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LIGHTSPEED: Year One

The first annual LIGHTSPEED anthology is coming out next month (November 23) from Prime Books.

It collects all the stories that ran in the acclaimed online magazine during its first year into one gorgeous paperback entitled LIGHTSPEED: YEAR ONE.

My own gut-wrenching, stomach-churning sci-fi/horror tale “The Taste of Starlight” is included. It’s an honor to be among the great writers and fantastic stories in this collection.

Half the stories were written new for LIGHTSPEED, and the other half are classic tales chosen for reprinting by Editor Extraordinaire John Joseph Adams.

Here’s the complete Table of Contents:

I'm Alive, I Love You, I'll See You in Reno – Vylar Kaftan
The Cassandra Project – Jack McDevitt
Cats in Victory – David Barr Kirtley
Amaryllis – Carrie Vaughn
No Time Like the Present – Carol Emshwiller
Manumission – Tobias S. Buckell
The Zeppelin Conductors' Society Annual Gentlemen's Ball – Genevieve Valentine
...For a Single Yesterday – George R. R. Martin
How to Become a Mars Overlord – Catherynne M. Valente
Patient Zero – Tananarive Due
Arvies – Adam-Troy Castro
More Than the Sum of His Parts – Joe Haldeman
Flower, Mercy, Needle, Chain – Yoon Ha Lee
The Long Chase – Geoffrey A. Landis
Amid the Words of War – Cat Rambo
Travelers – Robert Silverberg
Hindsight – Sarah Langan
Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man's Back – Joe R. Lansdale
The Taste of Starlight – John R. Fultz
Beachworld – Stephen King
Standard Loneliness Package – Charles Yu
Faces in Revolving Souls – Caitlin R. Kiernan
Hwang's Billion Brilliant Daughters – Alice Sola Kim
Ej-Es – Nancy Kress
In-Fall – Ted Kosmatka
The Observer – Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Jenny's Sick – David Tallerman
The Silence of the Asonu – Ursula K. Le Guin
Postings from an Amorous Tomorrow – Corey Mariani
Cucumber Gravy – Susan Palwick
Black Fire – Tanith Lee
The Elephants of Poznan – Orson Scott Card
Long Enough And Just So Long – Cat Rambo
The Passenger – Julie E. Czerneda
Simulacrum – Ken Liu
Breakaway, Backdown – James Patrick Kelly
Saying the Names – Maggie Clark
Gossamer – Stephen Baxter
Spider the Artist – Nnedi Okorafor
Woman Leaves Room – Robert Reed
All That Touches the Air – An Owomoyela
Maneki Neko – Bruce Sterling
Mama, We are Zhenya, Your Son – Tom Crosshill
Velvet Fields – Anne McCaffrey
The Harrowers – Eric Gregory
Bibi From Jupiter – Tessa Mellas
Eliot Wrote – Nancy Kress
Scales – Alastair Reynolds

For more information: http://www.prime-books.com/shop/trade-paperbacks/lightspeed-year-one-edited-by-john-joseph-adams/

Peace!
John

The new LOVECRAFT eZine (#7) just went up today. Just in time for Halloween!

The issue features my story “The Lord of Endings.”  The story is my take on two well-known Lovecraft concepts: Nyarlathotep the Crawling Chaos  and The Dreamlands.

You don’t have to know anything about either of these ideas to enjoy the story. It has fantasy elements, but it’s definitely a HORROR tale.

Also in this issue are great tales from Corinna Sara Bechko, Aaron Polson, Jenne Kaivo, and John Prescott, plus lots of incredible artwork (as usual).

Did I mention the zine is totally free? Check it out, horror fans and Lovecraft lovers: http://lovecraftzine.com/issues/issue-7-october-2011/

Peace & Goblins,
John

October rolls in like a cool autumn breeze, and the World Fantasy Convention is bound to be the highlight. I’ll be attending all four days, and what a great excuse to spend some time in sunny San Diego.

