HALLOWEEN HORROR IN BRIGHTON!

Alissa event photo 2015

A special Halloween edition of ‘KINOVINO’ in Brighton, with gourmet food, fine wine, etc, and a screening of Nicolas Roeg’s 1973 masterpiece of horror, Don’t Look Now

Saturday 24th October
Cafe Noor
6pm

More info :

http://kinovino.org/events-calendar/

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HEADS UP, HALLOWEEN HORROR FREAKS!

drawing blood

This will be a fun, fantastic private view, at Proud Camden, London. It’s on Wednesday 28th of October, from 8.30pm to 1.30am, and celebrates the brilliant horror film poster artist, Graham Humphreys, with lots of free booze, along with the fabulous DJ, El Diabolik, who plays amazing, obscure, psychedelic film soundtracks, plus the 70’s punk rocker, Spizzenergi, etc – all for FREE!

MAKE SURE TO RSVP ASAP, VIA THE EMAIL ON THIS LINK, AS THIS WILL FILL UP QUICKLY

https://www.proudonline.co.uk/p/1035/graham-humphreys-horror-art

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LFF TOP 20
James DC’s list of the best genre and ‘cult’ films, still to be shown up to October 18th, in this year’s London Film Festival (in no particular order) :
1)  THE LOBSTER
Tuesday 13th, 6pm & 6.30pm @ Vue West End
Thursday 15th, 6.15pm @ Ritzy

All-star absurdist fantasy, set in a future dystopia, involving animal transformations and other witty weirdness, from director Yorgos Lanthimos, of Dogtooth and Alps fame.
2)  OLD CZECH LEGENDS
Saturday 17th, 3.45pm @ NFT2
Iconic, stunning masterpieces of stop-frame animation from Czech legend Jiří Trnka.
3)  THE SURVIVALIST
Wednesday 14th, 9pm @ Vue Islington
Atmospheric, authentic slow-burner about an Irish man trying to survive in the woods, after a future apocalypse.
4)  THE BRAND NEW TESTAMENT
Friday 16th, 9pm @ Cineworld Haymarket
Saturday 17th, 12.45pm @Cine Lumiere

From director Jaco Van Dormael, who made the wonderful Toto the Hero (1991), this stars Catherine Deneuve in a bizarre fantasy which satirises religion.

5)  GREEN ROOM
Wednesday 14th, 8.45pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
Thursday 15th, 8.45pm @ Picturehouse Central
Punky, violent, intense murder thriller, starring Patrick Stewart.
6)  VICTORIA
Friday 16th, 6.10pm @ Curzon Mayfair
Saturday 17th, 12.30pm @Curzon Soho

Ultra-stylish, visionary, suspenseful crime thriller from Germany.

7)  THE WITCH
Wednesday 14th, 12.30pm @ Vue West End
Unsettling horror drama, set during the infamous witch trials of 17th century America.
8)  HOMESICK
Tuesday 13th, 1.15pm @ NFT3
Friday 16th, 9.15pm @ Picturehouse Central

Claustrophobic urban chiller, reminiscent of Roman Polanski’s horror films.

9)  YAKUZA APOCALYPSE
Thursday 15th, 9pm @ Rich Mix
Sunday 18th, 8.45pm @ Picturehouse Central
Deranged genre hybrid, featuring vampire gangsters, from the cult Japanese director Takashi Miike.
10)  RATTLE THE CAGE
Saturday 17th, 12.30pm @ Vue West End
Sunday 18th, 3pm @ Cineworld Haymarket

Inventive and stylish thriller from the Middle East, set in the confines of a jail.

11)  BLACK MASS

Friday 16th, 9pm @ Vue Islington
Johnny Depp is almost unrecognisable as a ruthless Irish gangster who becomes an informant for the FBI, in this crime thriller from director Scott Cooper, of Crazy Heart (2009) fame.
12)  SCHNEIDER VS. BAX
Saturday 17th, 1.15pm @ NFT2
An absolutely barnstorming, surreal comedy thriller, suspenseful and hilarious in equal measure.

