Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society

08/28/20 -- Vol. 39, No. 9, Whole Number 2134

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Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper, * *

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Every Possible Kind of Science Fiction Story

Science Fiction (and Other) Discussion Groups, Films,

Lectures, etc. (NJ)

My Picks for Turner Classic Movies in September (comments

by Mark R. Leeper)

Absentee Voting (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

Classics Illustrated Comics (and THE LIGHT BRIGADE)

(letters of comment by Kip Williams, R. Looney, Kevin R,

and Keith F. Lynch)

Loos (letters of comment by Paul Dormer and Gary R. Schmidt)

This Week's Reading (LOST HORIZON) (book comments

by Evelyn C. Leeper)


TOPIC: Every Possible Kind of Science Fiction Story

Open Culture reprints "Every Possible Kind of Science Fiction

Story: An Exhaustive List Created Pioneering 1920s SciFi Writer

Clare Winger Harris (1931)".



This is a very short list.  Far more extensive is Alistair

Cameron's "Fantasy Classification System" (which includes science

fiction), published in 1952; it ran to 52 pages.  [-ecl]


TOPIC: Science Fiction (and Other) Discussion Groups, Films,

Lectures, etc. (NJ)

Needless to say, everything here is tentative.

All Middletown meetings cancelled/postponed until further notice

September 24, 2020: THE DARK FOREST, Cixin Liu, Old Bridge Public

Library or someone's backyard, 7PM (or possibly earlier)

November 19, 2020: Rudyard Kipling:

    "A Matter of Fact" (1892)


    "The Ship That Found Herself" (1895)


    ".007" (1897)


    "Wireless" (1902)


    "With the Night Mail [Aerial Board of Control 1]" (1905)


    "As Easy as A.B.C. [Aerial Board of Control 2]" (1912)


    "In the Same Boat" (1911)


Old Bridge Public Library, 7PM


TOPIC: My Picks for Turner Classic Movies in September (comments

by Mark R. Leeper)

This month TCM will be running stories by popular storytellers.  We

have one from Robert Louis Stevenson by way of film producer Val

Lewton, and another by John Steinbeck.

John Steinbeck's EAST OF EDEN is a long novel.  But Elia Kazan's

film version is only a small piece of the story and is adapted from

Steinbeck's novel.  This piece updates the story of Cain and Abel.

It is perhaps the best remembered slice of the novel and it is

remembered mostly for the film version, which introduced the actor

James Dean.  The story is a moving experience because that small

part *was* adapted into a film starring James Dean.  This was

Dean's first film and he was playing a man in an unbalanced rivalry

with his brother for the affection of his father.  The book was a

great best seller in the early 1950s.  Dean's performance is


[EAST OF EDEN, Saturday, September 5 @ 04:15 PM]

THE BODY SNATCHER is a sort of horror story itself based on a story

which was in turn based on a tale by Robert Louis Stevenson.  Body

snatching--still a crime today (not surprisingly)--is the (very

old) crime of digging up the graves and/or corpses of the recently

dead and buried.  The crime is romanticized as occurring in

Edinburgh in the late 1700s with the crimes committed by the

(actual) notorious criminals Burke and Hare who stole corpses to

resell to the local medical school and its professor Knox.  The

film THE BODY SNATCHER starred Boris Karloff as the criminal of the

title and Henry Daniell, sadly under-used as one of the great

screen villains  The RKO studio even forced on producer Lewton a

minor role for Bela Lugosi, though really only for marquee value.

[THE BODY SNATCHER, Thursday, September 10 @ 08:30 AM]

Val Lewton is best known for the horror film and THE GHOST SHIP,

the latter considered horror mostly for symmetry.  MADEMOISELLE

FIFI is a slightly cynical drama.  It is my choice for best film of

the month.

