Friday, May 29, 2015

Song of the Day

Kong - Dickie Goodman - YouTube:

15 Things You Should Know About 'Dogs Playing Poker'

15 Things You Should Know About 'Dogs Playing Poker' 

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

82-year-old arrested for slashing tires over bingo  

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Today's Vintage Ad


I'm Sure You'll All Agree

25 Best Summer Movies of All Time

PaperBack



Calder Willingham, The Girl in the Dogwood Cabin (To Eat a Peach), Signet, 1956

Forgotten Hits: #1 - 1955 - 1963

Forgotten Hits: #1 - 1955 - 1963

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Yahoo News: "Houston is the No. 1 city in America to be injured and die in a flood."

Wally Cassell, R. I. P.

Hollywood Reporter: Wally Cassell, a film-noir favorite who played Cotton Valletti, one of Jimmy Cagney’s gang, in the electric 1949 crime thriller White Heat, has died. He was 103.

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

20 Worst Movie Casting Choices Of All Time  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Reynaldo Rey, R. I. P.

NY Daily News: Actor and comedian Reynaldo Rey died early Thursday in Los Angeles from complications related to a stroke suffered last year, his manager told the Daily News. He was 75.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Vintage Treasures: A Touch of Strange by Theodore Sturgeon

Vintage Treasures: A Touch of Strange by Theodore Sturgeon

The Novels of Tanith Lee: The Wars of Vis

The Novels of Tanith Lee: The Wars of Vis

Vintage Treasures: The Fox Woman by A. Merritt

Vintage Treasures: The Fox Woman by A. Merritt

Explore the Best of Early SF With Science Fiction From the Great Years

Explore the Best of Early SF With Science Fiction From the Great Years

FFB: The Whispering Gorilla -- Don Wilcox

As usual, it's all James Reasoner's fault.  In a comment on my FFB review of War of the Giant Apes by "Alexander Blade," he said, "David V. Reed seems like a reasonable guess to me as to the author of War of the Giant Apes'. It occurs to me that if I bought the reprint of those Whispering Gorilla stories, I could read them and compare the style to this story. So it would all be for scholarly purposes, of course."

Naturally I couln't let him get ahead of me when it comes to scholarship, so I bought a copy of The Whispering Gorilla/Return of the Whispering Gorilla so I could also do some scholarship.  The first of these two tales appeared in the May 1940 issue of Fantastic Adventures, and it was written by Don Wilcox, a fairly well-known SF writer of the time.  Here's the scholarship, ripped from the pages of a Fantastic Adventures  "Introducing the Author" feature, which you can read in full here: "Originally Don Wilcox submitted the Gorilla to Mr. [David V.] Reed during his tenure as literary editor of Fantastic Adventures.  Mr. Reed instantly saw the possibilities of the character, and worked day and night for many weeks in close harmony with Mr. Wilcox in whipping the story into the shape in which it was finally published in our pages."  The story was quite popular, so Reed himself wrote the sequel, which appeared in the January 1943 issue of the magazine.

And now on with our story.  The Whispering Gorilla, or W. G., as his friends call him, doesn't really whisper.  That's just the name of the hit Broadway show he stars in.  He also has a hit radio show and is a crusading columnist for a great metropolitan newspaper.  How did this come about?  Well, it seems that there's a contract on crusading reporter Steve Carpenter, so his editor does the only thing he can do.  He sends Steve to live in Africa, where he winds up living next door to Dr. Devoli, who just happens to believe that speech is the key to intelligence.  So naturally he's working on the voice box of a gorilla named Plumbutter to help Plummy speak. 

Africa isn't far enough to run from a hit man who's really into his job, so one night Carpenter is killed.  Dr. Devoli decides that only the body is dead and transplants Carpenter's brain into Plumbutter's body.  (I suppose he just tossed Plumbutter's brain away.)  Sure enough, the gorilla/human recovers but is unhappy.  He wants revenge.  He wants to finish his crusade.  So he skips out on Devoli and gets on a ship that just happens to be carrying a theatrical company.  People assume he's wearing a costume.

I'll skip blithely over the plot details here and say that the problem is this: Carpenter's brain is okay for a while, but the wild blood of the gorilla flows in his veins.  It's a simple scientific fact that the wild blood of the gorilla can overpower the civilized brain and change W. G./ Carpenter into a creature of the jungle.  I can say no more.

However, if you want to read the story, you don't have to buy the book, as I did.  You can read the original magazine publication right here.  Come on, go ahead.  You know you want to.

And by the way, I don't think either Wilcox or Reed writes badly enough to have written War of the Giant Apes.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and the Secret Ghostwriters of Children's Fiction

The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and the Secret Ghostwriters of Children's Fiction   

Link via Boing Boing.

