Tag: science fiction

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The Split Personality of Jekyll and Hyde

Mort Kunstler cover painting from Classics Illustrated, #33 (1953). src Although the original publication date of Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is listed as 1886, apparently it was actually

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Zapf.punkt Spring Equinox 2019

“The Worm Ouroboros”, Cover art by Barbara Remington. src Regards to everyone on this Super Worm Moon, the Spring Equinox of 2019! The Farmer’s Almanac tells us that the “worm moon” has something t

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Jules Verne Visits Algeria

“Verne collecting authentic information from the best sources about the underwater world” from L’Algerie Pittoresque, 15 Jun 1884. src Jules Verne is too well known, so that if you allow me to prais

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Time Travel in Paris

Painting (c) Todd Schorr Lisa Goldstein’s first novel, The Red Magician, won the National Book Award in 1983, in the category for “original paperback novel.” Strangely that is the only year that ca

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The mystique of Keleck

My first taste of any artwork associated with Keleck (aka Kelek), was at Boskone this year, where Andy Gelas brought my attention to two French paperback editions of Conan. These were Conan Le Guerrier, and Conan Le Cimmerian, in the Titres SF editions from the early 1980s. Needless to say, the eye-popping contrast in red and black, and the the purity of design in these covers hit me like a sucker-punch in a Philip Marlowe story.   Le Cimmerian has a pure movie-poster effect, with that smashing red background, and the bare skin of the figures has a smooth air-brushed look, while the tightly delineated designs on the metal are all perfectly highlighted. The first thing I noticed about Le Guerrier is the darkness of the figure, of the rich draperies, of the stairwell vanishing into shadow. The hair is certainly done the same way as Le Cimmerian: frizzy threads in direct highlight against the background. But in Le Guerrier, the eyes, the skin, the deliberate brushstrokes on the wall, and the marble steps; they have a very different aesthetic from the super-slick air-brushing of Le Cimmerian. What is going on here?

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Ka-chow! sneezes the roscoe.

The opening of Jack Womack’s _Going Going Gone_, injects us into an unpredictable world that wobbles between an alternate hipster-scene of New York City in the 1960s and the seemingly hallucinatory ramblings of a drug-addled protagonist, Walter Bullitt. The story begins in a Washington, D.C. hotel room, where the first person jive talk kicks in: “Soon as I spiked I turned my eyes inside. Setting old snakehead on cruise control always pleases, no matter how quick the trip.” Sprinkled through almost every sentence are hokey metaphors. The phone doesn’t ring, “those jingle bells“ do. And on the other end of the line is a Federal agent of some kind, who is so square that he can’t understand a word of the hipster-narrator. But the narrator is more like one of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers than a secret agent, and he himself was so startled by the phone that he almost made for the john to “drown his bagged cat.” To flush his pot down the toilet, get it?