Misc News

Planet Stories – May 1951 – Books I Done Been Reading!

Among the many things I’ve done been reading lately is some scans of pulp magazines, so behold this breakdown of the stories in the May 1951 edition of Planet Stories! Thanks to the power of the Public Domain this issue is available at Pulp Magazines Project and Archive.org

Captives of the Thieve-Star – James H. Schmitz
The first novelette-length story (here called novelet-length), and the one chose to lead off the issue and snagged the cover feature. Schmitz is known for strong female characters who aren’t just damsels in distress, here Peer, while the young wife of story hero Channok, often is the one coming up with the ideas of how to get out of trouble and how to deal with the trouble they get into when they stumble across a derelict ship where something sinister went down
Peer comes from a family of space-nomads and has a lot of experience being a rock hopper and doing cool stuff in space, something Channok occasionally dismisses to his peril. Channok seems like a guy who just decided to do space adventures for a few years before joining the space police, though later he finds out that the people he looked up to are corrupt and the job prospect loses its luster. Creatures of note are the ghouls who live on the planet they hide out on, basically curious goblin monsters that live underground and are usually harmless.

Blind Play – Chan Davis
Nick Pappas is a hired goon for the family that is trying to forcibly take over a mining colony on Callisto by withholding supplies, but the miners saw trouble brewing and have formed a collective and sent for help on Earth. Pappas’ job is to stop them, but he’s bad at his job and tossed into space. Thanks to the magic of his space suit never running out of air, he floats towards Earth and maybe, just maybe, can figure out a way out of his mess. After looking up Chandler Davis it made 100% sense why the story was the way it was, he was a university professor tossed out of his job for not testifying for the HUAC and even spent a few months in jail over it. It’s also the story with the grandest vision of the future, characters tell Pappas that loners like him are out and working together is the future, and there is a ship named after a Chinese person.

Out of the Dark Nebula – Milton L. Coe
This one surprised me the most as being a solid space war adventure story with grizzled commanders and a ship full of green recruits as another war breaks out. The commanders do their duty and try to help the kids while dealing with saboteurs and infiltrators (the captain shoots a crewmember dead in front of others and then reveals he was an alien spy, telepathic of course that’s why he had to kill him with no warning!) The ship (the Albion) isn’t a super star but gives as good as it gets in fights and ends up crashed and stranded as enemy ships are heading for it. What will happen to our valiant crew? The aliens are two separate species from the Dark Nebula that have teamed up to take Earth down, usually these stories only have one species as the villain. Milton L. Coe doesn’t seem to have any other writing credits (unless this is another misspelling, lol), but the story is so slick I would guess this is someone’s pen name, maybe someone who normally writes military stories or something. If I keep reading more pulp stuff maybe I’ll recognize the style!

Garrigan’s BEMs – Mack Reynolds and Fredric Brown
One of several stories that seem straight out of The Twilight Zone, a cartoonist discovers one of his drawings of ugly aliens are actually real aliens and they’ve come to take him back to their planet. As Mack Reynolds and Fredric Brown were both struggling writers themselves, the hero also barely skates by on the income he makes from selling his cartoons and there is a lot of real life put on the page here for this goofy little tale.

Lake of Fire – Frank Belknap Long
This one was one of the more bizarre entries, largely due to it playing straight about two prospectors who find a Martian mirror in the Martian deserts that has an image of a woman in it. One guy falls madly in love with the image while the other struggles to try to get him to snap out of it while also fighting off raiders. Then suddenly it gets weird in a cool way but also as something that seems part of a larger tale.

The Bryd – Noel Loomis
Have you hread about the bryd? A galaxy-traveling magic parasite has to take a few seconds out of its slumber to keep its current host from being a moron and starting a war. Cool little short tale. Noel Loomis wrote a lot of westerns in addition to scifi tales, even authoring a history of Wells Fargo and writing several episodes of Bonanza

Open Invitation – H.B. Fyfe
A POV story from the aliens’ perspective as human craft being sent to Jupiter and Saturn might stumble across an alien scout ship. The aliens back on their home planet spend much of their time arguing office politics instead of bothering to solve the problem. Fyfe likes to write stories about alien bureaucrats and humans outsmarting them, though it probably helped that editor John W. Campbell typically bought such stories!

Dateline: Mars – Richard Wilson
In the not so distant future, Mars is colonized but there are native Martians who used to be under the yoke of a despotic government before the Earth government tricked them into giving up power. Yet there is still shades of Earth being a colonizer and internal alien politics. The hero is a newspaper reporter who has access to information normally taken out by censors and is brought along to witness some native Martians doing their own brand of justice. This story was interesting mainly due to some throwaway scenes where protestors complain about Mars being colonized and the author admits that they are right but since they are also hippies no one wants to be told the truth by them. Richard Wilson was a newspaperman himself so once again there’s probably more truth than not buried here.

Exile From Venus – E. Hoffmann Price (misspelled in the credits!)
The second novelette-lenght story is the last, in the far future Earth is a burned out wasteland and most people life on Venus, except for the savage survivors on Earth. Craig Verrill joins one of the groups as a doctor, but secretly to steal their sacred gigantic ruby. But he finds more than he bargained for when he joins the clan, he might even find where he belongs! Was pretty good if predictable, Verrill has a rival to steal the ruby who joins up with a rival clan and that sparks some action bits. It was by far the most saucy of all the tales, Verrill openly sleeping with one of the women in the clan he lives with. Not explicit, but only Captives of the Thieve-Star comes close to even implying characters are getting it on. Price was a prolific pulp writer who was also friends with Howard, Lovecraft, and many others (he seems to have visited more of them than usual, but it was also common back then for the authors to all be pen pals with each other. He has a bunch of pulpish fantasy novels that came out in the 1970s.

Planet Stories May 1951

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - March 30, 2019 at 3:50 pm

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Softcore actress Amy Lindsay appears in Ted Cruz commercial!

Amy Lindsay Ted Cruz Conservatives Anonymous

Wait, I meant to sign up for a Caribbean Cruise, not Ted Cruz!


It seems presidential candidate Ted Cruz has a problem, and that problem is being too lazy to Google the actors appearing in his commercials. Thus Amy Lindsay made an appearance in his Conservatives Anonymous spot, which is all fine and dandy except that she starred in a number of softcore movies. Cruz freaked out and yanked the spot, but not before it became a big new item (and he summarily released an Office Space parody video instead to try to cover this up!) We’re doing our part at TarsTarkas.NET to keep this in the news for two reasons: 1. Fuck Ted Cruz. 2. We’ve actually reviewed several Amy Lindsay movies, so this topic is relevant to our site!

BuzzFeed of all places broke the story:

“The actress responded to an open casting call. She passed her audition and got the job. Unfortunately, she was not vetted by the production company. Had the campaign known of her full filmography, we obviously would not have let her appear in the ad,” Tyler said.

Prior to the Cruz campaign pulling the ad, Lindsay told BuzzFeed News in a phone interview on Thursday that she’s a Christian conservative and a Republican. While she emphasized that she did not do hardcore porn and that she also appeared in non-erotic films, Lindsay said she thinks it is “cool” that an actor who has appeared in softcore porn could also appear in Cruz’s ad.

“In a cool way, then hey, then it’s not just some old, white Christian bigot that people want to say, ‘It could be, maybe, a cool kind of open-minded woman like me,’” she said of people supporting Cruz.

Though Lindsay initially told BuzzFeed News that the person at the campaign who hired her “absolutely knew everything that I had done,” she later called back to say that she realized that was not the case.

“I have clearly talked to the filmmakers and stuff and just to be clear, I assumed that they knew, but none of the filmmakers or the casting director knew about my complete filmography in the past that you’re talking about, so I was wrong in that statement,” Lindsay said, saying that she had assumed that an old friend of hers from an acting class who was present when she was hired was aware of her film history.

Amy Lindsay is rightfully peeved by the turn of events, so let’s ignore the fact that she aligns differently with this site and celebrate her filmography as reviewed here! We’ve encountered her three times: Bikini Airways saw Lindsay playing a former model turned lesbian who was looking for a rich guy to marry and take care of her. Insatiable Obsession featured Lindsay as a married woman plagued by a haunted house that held a secret. And Lust Sessions featured Lindsay as a love coach who helped her patients with their relationships, but also needed help on her own. (She was also on Star Trek: Voyager, which means she will live on forever in Trekkie circles regardless of her other films!)

Let’s keep Ted Cruz angry by keeping this is the news!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - February 12, 2016 at 11:31 am

Categories: Culture Wars, Misc News, Politicians and Pundits   Tags: , ,

When Cookie Met Sally teaches you to wait your turn!

