Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

Month: October 2023


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Thoughtful Thursday: What’s the best book you read last month?

It’s the first Thursday of the month. Time to report!

What’s the best book you read in September 2023 and why did you love it? 

It doesn’t have to be a newly published book, or even SFF, or even fiction. We just want to share some great reading material.

Feel free to post a full review of the book here, or a link to the review on your blog, or just write a few sentences about why you thought it was awesome.

And don’t forget that we always have plenty more reading recommendations on our 5-Star SFF page.


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The Maniac: Carrying a (blow)torch for his lady love

The Maniac directed by Michael Carreras

Up until recently, I had been aware of only two films with the title Maniac: the 1934 camp classic directed by Dwain Esper and the repugnant 1980 picture with Joe Spinell as a deranged mannequin lover. The existence of the British The Maniac, a 1963 product from the great Hammer Studios, thus came as a nice surprise for me.

Part of the Hammer “Icons of Suspense” six-film box set, the picture shares a DVD with the studio’s 1958 film The Snorkel,


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WWWednesday: October 4, 2023

Katalin Kariko and Drew Weissman were awarded the Nobel Prize in medicine for their pioneering and life-saving work on mRNA vaccines. A nice vindication for Kariko, who lost funding and faced a demotion at University of Pennsylvania due to a lack of interest in her work on the concept.

This File 770 article provides a nice overview of the evolution of fandom in Poland.

I’m not endorsing this project but I laughed at the write-up and the title: The Dragon Who Dabbled in Crypto,


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The World of the Vampires: Murcielago-Chica

The World of the Vampires directed by Alfonso Corona Blake

1961 was still another interesting year for the Mexican horror film, as that country’s so-called Golden Age of Horror continued apace. The year saw the release of the intriguingly titled offering The Curse of Nostradamus, as well as the third, fourth and fifth films in the Santo series – Santo vs. the Zombies, Santo vs. the King of Crime and Santo in the Hotel of Death – a series that would go on till 1976 and comprise over 50 films (!) detailing the adventures of the luchador wrestler turned cinematic crime-fighting superhero.


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The Haunting of Julia: The least of Mia’s big three horrors, but still fun

The Haunting of Julia directed by Richard Loncraine

You’ve got to feel a little sorry for the characters that Los Angeles-born actress Mia Farrow portrayed in her three big horror outings of the late 1960s to mid-‘70s. Her Rosemary Woodhouse, in the 1968 classic Rosemary’s Baby – surely one of the classiest fright fests of that great decade – was not only set up by her husband and later knocked up by Old Scratch himself, but was later the unwitting deliverer of the son of Satan. In 1971’s See No Evil,


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The Snorkel: Mandy, as candy, is dandy

The Snorkel directed by Guy Green

A little-known picture sporting an amusing title, The Snorkel yet reveals itself to be an excellent suspenser; a genuine sleeper that may be finding some latter-day acclaim thanks to the great-looking print in the Hammer “Icons of Suspense” DVD box set. Released in 1958 by Hammer Studios, shortly after the famed British filmmaking independent began its reign of the Gothic horror niche with that year’s The Curse of Frankenstein, the picture is a tale of murder and suspense without being an actual mystery.


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Next SFF Author: Ben Aaronovitch

We have reviewed 8269 fantasy, science fiction, and horror books, audiobooks, magazines, comics, and films.

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    Maybe in the next couple months I'll get the DVDs of the two "Dune" SyFy productions from 2000 and 2003.…

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