Ray Bradbury Nebula Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Encanto (Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures)
The Green Knight (Sailor Bear, BRON Studios, A24)
Loki: Season 1 (Marvel Studios)
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
(Walt Disney Pictures, Marvel Studios)
Space Sweepers (Bidangil Pictures)
WandaVision: Season 1 (Marvel Studios)
What We Do in the Shadows: Season 3 (FX Productions,
Two Canoes Pictures, 343 Incorporated, FX Network)
THE MT VOID
Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
03/18/22 -- Vol. 40, No. 38, Whole Number 2215
Co-Editor: Mark Leeper, mle...@optonline.net
Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper, ele...@optonline.net
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My First Sneak Preview (comments by Mark R. Leeper)
The Animals Are at It Again (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)
2021 Nebula Award Finalists
This Week's Reading (OUT OF THE RUINS, THE TIME TRAVELER'S
ALMANAC, UNDER THE SKIN) (book comments
by Evelyn C. Leeper)
TOPIC: My First Sneak Preview (comments by Mark R. Leeper)
I think I am scarred for life. Well. Perhaps scarred is not the
right word. It is just that I am some sort of psychologically
conditioned. Conditioned may be a better word. But every time I
hear Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man" I picture
warriors from ancient Greece having sword fights. I admit it is a
strange connection to have. And I would love to be rid of it. But
it is all the fault of the music and of comics and the monster
Back in 1963 I knew something big was coming. Literally. Big.
months I think I had looked forward to the upcoming release of the
film JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS. This was the screen version of
Apollonius' story of the quest for the Golden Fleece. It included a
I had a comic book of the film. I read that comic over and over.
The cover showed the mighty ship Argo ducking under the hairy
armpit of some god---Poseidon, I think--holding open the way
through a splashy waterway between two smashing rocks. That
thirteen-year-old me had been excited by anything I could find out
about the movie. This was going be have visual effects by the same
guy who did the visual effects for THE 7TH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, Ray
Harryhausen. Ya can't do better than that. Not then ya couldn't.
Before the film came to the local theatre it came to TV. Well,
sort of to TV. But there was something special about how this
film was being distributed in a new way. At the time if you went
to see a film you saw it in a theater. But for the first time we
had an alternate way to see the film. I was living in Longmeadow, Massachusetts about a thirty-minute drive from Hartford. In
Hartford there was experiment going on. It was called PAY TV.
And, wow! they were using JASON as their test film. And I got to
see it right in my own home.
I think it was TV station WTIC that was sponsoring the experiment.
It encrypted the signal and then just sent the movie to a common TV
station. You could almost watch it except for a few small
technical pains. The engineers scrambled the soundtrack chortling
it out and making a noise like a jukebox being ground in a
dishwasher. You could make out what characters were saying, at
least if you were willing to put up with a few of the little
intentional technically enhanced inconveniences. A voice sounded
like a cross between a human voice and the ringing of a
bell--weird! They did something similar to scramble the picture.
They shuffled the scan lines alternately with ten indented and then
ten not. With a little effort you could follow the story and I did
have the comic book as a guide.
But none of this deterred me from my watching my special preview.
I followed along in the comic. And I enjoyed it. In the trailer
they had claimed the story of "gods like men and men like gods."
To a young teenage Mark this was potent stuff. The scrambled TV
version apparently did not want to use the Bernard Herrmann score,
so played light classical music before and after the film. They
played Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man". Somehow all
this just made the film better when I saw it in a real movie
theater. The film used the Harryhausen score, but the trailer in
Hartford used the Copland score.
Now I just have to hear the Copland and I am back in ancient Greece
with Jason and Argus and the rest of those fun guys. [-mrl
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