A nautical theme this year is sure to provide many a discussion about pirates, golden galleons, and the immortal mysteries of the sea. But the big attraction this year is the presence of the great Neil Gaiman. He’s probably the biggest reason why the convention memberships sold out early this year. This will be my third year attending WFC, and I’m looking forward to it even more than my favorite holiday, All Hallow’s Eve. Friends, colleagues, mentors, and idols…all will gather to discuss and celebrate our common love of fantasy literature. There’s really no other con like this one. For writers, who work a majority of the time in isolation, it’s a great yearly sharing of philosophies, concerns, appreciations, and inspirations. I always leave feeling fired up for my next project.

Just for the record: My favorite nautical-themed fantasy? Michael Moorcock’s SAILOR ON THE SEAS OF FATE, of course. Love me some Elric of Melnibone….especially the version with the exquisite Michael Whelan cover (see below).

Spiritual Principle #1:
There is an unseen reality that is the source of all visible things.

Spiritual Principle #2: 
The unseen reality, the source, is knowable through our own awareness.

SEVEN PRINCES – The Cover!

After many months of keeping it under my hat, I can finally share this with you guys: It’s the fantastic final cover design for SEVEN PRINCES.

Orbit just did a cover launch for the book on their official site today: http://www.orbitbooks.net/

Artist Richard Anderson did an amazing job, giving us a silhouette of each prince, evoking the golden sun of a battlefield, the waving standards of ancient armies, and leaving just enough detail to the imagination.

Richard will also be doing the covers for the 2nd and 3rd
Books of the Shaper
(SEVEN KINGS
and
SEVEN SORCERERS).

I am thrilled to have his incredible images on these covers. His work is a great modern take on classic fantasy themes, which is perfect for this series.

More of Richard’s cutting edge artwork can be found at his own site:  http://www.flaptrapsart.com/

Amazon is now taking pre-orders for SEVEN PRINCES right here : http://www.amazon.com/Seven-Princes-Books-Shaper-Fultz/dp/0316187860/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1317091065&sr=8-1

Peace!
John

SEVEN KINGS completed

SEVEN KINGS is now complete.
Just sent it off to my editor at Orbit tonight.

October will be a month of recharging the spirit and reloading the imagination. The World Fantasy Convention, my 42nd birthday, and the ghoulish glory that is Halloween.

In November I’ll turn my attention toward writing SEVEN SORCERERS, the third volume in the Books of the Shaper trilogy.

Meanwhile, Orbit should be doing a SEVEN PRINCES cover launch soon. The first Book of the Shaper hits bookstores on January 3rd.

Peace,
John

There’s something about zombies and comic books that just works every time. Sometimes twice.

The new ZOMBIE TALES Omnibus from Boom! Studios includes my gangster-zombie story “The Last Hit,” which appeared in the late lamented title a few years back. Superbly illustrated by Aritz Eiguren, this 8-pager combines Night of the Living Dead with The Sopranos in a most gruesome and gory style.

ZOMBIE TALES was one of Boom!’s early successes–and the omnibus preserves the greatness of the original series. It features some stellar work from such writers as Mark Waid (IRREDEEMABLE, KINGDOM COME), John Rogers (Leverage, Transformers), William Messner-Loebs (THE FLASH, THE MAXX), Brian Augustyn (JLA: YEAR ONE, B.P.R.D.), role-playing game master Monte Cook, Karl Kesel (FANTASTIC FOUR, SUPERMAN), Michael Alan Nelson (28 DAYS LATER), Ian Brill (DARKWING DUCK), Tom Peyer (THE FLASH), Pierluigi Cothran (HEROES webcomic), Bryce Carlson (WALL•E), plus art from the likes of Andy Kuhn (FIREBREATHER), Keith Giffen (O.M.A.C., LEGION OF SUPER-HEROES), Jon Schnepp (Venture Brothers, Metalocalypse), Toby Cypress (KILLING GIRL), and more.

