May 28th, 2007

  • pgdf

Sixties Novels, Part 20


TAKEOVER, Lawrence Louis Goldman, Curtis Books, 1973

What was the biggest fear of THE ESTABLISHMENT in the Sixties? Not anarchy, not rioting, not nihilism, not dropping out. No, the biggest fear on the elderly side of THE GENERATION GAP was that youths would commandeer the political system of the USA and turn it to their own ends! Horrors! To lose the reins of power--that was the most primal fear.

Naturally, various works of art played off of this.

First there was 1968's WILD IN THE STREETS:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_in_the_Streets

Then, in 1971, eighteen-year-olds got the right to vote. And in 1973, we got PREZ, from DC Comics.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prez_%28DC_Comics%29

Both these instances are well known. But Lawrence Louis Goldman's book seems to have slipped from memory. Even the fabled Clute & Nicholls ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SCIENCE FICTION has no entry on the man or his book or career.

Consulting ABEBOOKS, it appears that LLG began by writing mystery novels.

FALL GUY FOR MURDER, 1943
TIGER BY THE TAIL, 1946

Then, around 1950, he switched to screenwriting, as indicated in his IMDB entry:

http://imdb.com/name/nm0325825/

He played a part in the SF movie boom of the Fifties:

KRONOS, 1957
THE SAGA OF THE VIKING WOMEN AND THEIR VOYAGE TO THE WATERS OF THE GREAT SEA SERPENT, 1957
WAR OF THE SATELLITES, 1958
THE 30-FOOT BRIDE OF CANDY ROCK, 1959

But eventually he turned to books again.

MAN WITH A STAR, 1966
JUDD FOR THE DEFENSE, 1968
JUDD FOR THE DEFENSE #2, 1968
THE HEART MERCHANTS, 1970
THE CASTRATO, 1973

His TAKEOVER seems like a sturdy example of the genre. Fairly realistic in its political details, sober in its speculations. Maybe that's why it's faded, paling next to PREZ and WILD IN THE STREETS.

BONUS BOOK!!!!
The last page of TAKEOVER advertises SHOCKPROOF SYDNEY SKATE (1973) by Marijane Meeker.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vin_Packer

Now there's a name that spans several decades of grooviness. From lesbian pulpster to YA author, never forsaking a certain transgressiveness. Here's the capsule description of SHOCKPROOF SYDNEY SKATE:

"Sydney Skate has dubbed himself 'Shockproof': He decoded his mother's gossip with her glamorous lesbian girlfriends at age eight (but has never let on to her that he knows she's gay). He easily shrugs off his father's demands to skip college and join him in the exciting world of swimming pool sales for suburbanites. During his summer days, he deftly cares for snakes at the local pet shop. And he has memorized the sex scenes of every book he's ever read in order to better seduce women. Nothing, however, has prepared Sydney for his mother sweeping Alison Gray, the girl of his dreams, off her feet."

Lesbian Mom steals son's girlfriend..... Holy L-word!

Biblioclasm

Frustrated by a lack of customers and an increasing number of unsold second-hand volumes, the owner of Prospero's Books in Kansas City, MO, has begun burning his stock.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/05/28/book.burning.ap/index.html


Prospero himself put it more eloquently in "The Tempest," and chose water rather than fire —

...  I'll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
I'll drown my book
.

Too bad the shop owner couldn't wait to see if Kansas City wins the 2009 Worldcon bid — the good fen would have been happy to help redistribute his stock, sans lighter fluid.


(no subject)

Got my juicebox, got my hair of the dog, got my waffle iron, got my special true love conditioner...I'm much more relaxed than yesterday. The world does not seem nearly the claustrophobic hell it did...

Couple of reviews:

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/books/article/0,2792,DRMN_63_5554552,00.ht m

http://subterraneanpress.com/index.php/magazine/spring2007/reviewsoftspoken-by-l ucius-shepard/

I'm thinking the next Harry Potter movie might be Harry Does Dallas:

http://www.canada.com/topics/entertainment/story.html?id=3fce7c79-e538-4973-9eb0-d7ce7f5c2a1b&k=23315

I wrote a song a long time back that has a verse that reminds me of women I met in Vegas who were trying to hook up with the fighters. The song was pretty cool--it was an LSD cowboy song. I got to use verses like: One man's gun had shot out the sun/another man's had set it on fire/amber shafts of light had pierced the saloon/like some cathedral-choired corner. Anyhow, the pertinent lines are these:

She come up to me, then, open wide
and said Baby you're sick,
let's get acquainted.
I got a gun between my breasts
that you oughta see...
If you can get it out
without shooting me,
I'll be yours for tonight,
She sang between her teeth,
But please don't attack me
'less you gotta.

Neurotic sexual desperation and greed. I imagine there were men who were more or less the same, but I wasn't watching them work it.

Vegas is training ground for better hells...

mallorys_camera has a great post today, but you have to ask permission to read it. She has a lot of great posts. She writes lines I want to steal and probably will. You should go to her LJ ask permission.

http://mallorys-camera.livejournal.com/

Cool band of the day -- Dungen and their album Ta det lugnt. Swedish Psych Rock. Best album of its kind since Olivia Tremor Control. You can listen to it here:

http://www.rhapsody.com/dungen/tadetlugnt