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.
Click here for Podcast:
Sign up to Wesley's mailing list and get his new sci-fi thriller for free.
Wesley sends out his newsletter just once a month and it 's always full of great offers, latest news, and giveaways. So sign up now and don't miss out on reading. It's Not About Death, It's About Fear.
Two authors, two versions of the same book in two exciting genres of fiction. Karen J Mossman and Karina Kantas present, Toxic.
Lexi isn't your normal Malok. She craves adventure and freedom from the mundane life forced upon her. 100 years ago, the first drop of acid rain fell. Maloks fled to the mountains, building a new way of life—a desolate life—a life Lexi knows all too well.
Lexi has a plan, her ticket out of this miserable existence, becoming a ranger. Aron, her partner, believes she’s not strong enough to fight alongside him. Lexi will stop at nothing, no matter what the danger, to achieve her independence, even if that means defying him.
Amidst everything, Marcus, Lexi’s childhood best friend makes a sudden return. Before she can rejoice in a reunion, her happiness is crushed when she sees Mae, the bully that had terrorized her in her teens. Marcus was aware of the mental abuse Lexi had suffered and yet the person she loved and the person she hated the most, stand before her, together.
“A powerful dystopian thriller that captures the heart and imagination”.
“I was fascinated by Stephanie Meyer’s book The Host, where people lived in mountains. This was a world I wanted to explore as a setting for Toxic. Living in a close environment as this, there has to be rules. Those rules don’t always have to be fair. This gave me scope to add intrigue and animosity between my characters.”
Karen J Mossman
Karen J Mossman comes from a family of journalists with her grandfather and uncle having been newspaper editors. Further back a 2x grandfather wrote for his local paper and also published a book based on those articles. Karen is the only one to go into fiction.
All Karen's books are in collections - The Decade Series, Electric Eclectic and Just Stories.' She is also a founder member of Electric Eclectic books and now has six in that collection.
Karen is also an avid blogger and book reviewer, "It's especially important to me to have feedback from my readers, so please leave a review when you have read one of my books."
Karen lives on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey off the North Wales coast with her husband and two dogs. She has two grown-up children, who were both born on the same day, two years apart.
Karina Kantas is the author of the popular MC thriller series, OUTLAW and the loved romantic fantasy duology, Illusional Reality.
She also writes short stories and when her imagination is working overtime, she writes thought-provoking dark flash fiction.
There are many layers to Karina's writing style and voice, as you will see in her flash fiction collection, Heads & Tales and in UNDRESSED she opens up more to her fans, giving them another glimpse into her warped mind.
When Karina isn't busy working on her next bestseller, she's a publicist, author manager and VA. She's also the host of the popular radio show, Author Assist on the Artist First Radio Network.
“A sensual, erotic read…Karina dares to figure out the nature of passion…thoughtful and thought-provoking.”
“It was a pleasure to read an erotic story that had an actual plot. The genre itself is probably the most misunderstood. The plot drives an erotic story and the sex just adds to the enticing nature of it. You've done a great job building a world for your reader. “
“Toxic is based in a future world where acid rain forces the people, the Maloks to build their cities inside mountains for protection. What is also amazing is this book has two versions, the romantic and the erotic. In both books the story focuses on a female Malok called Lexi, who is determined to become a Ranger and help society guard against the Outcasts. Only Lexi has little support, even from her own boyfriend, Aron. Mix in a childhood sweetheart, in the shape of Marcus, and the unexpected arrival of Mae, Lexi's childhood bully and things begin to get interesting. Toxic is the story of Lexi's determination to satisfy her ambitions, both professionally and personally. The Erotic Toxic tells the same story but delves deeper into Lexi's sexuality and passions. Whichever Toxic you chose, you find yourself living the fantasy.”
“Lexi,” greeted the young medic.
“Hey, Sha.” Lexi smiled.
She walked past Sha and sat down on a stool, took a sterile cloth, and wiped away the dead skin, causing her to take an intake of breath. No matter how many times she had been burnt there was no way to get used to that kind of pain.
As she reached for a jar of Dozax paste, Sha spoke. “You’ve been outside again, haven’t you?”
Lexi didn’t answer at first, as she felt the wonderful relief as the paste went to work, taking away the pain and healing the burn. The skin immediately started to regenerate and within moments all that was left on her hand was a green coloured dye, which would eventually fade. Still, Lexi needed to wear a patch that had a tiny spot of Dozax cream to complete the treatment. It was dangerous for any Malok to use Dozax in its pure form. Everything had to be diluted.
“You are such a strange Malok,” Sha said, shaking her head.
Lexi smiled. “I can’t help it. I’d go crazy if I was cooped up here forever.”
“Has your ranger training started?” Sha asked.
