Recently in Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Category

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The 2013 Doctor Who Christmas special, "The Time of the Doctor" , is the last episode (so far) to star Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor.  It's also quite thought provoking, despite it's ambitious storyline being crammed into a mere 60 minutes. 

 
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Read all about it here.

Repo Man will be shown at Greenwich Library on Thursday,  January 15 at 7:00 pm in the second floor meeting room.  Rated R. More details here.

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REPOMAN.pngGreenwich Library Cult Films returns Thursday, January 15th at 7:00 PM in the second floor meeting room.  (Yes, you can bring cushions.)  We'll be showing 1984's Repo Man.  Here's a quick description:

Aimless young punk Otto (Emilio Estervez) gets hired by Bud (Harry Dean Stanton) to repossess cars that owners failed to make payments on. Then one day, Otto, other repo men, and government agents all race to find a certain Chevy Malibu which may or may not have dead aliens from outer space in the trunk...



This is a wild, almost surreal comedy-thriller  by writer-director Alex Cox that never lags in its pacing. The musical soundtrack evokes the 80s with songs by Iggy Pop, Black Flag, and Fear, among others.  All 92 minutes of it is in color and rated R for violence and language.

We'll also be having a guest speaker, my colleague Everett Perdue, who'll go in more detail about the movie and its significance (artistic and otherwise) then and now, and will answer any questions you might have.

For more info, head to our Cult Films page here.  Our next film following Repo Man will be the 1963 James Bond thriller, From Russia With Love on Thursday, February 19th at 6:30 PM in the meeting room.  See you there!

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(Above is one of the books I enjoyed reading this year.)

The Greenwich Time just published a list of books recommended by my colleagues and myself.  Click here to read it.

Since I had sent a lengthy list (no, I'm not bragging), some of my other picks were dropped for space considerations.  Anyway, here's what else I had recommended (some may be familiar to readers of this blog):

Rogues, edited by George R. R. Martin & Gardner Dozois, is a fun collection of short stories from several genres by such authors as Neil Gaiman and Connie Willis.  Fans of Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" series (adapted for HBO as Game of Thrones) will want to check out the author's contribution, "The Rogue Prince, or A King's Brother", which is a prequel to the aforementioned series.

Jeff VanderMeer's "Southern Reach" trilogy (Annihilation; Authority; Acceptance) which revolves around the mysterious "Area X" and the government's attempts to penetrate it, is one of the most exciting and frightening works of horror fiction you'll ever read.  You'll leave the light on when going to bed after finishing this collection.

Just in time to celebrate the character's 75th anniversary comes IDW's Batman: The Silver Age Dailies and Sundays 1966-1967, which collects the first two years of the caped crusader's newspaper comic strip, written by Whitney Ellsworth and illustrated by Sheldon Moldoff, Carmine Infantino and Joe Giella.  Uneven in spots -the strip tried to combine the comic book version of Batman with the then-popular "camp" TV series- this is still a blast to read!

King of the Weeds by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins.  Private eye Mike Hammer tries to prove the guilt of a killer, whose release from prison on a technicality may destroy the career of Hammer's pal NYPD Captain Pat Chambers.  But first Mike has to fight off the mob, who think he's hiding millions of their own money.  Solid thriller with a powerful ending!

Other books I enjoyed included The Monogram Murders by Sophie Hannah, featuring Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, Lock In by John Scazi, and  The Most Dangerous Book:  The Battle For James Joyce's Ulysses by Kevin Birmingham.  But the most powerful one I read was probably Ron Suskind's Life Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes and Autism, a moving and life affirming account of his ultimately successful efforts to communicate with his autistic son Owen. 

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Nothing says "Season's Greetings" more (at least to me) than a newly published, authoritative collection of horror/fantasy writer H.P. Lovecraft's (1890-1937)  classic tales that he wrote in the 20s and 30s for various pulp magazines.  The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, edited by Leslie S. Klinger, was released a few months back just in time for Halloween, but horror fans will still want this for Christmas. (Click here to reserve our copy.)

The collection focuses more or less on the stories and one novel that were set in and around the fictional town of Arkham, Massachusetts and his Cthulhu Mythos. Klinger has included such thrillers as "Dagon", "The Call of Cthulhu", "The Colour Out of Space", "The Silver Key", "The Dunwich Horror", "Herbert West Reanimator", and the fatalistic, science fictional novel At The Mountains of Madness.  All of these stories have annotations in the margins spotlighting Klinger's well-researched historical back stories on the locations (real and made up) of the tales, letters, photos (including actual site in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, magazine covers and movie posters), and citations of deleted passages in the stories when first published. 

There's also an introduction by Alan Moore ( Watchmen), an essay by Klinger  about Lovecraft's life which doesn't sugarcoat over the author's racist misanthropy (to put it mildly), and a fantastic series of equally informative appendixes detailing the chronology of Lovecraft's works, screen and audio adaptations, etc.  For serious fans of the horror genre alone, The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft is required reading!

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"The Simon & Kirby Library: Horror"

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Hot off the heels of their last collection of classic comics by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby (reviewed here), Titan Books has released another volume of vintage S&K stories.


 

ANNILATION.pngThe first installment of Jeff VanderMeer's "Southern Reach Trilogy", Annihilation is a solid, riveting thriller that will leave you breathless by the last page.  (Click here to reserve our copy.)


 
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Just in time to help celebrate the 75th anniversary of Bob Kane and  Bill Finger's famous caped  crusader is this terrific long-overdue collection, Batman: The Silver Age Newspaper Comics.  The first of three projected books by IDW that will cover the 1966-72 newspaper strip based on the Batman comics, this volume covers the period between May 29th, 1966-December 31st, 1967. 

 
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Boy, do I got a cult film candidate for you!  Hammer Films' bizarre, almost insane mashup of their horror films and the then popular kung fu  craze , 1974's The Legend of the Seven Golden Vampires, is one of the most outlandish but strangely entertaining films they ever produced.  (Click here to reserve our copy.)


 
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The next installment of Greenwich Library's Cult Films program will be on Wednesday, September 10th at 6:30 pm in the second floor meeting room.  In celebration of it's fiftieth anniversary, we'll be showing the 1964 James Bond 007 thriller Goldfinger

Starring Sean Connery as Bond, with Honor Blackman, Gert Frobe and Harold Sakata, this was the film that unleashed Bondmania (and the secret agent craze) onto the public during the sixties. 

An overview of this film will be  in a future post. Meanwhile, here's the trailer:



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