7 Films About Neuroses & Psychoses That Don’t Get Enough Attention

Peter Dinklage Natalie Wood as Daisy Clover Stig Jarrel

Jonathan Eng writes on CURNBLOG, “Film history is jam-packed with neuroses, psychoses, and character disorders writ large and small. As Vivian Leigh and Dustin Hoffman and Javier Bardem and Natalie Portman can attest, having a DSM-5 condition can lead to an Oscar. Russell Crowe, in A Beautiful Mind, had to settle for a BAFTA.

“When handled properly, onscreen breakdowns can tear at your emotions and stay with you long after the final credits role. Here are seven such on-screen breakdowns from movies that may be a little bit off the beaten path. Some feature outwardly normal characters getting pushed a little bit past their breaking points. Others show characters who walked onto the screen in a psychologically fragile condition. Whatever the diagnosis, chances are good you’ll remember the breakdown.”

Read More

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Her Body Electric

       Thelma_Moss_The_Body_Electric         Thelma_Moss_Myself_and_I

Thelma_Schnee_The_Colossus_of_New_York (500x387)

First up, here is Gary Westfahl to give us some background on actress, writer, and psychic researcher with a PhD from the University of California, Thelma Moss, also known as Thelma Schnee:

She wrote screenplays for two episodes of Science Fiction Theatre: “The Negative Man” (story by Ivan TORS) (1955), “The Throwback” (1956); and for the movie The Colossus of New York (story by Willis Goldbeck) (1958).

She acted in “The Devil in Glencairn” (1951), episode of Lights Out and co-produced, with Paul Finder Moss, Ant City (documentary short) (1950).

Schnee ingested LSD as a participant in experimental therapy and wrote a book about her experiences, My Self and I (1962), using the pseudonym Constance A. Newland. Then, she may have recalled the conclusion of “The Negative Man”: having lost his improved senses, the hero resolved to go back to college so he could further research the mysteries of the human mind. And Schnee, now calling herself Thelma Moss, did exactly the same thing, eventually earning a Ph.D. from the Psychology Department of the University of California, Los Angeles, where she also was given a position as a full-time professor. Further, while heading a facility dedicated to parapsychology, she chose to specialize in studying the very stuff of science fiction—psychic powers, ghosts, and astral projections recorded by Kirlian photography. Perhaps these investigations into occult matters represented her effort to reconnect with her late husband, though unlike the heroes of science fiction, she never achieved definitive proof of these phenomena, and while she was a well-respected researcher in the 1970s, her area of expertise is now relegated to the status of pseudoscience. Yet she still commands attention because she effectively gave up writing science fiction in order to prove that science fiction was true.

Read Mr. Westfahl’s complete article on Thelma Schnee here

Next, Wikipedia tells us:

Born Thelma Schnee, a native of Connecticut, she graduated from Carnegie Tech, and originally pursued a career in acting and in writing scripts for film and television. She was one of the earliest members of The Actors Studio; as a scriptwriter, her biggest success was the screenplay for the 1954 Alec Guinness film Father Brown.[2]

And finally, a link to her rare, hard-to-find book, Myself and I (1962) at Biblio.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Time Adjusters on Sein und Werden: The Joy of Encountering a Great Editor

time_adjusters_cover_image_sein_und_werden

Having been in the self-publishing business for a number of years, it’s been a joy to work with a professional editor,  in the person of Rachel Kendall of Sein und Werden, who actually showed a personal interest in my work. I’m happy to announce that my novella, Time Adjusters, has been selected by Sein und Werden to be featured as a free download. Before submitting the story to Sein und Werden, I had rewritten parts of it and added additional material, including the introduction that includes references to William S. Burroughs. With the keen editing advice of Ms. Kendall, I believe Time Adjusters is better than ever.

Check it out here

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Locked Room Mysteries

Locked_Room_MysteriesMBOLRMandIC

One of my goals is to write a good “locked room” mystery with an original solution. You know, a murder that takes place under seemingly impossible conditions. I refuse to believe all the ideas have been used up. In the meantime, here is a mammoth 7 part review of a locked room anthology that appears on a blog called Beneath the Stairs of Time

The Black Lizard Big Book of Locked-Room Mysteries was compiled by an award-winning editor, Otto Penzler, who, judging by the content page, took great care in avoiding the pitfalls of such previous anthologies as The Locked Room Reader (1968) and Tantalizing Locked Room Mysteries (1982) – covering too many over anthologized stories. There are some of those familiar stories collected here, but they’re, by and large, contained in the first portion of the book.