13)  DESIERTO

Wednesday 14th, 6pm & 6.30pm @ Vue West End
Thursday 15th, 2.45pm @ Odeon Leicester Square
Sunday 18th, 1pm @ Curzon Mayfair

Jonás Cuarón (son of the more famous Alfonso Cuarón, director of Gravity) creates a taut, edge-of-the-seat thriller, concerning immigration and racism, set in the borderlands of Mexico.

14)  ONE FLOOR BELOW
Wednesday 14th, 12.45pm @ NFT2

Gripping, low-key Romanian thriller, involving a possible murder.

15)  11 MINUTES

Wednesday 14th, 6.30pm @ Hackney Picturehouse
From legendary Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski comes a strange, fragmentary story involving multiple characters and stunning set-pieces.

16)  THE ASSASSIN

Tuesday 13th, 12pm @ Vue West End
Friday 16th, 6.15pm @ Cine Lumiere
Hao Hsiao Hsien’s martial arts spectacular, set in 9th century China, won the Best Director award at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

17)  FLAPPING IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE
Saturday 17th, 6.15pm @ Ritzy
Sunday 18th, 6.15pm @ Curzon Soho

Magical realism meets abstract horror in this odd, affecting drama revolving around teenage pregnancy.

18)  GOLD COAST
Tuesday 13th, 6.30pm @ Vue Islington
Thursday 15th, 12pm @ Vue West End

Redolent of Werner Herzog’s surreal epics of colonial adventure set in far-off lands, this is a dreamlike, historical drama.

19)  UNDER ELECTRIC CLOUDS
Wednesday 14th, 6pm @ Curzon Mayfair
Friday 16th, 6pm @ Curzon Soho
The latest from Aleksei German Jr. (co-director of the awesome Hard to be a God, shown at last year’s LFF), this blends reality and fantasy in a dark, curious story set in a Russia of the near future.

20)  VARIETY
Sunday 18th, 2pm @ NFT1

E.A. Dupont’s German Expressionist-inflected silent masterpiece tells the story of a circus acrobat whose life spirals out of control after an adulterous affair. Don’t miss this wonderful restoration.

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ESSENTIAL NEW SF DVD’S AND BOOKS!

out of the unknown dvd images

Below is a brief evaluation of some new, very cool stuff I have recently perused (which would make very good X-mas gifts, too). All of the following coincide with the fabulous Days of Fear and Wonder science fiction film and events season, currently happening at the BFI, London, and around the UK. Info: http://www.bfi.org.uk/sci-fi-days-fear-wonder

OUT OF THE UNKNOWN DVD box set

This is an absolutely awesome collection of rarely seen BBC TV plays, originally broadcast as an anthology series, between 1965 and 1971, and featuring some brilliant adaptations of classic SF stories by authors like J G Ballard, Ray Bradbury, John Wyndham, William Tenn, Frederick Pohl, CM Kornbluth, Clifford D Simak, John Brunner and Isaac Asimov, amongst others. It’s a beautifully packaged box set of 7 DVD’s, bringing together all 20 (digitally remastered) surviving episodes, as well as loads of extras, including a fascinating and insightful new documentary about the series, 11 audio commentaries, plus 4 episode reconstructions (which assemble the extant clips and photo stills of the particular episodes which were stupidly wiped from the video source tapes by the BBC, back in the 70’s, as they also did with many Doctor Who episodes).

I was really surprised at the (relatively) superb quality of these TV films. The acting is – in general – excellent and quite subtle, as would be expected from the likes of David Hemmings, George Cole and Milo O’ Shea (who played ‘Durand Durand’ in Barbarella!). Some of the more expository dialogue is kept within a realistic context (unlike other rambling, incredulous TV SF of the time), and some of the sets, props, special effects, make-up and costumes, in the more far-out, ‘psychedelic’ stories, are very weird and convey a suitably otherworldly ambiance.

In this sense these films were very radical for a mainstream viewing audience, at the time, and seeing as they tackled such weighty subjects as Artificial Intelligence, dystopian futures and alien life, amongst much else, they did a fantastic, very sophisticated job, on meagre TV budgets. Needless to say, Out of the Unknown was incredibly influential to later, classic science fiction TV and film.

