Openers: I have been rather amused by the protests which have come to me regarding the "disparaging" comments I have made, in previous tales of the Space Patrol Service, regarding women. The rather surprising thing about it is that the larger proportion of these have come from men. Young men, of course.
Now, as a matter of fact, a careful search has failed to reveal to me any very uncomplimentary remarks. I have suggested, I believe, that women have, in my experience, shown a sad lack of ability to understand mechanical contrivences. Perhaps I have pictured some few of them as frivolous and shallow. If I have been unfair, I wish now to make humble apology.
I am not, as some of my correspondents have indicated, a bitter old man, who cannot remember his youth. I remember it very well indeed, else these tales would not be forthcoming. And women have their great and proper place, even in a man's universe.
Some day, perhaps, the mood will seize me to write of my own love affair. That surprises you? You smile to think that old John Hanson, lately Commander of the Space Patrol Service, now retired, should have had a love affair? Well, 'twas many years ago, before these eyes lost their fire, and before these brown, skinny hands wearied as quickly as they weary now...
-- "Priestess of the Flame" by Sewell Peaslee Wright (Astounding Stories, June 1932)
All I can say is John Hanson better not run across any of the 21st century women I know with that condescending, sexist attitude.
Hanson was the hero of ten short stories that ran in Astounding 1930 to 1933. The author (1897-1970) published another ten stories in the science fiction and fantasy fields and was one of the most popular writers in the genre. I don't know much about the author, but all ten John Hanson stories are available on the internet for you purusal:
- "The Forgotten Planet" (Astounding Stories, July 1930)
- "The Terrible Tentacles of L-472" (Astounding Stories, September 1930)
- "The Dark Side of Antri" (Astounding Stories, January 1931)
- "The Ghost World" (Astounding Stories, April 1931)
- "The Man from 2071" (Astounding Stories, June 1931)
- "The God in the Box" (Astounding Stories, September 1931)
- "The Terror from the Depths" (Astounding Stories, November 1931)
- "Vampires of Space" (Astounding Stories, March 1932)
- "Priestess of the Flame" (Astounding Stories, June 1932)
- "The Death-Traps of FX-31" (Astounding Stories, March 1933)
Incoming: A box of books from George Kelley, one of nature's noblest:
- Poul Anderson, Ensign Flandry. Classic science fiction novel. (Just about everythinng Anderson wrote should be labeled "Classic.") "Dominic Flandry had a great future ahead of him as savior of the civilized universe. In later years his talent for swift action would be unmatched, his reputation fabulous. But here he is at the age of nineteen: fresh out of the Naval Academy, naive...and in terrible trouble. The Mersian Empire had sworn to chew Earth to bits and spit out the pieces. The attack had already been launched...but no one knew how or where the ravening power of the savage green-skinned aliens would strike. Only Ensign Flandry had the answer...maybe...in the form of a code that he might or might not be able to decipher. The Mersians were after Flandry with every weapon in their fantastic arsenal. And just to make it worse, Earth's armada's were after him, too, for desertion, high treason, and more. Where could he begin?" Part of Anderson's vast Technic Civilization series.
- Tony Hillerman, editor; Otto Penzler, series editor, The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century. Doorstop mystery anthology with 46 stories from 1903 to 1999. Penzler whittled a primarylist of several thousand stories to the few hundred from which Hillerman selected the final contents. Many of the usual suspects are here, as well as a number of authors not usually recognized as mystery writers. The scope and breadth of the anthology is impressive. Authors are O. Henry, Willa Cather, Jacques Futrelle, Frederick Irving anderson, Melville Davisson Post, Susan Galspell, Dashiell Hammett, Ring Lardner, Wilbur Daniel Steele, Ben Ray Redman, James M. Cain, John Steinbeck, Damon Runyon, Pearl S. Buck, Raymon Chandler, James Thurber, Cornell Woolrich, William Faulkner, Harry Kemelman, Ellery Queen, John D. MacDonald, Ross MacDonald, Stnley Ellin, Evan Hunter, Margaret Millar, Henry Slesar, Patricia Highsmithh, Shirley Jackson, Flannery O'Connor, Jerome Weidman, Joe Gores, Harlan Ellison, Robert L. Fish, Joyce Carol Oats, Stephen King, Jack Ritchie, Lawrence Block, Stephen Greenleaf, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Donald E. Westlake, James Crumley, Bredan DuBois, Michael Malone, Tom Franlin, and Dennis Lehane. A line-up so impressive that you don't really mind if a couple of your favorite authors had been omitted.
