We’re captive on the carousel of time

Digs.Kennywood1951008

Pinned against the wall by three times the Earth’s gravitational pull. Above me, a boy is beginning to squirm and contort his body so his feet will replace the position of his head. When we slow down his noggin will melt toward the floor. The clown beside him looks like he is running, one knee up, the other behind. His hair plastered against the padded grey wall. End of the school year 1957 on “The Rotor” a quick stroll down and three tickets from the Wild Mouse. Kennywood Park. Continue reading

Book Signing at CopyLeft Gallery, May 13

PARSEC SF/F/H BOOK SIGNING   ♦   May 13, 2016   ♦   6:00-10:00 pm

COPYLEFT GALLERY

127 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, PA, 15210

starchildDoors into other universes exist in the tales of novels by ten local, science fiction, fantasy and horror authors. Parsec, the premier speculative fiction organization in Pittsburgh, will host this multi-author book signing and party. Come see our world!

The event is free and open to the public. No registration or RSVP necessary.

Venue is wheelchair accessible.

Authors: Stephanie Keyes; Timons Esaias; Heidi Ruby Miller; Jason Jack Miller (more to be announced)

Dune, but not forgotten.

by Joe Coluccio, Parsec President

dune

I’m the kind of dope that spent one whole summer seated at the dilapidated picnic table in my backyard. A true pain in the ass to swing your legs over the bench seats and under the rain worn planks. Breathe a sigh of relief and realize you are trapped in a leg lock that prevents you from getting up to answer the phone which is in the pocket of your jacket in the dining room and rings the minute you settle in. A deep thirst envelops you, and there is no easy way to hop to the refrigerator to get a cold drink. Then the pressure in your bladder forces you to stand, untangle your twisted legs and slip on the grass as you move in a frenetic drum tattoo to the bathroom for relief. And I think it’s gonna rain today. Continue reading

So Long, Mom and Dad, I’ve Got A Living to Give

by Joe Coluccio, Parsec President
20th Sunday-01I’ve been obsessed with books on popular science for as long as I can remember. As a toddler, I carried a copy of Fred Hoyle’s “Frontiers of Astronomy” in the back pocket of my diaper. Willy Ley’s “Rockets, Missiles and Space Travel” in the front basket of my bike.  “One, Two, Three… Infinity” by George Gamow tucked away under the covers of the Latin Mass Missal Sunday mornings. The Abbé Georges Lemaître meant a whole lot more to me than did Father Gildea at St. Joe’s swinging a boat of choking incense to cleanse the altar. Those books contained and informed the totality of my imagination. They were each a sweet adventure. Continue reading

Jeepers Creepers Where’d Ya Get Them Peepers

by Joe Coluccio, Parsec President

gorts-eyeMy old man, a fierce, brave, two-fisted sort of a guy, turned to a quavering shake of fear on the viewing of “The Hands of Orlac” or “The Beast with Five Fingers.” “Something scares the hell out of me,” he told me one candid day, “about a disembodied hand crawling around on the floor.” Lord, knows what he thought about the five fingertip spider ramble of the Adams Family’s “Thing.” Continue reading

Sherman, set the Wayback Machine to the 4th Century BCE

by Joe Coluccio, Parsec President
Alphaville Spectacle is the last of the six components of tragedy according to Aristotle in Poetics. In order of importance are Plot, Character, Thought (here’s one Hollywood seems to miss altogether), Diction, Song (or melody – got to have a chorus, of cour-us.) Yeah, I know, it says tragedy, but when comedy and tragedy are the choices in drama, today’s “serious” SF films fall under the rubric of “tragedy. When I get enough energy to shuffle off to a movie theater, the films I am doomed to view only manage to present spectacle. The argument that special effects and noise are the only things that bring in the money are pretty poor ones from almost any but the point of view of corporate greed. If I see one more, confusing transformation of a mobile vehicle to autonomous alien simulacrum or the cranking view of explosions in the workings of the internal combustion engine, I may turn my drinking from a sipping glass of Jack in the evening to a quart of 10W30. Continue reading

Bleak and White

by Joe Coluccio, Parsec President
Einstein_tongue For what it’s worth. Somethin’s happenin’ here. I’ve come across it too many times. Whisking through a series of internet sites, on the prowl for an interesting bit of information. My eyes drawn to an image from the turn of the Nineteenth Century, or in the second or third decade of the Twentieth. It’s subtle enough. A dab of dull red, washed out green, faded orange. The likeness of a newsstand in the center of a busy street filled with garish three colored pulp magazines, or Mark Twain with pink cheeks, or Bonnie, in a chartreuse dress and Clyde in gray spats over black shoes on the running board of a red tinted automobile, grinning out from behind a brace of guns. All, I am told, to give me an “actual” view of history. To re-envision the past. Continue reading

Creature Feature

by Joe Coluccio, Parsec President
Marilyn and the CreatureA few years ago Universal released box sets of their world famous monster movies. Frankenstein in all of his guises. Dracula with penetrating eyes and teeth. The very hairy Wolfman nipped by Wolfbane. Ardeth Bay, the mummy, cursed, arisen, and seeking a lost love. The outlier of the group was The Creature from the Black Lagoon. Made a couple decades later than the original chillers.

I watched the trilogy in one day. The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Revenge of the Creature and The Creature Walks Among Us. The scope of the tragedy unfolded before me. It is an unhappy arc showing the worst side of scientific research. The full circle of the story makes the creature a tragic figure. Written in the times of Aeschylus there would have been a chorus donning masks, perhaps in mimicry of the creature, commenting in dance and song on the wrath the gods laid on our half fish, half human missing link. Continue reading