Scratch 'n' Sniff

For the “Shrivelled Up” & the “Stupefied” I have written a serious & proper chorale. This chorale is a sort of bitter preamble, a kind of austere & unfrivolous introduction. I have put into it all I know about Boredom. I dedicate this chorale to those who don’t like me. I withdraw. Image © Simon Miller

A Mammal’s Notebook: The Collected Writings of Erik Satie

Erik Satie

“The first collection of Satie’s writings available in English… A pivotal character in the French avant-gardes from the 1880s to the Dada movement of the 1920s. Dismissed as a bizarre eccentric by most of his contemporaries, Erik Satie is recognized as a key influence on 20th-century music.”

Publisher: Serpent's Tail
Paperback: 192 pages


Total Television

Alexander McNeil

Total Television is perhaps the most complete guide available on American television. Offering listings on over 5,400 series from 1948 through 1995, this resource provides a treasure trove of fascinating lore and minutiae about TV and, in the process, about American popular culture. Each series listing reports the air dates, the network affiliation, and a summary of the show’s premise and significant cast members. The level of detail is admirable. For instance, it notes that Don Hornsby, the original host of Broadway Open House, died of polio within two weeks of its original airing in 1950; that Barbara Colby of Phyllis was found murdered after three episodes of her show; and that Pick and Pat, which aired briefly in 1949, was the only variety show that regularly featured minstrel acts.
Of added interest is a listing of noteworthy specials, detailed charts showing the prime-time schedules for the networks by season, a summary of Peabody and Emmy award winners, a recap of the highest rated programs from 1949 through 1995, and an index of 19,000 personalities, which will allow the reader to check out the credits of their favorite TV entertainers. JAT

Publisher: Penguin
Paperback: 1251 pages

Towards a Cosmic Music

Karlheinz Stockhausen

Stockhausen was the first composer to publish a musical score using electronic notation. This 1989 volume, his first collection of writings to appear in English in 20 years, juxtaposes interviews and essays with a superb chronology of the composer’s works up through 1988. Like the radically different styles in Stockhausen’s music, this book goes “beyond global village polyphony” into “intuitive music,” “suprahumanization” and “synthesis” toward an integration of the senses in “Light: The Summation,” which focuses on Stockhausen’s gesamkunstwerk, the seven-opera cycle called “Light,” with a different full-length work for each day of the week, that is due to be completed by the end of this century. MS

Publisher: Element
Paperback: 146 pages

The Trouble With Cinderella: An Outline of Identity

Artie Shaw

Written by one of the finest clarinetists in the history of jazz, Artie Shaw’s words swing with an eloquence that is nothing short of brilliant. A dominant theme which emerges is the story of a man whose gift for music which heartened and energized a troubled nation masked his very American struggle with identity (Shaw is a name he adopted to hide his Jewish heritage). Shaw’s perspective is clearly focused and refined. No sucker punches here. A true philosophical investigation into a life of travel on all continents and meetings with people of all ranks, colors and prestige. Shaw should be viewed not only as a talented clarinetist but also a writer filled with majestic verse. Shaw’s is a life fully realized, in which he overcame many trials, often through his sheer persistence alone. A grand persona who clocked and valued thousands of unforgettable, frozen moments. OAA

Publisher: Fithian
Paperback: 394 pages

Turn Me On, Dead Man: The Complete Story of the Paul McCartney Death Hoax

Andru J. Reeve

The timing was right. Paul had been spending all his time with his just-increased family and not doing interviews to keep himself in the press. Deep into the religion of British rock, American college students were on acid and ready for a new post-Kennedy conspiracy to sink their teeth into. So when “Tom” called a Detroit rock-talk radio show and repeated an old British rumor that the cute Beatle had been killed in a car wreck and replaced with a look-alike and that the Beatles had planted “clues” all over their songs and record covers, a college newspaper reporter heard this and ran a hoax story about the “tragedy” (years in advance of Negativland’s ax murder hoax!), and something clicked. Every wire service ran the “story,” and “backward masking” was upon us forever. With feet completely on the ground, the book sensibly follows how the rumor spread and then looks at and debunks the main “clues” in the legend. The obscure “John started it as revenge for the ‘bigger than Jesus’” debacle is enjoyably mentioned—and in the book’s only nod toward conspiracy, the author concludes most bizarrely by questioning rocker Terry Knight’s audience with Paul at Apple Corps UK, and Maclen Music’s subsequent song publishing of Knight’s Capitol Records 45 in the U.S. called “Saint Paul.” MS

