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What are you reading?

Dick, Philip K - Collected Stories: Vol 1 The King Of The Elves

After being disappointed by writers that tried hard to impress, yet seemed incapable of “storytelling,” I pulled out a thick tome from a master.
The earliest stories shine forth on a gleaming future, as humankind builds perfection.
Across this initial collection, however, Dick’s output darkened and SciFi utopia became dystopia.
“The Little Movement” catches a diminutive, would-be dictator before the reign.
An assassin is sent back in time to liquidate a future problem in “Expendable.” To his peril, he slowly sees rifts in the ordinary world.
“The Variable Man” is accidentally brought to a future of deadly conflict, and his presence upsets the space/time continuum.
The title story finds one Shadrach James as he befriends the weary king of the elves and his battered entourage and army. In gratitude, the king bequeaths honors and burdens.
“Colony” is a black gem of colonists and a perfect world.

What are you reading?

Smith, Farah Rose - Of One Pure Will

Early on, this book irked me and I had difficulty reading it for enjoyment.
In the Introduction, the guest writer attempted to give insight and background details.
Puffy intros are common enough, yet this elaborated, giving pointers to “how” and “what” to read.
“As you are reading, ask yourself the following questions …”
I was in back in English 101, listening to a condescending professor.
Some may view this as illumination, others as spoon-feeding. I was of the latter.
How about the stories themselves? The majority are not stories per se, but prose poems.
Most detail dystopian alternate realities of pain, blood and dissolution.
If aiming for the Aesthete style, the writing is dense, though not particularly beautiful, with imagery that alternately enhances and detracts from the proceedings.
Elegant dream fragments, akin to a fractured diamond, but not classic storytelling.
The one that comes closest is “Sorcerer Machine,” though the finish was so dissatisfying I wanted to toss the book across the room.
As is often when I have such a negative reaction, I check other reviews afterward.
Mixed. Even Mr Lewis’ comments struck me as carefully chosen.

Guide to Downloading Projects from Usenet

Update -
OK, I still don’t know jack about free-usenet.
Online reviews have proved to be elusive, or in my case, non-existent.
Yeah, and I know the Fight Club rule about Usenet. Tell that to Reddit or any open forum joint (like OT).
Anyway, for you curious souls, speed for freeloaders works out to 100 kb.
You got a three hour time limit until it expires.
Beforehand expiration, you better hit PAUSE on NZBGet or you’ll receive fails.
These affect the “health” of the file. Once health falls below 90%, it’s all over, Barney.
That said, I’ve been doing OK. I’ve nabbed a few items that were 2 years old.
The retention for free-usenet is damn good.
By comparison, I had tried XSUsenet several years ago.
Their retention for moochers went from 1000 days to 100 to 10.
I went back to more reliable eMule and private tracker torrents.
All in all, my experience with free-usenet has been alright, although I would still like to hear others’ interactions with this outfit before I pony up cash.

Guide to Downloading Projects from Usenet

I have played around with the NZBGet + Free-Usenet set-up.
Fairly straightforward. Thank you, Bluto.
I have had a high fail rate, however, and I wonder about if the 3 hour time limit affects this.
(I’m seldom around when the expiration hits, and then the warnings mount.)
Free-Usenet has extremely reasonable prices for Block accounts, and I am tempted.
I cannot find any sort of review for this news server.
Has anyone used something beyond the free account, and can you provide feedback?

Guide to Downloading Projects from Usenet

Sigmoid said:

Hey dear people. Thanks for the great information, I was under the firm impression that usenet as a thing has been shut down a few years back.

I am a big user of Emule, which many also assume is dead.
Both Usenet and Emule are off radar, to me a very good thing.
Bluto, could you talk a little about “retention”?
I was a free user of Usenet back when Mysterbin was around, but retention limits finally pushed me towards Email and private tracker torrent groups.

Who Have You Met?


I once met Roger Ebert in the middle of the Atlantic, trapped somewhat.  I cornered him in a bar and walked up.  Doubtless, he braced himself for a round of questions about CITIZEN KANE, which he had lectured on earlier that day.  Or he wondered if I would ask why Gene Siskel had been acting so peculiar.  This was when Siskel was showing effects of the undisclosed brain tumor.
I inquired about neither.
"Say, on the audio commentary of FASTER PUSSYCAT, KILL KILL, Russ Meyer said you and he were developing a new script."
Ebert's wary smile shifted to an expression of utter horror.  "I ... I don't know anything about that,"  he stammered.
Behind him, a woman, his bride it turned out, swiveled round on a bar stool.  "Someone talking about Mr, Meyer, honey?"  she grinned.
Ebert, the influential critic, trapped in a bar, on a boat, between a merciless spouse and a trash aficionado.
"Have you ever seen VALLEY  DOLLS?"  She gave me a wink.
"BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS,"  he muttered.   She winked again.
"Actually,"  I hesitated,  "I own it ... on VHS ... and laserdisc."
"A connoisseur!"  she clapped her hands and laughed aloud.
"Anyway, Russ said the new film was going to titled THE JAWS OF LORNA.  Is this going to be a sequel?  What's the plot?  How is Russ, anyway?"
"He's a crazy old man.  Look, I gotta lie down,"  Ebert excused himself.  And yes, he did look unwell.  Alcohol did not mix with rolling swells.
So staggered off my golden opportunity to discuss Russ Meyer, King of the Girlie Flicks.
Two days later, Ebert joked about his lurid screenwriting past in a round table discussion, so perhaps I simply caught him in off moment.
I am redditing the original six films and I was wondering how to download mp4 of avi versions?