Most of these films haven’t been seen in decades, and we are very lucky to have these surviving 20 episodes, out of a total of 49. Out of the Unknown can easily stand alongside some of the legendary, yet just as (relatively) obscure American SF TV series of the 1950’s and 60’s, like Science Fiction Theatre, Out There and The Outer Limits. At least two thirds of the episodes in this collection are indispensable classics of the SF genre and some are bizarre, hallucinatory masterpieces of TV film in their own right: two of the most amazing and inventive episodes essay similar themes – that of enforced life underground. ‘Level Seven’, is a bleak, but superb dystopian nightmare, based on the cult, extremely obscure SF novel of the same name by Mordecai Roshwald and dramatised for TV by JB Priestley, and the version of ‘The Machine Stops’, by E.M Forster, an early, turn of the 20th century SF classic, which examines themes of totalitarianism and the mechanisation of humanity. And that’s just two episodes!

All in all, if you are at all interested in the history of science fiction, or just 20th century pop-culture, in general, then this box set is essential (I will post up some detailed reviews of some of the episodes, later on).

Links:

http://shop.bfi.org.uk/pre-order-out-of-the-unknown.html#.VIHP32dBKKF

http://www.625.org.uk/ootu/ootu.htm

BFI FILM CLASSICS

As anyone who already knows the BFI Film Classics series well, will tell you, these books, which have been going since the early 1990’s, and amount to over 100 published titles, are some of the most incisive, intelligent, brilliantly written short monographs on the history of cinema. Each book focuses, in detail, on one particular exceptional film, divulging, analysing and interpreting its creation, history, themes and subtexts, within the context of the SF genre, and film cannon, in general, as well as much else. I cannot recommend this series highly enough, and especially the 9 new books on exemplary science fiction films, just published.

Nearly all of the films selected are bone fide ‘classics’, and all are worth reading about (even though I do think that films like Brazil are still somewhat over-rated). They are:

Silent Running (Mark Kermode)
Akira (Michelle Le Blanc and Colin Odell)
Alien (Roger Luckhurst)
Brazil (Paul McAuley)
Dr Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Peter Krämer)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Andrew M. Butler)
Quatermass and the Pit (Kim Newman)
Solaris (Mark Bould)
The War of the Worlds (Barry Forshaw)

I’ve read some of these recently, and what I liked especially about (most of) them is their very ‘personal’ mode of enquiry into each film. Nearly all of the authors are academics, but – thankfully – their evaluation of each film is not bogged down by ‘academese’, i.e. overly technical jargon and film theory pretentiousness. The pieces employ objective critical reasoning, mixed with the authors’ more subjective reactions – sometimes flavoured by reminiscences of childhood discovery of the given film, in their critical dissection. Many such experiences will mirror the reader’s own relationship with the film, and this makes for a very enjoyable, as well as enlightening argument, in defence of such great cinema.

The fact that a few of the chosen films have been unfairly undervalued, and hence somewhat neglected, in the past – like the Anime masterpiece, Akira, for instance – makes these celebrations of their merits additionally welcome. The other estimable thing about these finely focused investigations is that they reveal so many minute details, subtly hidden ideas and eternally re-interpretable symbolism, which would otherwise get lost in a more over-arching, convoluted thesis. Essentially they are digestible little nuggets of revelatory fact and theory, succinctly encapsulating the aesthetic and intellectual purity of said film, within a wider context of socio-culture.

Out of this new selection on SF films, I would especially recommend the brilliant books on Solaris (Tarkovsky’s 1972 iteration, of course), Akira, Dr. Strangelove…, Alien, Silent Running and Quatermass and the Pit (which is an excellent, short overview of all of Nigel Kneale’s incredible ‘Quatermass’ work, not just the1967 film, by the esteemed film critic Kim Newman). Many exemplary stills from the stated film illustrate, or parallel, the author’s points and they are ‘pocket-sized’ enough to carry around easily and dip into. As you gradually add each title to the others, they become a beautiful collection of vital studies of film masterpieces.

