Vintage Trash: Reel Wild Cinema Free Online (and Legal!)

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 | Posted by Sean McLachlan

rwcinema

As many of you will remember, back in the 1980s and 90s there was a huge increase of interest in old B movies. People of my generation who had grown up watching “Godzilla vs. the Smog Monster” on rainy Saturday afternoons, or snuck down to the TV room to catch Creature Features on the late late show, were now in college or work and had money to spend. Suddenly VCRs across the nation were being filled with monster films, 1930s exploitation films, Italian Mondo films, and every other kind of vintage oddity. It was a wave of ironic nostalgia that put the later hipster movement to shame.

Magazines like Psychotronic Video and Cult Movies Magazine were crammed with articles about obscure directors and their output, along with lots of great movie stills and posters. There were also ads for various film distributors, one of the most popular being Something Weird Video.

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Pirates, Weather Sorcery, and Desperate Nautical Adventure: The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

The Drowning Eyes Emily Foster-small The Drowning Eyes Emily Foster back-small

I started a new job two weeks ago, and for the first time in my life I’m commuting to downtown Chicago by train every day. Sixty minutes both ways, give or take. You know what’s perfect for a two-hour daily commute? Tor.com‘s new novellas, that’s what. They’re the ideal length, they’re written by the top fantasy writers in the field — and some great emerging talent — and the price is right. The first one I tried was The Drowning Eyes, and I’m glad I did.

According to Emily Foster’s bio in the back, she’s a fresh-faced graduate from the University of Northern Colorado, which likely makes her less than half my age. There are times, in this fast-paced tale of pirates, weather sorcery, and desperate nautical adventure, when her youth is apparent, especially in moments of dialog between Tazir, the grizzled Captain of the Giggling Goat, and her frequently cranky crew. But most of the time it’s not — which frankly is even more annoying. When punk kids start turning out polished gems of adventure fantasy like The Drowning Eyes, it takes all the joy out of cranky reminiscences about the good ole days of pulp fantasy. They’re even taking that away from us.

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Blogging Sax Rohmer’s The Insidious Doctor Fu-Manchu, Part Five – “The Green Mist”

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 | Posted by William Patrick Maynard

NOTE: The following article was first published on April 25, 2010. Thank you to John O’Neill for agreeing to reprint these early articles, so they are archived at Black Gate which has been my home for over 5 years and 260 articles now. Thank you to Deuce Richardson without whom I never would have found my way. Minor editorial changes have been made in some cases to the original text.

CollMistinsidious5“The Green Mist” was the fourth installment of Sax Rohmer’s serial, Fu-Manchu first published in The Story-Teller in January 1913. The story would later comprise Chapters 10-12 of the novel, The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu [initially re-titled The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu for U.S. publication]. When Rohmer incorporated the story into the novel, he added linking material intended to make the book appear timely and relevant. However, the true-life Yellow Peril news items that Rohmer has Petrie recount from actual British papers of the day strike a discordant note nearly a century on.

Freed from the exotic trappings of weird fiction, the straight journalism of the era seems dated, naïve, and offensive to modern sensibilities. This phenomenon is hardly unique to Sax Rohmer’s fiction and may also be experienced in the unenlightened views on display in the earliest of Herge’s Adventures of Tintin. Making matters worse is the current vogue for political correctness that believes in burying the past rather than learning from it. The combination of these factors stands as the most challenging obstacle facing mainstream publishers in the 21st Century marketplace.

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Making Myth in a Digital Alexandria

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 | Posted by Elizabeth Cady

Xena-cerchioDid you hear about the Xena reboot? How about the new Voltron series? Twin Peaks is re-launching this summer, and you may already have your tickets to the next comic book movie.

What is up with that? Is Hollywood completely out of ideas? Have they gotten so risk-averse that all they can do is recycle old material? Or is it simply nostalgia run amok, a nation full of millennials who don’t want to grow up?

I think it’s something different, and something pretty exciting. I don’t think our love of reboots is a lack of creativity at all. In fact, I think this is an incredibly vibrant artistic period, and is about to become even more so.

Why? Because we’ve seen this before. Bear with me, guys.

