Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, September 16, 2019


Openers:  The place stank.  A queer, mingled stench that only the ice-buried cabins of an Antarctic camp know, compounded of reeking human sweat, and the heavy, fish-oil stench of melted seal blubber.  An overtone of liniment combated the musty small of sweat-and-snow-drenched fur.  The acrid odor of burnt cooking fat, and the animal, not-unpleasant smell of dogs. diluted by time, hung in the air.

-- John W. Campbell, Jr. (writing as "Don A. Stuart"), "Who Goes There?" (Astounding Science Fiction, August 1938)

This story, the basis for the 1951 Howard Hawkes film The Thing from Another World and John Carpenter's John Carpenter's 1982 film The Thing, was (according to Isaac Asimov) a rewrite of Campbell's "Brain Steaalers of Mars" (Thrilling Wonder Stories, Decmeber 1936).  Last year a much longer version of the story was discovered; it is scheduled for publication in October by Wildside Press under the title Frozen Hell -- a gotta have.


  • Jim butcher & Mark Powers, Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files:  Full Moon, Volume Two.  Graphic novel with pencils by Chase Conley; the second half of the eight-issue series based on Butcher's second Harry Dresden book.  "Harry Dresden is a private investigator whose clients require a detective with suernatural expertise -- in other wirds, he's a wizard for hire.  The Windy City has been hit with an outbreak of savage werewolf attacks -- a case made even more chaotic and challenging by the fact that Harry's uncovered no less than three lythantropic groups, each seemingly in conflict with one another.  On top of that, Harry's lost the faith of his one friend and ally among the Chicago Police Department, Karrin Murphy.  Now she, along with werewolves and hostile FBI agents, hunts Harry while he races against the rise of the next full moon to discover who -- or what -- is behind the string of murders!" 
  • L. Ron Hubbard and Kevin J. Anderson, Ai! Pedrito!.  Adventure novel, supposedly "inspired by a real incident in the life of L. Ron Hubbard."  Ah, but Hubbard was such a liar that any adventure he claimed to be real should be looked on in askance.  "Naval Lieutenant Tom smith discovers that his exact look-alike is the notorious South American revolutionary and spy, Perdito Miraflores.  Pedrito, while admired by many, leaves behind a throng of foes out for blood when he heads north to assume Smith's identity.  Smith, meanwhile, has been outfoxed, arriving in South America for a quiet vacation only to be attacked in a setup by a froeign intelligence agency."  According to the introduction, Hubbard wrote the story as a screenplay and (out of the kindness of his heart and his desire to promote new authors) granted the novelization to be written by a younger author.  Of course, Anderson had been writing professionally since 1982 and had published some two dozen books by the time Ai! Pedrito! was published.
  • George MacDonald, The Wise Woman and Other Stories.  MacDonald (1824-1905) was a popular novelist, lecturer, and preacher, best remembered to day for his epic fantasies and fairy tales, although a number of his other novels have been updated and abridged by a Chrisitan publishing house.  This book collects a novella and three short stories.
  • James Petterson & Nara Lee, Maximum Ride:  The Manga 2. YA manga.   "Having recovered Angel, Max and the flock head to New York to pursue a lead regarding their true identities, but where the flock goes, Erasers are sure to follow!  Even more troubling, though, is the voice that's begun whispering in Max's head.  Is it really her destiny to save the world?"  

A Stain on Florida:  Nope, not Florida Man, but something that may be far more evil and sinister.

Bee Love Slater, 23, a black transgender woman, was found on September 4, burnt beyond recognition in her car about 65 miles west of West Palm Beach.  Slater was identified through dental records.  She is the 18th transgender person known to have died by violent means in America in 2019.  In 2018, there were at least 26 such deaths, most of whom were black transgender women.  The case is being investigated as a homicide, although officils were quick to point out that there is no evidence as yet that Ms. Slater's death was a hate crime.  Nevertheless, a former longtime Hendry County commissioner said, "That's the feel of the community, that this is really a hate crime."

The American Medical Association has called violence against transgender persons an epidemic.  It noted that violent deaths of transgendered persons "could be even higher due to underreporting, and better data collection by law enforcement is needed to create strategies that will prevent anti-transgender violence."

No matter what the actual circumstances or motivation, the death of Bee Love Slater diminishes us all.

Meanwhile, Also in Florida:  Florida Man has been busy during the first half of September:
And in storm-related news:

R. I. P., Ric Ocasek:  The Cars frontman ws found dead in his home yesterday.  He was 75.

Happy Birthday:  Music legend B. B. King would have been 94 today.  No mention on how old Lucille is.

Happy Birthday:  Xerox 914, the first successful photocopier, which was introduced at a televised demonstration on this date in 1959...Xerox 914, the first successful photocopier, which was intoduced at a televised demonstration on this date in 1959...Xerox 914, the first successful photocopier, which was introduced at a televised demonstation on this date in 1959...Xerox 914, the first successful photocopier, which was introduced at a television demonstration on this date in 1959...Xerox 914, the first successful photoco--

OMG!  I'm caught in photocopier hell!  Argghhh!

Today's Poem:
The Photocopier

The photocopiper's stopped again; it's really not much use.
We'll have to get another one, since it won'r reproduce
And even when it does, it's slow and mucks up each copy.
If you want double-sided, you can sup ten cups of coffee
And fume and swear and rant and curse and utter wwords unkind
While it is merely warming up and making up its mind
As to when to jam and get stuff stuck, (which it really does a lot)
Usually a pesky paper scrap in an inaccessable spot!
It seems to have two settings:  much too black and far too pale.
It does the opposite of what you want -- Exactly, without fail!
I really shouldn't groan and gripe and come across as a moaner,
Though, always when you're in a rush, it's running low on toner
But I'm sure we'd miss it if it went; I'm sure you understand
Since it'd take us flipping ages to copy stuff out by hand!

-- C. Richard Miles

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