To ‘Rising’ creators: Don’t mess with Texas history

To ‘Rising’ creators: Don’t mess with Texas history: Well the best one can say about the History Channel’s “Texas Rising” is that they spelled Texas right.

Better Call Saul

SFGate: The trial of a man accused of fraudulently buying more than 150 iPads came to an abrupt halt in Redwood City this week when the judge learned the defense attorney’s law license was inactive — and that the lawyer had a warrant out for his arrest on drug and theft charges, prosecutors said.  

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

An Austin Brewery is Making 99 Packs of Beer Because Why Not  

Hat tip to Tom Neary.  If I've run this one before, I'll cut him out of the will.

Happy Birthday, Cassius!

euronews: Cassius, the world’s largest and oldest crocodile, celebrated his 112th birthday at his retirement home on idyllic Green Island, a Great Barrier Reef coral cay off the coast of Cairns, Australia.

New York?

Best places for barbecue in the US, according to TripAdvisor

Song of the Day

The Clash - Rock the Casbah - YouTube:

Hugh Ambrose, R. I. P.

Historian And Author Of 'The Pacific' Hugh Ambrose Dead At 48:  HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Hugh Ambrose, who wrote the World War II history "The Pacific" after years of researching for his father, the renowned historian Stephen Ambrose, has died at age 48.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

25 of the Bitchiest Joan Crawford Quotes

25 of the Bitchiest Joan Crawford Quotes

Today's Vintage Ad


Or Maybe You Do

16 Things You Might Not Know About 'Rambo' 

PaperBack



Robert Walsh, The Violent Hours, Signet, 1958

'WTF' added to dictionary

CNN.com: WTF joins emoji, NSFW, net neutrality, clickbait, click fraud, photobomb and other words reflecting modern life among the latest entries in Merriam-Webster's unabridged dictionary. Some 1,700 words have been included, along with 3,200 new examples to add context.

11 Facts About Hemingway’s 'The Old Man And The Sea'

11 Facts About Hemingway’s 'The Old Man And The Sea' 

About #8:  I was 11 years old when the Life magazine pictured here came out, and for whatever reason I already knew who Hemingway was (I was destined to be an English major, no doubt), so I read the excerpt and thought it was great.  It was the first Hemingway I'd ever read, but not the last by a long way.

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

Edward Gorey’s Best Book Jackets 

13 Bookstore Cats

13 Bookstore Cats

There's Good News Today!

The Atlantic: Like some inflatable phoenix whose wings double as beer koozies, SkyMall is rising from the ashes.

Forgotten Music

5 Unlikely Hit Songs 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New EQMM Podcast

Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine's Fiction Podcast - CastRoller: An historical mystery filled with high-seas adventure, by award-winning author and editor Toni L.P. Kelner, is featured in this month?s podcast, as read by Charlaine Harris. ?The Pirate?s Debt," which appeared in EQMM's August 2009 issue, received a nomination from the Short Mystery Fiction Society for best novelette of 2009. Following the reading, Toni and Charlaine join editor Janet Hutchings for an interview recorded at the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. (This interview...

Soon We'll Have No Personal Freedoms Left

Student gets detention for giving ‘ghost pepper’ to classmates

Happy Birthday, Herman Wouk!

Herman Wouk, dean of historical novelists, turns 100: Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Herman Wouk turns 100 years old Wednesday and his long-time office manager says he may stop writing for an hour or two to celebrate.

Anybody Can Make a Little Mistake

Live anthrax inadvertently distributed by Army laboratory

NTTAWWT

FIFA Executive Committee Member Spent 6K Per Month On Apartment For His Cats 

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Not that it will be any help.

Cowboys Using Drones In Practice 

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

Indiana Woman Gets Forked In The Eye At BBQ For ‘Taking The Last Rib’

10 Strange Cities Hidden Under Other Cities

10 Strange Cities Hidden Under Other Cities   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Uh-Oh

‘League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen’ To Be Rebooted By Fox

Song of the Day

dead skunk ~ loudon wainwright III - YouTube:

Who were the Forty Elephants?

Who were the Forty Elephants?: This all-woman gang of thieves and blackmailers terrorized London for nearly 200 years.

Today's Vintage Ad


“Crime Research: Behind the Facade” (by Howard Halstead)

“Crime Research: Behind the Facade” (by Howard Halstead) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN

PaperBack



Perry Wolff, Attack (aka The Friend), Pocket Books, 1953

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

Man chokes his fiancĂ©e for liking IndyCar more than NASCAR   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

15 Unexplored Corners of the Earth

15 Unexplored Corners of the Earth

10 Unsolved Murders Linked To Organized Crime

10 Unsolved Murders Linked To Organized Crime

Classic Gunfights

Dust-Up in Delta: The McCarty Gang vs W. Ray Simpson