- Vladimis Nabokov, Pale Fire. Literary "novel," with a 40-page Poem in Four Cantos, "Psle Fire," followed by a 244-page "Commentary" on the poem, as well as a brief "Index." "This centaur work, half-poem, half-prose...is a creation of perfect beauty, symmetry, strangeness, originality and moral truth. Pretending to be a curio, it cannot disguise the fact that it one of the gret works of art of this century." -- Mary McCarthy
- George Pelecanos, The Double. Thriller novel. "The job seems simple enough: retrieve the valuable painting -- The Double -- that Grace Kincaid's ex-boyfriend stole from her. It's the sort of thing Spero Lucas specializes in: finding what's missing and doing it quietly. But Grace wants more. She wants Lucas to find the man who humiliated her -- a violent career criminal with a small gang of brutal thugs at his beck and call. Lucas is a man who knows how to get what he wants, whether it's a thief on the run or a married woman. Now he's in the midst of a steamy passionate affair that he knows can't last, and in pursuit of a dangerous man who's got nothing to lose. Every man has a dark side -- but confronting his own may be Spero Lukas's undoing." This is the second (and thus far, last) book in the Spero Lucas saga. It was a finalist for the 2013 Hammett Prize.
- Robert Sheckley edited by Sharon L. Sbarsky), The Mask of Manana. A retrospective collection of 41 stories, published to celebrate Sheckley's Guest of Honourship at Interaction, the 2005 World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow, Scotland. The contents cover Sheckley's amazing career from his early story "The Leech" (Galaxy Science Fiction, December 1952; Sheckley published ten stories that first year when he became a professional author -- at least five of them in the December issues of various magazines) to 1992's "Dukakis and the Aliens" (from Mike Renick's anthology Alien Presidents). Special points to this collection for reprinting all eight wonderful stories about the AAA Ace Decontamination Agency. Although Sheckley wrote a number of well-respected novels, it is safe to say that his main reputation rests on his short fiction, which should be required reading for all fans of science fiction and of great writing.
- Harry Turtledove, Advance and Retreat. Military alternate history novel of sorts, with a good dollop of fantasy, the third volume of The War Between the Provinces trilogy. "When Avram became King of Detina. he declared he intended to liberate the blond serfs from their ties to the land. This noble assertion immediately plunged the kingdom into a civil war that would prove long and bloody, and set brother against brother. The northern provinces, dependent on their serf' labor, seceded, choosing Avram's cousin, Grand Duke Geoffrey, as their king. To save the kingdom, Avram sent armies clad in gray to go against the slave-hiolding North, battling Geoffrey's army, arrayed in blue. Though King Avram held more land and wealth than Geoffrey, Geoffrey's men were better soldiers and the North had better and more powerful wizards. Still, as the war raged on, greater population and superior organization began to tell and the tide turned against the North. Even so, the war is far from over. the South still faces two formidable leaders: General Bell, whose loss of a leg only stengthened his resolve, and Ned of the Forest, whose unicorn riders are the most dangerous force on the Northern side. And though the Southern sorcerors have become more adept at war spells, use of sorcery is unpredictable -- as the North leaarned earlier when its forces held an almost impregnable position, but retreated in terror when an overconfident soceror's spell went awry. Though victory seems in sight for the South, its armies must now battle the North on its own ground, ground which will prove treacherous and deaadly." Does anybody write this stuff better than Turtledove?
- Ray Garton, Ravenous and Bestial. Werewolf horror novels. In Ravenous, "When Emily Crane's car breaks down on a dark. lonely road at night, she is attacked and raped by a man she kills in self defense. That night, the dead rapist walks out of the morgue. Later, Emily begins to experience strange cravings and her body undergoes terrifying changes. When brutal killings leave victims partially eaten in the northern California coastal town of Big Rock, Sheriff Arlin Hurley scoffs at the talk of werewolves...until a tuft of wolf's fur is found on a victim. It soon becomes clear that whatever is responsible for the killings, it's not alone. There are more than one. And they are doing something much worse than killing and eating people. Nearly 25 years ago, Ray Garton reinvented the vampire mythos with his erotic novel Live Girls. Now he has updated the curse of the werewolf in Ravenous." In the sequel, Bestial, "Something dark and sinister is spreading through the California town of Big Rock. Something more brutal and animalistic than normally lurks in the shadows of our daily lives. And its numbers are growing exponentially. Werewolves have arrived like an epidemic. This time, though, the outbreak is careful, planned by the hungry monsters themselves. This time, werewolves have dug their claws in deep and continue to grow even more powerful. As the infection transfers through grisly violence and horrific sex, the entire town transforms into either starved predator or terrified prey. This time, there's no escape. Can the remaining band of humans fight back? Are there enough left to stop the trail of terror? Were there ever enough? This gut-wrenching follow-up to Ravenous by Grand Master of Horror Ray Garton will have you too scared to turn the page -- or too scared to stop, if only to seek refuge in its shocking end." As you can tell, Garton is an acquired taste.