The Hellenistic period of the Ancient World begins with the death of Alexander the Great and extends until the rise of the Roman Empire. There, we got our hard facts out of the way. You may even remember that from history class.

Historians like their categories, and periods of history broken down into neat charts with clear defining events.

But in this case, we can talk about the way Ancient Mediterranean Culture shifted dramatically in a very short period of time. We became more and more able to talk about a Mediterranean culture, for one. The disparate cultures of Greece, the Near East, Northern Africa, and the Italian peninsula came into much closer contact because of Alexander’s Imperial ambitions. Trade had existed before, but the construction of travel networks and large cities allowed for an even greater exchange of information.

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Black Gate Nominated For a Hugo Award

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Hugo Award skinny-smallBlack Gate has been nominated for a Hugo Award, in the category of Best Fanzine.

This is the second year in a row that Black Gate has been nominated. We declined our nomination in 2015, since it was largely a result of the notorious Rabid Puppy slate created by Vox Day.

As expected (since a paid membership for Worldcon, required to vote for the 2015 Hugos, also allows you to nominate in 2016), the Rabid Puppies also had a disproportionate impact on the nominations this year. Vox Day published his slate of recommendations in March (again including Black Gate for Best Fanzine) and, as he noted on his blog earlier today, once again his recommendations thoroughly dominated the final ballot.

Well done, all of you Rabids. Very well done. According to Mike Glyer, the Rabid Puppies placed 64 of its 81 recommendations on the final ballot… You understand, as the other side does not, that there is no end to cultural war. They still think we can be intimidated, or shamed, or guilted somehow, because those are the tactics that have worked for their kind for decades, if not generations.

But we are immune to such things. Let them scoff, let them minimize, let them posture, let them cry, it makes absolutely no difference what they do or what they say. There is nothing that they can do except vote No Award and change the rules….

Are you not entertained?

The winners will be announced at MidAmericon II, the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, to be held in Kansas City MO, on August 17-21, 2016.


Life During Wartime for Revived Pulp Characters

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 | Posted by William Patrick Maynard

51jEwDLgmgL._SX348_BO1,204,203,200_Awesome02_250Bold Venture Press and Black Cat Media recently unveiled a new pulp anthology title, Awesome Tales. Largely the brainchild of editor/lead writer R. Allen Leider, three issues have been published thus far. Leider’s featured stories in each have successfully revived vintage pulp characters and placed them in World War II settings.

The first issue featured The Domino Lady, a racy adventuress from the “spicies” who has found popularity with “new pulp” specialty publishers such as Moonstone Books and Airship 27.  Leider, who operates Black Cat Media, collaborated with Rich Harvey, who operates Bold Venture Press with Audrey Parente, in penning this new adventure that advances the character from her 1930s origins to the Second World War. Interestingly, the entire Domino Lady revival began when Bold Venture Press collected the character’s original 1930s adventures in 2004 and set the stage for new adventures to follow.

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New Treasures: Fall of Light, Book Two of the Kharkanas Trilogy by Steven Erikson

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Forge of Darkness-small Fall of Light-small

Steven Erikson’s 10-volume Malazan Book of the Fallen is one of the great works of fantasy of the 21st Century. It began with Gardens of the Moon in 1999; by 2012 the series had sold over a million copies worldwide.

In August 2012, Erikson kicked off The Kharkanas Trilogy, a prequel trilogy dealing with the Tiste before their split into darkness, light and shadow, with the opening novel Forge of Shadow. That book delved into events hinted at in the earlier series, and featured important characters from the Malazan Book of the Fallen such as Spinnoch Durav, Anomander Rake, and Andaris.

Erikson picks up the tale with Fall of Light, hot off the Tor presses this week, continuing the tragic story of the downfall of an ancient realm thousand years before the events of the Malazan Book of the Fallen. Civil war is ravaging Kurald Galain, as Urusander’s Legion prepares to march on the city of Kharkanas, and Silchas Ruin seeks to gather the Houseblades of the Highborn families to him and resurrect the Hust Legion in the southlands… but he is fast running out of time.

Fall of Light was published today by Tor Books. It is 864 pages, priced at $29.99 in hardcover and $14.99 for the digital edition. See all our recent New Treasures here.


