With Blair Murphy on a ‘secret mission’ (of a literary nature, possibly leading to something big–and yes, that is all that Our Glorious Leader would tell any of us), I was in charge of the weekly coffeehouse at the Grand Midway Hotel. I was ably assisted by Synthia (in a black promotional t-shirt dating back […]Read more "COFFEEHOUSE NIGHTS: 14 September 2019"
This week’s coffeehouse coincided with the official opening of Windber’s annual Miner’s Memorial Days, which honors local history and always climaxes on Father’s Day (which is this Sunday). I approached the evening in a very good mood. Having one of my short stories being published (in a hardcover anthology of SF/F for kids) and a […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: 13 June 2019"
The second weekly coffeehouse of the season at Windber’s Grand Midway Hotel was in many ways a disappointment. Attendance was well off from the previous week’s promising beginning, despite the presence of a handful of stalwart regulars. Yet there were some positive aspects worthy of mention. In honor of this week’s 50th anniversary of the […]Read more "Windber Coffeehouse Nights: June 6, 2019"
Films where a number of shorter works (usually with a thematic connection) are bound together in an anthology format are pretty rare. As the title suggests, here the basic thread involves futuristic science fiction with a distinctly horrific sensibility. Features of this sort are almost guaranteed to be uneven in quality and impact. That’s certainly […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Galaxy of Horrors (2017)"
Deadpool (Theatrical Super Hero Movie, 2016). Some Super Heroes and their movies take themselves entirely too seriously. That’s certainly not the case with Deadpool, the movie franchise or the character. Ryan Reynolds shines here (and in the more recent, equally uproarious sequel) as the smart-mouthed center of attention. The film’s joyously snarky animated opening credits leave […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Deadpool (2016, 108 Minutes)"
Arrival (Theatrical Science Fiction Movie, 2016). This film, based on a story by Ted Chang, one of the very best of the younger generation of SF authors, earned a fistful of Academy Award nominations. It won in one technical category (sound) and could’ve easily earned more. If it wasn’t that year’s actual Best Picture, it was […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Arrival"
Already 14 years since this came out? Wow. Anyway, even if you never saw this one you probably know about the real-life behind-the-scenes drama of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt beginning their relationship as an on-set affair. But let’s not focus on that, okay? Here and now, the movie is the thing. And what an odd, somewhat […]Read more "FILM REVIEW: Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)"
Anybody up for a low-budget zombie flick that’s funny, weird, has original music and which blends horror with sharp social commentary? How about the fact that it’s got Eric Roberts, Butch Patrick and comic book legend Stan Lee in it? Okay, it’s also got me in it as a particularly obnoxious zombie–but don’t let that […]Read more "ZOMBIE DREAMIN’"