Mt. Holz Science Fiction Society
03/23/18 -- Vol. 36, No. 38, Whole Number 2007

Co-Editor: Mark Leeper,
Co-Editor: Evelyn Leeper,
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        Locus Recommended Reading List for 2017
        Extreme Characters in Films (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)
        My Rules As a Film Reviewer (comments by Mark R. Leeper)
        BINTI: HOME by Nnedi Okorafor (book review by Joe Karpierz)
        THE FORGIVEN (film review by Mark R. Leeper)
        Stephen Hawking (letters of comment by Kip Williams
                and Keith F. Lynch)
        City Names (letters of comment by Charles S. Harris
                and Dale Speirs)
        Kate Wilhelm and BLACK PANTHER (letter of comment
                by John Purcell)
        Squid (letters of comment by John Purcell, Paul Dormer,
                Keith F. Lynch, Lowell Gilbert, and Tim Merrigan)
        Squirrels (letters of comment by Tim Bateman
                and Dorothy Heydt)
        FRANKENSTEIN (letters of comment by Tim Bateman
                and Tim Merrigan)
        Gender Pay Gaps (letters of comment by Tim Bateman
                and Dorothy Heydt)
        This Week's Reading (Bryn Mawr book sale) (book comments         
                by Evelyn C. Leeper)


TOPIC: Locus Recommended Reading List for 2017

A lot of the short fiction has links to free copies on-line.


TOPIC: Extreme Characters in Films (comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

I just re-watched MAGNOLIA and, unfortunately, the Frank Mackey
(Tom Cruise) character no longer seems as extreme or outlandish as
he did when the movie came out in 1999.  Of course, the same is
true of the characters in ACE IN THE HOLE, A FACE IN THE CROWD, THE


TOPIC: My Rules As a Film Reviewer (comments by Mark R. Leeper)

(This is a reprint of an article that appeared January 24, five
years ago.  I am writing a lot of film reviews these days and I
still try to honor these vows to my reader. )

(By the way I use the general term "film reviewer", not "critic."
All film critics are film reviewers but not all film reviewers are
film critics.  I never call myself a film critic.  I guess that is
my zero-eth rule.)

There are common sense rules that I think a reviewer should respect
and follow, but since I have not gotten buy-in from anybody these
are my rules for myself.  I want to state the ground rules I
follow.  First and foremost is the Hippocratic rule of film
reviewing: DO NO HARM.  (Incidentally, the oath to do no harm does
come from Hippocrates, but it is not in the Hippocratic Oath itself,
as any doctor can tell you.)

DO NO HARM should be the first rule for any film reviewer.  Do not
harm the viewing experience for your reader.  Your reader may be
going to give some precious time and perhaps some hard-earned money
to see the film.  Do not harm this person's experience.  I take
this so far that I have on occasion lied to the reader to not spoil
plot twists.  Honesty is less important than preserving the viewing

The question of what is or is not a plot spoiler could be a
separate topic all by itself.  For me a "spoiler" is a revelation
of a plot twist where that twist occurs more than ten minutes into
a film.  Ten minutes is just my rule of thumb.  There are films
that do not get to their premise until well past the ten-minute
mark.  I either have a spoiler with a warning or I have to be

I often try hard to not reveal a twist even by only implication.
For example if John believes X and the viewer eventually finds out
X is false I will probably not say "John believes X" but "John
knows X."  That is a fib in good cause.

Good reviewers will at least give a spoiler warning if a spoiler is
coming up.  Not all reviewers are "good" in this regard.  I have
pointed out spoilers that should have warnings and have been
accused of being of the "spoiler police" for saying that spoiler
rules should be adhered to.  So be it.  I have heard another
reviewer say that he can freely spoil surprises in the film he is
reviewing because it came "pre-spoiled" by being a bad film.  That
reviewer went on to tell the twist ending of the film.  Such
reviewers are stealing from their readers regardless of the
reviewer's attitude toward this film.

I have seen film reviewers go all "creative" with their writing
style.  Some will in doing it give away the surprise ending of a
film because it makes their writing sound better or make it sound
funny or make it stylistically interesting.  A film reviewer or
critic has to remember that she or he is writing what should be
egoless text that should improve or at least not damage the
experience of the reader.  Do that reader no harm.  That is the
primary rule.

That is my major rule.  I have a few more minor rules.

