Book Review: The Reign of Wizardry by Jack Williamson

Ok this was a fun one. It's like Conan, Clash of the Titans and Sword and the Sorcerer all rolled into one. Except that it was written over 30 years before any of those stories were a glimmer in their author's eye. 

Written by Jack Williamson in 1940, it's incredible how well his writing has held up over these past decades. I felt as though it could have just as easily been written in the late 70's to mid 80's, and been a sequel to any of the aforementioned stories.

Now let's talk about that fantastic cover art, as that's what drew me to read it in the first place. Classic Frazetta, it's like the creatures are alive and will begin moving with a stop-motion-like quality worthy of Harryhausen at any moment.

Great stuff and a quick little read. Good twists. Available now in the Etsy Shop.

Repairing Vintage Paperback Books Parts A & B

OK guys, I don't want to hear any nasty tirades about what I'm about to do. These books are from my personal collection, I bought them broken and I don't care what kind of shape they're in after Operation Fix It. Let's just find out together if this is a viable method of repair...or not. This will either be a helpful hint of one way to repair broken books, or it will show you exactly what NOT to do. Tune back in tomorrow to find out!

The supplies; crappy paintbrush, Elmer's glue thinned with water, wide rubber bands.

Painting glue/water mixture along glue side of spine. Wipe off any extra that has gotten onto opposing page edge.

Banding at regular intervals to "clamp" glue. Be careful not to make the bands too tight to prevent bending the cover edge and/or inside pages.

Leave overnight, fingers crossed.

Come back tomorrow for the (hopefully) exciting results!

UPDATE: Well I am very pleased to say that this method has worked rather well, and I will be trying it on other broken paperbacks. The glue seems to be flexible, but strong, and it did not discolor any pages. The next test is to see how well it holds up through a reading. Two thumbs up!

Film Novelizations: My Latest Obsession

Lately, I have been absolutely obsessed with buying film novelizations as a personal hobby and new entrepreneurial venture. I miss the hours I used to spend reading, and am trying to get in at least an hour of pleasure reading a day. Which even that isn't always easy when my businesses take up so much of my time. But we make time for the things we really want to do, right? At least that's what I'm shooting for as a goal, just like writing more blog posts is a goal. Ha.

Anywho, getting back to the subject at hand, novelizations and other noteworthy books. I have managed to overfill a small bookshelf and half of an additional one in an appallingly short amount of time, simply because I can't stop hunting for these sweet little treasures. In case you're not familiar with a film novelization, let me show you a few examples of my recent acquisitions...

Hopefully you'll be intrigued enough to take a peek at my newly re-vamped Etsy Shop, you may find something you can't live without! I am constantly on the hunt for vintage horror,sci-fi and pop culture books for you, so be sure to check in often. You never know what's going to cre-e-e-ep into LaCreeperie.
Happy reading!

Book Review: Cold Terror - 1970's Horror Fiction Anthology At It's Finest

This is the first book review I have written in a very long time, which is completely baffling to me, but there it is. It's almost ridiculous to admit I'd never really thought of it before. Here's another first; I've not finished the book yet but just had to write about this...that's how excited I am about it.

I found this little gem by chance at a local Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Horror Bookstore called Interstellar Overdrive (a great little place if you're in Vancouver, WA). Lately, I've been on this huge 1970's horror kick, (quelle surprise!) and Cold Terror fits the bill perfectly--just look at that cover!

Written by English author Ronald Chetwynd-Hayes in 1973, Cold Terror is a collection of short stories of the supernatural, and some are downright horror-fying. Fantastic. What's even more fascinating is that he also wrote The Monster Club (I also blogged about the amazing, and incredibly rare soundtrack on my vinyl blog) and From Beyond the Grave, two of my favorite 80's 'horror anthology' films. I can see by the massive list of his accomplishments that he is going to become a favorite author of mine, which will no doubt shortly become an obsession, as I hunt down printings of his other works.

What also comes as no surprise is that many of his books are out of print, and are fetching some really high prices. That's OK, I love a challenge, and it will be worth every penny. I highly recommend picking up any one of his titles should you come across them, he does not disappoint. I wonder if Neil Gaiman knows about him??

There are many such Horror Anthologies available in the LaCreeperie Etsy Shop so come on in and sit a spell...

Book/Film Comparison: Somewhere In Time: Time Travel and Lost Love

Having just immersed myself in both the book and the film Somewhere In Time, I felt it was absolutely necessary to dedicate a post to them both. Incidentally, the original title for the book is Bid Time Return by the masterful Richard Matheson. The was changed for the film to make it more accessible, although I prefer the original (of course, don't I always??). However, I'm happy to report that Matheson also wrote the screenplay, which is why it translates so well to the big screen.

Now this is most definitely not the first time I had heard of, or seen the film. I've no doubt watched it at least a dozen times throughout the previous years. But this is the first time I had read the book, devouring it in a scant two days. At first, I didn't care for the choppy sentences, or the way Richard (our hero and main character) 'spoke'. Perhaps my seeing the film first so many times clouded my judgement there, I'm not sure. And there are several elements I didn't care for in the book, but I won't cloud your opinions with spoilers here.

Two fascinating things happened during this two-day immersion of book and film:

  • It rekindled my lifelong interest in time travel
  • It rekindled my admiration of Christopher Reeve (may his soul fly free), and what he brought to the role coming immediately off of Superman
Time travel has always interested me, and perhaps science will catch up with it someday. They now say that time travel to the future is possible, but not to the past. Hmm... All of our selfish desires aside, going back to the past would indeed be a wondrous, and most likely dangerous feat. One that we mere humans at our current stage of evolution could not begin to handle properly.

Christopher Reeve portrays Richard flawlessly. I found myself conducting a sort of character study of 'Richard', noting the changes he goes through after just the first sight of the photograph of Elise. These changes are subtle, yet significant, and differ slightly from those in the book. The sincerity with which Christopher plays Richard is so genuine, so believable, and very touching. The same can absolutely be said for Jane Seymour, as Elise. No one else could have played her so beautifully, and a lot has to be said for she and Christopher's chemistry--one that would last many years after the film. She has named one of her sons after him.

So for those who are rolling their eyes, scoffing at this 'gushy love story', let me enlighten you to a few things. It was a string of men who believed in this story so much and got it made into film. Everyone who worked on the film did so for less pay than they were accustomed to getting, for sheer love of the project. In fact, the music, which was so essential to the story line, was done by John Barry (Goldfinger, Midnight Cowboy, Dances with Wolves just to name a few) as a favor to Jane, his dear friend. A testament to the power of this 'gushy love story' had over many people.

Obviously, I cannot recommend the book and the film highly enough. Both are expertly executed, and make for great storytelling. The one thing I will say is perhaps to read the book and then see the film, if you have not already seen it. Heart wrenching, beautiful and an interesting idea of time travel and lost love. Don't forget to watch the wonderful documentary on the special features of the DVD.It will help give you a true sense of what it was like to make a film of this nature, in this time period. Just lovely.