Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, October 14, 2019


Openers:  Two brief reviews by Anthony Boucher (William Anthony Parker White):

(with a preface by Lillian Smith) (Messner, $1).

Not so much a book as a visual education exhibit, this large pamphlet sponsored by the Council Against Racial Intolerance in America vividly portrays the record of the Negro in our arts, sciences, sports and history.  It's a fine job but I'd hate to prophesy its success.  Christ opened the eyes of the blind but even he got nowhere with those who will not see.  (APW)

(Doubleday, $2.50).

If you want local color, a sketchy plot about buried treasure, a do-nothing hero, a heroine chiefly characterized by having breasts, more local color, a sinister one-legged villain, a minimum of action and some local color, this is your dish.  God help you.  Mr. Frisbie showed a pretty appreciation of his coyly nauseous style when he entitled his first volume "The Book of the Puka-Puka."  (AB)

-- Both reviews from The Anthony Boucher Chronicles:  Reviews and Commentary, 1942-1947, edited by Francis M. Nevins, 2001, an absolutely delightful volume that shows the breadth of Boucher's interests (and there were many), as well as his unfailing (and highly readable) critical eye.  The vast majority of reviews here are of detective and mystery novels, although there are also over a hundred pages of reviews covering, fantasy, science fiction, true crime, biography, drama, language, music, art, history, religion, politics, current events, cartoons, crosswords, and such hobbies as stamp collecting and cribbage.  A truly fascinating book, giving insights to a truly fascinating man.  Highly recommended. 

  • Jack Dann & Gardner Dozois, editors, Angels!  Twelve stories and two poems about you guessed it.  "They live in the place of the heart where miracles can happen...and in the very air itself, where they watch over us, waiting to work their magic.  And wherever there is a whisper of wings, their guiding light can be found -- if you are willing to believe..."  Well. that back cover blurb (printed in pink to add emphasis, I guess) seems to be pandering to those who literally believe in angels, doing a disservice to the book, the editors, and the authors.  What we actually have here are a variety of pieces (seven from Asimov's, two from F&SF, and two from Omni, with the remaining three from single sources) by some of the most talented fantasists going:  Silverberg, Dick, Wilhelm, Zelazny, Yolen...The contents range from scary to funny to poignant to thought-provoking.  Dann and Dozois published 22 of these fantasy anthologies (often based on mythical creatures and loosely described as the Exclamationary series because of the punctuation mark after each one word title) for Ace Books between 1980 and 1998.  Each one is a gem.
  • Candace Fox, Hades.  Mystery novel, winner of Australia's Ned Kelly Award for Best Debut Crime Novel.  "Twenty years ago, to children were kidnapped and left for dead...Homicide detective Frank Bennett has a new partner -- dark, beautiful, coldly efficient Eden Archer.  Frank doesn't know what to make of her, or her brother Eric, who's also on the police force.  Their methods are...unusual.  But when a graveyard full of large steel toolboxes filled with body parts is found at the bottom of Sydney harbor, unusual is the least of their worries.  Fro Eden and Eric, the case holds chilling links to a scarred childhood -- and the murderer who raised them.  For Frank, each clue brings him closer to something he's not sure he wants to face.  But true evil goes beyond the bloody handiwork of a serial killer -- and no one is truly innocent..."  Brrr.

We Get Our Kicks in 1066:  Today marks the anniversary of the Battle of Hastings which began the Norman conquest of England.  To celebrate, let's mark this day with a bit of poetry:

And, perhaps, a little bit of art history:

And to top it off, a little bit of history in song:

Florida Man Is Alive and Well In, Where Else?, Florida:

  • Timothy Kepke and Noah Osborne, Florida Men brave and true were arrested this month for illegally taking an alligator.  a prime piece of evidence was a video of Osborne handing the young gator to Kepke, who then apparently allowed the reptile to bite his arm, after which Kepke was filmed pouring beer into the alligator's mouth.  Alcohol may have been involved.
  • Ever the romantic, Florida Man Leonard Thomas was arrested after he pulled a machete on a woman who refused to date him.  Perhaps he was coming on a bit too strong in his quest for true love...
  • In a Florida Man trifecta of incredibly bad decisions, Guy Raynik decided to party a bit before he went to work.  He snorted some cocaine and took some meth.  At ,luch time, he followed that by taking a bunch of Xanax and passing out at the local Burger King.  Waking up in the hospital emergency room he did the only rational Florida Man thing to do -- he masturbated, followed by some urinating on himself as he crawled through the mess.  Emergency room workers just don't paid enough.  Did I mention that Raynik is a public middle school teacher, although it is likely that he is not one now?  Clean up on aisle two!
  • In Marion County on October 9,  Florida Man mutant was arrested.  Photos and explanation at the link:
  • Lest you think Florida Woman has been taking it easy, consider the unnamed woman on a bicycle arrested at a traffic stop for having no lights and -- coincidentally -- a crack pipe between her buttocks.  Where else would you put a crack pipe, I ask you.  From the arresting officer's report:  "The item removed from           s buttocks was a gall pipe with black residue (Crack pipe) know [sic] to me through my training and experience as an instrument used to consume narcotics."
  • Jessica Kropp, a completely different Florida Woman, was stopped in Marrion county after an officer noted her registration was expired.  Turns out she had five outstanding warrants on her, was driving on a suspended license, she had no insurance, and could not find her car registration.  When told to exit the car, the officer noted that she had a cute little bow in her hair made from a plastic baggie and containing meth.  She was held on a 423,210 bond.
  • And Casey Anthony, Florida Woman Extreme and nobody's Mother of the Year, has let it be known that she would like another baby.  she's hoping she can "find some meaning in her life."  Any takers?

Let's Cleanse Our Palates with Some Good News:

Today's Poem:
maggie and milly and molly and may

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways by blowing bubbles; and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as the world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you and a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

-- e. e. cummings (1894-1962)
whose birthday is today

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