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Frankenstein, Karloff, and Spike the Mutant

September 3rd, 2021

“I was euphoric in June. Look where we are now.” So begins a new essay in the New York Times that considers how the summer we hoped for got preempted by Covid-Delta. That’s the thing with monsters. You can never be sure they’re gone for good.

Take the creature in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein … [read more at The 21st Century Scop].

Cartoon by Dana Summers, Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency, from The Week.

Splash Music:
What are the shortest songs ever recorded?

August 2nd, 2021

Two of the more popular posts featured on this website deal with flash fiction. That is according to Google Analytics, which shows Putting the Flash in Fiction and The Shortest Flashes Ever Written continue to garner clicks years after being posted.

Such interest in ultra-short stories has me pondering their musical equivalents … and contemplating the question What are the shortest songs ever recorded?

With this post, I don’t intend to provide a definitive answer so much as open the discussion and hope some of you will chime in with thoughts and recommendations. Given the number of songs out there, the search for the all-time shortest … [read more at The 21st Century Scop].

Like a Preternatural Flash:
New Music from Craig Spector

July 28th, 2021

Back in the early days of the pandemic, when the world was hunkering down for a year of cautious isolation, I posted a piece titled “Music to Span the Social Distance.” In it, I recommended finding respite from the bleak news of the day by seeking out tracks by some of my favorite musicians – ones who (in keeping with the general theme of this blog) are also accomplished writers (ala 21st Century Scops).

One of those writer-musicians is Craig Spector, whose last novel Turnaround is a “twisted meta-thriller set in Hollywood [… read more at The 21st Century Scop].

Sandra Becerril’s Nightmares:
First US Edition Coming this Fall

July 15th, 2021

Thanks to streaming services, it’s never been easier to catch shows from around the world. In the past week, I’ve watched episodes of Lupin (France), 30 Coins (Spain), Babylon Berlin (Germany), and Kingdom (South Korea). I’ve also noticed that many of the best children’s cartoons on Netflix are dubbed imports.

Books, unfortunately, are another matter. They can’t be subtitled or dubbed, and for the moment (at least until translation software reaches something approximating AI capability) the translation process still requires the services of a skilled translator – preferably someone who is an artist as well as an expert in language.

For me, one of the main reasons for mastering a foreign language is being able to read works from other countries in their original. Otherwise, a reader is at the mercy of translators and publishers – with the latter not alway … [read more at The 21st Century Scop].