-- See a lot of films.  If that sounds to you like just a
responsibility and not a pleasure you should not be a film
reviewer.  Little kids come out of movies saying "Wow, that was the
best film ever made." What they mean is that is it among the best
they have seen.  If they have seen only a handful of films that
means little.  To appreciate a film you have to have seen similar
films so you can compare.  If the reader knows the film you are
praising does not nearly come up to most films the reader has seen
you have blown your credibility.  Speaking of credibility...

-- Review a lot of films.  If your reader has read a lot of your
reviews he/she will know, say, to trust you on comedies but not on
science fiction films that is much better than not knowing you at
all.  Remember...

-- Your goal is to help your reader to make intelligent film
selection decisions.  That is a very different goal from getting
the reader to agree with your assessment of the film.  But the
reviewer should get a feel for why some people disagree with you.

-- Read some film reviews of that disagree with your point of view.
You have little to learn from someone who agrees with you about a
film.  You have much more to learn from reviews you disagree with.

-- Know your reading audience.  If someone has been watching film
for only five years they won't care that an idea was used before in
a 1950s film.  A knowledgeable reader might find of more interest
in where the idea was used before.

-- Express your true opinion, not what you think you should think
about a film.  I find a lot of Michelangelo Antonioni films boring.
I can accept that some people think that Antonioni was a very good
director.  I will acknowledge that in my review, but I will not
pretend I like Antonioni films.  I cannot review the film as an
Antonioni fan if I am not really one.  To thine own self be true.
An extension of this idea is...

-- Don't have guilty pleasures.  You find reviewers who say
something like "I know the old Flash Gordon serials are bad, but I
still really enjoy them."  If you enjoy a film it did what it was
supposed to do.  It is hypocritical to say you enjoy a film and
still call it a bad film.

Those are my rules for myself when I write film reviews. I probably
have more, but none currently come to mind.  [-mrl]


TOPIC: BINTI: HOME by Nnedi Okorafor (copyright 2017,,
176pp, ISBN 9780765393104) (book review by Joe Karpierz)

BINTI: HOME is the followup to Nnedi Okorafor's multiple award
winning novella Binti.  While the original was short, compact, and
told what was essentially an adventure space opera with some
intriguing character and cultural elements seamlessly added into
the story, BINTI: HOME is a much longer story.  The expanded
narrative gives all the characters room to breathe and not only
have their story told, but but have the backstory of the culture
and history of Binti's people presented to the reader in a way that
deepens appreciation for what Binti is going through and what is to

It is a year after the events of BINTI.  Binti comes back to Earth
and is accompanied by her friend, the Meduse Okwu. Binti has come
home to make a pilgrimage that is customary for Himba women, a sort
of rite of passage into adulthood.  Binti has been struggling with
life at the university.  She has no friends other than Okwu--who
along with other Meduse killed everyone on the ship transporting
Binti to Oomza (so already things are a little out of the
ordinary)--and is having to deal with the after effects of the
massacre that happened on the ship.

But as there are problems offworld at school, there are even more
problems at home.  Binti has a very complicated relationship with
her friends and family back on Earth.  Her family feels betrayed by
her leaving home to go to the university, and both her friends and
family feel that now she will never be able to settle down and
marry.  The Himba are both technologically advanced and provincial,
both in the way they live their lives and their attitudes toward
Binti, Okwu, and anything that is other.  What Binti has done is
nearly unforgivable.  What Binti is about to go through will make
things even worse.

BINTI: HOME is a much richer story than the original BINTI.  As
Binti discovers her lineage and heritage--and how that lineage and
heritage has affected her parents' behavior and attitude--she comes
to understand so much more about herself and her people, while at
the same realizing there is so much more to know, and that
frightens her.

BINTI: HOME, while the second story in a trilogy, with BINTI: THE
NIGHT MASQUERADE being the third book in the Binti trilogy, does
not suffer from "second book in the trilogy" syndrome.  BINTI: HOME
is a better book than its predecessor, made so by the fact that it
is longer, giving Okorafor room to breathe and delve into the
backstory and characters in a much deeper fashion, and in a way
that was not possible in BINTI.

