Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Richard Matheson Tribute at Somewhere in Time INSITE ezine

From Somewhere in Time Website: Richard Matheson Passes Away at Age 87

Somewhere in Time Family Joins Matheson Family in Mourning the Loss of this Marvelous Man

We have lost our beloved Creator of Somewhere in Time (both novel and screenplay), Richard Matheson. He has been battling health issues for several years. He died at home, surrounded by the people and things he loved, at 87.

Richard was not only a highly respected, gifted writer, but a kind, loving, wise, funny, thoughtful, mellow and unassuming man. And by all constant reports for decades, he was also an exceptional father. In fact, rarely have adult children expressed such overt love and affection toward their father as the Matheson children always have…and this is perhaps the most wondrous tribute to him of all. Richard Matheson joined us for two Somewhere in Time Weekends at Grand Hotel and both Los Angeles Somewhere in Time events, for 15th and 20th Anniversaries. (SIT Event DVD #4)


There are many tributes flowing about this legendary writer of science-fiction, horror and of course, the love story we all hold dear…most of the stories about his passing did not include mention of Somewhere in Time, but these two do:

Somewhere in Time Musical producer Ken Davenport wrote this moving remembrance:

I include here a marvelous tribute written by Steve Vertlieb, who was one of the only 'critics' to write a Positive review of Somewhere in Time, back in 1980:

"Richard Matheson was one of a small handful of science fiction/fantasy writers whose profound, subtle prose elevated the genre to sublime eloquence. He was one of my very favorite writers from childhood until the present. Along with Lovecraft, Bloch, Bradbury, Clarke and, more recently, James Herbert, these writers influenced my life more significantly than I will ever be able to adequately impart. He was a poet who was blessed with the gift of imagination. I had the honor of meeting him once very briefly in Crystal City, Virginia, at Forry Ackerman's 1993 Famous Monsters convention. We both shared a long friendship with Robert Bloch. One of my proudest possessions is a photograph taken of the three of us at that wonderful convention. His sensitivity and grace dwelt in the ethereal, as evidenced by the haunting vocal soliloquy voiced by Robert Scott Carey during the unforgettable final moments of "The Incredible Shrinking Man..."

"I looked up, as if somehow I would grasp the heavens. The universe, worlds beyond number, God's silver tapestry spread across the night. And in that moment I knew the answer to the riddle of the infinite. That existence begins and ends is man's conception, not nature's. And I felt my body dwindling, melting, becoming nothing. My fears melted away, and in their place came acceptance. All this vast majesty of creation, it had to mean something. And, then, I meant something too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist."

In your vast majesty of creation, Mr. Matheson, you still exist. Your words shall continue to breathe life into this often drab, mortal plane of creative thought and energy for as long as meaning and beauty endure. To God, there is no zero. You shall ever continue to our hearts, and in our thoughts. Rest well, for true existence has only just begun...Somewhere In Time. --Steve Vertlieb"

And this other one, beautifully expressed:

"Sometime last year while channel surfing I flipped to a repeat of FAMILY GUY just in time to see the credit flash onscreen 'based on a story by Richard Matheson'. I think I scared the neighbors with my joyful shout of disbelief. Even FAMILY GUY knows! This one hurts, really hurts. 1950s, '60s, '70s, '80s, all through what I guess you could call the Best Times for Monster Kids, Matheson was there. You saw his name, you knew. You smiled. Maybe your heart even beat a little faster. And you watched. I loved his short stories and novels, but his name on a movie, or a TV episode, that was really something. Once you realized his name kept showing up on your favorite movies, TV episodes, you wanted to shout that name to the heavens-- you wanted to let your friends know that he was the guy who wrote that TWILIGHT ZONE or STAR TREK or DUEL, or... For Richard Matheson you wanted to be an apostle." Many more are here (where those above, appeared):

…in going to the above link, you will be very moved to see how profoundly Matheson's works touched people, for decades. His works thrilled, chilled and made audiences think.

What I think is totally beautiful is that Richard is probably the ONLY writer ever to bridge, with the gamut of his writing, the worlds of science fiction, horror and love/romance/fantasy (--and now a stage Musical--) in such a way as to inspire Passion for his works. Though many of his novels, short stories, TV programs and movies are beloved by fans everywhere, Somewhere in Time is the only one that has inspired a Fan Society, and annual events to honor and celebrate it.

Our sympathies and condolences are sent to his wife Ruth, and the entire Matheson family.

It is very sad that Richard did not get to see the Somewhere in Time Musical, in its World Premiere in Portland. But it hopefully will become yet another revival of his creations, that will live on into the distant future.

Farewell, Dear Richard…we will miss you, but continue to cherish and laud your works.

Friends -- You are invited to send me posts of your feelings on Matheson's passing:

for possible inclusion in the INSITE fan society publication. 1st Quarter 2013 INSITE issue will include a tribute article to him. This information is now on the News section of the Somewhere in Time Web Site.