Publisher: Popular Culture Ink
Hardback: 224 pages

The TV Arab

Jack G. Shaheen

From cliché to archetype, mass media style. Born into a working, middle-class Arab/American family in 1950s Pittsburgh, “We never experienced the sting of today’s ethnic slurs,” says the author, who cites how the Arab world is shafted in hundreds of popular TV shows, from Johnny Quest to Scooby Doo, from Cannon to Cagney and Lacey, from PBS documentaries to CBS reports. The author interviews major television producers, and, embarassed, they cop to the medium’s “painting minorities with a broad brush… Television is shorthand,” they say. Here’s proof. GR

Publisher: Bowling Green
Paperback: 146 pages

TV Toys and the Shows That Inspired Them

Cynthia Boris Lijeblad

Toys and games, etc., based on characters from ‘60s and ‘70s TV shows. The book is chock-full of pictures of cult toys from shows like The Munsters, Star Trek (of course!) and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., and tells what the toys are worth today in three separate collectible conditions: mint, excellent, good. Complete with names of collectors, toy dealers’ and fan club addresses, and online collecting info. DW

Publisher: Krause
Paperback: 224 pages

The Twilight Zone Companion

Marc Scott Zicree

Who can forget: Inger Stevens picks up Death as a hitchhiker! The three-armed Martian meets the three-eyed Venusian! Beauty is ugly in “The Eye of the Beholder”! “It’s a good thing you did”! The last man on Earth finally has time to read—then he breaks his glasses! William Shatner and the fortune-telling Devil! “TO SERVE MAN—It’s a cookbook”! The dummy that becomes human! “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet!” The little girl who rolls under her bed and into another dimension! The airliner that goes back in time! “Room for one more, honey!” “Five Characters in Search of an Exit!” Agnes Moorhead fighting the little aliens! “A Most Unusual Camera!” Mr. Dingle’s Martians! Mr. Bevis and the angel! “Come back, Bunny, we need you!” Anne Francis turns into a Dummy! Monsters on Maple Street! “A Stop at Willoughby!” They’re all here, every episode, including Rod Serling’s intros. Plus dialog passages from the scripts, production history and bios of such contributing writers as Beaumont, Matheson, and of course, Serling. GR

Publisher: Silman-James
Paperback: 466 pages

Unseen America: The Greatest Cult Exploitation Magazines, 1950-1966

Alan Betrock

Lift the conservative rock of the Eisenhower years, and underneath you’ll find a writhing mass of popular magazines on crime (Police Dragnet Cases), sex (Peep Show), scandal (Shocking News) and vice (The Lowdown). Hundreds of black-and-white covers are reprinted here, with brief overview. Recalls a time when Confidential was the largest selling newsstand magazine in the country, selling 4 million copies per issue. GR

Publisher: Shake
Paperback: 112 pages

Virgil Finlay’s Far Beyond

Virgil Finlay

Finlay was the king of pen-and-ink pulp illustration for over 30 years (1935 to 1970), producing more than 1,600 works. Mostly connected with Weird Tales, the artist’s work graced many sci-fi pulps as well. This volume presents dramatic and haunting inside illustrations for various science fiction tales, with a few grotesque monsters included, and a complete set of horoscope creatures done for an astrology magazine. The cross-hatching, the stippling, the dramatic contrasts of light and dark, all the trademarks of his technique are here. His meticulously rendered worlds of fantasy and imagination still call out to be explored. GR

Publisher: Miller
Paperback: 144 pages

Virgil Finlay’s Strange Science

Virgil Finlay

More brilliant pen-and-ink musings on man’s struggle—the shock, surprise, pain and fear—with himself and Hell’s demons. “Finlay brought a much-needed ingredient to Weird Tales’ pages,” says magazine alumni Robert Bloch. “Glamor. In contrast to the smudgy scrawls of all too many of his predecessors, he offered a crisp clarity and dazzling detail of design which elevated illustration to the level of true art.” GR

Publisher: Miller
Paperback: 160 pages