BINTI: THE NIGHT MASQUERADE was published earlier this year.  Given
the promise of the second book--and the cliffhanger upon which it
ends--I'm looking forward to reading the final book in the trilogy.
If the first two books are any indication, I'm expecting a
spectacular conclusion to the story.  [-jak]


TOPIC: THE FORGIVEN (film review by Mark R. Leeper)

CAPSULE: This film has two plotlines involving Archbishop Desmond
Tutu (played by Forest Whitaker).  One has him chairing the South
African Truth and Reconciliation Commission after the dismantling
of the apartheid state.  At the same time he counsels a rabid and
unrepentant racist, Piet Blomfeld (Eric Bana) in an attempt to
understand Blomfeld's point of view.  The film is based on a play
as is rather obvious from the long conversations between them that
are more dramatic than believable.  This confrontation is really
the core of the film, but leads to a conclusion this is a little
pat.  Rating: low +1 (-4 to +4) or 5/10

Roland Joffe made the very powerful and moving THE KILLING FIELDS
back in 1985.  More currently he has co-authored and directed THE
FORGIVEN.  The topic is an emotional one and his film should have
been, but what is missing is the emotional punch and epic feel of
the earlier film.  Joffe has intertwined two stories involving
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, here played by Forest Whitaker.  One story
is about Tutu chairing the Commission on truth and reconciliation.
The other is about his relationship with a virulent racist bigot
interned at Pollsmmore Prison, Piet Blomfeld (Eric Bana), whose
world fell apart at the same time that apartheid fell apart.

Whitaker, whose story should be the emotional center of the film,
usually just looks mild and walks around in Archbishop clothes and
smiles.  When confronted with an account of a horrendous incident
his part really needs an indignant response.  It needs some fury.
The film gives the viewer ample reason to make Tutu a saint, but
little reason to make him a dramatic screen hero.  It leaves the
viewer dramatically unfulfilled.  But there is little clout to
Whitaker's performance.  Most of the force is reserved for Bana and
his performance is the one that will be remembered.

Some of the dialog is in local languages with subtitles, and some
of the dialog is spoken in English with a thick South African
accent which could well use subtitling.  The accent perhaps is too
accurate.  It sounds about right but is close to impenetrable to
decipher.  Whitaker does not really resemble Tutu much at all, but
it is enough not to be a big distraction for the viewer.  He looks
more a caricature of Tutu, but we never feel we are inside the man
and understanding him.  The discussions perhaps slow the pacing of
the film.  Piet Blomfeld (Eric Bana) has an unusual character.  He
is a rabid hater of blacks but seems to have educated himself in
the classics, an unusual combination.  Thandi Makhubele gives a
short but very strong performance as a mother looking for a
daughter who disappeared.

Joffe's THE FORGIVEN has moments of great tragedy, but they lead
just to shock rather than a sustained anger.  I rate it a low +1 on
the -4 to +4 scale or 5/10.

Film Credits:

What others are saying:



TOPIC: Stephen Hawking (letters of comment by Kip Williams and
Keith F. Lynch)

In response to the obituary of Stephen Hawking in the 03/16/18
issue of the MT VOID, Kip Williams writes:

He also performed the Galaxy Song in the 2014 Python sort-of-
farewell tour.  Python is genre, right?  (Also THE SIMPSONS and
FUTURAMA.)  [-kw]

And Keith Lynch also notes these other appearances.


TOPIC: Shotgun Marriages (letter of comment by Keith F. Lynch)

In response to Mark's comments on shotgun marriages in the 03/16/18
issue of the MT VOID, Keith Lynch writes:

I can't find any mention of whether it undoes established
marriages.  Marriage has always been a defense against statutory
rape.  Does this new law make people retroactively guilty of that
crime, and retroactively turn their children into bastards?  [-kfl]

Evelyn responds:

My impression is that these sorts of laws do not undo existing
marriages (although there have certainly been attempts to undo
same-sex marriages and void the ones that had been performed).


TOPIC: City Names (letters of comment by Charles S. Harris and Dale

In response to Evelyn's comments on cities named for fictional
characters in the 03/16/18 issue of the MT VOID, Charles Harris

Heraklion (capital of Crete)?  [-csh]

Evelyn responds:

Well, I wouldn't include cities named for mythical figures thought
real at the time.  [-ecl]

Dale Speirs writes:

You mentioned towns named after fictional characters.  One of the
oldest such places is Flin Flon, Manitoba.

Wikipedia extract: "The town's name is taken from the lead
character in a paperback novel, THE SUNLESS CITY by J. E. Preston
Muddock. Josiah Flintabbatey Flonatin piloted a submarine through a
bottomless lake where he passed into a strange underground world
through a hole lined with gold.  A copy of the book was allegedly
found and read by prospector Tom Creighton."

"When Tom Creighton discovered a high-grade exposure of copper, he
thought of the book and called it Flin Flon's mine, and the town
that developed around the mine adopted the name."