Link:

http://www.palgrave.com/page/bfi-science-fiction-film-classics/

DAYS OF FEAR AND WONDER BOOK

To support the BFI season of science fiction cinema, this beautifully produced and wide-ranging compendium elucidates many of the more complex themes, ideas and traits explored and evinced, throughout the history of SF films. This lavishly illustrated, large format, 160 page book comprises a plethora of captivating, highly entertaining articles written by all manner of experts and aficionado’s of SF film. The roster of star writers draws from the worlds of science fiction literature, journalism, science and academia and includes Ken Hollings, Kim Newman, John Clute, Graham Sleight, Simon Ings, Vic Pratt, Laura Adams, William Fowler, Byrony Dixon, Alastair Reynolds, Adam Roberts, Mathew Sweet, Stephen Baxter and Josephine Botting, amongst many others.

The features cover almost every aspect of science fiction cinema, and you couldn’t ask for a better, easy to assimilate general introduction to the subject, from early, silent SF cinema, to the most recent special effects in films (like Interstellar), from those old standbys of time travel, alien invasions and robots/cyborgs, to virtual realities and future tech, from genetic cloning and evolutionary mutations to outer and inner space, from British TV SF and space operas, to women in SF and cold war SF, from SF costumes and computers/artificial intelligences to Afrofuturism and catastrophe SF, this tome runs the gamut of SF cinema, in a concise, yet very eclectic, informative manner.

And, as it is an anthology of essays on a myriad of subjects and sub categories of SF, there are obviously many differing viewpoints, most of which I am sure you will agree with, and perhaps a few you may not. No matter, as all of the articles will get you thinking about the various philosophical questions, metaphorical strands and subtle undertones which run throughout the history of SF cinema, be they aesthetic, socio-political or multicultural.

I admired pretty much all of the articles, and was pleasantly surprised by some of them, in terms of learning new facts and seeing familiar old favourites from an original new angle (I was especially enamoured by the section relating the connections between extremely obscure, experimental Avant Garde cinema of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s and later SF blockbusters like 2001 and Star Wars, and the piece about low budget SF B-movies of the 50’s and their indie SF cinema brethren of the 70’s) . The articles are in-depth and challenging enough whilst staying the right side of easy going and pleasurable, which is perfect for the novice and aficionado of SF, alike. 8 out of 10 and highly recommended.

Link:

http://shop.bfi.org.uk/pre-order-sci-fi-days-of-fear-and-wonder.html#.VIHPkWdBKKF

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Pat Mills / Mike Lake interview on Judge Dredd / 2000AD and Forbidden Planet

Podcast of the Atomic Bark radio show first broadcast on Resonance FM on 5/12/12

James DC is joined by writer/creator Pat Mills and entrepreneur/comics expert Mike Lake to talk about the mythology of comic book character Judge Dredd, in relation to the recent movie, Dredd, and the legendary British comic book 2000AD (created by Mills) which gave birth to the iconic lawman of the future. We discuss the history, symbology and meanings behind Dredd and other classic characters which graced the pages of the wonderful 2000AD, from 1978 up to the present day, as well as the beginnings of the super franchise Forbidden Planet, co-initiated by Mike Lake.

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BRIAN ALDISS radio interview, part 3!

BRIAN ALDISS radio interview, part 3!

The final ATOMIC BARK! Radio Show is TONIGHT 27/3/13 at 9pm (GMT). An interview with cult SF author BRIAN ALDISS, part 3 (look out for a few one-off specials, until Atomic Bark! returns in the Autumn)

Amazing Adventures and Amusing Artefacts of Aldiss

Wednesday 27th March, 9-10pm (GMT) on Resonance 104.4 FM in London and streamed live, online, at http://www.resonancefm.com

James DC interviews the legendary Science Fiction author Brian Aldiss, in the third part of an extensive interview. Brian talks about his revelatory experiences in Burma in the Second World War, his ideas on consciousness, Artificial Intelligence and his belief in oblivion after death. Plus, how he writes a novel – focusing on some of his masterpieces like Report on Probability A – and various concepts and themes of science fiction, as well as much more.

Repeated Friday 29th March, 11am-12pm (GMT), with podcasts to follow soon after – look out for news soon on : http://www.facebook.com/groups/atomicbark

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March 27, 2013 · 4:59 pm

Brian Aldiss radio interview, part 2!

