Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society

09/17/21 -- Vol. 40, No. 12, Whole Number 2189

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FOR YOUR EYES ONLY) (comments by Mark R. Leeper)

THE SAVIOR GENERALS by Victor Davis Hanson (book review

by Gregory Frederick)

THE FALL OF ROME (letters of comment by Fred Lerner,

Paul Dormer, Keith F. Lynch, and Gary McGath)


(book and television comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)



YOUR EYES ONLY) (comments by Mark R. Leeper)

I hardly know what to tell you about THE SPY WHO LOVED ME, the next

song in Bond song order.  It is apparently from the point of view

of a spy at the end of his career and likely the end of his life.

Once his lover has advertised that she in turn has a lover who is a

spy, any hopes for discretion are dashed.  In the "Diamonds" film

she apparently knows who James Bond is and expects other people to

know, the spy is dead.  With no explanation she says over the

phone, "You just killed JAMES BOND!"  It is too easy to--with

little effort--to put a bullet in Bond's head.

Nobody does it better

Makes me feel sad for the rest.

Nobody does it half as good as you

Baby, you're the best.

{When she says nobody does it better or half as good, what

kind of metric is she using?  Who researched it?  Was it fun?

Maybe they held some kind of Sex Olympics?}

I wasn't lookin' but somehow you found me

I tried to hide from your love light

{What is he?  A firefly?}

But like heaven above me

The spy who loved me

Is keepin' all my secrets safe tonight.

{A word to the wise:  they may not be all that safe.  My

suggestion would be not to invest so widely in a


And nobody does it better

Though sometimes I wish someone could

Nobody does it quite the way you do

Why'd you have to be so good?

The way that you hold me

Whenever you hold me

There's some kind of magic inside you

That keeps me from runnin'

But just keep it comin'

How'd you learn to do the things you do?

{Learn?  Are there courses in this stuff?  Is that legal?}

Oh, and nobody does it better

Makes me feel sad for the rest

Nobody does it half as good as you

Baby, baby, darlin', you're the best

{"baby,baby, darlin?"}

Baby you're the best

Darlin', you're the best

Baby you're the best

Oh, oh, oh...


Next comes MOONRAKER, one of the worst Bond films in living memory.

Bond gets himself shot into outer space and defends Britain with

laser blasters.  He is an astronaut and a spy at the same time.  I

wonder how many CIA agents have had missions that took them into

space.  I bet it hasn't been many.

Where are you? Why do you hide?

{I have a feeling we are going to find out.}

Where is that moonlight trail that leads to your side?

{Did he leave a trail of breadcrumbs?}

Just like the moonraker goes in search of his dream of gold,

{The only definition for "moonraker" in the dictionary is a

small triangular sail that flies at the top of the tallest

mast on a sailing ship.}

I search for love, for someone to have and hold.

{She doesn't want a lover.  She wants a puppy.   (I don't

blame her actually.)}

I've seen your smile in a thousand dreams,

Felt your touch and it always seems

You love me,

You love me.

{She is entirely lacking an imagination apparently.

She has seen her lover so many times and still doesn't know

what he looks like?}

Where are you? When will we meet?

Take my unfinished life and make it complete.

Just like the Moonraker knows his dream will come true someday,

I know that you are only a kiss away.

I've seen your smile in a thousand dreams,

Felt your touch and it always seems

You love me,

You love me.

{It seems to me she has invested a lot of time in a very

dodgy proposition.}

And then comes FOR YOUR EYES ONLY.

For your eyes only, can see me through the night

{Has she tried a good flashlight?}

For your eyes only, I never need to hide

{It is saying she does not have to hide for her lover's


You can see so much in me, so much in me that's new

I never felt until I looked at you

{I guess they must be playing some kind of silly Hide and

Seek game.}

For your eyes only, only for you

You'll see what no one else can see, and now I'm breaking free

For your eyes only, only for you

The love I know you need in me, the fantasy you've freed in me

Only for you, only for you

For your eyes only, the nights are never cold

{If it gets a bit chilly just throw a couple of eyeballs on

the fire.}

You really know me, that's all I need to know

Maybe I'm an open book because I know you're mine

But you won't need to read between the lines

For your eyes only, only for you

You see what no one else can see, and now I'm breaking free

For your eyes only, only for you

The passions that collide in me, the wild abandoned side of me

Only for you, for your eyes only





(book review by Gregory Frederick)

This is my second book from Victor Hanson.  The author selected

five generals to discuss in detail for this history book.  He chose

as subjects three Americans and two ancient generals.  Many

American readers maybe familiar with David H. Petraeus and William

T. Sherman and some may have heard of Matthew B. Ridgway.

Themistocles of Athens and Belisarius of the Byzantine Empire are

not names known by many today, but they make for excellent

additions to this group of military leaders who saved the day for

their state.