Yours in time,
Jo Addie
INSITE President/Editor

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What's with the Transporter Effect,anyway?

One thing I forgot to say in my review of Star Trek Into Darkness yesterday is that the transporter effect sucked. It looked ridiculous.

Bring back the transporter effect from Star Trek TOS which at least made visual sense.

And back to Star Trek Into Darkness, where Dr. Marcus is being beamed off the Enterprise...once she started being beamed up she shouldn't have been able to move!

Original Star Trek. The "beam up" occurs within their bodies
The new version. What in the world?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Star Trek Into Darkness - a review with spoilers

Star Trek: The Original Series is one of my favorite TV series...and the only one of the franchise that I cared for. (I had wanted to like Star Trek: TNG, but in the second episode, a kind of take off on Journey To Babel, Picard is kidnapped from the ship. While he's gone, two groups of alien diplomats hunt each other with intent to kill. At the end of the episode, it is revealed that one alien has succeeded in killing the other and eating him! This would be a disastrous thing if it were to happen in real life! But here it was treated as comic relief. Picard returns to the ship, finds out what happened, and tells Ryker casually to deal with it.)  So I stopped watching it after that.) [edit: Title was "The Lonely Among Us." 7th ep filmed...but I'm sure I saw it right after the first ep aired]

So, Kirk, to me, is William Shatner, and Spock is Leonard Nimoy, and Scotty is James Doohan, and so on and so on.

When the first Star Trek "reboot" movie came out, I didn't go to see it. I didn't really want to see Into Darkness, either, but my mom wanted to see it and I took her.

And I actually enjoyed it, for the most part. Chris Pine looks like a young William Shatner, except with blue instead of hazel eyes (in fact, most of the actors had brilliant blue eyes...I wonder if they were wearing contacts). The back-and-forth between Kirk and Spock was great and had perfect timing.

Uhuru being turned into Spock's girlfriend?  Um...Spock...with no emotions until Pon-farr?

The one scene that really irritated me was when Uhuru, Spock and Kirk are heading down to Kronos. Uhuru is upset with Spock because when he goes down into the volcano at the beginning of the movie to set off a cryo-bomb to freeze the lava and save a planet, he had dared to not think about her! (He's trying to save a planet, but he's supposed to stop and tell her he loves her and he's sorry if he dies because he knows how upset she'll be?)

Of course the scene is important because Spock talks about not fearing death, which is mirrored at the end of the movie - or rather the penultimate scenes, where Kirk is dying and he asks Spock how to not be afraid.  (I can't imagine WIlliam Shatner's Kirk ever confessing to being afraid of dying...but Pine did it well.)

Some of the movie was silly...things set up just to make it easy to cause problems.

In the "teaser" at the beginning of the movie, the Enterprise crew is investigating a primitive planet. So why why why does the Enterprise have to be under the ocean to avoid detection????  Made no sense. Although I suppose it was to show that yes the Enterprise could enter a planet's atmosphere without being burned to a cinder... (it would have made sense if it was just the saucer portion, I suppose - which is detachable...but the whole ship????)

Another example, it would take more than a day to get from Earth to Kronos, the Klingon home world. At the end of the movie, Kahn's ship has been decimated by torpedoes, yet it's apparently functional enough to get him back to earth - and able to withstand an entry into Earth's atmosphere!!!!!

And all of a sudden the Enterprise is there too, apparently having following Kahn's ship.

So that was a bit of a puzzlement.

But it gives Zachary Quinto's Spock a chance to kick butt. (And for Uhuru to beam down - and for another blooper - Scotty is able to stun Kahn when they are on the ship, but Uhuru shoots him four times and he's hardly effected?)

Cumberbatch makes a delightful villain - loved the voice - but he overacts a couple of times. And what is it with a Britisher playing Noonien Singh? Shouldn't it have been an Oriental of some kind, or at least a Mexican actor in homage to Ricardo Montalban?

Simon Pegg as Scotty was okay...but didn't really suit the role. They actually had an actual Russian playing Checkov...but since when does Checkov know anything about engines? Of course it was necessary for Scotty to be off the ship so that he could do.. well, I won't spoil what he does...

Loved the guy playing Dr. McCoy, too. Did a very good DeForest Kelly.

Sulu also gets a few scenes, but of course most of the film is given over to Kirk and Spock.

The music was pretty good...especially at the very end where they reprised the original Star Trek theme...although without the female vocalist's ululating voice which I think they should have had.

So, I think I'll have to get the first film....

This is an interesting take on the movie from the blog, Soul of Star Trek, which I found pretty interesting.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Experience the Enterprise: IndieGoGo Fund Raising

Here's the link:

Here's the details:
(I share only a portion of the info on the page below.  Go to the page to read the entire thing and make a donation if you wish to.)

