Author Archives: george

FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #514: THE GREAT SCIENCE FICTION SERIES Edited By Frederik Pohl, Martin Harry Greenberg, and Joseph Olander


The Great science fiction series : stories from the best of the series from 1944 to 1980 by twenty all-time favorite writers edited by Frederik Pohl, Martin Harry Greenberg, and Joseph Olander came to my attention through the great web site, BLACKGATE.COM. John O’Neill reviewed this forgotten classic book from 1980 here.. I had never heard of this book before reading John O’Neill’s review. John also pointed out that The Great Science Fiction Series cost over $100 at online booksellers. Fortunately, the Buffalo Erie County Public Library had a copy which I took out and read.

Many of the stories in The Great Science Fiction Series are familiar: “Hothouse” by Brian W. Aldiss, “The Cloud-Sculptors of Coral D” by Ballard, “Surface Tension” by James Blish, “Ararat” by Zenna Henderson, “The Great Magic” by Fritz Leiber, etc. Most SF readers know about Saberhagen’s “Berserker” stories and Larry Niven’s “Known Space” series. Some of these series expanded after The Great Science Fiction Series was published in 1980. This anthology features a bibliography of the series and informative introductions to the stories and the series included in this volume. I hope I can find a copy at a reasonable price so I can add it to my book collection! How many of these series do you remember? GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Introduction by Frederik Pohl ix
Hothouse Series Introduction by Brian W. Aldiss 1
“Hothouse” by Brian W. Aldiss (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, February 1961) 3
Nicholas van Rijn Series/Technic History Introduction by Poul Anderson 32
“A Little Knowledge” by Poul Anderson (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, August 1971) 34
The Wendell Urth Series Introduction by Isaac Asimov 52
“The Talking Stone” by Isaac Asimov (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1955) 54
Vermilion Sands Series Introduction by J. G. Ballard 71
“The Cloud-Sculptors of Coral D” by J. G. Ballard (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, December 1967) 72
Cities in Flight Series Introduction by James and Judith Blish 86
“Bridge” by James Blish (Astounding Science Fiction, February 1952) 88
Surface Tension/The Pantropy Series Introduction by James and Judith Blish 112
“Surface Tension” by James Blish (Galaxy Science Fiction, August 1952) 114
The Feghoot Series Introduction by Grendel Briarton (R. Bretnor) 150
“Through Time and Space with Ferdinand Feghoot” by Reginald Bretnor (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, May 1956). 152
The White Hart Series Introduction by Arthur C. Clarke 154
“The Reluctant Orchid” by Arthur C. Clarke (Satellite Science Fiction, December 1956) 155
Tales from Gavagan’s Bar Introduction by L. Sprague de Camp 164
‘The Ancestral Amethyst” by L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1952) 166
The People Series Introduction by Zenna Henderson 173
“Ararat” by Zenna Henderson (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1952) 175
Retief Series Introduction by Keith Laumer 194
“Ballots and Bandits” by Keith Laumer (If, September-October 1970) 196
The Change War Series Introduction by Fritz Leiber 221
“No Great Magic” by Fritz Leiber (Galaxy Magazine, December 1963) 223
The Dragonriders of Pern Series Introduction by Anne McCaffrey 259
“The Smallest Dragonboy” by Anne McCaffrey (Science Fiction Tales, 1973) 261
Helva/The Ship Who Sang Series Introduction by Anne McCaffrey 273
“The Ship Who Sang” by Anne McCaffrey (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, April 1961) 274
Known Space Series Introduction by Larry Niven 290
“A Relic of the Empire” by Larry Niven (If, December 1966) 292
Berserker Series Introduction by Fred Saberhagen 308
“Sign of the Wolf” by Fred Saberhagen (If, May 1965) 309
Slow Glass Series Introduction by Bob Shaw 317
“Burden of Proof” by Bob Shaw (Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, May 1967) 318
The AAA Ace Series Introduction by Robert Sheckley 331
“The Lifeboat Mutiny” by Robert Sheckley (Galaxy Science Fiction, April 1955) 332
In Hiding/Children of the Atom Series Introduction by Wilmar H. Shiras 343
“Opening Doors” by Wilmar H. Shiras (Astounding Science Fiction, March 1949) 344
City Series Introduction by Clifford D. Simak 373
“Aesop” by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science Fiction, December 1947) 374
The Instrumentality of Mankind Introduction by John J. Pierce 400
“The Game of Rat and Dragon” by Cordwainer Smith (Galaxy Science Fiction, October 1955) 402
Notes on Contributors 416
Copyrights 420

FORGOTTEN MUSIC #89: PURE DISCO 1 & 2



I found Pure Disco 1 and Pure Disco 2 at a local GOODWILL Thrift shop. At first glance, I was leery. I’ve seen collections of hit songs “reinterpreted” by some obscure groups. But, no! In this case, the original artists perform their original hits. I did a little more investigation and learned there’s a Pure Disco 3 and a Pure Disco 4. I’m already tracking them down online so a future FORGOTTEN MUSIC may feature those two gems, too.

Pure Disco 1 includes some of my favorite disco hits: “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, “Hot Stuff” by Donna Summer, “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor, “If I Can’t Have You” by Yvonne Elliman, and “Don’t Leave Me This Way” by Thelma Houston.

Pure Disco 2 includes “Turn the Beat Around” by Vicki Sue Robinson (GloriaE Estefan also had a hit with her version), “Flashdance” by Irene Cara, “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” by ABBA, “Ring My Bell” by Anita Ward, and “It’s Raining Men” by the Weather Girls. There’s plenty of wonderful disco music on these two CDs. How many of these hits do you remember? Are your favorite disco tunes here? GRADE: A
TRACK LIST: PURE DISCO 1:
1. YMCA – Village People
2. Celebration – Kool & The Gang
3. Dancing Queen – Abba
4. Hot Stuff – Donna Summer
5. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
6. You’re The First, The Last, My Everything – Barry White
7. I Need Your Lovin’ – Teena Marie
8. Knock On Wood – Amii Stewart
9. I Love The Nightlife – Alicia Bridges
10. Flashback – Imagination
11. That’s The Way (I Like It) – K.C. & The Sunshine Band
12. Best Disco In Town – Ritchie Family
13. If I Can’t Have You – Yvonne Elliman
14. Oops Upside Your Head (I Don’t Belive You Want To Get Up And Dance) – Gap Band
15. Love Hangover – Diana Ross
16. Cuba – Gibson Brothers
17. Funkytown – Lipps, Inc.
18. Got To Give It Up (Part One) – Marvin Gaye
19. Don’t Leave Me This Way – Thelma Houston
20. I Feel Love (Rollo & Sister Monster Mix Radio Edit) – Donna Summer
21. Bonus Track: The Grease Megamix – John Travolta & Olivia Newton-John
TRACK LIST: PURE DISCO 2:
1. I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor
2. (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty – KC & The Sunshine Band
3. Turn The Beat Around – Vicki Sue Robinson
4. Macho Man – Village People
5. We Are Family – Sister Sledge
6. Flashdance…What a Feeling – Cara, Irene
7. I Just Want to Be Your Everything – Gibb, Andy
8. Everlasting Love – Carlton, Carl
9. Can’t Get Enough of Your Love, Babe – White, Barry
10. Rock the Boat – Hues Corporation
11. Love Rollercoaster – Ohio Players
12. Upside Down – Ross, Diana
13. Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
14. The Hustle – McCoy, Van
15. Love’s Theme – Love Unlimited Orch
16. Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) – ABBA
17. Fly, Robin, Fly – Silver Connection
18. Ring My Bell – Anita Ward
19. It’s Raining Men – Weather Girls
20. Last Dance – Summer, Donna
21. Diva Megamix: Reach Out I’ll Be There/Hot Stuff/I Found Love [Now That] – Gaynor , Gloria

DIANE BUYS A NEW NISSAN ROGUE SV!




The 2019 Nissan Rogue is the last Nissan model that will have a CD player. Since I love playing CDs in my vehicle (and audio books on CD), this was a feature I really wanted. Our 2011 Nissan Rogue gave us good, reliable service for years. But, it was time to upgrade. Diane wanted the safety features like the Blind Spot monitor, Lane Departure warning system, and Alarm Backup Cameras. And, of course, heated/cooled seats! We also got heated mirrors and a heated steering wheel which will come in handy as the temperatures here today will be in the -30 windchill range.

Another new feature for us is the Power Liftgate. The Nissan Rogue SV comes with a Hands-Free liftgate that you can open with a kick near a sensor if your hands are full. Very nice. This is our 10th Nissan vehicle. We’ve had very good luck with our Nissan cars, van, and SUVs. We take our Nissans in for scheduled maintenance and oil changes and they’re problem-free. Are you thinking about buying a new vehicle before the Recession hits?
SELECTED FEATURES:
All Wheel Drive
GPS Navigation system
Blind Spot monitor
Lane Departure warning
Sirius/XM Radio
AM/FM Stereo
Auxiliary Audio Input
CD Player
MP3 Player
Premium Sound System
Air Conditioning (Zone Control)
Heated/cooled seats
Alarm Back-Up Camera
Adaptive Cruise Control
Vehicle Anti-Theft System
Fog Lamps
Keyless Start
Power Liftgate
Hands-Free Liftgate
Remote Engine Start
Adjustable Steering Wheel
Steering Wheel Controls
Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel (Heated)
Intermittent Wipers/Variable Speed Intermittent Wipers
Keyless Entry
Power Door Locks
Electrochromic rearview mirror
Heated Mirrors
Mirror Memory
Power steering/brakes

DETECTIVE DEE: THE FOUR HEAVENLY KINGS [Blu-ray]


Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings (2018) is the third movie in a series of mystery/action adventures. Dee leads the Bureau of Investigation. Conspiracies abound in 7th Century China. Cults who want to overthrow the dynasty subvert the Royal Court. Dee’s investigations turn up collusion with a sect from India whose practitioners possess powers of mass hypnotism and trickery. I particularly liked the female assassin, Water Moon.

As eye-popping as Young Detective Dee was, Detective Dee: The Four Heavenly Kings fills the screen with incredible battles and nifty Special Effects. The Final Confrontation is spectacular! Yes, these Detective Dee movies are short on detection and long on action, but I find them very entertaining! Just the thing to watch on a cold Winter evening! GRADE: A

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE CRAZY AT WORK By Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson


Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson own a successful software company called Basecamp. They attribute much of their success to some unconventional decisions they made from the start of their company. One of these attributes is calmness. Fried and Hansson decided early on that their company was going to be calm. No crazy deadlines, no 20-hour days, no working on weekends, etc. My favorite chapter in It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work is “Library Rules.” The culture at Basecamp is like a library. Everyone is quiet. Everyone speaks in whispers so as not to disturb other workers.

Fried and Hansson also organize their teams in threes. They found that three people work better than larger groups. Basecamp also isn’t “a family.” It’s a business and everyone has a role to make the business successful. If I was still teaching MANAGEMENT, I’d assign It Doesn’t Have To Be Crazy At Work to my classes. There’s a lot of innovative ideas and common sense in this book. GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
First
It’s crazy at work 3
A quick bit about us 8
Your company is a product 9
Curb Your Ambition
Bury the hustle 17
Happy pacifists 20
Our goal: No goals 23
Don’t change the world 30
Make it up as you go 32
Comfy’s cool 34
Defend Your Time
8’s enough, 40’s plenty 41
Protectionism 43
The quality of an hour 46
Effective > Productive 50
The outwork myth 52
Work doesn’t happen at work 54
Office hours 56
Calendar Tetris 62
The presence prison 65
I’ll get back to you whenever 67
Fomo? Jomo! 70
Feed Your Culture
We’re not family 77
They’ll do as you do 79
The trust battery 81
Don’t be the last to know 84
The owner’s word weighs a ton 88
Low-hanging fruit can still be out of reach 90
Don’t cheat sleep 93
Out of whack 96
Hire the work, not the résumé 100
Nobody hits the ground running 104
Ignore the talent war 106
Don’t negotiate salaries 108
Benefits who? 116
Library rules 119
No fakecations 122
Calm goodbyes 125
Dissect Your Process
The wrong time for real-time 133
Dreadlines 136
Don’t be a knee-jerk 139
Watch out for 12-day weeks 141
The new normal 146
Bad habits beat good intentions 148
Independencies 150
Commitment, not consensus 152
Compromise on quality 155
Narrow as you go 157
Why not nothing? 159
It’s enough 161
Worst practices 164
Whatever it doesn’t take 170
Have less to do 172
Three’s company 174
Stick with it 176
Know no 178
Mind Your Business
Risk without putting yourself at risk 185
Season’s greetings 187
Calm’s in the black 189
Priced to lose 194
Launch and learn 197
Promise not to promise 200
Copycats 204
Change control 207
Startups are easy, stayups are hard 210
No big deal or the end of the world? 214
The good old days 216
Last
Choose calm 223
Bibliography 228
Resources 231

YOUNG DETECTIVE DEE [DVD]


If you’ve read any of Robert Van Gulik’s Judge Dee mysteries, you’ll enjoy Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon (2013). Conspiracies swirl in Seventh Century China. Dee is just a minor official in the fledgling national police force, but he’s always in the Right Place at the Right Time. Dee uncovers a plot to destroy the Royal Court and result in a regime change. Treachery, spies, betrayal, and weird secrets are just part of the plot Dee investigates. As a first case in a long and illustrious career, this Sea Dragon adventure has a little bit of everything. I particularly enjoyed the fight on the side of a mountain. Eye-popping action! This is the second Detective Dee movie and it’s just as enjoyable as the first one: Detective Dee: Mystery of the Phantom Flame (2010). You can find my review of that movie here. GRADE: A

THE CONFIDENTIAL CASEBOOK OF SHERLOCK HOLMES Edited By Marvin Kaye


This anthology of faux-Sherlock Holmes stories was published in 1998. Yes, sometimes it takes me some time to get around to reading the books on my shelves. The Confidential Casebook of Sherlock Holmes is a sequel to The Resurrected Holmes: New Cases from the Notes of John. H. Watson, M.D. (a book from 1996 that I’ve never seen). Marvin Kaye writes that these stories were found in a safety deposit box. As you might suspect, the quality of these stories vary widely.

I liked “The Darlington Substitution Scandal” by Henry Slesar although it was easy to figure out. I also enjoyed Edward D. Hoch’s “The Adventure of the Dying Ship” where Hoch places Sherlock Holmes on the Titanic. Carole Bugge tells a tale of where Sherlock Holmes disguises himself as a Catholic priest in “The Revenge of the Fenian Brotherhood.” If you’re looking for some entertaining faux-Sherlock Holmes stories, you’ll like The Confidential Casebook of Sherlock Holmes. GRADE: B
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Introduction — Marvin Kaye 1
Delicate Business
The Darlington Substitution Scandal — Henry Slesar 7
The Adventure of the Old Russian Woman — H. Paul Jeffers 21
The Adventure of the Noble Husband — Peter Cannon 35
The Case of the Woman in the Cellar — Pat Mullen 53
Desperate Business
The Adventure of the Boulevard Assassin — Kathleen Brady 77
The Case of the Ancient British Barrow — Terry McGarry 95
The Adventure of the Dying Ship — Edward D. Hoch 115
The Revenge of the Fenian Brotherhood — Carole Buggé 131
My Blushes, Watson!
The Affair of the Counterfeit Countess — Craig Shaw Gardner 159
The Woman — Aline Myette-Volsky 177
The Little Problem of the Grosvenor Square Furniture — Van “Patrick LoBrutto” (ascribed to Arthur Stanley Jefferson) 197
À La Recherche du Temps Perdu
A Ballad of the White Plague — P. C. Hodgell 211
The Adventure of Vanderbilt and the Yeggman — Roberta Rogow 235
The Secret Marriage of Sherlock Holmes — Shariann Lewitt 257
The Case of Vittoria the Circus Belle — Jay Sheckley 287
Contributors Notes 351
Acknowledgments 355

ASSOCIATES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES Edited by George Mann


