• MT VOID, 09/30/22 -- Vol. 41, No. 14, Whole Number 2243

    From evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Sun Oct 2 07:31:41 2022
    09/30/22 -- Vol. 41, No. 14, Whole Number 2243

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    Science Fiction (and Other) Discussion Groups, Films,
    Lectures, etc. (NJ)
    My Picks for Turner Classic Movies in October (comments
    by Mark R. Leeper)
    KING CHARLES III (film review by Evelyn C. Leeper)
    Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov (letter of comment
    by Gary McGath)
    Becky Chambers (letter of comment by Hal Heydt)
    CYPHER (letters of comment by Jay E. Morris, Paul Dormer,
    Tim Merrigan, and Jim Susky)
    This Week's Reading (THE LAST WHITE MAN) (book comments
    by Evelyn C. Leeper)


    TOPIC: Science Fiction (and Other) Discussion Groups, Films,
    Lectures, etc. (NJ)

    Meetings are still fluctuating between in-person and Zoom. The
    best way to get the latest information is to be on the mailing
    lists for them.

    October 6, 2022 (MTPL), 5:30PM: BETWEEN TIME AND TIMBUKTU
    (1972): Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
    November 3, 2022 (MTPL), 5:30PM: NOSFERATU (1922) & DRACULA
    by Bram Stoker
    November 17, 2022 (OBPL), 7:00PM: NEPTUNE'S BROOD by Charles Stross
    (note this is the *third* Thursday because of Thanksgiving)
    December 1, 2022 (MTPL), 5:30PM: THE QUATERMASS CONCLUSION (1979):
    Nigel Kneale
    January 5, 2023 (MTPL), 5:30PM: "To Serve Man" by Damon Knight and
    "Twilight Zone" episode thereof


    TOPIC: My Picks for Turner Classic Movies in October (comments by
    Mark R. Leeper)

    We are coming upon another October. (At least you possibly are. I
    am starting this writing a few months in advance and still may get
    to it done too late. Leonard Bernstein said that all one needs to
    excel is to be given a good project and just not quite enough to do
    it. You are looking at an essay administered to be written
    intentionally later than it ought to have been. Wish me luck.)

    And as is usual we are coming into a month of Turner Classic Movies
    that feature horror films suitable for October and Halloween. But
    I'm going to pick something not traditionally associated with
    October and Halloween. That is THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG, a
    French film. This is a modern tragedy. All of it is in French and
    is sung. It is a little unfamiliar, seeing a modern operetta done
    with such a modern setting. Genevieve (Catherine Deneuve) meets
    and falls in love with Guy, an auto mechanic. Their love affair is
    strong but brief and powerful. For a while they enjoy each other.
    Then Guy is called for military duty in Algiers. Genevieve cannot
    wait for Guy. Genevieve marries and therein lies the tragedy of
    the story.

    [THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG, October 13. 12:00 PM]

    And for the more traditionally minded, Evelyn provides the
    following list of science fiction, fantasy, and horror films
    running on TCM in October:

    SATURDAY, October 1
    1:45 PM Gulliver's Travels (1939)
    10:45 PM Forbidden Planet (1956)

    MONDAY, October 3
    2:00 AM Kwaidan (1965)
    6:00 AM Les visiteurs du soir (1942)
    8:45 AM Carnival of Sinners (1943)
    10:15 AM Angel on My Shoulder (1946)
    12:15 PM Sylvia and the Phantom (1946)
    2:15 PM The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
    4:15 PM All That Money Can Buy (1941)
    6:15 PM Blithe Spirit (1945)

    TUESDAY, October 4
    12:15 AM The Devil's Own (1966)
    2:00 AM The Haunting (1963)

    WEDNESDAY, October 5
    2:00 AM Hausu (1977)
    3:45 PM Fingers at the Window (1942)

    THURSDAY, October 6
    10:30 PM Gaslight (1940)

    SATURDAY, October 8
    2:30 AM The Velvet Vampire (1971)
    4:00 AM The Hunger (1983)
    8:09 AM The King Without a Crown (1937)
    9:30 AM The Devil's Noose (1935)
    6:15 PM The Omega Man (1971)
    10:00 PM Westworld (1973)

    MONDAY, October 10
    2:45 AM Village of the Damned (1960)
    4:15 AM Children of the Damned (1964)
    6:00 AM Five Million Years to Earth (1968)
    7:45 AM Battle Beneath the Earth (1967)
    9:15 AM The Time Machine (1960)
    11:15 AM War Of The Planets (1965)
    1:00 PM The Wild, Wild Planet (1965)
    2:45 PM The Green Slime (1969)
    4:30 PM The Illustrated Man (1969)
    6:30 PM Goke, Body Snatcher from Hell (1968)