For generations fans have seen Star Trek on television and film. They've watched as heroes battled on an epic and galactic scale; fighting for the Federation's very survival against such unrelenting foes as the Romulans, Klingons and the Borg. But that’s all they've done.
Audiences sat back in their living rooms or an overpriced seat at the movies and watched; with essentially nothing more than a view from a window. They were left wanting… yearning for something personal to experience the final frontier. Dreaming of walking onto the bridge and sitting in the big chair. With your help that very experience may come true!
Huston Huddleston’s New Starship Project want to bring the next generation to the very heart of Trekdom at this year’s Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas. For the first time anywhere, all six pieces of the restored USS Enterprise-D bridge will be available to the fans. Put on your Starfleet best, sit in the Captains chair, and let yourself boldly go where you've always wanted to go before.
Live the final frontier... Experience the Enterprise!
We need your help to make it so. We are starting up an Indiegogo campaign to raise the money necessary to transport this piece of living history to the dealer floor of the Rio Hotel for the Official Las Vegas Convention on August 8-11, 2013.
We simply can’t do this without you. One of the great things that set Star Trek fans apart from other science fiction and fantasy lovers is their sense of community. We share, we love, we live, and we embolden ourselves to share our passion with those we care about or the random passerby on the street ‘cause everyone needs to be aware of this incredible franchise! THIS is your chance to share the living Star Trek experience with a few thousand family members.
If warm fuzzies and a sincere pat on the back for a job well done are not enough to keep your warp engines humming then thank "Q" for all that motivation Perkslisted over there on the right. For as little as $10 "Hailing Frequencies Open!" as we blast your name (if provided) across our websites, on live radio, and partnering podcasts. For gaming fans, team up with your favorite crew members of STOked Radio and Priority One podcasts to go On Screen! for an Elite Special Task Force run through the popular game Star Trek Online. For convention attendees, there’s even a chance to play from the bridge itself. The real meets the surreal for some Trek on Trek action… only in Las Vegas!
You Have the Conn! is one of the fan-favorite perks as you become our VIP for your very own photo-op in the big chair. Skip to the front of the line, hear your name praised as you set foot onto the iconic 1701-D bridge and slink down into the captain’s seat. We’re pretty sure we won’t need to remind you to smile for your picture. That’s right, the smiles are all free. Have a burning question to ask? Contributors to this level can record their question in person or over the internet.
If that’s not enough and you still wish to boldly go a little bit more we start making you famous. You’re important, you have things to say, fandom to express… and we are happy to help you get the word out. We offer on-air packages ranging from a guest spot on your favorite podcast in I’d Pay $60 for That! to a full hour appearance as a special guest DJ live on air in Bless You Scotty, Go Sulu! - Your playlists, your opinions, and your show!
Your security clearance has been upgraded to Captain. Command Codes Verified! for another Infected Conduit run through Star Trek Online. On this level gamers also get 50 Cryptic Master Keys or 5000 Zen (choose only one option). Additionally, you will receive a personalized isolinear chip courtesy of New Starship to commemorate the occasion. A picture of the isolinear chip can be viewed in the gallery section of the campaign.
For those truly dedicated to bringing the Enterprise experience to life, the entire transmission booth crew will take you and a guest out to dinner as part of your Admiral on the Bridge! contribution. Additionally, you will receive a beautiful, laser-etched bridge plaque straight from New Starship to commemorate the occasion. A picture of the wall plaque can be viewed in the gallery section of the campaign.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Steve Vertlieb's Tribute to Ray Harryhausen

New at The Thunder Child, check it out!

Steve Vertlieb knew Harryhausen for several decades.

Included in the article are three never-before-seen photos of Harryhausen, courtesy of producer Arnold Kunert.

It's time to SEO The Thunder Child

My sf & f webzine, The Thunder Child, has been languishing in readership for about a year.

I haven't had time to do anything about it, let alone find out *what* to do about it, until I heard all the brouhaha about Google's Penguin 2.0 update from a couple of weeks ago.

That brought the subject back to my mind and I figured I'd better start taking some active steps to get The Thunder Child (the name of the ironclad ram that sacrificed itself to rescue some refugees from the Martians in HG Wells' War of the Worlds, for anybody who does not immediately recognize the reference!) back on top of Google.

So I was browsing Amazon and came across M.R. Vullhorst's book, On Page SEO. I figured I'd better get my site up to snuff before I do anything else. So, I bought it. And I thought it was pretty good. Brought home to me what I'd suspected - it doesn't matter how much content you've got on your site, if you're not always adding new stuff, search engines tend to penalize you.

(On that note, stay tuned for a new article from Steve Vertlieb on his friendship with the late, great Ray Harryhausen, which will be available later tonight.)

Anyway, if you've got a website, check out On Page SEO (from 0 to Page 1). (Oh, should I say I was influenced in my purchase by that cool cover? I love cherry red Ferraris!)