Daily Archives: April 2, 2020

{Book} The City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay

The City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay

The City on the Edge of Forever Teleplay by Harlan Ellison

The controversy has raged for almost 30 years–now readers can judge for themselves. Harlan Ellison wrote the original award-winning teleplay for “The City on the Edge of Forever, ” which was rewritten and became the most-loved Star Trek episode of all time. Ellison sued Paramount in protest and won. (via Goodreads)

Why Did I Choose This Book?
Was wanting an audio book to listen to while playing Minecraft. Saw this on hoopla, checked it out. I actually own this book in paperback form too, but it was nice to hear the teleplay as a full cast recording with Ellison reading the introduction.

What Did I Think?
The differences between the beloved Star Trek episode and the award-winning teleplay are interesting, worth your time if you like to examine different versions/translations of media. There’s also dirt on the beef Ellison had with Gene Roddenberry, which again, if you’re into that kind of thing… Ellison bolsters his arguments with testimonies from many people involved with Star Trek and Star Trek fandom, including original cast members. Including Walter Koenig (Chekov) whom Ellison had a contentious frenemy-ship with.

And I have stories about both Walter Koenig and Harlan Ellison.

In 1989, I went to a science fiction convention with my mom. It was the local Omaha convention, probably smaller than it is now. All of geekdom has become more mainstream. The big media guest was Walter Koenig. He did a short talk and took audience questions. I don’t remember much of the talk, it was pretty standard Trek stuff. Walter Koenig seemed like a pleasant, nice gentleman. After the talk, he hustled from the stage up the side aisle of the auditorium to get to the autograph table at the back. And he passed our row just as I was leaving. And I tripped Walter Koenig. It was pretty much a nonevent, but still…

In 2006, I attended the Nebula Award weekend here in Tempe. The grand master award that year went to Harlan Ellison. As part of the programming, Harlan Ellison gave a talk in ballroom. (He did not take audience questions.) I was sitting in an end chair along the center aisle. I remember it being late in the day, I was tired and I am short so I was sitting sort of crossways, leaning into the aisle. (No, I did not trip Harlan Ellison.) Ellison was introduced and started in on his schitck, then he stopped. “Are you alright?” he asked. “You know, they’re not going to put you in jail if you moved that chair two feet to the right.” I assured him I was fine.

I didn’t get either’s autograph.

Original Publishing info: White Wolf Publishing, 1996
My Copy: audio, Skyboat Media, 2016
Genre: science fiction, nonfiction

Horror Films A to Z ~ Bride of Re-Animator

Welcome to my unofficial April A-to-Z. I’m not participating in the actual event, but feel free to check that out. I decided I’d chose 26 horror films, one title for each letter of the alphabet, all new to me, and mostly available through the various streaming sources that I have access to.

Bride of Re-Animator

Year: 1990
Runtime: 1h 36m
Director: Brian Yuzna
Writer: Rick Fry ,Woody Keith, H.P. Lovecraft, Brian Yuzna
Stars: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Claude Earl Jones

Doctors Herbert West and Dan Cain discover the secret to creating human life and proceed to create a perfect woman from dead tissue.

Initial: I watched Re-Animator (1985) quite a while back. It’s one of those gonzo, horror-comedy splatter-fests from the 80s that is kinda corny, campy, and cartoonish. I enjoy this sort of horror.

Production Notes: The original was directed by Stuart Gordan, who recently passed away. Gordon and director of Bride Brian Yuza co-wrote, with Ed Naha, the Honey, I Shrunk the Kids franchise.

What Did I Think: (possible spoilers ahead) Of course, this movie isn’t as good as the original, but it’s still kind of fun. It could try to make statements about medicine vs. science vs. religion, but thankfully, it does not. I’m continually amused by the escalating ridiculousness of situations. For example, there is a scene in which Herbert West is showing Dan Cain his current “morbid doodle,” an almost cute thing made of four fingers and an eyeball. In this moment, Dr. Dan tells Herbert that he’s moving out (they’re roommates, of course). Incensed, Herbert takes his attention away from the finger critter, which animates and wanders off. In the meantime, the police show up, but where’s the finger critter? Hijinx ensue.

Funnily enough, of the three horror movies I’ve watched for this project thus far (I’m one ahead), this one is maybe the least uncomfortable in how is treats women. Dr. Dan is a bit pervy about his female patients, but when it comes to the Bride it’s her heart, literally the heart of his one true love, that is the important thing to Dan. It’s almost sweet.