Saturday, November 05, 2005

Bran Mak Morn ~ a new illustrated collection

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posted by Tom Novak, who has no use for those dratted Worms of the Earth.

Diablo ~ the game

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posted by Tom Novak, who just bought property near Tristram... cheap!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Serenity ~ the movie DVD preorder

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

That Ol' Black Magic

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From Wikipedia

Pon farr is a condition in the fictional Star Trek universe that induces the desire to mate in an adult Vulcan. The concept debuted in the 1967 episode "Amok Time", written by Theodore Sturgeon.

Although Vulcans live strictly by the dictates of logic, their veneer of civilization is ripped away from them during pon farr, every seven years (for males; an undisclosed interval for females) of their adult life. Once triggered, Vulcans must have sexual contact with someone, preferably their mate, or else face insanity and death. Vulcans are capable of engaging in sexual relations outside of pon farr.

Symptoms

During Pon Farr (Blood Fever), the brain is thrown into a neurochemical imbalance and loss of logic and emotional control. The individual may stop eating and sleeping. The Pon Farr cycle begins when a Vulcan becomes an adult. A mate is chosen by the parents of the affected Vulcan, allowing the Vulcan to becoming bonded and to satisfy his urges.

Although "Amok Time" suggests that an overpowering urge to return to Vulcan is one of the symptoms of pon farr, this occurred to such a lesser degrees during the pon farrs of T'Pol, Tuvok, and Vorik, that they were able to overcome the urge to return home.

Pon Farr can be also triggered by infection, as seen in the Season Two Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "Bounty" (2.25).

Treatment

The Vulcan telepathic mating bond draws mated couples irresistibly together. Besides taking a mate one may challenge to a fight for death. When he experienced pon farr in the Delta Quadrant, Tuvok of Voyager made use of a holodeck simulation of his wife to relieve his condition. T'Pol's pon farr was alleviated using medication; even though medical intervention is usually unsuccessful, the fact her condition was brought about by a virus rather than natural timing suggests an exception to the rule.

Cases

T'Pol

T'Pol is the first and (to date) only female Vulcan to be seen explicitly experiencing pon farr, in the Star Trek: Enterprise episode, "Bounty". Prior to this, it was not known for certain whether females experienced the condition, as T'Pring (Spock's mate) showed no outward symptoms.

T'Pol experienced a premature pon farr when an alien infection triggered it, causing her to lose emotional control and nearly kill Dr. Phlox in her efforts to find a mate -- Vulcan or otherwise. Her condition was ultimately brought under control via medication and the pon farr subsided as the virus passed through T'Pol's system.

The T'Pol incident raises the question as to when Vulcans experience their first pon farr. Although Spock was rather young when he experienced his (in his 40s), T'Pol is in her mid-60s, although there is no indication that she has never experienced it before. (Although she would not take a mate, Koss, for another two years, there is no explicit suggestion that this is her first marriage, either).

Spock

Spock underwent Pon Farr in 2267, when he returned to Vulcan, only to be spurned by his betrothed, T'Pring. Spock again experienced pon farr when his regenerated body was undergoing hyperaccelerated growth on the Genesis Planet in 2285. He endured the condition through the presence of Saavik, a Vulcan female.

When Spock experienced pon farr, it was made clear that only contact with his mate, T'Pring, would be sufficient for him to survive the condition. However, soon after returning to Vulcan, T'Pring insisted (under the ancient rite of kunat kalifee) that Spock fight his old friend James T. Kirk for the privilege of winning T'Pring. Spock's pon farr condition evaporated after he supposedly killed Kirk, and T'Pring announced her intention to wed another man. The emotional shock which Spock underwent, upon thinking that he had killed his captain, was sufficient to end Spock's pon farr.

There is no canonical indication that Spock ever again experienced pon farr.