Lexi’s grin was wide. “Not yet. At the end of the week,” she answered, still not believing she had been accepted into the academy. “Okay, I’m done," she said and then jumped off the stool. “See you tomorrow.”
“Oh wait. You have four inoculations to do tomorrow.”
“Four?” Lexi questioned.
“Yes, some Maloks arrived last night with the new commander.”
“Oh, yes I forgot about Jow. So sad. He was nice as a commander, and so approachable and happy all the time, you know?”
“Yeah,” Sha agreed and then giggled. “Remember when he came and said he wanted to learn basic aid? Oh my, he was so funny.”
Lexi laughed as she remembered that day and how he always made her smile. “See even now, just thinking of the late commander makes us happy. He left a great legacy behind.”
“He sure did. Let’s just hope the new one can live up to that.”
“Okay, I’m off. See you tomorrow, Sha.”
“I will have the Dozax jabs ready for you in the incubator," Sha called.
“Super! Thanks,” Lexi mumbled.
Lexi still couldn’t get that sad day out of her mind. She even had to visit the Charmer to talk and get closure. The loss of Commander Jow was hard for everyone. A party of fifteen went out that day and only two returned. Lexi wished for peace every day, but the only way that would happen was if the Outcasts and the Maloks agreed to share.
She shook her head. Of course, that would never happen, she was kidding herself. Outcasts needed the Terra leaves to feed their addiction. Never mind that this amazing plant could cure pain, protect the body from germs, Illness and normal medical problems that come from age and a weary body. She couldn’t imagine how life used to be when young people would die, because they didn’t know the secret of the plant and the properties it possessed. So, sad, she thought, as she quickly made her way back to the residence she shared with Aron.
Everyone assumed that Lexi and Aron would marry and settle down. Her friends certainly thought so, and at the start, so did Lexi. Only now she had woken up, and the adventurous Lexi wanted so much more from life and becoming a ranger was a step in the right direction.
Karina and Karen and proud to associate Toxic with Electric, Eclectic books.
Electric Eclectic is a global marketing brand
Tour Hosted by Author Assist
20th-century historical MC romance
"Ms. Saccenti’s writing is compelling and lyrical. Her descriptive writing immerses the reader into the era, scene and story. The characters of Noémi’s Journey, (both main and secondary), are well developed. Her talented writing allows the reader to understand why the characters behave the way they do."
Review Quote from Amazon
If you're a fan of filmmaker Ed Wood or actor Bela Lugosi, then BearManor Media has some books that might trip your trigger--
Angora Fever: The Collected Short Stories of Edward D. Wood, Jr.
By Edward D. Wood, Jr.
While remembered today as the director of some of the most notoriously bad movies in the history of cinema, there was another side to Wood’s questionable creativity of which most people remain unaware. When his career as a motion picture auteur fizzled out, mostly from lack of funding, Wood searched for another way to make ends meet while not having to surrender his personal artistic vision.
The Cinematic Misadventures of Ed Wood
by Andrew J. Rausch and Charles E. Pratt, Jr.
Authors Andrew J. Rausch and Charles E. Pratt Jr. unravel the unreal back stories of the much-maligned “Worst Filmmaker of All Time” and his 29 films that sometimes outshone Wood’s off screen shenanigans. In the 1950s, audiences cringed at Glen or Glenda, Jail Bait with Steve Reeves, Bride of the Monster and Plan 9 From Outer Space with Bela Lugosi, The Violent Years, and Night of the Ghouls. In the 1960s, moviegoers winced at The Sinister Urge and Orgy of the Dead.
Scripts from the Crypt: Ed Wood's Bride of the Monster
by Gary D. Rhodes with Tom Weaver
Shovel in hand, the redoubtable Gary D. Rhodes returns to the Graveyard of Forgotten Facts, unearthing a treasure trove of terrific illustrations and a casket-full of new information and insights on Bela Lugosi, Ed Wood and Bride of the Monster (1956). Also exhumed are Bride’s shooting script and a vault full of decaying extras. Accompanying him in this 60th anniversary “Bela-bration” of the film’s release is partner-in-crime Tom Weaver, as well as contributors Sam Sherman, Robert J. Kiss and Michael Lee.
Scripts from the Crypt: Ed Wood and the Lost Lugosi Screenplays
by Gary D. Rhodes, Tom Weaver, Robert Cremer, and Lee R. Harris
Delving into the most mythical aspects of the Wood saga, this book examines the facts and mysteries of these unproduced works. Essential for genre enthusiasts.
No Traveler Returns: The Lost Years of Bela Lugosi
by Gary D. Rhodes and Bill Kaffenberger
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.