- Michael Sims, editor, Dracula's Guest: A Connoisseur's Collecction of Victorian Vampire Stories. An anthology with (he-he) some bite. 22 stories and excepts from approximately 1738 -- with a few pre-Victorian examples to set the stage -- to 1897. Authors include Lord Byron, John Polidari, Johann Ludwig Tieck (reportedly), Theophile Gautier, Alexei Tolstoy, John Malcolm Rymer, Fitz-James O'Brien, Eric, Count Stenbock, Mary Elizabeth Bradden, Hume Nisbet, Mary E. Wikins-Freeman, M. R. James, and Bram Stoker -- a virtual Who's Who of well-known writers in the genre. Some tales are familiar, some are not, but this is a cornucopia of vampire stories for the true fan.
- Wayfair's expensive cabinets are used for child trafficking
- 5G towers cause Covid-19
- QAnon ( a blanket conspiracy)
- Anti-malaria drugs cure Covid-19
- Bill Gates wants to insert microchips in the human body
- Science has not been friendly to 59-year-old Florida Man Ralph Williams, New technology enabled Florida police to definitively link him to the murder of 21-year-old Carla Lowe 38 year ago. Williams had long been suspected in the murder but police previously did not have the evidencce needed for an arrest. Williams, who had more than 20 criminal arrests over the years in Florida, was arrested for the killing on Monday in Jacksonville.
- Florida Man Brendan Evans, 35, of Broward County, has been sentenced to ten years for animal cruelty. Evans had been charged with stabbing a pit bull puppy more than 50 times in 2017. He then stuffed the puppy in a suitcase and left it to die. The animal was found and sent to an animal clinic butu died two days later. A searcch of Evans's apartment revealed cat paws, rats with severed heads, a bloody bathroom shower curtain and toilet, an 18-inch machete, and dried bllod and animal fur in his oven. (Yech!) Hundrds of animal lovers offered to adopt the dog before he died.
- From animal abuse to animal love: 33-year-old Florida Man John Miller of Milton was caught humping dog by the animal's owner. Miller then attacked the man, punching him in the head and on his body. Miller followed this by destroying items in the man's house and his garage door before he grabbed a knife and threatened the dog's owner and his wife. The path of true love (which I generously assume this was) is never easy.
- Helpful hint: If you are going to kill and dismember a persson, remember to pupt the body parts where they cannot be found. It seems Florida Man Robert Kessler, 69. did not follow that advice when he killed 49-year-old Stephanie Crone-Overholtz and dumped her parts into a bay. One body part -- a leg with a tattoo of three heart and her son's name -- helped to identify the victim. Keessler denies the charges (murder and abuse of a body), saying that he had met the Pennsylvania woman at a fast-food restauraant and invited her to stay at his home. He later told her to leave, he stated. Police verified that the two had been living together althouogh their exact relationship was unclear. The victim's blood was found inside Kessler's car and home.
- Does this count? Current Florida Man and former California Man Akrum Alrahib, 43, pled guilty to defrauding California of more than $10 million in tobacco taxes in 2016 and 2017. The crime may have been commited in California, but what the heck, I'll still claim him as a Florida Man.
- Pittsburg woman's food rescue app diverts 20 million pounds of surplus into 17 million meals for those in need https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/pittsburgh-food-rescue-app-diverts-20mil-lbs-of-surplus-into-17m-meals/
- English teenager discovers a horde of 3000 year old bronze axes https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/english-teenager-discovers-hoard-of-3300-year-old-axes-and-becomes-metal-detecting-celebrity/
- World's first 3-D printed eye focuses gaze on digital prosthetics https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/man-receives-first-ever-3d-printed-digital-prosthetic-eye/
- New solution to ridding oceans of microplastics using acoustic waves https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/institut-teknolog-sepuluh-nopember-ocean-clean-acoustic-waves/
- Youth hailed for providing renewable energy to 10,000 people with the use of batteries, wind, sun, or water https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/optim-energy-wins-prize-for-renewable-energy-in-sierra-leone/
- Once biologically dead, London's River Thames rebounds -- with sea horses and seals https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/river-once-biologically-dead-londons-thames-returns-to-life/