Rereading H.G. Wells’ WAR OF THE WORLDS for Alien Visitors proved a wise decision. I’d misremembered some details — the Red Weed is just an invasive species, not a Martian attempt at xenoforming the planet — and I hadn’t realized how many details turn up in the movies; the unnamed narrator’s conversation with a clergyman, for instance, turns up in very mutated form in the Asylum’s H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds. What I’m more struck by is Wells’ resistance to othering the invaders, emphasizing the invasion isn’t a battle of good vs. evil but the same kind of brutal colonial war humans have long enacted on each other. A book that deserves its status as a classic.YESTERDAY’S TOMORROWS: The Golden Age of Science Fiction Movie Posters by Bruce Lanier Wright is a collection of 1950s posters like the ones above and below (a personal favorite of mine) with commentary on the film. The book is delightful eye candy, but I don’t think it adds anything to my knowledge of Alien Visitor films or 1950s SF in general (in fairness, this is a topic I know way better than the average readers). But the posters are way cool.HAWK OF THE WILDERNESS by William L. Chester is a Tarzan knockoff wherein the protagonist’s parents are shipwrecked on the Northern coast of North America, ending up in Nato’wa, the lost land from which Native Americans descended. After they’re murdered, their son grows to manhood among the tribes, but also winds up running feral in the wilderness where he becomes brother to the bears and friend to pumas, then returns to take leadership of the tribes. But everything changes when a pretty white woman gets shipwrecked and requires saving from pirates, beasts and tribes …
I’ve read all the later books in this series and there’s no question Chester’s one of the best Burroughs imitators. At 300 pages, however, this first book is too long; it’s strongest when Kioga (Nato’wan for “snow hawk” because of his white skin) runs feral and weaker as he deals more with people. Plus, of course, it’s straight “white jungle god” — or a white forest god, I guess — and white savior so if that’s a dealbreaker for you, avoid this one. Oh, and Chester’s portrayal of the United States’ Native American population is painfully racist: instead of noble warriors, they’re shiftless idlers living large on the incredibly generous welfare provided by Uncle Sam.
THE WOLVES was a streaming play wherein the eponymous girls soccer team sits and chats through multiple warm-ups, discussing tech (“They definitely have Skype in Cambodia.”), gossip, soccer tactics, the world situation, oranges and Lord of the Rings (“You just want to be Mrs. Samwise Gamgee.”). A good one. “Only Southerners die of snakebite while communing with God.”
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