As a sort of a follow-up to Greg Hatcher’s bookscouting column last February, here’s a little more about a wonderful antique store in Salem that he missed on his visit.
One of the most incisive and compelling observers of the human condition, Harlan Ellison passed away in his sleep last week at age 84. Everyone who ever met him has a Harlan story, to the point that being in his presence was usually referred to as “witnessing the ‘Harlan Live’ show,” and we here at the Junk Shop are no exceptions. Here are a few.
At the Mount San Antonio College Writer’s Day in Walnut, California in 1974, Harlan Ellison read aloud his new story “Knox” to a packed auditorium. He saw today coming. He’d been late, as always; to entertain us while we waited, the literature department chairman had, with great relish, himself begun reading Harlan’s earlier story, “Repent, Harlequin! Said the Ticktockman.”Before the chairman finished, word came that our guests had arrived: Harlan, and Ray Bradbury — who never learned to drive, even after half a lifetime writing about Tomorrow; Harlan chauffeured Ray from Cheviot Hills, so both were late. They were put onstage together as chastisement. Harlan went first. And hit all of us right between the eyes.
Back in World War II, when it was being attacked by the Nazi war machine, the Soviet Union had quite a few women serving in its armed forces. The Soviet airwomen in particular distinguished themselves in combat roles, and there’s a very good book and a more recent comic book series that examine this aspect of wartime history.
The Unsung examines works of popular culture that are critically acclaimed but not popular, popular but not critically acclaimed, or neither. Today I’m writing about Christopher Hinz’s magnum opus, the Paratwa trilogy!
The whole phenomenon of the ‘kid detective’ / ‘mystery-solving kid gang’ thing seems to be making a bit of a resurgence in the modern pop-cultural zeitgeist of late. I have a vague feeling that Alex Hirsch’s wonderful ‘Gravity Falls’ may have something to do with it, not to mention the Duffer Brothers’ ‘Stranger Things’… but just in the last couple of weeks, it’s been popping up on my radar with an odd regularity and from a number of different sources. Which brings me to Edgar Cantero’s ‘Meddling Kids’.
Byron Preiss was a writer, compiler, editor and publisher of science fiction, fantasy, horror, and graphic novels. As a fan of those genres, as well as comics and pulp fiction, among other things, he tried to innovate ways to present and publish similar materials for a wider reading public – something he did throughout his life.