[MADEMOISELLE FIFI, Thursday, September 10 AT 06:00 AM]

Mark's Picks is a monthly feature of the MT VOID and independent of

the Turner Corporation.  In fact they probably don't even know I

exist.  Just as well I guess. All times are given valid in the

Eastern Time Zone and will probably continue to be as long as the

Covid-19 keeps me locked down.  [-mrl]


TOPIC: Absentee Voting (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

For our US readers, here's how to make sure your vote counts in

November if you want to vote by absentee ballot (with details for

New Jersey):

- Figure out what's going on in your state in terms of how and when

to get and cast an absentee ballot.  You have to go check your

local secretary of state or board of elections website.  Google

will be valuable here.

- Get an absentee ballot.  Some states send them automatically to

every voter, others require an application.  Some states require an

excuse; others do not.  You may be able to do this on line, or you

may have to mail an application in.  DO THIS EARLY.  Most states

require the request to be filed by mid-to-late October.  (New

Jersey's is/was October 27, although it has been announced that all

registered voters will get an absentee ballot.)

- If possible, track your ballot.  Most states give your ballot a

code.  After you've requested it, you can go to the Secretary of

State's website and see where you are in the process.  (In New

Jersey, you must set up at account first at


- DON'T WAIT.  Ballots mailed late may not be delivered in time to

be counted under state law.  Each state varies on when its deadline

is.  (New Jersey requires a postmark by November 3, the day of the

election, and November 5 for receipt of the ballots by the state.)

Mail your ballot as early as possible!

- If possible, drop your ballot off at an official drop-off point

rather than mailing it.  New Jersey's drop-off boxes, for example,

are listed on


results/2020/2020-drop-box-locations.pdf.  This allows you to

avoid standing in line, etc., at polling places(*) while still

avoiding mail delays.

(*) The number of polling places may be reduced this year for a

number of reasons, including a shortage of poll workers.  Poll

workers have traditionally been older people, who are much more

likely to avoid taking a voluntary job that involves interacting

with a lot of people.



TOPIC: Classics Illustrated Comics (and THE LIGHT BRIGADE) (letters

of comment by Kip Williams, R. Looney, Kevin R, and Keith F. Lynch)

In response to Evelyn's comments on Classics Illustrated Comics in

the 08/14/20 issue of the MT VOID, Kip Williams writes:

Here's ROBUR, who's been most everywhere...



Archive has a whole pile of Classics Illustrated.  The RAR or CBZ

versions require a dedicated app to read, but are much better

quality than the PDF ones.  Don Perlin drew this one, which came

right before MASTER OF THE WORLD, drawn by Gray Morrow (and it

suffers in comparison to Morrow's work).  Alfred Sundel adapted the

script in both cases.

And I'll say again that the CI version of Hugo's NOTRE-DAME DE

PARIS is the best version anywhere, apart from the original.  With

stunning art by Reed Crandall and George Evans, it made me want to

read the novel, which I've now done several times.  It is effective

because it actually follows the book instead of trying to second-

guess the author, which also seems to me to be giving some credit

to the audience for brains.  [-kw]

And R. Looney writes:

I'm not old enough to call them Classic Comics, although we go way

back. I think their "War of the Worlds" was one of my very first

exposures to Science Fiction. But my local source never had a very

complete collection; not sure how that tale slipped through--but I

also found "Robur the Conqueror" there.  Still have a copy--but if

you want to see it (and like me, catch up on those you missed) let

my refer you to the Internet Archive, which has them all at


Thanks for your MT Void!  That was a good tip, pointing me at THE

LIGHT BRIGADE by Kameron Hurley.  [-rl]

Kevin R writes:

Indeed, there was no "Invisible Man" published in the "Classic

Comics" series from Gilbertson:


In the "Classics Illustrated" run, IM doesn't appear until 1959.


My conjecture is that pre-1978 copyright law allowed Gilbertson to

treat the novel as being in the public domain in the US, but I

don't have the particulars.

It was released in a British edition, and, IMS, the UK copyright

would still have been in force.

I wonder if a licensing fee was paid?