Flin Flon is directly on the Manitoba-Saskatchewan border.  Most
inhabitants live on the Manitoba side; the mine straddles both
sides.  [-ds]


TOPIC: Kate Wilhelm and BLACK PANTHER (letter of comment by John

In response to the 03/16/18 issue of the MT VOID, John Purcell

Good morning, Mark and Evelyn! I hope you are well, hale and
hearty, and have had your fill of coffee for the day.

The last couple weeks have been bad for losing two of the more
important people in our lives: first it was Stephen Hawking,
then Kate Wilhelm, both people I greatly admired.  Back in 1986,
the year I was living in Los Angeles, Minicon (back then, that
was the major SF convention in the year in the Minneapolis-St.
Paul, Minnesota area) had Damon Knight and Kate Wilhelm as
its professional guests of honor.  Since I was not living there, I
did not attend, so I missed out on the chance to meet either of

However, I was in the audience at a panel they were on during the
world convention in Kansas City in 1976, I think.  It might have
been 1978's Phoenix Worldcon.  Dang, but memory blurs when you're
trying to remember what you did or saw at a con 40-plus years ago.
Oh, well.  Either way, I do remember they were wonderful people.
Kate will be greatly missed.

I saw BLACK PANTHER last month and enjoyed it a great deal, and can
understand why it has made such a huge impact on the box office.
Like WONDER WOMAN, its main appeal is to a specific market, but
both movies employ kick-ass effects and the classic good vs. evil
battle for the world.  I never read the comic book, but can still
see the ironic symbolism in Wakonda much as Dale Skran suggests.
This is definitely a good, solid movie with a lot more emotional
and spiritual depth than most other action hero movies.  [-jp]


TOPIC: Squid (letters of comment by John Purcell, Paul Dormer,
Keith F. Lynch, Lowell Gilbert, and Tim Merrigan)

In response to Mark's comments on squid in the 03/16/18 issue of
the MT VOID, John Purcell writes:

Okay, I have to sink my teeth into the squid/calamari discussion.
I have eaten curried squid and also fried calamari, but not
at the same time.  Prepared correctly, these are tasty, protein and
omega oil filled foods.  Hmm.  Sounds like a squid pro quo deal.

Paul Dormer writes:

I seem to recall a scene in the film Shirley Valentine--it's a long
time since I've seen it--where she is eating in a restaurant on a
Greek island with a group of English tourist.  They all order
boring English food but she orders the calamari.  After tucking in,
she turns to her companions and says, "This squid is delicious."
just to watch them squirm.  [-pd]

Mark notes:

A friend of ours used to make fun of our (Evelyn's and my) love of
squid.  She claimed that we were always looking for a restaurant
called "Tentacles Are Us".  Others of her friends got her to try
calamari in Barcelona.  That she loved.  [-mrl]

Keith Lynch writes:

That's no stranger than "beef" vs. "cow" or "pork" vs. "pig."

I've never eaten it by either name, and I never intend to.

[Mark writes,] "I know the food industry is very careful about
their use of words that might sound somehow "off" to their

Yes.  "Sugar" has been replaced by "cane juice," "rapeseed oil"
with "canola oil," and "slimehead" by "orange roughy."  The name
changes were of course accompanied by price increases.  Similarly
with non-food items such as "rowhouses," which were replaced by
"luxury townhomes."  [-kfl]

Lowell Gilbert replies:

I think of 'calamari' in terms of an Italian dish (much as Mark
mentions--lightly batter-fried, with marinara sauce), although I
knew that the word was simply Italian for 'squid'. I had not
realized that Greek also used the same word (among others,

Greeks seem to prepare calamari in something similar to the dish
with which I'm familiar, but also in stews, often with tomato
sauces.  Portuguese has a different word for squid, but has similar
dishes for it.  Rhode Island added hot peppers to the fried dish;
it has large populations of people of both Italian and Portuguese
ancestry.  [-lg]

Tim Merrigan writes:

I've never heard of "cane juice".  What if it's beet sugar?  Also,
that crystalline substance in my sugar bowl I don't think of as any
kind of juice.  [-tm]

Evelyn notes:

Crystallized sugar starts out as cane juice and is crystallized as
part of the refining process.    And prunes are now "dried plums."
(I'm waiting for raisins to become "dried grapes.")  [-ecl]


TOPIC: Squirrels (letters of comment by Tim Bateman and Dorothy

In response to Mark's comments on squirrels in the 03/09/18 issue
of the MT VOID, Tim Bateman writes:

[Mark writes,] "And the squirrel, whose name is being withheld, had
world wide fame for his five minutes."

