Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, April 29, 2016


The late, great Jim Croce.


Earth's Last Citadel by C. L. Moore & Henry Kuttner (1964)

The husband/wife team of Kuttner and Moore (or in this case, the wife/husband team of Moore & Kuttner) were seamless in their many collaborations.  Bibliographers are unable to come up with a definite list of who wrote what under their many pseudonyms.  Both were talented writers in their own right and both churned out  number of classic stories for the pulps, although Kuttner in particular was not adverse to producing sub-par tales if the market called for it.

My Forgotten Book this week began as a four-part serial in Argosy in 1943 and was reprinted in the July 1950 issue of Fantastic Novels,  Donald A. Wollheim published it as a paperback in 1964 from Ace, which reprinted it in 1977 and in 1983.

Army Intelligence officer Alan Drake is tasked with smuggling scientist Colin Douglas out of Tunisia while being pursued by two determined Third Reich agents -- red-headed Karen Martin and ruthless Mike Smith, neither one blessed with a Nazified name.  The German agents catch up with them on the Tunisian coast just as Alan and Colin stumble across a large meteor that had crashed the night before.  Of course it's not a meteor; it's a space ship.  Suddenly all four go into a robot-like trance and as a door appears on the side of the ship, they enter it.  The ship then buries itself in the sand.

Fast forward a billion years or so.  Alan wakes up with vague memories of a strange presence that would occasionally be watching him.  The others soon awaken and the whole Nazi vs. Allies thing starts up again...until they exit the ship and find themselves on a dying world pursued by the amorphous presence that had been on the ship with them.  This thing, which they dub the Light-Wearer, is a sort of psychic vampire, leeding off the energy of living things.  It is a member of an alien race that had invaded Earth and destroyed the human race, keeping only a few as "pets."  They performed all sorts of genetic and biological experiment on these remaining humans, creating a number of weird races.  Then, over millions of years, the alien race died out, leaving a number of of eerily designed citadels.  By the time the four Twentieth Century humans arrive, only one citadel remains.

Also remaining are two human races:  the ethereal Carcasillians who occupy the citadel and are ruled by Flande, a megalomaniacal psychic, and the savage Teresi, a small band of maybe a hundred who appear to be humanity's last hope.  The Carcasillians are immortal in a way, taking their immortality in chunks by renewing themselves in a fountain that is powered by a mysterious source.  As a final battle looms between the Carcasillians and the Teresi, and as the Light-Wearer waits in the wings to destroy what remains of humanity, Alan must find a way to save the human race as well as the lovely Evaya, the Carcasillian he loves.

Pure pulp that moves along at a thundering speed, with plot holes aplenty and an A. Merritt sensability.  They just don't do this type of thing this well anymore.  I loved it.

Thursday, April 28, 2016


Josh White (1914-1969) was the man of many firsts.

From his wikipedia page:  "White was in many senses a trailblazer:  popular country bluesman in the early 1930s, responsible for introducing a mass white audience to folk-blues in the 1940s, and the first black singer-guitarist to star in Hollywood films and on Broadway.  On one hand he was famous for his civil rights songs, which made him a favorite of the Roosevelts, and on the other he was known for his sexy stage persona (a first for a black male artist).  He was the first black singer to give a White House command performance (1941), to perform in previously segregated hotels (1942), to get a million-selling record ("One Meatball", 1944), and the first to make a solo concert tour of America (1945).  He was also the first folk and blues artist to perform in a nightclub, the first to tour internationally, and (along with Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie) the first to be honored with a US postage stamp.  White and Libby Holman became the first mixed race male and female artists to perform together, record together and tour together in previously segregated venues across the United States."

And he could sing.

I never got to see him in person but I did see his son, Josh White, Jr., in concert.  It was the week after White's death and it was his son's first performance since his father passed.  A great show.


"While the Blood Runs Warm in Your Veins"

"You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To"

"Lord, I Want to Die Easy"

"There's a Man Goin' Around Taking Names"

"Bad Depression Blues"

"Crying Blues"

"Four and Twenty Elders"

"So Sweet, So Sweet"

"This Heart of Mine"

"No More Ball and Chain"

"Mean Mistreater Mama"

"On My Way"

"One Meatball"

And here's "One Meatball" done by Josh White, Jr.


Join Jack, Doc, and Reggie as they encounter one of their most mysterious cases.  As if an ancient temple in the Central American jungle wasn't enough, there had to be floating vampires and a seven-year-old stowaway!

I Love a Mystery was created by Carleton E. Morse, who had already had an outstanding success with One Man's Family.  ILAM began as a fifteen-minute afternoon serial on NBC West Coast on January 16, 1939.  By October it had graduated to the full NBC Network and the following year grew to a half-hour format.  The show later appeared on the CBS and the Mutual Networks.  Most episodes have not survived.

Temple of Vampires was a twenty-episode adventure that first ran from January 22 through February 16, 1940.  It was rebroadcasted (with a different cast) in August 1944.  The link below is mainly from the 1944 version.  Russell Thornson plays Jack Packard, Jim Boles plays, Doc Long, and Tony Randall, plays Reggie York; they are backed up by Mercedes McCambridge as Sunny Richards and Sara Bussell as Hermie, the young stowaway.  (Episodes 8 to 15 of this serial have been recreated by KALW's Old Radio Show in 1989 with Frank Knight, Pat Franklin, Nicky Emmanuel, and Rosemary Lever.)


Here are the first ten episodes.

And the last ten.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Lou Reed..


A dog walks into  bar, goes at the bartender and says, "Hello, I am a talking dog.  I'm the only talking dog in the world.  I am unique in the annals of history.  Not only can I talk, but I am learned and erudite,  Surely that entitles me to a free drink."

The bartender looks the dog over, pauses for a few seconds, and says, "Sure.  The toilet's the first door on the left."

Tuesday, April 26, 2016