Brian Aldiss radio interview, part 2!

New ATOMIC BARK! Radio Show TONIGHT 20/3/13 at 9pm (GMT) Interview with cult SF author Brian Aldiss

Amazing Adventures and Amusing Artefacts of Aldiss

Wednesday 20th March, 9-10pm (GMT) on Resonance 104.4 FM in London and streamed live, online, at http://www.resonancefm.com

In part two of a comprehensive interview with the legendary Science Fiction author, James DC talks with Brian Aldiss about his troubled years at public school, his early writing career, the successes and pitfalls of the creative process, and the inspirations behind many of his classic science fiction novels, plus much else, focusing on all aspects of Brian’s life and writing career.

Repeated Friday 22nd March, 11am-12pm (GMT), with podcasts to follow soon after – look out for news soon on this blog or at http://www.facebook.com/groups/atomicbark

(part 3 will air on 27/3/13 at 9pm, GMT)

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March 20, 2013 · 4:47 pm

BRIAN ALDISS RADIO INTERVIEW!

BRIAN ALDISS RADIO INTERVIEW!

New ATOMIC BARK! Radio Show TONIGHT at 9pm (GMT).James DC interviews Brian Aldiss

Wednesday 13th March, 9-10pm (GMT) on Resonance 104.4 FM in London and streamed live, online, at http://www.resonancefm.com

James DC interviews the legendary Science Fiction author Brian Aldiss, in the first part of a 3-hour interview, over the next few weeks. Brian talks about his troubled childhood in Norfolk in the 1930’s, his ribald experiences in the Army in World War Two, ghostly apparitions and moments of revelation, religion, creativity, the various concepts and themes of science fiction, plus much more, in this first part of an extensive interview focusing on all aspects of Brian’s life and writing career.

9-10pm (GMT) Wednesday 13th March on 104.4 FM in London and live, to hear online simultaneously, at: http://www.resonancefm.com

Repeated Friday 15th March, 11am-12pm (GMT), with podcasts to follow soon after on this blog – look out for news on here or @ http://www.facebook.com/groups/atomicbark

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March 13, 2013 · 4:45 pm

Underground artist Mike Diana on Atomic Bark! TONIGHT :

Underground artist Mike Diana on Atomic Bark! TONIGHT :

New ATOMIC BARK! Radio Show TONIGHT @ 9pm, GMT (with Mike Diana etc) :

Diana’s Dastardly Doodlings and Demonic Derangements

James DC is joined by Underground Comix artist Mike Diana and Divus gallery co-curator Beth Fox to talk about Mike’s subversive and (sometimes) controversial work in independent comic books and painting, in relation to his recent exhibition at Divus gallery in London, and his wonderful new book ‘America’.

We will talk to Mike about his first foray’s into self-published comics in the late 1980’s, right through to his latest mammoth collection, America. We will debate his subversive, ironic and dark humour, in relation to the boundaries of what is considered ‘good taste’, as well as Mike’s trial and subsequent (outrageous) conviction for ‘obscene’ artwork in 1994. We will also talk with Beth about putting on a recent exhibition of Mike’s work at Divus, as well as discussing the wider implications of taboo-breaking Outsider art, and the mainstream media’s hypocritical reaction to such work, in general.

9-10pm (GMT) Wednesday 27th February on 104.4 FM in London and live, to hear online simultaneously, at: http://www.resonancefm.com

Repeated Friday 1st March, 11am-12pm (GMT), with podcasts to follow.

More info :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Diana

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February 27, 2013 · 8:28 am

50 Cult SF Books up for auction!

50 Cult SF Books up for auction!

Science fiction books auction for Resonance FM fundraiser

This is a list of the 50 cult Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror paperback books, available as a job-lot, for auction through eBay, as a fundraiser for the radio station Resonance FM, a registered charity, and also host of my radio show Atomic Bark! The minimum asking price is £100. They are all second-hand but nearly all of them are in ‘as-new’ condition. Each title has a cover image link below it.

