Saturday, November 11, 2006

Poem of the Day

FOR the 300 mourners, it was just too much to bear. As the poignant words of a ten-year-old girl remembering her dead father echoed around the church, tears flowed like rain. Athena, the daughter of Flight Lieutenant Gareth Nicholas, who died in Afghanistan, said goodbye in a beautiful poem, called simply My Dad. (more)


He was a great father
for every good reason
I wish he was still alive
He would still be with me
if it hadn’t gone wrong
I wish he had survived
I feel like it was all a dream

But it’s not what it seems
That he’s still with me in my heart
And in my sad sad dreams
I’m crying at this moment
But I can’t stop now
I wish he was still with me

And he’s whispering
in the clouds:
‘I will visit you in your dreams
And we shall roam free
Playing in the grassy fields
Definitely You and Me’

Athena Nicholas

The Most Significant SF Books of the Last 50 Years

I am not all that surprised by how many of these I've read, just as I'm not surprised by the ones I have not. Sword of Shanana is one of the worst books ever typed. Thomas Covenant is a leper of the soul as well as the body and as such was totally unreadible for me.

(ones in red not read)

The Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books of the Last 50 Years, 1953-2002

from SFBC

  1. Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
  2. Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
  3. Dune, Frank Herbert
  4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A,. Heinlein
  5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
  6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
  7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
  8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
  9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
  10. Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
  11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
  12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
  14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
  15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
  16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
  17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
  18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
  19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
  20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
  21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
  22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
  23. 1st Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Stephen Donaldson
  24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
  25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
  26. Harry Potter & the Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
  27. Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
  29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
  30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
  31. Little, Big, John Crowley
  32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
  33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
  34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
  35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
  36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
  37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
  38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
  39. Ringword, Larry Niven
  40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
  41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
  42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
  43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
  44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
  45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
  46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
  47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
  48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
  49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
  50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer

Jack Williamson

The second book I have any real memory of reading was Mr. Williamson's The Humanoids. I had just read the first, Isaac Asimov's David Starr, Space Ranger, and the one/two punch of these books made me, at age 9, a lifelong passionate reader of science fiction . I had the privilege of meeting Mr. Williamson several times. At the 1989 World Science Fiction Convention in Boston I had a long conversation with him and was able to express my enormous gratitude for what his writing had meant to me.

He was a man of great high plains charm, soft spoken, gentle and above all surpassingly intelligent. Go find his books. They are too.

Update: Betty Williamson said her uncle would often say "I have lived a wonderful life, and I will die with no regrets."

Update: Obits:
The LA Times

Clovis News Journal
from Locus:
SF Grand Master Jack Williamson, born 1908, died this afternoon at his home in Portales, New Mexico, at the age of 98. His first published story was "The Metal Man" in Amazing Stories in 1928, the beginning of a writing career that spanned nine decades. His work ranged from early space opera series The Legion of Space (beginning 1934), werewolf SF/fantasy Darker Than You Think (1940), thoughtful SF classic The Humanoids (1948), Golden Age antimatter tale Seetee Ship (1951 as by Will Stewart), and time travel series Legion of Time (1952). Later works included Hugo and Nebula Award winning novella "The Ultimate Earth" (2000) and its novel expansion Terraforming Earth (2001), winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. He won a Hugo Award in 1985 for autobiography Wonder's Child, and his career honors include a Pilgrim Award for his nonfiction work including H.G. Wells: Critic of Progress (1973), SFWA's 2nd Grand Master Award in 1976, Life Achievement World Fantasy and Bram Stoker awards, induction in the SF Hall of Fame in 1996, and Grandmaster of the World Horror Convention in 2004. The Jack Williamson Science Fiction Library was established in 1982 at Eastern New Mexico University, which for 30 years has hosted an annual Lectureship in honor of the writer. Williamson's last novel was The Stonehenge Gate (2005).

Friday, November 10, 2006

Happy Trails, Curly

From the LA Times comes the news that Jack Palance, the craggy-faced menace in "Shane," "Sudden Fear" and other films who turned to comedy at 70 with his Oscar-winning self-parody in "City Slickers," died Friday.

