January 2009 Archives

There's an online science fiction magazine called SciFiDimensions which fans will enjoy.  The site offers news, reviews and podcast interviews with current artists in the field.  Here's a link to a podcast they did with British SF writer Richard K. Morgan, which you can download for free.  (And not to be remiss, but here's a link to Mr. Morgan's own site, and one to the library's catalog listing of his books.) 

 

 

For professionals who work with the disabled, as well as persons who are themselves disabled and their families, there's a podcast site called Disability 411 that provides updated news and information (and audio workshops) on disability-related topics and trends.  Subscriptions to the site are free. Check it out here.

(What's a podcast?  Go here to find out.) 

 

51Y9517RXCL__SL500_AA240_.jpgAs a follow-up to last week's post on the cult TV series The Prisoner, and it's star/creator, Patrick McGoohan, I wanted to mention the other 1960s show Mr. McGoohan was renowned for, Secret Agent (as it was called in the US), also known as Danger Man.

 

Here's the first installment of "Odds 'n' Ends", a recurring series of listings of various related sites, links and general items that may be of interest to genre fans.

 

Easy Access is a transportation service, operating between Greenwich and Norwalk, offered to anyone within that area who has a disability and can't otherwise get around all that well.  Run by the Norwalk Transit District, this service offers access for persons with disabilities who need to travel for any reason, be it "medical, employment, education, shopping or social".  Go to the EA site for more information (including schedules and what eligiblity conditions a rider has to meet to qualify for the service) here.  -Ed

Related linkCT Transit

(Many thanks to the Lions Club of Greenwich for providing me with this information.) 

 

Classic & Cult Television: The Prisoner

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51XP80FTRML__SL160_SS160_.jpgToday's post was originally just going to mention (and link to) episodes of the cult 1967-68 TV series The Prisoner, now being made available for downloading from the AMC web site. But sadly, the recent passing of the show's star/creator Patrick McGoohan a few days ago has overshadowed that news. 

 

 

farmer04_b.jpgBack in the mid-1970's, author Philip Jose Farmer became such a fan of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.'s fictional writer character Kilgore Trout that he actually wrote a novel using the Trout byline.  The novel, Venus on the Half-Shell (referred to in Vonnegut's 1965 work, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater), was published in 1975, but due to a falling-out between Farmer and Vonnegut, plans for further novels by Farmer using the Trout pseudonym were aborted. Furthermore, all reprintings of Venus had to credit Farmer as the sole author.

Farmer went on to write other novels and short stories as a "fictional author", often writing in the style of actual famous authors and/or as these authors' fictional characters.  For example, Farmer's 1976 novel The Adventure of the Peerless Peer, a fictional team-up of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes and Edgar Rice Burroughs's Tarzan of the Apes, set during the early days of World War One, is written (also tongue-in-cheek) in Conan Doyle's style (and credited, like Conan Doyle's Holmes stories, to Holmes' faithful partner "John H. Watson, M.D.", and "edited" by Farmer), while remaining essentially faithful to the established continuities of both fictional characters.  

 

The Voluntary Services for the Blind of Fairfield County works to assist visually impaired persons get on with their lives.  They're always on the lookout for volunteers to give their clients a hand.  Check out their site here.

Recently, the New York Times had this uplifting and inspiring story focusing on one VSBFC volunteer and what's it like for him to provide this useful service.  -Ed

 
last man on earth.jpgRichard Matheson's 1954 novel I Am Legend is a classic mix of science fiction and horror that's become so popular over the decades it's spawned no less than three (possibly four; I'll explain shortly) different movie versions.  As Greenwich Library's Friends Friday Films series will be showing the most recent 2007 film adaptation (starring Will Smith) of the novel this week (see details here), I thought I'd give a quick rundown of the book's various filmatic forays.
 

In Matheson's novel (set in the late 1970s), a world-wide plague has wiped out most of mankind, while those who have survived have become literally blood-thirsty vampires.  The one remaining human, Robert Neville, finds himself having to barricade his home at night when the vampires try to capture him for his blood. Neville spends his days hunting down the creatures (who sleep during the day) and staking them.  The monotony of this day-to-day existance depresses Neville, but eventually he snaps out and, using what's left of his local library, does research on the plague in order to find a cure.  Then one day, he discovers he may not be the only human left...

 

 

Many thanks to my colleagues (as well as one of my siblings) who clued me in on these recent articles from The Boston Globe and The New York Times, to which I'll provide links forthwith: 

The Globe article is an unintended kind-of-follow-up to my post last week on Braille.  The article discusses attempts by teachers at a Watertown, MA school to raise Braille literacy rates among their students, and the various obstacles they both face.  You can read the article here

Last Sunday's New York Times had an article in their Business section on the efforts of Google's T. V. Raman to "help make electronic gadgets and Web services more user-friendly for everyone".  His projects include a "touch-screen phone".  Read all about Mr. Raman's inspiring and remarkable work here and at his blog here.   -Ed

 

 

A few weeks back, I posted a link to the schedule of upcoming Classic and Cult Television (CACTV) programs we'll be showing at the library.  That link can be accessed from our home page.  Simply pass over the "Our Libraries" button with your mouse on the left side of the page, underneath where our street address is posted.  A drop down menu will appear.  On the third option, "Calendar of Events", another menu appears, on the right.  Click where it says "Classic and Cult TV" and you'll get this link  detailing the shows and times of the series.

51hJXkgg-zL__SL500_AA240_.jpgComing up January 14th, CACTV kicks off its latest season of programs with the showing of the 1967 pilot episode (relax; it's in color) of the private eye series Mannix, starring Mike Connors The show, created by Richard Levinson and William Link (creators of such shows as  Columbo and Murder She Wrote) and "developed" by Bruce Geller (creator of the original Mission: Impossible), was recently released on DVD, along with the rest of the first season episodes from the '67-68 season. These Mannix shows are slightly different than the ones that came along in succeeding seasons (the series ran on CBS until 1975).

 

 

Norman Spinrad's Home Page

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One of my favorite Science Fiction writers, Norman Spinrad, has a web site of his own:  Norman Spinrad's Home Page.  It hasn't been updated since last September, but if you want to see what the author of one of my favorite novels, Bug Jack Barron (1969; I've ordered a copy for the library), has been up to lately, here's the place.  For a listing of Spinrad titles that the library currently carries, go here.

Star Trek fans may remember the 1967 television episode "The Doomsday Machine", which was Mr. Spinrad's sole contribution to that series. The author has some choice things to say about the production of that episode in a videoblog here.  (Don't worry, he's still "fond" of the series.)  -Ed 

 

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This page is an archive of entries from January 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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