Thursday, March 15, 2018


Let me take a brief break from the comics and moom pitchers for at least this week just so's I can concentrate my mental synapses on this li'l beauty. Considering that I never was whatcha'd call a fan of fiction or books without pretty pictures to look at for that matter this post is indeed a rare occurrence and who knows, perhaps it is the seeds of a new, more dignified and intellectual BLOG TO COMM we can all look forward to and cherish as the years slug on. Y'know, a blog that is less concerned with the more "trivial" affairs of my personal music/art/funzies background, concentrating on the better, more pure aspects of humankind leading us all on that brave path towards a world where we can all frolic hand-in-hand while gazing in adoration at marble statues of Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Sheesh, I'm starting to make myself sick.

Well, this title doesn't lie for SCIENCE FICTION FOR PEOPLE WHO HATE SCIENCE FICTION sure is a good selection of short stories taken straight from those infamous and stack of ten for a dollar magazines of yore, all crammed into a nice and cheap (at least back then) paperback that you can polish off in a few days if you so wish. Not only that but all the big names inna game are here as well as a few I and perhaps you won't be familiar with but that's cool. After all, I look upon those lesser beings in the SF world as being the Seeds and Sonics to the Beatles and Stones of Arthur C. Clarke and Ray Bradbury and although they're all so cool and hip and all but sheesh, I gotta say that I ultimately prefer the Seeds and Sonics and like, maybe you will like the bubbling unders just as much as I do.

Some of this material may be familiar to you such as Clarke's "The Star", a piddling piece of thinly-disguised humanist angst that was later re-written for that new TWILIGHT ZONE series I tried to fool myself into liking oh so long ago. Bradbury fares much better with "A Sound of Thunder" which once again deals with how one insignificant act in the past (kinda/sorta discussed in last week's KID ETERNITY review) could upset the entire course of the future which makes me wonder if had someone say, not farted at a certain time a few thousand or so years back a domino effect of a much different variety resulting in a vastly alien to what we know destiny would have occurred. I mean, say if that fart had happened at a slightly different time who knows, maybe Dave Lang wouldn't have been born at all which would have set our civilization on a much healthier course!

Even the lesser-knowns here put out a few good 'un's including H.C. Gold's "The Man With English" dealing with sensory patch crossovers the kind that would become more common with the advent of LSD 025 a good ten-plus years after this saga was written. Edmond Hamilton's "What's It Like Out There?" relays the tale of a meteor-shocked astronaut returning from a Mars mission having seen and done a whole load of particularly hellish things that one could hardly call romantic. And believe it or don't but these tales hold up especially for a guy like me whose head is stuck in the pre-hippie era of fun and jamz, with only the William Shiras tale entitled "In Hiding" "lazing out" as Patrick Amory would so lovingly put it. Oh it starts out rather enticingly and all, but this tale of post-Atomic Age mutation just reeks of the whole X-Men-styled persecution hype that seemed to (and still does!) run rampant amongst our more "enlightened" brethren of a bleed-heart variety. If you'll only substitute "mutant" for whatever choice cause protected class warms the cockles of your heart you might get an idea of where this tale eventually ends up at. Maybe I'm making it sound worse than it really is (I mean, it ain't BAD as in horrific), but nowadays when I see my betters making excuses for the evil behavior of others who just happen to be "different" you know my bullshit detector's clicking way more than a Geiger Counter in Hiroshima ever could.

Actually the only reason I bought this book was because of the inclusion of Robert Heinlein's "The Year of the Jackpot" which is a tale that, although originally published in 1952, really seems to sum up the sicker than sick state of affairs that seems to be permeating Everywhere USA if not the world these sad 'n sorry days. The opening scene tells it a bus stop in downtown El Lay some gorgeous young gal all of a sudden starts taking her clothes off. She's straight down to beaver when a cop comes over and starts hassling her to get dressed while a transvestite couple (women dressed as man and vice versa) in turn start giving the cop a hard time at which point the gendarme gives up and hands that now raincoated femme over to a mid-aged statistician named Potiphar Breen. It seems that loony things like public nudity, transvestism and overall abnormal behavior are beginning to coalesce at a rather accelerating pace and the math-minded logarithmic-studying behavior-arc watching sunspot-counting Breen has come to the conclusion that all of this outlandishness will tally up into the biggest jackpot of all, mainly the ultimate cash-in-the-chips of all eternity that people have been predicting for ages but now seems so inevitable....

Now if I was a ten-year-old kid reading this you can bet I'd be hiding under the bed right now, but given all of the doomsday drivel that has been pushed at me ever since I was a mere tyke I can take it all in stride. But sheesh, seeing some of the weirdities that are going on as I type this out sometimes I just wonder...

1 comment:

Head Company AB said...

I might be getting more innured myself because the change in review subject don't shock me. I used to try to read books like analog or Asimov. The cover of your new book is quite the optical illusion