interviews and research— is fascinating and dazzling. It’s definitely the definitive book on the wild festival fifty years ago that rocked America.”
— Susan Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Lighting Up, Unhooked and The Byline Bible
About The Author
All Mike Greenblatt has done in life is listen to music and tell people about it, be it as a New York City publicist, editor or freelance journalist. It’s been five decades of chronicling rock ’n’ roll in all of its permutations. Whether sitting front row at Woodstock, flying with Hank Williams, Jr. in his private jet, driving around the Jersey Shore with Bruce Springsteen, getting angrily thrown against a backstage wall by Meat Loaf, or being locked in a dressing room with Jerry Lee Lewis threatening to kill him, Greenblatt’s voice has sung the praises of rock loud and long.
Greenblatt has interviewed Elton John, the Eagles (where he extemporaneously interviewed Joe Walsh at side-by-side urinals deep within the bowels of Giants Stadium), Paul McCartney, Blondie, The Allman Brothers, Waylon Jennings and hundreds of others.
He lives in Easton, Penn., with his music-teacher wife and their two rescue beagles.
Woodstock 50th Anniversary: Back to Yasgur’s Farm
By Mike Greenblatt
8 x 8, hardcover, 224 pages
List Price: $24.99
Available in July wherever good books are sold
For more information contact author Mike Greenblatt: Mikeg101@ptd.net;
610.253.9324; or contact Editorial Director Paul Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org/715.318.0372
Here's the link to Wes Britton's May 9 50 minute video interview with Jasveena R Prabhagaran of International Book Promotions:
Topics include: creative inspirations, the impact of blindness on Wes's writing, being an indy writer, the writing process, differences between non-fiction and fiction, and much more . . .
Horror, adventure, and sci-fi movie fans might like to hear about these titles from BearManor Media:
Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees for the 17th Annual Rondo Award Winners. Amongst those this year include two BearManor Media publications:
Book of the Year
The Dr. Phibes Companion by Justin Humphreys
In The Abominable Dr.Phibes (1971) and its sequel, Dr.Phibes Rises Again (1972), horror great Vincent Price starred asvaudevillian organist and super-genius Dr. Anton Phibes, architect of incredibly ingenious murders. Set in 1920s London and Egypt, their outstanding ArtDeco production design, absurd humor, and soaring romance made them hits,beloved by generations of horror fans.
‘When Danforth Ruled the Earth,’ by Mark Wolf, LITTLE SHOPPE OF HORRORS #41.
Hammer Films had a huge hit when One Million Years B.C. was released in 1966. Sir James Carreras says "give me another one like that!" Out came the wonderfully colorful followup with well coifed cave people and Jim Danforth's Academy Award nominated Stop Motion Animation effects!
BearManor Media has also just added these Kindle Titles:
Drums of the Lost Gods
by Dan Leissner
Drums of the Lost Gods is a thrilling cliffhanger, set in South America, in the turbulent 1930s. An ill-assorted band of adventurers follows a nameless river into the sacred mountains and steaming jungles of a Lost World, in search of ancient civilizations and vanished cities of gold.
Who Framed Boris Karloff?
by Dwight Kemper
It is 1938 and there is murder afoot on the set of Son of Frankenstein. Boris Karloff has been framed for murder! He joins forces with Basil Rathbone, in full Sherlockian mode, and a gleeful Bela Lugosi. It's a case of the legends of horror meet the three stooges as our daring heroes search for a missing movie mogul and end up crossing swords with the Hollywood Mob.
by Anthony Ambrogio
Midnight Marquee Press, Inc. is pleased to introduce this volume that begins the "second phase" of Midnight Marquee Press’ acclaimed Actors Series. Having shone the spotlight on those titans of Golden and Silver Age horror (all American by birth or naturalization)—Lugosi, Karloff, Chaney, Jr., Price, and Lorre—Midnight Marquee now ventures into the Iron Age of Hammer (and British horror) with a collection examining the work of Peter Cushing.
Hell Hath No Fury Like Her: The Making of Christine
by Lee Gambin
Packed with interviews from director John Carpenter, screenwriter Bill Phillips, producer Richard Kobritz, stars Keith Gordon and Alexandra Paul, plus various members of the cast and crew including co-composer Alan Howarth and SFX artist Roy Arbogast, “Hell Hath No Fury: The Making of Christine” is a definitive look at the 1983 cinematic adaptation of Stephen King’s terrifying novel about the eponymous demonic Plymouth Fury and the obsessive teenage boy who loves her.