Told you so....

from TPM:

"Republicans may want nothing more than to go home and nurse their election wounds, but the lame-duck Congress has lots of work ahead.

"Items at the top of the list are reviving several popular but expired tax cuts, confirming a new defense secretary and keeping most federal agencies in operating funds....

"President Bush met on Thursday with GOP congressional leaders and came up with a similar to-do list. He added a Vietnam trade bill and legislation giving legal status to his warrantless domestic eavesdropping program....

"The eavesdropping measure has stalled in the Senate because of a Democratic filibuster threat." (AP, NYTimes)

Yep, we can "work" with these assholes. Sure we can.....

Right Back To You Rummie!

from Crooks & Liars via Good Nonsense:

Rumsfeld responds to a pointed question during an appearance at the University of Kansas.

Of course it's not the first time, as this photo clearly shows.

Thank You, Dr. Dean.

Many thanks Dr. Dean. You were right about the 50 states strategy and you held to your guns to implement it. We are lucky to have you chairing the party. Now, lean on those we elected and help them do their jobs investigating these Neocon pukes.

(Tho, to be honest, I'd rather be thanking you for your actions as President. The country really lost out in that decision.)

UPDATE: Reports are coming in that James Carville and some others of the ball-less wonders at the DLC are calling for Dr. Dean's replacement. They do so at their peril. I suspect that if they try, Dr. Dean will grind them beneath his heel like the bugs they are, but should they succeed, the Democratic Party would be toast. I know I'd leave my 40 year membership behind in a heartbeat if they did this. So would a good many others.

The Right Was Right

Well, having nefariously gained power in Congress through the deceptive lawful tactic of using the Constitutionally protected liberal power to vote, we on the left can at last reveal our secret hidden agenda to enslave the rich, indoctrinate the young in our progressive reeducation camps and feminize all macho men in America by stealing their guns and forcing them to wear pink tutus in the workplace.

Read on, you great Neocon unwashed , and tremble before the wrath of the Unitarian Jehad.

Now that the election is behind us, and the Democrats control both houses of Congress, there's no reason not to admit it: the Right was right about us all along. Here is our 25-point manifesto for the new Congress:

Add your own post:

1. Mandatory homosexuality

2. Drug-filled condoms in schools

3. Introduce the new Destruction of Marriage Act

4. Border fence replaced with free shuttle buses

5. Osama Bin Laden to be Secretary of State

6. Withdraw from Iraq, apologize, reinstate Hussein

7. English language banned from all Federal buildings

8. Math classes replaced by encounter groups

9. All taxes to be tripled

10. All fortunes over $250,000 to be confiscated

11. On-demand welfare

12. Tofurkey to be named official Thanksgiving dish

13. Freeways to be removed, replaced with light rail systems

14. Pledge of Allegiance in schools replaced with morning flag-burning

15. Stem cells allowed to be harvested from any child under the age of 8

16. Comatose people to be ground up and fed to poor

17. Quarterly mandatory abortion lottery

18. God to be mocked roundly

19. Dissolve Executive Branch: reassign responsibilities to UN

20. Jane Fonda to be appointed Secretary of Appeasement

21. Outlaw all firearms: previous owners assigned to anger management therapy

22. Texas returned to Mexico

23. Ban Christmas: replace with Celebrate our Monkey Ancestors Day

24. Carter added to Mount Rushmore

25. Modify USA's motto to "Land of the French and the home of the brave"

Sam & Max Are Back!

Woo Hoo! from Pacian over at Space Cat Rocket Ship comes the news that Sam & Max have returned from the dead. New panels of Steve Purcell's beloved '80's indie comic have started appearing on the Tattle Tale Comics site. Check it out!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Election 2006, the Aftermath

Most of the rhetoric since the election has been about being nice and insuring co-operation. Already, the posts, press and pundits have begun about how ungracious we are in victory. UNGRACIOUS! Fuck them and the spavined horse they rode in on. Friends, these people called us traitors. They claimed we were terror enablers. They lied us into a quagmire. They mocked us at every turn for questioning their Dear Leader.

These pukes don't play nice and we'd be fools if we did so ourselves.