All these titles are available at:
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Shooting the Breeze With Baby Boomer Stars!: Surprising Celebrity Conversations for the Retro Generation
Paperback: 338 pages
Publisher: Archway (October 2, 2018)
Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton
From 2007 to 2015, I had the great pleasure of co-hosting an online radio show for KSAV.org where I interviewed a wide range of musicians, actors, and other entertainment insiders geared for Baby Boomer listeners.
One thing I learned is that if the interviewer is knowledgeable and pleasant and the interviewee is agreeable and warm, listeners interested in the celebrity in question will get a special audio treat.
Well, interviewer and writer Torchy Smith has created something of a personal industry
celebrating Baby Boomer stars where he too has shown how entertaining old entertainers can be if they can reminisce about their glory days with a friendly and informed interviewer.
In the case of his new book, Shooting the breeze, Smith offers a series of shortened interviews with many actors and actresses whose fame came mostly from roles on the small screen. They include most of the Mouseketeers, Angela and Veronica Cartwrite, Bill Mumy, Jerry Mathers, Tony Dow, James Drury, Larry Matthews, Marion Ross, Anson Williams, Cindy Williams and many, many more.
Altogether, the stars describe a time of much greater innocence on television and the repeated complaints most feel about not getting residuals for their work. We hear how most of them found their way into often unexpected stardom and they tell many stories of what happened to them after their glory days. Woven throughout these conversations are Smith's personal commentary and insights that augment what the stars say about themselves and sheds a bit of light on the art of interviewing.
While giving readers online access points to some of his guests so we too can connect with some celebs, Smith makes many valid points as to why readers should read his book and not rely on what Google can provide. From personal experience, I can tell you Smith is correct when he says what much of what we can find online just simply isn't so.
Naturally, to be interested in this book, you got to be interested in television and film of the not-so-distant past and be curious about the faces and voices that made a stamp on your own life. Some interviews are probably going to be the reason you tried out this book, others may be with folks you're less familiar with. So Shooting the Breeze can be a cover-to-cover read for Baby Boomers or a skip around or skim some passages experience for you. Me, I was glad to get a peek into a lot of folks I don't remember as well as those I too had the pleasure to talk to. It's a warm and inviting read for all of us.
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on March 16, 2019:
Somewhere Beyond the Heavens: Exploring Battlestar Galactica
edited by Rich Handley and Lou Tambone.
Publisher: Sequart Organization (December 18, 2018)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Free on Kindle Unlimited
Reviewed by: Dr. Wesley Britton
Back in 1978, I considered a new TV series I dubbed Battlestar: Ponderosa (due to the presence of actor Loren Green as Commander Adama), along with sister production, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, as two disposable, diverting attempts by producer Glen A. Larson to capitalize on the success of Star Wars for the small screen. As both series had short lives, I didn't expect to see much more of either of them. Little did I know.
In the case of Battlestar: Galactica, forty years have gone by with many repeated attempts to reinvigorate the franchise. We got novelizations, original novels, comics, films, webisodes, board and video games, unproduced attempts at revivals, and, most impressing of all, Ronald D. Moore's extraordinary 2003 re-imagining of the concept for the SyFy channel and elsewhere that earned considerable praise for a remarkable reboot.
Now, the Sequart Organization has published the fifth, yes, fifth, serious book-length academic analysis of all things Galactica by forty comic historians, novelists, bloggers, subject-matter experts, and franchise insiders including Jim Beard, Joseph F. Berenato, Joe Bongiorno, Jeffrey Carver, and October Crifasi.
Sequart is touting the fact their new title runs 572 pages, making it the longest book in their history. This is rather surprising considering their past essay collections on popular culture subjects included Batman, The X-Men, Star Wars, and Planet of the Apes, to scratch the surface of their catalogue. As with all their tomes, Somewhere Beyond the Heavens touches every conceivable base you can think of regarding Battlestar: Galactica including close scrutiny of the creative processes, analyses of key episodes and characters, not to mention deep dives into the ephemera associated with the franchise.
Clearly, Somewhere Beyond the Heavens is not a useful introduction for the uninitiated and not a simple overview for the mildly interested or simply curious. It's intended for serious devotees who might not need to explore every essay, especially if you're a fan of only the Glen A. Larson version or the Ronald Moore revision. For example, do you care about the background of the mysterious Count Iblis as portrayed by Patrick Macnee in a two-part episode in the original series? If so, this collection is for you.
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on March 13, 2019:
Find your next favorite mystery or thriller title among these FREE novels. Click on the covers of the books you want, sign up to learn a little more about the authors, and start reading. Don't forget to enter to win a $25 gift card. Enjoy!