Vorik

Ensign Vorik, another Vulcan crewmember on the starship Voyager, also experienced pon farr some time into the ship's mission. Vorik selected B'Elanna Torres as his mate, and gave her the kunat so'lik - the ritual Vulcan marriage proposal. When B'Elanna rejected Vorik, he became unstable and used a telepathic mating bond known as plak tow to force B'Elanna into Pon farr herself. B'Elanna, however, while down on the planet containing the Sakari colony, choose Tom Paris instead as a mate. He was willing to have sex with her to save her life but this became unneccessary. Instead, Vorik beamed down and challenged Tom Paris to a ritual battle, over who would become B'Elanna's mate. B'Elanna responded by saying that she would fight Vorik herself and ended up winning the fight. As a result, the Pon farr of both B'Elanna and Vorik ended.

Posted by Bob Wallace, who knew what pon farr was without looking it up. Just how pitiful is that?

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Wendigo by Algernon Blackwood

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Well since you asked out there ... speaking of Cthulhu (which Wally was) ... besides being part of injun folklore, the Wendigo is also in the Lovecraftian literary tradition. Somehow or the other he got left behind when most of the tentacled tricksters got locked up or banished or put into crystals and stuff. I forget exactly why . Although over the years the Wendigo seems to have morphed from Old One status to werewolf status. But hey, who's counting and it is almost Halloween. And don't forget that the movie the 13th Warrior is about wendigos too.

posted by Tom Novak, who has never actually seen a wendigo in the wild - so can be safely categorized as being in the non-Titus Crow category.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Cthulhu fhtagn!

Cocdvdfront_1If you love the old pulp horror tales of H.P. Lovecraft -- particularly his Cthulhu Mythos -- stop what you're doing right now. I mean it, dammit! Stop reading this, click here, and order a copy of The Call of Cthulhu, a new DVD available only from the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society in Glendale, California. Do this now so you'll have time to get your copy before Halloween, when you should gather your family and friends to watch this phenomenal 47-minute film adaptation of Lovecraft's centerpiece story to his infamous ring of tales about the Elder Gods, who fell from outer space eons ago and now wait for release from their earthly prisons. Lovecraft's story was written and published in 1926, and it takes place in 1925. So the HPLHS appropriately filmed this story in the style of a classic 1920s silent movie, with a scary-as-hell symphonic score. You gotta see this to believe it. This is the best movie adaptation of Lovecraft ever, and if you're a Cthulhu fan, you must get this. It's so well done, you'd swear on a stack of Necronomicons that it really was filmed in the 1920s, not during an 18-month period in Southern California in 2004-2005.

How's Cthulhu himself? Well, he's not a CGI monster. Rather, he's presented the way he might have been 80 years ago...a kind of puppet that, through the use of forced perspective, is amazingl;y effective. Tremendous fun.

The DVD is top-notch, and besides the movie, it features a very funny and informative 25-minute "making of" documentary, a couple of slide shows, deleted scenes, and even a few Easter eggs!

I'm beggin' you...get this DVD. These guys deserve your money.

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Posted by Wally Conger, who sometimes ventures beyond the wall of sleep and to the Mountains of Madness.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Worth Watching Once, Twice, Three Times

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It's Joss Whedon's Serenity, that is. Ostensibly a Western set in space, it's really a conservative/libertarian tale of a government, that like governments, wants Utopia, which all attempt to achieve through mass murder. Even its representative, the Operative, admits he murders children. It's always to a good end, though -- peace and happiness and security and dullness for everyone. Then you've got the rebels, who just want to be left alone. This is a good film, probably the best one of this year. The dialogue is snappy, the special effects are great (these days, they always are), and maybe, just maybe, this is a retelling of the War Between the States.

Now that I've gotten rid of the political stuff...it's also full of flesh-eating space monsters, the toughest woman in the universe, cool spaceship fights, a weirdo who marries a doll...and lots more cool stuff.

Posted by Bob Wallace, who sez, those who will enjoy this film -- you know who you are.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Back to Barsoom

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After 75 years of talking about getting Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter of Mars up there on the big screen, it looks like it's finally gonna get done!

This latest project has seen TWO directors leave so far, for one reason or another. But it looks like the third may stick...and he's a Burroughs fan!