I'm glad that we managed to build at least a partial roadblock to the worst Bush excesses. But even that depends on the remarkably inept in opposition Dems remembering how to be in the majority once again. Frankly, we've seen little evidence of that happening in the couple of days since the election.

I say we need to investigate like demons from Hell. Find every scrap of dirt and swill that passes for policy in this administration. Subpoena everything they have. E-mails, official records, meeting notes, phone conversation tapes, car rental records, travel docs, hooker receipts, cocktail napkins, even their children's report cards. Make their eyes, ears and fingers bleed from effort of responding. Investigate them to the point of stagnation. It's the only way we can stop the ongoing dismantling of the regulatory apparatus that protects us.

It's all nice and warm and fuzzy to win the election. But if we play the game the way the Neo-pukes and their media lackeys are trying to dictate we do, WE WILL LOSE!

We have to stand tall, haul back and kick these fools in the balls. And kick them again. And again until they never dare to trample on our Constitution again. Punish them so the next time some lying sack of shit tries to send young brave Americans into battle on fabricated data, the whole country rises as one and spanks their asses raw.

So it is written. So should it be.

What He Said.....

Mark over at Spittle and Ink nails my feelings about the election results pretty well.

As we see, the Democratic seats gained in the Senate do little for people needing a truly progressive, Liberal approach to government. The majority of Dem pickups are hard-right leaning DINO's. Not an unbleak picture.

The House shows better results, but still not great. Of the 28 seats picked up, nine of those have gone to conservative Democrats who would look right at home in a Reagan or Bush 41 GOP. But there are enough "true" Liberals in the pack to make me a bit happier about the House results over those in the Senate.

In short, however, a review by positions instead of Party affiliation reveals to us what won't be happening any time soon, under this "Nude Erection" brought in by voters:

  • There will be no living wage. You might get a symbolic minimum raise hike, but nothing to break the poverty level.
  • Immigrants will still be shit on and labeled a "threat."
  • There will be no movement whatsoever to crack down on corporate fraud, or corporate control of government.
  • There will be no change in the country's hardline position supporting Israel at all costs.
  • There will be no change in the country's treatment of Islamic nations as threats by default.
  • Abortion rights will still be very much at risk.
  • Race relations will not improve at all.
  • Education will not improve significantly, if at all.
  • Poverty -- which was addressed by virtually no candidate listed above! -- will not be reversed.
  • Veterans services will not improve significantly, if at all.
  • Labor union rights will continue to be trampled.
  • Third parties will continue to be effectively illegal.
  • Rhetorical patriotism will continue to trump logic and discussion.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


A commenter below is shocked, shocked to find that I have given over The Blatt to an unseemly display of schadenfruede. Well, not only have we wholeheartedly experienced schadenfreude here at The Blatt, we've liked it. To celebrate we baked one of John Scalzi's famous mouth watering Schadenfreud Pies and ATE THE WHOLE THING.

So there.

And to all you Neocon fools:
Neener, Neener, Neener.

Bye, Bye Little Rickie!

Rick Santorum (R, Sanctimonious Little Prick)


Bye Bye Dickie!

Richard Pombo, (R, Exxon) goes down to defeat.

Endangered species and persons sensitive to air pollution across the country can breathe a little easier tonight. Pombo's all out assault on environmental protection regulation, federal land stewardship, and global warming mitigation will continue to damage this country for decades to come.


Bye Bye Donnie...

Please be sure to let the door hit you in that fat desk chair inhabiting ass as you leave. You mendacious little sack of putrid protoplasm. You incompetent fatuous neocon chickenhawk. Leave before I taunt you once again. PHHFFFPT!

How did I do?

Election Eve Predictions:

PA Governor: Rendell(D) over Swann(R) by 15%
Actual: 20%)

PA US Senate: Casey(D) over Santorum(R) by 8%
Actual: 18%)

Democratic US House pickup in PA: 4 seats
Actual: 3 with 1 additional probable after recount)
Update: Fitzpatrick just made his concession.
That makes 4 pick ups in PA.

