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Last Word Blog


    Original Article Here

    Whispered about by hopeful collectors and scholars for decades, the manuscript of H.P. Lovecraft'sThe Cancer of Superstition, commissioned and co-written by magician Harry Houdini, has finally come to light. It was rather incredibly "discovered by a private collector among the records of a now-defunct magic shop," according to Chicago'sPotter & Potter Auctions, which will auction the 31-page typewritten story on April 9.

    In the manuscript, the sci-fi master and the magician delve into ancient and modern superstitions, writing about werewolves, cannibals, and black magic, and advancing a "primitivist theory of the development of superstition." The proposed book-length project came to a halt when Houdini unexpectedly died in 1926 at the age of 52. Prior to this discovery, only an outline and part of a first chapter were known to exist.
    Potter & Potter will open the bidding at $13,000, although it is estimated to make $25,000-40,000.
    The two-part auction of Houdiniana and the Davenport Magic Collection will also feature personal scrapbooks annotated by Houdini, rare photos and posters of him, handcuffs, keys, autographs, lock picks, and original film footage. An archive of early correspondence to Houdini from the vaudeville impresario Martin Beck, who helped transform Houdini into the "Handcuff King," is another highlight.
    Image Courtesy of Potter & Potter Auctions.

  • Out Now: Emergency Hearts, Molotov Dreams: A scott crow Reader

    Friends and Accomplices
    With deep gratitude and excitement I wanted to announce in more detail my new book:
    'Emergency Hearts, Molotov Dreams: A scott crow Reader' Selected Interviews and Conversations 2010-2015'.
    This book is from a new radical publishing cooperative GTK Press in Cleveland, OH that is part of the longstanding bookstore called Guide To Kulchur.
    Emergency Hearts, Molotov Dreams is a selected collection of interviews, presentations and conversations that I have given over the last five years covering a variety of topics such as- anarchy, cooperatives, police brutality, prisons, animal liberation, environmental justice, surveillance and political movements. Many of the interviews have been expanded, remixed and edited from their original publications.
    Preface by Tom Nomad
    Afterword by Lara Messersmith-Glavin
    Poem by John Clark
    Interviewers featured :
    Abby Martin , Grayson Flory, Anne Gessler, Kit O'Connell, Vic Creatuure Mucciarone, Baruch Zeichner, Jonny Gordon-Farleih, Nathan Diebenow, Matt Tedrow DJ Pangburn and Darwin BondGraham. And a co-presentation with Debbie Russell

    Front cover: Tony Shephard of Shepherd Creative/Deviated Instinct
    Back Cover and Interior: Ryan Walker

    Author photo: Leon Alesi
    210 pages
    Available at Last Word Books & Other Independent Bookstores

  • Little Free Libraries on the Wrong Side of the Law


    Crime, homelessness and crumbling infrastructure are still a problem in almost every part of America, but two cities have recently cracked down on one of the country's biggest problems: small community libraries where residents can share books.In Los Angeles, Peter Cook, who acts under the name Peter Mackenzie, and his wife, writer Lili Flanders, were told by a city investigator that their curbside library wasan obstruction.They were given a week to remove it, or else face fines from the city. This came after an anonymous note from "a neighbor who hates you and your kids" was left on their library, ordering them to "Take it down or the city will."A spokesman for City Councilman Paul Koretz said there's a chance the library could remain if the owners got a permit, which could be paid for by city arts funds.Residents of the Louisiana city were not amused. An artist named Kathryn Usher constructed a makeshift lending library outside her home, and told The (Shreveport) Times, "I did it in solidarity with Ricky. I'm basically telling the [Metropolitan Planning Commission] to go sod off." Another Shreveport resident, Chris Redford, did the same thing, saying, "I just put my books out there to show that I support the Little Free Libraries in every community and what they stand for."It remains to be seen how both situations will be resolved, and what other cities might join Los Angeles and Shreveport in addressing the growing problem of people sharing books they love with their neighbors.

  • I'm an archeolibrianologist...

  • Happy Birthday, Raymond Chandler! Kenneth Rexroth on Chandler & Hammett: "The secret of this kind of writing is that it isn't buying anything & it isn't selling anything."

  • Happy Birthday Robert Heinlein!

    1907 -- Robert A. Heinlein lives (1907-1988). Prolific American
    writer, grand master of science fiction. His first stories
    appeared in action-adventure pulp magazine "Astounding Science
    Fiction" in 1939.

    "There is Lovecraft...[Heinlein, Ayn Rand, Tolkien]... whoconstantly sing the praises of bourgeois virtues & whosevillains are thinly disguised working class agitators -- fearof the Mob permeates their rural romances.

    To all these & more the working class is a mindless beastwhich must be controlled or it will savage the world (i.e.bourgeois security)..."

    -- Michael Moorcock, "Starship Stormtroopers,"
    an essay on SciFi Fascists,


    From Wikipedia:

    Robert Anson Heinlein(/'ha?nla?n/;[1][2][3]July 7, 1907 - May 8, 1988) was anAmericanscience fictionwriter. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers",[4]he was an influential and controversial author of the genre in his time.
    He was one of the first science fiction writers to break into mainstream magazines such asThe Saturday Evening Postin the late 1940s. He was one of the best-selling science fiction novelists for many decades, and he,Isaac Asimov, andArthur C. Clarkeare often considered to be the "Big Three" of science fiction authors.[5][6]
    A notable writer of science fictionshort stories, Heinlein was one of a group of writers who came to prominence under the editorship ofJohn W. Campbell, Jr.in hisAstounding Science Fictionmagazine--though Heinlein denied that Campbell influenced his writing to any great degree.
    Within the framework of his science fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individuallibertyandself-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repressnonconformistthought. He also speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices.
    Heinlein was named the firstScience Fiction Writers Grand Masterin 1974.[7]He wonHugo Awardsfor four of his novels; in addition, fifty years after publication, three of his works were awarded "Retro Hugos"--awards given retrospectively for works that were published before the Hugo Awards came into existence.[8]In his fiction, Heinlein coined terms that have become part of the English language, including "grok" and "waldo", andspeculative fiction, as well as popularizing the terms like "TANSTAAFL", "pay it forward", andspace marine. He also described a modern version of awaterbedin his novelThe Door Into Summer,[9]though he never patented or built one. In the first chapter of the novel "Space Cadet" he anticipated the cell phone, 35 years before the technology was invented by Motorola.[10]Several of Heinlein's works have been adapted for film and television.

  • tons of new inventory in stock & old timey music all day today, come on down and browse!

  • Alain de Botton “Booksellers are the most valuable destination for the lonely, given the numbers of books written because authors couldn't find anyone to talk to.” ― Alain de Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy

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