Keith F. Lynch replies:

Maybe that's just how long it took for the invisibility potion to

wear off.  :-) [-kfl]


TOPIC: Loos (letters of comment by Paul Dormer and Gary R. Schmidt)

In response to Steve Milton's comment in the 08/21/20 issue of

the MT VOID that "loo" comes from the French "l'eau", Paul Dormer


Possibly.  Supposedly from the cry of gardyloo, a corruption of the

French "gare de l'eau", which grammatically would by "gare l'eau",

meaning beware of the water, which was cried when throwing the

contents of a chamber pot from an upper story window.

But Chambers dictionary suggest also possibly lieu, meaning place.

Which reminds me that at my place of employment, it was sometimes

required for people to work extra hours and instead of paying

overtime, you were allowed to take extra holiday.  This was known

as TOIL--Time Off In Lieu (of wages).

Which led to jokes of the form, "I was late this morning because I

had a bad curry last night and I took some time off in loo."

Gary R. Schmidt replies:

"Garde," from "garde a l'eau," surely.  C'n'est pas a railway

station!!!  (The thing that's not rendering for some is an 'a' with

an accent grave on it.)  [-grs]


Paul responds:

I was going by the entry in Chambers Dictionary:

ORIGIN: Recorded in this form by Smollett; supposed to be would-be

Fr gare de l'eau for gare l'eau beware of the water; Sterne records

garde d'eau in Paris (Sentimental Journey)

Amusingly, Google translate gives "Gare l'eau" as "Park the water"

and "garde l'eau" as "Keep water".  "Garde a l'eau" comes out as

"Water resistance".  [-pd]


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

LOST HORIZON by James Hilton (Pocket, ISBN 978-0-671-66427-5) is

showing its age.  Not only does it fail the Bechdel Test(*), but

one finds such exchanges as:

    "... it would not be considered good manners to take a

     woman another man wanted."

    "Supposing somebody wanted her so badly that he didn't

    care a damn whether it was good manners or not?"

    "Then, my dear sir, it would be good manners on the

    part of the other man to let him have her, and also

    on the part of the woman to be equally agreeable."

Yes, Hilton does give the woman some say in the matter, but

apparently only as an afterthought.

In Shangri-La, this paradise on earth, racism still exists.  Te

High Lama says, "Our best subjects, undoubtedly, are the Nordic and

Latin races of Europe; perhaps the Americans would be equally


The High Lama also says, "... for the benefit of our younger

colleagues ... the women of the valley have happily applied the

principle of moderation to their own chastity."  Again, women seem

to be there only to serve the men, rather than to be human beings

in their own right.

The copy editor seems to have slipped up at least once.  First

someone says, "The porters are due in a fortnight's time..." but

later the text says "[u]ntil the two months were past, nothing much

could happen."

One passage that reminded me of a famous science fiction series

comes when the High Lama says, "But the Dark Ages that are to come

will cover the whole world in a single pall, there will be neither

escape nor sanctuary, save such as are too secret to be found or to

humble to be noticed."

Compare that to, "The dark ages to come will endure not twelve, but

thirty thousand years.  ... I do not say now that we can prevent

the fall.  But it is not yet too late to shorten the interregnum

which will follow."  [FOUNDATION, by Isaac Asimov, in case you

don't recognize it.]  And the same method is given for saving

humanity in both cases: "By saving the knowledge of the human

race."  (In Shangri-La this extended to the arts and philosophy as


(*) It's amazing how many books, even newer books by authors who

seem to be totally egalitarian in their outlook, fail the Bechdel

Test.  Kim Stanley Robinson is hardly a reactionary, and GREEN

EARTH is the 2015 thousand-plus-page revision of the 2004 et al

"Science in the Capital" trilogy, but the only conversation between

two women with names that is not about men is part of a committee

meeting and so is not a true conversation.  [-ecl]


                     Mark Leeper

* *

          I want to have children, but my friends scare me.

          One of my friends told me she was in labor for 36 hours.

          I don't even want to do anything that feels good for

          36 hours.

                                          --Rita Rudner