Democratic pick up in US House nationally: 37 seats
(Actual: 29 with 7 additional races too close to call)
Update: NBC projects a pickup of 33 seats with 4 other seats still too close to call

Democratic pickup US Senate: 6
(Missouri, Montana, Ohio, PA, RI, Virginia)

Republican pickup US Senate: 1
( Maryland)


50/50 tie US Senate
(Actual: D 51, R 49)

Local Races:

PA House: Conklin(D) over Spencer(R) by 8%
(Actual: 18%)

PA Senate: Corman(R) over Eich(D) by 3%
Actual: 12%)

PA US House: Peterson(R) over Hilliard(D) by 14%
(Actual: 20%)

Democratic pick-up PA House: 5
(Actual: 5 with 2 additional possibles after recounts)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Well, remember you heard it here first -- back in October 2002

from the WaPo:

GREELEY, Colo., Nov. 4 -- During the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, President Bush and his aides sternly dismissed suggestions that the war was all about oil. "Nonsense," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld declared. "This is not about that," said White House spokesman Ari Fleischer.

Now, more than 3 1/2 years later, someone else is asserting that the war is about oil -- President Bush.

Told you so. Told you so. Neocon scum.

Nelson Bond

I met Mr Bond many years ago at a convention in Roanoke.  Somehow, I ended up with the great good fortune of talking to him for 5 or 6 hours that day. He gave me an veritable seminar on the old pulp days. A true gentleman, he was a fascinating tale teller. He was also for many years one of the foremost booksellers in fandom.

from Locus:

Nelson Slade Bond was born November 23, 1908, in Scranton PA, and grew up in Philadelphia. He attended Marshall University, Huntington WV, from 1932 to 1934, and that was also where he met his wife, Betty Gough Folsom; they married in 1934, and had two sons. He worked as a public relations field director for the Province of Nova Scotia in 1934-'35, then began freelance writing, at first with non-fiction pieces.

The first of his many story sales came in 1935, but he came to science fiction and fantasy in 1937 with SF ''Down the Dimensions'' (Amazing) and the memorable humorous fantasy ''Mr. Mergenthwirker's Lobblies'' (Scribner's). The latter, which spawned several related stories, was turned into a radio series, and eventually a TV play. He wrote extensively for Amazing Stories, Fantastic Adventures, Weird Tales, and non-genre magazines Scribner's and Blue Book. His ''Magic City'' in Astounding (1941), part of the ''Meg the Priestess'' series, was very popular. His works were collected in Mr. Mergenthwirker's Lobblies and Other Fantastic Tales (1946), The Thirty-first of February (1949), The Remarkable Exploits of Lancelot Biggs, Spaceman (1950), No Time Like the Future (1954), and Nightmares and Daydreams (1968)

from the Roanoke Times

Nelson Bond's career included fantastical fiction, radio and TV, and local theater.

He wrote about bumbling space travelers, invisible companions, a great bird that would hatch from the Earth as from an egg, a secret race of superhumans who could walk through walls.

He wrote radio scripts and television plays when the mediums were still young, and was once named in a lawsuit filed by Orson Welles -- though he quickly got himself dropped from the suit.

Though he retired from fiction writing in the 1950s, books collecting his stories continued to appear, the most recent, "Other Worlds Than Ours," published just last year.

Longtime Roanoke resident Nelson Bond died Saturday of complications from heart problems, less than a month shy of his 98th birthday. Bond, once called the dean of Roanoke writers, leaves behind more than 250 short stories and a career that earned him the admiration of authors as diverse as Isaac Asimov and Sharyn McCrumb.

"Nelson Bond was large on the horizon for anyone who enjoyed fantastic literature as far back as the '30s," said Harlan Ellison, the 2006 Grand Master Award recipient from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

"For originality and inventiveness he was rara avis," an extraordinary person, Ellison said. "He wrote a clean line of prose, because he understood in that best part of a writer's craft where the soul resides that when you have a fantastic idea in the story line, you must have internal logic."

Ellison, who built his own writing career on short stories, looked to Bond for inspiration, as did Ray Bradbury, who in a 2001 interview with The Roanoke Times praised Bond's sense of humor and quirky imagination.