Interzone #263 Now on Sale

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

Interzone 263-smallThe March/April issue of Interzone magazine is now on sale, with a cover by 2016 cover artist Vincent Sammy, “November-Class 627A” (click the image at right for a bigger version.)

Interzone #263 contains six stories:

“Ten Confessions of Blue Mercury Addicts, by Anna Spencer” by Alexander Marsh Freed
“Spine” by Christopher Fowler
“Not Recommended For Guests Of A Philosophically Uncertain Disposition” by Michelle Ann King
“Motherboard” by Jeffrey Thomas
“Lotto” by Rich Larson
“Andromeda of the Skies” by E. Catherine Tobler

Non-fiction this issue includes Shattering Illusions in SFF by Juliet E. McKenna, Future Interrupted by Jonathan McCalmont, Time Pieces by Nina Allan, News and obituaries, plus David Langford’s Ansible Link, and the regular columns: book reviews, Nick Lowe’s Mutant Popcorn film reviews, and Tony Lee’s DVD column, Laser Fodder. Issue 263 is nearly 100 pages and packed with fiction, columns, and top-notch art.

Interzone is the sister magazine of Black Static, both are published by TTA Press in the UK. The distinguished Andy Cox is the editor of both.

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Cirsova and Pulp Literature

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 | Posted by Fletcher Vredenburgh

CirsovaTwo incredibly impressive magazines crossed my desk this past month: the very first issue of the brand new Cirsova, edited by P. Alexander, and Pulp Literature #10, edited by the triumvirate of Mel Anastasiou, Jennifer Landels, and Susan Pieters. Both are hefty collections (Cirsova is 95 pages and Pulp Literature is 229) and are available as e-books as well as real live paper versions.

Unfortunately, authors and editors of sci-fi and fantasy fiction seem to want to deny the genres’ pulp roots, or to hold up their literature as worthy of being taken seriously only as it has moved away from that which led to its existence in the first place. Cirsova  is a celebration of those roots. In his afterword, Alexander writes:

There are a number of reasons why I wanted to launch a Cirsova magazine, not the least of which being Jeffro Johnson’s Hugo-nominated Appendix N Retrospective series which both coincided with and helped spur my own look into a lot of older SFF stuff. Planet Stories in particular has become a favored inspiration of mine, and while I would not say that I plan or planned to model Cirsova on that particular publication, I cannot and would not deny the influence.

If that piques your interest the slightest, then Cirsova is for you.

Schuyler Hernstrom’s “The Gift of the Ob-Men” kicks off the issue. Exiled from his tribe, the young warrior Sounnu, is changed into the tool that the Ob-Men, “tall heavy creatures, bearing the form of a mushroom bent into the shape of men,” will use to reclaim their ancient homeland. They transform Sounnu, growing a third eye in his forehead that lets him see the past and more importantly, all possible futures, and turning him into a nearly unstoppable killing machine. Before he reaches his destination he will face slavering ur-wolves and a mad artist haunting a ruined city. The best individual moments are the nearly psychedelic visions the young exile has when he sees all potential futures simultaneously.

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More Mogollon Memories: Jack Kirby’s Monsters and the Mogollon Monster Live on the Rim

Monday, April 25th, 2016 | Posted by Nick Ozment

kirby monsterMy Grandad claimed he saw the Mogollon Monster once, when he drove up the Rim to visit the land they’d bought to build the cabin. He had pulled to the side of the road, let his dog out to run, and the dog got wind of something that upset him.

I don’t know more of the story than that — Grandad’s no longer around to fill the gaps and, anyway, maybe he’d embellish just to get a rise out of us.

When we were young, he and Nan drove us up to visit the land, and my Grandad was a very quiet man while Nan chattered away keeping us entertained.

But at one point, when we’d gotten way up as near the sky as you can get in Arizona, where the snowdrifts were two feet deep, Grandad pulled to the side of the road, without a word, got out, came around back of the truck, opened the tailgate, grabbed each of us, methodically, and tossed us into the snow.

We laughed fit to burst, then Nan dusted the snow off our pants, loaded us back up, and we were on our way.

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