    TUESDAY, October 11
    3:15 AM The Brood (1979)
    5:00 AM Night of the Living Dead (1968)

    WEDNESDAY, October 12
    8:00 PM Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)

    THURSDAY, October 13
    12:00 AM Angel on My Shoulder (1946)
    2:00 AM Cabin in the Sky (1943)
    4:00 AM The Horn Blows at Midnight (1945)

    FRIDAY, October 14
    6:00 AM Atlantis, the Lost Continent (1960)

    SATURDAY, October 15
    2:00 AM Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
    4:30 AM Six Men Getting Sick (1966)
    4:30 AM The Alphabet (1968)
    4:30 AM The Grandmother (1970)
    4:30 AM The Amputee, Version 1 (1974)
    4:30 AM The Amputee, Version 2 (1974)
    4:30 AM Premonitions Following an Evil Deed (1995)
    8:00 AM Peace on Earth (1939)
    8:10 AM The Man in the Barn (1937)
    8:00 PM THX 1138 (1971)

    MONDAY, October 17
    12:30 AM The Lodger (1927)
    2:30 AM Yotsuya Kaidan, Part One (1949)
    4:00 AM Yotsuya Kaidan, Part Two (1949)
    9:30 AM Angels in the Outfield (1951)
    11:45 PM The Masque of the Red Death (1964)

    TUESDAY, October 18
    1:30 AM House of Wax (1953)
    3:15 AM The Hypnotic Eye (1960)
    4:45 AM Mad Love (1935)
    6:00 AM The Beast with Five Fingers (1946)
    8:00 PM Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

    THURSDAY, October 20
    6:00 AM The Thirteenth Chair (1929)
    7:30 AM Freaks (1932)
    8:45 AM Mark of the Vampire (1935)
    10:00 AM The Devil-Doll (1936)
    11:30 AM Miracles for Sale (1939)
    1:00 PM The Leopard Man (1943)
    2:15 PM Isle of the Dead (1945)
    3:30 PM The Body Snatcher (1945)
    5:00 PM The Ghost Ship (1943)
    6:30 PM Martin Scorsese Presents, Val Lewton:
    The Man In The Shadows (2007)

    FRIDAY, October 21
    3:30 AM The Boy with Green Hair (1948)

    SATURDAY, October 22
    2:00 AM It's Alive (1974)
    3:45 AM It Lives Again (1978)

    MONDAY, October 24
    2:15 AM The Cars That Ate Paris (1974)
    4:00 AM The Plumber (1979)
    11:45 AM 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
    6:00 PM Brainstorm (1983)

    TUESDAY, October 25
    3:15 AM Carnival of Souls (1962)
    4:45 AM Spider Baby (1964)
    6:15 AM Freaks (1932)
    9:00 AM Dracula--Prince of Darkness (1965)
    10:45 AM The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)
    12:30 PM Rasputin--The Mad Monk (1966)
    4:00 PM Taste the Blood of Dracula (1970)
    5:45 PM The Satanic Rites of Dracula (1973)

    FRIDAY, October 28
    4:15 AM The Spirit of the Beehive (1973)
    8:00 PM Poltergeist (1982)

    SATURDAY, October 29
    2:15 AM Alligator (1980)
    4:00 AM Alligator II: The Mutation (1990)
    6:00 AM Around the World Under the Sea (1965)
    9:30 AM Fatal Fangs (1935)
    11:30 AM One for the Book (1940)
    12:00 PM Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1932)
    6:15 PM House of Dark Shadows (1970)
    8:00 PM Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
    9:45 PM Deadly Friend (1986)
    11:30 PM Two Hearts in Wax Time (1935)

    SUNDAY, October 30
    12:00 AM El Vampiro Negro (1953)
    2:00 AM Matinee (1993)
    4:00 AM Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
    8:00 AM It! (1967)
    10:00 AM El Vampiro Negro (1953)
    12:00 PM Cat People (1942)
    1:30 PM I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
    2:45 PM The Seventh Victim (1943)
    4:15 PM Return to Glennascaul (1953)
    4:45 PM Eye of the Devil (1966)

    MONDAY, October 31
    12:15 AM Haxan (1922)
    2:15 AM Cronos (1993)
    4:00 AM Eyes Without a Face (1959)
    6:00 AM The Bat (1959)
    9:00 AM Horror Hotel (1960)
    10:30 AM The Curse of Frankenstein (1957)
    1:30 PM The Mummy (1959)
    3:00 PM The Devil's Bride (1968)
    4:45 PM Dracula A.D. 1972 (1972)
    6:30 PM The Plague of the Zombies (1966)
    8:00 PM Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
    11:15 PM Frankenstein (1931)

    TUESDAY, November 1
    12:30 AM The Invisible Man (1933)


    TOPIC: KING CHARLES III (film review by Evelyn C. Leeper)

    [My mini-reviews of the more obscure films from the Universal
    Studios horror cycle are on hold for now, as the screener reviews
    will likely occupy my time. But I couldn't *not* comment on this

    KING CHARLES III was a 2017 "Masterpiece Theatre" production of the
    sort that is near-future science fiction when it was made, but
    becomes alternate history fairly quickly. (Actually, pretty much
    all science fiction becomes or will become alternate history.)