Yes, the “and more” includes Yours Truly. 🙂

Peace & BRRRAAAAAIIIINS….
John

Nice review of MONK PUNK, featuring my kung-fu fantasy “Where the White Lotus Grows.”  http://t.co/HsQ7n3i

The story is somewhat of a tribute to David Carradine’s Kwai Chang Caine character from the classic KUNG FU show…my favorite ShaoLin monk ever.

LOVECRAFT is back!

The wait is over: The LOVECRAFT eZine is back with an all-new issue!

http://lovecraftzine.com/issues/issue-6-september-2011/

This marks the 6th issue. My story about Nyarlathotep in the Dreamlands, “The Lord of Endings”, is slated for October’s issue #7.

Bookmark it, tell your friends, and get your Lovecraft on.

Peace & Tentacles,
John

My (somewhat heated) review of the new ELRIC comic from Boom! Studios.

http://www.blackgate.com/2011/09/09/the-problem-with-elric-the-balance-lost/

UPDATE 9/7/11:

I just sat down and read the first issue of the Giffen/DiDio O.M.A.C.

I’m pleased to report that IT. UTTERLY. ROCKS.

Giffen does his best Kirby-esque artwork, and the redesign of O.M.A.C. himself is a superbly modernized version of Kirby’s classic design. The story begins with BANG! — just like Kirby would have done it. However, there’s a bit of mystery building here as well.

We aren’t quite sure what’s going on with our blockbusting hero yet. He’s being given orders by some interior voice that turns out to be Brother Eye — another concept straight from Kirby’s original saga. There is wall-to-wall action here as O.M.A.C. demolishes his way through the Cadmus installation seeking its main information core. Faceless drones, synthetic monsters, and army of security guards haven’t a chance of stopping this juggernaut. Giffen’s artwork has never looked better–any fan of Jack Kirby will be practically squealing with delight.

It’s great to see a modern comic that isn’t afraid to abandon the “slow build” that hampers so many first issues these days. This inaugural issue gets right into the action and never lets up. This isn’t exactly Kirby’s O.M.A.C., but it’s extremely close. Probably closer than any other version.

It’s also interesting how Giffen brings in some other Jack Kirby characters and concepts that were not a part of the original O.M.A.C. book–specifically Lord Mokkari and Dubbilex from Kirby’s JIMMY OLSEN run. The goal seems to be placing O.M.A.C. firmly in the DC Universe of “now,” instead of the far-future world of the original comic. Not sure if that will play out, but if it means a longer life for this book, it’s well worth the adjustment.

O.M.A.C. #1 is as powerful as a punch in the nose. These guys are making Kirby’s legend (and his fans) very proud.

Can’t wait to see where this books goes…

Peace!

John

———————————————————————————————————————————————-

Jack Kirby’s ironically prophetic  look into the future of law enforcement and the age of global terrorism is getting a new life courtesy of Keith Giffen and Dan DiDio at DC Comics.

O.M.A.C. (short for One-Man Army Corps) is one of my favorite Kirby books–lasting for only 8 issues in ’74-’75. If anybody can capture Kirby’s energy and style it’s Keith Giffen, so this new O.M.A.C. title will likely be one of the best DC books in their new lineup. (If you haven’t heard, they cancelled all their books and are relaunching with 52 “first-issue” comics, including this one.)

io9 has posted a nice preview of the first issue right here: http://io9.com/5837121/read-an-exclusive-preview-of-dc-comics-quirky-new-superhero-series-omac

This book, along with the new FRANKENSTEIN comic, are the ones I’m most looking forward to in this “all-new” DC.

Kirby’s original O.M.A.C. is available in a gorgeous hardcover collection. I highly recommend it.

I hope the new take on this character lives up to Kirby’s unmatched legacy.

(Global) Peace! (Agency)

Here’s my “fair and balanced” review of the new CONAN THE BARBARIAN movie at http://www.blackgate.com

http://www.blackgate.com/2011/08/21/its-only-pulp-a-fair-and-balanced-review-of-conan-the-barbarian-2011/

The review in a nutshell:

All style and no substance. Lots of pretty visuals can’t save a script built on cliches.