Petraeus's move to push for a surge in US forces in Iraq in 2007

helped to quell the increasing violence and allowed the US to

greatly reduce their military presence in Iraq.  Sherman's actions

in capturing Atlanta helped to reshape the results of the Civil War

and aided Lincoln in his re-election bid for a second term which he

got.  Ridgeway turned the impending defeat from the huge Communist

Chinese army that entered the Korean War into a route of the

Chinese and then forced a stalemate at the 38th parallel.  The

Chinese entered the Korean War due to General MacArthur's ill

advised drive into the far northern areas of North Korea which was

too close to the Chinese border.  Themistocles from ancient Athens

defeated the Persians in the naval battle at Salamis causing the

eventual triumph of the Greeks over the Persians.  Belisarius was

Emperor Justinian's most successful general in expanding the empire

in an effort to regain the lost territories of the fallen Western

Roman Empire.  The Byzantine Empire was actually the Eastern Roman

Empire.  Belisarius's army was typically undermanned and not

supported enough financially but he still won many battles.  Victor

Hanson is a great author of military history and his books are

filled with fascinating facts and details.  [gf]


TOPIC: THE FALL OF ROME (letters of comment by Fred Lerner, Paul

Dormer, Keith F. Lynch, and Gary McGath)

In response to comments on R. A. Lafferty's THE FALL OF ROME in the

09/10/21 issue of the MT VOID, Fred Lerner sent a PDF of his

(Fred's) article in the 25 February 1972 issue of the Science

Fiction Research Association Newsletter (Vol. 2, No. 2).  The

article, entitled "The Curious Case of THE FALL OF ROME", reports

that Lafferty himself repeatedly claimed it was a novel (and

includes a letter from Lafferty that says he is surprised that

people don't recognize that it is a novel).  However, Fred notes,"

neither the galleys ... nor the published book itself lay claim to

be other than straight fiction.  So it has been reviewed, and so

the librarians have classified it.  My own reading of the volume

leaves me no grounds for disagreement with this decision, except

that I have a bias toward accepting an author's own classification

of his work."  Fred ultimately calls it a "quasi-novel".  [-ecl/fl]

Paul Dormer responds to the line between history and fiction with:

Co-incidentally, I've just been reading a biography of the last

Shogun of Japan.  You could have a similar discussion about that.

In the introduction, it is suggested it is a similar work to Shelby

Foote's Civil War history.  [-pd]

Keith F. Lynch adds:

I'm reminded of Alex Haley's best-selling _Roots_, and the

miniseries based on it.  At the time I'm pretty sure it was

described and marketed at non-fiction, but today it's universally

described as fiction.  [-kfl]

Gary McGath notes:

Haley was sued for plagiarizing from a novel called THE AFRICAN. He

admitted that "various materials from THE AFRICAN by Harold

Courtlander found their way into his book ROOTS."  The matter was

settled for an undisclosed sum rumored to be in the 6-digit range.

You need to watch those manuscripts of yours carefully, or things

you didn't write might "find their way" in while you're sleeping.



TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book and television comments by Evelyn

C. Leeper)

In conjunction with the book RICHARD MATHESON ON THE SCREEN by

Matthew R. Bradley, we have been watching all of Richard Matheson's

film and television works, and I just finished the mini-series, THE


This starts with "based on the novel" but THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES is

not a novel.  (Or maybe it is in the sense that we talk about a

"fix-up novel"--after all, we talk about the "Foundation Trilogy"

as three novels, but none of the books is a novel.)

Presumably we would have scouted the area before choosing a landing

spot, and seen the city.

The second mission suggests the first mission built the town, but

doesn't ask why there is grass, or trees, any other macro Earth

life that wasn't noticed in survey missions.

The second mission recognizes that the air is too thin, which sort

of makes sense--you could be hypnotized to think you are seeing or

hearing things, but you couldn't be hypnotized to survive in a

vacuum (for example).  But the thin air barely affects them--this

is definitely "Old Mars" in the sense of having the environment

science fiction gave it pre-1976: air a little thin, but breathable

(maybe with some supplemental oxygen), temperature maybe a little

chilly but nothing that people couldn't survive, and of course,

Martians.  This is clear from the very beginning of the movie: the

view of Mars they show has clouds in the Martian sky.

Based on the interiors shown in "The Settlers", weight did not seem

to be a consideration for what they could bring from Earth--not

just knick-knacks and decorative objects, but large pieces of

furniture were apparently transported.  This is doubly strange, as

we never see a ship large enough to have carried enough for even

one house, let alone an entire settlement.

I know Bradbury wrote "The Fire Balloons" before it, but I was

getting a whole "Canticle for Leibowitz" vibe from its version in

"The Settlers".  It's probably the monks in the desolate desert

setting and everything.

The phone book seems awfully thick for the level of colonization on

Mars, even if it is for the entire planet.

I realize asking about scientific realism in a Bradbury story is

foolish, but in the last segment, what does the Rock Hudson think

he and his family are going to eat?  (He seems to be planning not

to return when he tells his family to take only what they can't do

without.  Only after his kids and wife object does he agree to go

back until they're ready.)

Is burning the books at the end of the series supposed to be

reminiscent of FAHRENHEIT 451?  He says, "Burning what's behind us,

burning a way of life."  True, but is he burning civilization in

exchange for primitivism?

The mini-series was in three parts; the primary stories adapted


"The Expeditions":

- "Ylla"

- "The Third Expedition"/"Mars Is Heaven"

"The Settlers":

- "The Locusts"

- "The Fire Balloons"

- "The Off Season"

"The Martians":

- "The Silent Towns"

- "The Long Years"

- "Night Meeting"

- "The Million-Year Picnic"

(However, some elements of other stories were also included.)



                     Mark Leeper

* *

          Some of my best leading men have been dogs and horses.

                                          --Elizabeth Taylor