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Double-Feature Book Review:
The Ritual of Illusion & Hollywood North

September 2nd, 2019

The thing I miss most about movie-going in the 21st-century is the lack of double features. I used to love watching those as a kid, sitting in a single-screen theater and letting a pair of thematically linked features roll over me.  Things like Jack the Giant Killer & Last of the Vikings or Jason and the Argonauts & Siege of the Saxons or Die Monster, Die & Planet of Vampires, or even Frankenstein Meets the Space MonsterCurse of the Voodoo (yeah, they weren’t all classics).

Perhaps it’s my fond memories of those double bills that even today has me seeking out interesting pairings in genre entertainment. To wit, the topics of today’s post: two books about filmmaking and the supernatural. And fittingly, as was often the case with those double-features of my youth, the first is one that … [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].

Maintenance Time: Creative Hands at Work

August 15th, 2019

Things at this site aren’t as messy as that men’s room in “This Way to Egress.” Nevertheless, you’re likely to find the layout looking a bit different, maybe even a little messy while web designer Will Horner (of W. H. Horner Editorial & Design) and I work to give things an overdue upgrade. [More at The 21st-Century Scop.]

Recommended Horror:
Good Stuff You Might Have Missed

August 3rd, 2019

Horror exploded in the 1970s. Following the runaway success of Rosemary’s Baby and fueled by the political turmoil of the time, horror publishing rode a wave that didn’t break until the late 1980s. That phenomenon is explored in Grady Hendrix’s Paperbacks from Hell (Quirk 2017), which presents a road map to the horror that filled the bookracks of drugstores, supermarkets, and newsstands of the day. Some of those books were amazingly good. Most weren’t. And therein lay the dilemma —  separating the wheat from the chaff, the cream from the curds, the high-octane from the unprocessed crude. It wasn’t easy, and toward the end of the run, the glut of mediocre and outright-bad product led to a genre implosion by the early 90s. Something similar is happening today, but with digital platforms taking the place of … [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].

This Weekend @ Confluence:
The Best Recent Horror & 50’s SF

July 24th, 2019

This weekend some of the top names in science fiction, fantasy, and horror will gather at the Pittsburgh Airport Sheraton for the latest installment of Confluence, the region’s long-running sf convention, sponsored by Parsec, Pittsburgh’s premier science fiction and fantasy organization.

The convention will run three days, July 26-28, and I’m looking forward to being there Saturday to take part in panel discussions on two of my favorite subjects: mid-20th-century science fiction and 21st-century horror.

First up will be “Beyond Campbell: The SF Explosion of the 1950s” (2:00 PM). The panel will be moderated by Eric Leif Davin, past president of Parsec and current Pitt lecturer. Joining us will be writer-editor Darrell Schweitzer and poet Herb Kauderer.

Here’s a summary … [read more at The 21st-Century Scop].