Rose McGowan does steal the show, however, as the sexy psychopathic sorceress Marique.

Align yourself with a new belief: “I am the world.”

 

Turns out the rumors of Lovecraft eZine‘s demise were greatly exaggerated…

Instead of shutting down, it’s changing management. According to zine founder Mike Davis, the magazine will re-launch soon, having skipped its July issue.

As far as I know, my story “The Lord of Endings” will still be running in the issue that follows. It’s great to see the zine that was just getting the word out there avoid getting the can. Yet it reminds us all of Lovecraft’s famous quote:

“That which is not dead may eternal lie,
But with stranger eons even death may die.”

Not sure if the URL will remain the same, but I’ll post an update when the zine reappears.

You can’t keep a good Lovecraft mag down…

Cheers!
John

Found out a couple of nice things this weekend. First, the WAY OF THE WIZARD anthology edited by John Joseph Adams has been nominated for a World Fantasy Award! The book features my own story “The Thirteen Texts of Arthyria” (which you can actually read for free online at http://www.johnjosephadams.com/way-of-the-wizard/free-fiction/the-thirteen-texts-of-arthyria-john-r-fultz/ ). The World Fantasy Awards will be given out in late October during the culmination of the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego, CA. Should be a humdinger. I’d also like to note that John Joseph Adams was also nominated for a separate WFA in the category of Special Award-Professional. Good luck, JJA!

Secondly, my sci-fi/horror story “The Taste of Starlight” was published and podcasted by LIGHTSPEED Magazinewww.lightspeedmagazine.com ). Turns out the podcast of this horrifying deep-space story is a finalist for the PARSEC AWARD ( http://www.parsecawards.com ). I’m sure this has to do with the bravura performance of actor Kristoffer Tabori, who brought the story to life in all its macabre and bloody madness. LIGHTSPEED is also a John Joseph Adams brainchild, which gives you another idea why he’s up for such a distinguished Professional award. The man is unstoppable! And he really knows how to pick ’em. Stories, that is.

One Last Flash: Yesterday I completed the first draft of SEVEN KINGS, i.e. Books of the Shaper, Volume II. Next comes the revisions stage. Meanwhile, the first galley proofs for SEVEN PRINCES are coming in tomorrow, so I’ll be sandwiching those in between my SK revisions.

Hey! January — and SEVEN PRINCES — are now only five months away.

Orbit should be doing a SEVEN PRINCES cover launch soon. Watch this space for shouting from the rooftops.

Peace,
John

Once again the Time of the Ape draws near.

The latest incarnation of the legendary cinematic franchise PLANET OF THE APES draws near with the impending release of a new film--reportedly planned from the get-go the first in a new series. What does that mean? That RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES would have to fail utterly at the box office to kill this new version of the franchise. Tim Burton's remake of the original 1968 original PotA met with mixed results, but ultimately failed to relaunch an entire franchise. Perhaps because Burton, who picks his own projects these days, had far too many other ideas to explore instead. Whatever the case, there is nothing like the original movie and its once-in-a-lifetime shocker ending.

But nothing was more shocking, more terrifying, or more unforgettable than the end of the second Apes movie, my personal favorite, BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. Critics and fans may argue, but there is no real doubt that BENEATH is the best of the four sequels. As I stated before, there's no comparing any of the sequels to the sacrosanct status of the first movie. The first PLANET OF THE APES movie came out in '68, the year before I was born. I had no idea what was in store for me. 

I was only four or five years old when BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES finally came to the local one-screen cinema in Olive Hill, Kentucky, where I lived with my grandparents while my mother finished college at Morehead State University. The year was most likely '74 or '75. I remember it all in bits and pieces, the way I remember scenes from the movie itself. It was my first conscious experience of seeing a movie...in a movie theatre. I was being imprinted. My uncle had taken a group of us kids--cousins all--to the movie theatre because our grandparents weren't the moviegoing types. They'd rather wait and watch movies on TV. But it was the mid 70s and going to the movies was an adventure--even before the wrecking ball of cinema culture that is STAR WARS came along.