Well, not if his name is being withheld...  [-tmb]

Mark responds:

The Austin bomber had worldwide fame even while his name was being
withheld.  [-mrl]

Dorothy Heydt suggests:

But its name was withheld because none of the news people know it,
nor even speak enough South Korean Squirrel to ask, much less to
interview the squirrel.  [-dh]


TOPIC: FRANKENSTEIN (letters of comment by Tim Bateman and Tim

In response to Joe Karpierz's review of FRANKENSTEIN in the
03/09/18 issue of the MT VOID, Tim Bateman writes:

8 hours 35. I don't have the time to spend listening to something
that long. I do have the time to spend reading a 200-page or so
book, however.

I do get a bit of a kick from the fact that science fiction was
created by a teenage girl.

My introduction was an issue of the Marvel comics series of the
early 1970s. Very nice art by Mike Ploog on the first few issues. I
have subsequently seen the 1931 film, at least two sequels and one
or two of the Hammer films, and read the novel, not necessarily in
that order.

[Joe writes,] "It probably would surprise no one who has only seen
the movie that it bears only a small resemblance to Shelley's

As with all novels. There are exceptions. _The Third Man_ comes
close... the lead character's name is changed, and an addition made
to Harry Lime's dialogue on the Vienna Eye.

[Joe writes,] "Unlike Karloff's portrayal of the Creature, the
novel shows the Creature learning about himself, learning about
language--to the point where he becomes erudite to the point of
sounding as if he had what we might call a college education"

Tarzan came to my mind at this point...

I was not expecting this amount of layering when I started reading
it, I must say. I found it interesting.

[Joe writes,] "It was somewhat surprising to me how short the novel
actually is."

Yes, I seem to recall having a similar reaction.

Particularly in recent years, with novels tending to exceed 300
pages in paperback.

So you, considerately, do not actually refuse to be concerned about
spoiling a story that is over 200 years old at this point... :-)

Shelley referred to the creature as 'Adam' when performing the work
on stage.

[Joe writes,] "'s pretty clear that the real villain of the
novel is Victor himself.  His hubris in creating life from where
there is none--and at the time FRANKENSTEIN was written the
implication was that Victor was stepping where only God was meant
to tread--"

Yes. More recent readings appear to see Victor as creating life on
his own, without the collaboration of a woman, and this being his
hubristic mistake.

[Joe writes,] "Jim Donaldson provided an adequate narration of the
novel.  As I listened to the book, ... I was taken out of the story
by his portrayal of the Creature.  He sounded like a crotchety old
man, which does not fit with my image of the Creature.

'You damn kids get off my ice floe!'

[Joe writes,] "If you've never read the book, I suggest you do so."

I second that motion.

[Joe writes,] "It's interesting to contrast the novel and the movie

Yes, as is often the case.

[Joe writes,] "I can see why this is considered a classic, and it's
well worth the time for you to read it for yourself and, hopefully,
come to the same conclusion."

Absolutely.  [-tmb]

Mark responds:

How do you know the monster was not a golem?

You can see Ploog's art at .

There is a *very* accurate feature film adaptation called VICTOR
].  [-mrl]

Tim Merrigan replies:

[Re: too long to listen to] "I listen to audiobooks while driving."


TOPIC: Gender Pay Gaps (letters of comment by Tim Bateman and
Dorothy Heydt)

In response to Mark's comments on the gender pay gaps at Uber in
the 03/09/18 issue of the MT VOID, Tim Bateman writes:

The driver strategy is probably gender-influenced, at least.  Many
male drivers want to be at home on Sunday afternoons watching sport
on the box; many female ones want to be doing something other than
being in a building where sport is being shown on a TV."

I would suspect that women drive more cautiously than men as they
are more risk-averse; men drive faster as they are more riskophilic
(they think that it means they have larger willies).

