Last Word Blog
Original Article Here
Whispered about by hopeful collectors and scholars for decades, the manuscript of H.P. Lovecraft's The 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's Potter & 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.
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 was an 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.
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
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]... who constantly sing the praises of bourgeois virtues & whose villains are thinly disguised working class agitators -- fear of the Mob permeates their rural romances.
To all these & more the working class is a mindless beast which must be controlled or it will savage the world (i.e. bourgeois security)..."
-- Michael Moorcock, "Starship Stormtroopers,"
an essay on SciFi Fascists,
Robert Anson Heinlein
July 7, 1907 - May 8, 1988) was an American science fiction
writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers",
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 as The Saturday Evening Post
in the late 1940s. He was one of the best-selling science fiction novelists for many decades, and he, Isaac Asimov
, and Arthur C. Clarke
are often considered to be the "Big Three" of science fiction authors.
Within the framework of his science fiction stories, Heinlein repeatedly addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty
, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, and the tendency of society to repress nonconformist
thought. He also speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices.
Heinlein was named the first Science Fiction Writers Grand Master
He won Hugo Awards
for 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.
In his fiction, Heinlein coined terms that have become part of the English language, including "grok
" and "waldo
", and speculative fiction
, as well as popularizing the terms like "TANSTAAFL
", "pay it forward
", and space marine
. He also described a modern version of a waterbed
in his novel The Door Into Summer
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.
Several of Heinlein's works have been adapted for film and television.