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THE DUTIFUL DETECTIVE AND THE DEADLY DECOYS
Always Look on the Bright Side of Life: A Sorta biography
Publisher: Random House Audio
Audible.com Release Date: October 2, 2018
Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton
As Eric Idle himself says in the introduction to his new memoir, over the years we've been given a deluge of histories, documentaries, and other memoirs about the careers of the six Monty Pythons. So can Idle's "sorta" autobiography give us anything new?
Not having read all the books Idle alluded to, I can't fairly answer that question. I suspect if you're one of those who have, in fact, read and seen everything related to the funniest comedy troupe of all time, I suspect you'd still enjoy a book that is as funny as the Pythons used to be. After all, Idle has written comedy material since 1963 and his new book demonstrates just how comic one writer can be.
But if you're one of those who loved and enjoyed Monty Python without getting immersed in all the appreciations and analysis they've received over the years, than Eric Idle's new memoir is a real treat. And very revelatory. For example, one delight for me was learning about Idle's pre-Python work in British comedy we Yanks never saw. And the post Python projects like Spamalot and his many tours with John Clease.
It's still difficult for me to grasp that the heyday of Monty Python ran from 1969 to 1983 with occasional projects sprouting up from time to time thereafter. As my 14 year old grandson is a Monty Python junkie, you'd think they were still pumping out new material. Nope.
Of course, no one's life is all just their most celebrated achievements, so we learn much about Eric Idle's personal life in his breezy memoir. Poignant chapters discuss his painful growing-up years, his time at Cambridge, and his friendships with the likes of George Harrison and Robin Williams and their tragic ends. So this memoir isn't a laugh fest on every page and shouldn't have been.
Still, along the way, Idle gives us generous samplings of old skits like the "Eric the "half-A-Bee" song and repeated discussions of how his most famous song, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," has been used and reused in all manner of both expected and unexpected places. I must agree with other reviewers who complain that some sections, especially in the latter half, are jammed thick with gratuitous name-dropping and overlong passages describing Idle's active social life, partying with the stars. In such patches, skimming might be the way to go.
Without question, if you can get this book in its Audible Audiobook format as read by the author, that's the way to do it. You can feel his style, hear him occasionally verge on breaking into laughter, hear him sing, and get the full Eric Idle treatment. And that's the reason you got this book to begin with, right?
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Feb. 14, 2019:
Guarding Gable: A Novel
Publisher:BearManor Media (Jan. 10 2019)
Reviewed by Dr. Wesley Britton
At first glance, it might seem an exploration of actor Clark Gable's World War II service in the Army Air Corps after the death of his beloved wife, Carole Lombard, might be best suited to a non-fiction treatment. Happily, author Nat Segaloff chose to write an imaginative memoir featuring Gable's years in uniform as told from the Point of View of the apparently fictional Alan Greenberg. Greenberg is a junior publicist assigned by MGM studio boss Louis B. Mayer to make sure Gable doesn't get into any dangerous situations, especially since the death of his wife has left Gable in a suicidal mood. So we see a friendship between star and publicist grow as well as a love triangle between them and a British publicist named Mavis Roberts.
Few authors can come close to having the credentials to pull off this novel like Nat Segaloff. Writer/ producer/ journalist Segaloff has penned 16 books on Hollywood subjects, was a studio publicist himself, has written stage and audio-plays, not to mention co-authoring and co-producing TV and radio scripts, many with a sci-fi bent. And these are but a few of his career highlights.
Not surprisingly, Guarding Gable is full of Segaloff's awareness of how a star of Gable's magnitude would be treated in the 1940s by the studio, the military, and the public. On top of that, what was most impressive to me were the many scenes of Gable flying over the continent in various bombing missions despite orders to stay on the ground. The detail Segaloff provides about the huge planes and the fliers who manned them in the Army Air Corps gives the book a level of excitement and suspense it wouldn't have had if Gable had followed orders. Or if Segaloff had given us a nonfiction book reliant on material necessarily cited from research sources.
The depth of the relationships Segaloff paints is first rate, especially between Gable and Greenberg as the star of Gone With the Windgains more and more respect for his "orderly." The romance between Greenberg and Roberts is far from a typical one and is also handled very deftly as the story progresses. The numerous supporting characters are vividly sketched and all entirely believable.
So who is the primary audience for this novel? Certainly Gable fans and enthusiasts of the 1940s era in Hollywood. So too World War II buffs interested in the Army Air Corps in Europe. But I'd go further and say anyone who enjoys a good story that is vivid, richly detailed, fast-paced, and illuminating should enjoy this one.
While I didn't get to hear it, I understand the audiobook for Guarding Gable is enhanced with sound effects and dialogue from the actual films Gable made during the war. Sounds like a fun way to go if audiobooks is your thing.
This review first appeared at BookPleasures.com on Feb. 9, 2019: