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Happy belated birthday to ekeppich, and happy birthday to jinxed_wood and chickenfried_jo. May all three of you enjoy many happy returns of the day!

And R.I.P., Patrick Swayze. *raises a toast in memory* "Wolverines!"

I quite enjoyed my recent visit to the McConnell Center at the University of Louisville. I was impressed with the McConnell Scholars and very pleased with the seminars in which I participated. I was also gratified by the attendance at and kind reception of my public lecture. (It was wonderful to see bouncybabylemur again - thank you for the fantastic bookmarks! - and lovely to meet raven_moon.) I was interviewed by the Center's podcast while I was there, and I'll soon be recording a new version of my lecture for StarShipSofa. Despite my wheeze, I felt the visit was a success, and I'm grateful for the Center's invitation and hospitality. (Speaking of my breathing, I am still fighting the long-lived asthmatic bronchitis with which H1N1 left me, but I'm beginning to think I actually may survive it, after all!)

I also have a few links to share:

* Cory Doctorow has completed his unabridged narration of his novel Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town. His reading is available for free download here.

* Librivox has added an unabridged reading of its "Short Science Fiction Collection #26, which includes classic stories by the likes of C. M. Kornbluth, Walter M. Miller, Jr., and Fredric Brown, among others.

* io9 has posted its "Guide to 2009's Fall DVD Releases."

* Lastly, thanks to agentxpndble for the gift of my glorious new icon. At the moment I'm working my way through all the episodes of the pioneering SF-Western steampunk series The Wild, Wild West and loving every moment of it. Artemus Gordon truly is one of the greatest television characters of all time.

"Yes, our nation's history might have turned out quite differently if Jim and Artie hadn't quashed all that evil post-Civil War R&D: steam-powered robots, disintegration force fields, miniaturizing potions, primitive tanks and TVs, paintings that serve as gateways to other dimensions. And don't forget the surgically implanted crystals that drive men to crime. And the special liquid distilled from burning diamonds that generates superhuman speed. And the jars that extract thoughts from disembodied brains.... Long live Jim and Artie, in their train bound for trouble."
- Louis Bayard, "Re-Viewed: The Wild, Wild West," Salon.com


( 31 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 15th, 2009 05:42 pm (UTC)
I used to have the biggest crush on Ross Martin. I don't know quite how he fit in with my sixties crushes on Paul McCartney, David McCallum and similar ilk, but somehow he was in there, too. ;o) Glad you are enjoying the show; I haven't seen it in years.
Sep. 16th, 2009 04:50 pm (UTC)
I'm so thrilled all of the seasons - and the two reunion movies - are all out on DVD now. It's so much fun to watch it all!

Ross Martin was the man. So clever, talented, and intelligent! Definitely crush-worthy. I'm with you there.
Sep. 15th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
I am such a big Artie fan, you wouldn't believe it. He was why I watched WW West faithfully show after show. One of my best memories ever is seeing Ross Martin in person and getting his autograph! I can't believe I don't own any of the series on DVD yet -- I shall have to remedy that immediately.
Sep. 16th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
What a fantastic memory to have! I'd love to hear your story, if you're up for sharing. Everything I've read about him suggests he was a personable, warm, and generous man (above and beyond being brilliant and talented). I adore Artie!

Everything's out on DVD now, including the two reunion films. I'm enjoying going through the episodes so much.
Sep. 15th, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
OMG, WWW was one of my very early fandoms. I loved Jim West so much. It helped that WWW was on re-runs in the 70's when I was a latchkey kid. That and Star Trek pretty much formed my thoughts on life, love and the universe. Which explains why I'm such a hopeless, socially stunted geek. ;) Thanks for the wishes. I hope so too.
Sep. 16th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
ROFLOL! I must say you had excellent taste in reruns in the 70's (says another hopeless, socially stunted geek *wink*). Between James T. Kirk and James West, there's no problem that couldn't be solved - preferably shirtless. Ha!