There is no overt gender discrimination. There's discrimination in
favour of sport-averse people and against risk-averse people. Is
that gender discrimination?  [-tmb]

Dorothy Heydt responds:

I once saw a cartoon (online, and I occasionally kick myself for
not having bookmarked it) in four panels.  In the first panel,
a man is in a locker room with other men, who are all pointing at
him and laughing.  In the second panel, he's in a bedroom with a
woman who is pointing and laughing.  I forget who's pointing and
laughing in the third panel, but in the fourth he's driving a
honkin' great SUV much too fast.  [-dh]


TOPIC: This Week's Reading (book comments by Evelyn C. Leeper)

For some people, the first sign of spring is the first robin, or
the first crocus, or the first buds on the trees.  For others of
us, it is the first book sale of the year.  I my case, this is the
Bryn Mawr book sale held in Princeton in March or April (depending
on when the school has its spring break).  It now fills the
gymnasium and several rooms, designed (it seems) to be the most
inconvenient layout, at least for us.  The science fiction books
are in a room way in the back, with the cookbooks and children's
books.  The DVDs, mysteries, ad general fiction are in a room right
by the front door.  The math and science, classics, foreign
language, and literary criticism are in the gymnasium.  Between the
quantity and the area, we consistently spend two hours each year.

My first observation is that there were definitely fewer books this
year.  Usually the tables have three rows running along each side.
Many sections in the gymnasium had only one row, or one row and
bits of a second.  Since we arrived when the doors opened for the
general public, I don't think it was because it had been "looted"
already, though the previous day was for dealers.  On the other
hand, the mysteries and some other sections in other rooms had
boxes *under* the tables as well.

Mark reported that there were only about a half-dozen math books,
and he found nothing there or in the science section of interest.
Who knows?--the math books might have been elsewhere.  I found
several alternate history books in the history section, a modern
fantasy collection in the literary criticism section, and an
*entire box* of Greek drama in the occult section.

Still, I was able to find some things, and nothing cost me more
than $4.  Considering one of the items was the DVD set of the
"Alien Quadrilogy", that's not bad.  (And who the heck ever though
up that name, anyway?)  I also got 6/7 of the Teaching Company
course "Classics of American Literature".  Why 6/7?  Well, it
consists of 84 lectures on 14 DVDs, with 2 per case.  For reasons
passing understanding, the first case and the booklet were missing.
Since the rest were well rubber-banded together, I am assuming that
the missing pieces were never donated.  In any case, 72 lessons are
probably more than enough.  If I need to learn more about Franklin,
Thoreau, Emerson, and Poe, I am sure I can find something

Partial Teaching Company courses are becoming ubiquitous.  They
also had Part 1 of "The Old Testament", the lecture transcripts for
"Greek Mythology", and the booklet for "Greek Drama" (or maybe it
was the other way around).  The last two were tied together as if
they were a set, which they weren't.  The only complete sets they
had were "The History of Hitler's Empire" (hard to break up, short
of separating the booklet from the single case) and a seven-case
set of audiocassettes for "Great Minds of the Western Intellectual
Tradition" which was a bit daunting in both size (the equivalent of
about a dozen VHS cassettes) and content.

I also got the BBC's "Planet Earth" (with the Attenborough
narration), David Lynch's MULHOLLAND DR., and Mel Brooks's THE
TWELVE CHAIRS (a sadly overlooked film).

I did actually get some books as well.  Two were on my "want list":
had just added to the list three days ago!) and Leonard Wolf's
annotated edition of DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE.  The latter is
somewhat marked-up, but at least it's not highlighted, and I can
consider them as just more annotations.

I also got the "matched set" (not really) of Harap's THE IMAGE OF
LITERATURE.  Both have the same previous owner's name and year, so
I suspect someone was working on a paper or book or something.  I
can file it next to my copies of Fiedler's THE JEW IN THE AMERICAN
ENGLAND.  (Do you notice a certain trend here?)

A couple of books were ones I already had.  Horacio Quiroga was a
Uruguayan author who wrote supernatural and fantastical stories in
the early 20th century.  I had an electronic copy of his collection
CUENTOS DE AMOR DE LOCURA Y DE MUERTE, but there was a small
paperback of it for only a dollar, and real books are so much
better (and it is not every day one finds books like this in
Spanish in the United States).

And the other "duplicate" was a copy of MOBY-DICK.  Okay, yes, I
already had the Norton Critical Edition, the Penguin edition, an
electronic edition, and an abridged edition (one of those vintage
paperbacks with maps on the inside covers).  And Barnes & Noble is
not known for their fancy editions.  But this had marvelous
illustrations, and also a larger font that is so much easier for me
to read than the various paperback versions.

With a few other odds and ends (and Mark found a half-dozen books),
we still got out for under $50.  [-ecl]


                                           Mark Leeper

           Bulldogs are adorable, with faces like toads that have
           been sat on.