oojason said:

Vultural said:

I don’t mean to derail, and this may be answered elsewhere, so bear with me.
Does buying the digital copy equate with DVD purchase?

Yes mate, it does - Fan Edit / Preservation Forum Rules and FAQ (See Number 6) 😃

Good to know for aspiring editors - which will never be me.

The Scifi Films and Television of 2019

ChainsawAsh said:

… The series isn’t indefinite, though - it was written as a trilogy of trilogies. That’s why season 3 felt like an ending - it was the end of the first trilogy. Book 9 will be the ending of the whole thing and it will be out within the next year, most likely …

Thank you for the detailed response regarding The Expanse.
I was aware of the book series (Subterranean Press has been peddling the posh edition for years), but never ponied up. Nor, to tell the truth, was I interested in reading.
I appreciate that there is a trilogy of arcs, and an overall conclusion.
A few years ago I posted a favorable review of S01 over at FE.
I really recommend this series, especially to those who have burned by so many shitty SciFi shows.

What are you reading?

Laymon, Richard - Night In The Lonesome October

Returning to school after the semester break, Ed receives the breakup letter from his true love.
He is devastated, even though her sorority sister, Eileen, literally throws herself at him.
Confused, Ed goes out walking after midnight, heading towards a donut shop seven miles away.
On the way, he spies a young girl (he reckons is 15) and he begins following. Not stalking, he reassures himself, following. Ensuring she is OK. Until she gives him the slip.
Then Ed crosses into backyards and starts peeping into windows. There’s a female in one home, half naked!
Eventually, he does make it to the donut shop where a male customer forces his affections.
The novel goes on and on and on with ridiculous vignettes like those.
Odd characters arrive with nary an explanation as to their wayward behavior.
Almost all is told from Ed’s repressed point of view in goofball stream of consciousness.
My inkling is that Laymon never wrote this.
Rather, he stretched out on the sofa, microphone in hand, and warbled deliriously, narrative nonsense spilling from his brain. Perhaps he edited it. Or perhaps not, declaring, “Masterpiece!”
My fault. I was looking for a lightweight alternative, and boy did I select a winner.
I had purchased this decades ago when I was on a Laymon kick.
Beast House or Cellar, it ain’t.
Feels like a rambling pitch for a drive-in movie.
A movie Joe Bob would fall asleep watching.

The Scifi Films and Television of 2019

dahmage said:

Looking forward to the next season of The Expanse the most

I enjoyed S01 - S03.
Since S03 finished with closure, albeit open ended, I am inclined to wait until the S04 concludes and I can study comments.
Corey published the eighth book in 2019, and I don’t know if I want to sign on for a long hitch.
Or if Mr Bezos will bail like SyFy did.

❕ An <strong>Index Of Projects</strong> &amp; <strong>Help Thread</strong> for <strong><em>Fan Edits &amp; Projects for Other Properties...</em></strong> ❕

Really appreciate what you have listed here.
I had not visited for awhile, mostly because of the difficulty finding the edits.
Not the edits per se, but rather an index of projects.
Many intriguing titles, I’ll shoot some PMs.
Thank you again for this.

Hard Target - Ultimate Cut. (Released)

Nice fan tweak from CSchmidlapp, using sources from domestic US release, as well as the harder international cut, and the VHS “Sneak Peek” workprint.  The result seemed much closer to Woo’s final stage of Hong Kong output.
Several scenes seemed little more than echoes from Hard Boiled.

One of Van Damme’s better roles, with Lance Henriksen and Arnold Vosloo outstanding as baddies.  Wilford Brimley as Cajun uncle is a classic of imbecile acting.

The edit was top rate.  Smooth, nothing jarring.  Music alterations were well done, also, and seemed to unify the structure better.

I was never happy that the DVD offered nothing beyond my Laserdisc copy.  This was great fun.  I'd say send a copy to JCVD to cheer his mood, but I guess not.