Born in 1908, Bond grew up in Philadelphia, where his father ran a public relations firm. He attended West Virginia's Marshall College, now Marshall University, where he met Betty Folsom, marrying her in 1934. By 1939, when the couple moved to Roanoke, Bond had already established himself as a prolific and popular writer. Often, he dictated his stories and his wife typed them.

Throughout the 1930s, '40s and '50s he wrote sports, detective and fantasy stories that appeared in magazines ranging from Esquire to Weird Tales. As radio and then television caught on, he was there, scripting hundreds of shows for the national networks.

When he entertained guests in the basement of his Roanoke County home, Bond often shared war stories of his time in television.

He scripted the 1957 CBS teleplay "The Night America Trembled," dramatizing the national reaction to the Orson Welles radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds." It was that show that resulted in Welles' lawsuit.

Bond's signature story was the tongue-twistingly titled "Mr. Mergenthwirker's Lobblies," the story of a man with two invisible companions who can foretell the future. He wrote several sequels and adapted them to radio. When "Mergenthwirker's" aired on NBC in 1946, it was the first full-length play broadcast by a television network.

The teleplay's director, Fred Coe, who went on to be a powerful television producer, invited Bond to join him in the new medium of television, but Bond declined. He later spoke of Coe's offer as a great opportunity that he had missed.

By the 1950s, frustrated with the oppressive working conditions for writers in Hollywood and the death of the pulp magazines, Bond retired from writing. He first opened a public relations firm in Roanoke, then became a bookseller. He was also instrumental in founding the Showtimers community theater, where his nationally renowned stage adaptation of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" was first performed.

Betty Bond had her own career in local television, interviewing notable locals for "The Betty Bond Show" on WSLS (Channel 10).

But Nelson Bond's writing career wasn't quite over. Ellison recalled badgering Bond in the early 1970s to write his first new story in more than a decade, "Pipeline to Paradise," which was eventually published in 1995.

"I'm the one who shook Nelson out of retirement," Ellison said. The new story proved that even though Bond had not written fiction in years, "he still had the chops."

In the 1970s Bond's fans gathered locally to form the Nelson Bond Society, which became the seed for many of the Roanoke-based science fiction conventions and clubs.

In 1998, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America honored him with an Author Emeritus award. In 2003, Bond donated his papers to the Marshall University library, which created a replica of the office in Bond's home where he wrote most of his stories.

Fred Eichelman, who runs the Point North science fiction convention, called Bond a "Renaissance person." His organization's latest newsletter has a photo of Bond and "The Empire Strikes Back" screenwriter Leigh Brackett arm in arm on the cover.

Eichelman, a retired schoolteacher who used Bond's stories in the classroom, recalled an instance when a student wrote to Bond asking what motivated him to write.

"My motivation was to put three meals on the table for my family," Bond replied.

Even with his most creative years behind him, Bond said in 2001 that he had never grown bored. "You've just got to stay interested in life, that's all."

He is survived by his wife, Betty, sons Kit and Lynn, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Election Eve Predictions:

PA Governor: Rendell(D) over Swann(R) by 15%

PA US Senate: Casey(D) over Santorum(R) by 8%

Democratic US House pickup in PA: 4 seats

Democratic pick up in US House nationally: 37 seats

Democratic pickup US Senate: 6
(Missouri, Montana, Ohio, PA, RI, Virginia)

Republican pickup US Senate: 1
( Maryland)

50/50 tie US Senate

Local Races:

PA House: Conklin(D) over Spencer(R) by 8%

PA Senate: Corman(R) over Eich(D) by 3%

PA US House: Peterson(R) over Hilliard(D) by 14%

Democratic pick-up PA House: 5

Friday, November 03, 2006

“Godzilla’s Acre”

from Kolchak:

Nearly everyone who’s seen a Godzilla movie knows that the Big G originated in Japan. However, the movie that actually introduced Godzilla has not been available in America until relatively recently.