Sesame Street is popping out with the movie parodies again this year. Their latest is When Cookie Met Sally, a parody of When Harry Met Sally that teaches children to wait their turn and not be impatient. After several attempts, can Sally teach the impatient Cookie Monster to wait in line and stop cutting people? Probably, it would be sad if they didn’t. And they are sure to include an “I’ll have what she’s having” joke, except sans orgasms. Because this is a kids’ show, after all. Don’t be impatient for orgasms, didn’t you learn anything from Cookie Monster? It’s like you didn’t watch the video embedded above.

Cookie and Sally are two very different people. Cookie is messy and impatient. Sally is neat and calm. Can Sally get Cookie to wait his turn by playing a game? Can they actually become friends?

I do enjoy the Guy Smiley photo cameo, and a photo of the puppet of Detective Munch from Law and Order: Special Letters Unit! Cameos!

With this parody of a retro flick, the future entries could be from any era, which is cool for film fans like us! I can barely wait for the next one, but luckily I have learned a few things about patience…

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 7, 2015 at 11:38 pm

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Cookie Monster goes Greek in Nosh of the Titans!

Furius and his pal Pegafish (the flying fish) are on his way to meet his dad at the top of Mount Olympus Diner, when he’s stopped by that cow with snakes for hair, Moo-dusa! Not only does looking at Moo-dusa turn you into stone for 2 whole seconds, but she’s also gone all Riddle of the Sphinx and has a test that Furius must pass. He needs to pick out which of various covered dishes contains the snake cakes to feed her hair. Can Furius learn to pay attention long enough to remember details about the lids to solve the riddle and not get turned into stone, and therefore go to meet his pop and “Release the Cracker”? Find out in Nosh of the Titans!

As usual, I attached a bunch of images and even an animated gif of Moo-dusa, because the world needs more moving images of a cow with snake hair!

Moo-dusa Nosh of the Titans Sesame Street

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 2, 2015 at 9:54 pm

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Cookie Monster is The Hulk in The Aveggies!


The Avengers– excuse me, the Aveggies are vegetable maniacs as they battle the dastardly Bon Bon, who attempts to ruin the world’s supply of healthy food because he’s in deep with Big Sugar or something.

A super villain was prepared to destroy all the healthy foods in the world, until one hero, actually, several heroes stuck together to save the world’s vegetables! Together, Dr. Brownie, Onion Man, Captain Americauliflower, Black Bean Widow, Mighty Corn, and Zuchin-eye are…The Aveggies!

All your favorite Avengers from the first film are represented! Can Dr. Brownie – aka Cookie Monster – focus on the problem at hand long enough to turn into a giant green monster and eat the spaceship cookie sent by the nefarious Bon Bon? As the gif shows, yes, but it doesn’t come without some hard work trying to focus. And also some hilarious slams on Hawkeye. Captain Americauliflower gets his shield chomped, and Mighty Corn has his hammer devoured. It’s a sad day for miraculous weapons but a great day for people who like watching food-based weapons get eaten. And don’t worry, they throw in a shawarma joke.

It’s important that kids learn to focus on things in this ADHD world of constant interruptions, and using the visually busy framework of a Hollywood blockbuster to deliver that message is some grade A subversion. But it’s all about Cookie Monster getting his chomp on!

“Me always hungry” — Dr. Brownie

Check out Sesame Street‘s Avengers: Age of Bon Bon below!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - April 28, 2015 at 8:04 pm

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Kaiju Garden Gnome Slayer!

Who knew gardening could be this monstrous! If you’ve ever wanted to have Godzilla trash a bunch of garden gnomes in statue form, this already exists and you can get it on Amazon! It’s called the Big Mouth Toys The Great Garden Gnome Massacre. But don’t take my word for it, look on!

The Great Garden Gnome Massacre terrifying T-Rex is a defender of humanity with a taste for gnomes. Harness the power of this mighty beast in your home, garden or office. 9-inches tall; 5-inches wide at base. Made of durable cast poly resin.

Godzilla Garden Gnome kaiju

Sure, gardening season is pretty much over in most places, but the fun of a dinosaur in the lawn is year round! Unless it gets buried in snow… Mostly year round! Anyway, I just found it, so I might as well post it, because, that’s how we roll here at TarsTarkas.NET. I like weirdo garden gnomes, and plan on having enough that my less-fun neighbors will get upset. Best to identify those people early, I say!

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Posted by Tars Tarkas - September 21, 2014 at 11:23 pm

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