A few random notes and recommendations...
* Many of you may recall the actor and singer (and Academy Award and Tony Award nominee) Michael Dunn, who is perhaps best remembered today as Dr. Miguelito Loveless from The Wild Wild West, Alexander from Star Trek's "Plato's Stepchildren," and/or Karl Glocken from Ship of Fools. His first cousin, Sherry Kelly, has written a new book about him called The Big Life of a Little Man: Michael Dunn Remembered, using interviews with his friends and associates and her own memories of growing up with Dunn, as well as writings by her aunt (Dunn's mother) and Dunn himself. I've had the pleasure of corresponding some with Kelly, and I just finished reading her book. She offers compelling descriptions of his background, from his time studying to be a Capuchin monk to the mystery surrounding his possible work in espionage for the U.S. government. A number of strange and unanswered questions remain about his unfortunate and early demise, and Kelly sets these out clearly, as well. The book tells a poignant story of the man behind the genius (both intellectual and artistic) and how, with courage and varying levels of success, he fought to overcome his disability with the support of his family. The book will be widely available in February, but it can be ordered now directly from the publisher.
* Last month I completely forgot to celebrate publicly one of my favorite holidays, New Tori Amos Album Day. I'm pleased to say that Midwinter Graces is a fantastic album. Two thumbs way, way up!
* Connie Willis's 1992 Doomsday Book is one of my absolute favorite novels of all time - definitely "Top Ten List" material - and so I am thrilled to see that her long-awaited next work set in its universe, Blackout, will be out in less than two months.
* It occurred to me, after seeing so many "Best Of" lists making their appearances, that some of the most interesting and intriguing science fiction or science fiction-related movies I've watched this year have been independent films. I thought I'd pass along some of those that most pleasantly surprised me: Franklyn, Final, Special, The Burrowers, and Timecrimes.
"I've lived so long with pain, I no longer feel it." - Dr. Miguelito Loveless, The Wild Wild West