Familiar As the Rose In Spring deals with “the most popular and frequently reprinted impossible-stories of all-time” and serves as a 1920s-era drawing room to gather all of the usual suspects in: Edgar Allan Poe‘s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s “The Adventure of the Speckled Band,” Jacques Futrelle‘s “The Problem of Cell 13,” Wilkie Collins‘ “A Terribly Strange Bed,” Melville Davisson Post‘s “The Doomdorf Mystery” and G.K. Chesterton‘s “The Invisible Man.” I have skipped these stories, but there was one I hadn’t read before.

Read More

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Phil Clement reviews Time Adjusters

Here is a review written by Phil Clement of my novella, Time Adjusters:

The 1980s were a strange time for me. As much as I wanted to accept the amenities and corporate trappings, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong.

Having not spent any time at all in the 1980s, it’s hard for me to entirely appreciate the sentiment in these opening lines from Bill Ectric’s Time Adjusters. That being said, even I can tell that Ectric’s novella captures the zeitgeist of the time, incorporating themes of social and economic change alongside a wider sci-fi narrative that imagines the lengths taken by large-scale corporations to stay ahead of the game. Unusually for long-form prose, Time Adjusters achieves this by inserting elements of the cut-up technique inspired by Tristan Tzara and the Dadaists.

It’s highly likely that more people have discussed or read about the cut-up technique than have attempted to read (let alone write) a full length cut-up novel. Generally speaking, because of the mechanical nature of its creation, long-form literature created in this way suffers from a staccato structure that badly affects readability. William S. Burroughs (who popularized the technique) recognized, in 1968, that cut-ups were best used exclusively to highlight inconsistencies in an otherwise linear narrative, writing that he would henceforth employ them “as an integral part of narrative in delirium and flashback scenes”.
It is in this vein that Ectric’s cut-up novella, Time Adjusters, adopts the technique immortalized by the likes of the Dadaists,Burroughs and Gysin. Brief interstitials composed of randomized text break up the narrator’s, otherwise linear, stream-of consciousness to create an approximation the fragmentation of time and space in a world torn ragged by fly-by-night insurance corporations. The story imagines a world in which these priests of litigation have stumbled across a new laser technology that uses orbiting satellites to intercept light waves that bounced off the Earth’s surface, bend these waves forward through a series of prism & mirror relays, and back to Earth, thereby capturing reflections of the Earth’s future topography, to analyse potential sites of floods, earthquakes, and other disasters.

“Nobody who needs insurance ever has it. ‘Epidemic of bad timing’ is what they call it in the news. They think their home is covered, but as soon as they have a damage claim, and the claims adjuster goes out to examine the damage, it turns out the policy has lapsed. We suspect the adjusters are pirating Time-Light technology and triggering retro-non-renewals when they detect a future loss.”

There’s no doubt that, owing to the hodge-podge nature of Ectric’s cut-up interruptions, Time Adjusters is a little structurally haphazard, but on the whole I enjoyed it. This pleasant and adventurous novella that offers a welcome departure from some of the more mainstream offerings that you’ll find on the shelves. Expect to be confounded and entertained.

When my eyes adjusted to the bar’s dark interior, I saw two bikers playing pool under one of those Budweiser carousels in which a team of Clydesdale horses pulled a beer wagon around in circles through the snow. There must have been an electrical problem with the carousel, because the light sometimes flickered inside it and the horses lurched forward, but when the light went dim, those horses stopped in their tracks. That’s just like me, I thought. I can sit here and go nowhere, or I can walk and walk, or drive for miles, but some kind of loop keeps bringing me back to nowhere.

Check out Phil’s blog here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Out of Danger

Click on the picture

Spock_out_of_danger

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Philip K. Dick TV Movie

John Shirley shared this on his Facebook page. I’m a fan of Philip K. Dick so this is interesting.

The Man in the High Castle

w.facebook.com/john.shirley.71/posts/10152820380928585?pnref=story

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized