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FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #496: THE GREAT SF STORIES #1 (1939) Edited by Isaac Asimov & Martin H. Greenberg


Back in 1979, DAW Books launched a retro anthology series that would feature the best stories from the Golden Age of Science Fiction, years before the yearly YEAR’S BEST volumes began. The series starts with stories from 1939 because Isaac Asimov already published a three-volume anthology series called Before the Golden Age that covered SF stories from 1931 to 1938.

This first volume includes classics like “The Gnarly Man” by L. Sprague De Camp and “Black Destroyer” by A. E. Van Vogt. Iconic writers like Robert A. Heinlein, Theodore Sturgeon, Henry Kuttner, Robert Bloch, C. L. Moore, Lester del Rey, and Jack Williamson are represented. Asimov and Greenberg introduce each story and provide information about the writer. I was impressed by Nelson Bond’s “Pilgrimage” where a young woman confronts myths from the Past.

The Great SF Stories series went on to become a landmark series of anthologies. As Jim Harris found out when he started to collect these books, the prices online can be eye-popping! I plan to review a volume each month for Friday’s Forgotten Books. Only 24 more volumes to go! GRADE: A

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Introduction 8
“I, Robot” by Eando Binder (AMAZING STORIES, January 1939) 11
“The Strange Flight of Richard Clayton” by Robert Bloch (AMAZING STORIES, March 1939) 25
“Trouble With Water” by Horace L. Gold (UNKNOWN, March 1939) 35
“Cloak of Aesir” by Don A. Stuart (John W. Campbell, Jr.) (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, March 1939) 56
“The Day is Done” by Lester del Rey (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, May 1939) 103
“The Ultimate Catalyst” by John Taine (THRILLING WONDER STORIES, June 1939) 118
“The Gnarly Man” by L. Sprague de Camp (UNKNOWN, June 1939) 141
“Black Destroyer” by Alfred E. van Vogt (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, July 1939) 163
“Greater Than Gods” by Catherine L. Moore (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, July 1939) 194
“Trends” by Isaac Asimov (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, July 1939) 229
“The Blue Giraffe” by L. Sprague De Camp (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, August 1939) 248
“The Misguided Halo” by Henry Kuttner (UNKNOWN, August 1939) 272
“Heavy Planet” by Milton A. Rothman (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, August 1939) 289
“Life-Line” by Robert A. Heinlein (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, August 1939) 299
“Ether Breather” by Theodore Sturgeon (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, September 1939) 318
“Pilgrimage” by Nelson Bond (AMAZING STORIES, October 1939) 332
“Rust” by Joseph E. Kelleam (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, October 1939) 353
“The Four-Sided Triangle” by William F. Temple (AMAZING STORIES, November 1939) 363
“Star Bright” by Jack Williamson (ARGOSY, November 1939) 385
“Misfit” by Robert A. Heinlein (ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, November 1939) 412

FORGOTTEN MUSIC #86: THE SUPREMES SING HOLLAND/DOZIER/HOLLAND EXPANDED EDITION [2-CD Set]



This new 2-CD Expanded Edition of The Supremes’s chart-topping, The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland, present 52 songs that feature the scope of a seminal album that made history as the tenth studio album released by The Supremes for Motown in 1967. It includes the number-one hit singles “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” and “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone.” As the title states: all songs on the album were written and produced by Motown’s main songwriting team of Holland–Dozier–Holland. Most of the album was recorded during the spring and summer of 1966; however several songs date back to the summer of 1964. The LP album sold over 1,525,000 copies world-wide at the time.

This set includes 28 tracks released for the first time including updated mixes & alternate versions, as well as a score of electrifying live performances captured at the Copacabana nightclub in New York City in May 1967. This is the last recorded performance of the original trio: Diana Ross, Mary Wilson and Florence Ballard. If you’re a fan of The Supremes, this is a must-buy. If you’re a casual fan of Holland/Dozier/Holland songs and The Supremes you’ll find plenty of great songs to listen to on this 2-CD set. Highly recommended! What’s your favorite song by The Supremes? GRADE: A
TRACK LIST:
Disc: 1
1. You Keep Me Hangin’ On (Mono)
2. You’re Gone (But Always In My Heart) (Mono)
3. Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone (Mono)
4. Mother You, Smother You (Mono)
5. I Guess I’ll Always Love You (Mono)
6. I’ll Turn To Stone (Mono)
7. It’s The Same Old Song (Mono)
8. Going Down For The Third Time (Mono)
9. Love Is In Our Hearts (Mono)
10. Remove This Doubt (Mono)
11. There’s No Stopping Us Now (Mono)
12. (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave (Mono)
13. You Keep Me Hangin’ On (Stereo)
14. You’re Gone (But Always In My Heart) (Stereo)
15. Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone (Stereo)
16. Mother You, Smother You (Stereo)
17. I Guess I’ll Always Love You (Stereo)
18. I’ll Turn To Stone (Stereo)
19. It’s The Same Old Song (Stereo)
20. Going Down For The Third Time (Stereo)
21. Love Is In Our Hearts (Stereo)
22. Remove This Doubt (Stereo)
23. There’s No Stopping Us Now (Stereo)
24. (Love Is Like A) Heat Wave (Stereo)
25. The Happening (Extended hit mix) (Bonus Track)
26. All I Know About You (Extended mix) (Bonus Track)
27. Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone (Version 3) (Bonus Track)
28. We Couldn’t Get Along Without You (Extended mix) (Bonus Track)
29. You Keep Me Hangin’ On (Extended “cool” alternate) (Bonus Track)

Disc: 2
1. You Can’t Hurry Love (Extended alternate)
2. The Happening (Film versions)
3. Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone (Version 1)
4. You’re Gone (But Always In My Heart) (Gladys Knight and The Pips Duet mix)
5. I Guess I’ll Always Love You (Extended mix)
6. Going Down For The Third Time (Extended mix)
7. Remove This Doubt (Extended mix)
8. I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch) – Where Did Our Love Go (Motown Mashup)
9. Put On A Happy Face (Live At The Copa May 1967)
10. Medley: Stop! In The Name Of Love/Come See About Me/My World Is Empty Without You/Baby Love (Live At The Copa May 1967)
11. My Favorite Things (Live At The Copa May 1967)
12. You Keep Me Hangin’ On (Live At The Copa May 1967)
13. The Lady Is A Tramp/Let’s Get Away From It All (Live At The Copa May 1967)
14. I Hear A Symphony (Live At The Copa May 1967)
15. From This Moment On (Live At The Copa May 1967)
16. Queen Of The House (Live At The Copa May 1967)
17. Love Is Here And Now You’re Gone (Live At The Copa May 1967)
18. Somewhere (Live At The Copa May 1967)
19. You Can’t Hurry Love (Live At The Copa May 1967)
20. Medley: Thoroughly Modern Millie/Second Hand Rose/Mame (Live At The Copa May 1967)
21. Group Introductions (Live At The Copa May 1967)
22. You’re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You (Live At The Copa May 1967)
23. The Happening (Live At The Copa May 1967)

ALWAYS MAGIC IN THE AIR: THE BOMP AND BRILLIANCE OF THE BRILL BUILDING ERA By Ken Emerson


In a comment on my review of THE B SIDE: THE DEATH OF TIN PAN ALLEY AND THE REBIRTH OF THE GREAT AMERICAN SONG By Ben Yagoda, Fred Blosser recommended Always Magic In the Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era (2005) by Ken Emerson. I thought I had a copy of Always Magic In the Air and sure enough after a couple days of digging around in my basement, I found it and read it.

As Fred noted in his comment, Always Magic In the Air tells the stories of seven legendary songwriting teams: Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich. Always Magic In the Air captures the time in America when Rock & Roll was just beginning. The Brill Building became like an assembly line for the thousands of songs that flooded the radio stations and record stores (remember them?).

Ken Emerson supplies the historical context for all of these songwriting teams and discusses what made their songs so successful and unique. If you’re a fan of this era in popular music, Always Magic in the Air will delight and inform you. Thanks for the recommendation, Fred! GRADE: A

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Introduction p. ix
1 The Original Cool Cats p. 1
2 A Broadway Divided p. 17
3 Lonely Avenue p. 31
4 “My Daughter Bought It. What Are You Going to Do About It?” p. 51
5 Partners in Chutzpah p. 65
6 The Young Lovers p. 84
7 Putting the Bomp in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp p. 92
8 In the Garden of Aldon p. 104
9 “It Was Just Jewish Latin” p. 121
10 Baby Talk p. 141
11 At Work in the Elvis Atelier p. 155
12 The Magician and the Mensch p. 167
13 Selling Out p. 182
14 Seesaw p. 195
15 Double Trouble p. 208
16 Golden Girls p. 214
17 “Somethin’ Died” p. 225
18 Swinging London p. 238
19 From the Monkees to Thomas Mann p. 249
Coda p. 262
Acknowledgments p. 269
Notes p. 271
Bibliography p. 307
Discography p. 317
Index p. 321

JONI MITCHELL, BOTH SIDES NOW: LIVE AT THE ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL 1970 [Blu-ray]


My first reaction to watching Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 was…bravery. Wispy 27-year-old Joni Mitchell, alone on the concert stage and surrounded by The Who’s mountains of speakers, faced a hostile crowd of 600,000 attendees. A mob of people were trying to break down the fences to enter the Festival without paying. Radicals were accusing the musicians of “playing for money” when everything should be free!

Into this volatile situation, the Festival promoters maneuvered Joni Mitchell on the stage. “They threw me to the Beast,” Joni Mitchell says in her commentary. Alternating between her guitar, piano, and dulcimer, Joni Mitchell gamely tried to reach out to the acres of people. There’s noise, there’s disruption. You can see the frustration and anguish on Joni Mitchell’s face as the audience grows more ugly. And, amazingly, Joni Mitchell faces down those 600,000 people and brings order out of chaos. It’s one of the most courageous performances I’ve ever seen. And, all the while, Joni Mitchell’s voice soars over the restless Festival attendees.

Back in 1970, I was in love with Joni Mitchell (and Diana Rigg, Grace Slick, Marianne Faithfull, and a dozen more female singers and actresses). I owned all of Joni Mitchell’s albums. If you’re a Joni Mitchell fan, Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now: Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 is a must-buy. If you’re a casual Joni Mitchell fan, you’ll be captivated by her brave performance under dire conditions on the Isle of Wight. It doesn’t get much better than this! What’s your favorite Joni Mitchell song? GRADE: A+
SONG LIST:
That Song About The Midway
Chelsea Morning
For Free
Woodstock
My Old Man
California
Big Yellow Taxi
Both Sides Now
Gallery
Hunter
A Case Of You

21 LESSONS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY By Yuval Noah Harari


“I am aware that many people might be upset by my equating religion with fake news, but that’s exactly the point. When a thousand people believe some made-up story for one month, that’s fake news. When a billion people believe it for a thousand years, that’s a religion…” (p. 239) Yuval Noah Narari peeks into the Future and reports his findings in 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. I was most interested in Harari’s speculations about Artificial Intelligence and robots completely changing the workplace. And I concur with Harari’s assertion that Education in the Future would consist of “the 4 C’s”: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity (p. 266).

I used to teach a class in Advertising at my College. Imagine my reaction to reading this: “What will happen once we can say to GOOGLE, ‘Hi, GOOGLE. Based on everything you know about cars, and based on everything you know about me (including my needs, my habits, my views on global warming, and even my opinion about Middle Eastern politics), what is the best car for me?’ If GOOGLE can give us a good answer to that, and if we learn by experience to trust GOOGLE’s wisdom instead of our own easily manipulated feelings, what could possibly be the use of car advertisements?” Exactly! This scenario is the death of Advertising as we know it.

There’s plenty to think about in 21 Lessons For the 21st Century. You’ll be pondering the implications for months! GRADE: A

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
INTRODUCTION xiii
Part I: The Technological Challenge
1. DISILLUSIONMENT The end of history has been postponed 3
2. WORK When you grow up, you might not have a job 19
3. LIBERTY Big Data is watching you 44
4. EQUALITY Those who own the data own the future 73

Part II: The Political Challenge
5. COMMUNITY Humans have bodies 85
6. CIVILISATION There is just one civilisation in the world 93
7. NATIONALISM Global problems need global answers 110
8. RELIGION God now serves the nation 127
9. IMMIGRATION Some cultures might be better than others 140

Part III: Despair and Hope
10. TERRORISM Don’t panic 161
11. WAR Never underestimate human stupidity 173
12. HUMILITY You are not the centre of the world 184
13. GOD Don’t take the name of God in vain 200
14. SECULARISM Acknowledge your shadow 207

Part IV: Truth
15. IGNORANCE You know less than you think 221
16. JUSTICE Our sense of justice might be out of date 228
17. POST-TRUTH Some fake news lasts for ever 236
18. SCIENCE FICTION The future is not what you see in the movies 250

Part V: Resilience
19. EDUCATION Change is the only constant 263
20. MEANING Life is not a story 273
21. MEDITATION Just observe 314
Acknowledgments 325
Notes 329
Index 357

BUFFALO BILLS VS. MINNESOTA VIKINGS


The Buffalo Bills are 16-point underdogs to the Minnesota Vikings. At Half-time last week, cornerback Vontae Davis “retired” and left his teammates and coaches in the lurch as he showered, dressed, and left New Era Stadium midway through the game with the L.A. Chargers (the Bills lost 31-20).

In addition, former Buffalo Bills wide receiver, Jordon Matthews, spoke to the media about in an illuminating expose of his season in playing in Buffalo: https://deadspin.com/ex-bills-wr-there-s-nothing-to-do-in-buffalo-but-fuck-1829180016

This Bills season has turned into a circus! How is your favorite NFL team doing so far?

THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS


What an A-List star like Cate Blanchett is doing in a mediocre kid’s movie like The House With a Clock In Its Walls is puzzling. This movie is based on John Bellairs’s The House With a Clock In Its Walls (1973) where a young orphan named Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) moves in with his eccentric uncle. Jack Black plays warlock Jonathan Barnavelt who lives in a creepy old mansion that seems alive. Cate Blanchett plays a witch who lives next door. Black and Blanchett search the old mansion for a mysterious clock hidden in the walls by evil warlock Isaac Izard (Kyle MacLachlan). This is not as suspenseful or mysterious as the Harry Potter movies (which is the audience a film like The House With a Clock In Its Walls is trying to tap into). Despite the excellent cast, this movie is dull, dull, dull. GRADE: C

FRIDAY’S FORGOTTEN BOOKS #495: WAR OF THE DONS/BLACK MAFIA By Peter Rabe




Rick Ollerman’s brilliant INTRODUCTION to Stark House’s new Peter Rabe omnibus, War of the Dons/Black Mafia, traces the genre of Mafia novels inspired by Mario Puzo’s classic The Godfather to Don Pendleton’s “The Executioner” men’s action adventure series. America had an insatiable appetite for stories about criminal organizations in the late 1960s and 1970s. Peter Rabe’s War of the Dons (1972) centers around Mafia don Messina’s southern California operation during a shakeup in the hierarchy. The three Guarda brothers, top lieutenants in Messina’s organization, find themselves targets in the new Mafia reorganization.

I enjoyed Black Mafia (1974) in part because Peter Rabe located the key Mafia figure in Buffalo in a neighborhood about 20 minutes from my home! The Mafia wants to extend their operations into the “Black Belt” but aspects of culture, race, and community thwart their efforts. Peter Rabe’s knowledge of gangland life and rituals plays out in both War of the Dons and Black Mafia. Treachery, double-crosses, and sudden violence crackles across the pages of War of the Dons/Black Mafia like the electricity of lightning strikes.
GRADES: War of the Dons: B; Black Mafia: B+

CONAN DOYLE FOR THE DEFENSE By Margalit Fox


Generous Maggie Mason sent me Margalit Fox’s Conan Doyle for the Defense: THE TRUE STORY OF A SENSATIONAL BRITISH MURDER, A QUEST FOR JUSTICE, AND THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS DETECTIVE WRITER and reading it brightened up my day. I vaguely remembered this case mentioned in a couple of the A. Conan Doyle biographies I’ve read over the years, but Margalit Fox sharpens up the details and presents a compelling story of the years of struggle Doyle undertook to clear an innocent man.

In 1908, a wealthy woman was found murdered in her Glasgow home. As usual, the police pinned the crime on a convenient suspect: Oscar Slater, an immigrant Jew. Despite Oscar Slater’s obvious innocence, he was tried, convicted, and sentenced to life at hard labor in a harsh Scottish prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Already world famous as a best selling author and the creator of Sherlock Holmes, A. Conan Doyle–outraged by the injustice of this case–became obsessed with proving Slater’s innocence. Doyle used the methods of Sherlock Holmes when he analyzed the trial transcripts, interviewed eyewitnesses, and identified the many inconsistencies and fabrications invented by the police and the prosecutors to frame an innocent man. It should come as no surprise that in 1927 A. Conan Doyle’s years of work on this case resulted in Slater’s freedom. If you’re a fan of true crime, you’ll enjoy Conan Doyle for the Defense. If you’re a Sherlockian, this is a must-read! Thanks again, Maggie, for sending this excellent book my way! GRADE: A
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Author’s Note
Introduction
Prologue: Prisoner 2988
Book one: Diamonds
A footfall on the stair
The mysterious Mr. Anderson
The knight-errant
The man in the Donegal Cap
Book two: Blood
Traces
The original Sherlock Holmes
The art of reasoning backward
A case of identity
Book three: Granite
The trap door
“Until he be dead”
The cold cruel sea
Arthur Conan Doyle, consulting detective
The strange case of George Edalji
Prisoner 1992
Book four: Paper
“You know my method”
The ruin of John Thomson Trench
Cannibals included
The purloined brooch
The gates of Peterhead
More light, more justice
The knight and the knave
Epilogue: What became of them
Acknowledgements
Cast of Characters
Glossary
References
Notes
Index

I WON HQ TRIVIA!


HQ Trivia is a wildly popular live game show that you play on your cell phone (I play on Diane’s iPhone) where you can win a real cash prize every day. Patrick and Katie introduced me to the game almost a year ago and downloaded the free app to Diane’s iPhone. I enjoy trivia games so I played HQ Trivia frequently. The host or hostess asks 12 questions. You have 10 seconds to tap your answer to each question. If you answer all the questions correctly, you win a part of the cash prize. In the game where I was a winner, the cash prize was $5,000! I had made it to the Last Question five times. Four of those times, I picked the Wrong Answer. Frustrating! But this fifth time, I finally got a question in Literature:
What poem did the American poet who helped injured soldiers in the Civil War write?
1. “The Road Not Taken”
2. “I Sing the Body Electric”
3. “Because I Could Not Stop For Death”

I knew the answer was #2: Walt Whitman. That night 350,000 people played HQ Trivia. After 12 questions about 3000 people answered all the questions correctly. All the winners won…$1.35! For me, it’s not about the money, it’s the bragging rights! I WON HQ TRIVIA!