If any of these books trip your trigger, find out more at:
The Blind Alien
By Wesley Britton
Reviewed by Marc Watson
I can not express enough how original and imaginative The Blind Alien is. The way the narrative weaves between different voices is completely flawless, and never once did I feel that it was just another story told by the same narrator. Each piece is unique and complex in it's own way, a feat that's hard to master.
Science Fiction / Fish out of Water stories have never been my strength, but after reading "The Beta Earth Chronicles" by Dr. Britton, I needed to find out more about this world. Science Fiction often gets wrapped up in its own babble and self-importance, which I never once got from this. Malcolm is a great, strong, sometimes flawed, and perfectly reasonable protagonist. He acts believably, and deals with things in a very human way once he's robbed of his sight and whisked away to another world. He's a great lead and a fantastic character to hang an entrance into this mythology around.
By Marc Watson
BearManor Media Announces a new book for horror film fans:
Bela Lugosi & The Monogram 9
By Gary D. Rhodes and Robert Guffey
Between 1941 and 1944, Bela Lugosi starred in a series of low-budget films released by Monogram Pictures. To many viewers at the time and during the decades that followed, the “Monogram Nine” were overacted and underproduced, illogical and incoherent. But their increasing age has recast such condemnations into appropriate praise: in the 21st century, they seem so different not only from modern cinema, but also from Classical Hollywood, enough so as to make the aforementioned deficits into advantages. The entries in the Monogram Nine are bizarre and strange, populated by crazy, larger-than-life characters who exist in wacky, alternative worlds. In nine films, the improbable chases the impossible. This book, in turn, chases them.
“Gary Rhodes has become my favorite nonfiction author, while the subject of some of his writings, Bela Lugosi, has long been one of my favorite actors. Now Gary has teamed up with co-author Robert Guffey to present, for the first time, a collection of in-depth and insightful essays evaluating those lesser ‘classics’ that comprise the so-called ‘Monogram Nine.’ If you are a Lugosi fan and also a fan of old ‘B’ horror films, you will love this book.” – Donald F. Glut, filmmaker, Marvel Comics writer, and author of The Empire Strikes Back novelization
“An extraordinary volume. Rhodes and Guffey refract these films through the lens of surrealism, detailed genre study, auteurist-informed close readings, star studies, and vigorous historicism to name a few of the kaleidoscope of methods employed. This book provides a breakthrough model for serious work on films that have to date received very little scholarly attention.” – Michael Lee, Ph.D. (University of Oklahoma), editor at the journal Horror Studies
Learn more at:
Other horror titles you might enjoy:
Bela Lugosi in Person
by Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger
The latest in a series of books by researchers extraordinaire Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger, Bela Lugosi in Person brims with new facts,figures, and never-seen photos documenting the actor’s scores of live public performances from 1931 to 1945, the era of his greatest fame. Three-act plays, vaudeville sketches, variety shows, and personal appearances are all chronicled at length, bringing new perspective to Lugosi’s life and career.
Robert Florey's Frankenstein starring Bela Lugosi
by Philip J. Riley
With the success of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, Universal Pictures was quick to capitalize on creating a new Lon Chaney in Bela Lugosi. Chaney had been the original choice to portray a duel role as both Dracula and Professor van Helsing, Dracula's adversary. Before production could begin, Chaney died, suddenly leaving Carl Laemmle Jr. without a star.
No Traveler Returns: The Lost Years of Bela Lugosi
by Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger
In No Traveler Returns, Bela Lugosi scholar extraordinaire Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger provide a fascinating time travel journey back to the late 1940s/early 1950s, when Lugosi – largely out of favor in Hollywood – embarked on a Gypsy-like existence of vaudeville, summer stock, and magic shows.
Scripts from the Crypt: Ed Wood and the Lost Lugosi Screenplays
by Gary D. Rhodes, Tom Weaver, Robert Cremer, and Lee R. Harris
With trowel and brush in hand, noted film archaeologist Gary D. Rhodes excavates the cinematic sepulcher of Ed Wood's unproduced scripts for Bela Lugosi, The Vampire's Tomb and The Ghoul Goes West. Joining Rhodes on the expedition are pith-helmeted horror movie expert Tom Weaver, plus Lugosi's original biographer Robert Cremer.
The Classic Horrors Club Podcast:
EP 30: The Dr. Phibes Companion
Check out this interview with Justin Humphries, author of The Dr. Phibes Companion on The Classic Horrors Club Podcast.
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