I hope you had a great birthday. :)
Sep. 16th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much. I spent the day at work with my social circle. It was fine. You know, that's why Galaxy Quest was so darn funny to me. It was like all the 70's re-run shows rolled into one. Besides, what problem can't be solved by a shirtless bohunk? Works for Supernatural, that's for sure. ;)
Sep. 19th, 2009 06:10 pm (UTC)
By Grabthar's Hammer, I agree! LOL. :)
Sep. 15th, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
Sep. 16th, 2009 04:59 pm (UTC)
You bet! Hope you had a good one.
Sep. 15th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
I loved that show when I was a kid. I never thought about it being Steampunk, but it totally was! Ahead of its time. *g*
Sep. 16th, 2009 05:01 pm (UTC)
Ahead of its time indeed! It predated the first steampunk novels, but in retrospect, it totally was steampunk. The SF Encyclopedias even recognize it as such. I just love the blend of SF and Western, where the heroes are as likely to use mircroscopes as revolvers. ;)
Sep. 15th, 2009 11:10 pm (UTC)
Artemus Gordon truly is one of the greatest television characters of all time.

When I was little, my best friend and I used to play Wild Wild West in the woods behind our houses. I was always Artemus Gordon. Jim West may have worn tighter pants, but Artie could think his way out of everything. Smart is sexy!
Sep. 16th, 2009 05:06 pm (UTC)
When I was little, my best friend and I used to play Wild Wild West in the woods behind our houses. I was always Artemus Gordon.

I love this! I bet you made a brilliant Artie, too.

Jim West may have worn tighter pants, but Artie could think his way out of everything. Smart is sexy!

You said it! West would've been in deep trouble if Artie hadn't found all those clever ways to waltz in under the villains' noses, outsmart them, and save his partner. Plus, you've got to love a man who knows equally well how to use a rifle, a microscope, a saucepan, and a volume of Lord Byron. ;)
Sep. 16th, 2009 12:27 am (UTC)
Augh! I felt so shocked to hear about Patrick Swayze today! It was one of those things you *knew* was coming, but you somehow thought it *wouldn't* even though it was inevitable. He was a good man. :::cries:::

And if anyone reading this is into WWW and wants screen caps or to squee with someone, feel free to come over to my journal and hit the WWW tag!
Sep. 16th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
Ditto what you said about Patrick Swayze. Shocking and sad.

Your LJ is THE place to be for WWW goodness. I'm loving your brilliant posts!
Sep. 16th, 2009 06:48 am (UTC)
I loved the Red Dawn reference. Now piss in the radiator... :-)
Sep. 16th, 2009 05:10 pm (UTC)
LOL! :-) Indeed.
Sep. 16th, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)
Jim! Artie! Steam Trains! They were Jules Verne meets Have Gun, Will Travel, except Jim got to take his shirt off a lot more. Good times!
Sep. 16th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
They were Jules Verne meets Have Gun, Will Travel, except Jim got to take his shirt off a lot more

Ha! Yes, that's it exactly! :) Good times indeed.
Sep. 17th, 2009 03:03 am (UTC)
Gabe Kaplan (Welcome Back Kotter) kicked William Conrad's ass in the Battle of the Network Stars, since there were no shirtless posing events.
Sep. 17th, 2009 03:05 am (UTC)
Robert Conrad, not William Conrad! Doh! William Conrad shirtless, bwahaahaa! Oy...
Sep. 17th, 2009 04:22 am (UTC)
*g* Okay, you scared me there, for a second! Oy, indeed! But it does bring up a curious Alternate World time travel kind of challenge, of the "Que es mas macho?" variety--how would various sixties and seventies pairings fair against each other. Patrick MacNee vs. Patrick MacGoohan? Henry Darrow vs. Ricardo Montalban? Cameron Mitchell vs. Cameron Mitchell?
Sep. 17th, 2009 10:36 am (UTC)
Artemus Pyle vs. Artemus Gordon. Ted Bessell vs. Joe Besser. Warren Beatty vs. Ned Beatty. Burgess Meredith vs. Lee Meredith.
Sep. 19th, 2009 06:15 pm (UTC)
LOL! The mind boggles.
Sep. 19th, 2009 06:14 pm (UTC)
*cackles* Hmmm... my bets would be on Patrick McGoohan, Ricardo Montalban, and, oh, I guess Cameron Mitchell, respectively.
Sep. 19th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
Yikes! ;)
Sep. 19th, 2009 06:12 pm (UTC)
since there were no shirtless posing events

LOL! We know who would've won that, don't we?
Sep. 19th, 2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
Telly Savalas!!! Who loves ya, baby?
Sep. 16th, 2009 05:13 pm (UTC)
Oh, this is brilliant! Well done. Thank you so much for the link.
( 31 comments — Leave a comment )

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