Recently announced director on the John Carter of Mars project is Jon Favreau, whose sci-fi/fantasy Zathura hits theaters before Christmas. Here are the rules Favreau says he's made for bringing Barsoom to theaters next year: "Stay true to the books, keep it intimate. Keep it emotionally true. Don't try to turn this into something it isn't."

Now, what about casting? How about Catherine Zeta-Jones as Dejah Thoris?

Posted by Wally Conger, whose Thark has been ruining his lawn.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Space Beastie--the Behinder

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Behinder: No on can rightly say what it looks like "...for it's alway behind the man or woman it wants to grab." Silver John did see it once though: "Then I knew why nobody's supposed to see one. To this day I can see it, as plain as a fence at noon, and forever I will be able to see it. But talking about it is another matter. Thank you, I won't try." - Manley Wade Wellman, "The Desrick on Yandro" 1952.

Posted by Bob Wallace, who never opens his closet door at night.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Armed and Dangerous Space Babe Josette Simon

DaynaRamphele Not too long ago I wrote a movie review of the 1987 movie  about Steve Biko’s death and Donald Wood’s efforts surrounding it: Cry Freedom. It is a good movie if you get the chance to view it. One of the characters in it is Dr. Ramphele played by Josette Simon.

She really looked familiar to me so I did some googling and found a few references to her other acting efforts. One of them stands out: Dayna Mellanby on Blake’s 7, a BBC SF series from the late 70’s and early 80’s. There are quite a few fan sites for Blake’s 7 for those who are interested. One site has this: "Dayna claimed that she preferred 'the ancient weapons - the spear, the sword, the knife', but showed no aversion to using modern firepower." Dayna’s role seems to have been an interesting one, which definitely qualifies her as both an armed babe and a space babe as well.

I’ve never lived in England and so I know I didn’t see the show on the BBC. I don’t have any certain memories of ever watching it, but it surely seems oddly familiar to me, more than merely in its major plot features.

Images_filmstills_10Dayna3IMDB has a short plot summary for the series which was carried on the BBC for several years, here’s a portion: “In the third century of the second calendar, a corrupt galactic federation, with Earth at its center, drugs its billions of citizens into placid submission. A rebel named Roj Blake, who once tried to organize a resistance group to overthrow this regime, was caught and divested of his memories. But Blake's revolutionary spirit is revived when he witnesses a mass slaughter by police that is covered up by the federation officials. He escapes exile on board a prison spaceship and, together with a lovable band of outlaws, takes over a vacant alien space cruiser of awesome drive capability.”Splash

It sounds as though Firefly/Serenity may not have been the first “anti-Star Trek,” even if one doesn’t count Babylon 5 which has many anti-Star Trek elements too.

Posted by Tom Ender who is very eager to see the Serenity movie

Monday, September 12, 2005

Ancestor UPDATE

Chapter one of the podcast sci-fi horror novel Ancestor by Scott Sigler is now downloading. Ours was delivered via iTunes (which works pretty darn good btw) but the actual offfficial download page is here

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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Dragon * Con '05

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Dragon * Con 2005, one of the biggest events in the whacky universe of popular creative media is next weekend and your tirelessly intrepid Editors at Largesse will be there - well, at least one of them will be there, anyway. Probably near the bar smoking a cigar from Jorgenson's world and dipping into the Bacchus Black during happy hour. Along with the entire cast of FIREFLY - and that means hob-knobbing, and otherkindsofknobbing with Space Babes, Jewel Staite and Morena Baccarin (ha, ha, ha - eat your hearts out, Wally and Tom) not to mention Gigi Edgley and a raft of other space babes attendees too numerous to mention (like Erin Grey - woooba wooo!).