What I remember most, burning into the neural pathways of my brain and the sketchpad of my imagination, was the bloodcurdling scream my cousin Regina let out when the mutants in BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES peeled off their fleshy masks and revealed their true monstrous faces. This was, as they say, a moment of sheer movie terror. Especially for a precocious little five-year-old who was already reading comics before entering first grade.

The second most enduring image is heartbreaking: The image of the great stone statue of The Lawgiver, weeping tears of blood, and collapsing into apocalyptic flames. My tiny brain had no idea that this was all an illusion conjured by the underground mutants in an attempt to frighten away the horde of gorillas from Ape City. It just freaked me out. I loved the apes, especially the good ones. Even five-year-olds can pick out the good guys from the bad. I didn't know what to make of the orangutans I suppose. Dr. Zaius, in retrospect, was a rather nebulous character...sometimes ruthless and sometimes sympathetic. Yet they were all wonderfully weird.

As you read this you might end up thinking "Of course you like it the best, it was a special experience from your childhood." Well, you're right. It led me to watching all the other Apes movies on television as many times as they aired (and there were only four channels in those days), to the live-action TV show which must have been on TV the same year I saw BENEATH. I recall watching the the PotA show with cousins as well. And the PotA cartoon--loved it. The comic books--hell yeah, when I could find them and had a few quarters in my pocket. In 1978, comics still cost 35 cents. And they were on every corner, in every Quick Shop and supermarket. But BENEATH stands well above simple juvenile nostalgia.

Eventually I grew up and got all five Apes movies in a Special Edition Collection. So I was able to rewatch the entire series as much as I wanted. I rewatched BENEATH more than any of the others. You could say I was sitting there watching it with my five-year-old self again, achieving cosmic transcendence with an extratemporal expansion of consciousness. Or you could say I found it to be--hands down--my favorite Apes movie. Not everyone agrees with me, as to be expected. 

So here's my official list of exactly why BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES is the best movie of the entire series. Let's go...

1. THE ORIGINALITY FACTOR
The original PLANET OF THE APES movie was based on a novel by Pierre Boulle, but the movie world was a far cry from the advanced civilization of apes imagined by the French author. When Rod Serling of TWILIGHT ZONE fame and his writing partner Michael Wilson got ahold of the core idea, they created the apocalyptic "Stone Age with Guns" that we all know and love as the Oscar-nominated movie. "Take your hands off me, you damn dirty apes!" BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES drew not from the Boulle source material, but directly from the first movie and its legacy of post-apocalypse science fiction adventure. BtPotA deepens the original concept in a horrific yet thrilling way, amping up the darkness. Pulp Fantastique.

2. TAYLOR BLOWS UP THE PLANET
I found out recently that Charlton Heston only agreed to come back as "Taylor" and to a sequel on one condition: That in the film's final scene Taylor destroys the entire world. What balls it took to make that demand. What genius it turned out to be. It remains one of the darkest endings in all of cinema: Taylor, the enternal cynic, dying from the machine-gun burst of a gorilla, cements his utter nihilism in the face of humanity by pressing the ignition button on a "cobalt bomb." That is, an atomic bomb with a cobalt casing so that its chain reaction annihilates the entire earth. To Taylor, the earth was getting what it deserved. There was nothing but pointless suffering and brutality. Mankind...and Apekind...proved they did not deserve to exist. So Taylor blew it up. There's nothing quite like the final lines of BENEATH, spoken in the grave tones of a voice-over in utter darkness:

"In one of the countless billions of galaxies in the universe, lies a medium-sized star, and one of its satellites, a green and insignificant planet, is now dead."

Yes. When I was five, I watched Chuck Heston destroy the world. What a trip. I've watched it several more times since, and every time it gives me that same slightly dreadful thrill. It wasn't enough they had to destroy the earth, the filmmakers had to add that "insignificant" adjective to the word "planet," just to underscore the absolute nihilism. It's meant to incite a reaction among intelligent viewers, it certainly does. It packs all the cosmic horror of a good H. P. Lovecraft tale, without a squid or tentacle in sight.

3. ALL HAIL THE BOMB
What more chilling commentary on the angst and fear of the Atomic Age could there be than a cult of deformed human mutants dwelling in the radioactive rubble of New York City and worshipping an atomic bomb as their god? The concept is sheer brilliance, and executed with all the grotesque horror of the best Hammer Films. It stems directly from the first movie's underlying theme of Man as the Ultimate Destroyer. The mutants pray: "Glory be to the Bomb, and to the Holy Fallout. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen." The ultimate insanity, which verifies Taylor's deep-seated beliefs that nobody anywhere deserves to live. You gotta cut Taylor some slack, though. He did find the Statue of Liberty at the end of the first movie and it shattered his mind long before the mutants captured him and the Apes finally shattered his body. It's hard to watch the mutant worshipping scenes without getting the creeps. And that's exactly what the movie's director Ted Post was going for. Gruesome. Ask my cousin Regina; she was at least eight when she screamed in terror at the mutant who rips his face off first.

4. THE MIGHTY FRANCISCUS
James Franciscus enters the story as John Brent. Sent through the same time warp, we can only assume he locked onto Taylor's trajectory, and so entered the future timeline where Taylor landed months earlier. Franciscus was a great choice for leading man. He takes over the movie after an opening sequence with Taylor and the mute Nova. His mission: Find the lost astronauts and get them back through the time warp. But that's going to be impossible with his captain dead and his ship crashed into smoking ruins. Just like Taylor and his doomed companions, he's stranded for good on the Planet of the Apes, and his only goal is to find Taylor. Instead he finds the gorgeous and mute Nova, Taylor's lost mate. She means well, but only leads Brent into trouble and damnation. Square-jawed, broad-chested Franciscus' performance here is a very archetype of the early 20th Century pulp hero, the all-American good guy trapped in a world gone bad. Unlike the jaded Taylor, Brent is actually a hero, though no less tragic than the anti-heroic Taylor in the end. Remember, in this one EVERYBODY DIES.

5. THE GREAT LINES

"The only good human...is a dead human!"
--General Ursus

"They will dissect you! And they will kill you! In that order!"
--Cornelius (to Brent)

"The heavens declare the glory of the Bomb, and the firmament showeth His handiwork."
--Mutant Mendez

"He bleeds! The Lawgiver bleeds!"
--General Ursus

"Another lovely souvenir from the 20th Century. They weren't satisfied with a bomb that could knock out a city. They finally built one with a cobalt casing, all in the sweet name of peace."
--Taylor 

John Brent: "When may we hope to be released?"
Mutant Caspay: "You may hope whenever you wish."

6. GOOD APES, BAD APES
The apes we grew to know and love in the first PotA movie show up, and they are as likeable as ever. Or, in the case of some, as unlikeable. Maurice Evans knocks it out of the park once again as Dr. Zaius, while Kim Hunter returned as the heartfelt Zira. Although Roddy McDowall could not play the role of Cornelius, the role went to David Watson. The "big bad ape" was General Ursus, played impeccably by James Gregory. The epitome of brute force over intelligent thought, Ursus is a formidable villain. But so are the psionic mutants who dwell beneath the ruins of Old New York. The apes look fantastic thanks to the Oscar-winning special effects that drove the first movie. Few sights are more iconic than the black-and-purple leather armor of an Ape City gorilla, or the stately robes of the orangutan elders.

7. THE RUINS OF NEW YORK CITY
When Brent and Nova are on the run from the bloodthirsty gorillas, they enter a cave which leads to the titular environment, an inspired expansion on the first movie's Statue of Liberty ruins. They find a subway tunnell leading into the sunken, melted ruins of New York City. Now the true horror of where he is sinks into Brent's mind. He knows, as Taylor knew at the end of PotA, that mankind has blown itself to smithereens and left the remains of of the planet to these murderous apes. What's more, he and Nova discover the insane, deformed descendants of the New York populace: psionic mutants who want them dead. Brent tries to reason with the bomb-worshippers, but it's no use. The tremendous set pieces here make some of the movies most unforgettable scenes--Radio City Music Hall's marquee lying in ruins inside a deep, dark cave. This was far more terrifying than the single shock-ending of PotA. You (with Brent and Nova) are plunged into the radioactive ruins and it is one helluva journey.

8. NO-VA! NO-VA!
The gorgeous Linda Harrison plays Nova, the mute love-interest of Taylor. Like her fellow Ape-age humans, she cannot speak. Yet who can forget the iconic image of Nova in that fur bikini? Or riding that black horse alone across the desert? The dark hair and eyes, the soulful expressions, her failed efforts to talk for Taylor's benefit, and her final tragic triumph. Her heartbreaking death. Brent may have been a real hero, but not even he could save her. Again: Nobody saves anybody here. EVERYBODY DIES. -Boom!- That's it.

9. MUTANTS WITH MENTAL POWERS
The psionic powers wielded by the radiation-scarred mutants is a sheer bonus. They could easily have been run-of-the-mill mutants without any special powers (which they indeed are years later when reinvented for BATTLE FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES). But the writers of BENEATH (Paul Dehn and Mort Abrahams) explored the applicaton of telepathy, telekinesis, thought projection, mind control, and more through the characters of the mad mutant fundamentalists. In order to preserve peace, they are willing to wipe out everything that lives. Despite their rise to beings of superior mental abilities, they are no wiser than their forgotten ancestors. In fact, they are the decadent remnants of a doomed society, so out of touch with their own history that they worship an atomic missile. 

10. THE SHEER HORROR OF IT ALL
This was one of the most horrific science fiction films of its day. With a budget of 3 million dollars (in 1969 dollars, that is), it had only half the money used to make the original PotA. What resulted was a sort of "big budget B-movie." If the blood and violence, the bleakness of a dying humanity, the poisoned earth, and the hideous mutant faces weren't enough, the true horror of BtPotA lies in the existential questions it explores. Is mankind worthy of surviving in the universe, or does he have only pointless annihilation awaiting him, a result of his own failure to embrace a higher nature? In this movie world, Taylor had it right: The human race were a bunch of bastards who blew up the world and sealed their fate. In the end, Taylor's dying decision is ironically to finish what they started over a thousand years ago: Utter destruction of the planet earth. Oh, sorry--the Planet of the Apes.

There you have it, 10 Good Reasons (and more) why BENEATH OF THE PLANET OF THE APES is not only the best Apes movie in history, but also why nobody should dismiss it from their list of classic sci-fi/fantasy/horror movies. If you only watch one Apes movie, make it the original PLANET OF THE APES, but if you only watch one sequel, make it BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. 

I recommend a double-feature...

See you at the opening weekend of RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES. Furry fingers are crossed.

Creation

“Every time you reach for a creative idea,
you go to the same place where the universe goes to create a rose or a galaxy.”

— Chopra

Existence

Nothing ever ceases to exist.
Death is incubation in the field of potentiality until the next leap of creativity.

This is so very cool…the first trailer for the JOHN CARTER OF MARS film, based on the classic adventure saga from Edgar Rice Burroughs. Yes, it’s a Disney movie, and yes Pixar’s doing the sfx, but damn if this doesn’t look really, really good. Count me….IN.

An awesome classic trailer for one of my all-time favorite films, BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. Straight outta the grindhouses of 1970, baby.

As a lifelong Apes buff, I’m glad to say I’m enjoying Boom Studios’ new PLANET OF THE APES comic. It really has that old-school greatness but with a modern storytelling sensibility. I highly recommend reading it, and watching (or rewatching) BENEATH THE PLANET OF THE APES. Exquisite pulp brilliance.