TITAN BOOKS has published a couple dozen faux-Sherlock Holmes novels. In 2016, they published this anthology of themed Sherlock Holmes stories based on a clever premise: stories about minor characters in Sherlock Holmes stories. For example, Lyndsay Faye’s “River of Silence” features Stanley Hopkins, a young police inspector who first showed up in “The Adventure of Black Peter.” Faye’s story tells how Hopkins and Holmes first met. My favorite story in this book is Ian Edginton’s clever “The Case of the Previous Tenant.” Who lived in 221B Baker Street before Holmes? Edginton’s answer is a terrific tale! Jaine Fenn’s “A Dormitory Haunting” shows what happens to Violet Hunter (from “The Adventure of the Copper Beeches”) when she becomes the head of a private school in Walsall. If you’re a Holmes fan, you’ll enjoy these pastiches. GRADE: B
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Faye, Lyndsay. River of silence. 7
Lovegrove, James. Pure swank. 43
Pratt, Tim. Heavy game of the Pacific Northwest. 67
Fenn, Jaine. Dormitory haunting. 91
Edginton, Ian. Case of the previous tenant. 121
Scott, Cavan. Nor hell a fury. 149
Lane, Andy. Case of the haphazard marksman. 181
Barnes, Jonathan. Presbury papers. 213
Meikle, William. Flash in the pan. 239
Thomas, Jeffrey. Vanishing snake. 257
Bucher-Jones, Simon. Family resemblance. 285
Dennison, Kara. Page turners. 309
Kyme, Nick. Peeler. 331

FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #513: THE GREAT SF STORIES #5 (1943) Edited by Isaac Asimov & Martin H. Greenberg


The Great SF Stories #5 features FIVE stories by Henry Kuttner & C. L. Moore. “Mimsy Were the Borogroves” (adapted as the movie “The Last Mimsy” in 2007) is one of the classic SF stories from this period. But my favorite story in this anthology is “The Proud Robot.” This is one of the “Galloway Gallegher” stories that Kuttner and Moore wrote that were later collected in Robots Have No Tails. Gallegher is a genius, but does his best work when he’s very, very drunk (not politically correct today). When Gallegher wakes up from one of his binges, he finds incredible technology that he invented “under the influence”–but he has no idea how it works or what it does. I love these clever tales and “The Proud Robot” is one of the best stories in the series.

I also enjoyed Leigh Bracket’s “The Hafling” and her husband’s fine short story, “Exile.” Once again, ASTOUNDING dominated the SF field and published the majority of the stories in this anthology. GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
1943 INTRODUCTION by Martin H. Greenberg and Isaac Asimov 7
“The Cave” by P. Schuyler Miller (ASTOUNDING, January 1943) 11
“The Halfling” by Leigh Brackett (ASTOUNDING, February 1943) 30
“Mimsy Were the Borogoves” by Lewis Padgett (aka, Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore) (ASTOUNDING, February 1943) 57
“Q.U.R.” by Anthony Boucher (ASTOUNDING, March 1943) 91
“Clash by Night” by Lawrence O’Donnell (aka, Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore) (ASTOUNDING, March 1943) 113
“Exile” by Edmond Hamilton (SUPER SCIENCE STORIES, May 1943) 172
“Daymare” by Fredric Brown (THRILLING WONDER STORIES, Fall 1943) 178
“Doorway into Time” by C. L. Moore (FAMOUS FANTASTIC MYSTERIES, September 1943) 219
“The Storm” by A. E. van Vogt (ASTOUNDING, October 1943) 238
“The Proud Robot” by Lewis Padgett (ASTOUNDING, October 1943) 271
“Symbiotica” by Eric Frank Russell (ASTOUNDING, October 1943) 306
“The Iron Standard” by Lewis Padgett (ASTOUNDING, December 1943) 352

ALMOST FROZEN NIAGARA FALLS!




The recent Arctic temperatures produced this rare event where parts of Niagara Falls froze. Ten miles from my house, this Winter Wonderland delights tourists and residents willing to trek out into the freezing temperatures. It’s well worth the trip! The spray from Niagara Falls coats everything in ice! Very cool!