Friday, June 26, 2009

The Mark of Fu Manchu

On my last post, William Maynard left a post allaying one of my fears about a modern-set Fu Manchu novel. But check out the last sentence of his comment.

Hi, James. As an ardent Rohmer fan myself, I'm looking forward to reading Richard's book, too. I can tell you that Nayland Smith does not appear so that's one you can cross off your list. Here's hoping my second book, THE MARK OF FU MANCHU (set between Rohmer's two WWII-era titles) is next on the list.
William Patrick Maynard (Italics & Boldness mine.)

I have two things to point out.
First We'll cover BOLD "next on the list" Because of this I'm beginning to think there are a lot of Fu Manchu novels in the works. It should be interesting to see if I'm right.

now for italics. The Mark of Fu Manchu (Cool title)
this title got me to thinking what it could be about, and I came up with these.
1. The mark is some sort of thing left on the bodies of victims.
2. The mark is the seal of the Si-Fan.
3. The title refers to the German mark, an indicates that Fu Manchu is toying with the German economy.
For my money, number three is my favorite.

(And William, if this gives too much away, of could insult the copyright holders, (especially the part about the multiple novels in the works) I'll be glad to take this down on your say so.)

James B.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Revenge of the Immortal Fu Manchu

Apparently there is a new Fu Manchu novel afoot. (Wow, I haven't said that in a long time) And it takes place in the present day?

This from Coming Attractions:

Fu Manchu
Bill Maynard has announced that his recent Fu Manchu novel, THE TERROR OF FU MANCHU, is only the beginning of the Fu Manchu literary revival. There is much more to come from reprints of the original series which Al Longden, the agent for the Literary Estate, will hopefully be announcing shortly to a forthcoming Fu Manchu novel set in the 21st Century. The title of the new adventure is THE IMMORTAL DR. FU MANCHU and the author is Richard Sand.

Well, this could turn out great, or more lame than a one footed tiger. But here's what they need to avoid:
1. Nayland Smith as the Central hero. Please don't make Smith an immortal too. Leave him as a very old man who offers the main hero(s) suport from base. Sort of like his role in Master of Kung Fu.

2. Fu Manchu just wants to be at peace with the world. I don't see this one happening but I'll bring it up anyhow.

3. The hero(s) other than Smith believe that Fu Manchu and the Si-Fan are a myth. After 100+ years of operations, there should be more than enough paper work to show the Si-Fan exist. However, I'm not against the hero(s) all believing Fu Manchu's dead, and that the events of the novel are the work of a copy-cat.

Now for stuff I do want to see:

1. Fu Manchu has a large number of Islamic terror groups in the Si-Fan. Also cool would be if they're attempting to take control away from the Council of Seven so they would have full control of all the cults and other operators of the Si-Fan.

2. Jack Bauer appears briefly as an American government agent, but this one's just me wanting to see Jack interact with Fu Manchu. How about the hero(s)(from either the British or American government) bring in Jack to torture information from a captured Fu Manchu, It would truly be a titanic battle of wills. But sadly, I know this one will not happen, just a pipe-dream on my part.

Still, I'm looking forward to it and I'll order it as soon as it becomes available.

James B.

"Mr. Fredricksen, you are cleared for landing on the 86th floor." or Up in the WNU

I just got back from the theatre where I saw Up. It was very good and one of the few true A+ flicks I've seen this year. But of interest to this blog is where the adventure takes place

Check out the planning artwork above, remind you of anything? Yes, Conan Doyle's The Lost World. (or if you will, Maple White Land) And before we got further I'll add that in the movie proper the plateau looks identical, but sadly for our purposes I could not find any stills from the movie.
Now read this description of Maple White Land from Chapter 4 of The Lost World:

"I was still unable to sympathize. It was a full-page sketch of a landscape roughly tinted in color--the kind of painting which an open-air artist takes as a guide to a future more elaborate effort. There was a pale-green foreground of feathery vegetation, which sloped upwards and ended in a line of cliffs dark red in color, and curiously ribbed like some basaltic formations which I have seen. They extended in an unbroken wall right across the background. At one point was an isolated pyramidal rock, crowned by a great tree, which appeared to be separated by a cleft from the main crag. Behind it all, a blue tropical sky. A thin green line of vegetation fringed the summit of the ruddy cliff."

Who would have thought that a Pixar kiddie movie would be in the Wold Newton Universe?

James B.

Repairman Jack morns King Kong

In the new F. Paul Wilson short story collection, Aftershock and Others, are some pretty interesting Wold Newton related stories. First up "Interlude At Duane's"
This is apparently a Repairman Jack story. From what I've gleaned online, Jack is an investigator of Cthulhuoid horrors, though nothing along those lines has anything to do with this story.
But what this story does have is a very solid connection to King Kong, easily bringing this story (if not the whole of Repairman Jack) into the newtonverse.
Here's the paragraph:

"He felt naked. Had to leave his trusty Glock and backup home today because of his annual trip to the Empire State Building. He'd designated April 19th King Kong Day. Every year he made a pilgrimage to the observation deck to leave a little wreath in memory to the Big Guy. The Major drawback to the outing was the metal detector everyone had to pass through before heading upstairs. That meant no heat."

James B.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Bionic Man, Corner Gas

On the Corner Gas episode "Kids Stuff" Brent makes a reference to the Bionic Man. Although not as strong as prior links(Jack Bauer & The Little Hobo--click on the Corner Gas tag for them) this gives us the first link to the Newtonverse proper. Check it out at 4:39

James B.