• MT VOID, 11/25/22 -- Vol. 41, No. 22, Whole Number 2251

    From evelynchimelisleeper@gmail.com@21:1/5 to All on Sun Nov 27 07:29:50 2022
    11/25/22 -- Vol. 41, No. 22, Whole Number 2251

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    Science Fiction (and Other) Discussion Groups, Films,
    Lectures, etc. (NJ)
    Mark's Picks for Turner Classic Movies in December
    (comments by Mark R. Leeper and Evelyn C. Leeper)
    Jewish Vampires (letters of comment by Gary McGath,
    Tim Merrigan, Keith F. Lynch, Joy Beeson,
    and Paul Dormer)
    This Week's Reading (GOSLINGS, a.k.a. A WORLD OF WOMEN)
    (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.

    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: Mark's Picks for Turner Classic Movies in December (comments
    by Evelyn C. Leeper)

    THE ROCKING-HORSE WINNER is a very English-type fantasy, relying on
    "voices" and "spirits" rather than monsters, mythologies, or
    traditional creatures such as elves or fairies. It began as a
    short story by D. H. Lawrence, and was made into a film in 1949
    (and then again for television in 1977). The 1949 version is
    considered a classic, starring Valerie Hobson and John Mills. The
    plot is simple: a young boy realizes his family is anxious about
    money, and also that he has the ability to pick winning
    horses--most of the time. He and his uncle use this ability to
    place bets, but the more money they win, the more his family seems
    to need.

    The story is available at: <https://shortstoryproject.com/stories/the-rocking-horse-winner/>

    [THE ROCKING HORSE WINNER, Saturday, December 24, 4:00AM]


    TOPIC: Jewish Vampires (letters of comment by Gary McGath, Tim
    Merrigan, Keith F. Lynch, Joy Beeson, and Paul Dormer)

    In response to Mark and Evelyn's review of BLOOD RELATIVES in the
    11/18/22 issue of the MT VOID, Gary McGath writes:

    The standard joke about Jewish vampires is that holding up a cross
    fails to ward them off. Does it do that? [-gmg]

    Tim Merrigan responds:

    That would depend on why the cross is significant. If it's as a
    representation of Christianity, then yeah, it shouldn't have any
    effect on non Christians, but if, for instance, it significance is
    as a representation of a Cross road (where two paths come
    together), long standing areas of strong magic*, then the beliefs
    system of the person wielding it, or of the vampire, shouldn't

    I'll note that pre Stoker vampire lore included burying the
    vampire's, separated, head at a crossroad.

    *A Y or T intersection, where three paths come together is even
    stronger magic. [-tm]

    Gary replies:

    Another possibility: When a vampire victim dies, the soul goes to
    the Christian Heaven or Hell. The vampire spirit that takes over
    the body witnesses this happening and learns empirically that
    Christianity is true. The vampire, regardless of the person's
    previous beliefs, becomes cruciphobic as a result.

    By the theory you suggest, vampires would hate Boston. [-gmg]

    Keith F. Lynch adds:

    Andrew Nadeau wrote, "Imagine you were a vampire nowhere near the
    Middle East and don't know who Jesus is but the day after he dies
    you gotta figure out why lower case t's started hurting."

    That would indeed be mystifying. Especially since lowercase wasn't
    invented until several centuries later. [-kfl]

    Joy Beeson asks:

    Would a five-point intersection be stronger or weaker?

    Does it matter whether it's five separate roads, or some of the
    roads continue through the intersection? (Every time I leave home,
    I have to deal with the intersection of Winona Avenue, King's
    Highway, Park Avenue, and Argonne Road. Chestnut Street was
    truncated and no longer participates.)

    A roundabout replaces a four-point intersection with four
    three-point intersections. I sense a story here.

    And if a five-point is weaker, replacing it with five strong
    three-pointers should be interesting. [-jb]

    Keith responds:

    There's a place aptly named "Seven Corners" here in Virginia. It's
    the corner of Route 7 (Leesburg Pike), East Broad Street, Route 50
    (Arlington Boulevard), Sleepy Hollow Road, Hillwood Avenue, and
    Wilson Boulevard. It's easily found by name in Google Earth, but
    misplaced by half a mile to the southeast. The only magic I've
    noticed there is the power to cloud the minds of motorists (and
    apparently of Google).

    Somebody please tell me whether it would be an especially good or
    especially bad place to bury a vampire, and whether this depends on
    whether there's a full moon and on whether it's midnight. I
    suspect its a bad place for a burial, since at any hour of the day
    or night you'd be likely to be hit by a car if you're in the

    Attempted burials would certainly explain all the potholes. [-kfl]

    Paul Dormer responds to Tim:

    In the 1989 Doctor Who story "The Curse of Fenric", set in
    Northumberland in WWII, a vicar (played by Nicholas Parsons) fails
    to ward off the vampire-like aliens because he has lost his faith.
    But a company of Soviet soldiers who have turned up ward them off
    with the hammer and sickle, because they are devout communists.


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

    GOSLINGS (a.k.a. A WORLD OF WOMEN) by J. D. Beresford (MIT Press,
    ISBN 978-0-262-54335-4, also Project Gutenberg) was recommended by
    Michael Dirda. Much of what Beresford wrote in 1913 is still very
    accurate today, e.g., "Whenever he tried to think of some means to
    stay the progress of the plague his mind automatically began to
    consider what influence the adoption of such means would have upon
    the general election which must soon come..." The plague is called
    the "Russian epidemic."

    There is a distressing amount of the casual anti-semitism that was
    common at the time(*): references to "fat Jewesses" and such lines
    as, "Only yesterday I had to send one of 'em packing. A Jew woman
    she was, called 'erself Mrs Isaacson or something. She was a

    (*) And, alas, is becoming so again.

    And speaking of the general attitudes of the time: "Eugenics was a
    proposition that grew out of the necessity of the time."

    There is also a fair amount of misogyny. Beresford does not have
    it in for all women, but he is very dismissive of the women who
    would have been considered the epitome of womanhood at the time.
    So he writes of Mrs. Gosling, "She could learn to do without flour,
    butter, lard, milk, sugar and the other things, but she could not
    learn to think on unfamiliar lines." And he has Mrs. Gosling
    constantly talking as if nothing had changed, asking for things
    that were no longer available, and talking as if she would be going
    back to her previous life real soon.

    Of another female character, he writes, "Her intelligence was of a
    somewhat more masculine quality in some respects than that of the
    average woman; she was slower, more detailed, more logical in her

    And of a third, "She was not gifted intellectually, she had no
    swift intuitions ... which enabled her to comprehend her work; she
    was naturally indolent, and all her emotions came to her through

    And again, "She desired the blood of Millie Gosling and Jasper
    Thrale with the same intensity that women had once desired a
    useless vote."



    Mark Leeper

    Books had an instant replay long before televised sports.
    --Bert Williams

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