I’m not talking about . Godzilla, King Of the Monsters. I’m talking about the original Japanese production, Gojira. “King Of Monsters” includes an hour’s worth of footage from the original, rearranged and re-edited to incorporate new scenes with Raymond Burr. However, a full-length version of Gojira had a short theatrical run in America in 2004 and it’s now part of a classy--and inexpensive--DVD boxed set with Godzilla, King Of the Monsters..

Even if you’ve seen other movies in this series, I think Gojira is going to surprise you.

According to the background material that comes with the DVDs, Gojira was born out of pure necessity. In early 1954, a major project for Toho studios in Japan fell through. In order to fill the hole in their production schedule, the studio heads decided to make a movie about a giant monster awakened by an atomic blast.

By itself, this idea was nothing special; American movie-goers had already been introduced to The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms. What makes,Gojira different is the way this basic idea is handled. In it’s own way, the movie is a sincere attempt to grapple with a world with the atomic bomb, just as films like United 93 attempt to come to terms with a world where America can be attacked by terrorists.

In the case of Gojira, though, the movie happens to include a man in a latex dinosaur suit.

Much of the credit for .Gojira’s tone can be given to director and co-scripter Ishiro Honda. The son of a Buddhist priest, Honda was drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army in 1936, and fought as foot soldier for eight years in occupied China. After Japan’s surrender, he saw the ruins of Hiroshima on his way home.

As Honda , who died in 1993, told one interviewer, “Most of the visual images I got were from my war experience. After the war, all of Japan, as well as Tokyo, was left in ashes. The atomic bomb had emerged and completely destroyed Hiroshima.

“If Godzilla had been a dinosaur or some other animal,” he said., “he would have been killed by just one cannonball. But if he were equal to an atomic bomb, we wouldn’t know what to do. So I took the characteristics of an atomic bomb and applied them to Godzilla.”

Honda came to Gojira,after directing documentaries for Toho, so the movie has a grainy, newsreel look that helps to establish the story’s realism. That can still be seen in “King Of Monsters,” though. There are some things that don’t make into the American version, or, if they do, it’s in a very altered form.

The original includes a scene where the members of a government committee argue over telling the public that the appearance of Godzilla is connected to atomic testing ( They finally decide to do so.)

During Godzilla’s rampage through Tokyo, there’s a touching scene where a mother tries to comfort her children by telling them that they’ll be with their father soon. In “King Of Monsters”, this scene is reduced to just a few seconds, with no dialogue.

In the same movie, after the oxygen destroyer kills Godzilla (apparently), Raymond Burr intones, “ The whole world could wake up and live again.” In the original, though, Dr. Yemane warns, “If we continue testing H-Bombs, another Godzilla will one day appear.”

(If you’re wondering why I’m using the name Godzilla, no matter which movie I’m referring to, it’s mostly a matter of convenience. However, in this DVD set, the subtitles in Gojira, do use the name Godzilla, despite the title of the movie. Honda’s quote also used Godzilla.)

In general, Gojira has a darker, more somber tone than its American cousin, and it’s filled with images of ruined cities and orphaned children, inspired by reports from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In comparison, Burr tells the story of Godzilla, King of the Monsters as a flashback, which eliminates some of the tension immediately, since we can be fairly sure that Burr’s character survived the monster’s attack.

Still, I really don’t want to badmouth “King Of Monsters” here. It’s nobody’s classic, but it’s fun to watch. In addition, the scenes with Burr are integrated pretty well from a technical viewpoint, particularly when you consider that the filmmakers are doing it without the help of computers. It’s just a very different movie from Gojira.

It looks like it’s time for me to start earning my merit badge in self-promotion. I’ve got essays in two books of BenBella’s Smart Pop series which are now in stores. One is Star Wars On Trial , which also has contributions by David Brin and Mathew Woodring Stover. The other is Getting Lost , edited by Orson Scott Card.

The first book has a different format from most of the other Smart Pop entries. Pairs of writers debate different questions related to the Star Wars film. If you want to get a taste of what the book is like, check out the website at (surprise, surprise):

I also have a short story in Lance Star-Sky Ranger, a pulp-style anthology now available from Wild Cat Books. You can take a close look at the book at:

We return you now to your regularly scheduled blog.