Best of the ‘B’s.
It’s the Last Friday of the Year, so I’m going to to back and pick a film from each year that aspires to be a B Movie.
2008 Gotta go with Oblivion, winner of the 1994 Best Fantasy/Horror film at the Houston International Film Festival.
2009 Bubba Ho-Tep, Bruce Campbell seals the deal for this pick.
2010 Tough choice, but I’m going with Confessions Of An Action Star
2011 Black Belt Jones staring the late, great Jim Kelly
2012 Digital Assassin. The low budget, poorly written Turkey dreams of being a “B” movie.
2013 National Lampoon’s The Legend of Awesomest Maximus. Another tough choice.
2014 Sands of Oblivion
2015 The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
The Muppets: A Christmas Carol
It’s Christmas, so let’s go with a humorous take on a classic. Kermit plays Bob Cratchet and, of course, Miss Piggy plays Emily Cratchet. Complete with two Pig girls and two Frog boys as children. Gonzo the Great plays the narrator, Charles Dickens. He actually plays it straight for the most part. What really makes this movie though is an excellent performance by Michael Caine as Scrooge. Rizzo the Rat as Dicken’s sidekick is pure value add, from a Muppet perspective.
Filed under: Baen Books, Monday Book Pick, Science Fiction
Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners by John Ringo and Larry Correia
Oliver Chadwick Gardenier is back. Seattle got a bit “too hot” for him (How was he to know that elf chick was only 40?), so for his sins, he is sent to New Orleans. Vampires, werewolves, and giant naked mole rats. Oh my! As fans of the series know, the job of the MCB is to keep knowledge of monsters and the “supernatural” from the public. This is a problem in New Orleans, since most of the locals already know that “HooDoo” is real. There are enough outbreaks of zombies and ghouls that cemeteries in New Orleans are built with fences and locked gates. Then there is the full moon. Things get really weird then, and very, very dangerous for Monster Hunters. Like any John Ringo book, the action scenes are very well done. It is the little touches that had me giggling through this book. Like the male bonding sessions with Chad and Milo (Milo is on the roof the car, trying to pick off zombies on a golf course, and Chad is rocking the car…something my own asshole of a brother would do (love ya Fred, but don’t try to deny this). There is a also the Cajun member of “Team Hoodoo” that things monsters make good eating. That includes the afore mentioned giant naked mole rat. Monster Hunting in New Orleans is different that what fans of the series have come to expect. For one thing, the MCB publishes a supermarket rag of the local events. Think “plausible denial.” Team Hoodoo are local celebrities, and yes, Chad uses that to get laid. Their “landlord” is a local drug gang, who makes sure nobody bothers the building or their cars. Those drug dealers are out on the streets, at night. Zombies and vampires are bad for business. In all a fun read. The only downside is that there is one more book in this series (The memoirs of Oliver Chadwick Gardenier), and it isn’t out yet.
Filed under: Baen Books, Science Fiction, Sunday SciFi
JC Carlton has a really nice Jim Baen tribute article. Well worth the read.
I’m a fan of Baen Books. I like hard SciFi and adventure. Andrew Liptak notes in his article on Jim Baen, that “the type of fiction that Baen was most interested in: adventurous, escapist, and fun.” I pay my money to be entertained. I don’t need lectures on social justice, and the evils of capitalism. I get more than enough of that just from living in New England.
Thomas Disch, author of The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of: How Science Fiction Conquered The World, doesn’t share my opinion. I read his book, which I liked. Mr. Disch however didn’t like any Science Fiction with the slightest politically conservative leaning. He also wasn’t too fond of female authors either. He targeted Baen specifically for catering stories for conservative fans. I think a more accurate description would be that Jim Baen didn’t discriminate against authors with a politically conservative viewpoint, as other publishing companies did. There are authors who only deal with Baen, because of the open hostility shown at some other publishing houses to any author who didn’t toe the progressive leftist line. Jim Baen didn’t care about your politics, he cared if you could write good adventure stories. Case in point, Eric Flint. Eric Flint is one of the top selling authors at Baen, both in number of books, and number of books sold. He was also an editor at Baen for a while. He as also worked for the Socialist Workers Party. Mr. Flint is a well educated historian, who paid for grad school by working as a longshoreman. He has also co-authored books with Charles E. Gannon, David Weber, and Tom Kratman.
Baen was also an early pioneer in using the Internet as a way to reach their readers. The Baen Bar forums were up and running before most publishing houses knew there was an Internet. Baen also was one of the first publishing houses to sell ebooks. They also bucked the trend, by refusing to put DRM (“copy protection”) on their ebooks. Jim Baen went by the novel notion that his customers were not crooks, and actually wanted the authors of the books they read to be successful, and write more books. Jim Baen went as far to put out CDs (included with hardcover purchases, as well as available online), with a complete catalog of an given author’s work. All without any encryption, and in multiple e-reader formats.
I did some research into the e-book market, and the Baen approach, for a graduate marketing class. The problem, as stated by Eric Flint, wasn’t people stealing your books. The problem was that people don’t know about your books. Baen Books found that when they put out an e-book as a free download on their site, sales rose. Not only for that book, but for the entire author’s catalog that was still in print.
Jim Baen loved his work, and knew that if you gave the fans a good ripping yarn of high adventure, and didn’t consider them criminals, he could spend more time working on content than running the business.