    Written primarily in Shakespearean iambic pentameter, this begins
    with King Charles III having to decide whether to carry out what ha
    been considered a purely ceremonial step of signing a bill (with
    which he disagrees) into law. This seems eerily parallel to the
    question of whether Vice-President Pence had anything but a
    ceremonial role in counting the electoral votes.

    Prince William and the Princess of Cambridge and Cornwall are
    amenable to those trying to pressure the King, with the Duchess
    being a conniving Lady Macbeth and pushing William to force his
    father to change his mind. (The appearance of Lady Diana's ghost
    brings in echoes of HAMLET as well, and of course the whole play
    recalls Shakespeare's history plays.)

    The drama doesn't try to whitewash Prince Harry's reputation,
    although it clearly has to leave out some of what gave him that
    reputation. His story, including having his female companion be
    Black, presages some of Prince Harry's real-life association with
    Meghan Markle, though with a different conclusion. [-ecl]


    TOPIC: Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov (letter of comment by Gary

    In response to Evelyn's comments on Stanislav Yevgrafovich Petrov
    in the 09/23/22 issue of the MT VOID, Gary McGath writes:




    TOPIC: Becky Chambers (letter of comment by Hal Heydt)

    In response to Evelyn's comments on Becky Chambers in the 09/23/22
    issue of the MT VOID, Hal Heydt writes:

    I've read Chambers and was--frankly--not impressed. In one of her
    books she badly broke any willing suspension of disbelief.

    She has a habitable satellite of a gas giant planet. No problem
    there. She has the rotation of the satellite phase-locked to the
    planet. Again, not a problem. She also has the satellite rotation phase-locked to the local sun. *Big* problem.

    The satellite is clearly reasonably close to the gas giant, but the
    only way to have the satellite rotation phase-locked to *both*
    planet and sun would be for it to be at either the L4 or L5 points.
    That is 60 degrees away from the gas giant in the orbit. That
    would be radically inconsistent with other descriptions. [-hh]


    TOPIC: CYPHER (letters of comment by Jay E. Morris, Paul Dormer,
    Tim Merrigan, and Jim Susky)

    In response to Mark's review of CYPHER in the 09/23/22 issue of the
    MT VOID, Jay E. Morris writes:

    [Mark writes,] "CYPHER plays occasionally on cable and it available
    from NetFlix."

    This must be an un-revised part of the 2002 review. It's not
    currently on Netflix that I can find. [-jem]

    Paul Dormer responds:

    But it does appear to be on Amazon Prime, at least in the UK. [-pd]

    Tim Merrigan adds:

    It available on Amazon Prime here (L.A.), too, for $2.99, rent.

    Paul replies:

    Only 99p to rent, here, and #4.99 to buy. [-pd]

    Jay also says:

    There is one on Prime US but it is dated 2005. Everything is
    identical to the IMDB listing so I'm assuming Prime did a typo.

    And Paul agrees:

    Yeah, that was my thought. [-pd]

    And Jim Susky says:

    Thanks for reprising your review - it looks really good! [-js]


    TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

    THE LAST WHITE MAN by Mohsin Hamid (Penguin Random House, ISBN 978-0-593-53881-4) begins, "One morning, Anders, a white man, woke
    up to find he had turned a deep and undeniable brown." That is so
    strongly a parallel to "As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from
    uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his be into a
    gigantic insect," that one cannot help but read the rest of THE
    LAST WHITE MAN as a racial version of THE METAMORPHOSIS, although
    obviously there is some of the film THE WATERMELON MAN as well.

    Hamid goes further than those works, however, by having all the
    white people eventually change. (I don't think he ever addresses
    what happens with Asians or Native Americans.) He seems to want to
    have his cake and eat it too: while the black version of each
    person does not look like the white version, people seem to
    recognize them (or at least accept that they are who they say they
    are). I suppose that as a fable, THE LAST WHITE MAN does not have
    to follow strict rules of logic [*], but there does not seem to be
    much else there. Anders has some slight feeling of connectedness
    to the black janitor at his gym, but that never turns into much,
    and even the white supremacists who at first find they have new
    targets somewhat fizzle out. [*] Well, obviously, the unexplained
    change has no logic, so why should the rest of the story?



    Mark Leeper

    Neither irony or sarcasm is argument.
    --Samuel Butler

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