So expect some Labour Damnday Weekend blogging from Dragon*Con ... and maybe even some suddencurvecasting from a location as yet to be announced...

posted by Tom Novak, who has browncoat. Will travel.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

From At the Earth's Core to Earthcore

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Okay, listen up, all you Hollow-Earth fans of the Classic Pellucidar stories. Over the summer we've been enthralled by a great podcast; Scott Siglers' Earthcore and it is being released in papeback... yes, we've pre-ordered .... and if you pre-order the book from Amazon.com you'll get an enhanced-versionof the podcast on cd as a bonus! Groovey! Someday, all books will have enclosed audio included. Just save your amazon receipt and go to www.scottsigler.net to get the cd, Of course, as  faithful TSC minions you've been all over podcasting since october of 2004 when we introduced it to y'all via the suddencurvecasts (which probably don't work anymore- oops), and EarthCore is the best new-media timecast audio program out there.  It's Highly recomended that you download the entire program and listen to each hour long episode, there are 55 chapters and they are all free.  Written  in the style of a classic  radio suspense/drama  (minus sound-effects) the voice acting is by Sigler hisownself- and he does a remarkable job.   

If you miss Arch Oboler, and The Shadow and old time radio or just yearn for quality, adult-themed storytelling of a caliber you'd expect from Orson Welles or Rod Serling  then Earthcore is what you've been waiting for.   It's a must listen  - and read.

And on top of all this,  if you start listening to Earthcore the podcast now you'll be primed for the beginning of Sigler's next podcast slated to start september 11th ... this one is called Ancestor!

posted by Tom Novak, who's been waiting for the chance to post this since June.

At The Earth's Core - The Movie

Krenkel's At The Earth's CoreLooking at Bob Wallace's posting on Space Artist Roy Krenkel Jr.  took me on a trip down memory lane.  Caroline Munro

I once had a copy of the paperback edition of Burroughs' At the Earth's Core with the pictured Krenkel artwork, although my copy with that picture has since gone missing.

These days I have a copy of a slightly newer edition of the paperback which has Frank Frazetta's artwork. Generally, I really like Frazetta's work, but I have a special soft spot for the Krenkel cover as I am sure I read that one first.

I particularly recall the  spear-carrying, scantily clad female in the lower left foreground of the Krenkel cover. I had always thought that she was Dian the Beautiful. 

Frazetta's At The Earth's CoreWhich further reminded me of  Tom Novak's even earlier posting of Space Babe Caroline Munro (pictured top left).

All that reminiscing prompted me to actually watch the DVD movie version of  At the Earth's Core (Internet Movie Database link)At The Earth's Core: The Movie.

I think I saw that movie around the time it was first released, but watching it now was different.

Caroline Munro is still very hot in the film and has the sort of easy-going manner that is almost impossible to find today. 

Doug McClure has given better performances than his portrayal of David Innes in this movie, but Peter Cushing is very good as Abner Perry.

However, the special effects are quite dated. If the movie had been made today, one might think that it was a deliberately "campy" film, like the Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (which, I confess, I have not yet seen).

In any case, if you are averse to buying or renting a DVD or tape, but have access to Showtime, you can catch Caroline Munro in this perhaps unintentionally humorous film. I enjoyed it. For any Pellucidar fans reading this, it may be the only movie we have available for quite a while.

Posted by Tom Ender, who thanks ERB (Edgar Rice Burroughs) for the Pellucidar books, which had a large impact on him when he was young.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Space Artist Gahan Wilson

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Wilson made his mark as a cartoonist for Playboy and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. I don't exactly remember where I encountered him, although I do remember I was 12. He never did any lush paintings like Vallejo and Frazetta, just weird and funny Charles Addams kind of stuff. I have a couple of his books -- one of his drawing, and the other his collection of short stories, called The Cleft.

Posted by Bob Wallace, who actually burst out laughing at some of Wilson's cartoons.

 

Space Artist Frank Frazetta

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You got your Boris Vallejo and you got your Frank Frazetta. Yeah, I know that no one in the world looks like this, but that's the point -- in ,this world. Yer dealing with your imagination here -- you can do anything you want. It'd be a lot poorer world if you couldn't imagine...

Posted by Bob Wallace, who has books by Vallejo and Frazetta