The eBay link for this auction will be posted up on this blog by Thursday 21st Feb – check back here for more info then or just go to the http://www.resonancefm.com auction link on Thursday 21st :

http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/resonance1044fm/m.html?_nkw=&_armrs=1&_from=&_ipg=&_trksid=p3686

Alternatively you can email James DC at jimbolt232@yahoo.co.uk and pledge your price for the books.

Signed Brian Aldiss SF books auction link :

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/7-Books-Signed-by-author-Brian-Aldiss-/281067859480?

LIST OF 50 BOOKS PACKAGE

(remember, the minimum asking price for 50 very collectable amazing and good condition cult books, is just £100 – or more!)

JG BALLARD :

The Kindness of Women (Harper Collins, 1991) :

Crash (Vintage, 1995) :

WILL SELF :

The Book of Dave, (Penguin, 2007)

VICTOR MILAN :

The Cybernetic Samurai (New English Library, 1987)

ROBERT HOLDSTOCK :

Ancient Echoes (Voyager, 1996)

IAIN M BANKS :

Consider Phlebas (Orbit, 2008)

The Player of Games (Orbit, 1995)

RONALD WRIGHT : A Scientific Romance

ORSON SCOTT CARD :

Hart’s Hope (Orb, 1983)

Ender’s Game (Orbit, 2009)

ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON :

Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Weir of Hermiston (Oxford University Press, 1987)

CLIVE BARKER :

Everville (Harper Collins, 1995)

The Great and Secret Show (Harper Collins, 1993)

Cabal (Harper Collins, 1994)

PETER F HAMILTON :

The Nano Flower (Pan, 1995)

GENE WOLF :

The Fifth Head of Cerberus (Quartet, 1975)

The Book of the New Sun (Arrow, 1987) :

Vol 1 : The Shadow of the Torturer

Vol 2 : The Claw of the Conciliator

Vol 3 : The Sword of the Lictor

NEAL STEPHENSON :

The Diamond Age (Bantam Spectra, 1996)

Zodiac (Penguin, 1997)

WILLIAM GIBSON/BRUCE STERLING :

The Difference Engine (Gollancz, 2003)

BRUCE STERLING :

The Artificial Kid (Penguin, 1992)

KURT VONNEGUT :

Slapstick or Lonesome No More (Panther Granada, 1978)

CLIFFORD D. SIMAK :

Out of Their Minds (Methuen, 1987)

FRANK HERBERT :

Children of Dune (New English Library, 1978)

PHILIP JOSE FARMER :

The Magic Labyrinth (Berkley, 1981)

ROGER ZELAZNY :

Sign of the Unicorn (Avon, 1976)

Nine Princes in Amber (Avon, 1972)

LARRY NIVEN :

Ringworld (Ballantine, 1976)

Ringworld Engineers (Ballantine, 1984)

LARRY NIVEN/JERRY POURNELLE :

The Mote in God’s Eye (Pocket Books, 1975)

Oath of Fealty (Futura, 1986)

WILLIAM MORRIS :

The Well at the World’s End, Vol 1 (Ballantine, 1970)

The Well at the World’s End, Vol 2 (Ballantine, 1972)

STEPHEN DONALDSON :

The Illearth War (Fontana, 1982)

The Wounded Land (Fontana, 1980)

White Gold Wielder (Fontana, 1990)

BRAM STOKER :

Dracula (Penguin, 1979)

ANNE McCAFFREY :

Dragonflight (Corgi, 1982)

KATE WILHELM :

Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang (Arrow, 1977)

ARTHUR C. CLARKE :

2001, A Space Odyssey (Arrow, 1976)

A.E. VAN VOGT & E. MAYNE HULL :

The Winged Man (Sphere, 1970)

ISAAC ASIMOV :

Foundation (Voyager, 1995)

http://prism.talis.com/leicestershire/items/593591/image-medium

OCTAVIA E. BUTLER :

Mind of my Mind (Warner, 1994)

ROBERT SILVERBERG :

Hot Sky at Midnight (Harper Collins, 1994)

BOB SHAW :

The Ragged Astronauts (Orbit, 1991)

The Palace of Eternity (Pan, 1972)

Terminal Velocity (VGSF, 1992)

ALDOUS HUXLEY :

Brave New World (Grafton, 1987)

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February 20, 2013 · 7:47 pm