DEEP SPACE INTRODUCTION
By Jim Harmon
FOREVER CITY, FOREVER HOLLYWOOD
When you write an introduction to a book, you are supposed to say something good about the author of the work you are introducing. Give me a minute, Dick. I’ll get to it.
Some years ago I asked the great radio actor, Les Tremayne, to write an introduction to my book, Radio Mystery and Adventure. He wrote about himself and his mother (a British silent movie star) and never mentioned me. I used the introduction with some disappointment. But that’s show biz.
There is a lot about show business or specially the movie business in Forever City. It is a subject I have had some experience with. Experience yes, success no.
Dick Lupoff has had some of his work successfully made into film. I have worked for several producers. I wrote an early version of The Spirit but it never got off paper. I am glad to see the wonderful Will Eisner character has finally made it to the screen, but with no help from me.
I wrote another original script about a monster stalking Victorian London in which appeared Dr. Jekyll, Dr. Frankenstein, Count Dracula, and references to Jack the Ripper. You were supposed to try to guess who the Monster of the Day was. The title selected (not by me) gave it away as an Egyptian Tomb creature, The Scarab. The concept remained only that–an idea never filmed.
While there are some DVDs out where I appear as host, interviewee or actor, there is only one where I was a script provider, The Lemon Grove Kids meet the Monsters, a takeoff on the old Bowery Boys movies were they confront Bela Lugosi. The cult figure producer-director-actor Ray Steckler died recently and his New York Times obit proclaimed “he never used a script”. He did not pay attention to the script every minute, but he did use them, as proved by this one by me, and many others by my collaborator, Ron Haydock.
In the flying city of Yukawa there are some characters like weird old Ray Steckler, and some a bit more sedate. But they share the age old characteristic of those who make entertainment, whether it is called a movie, a flick, a tape, or a cube. “These people are sharks,” my dear old pal, film producer Bob Greenberg, told me. “I can pretend to be a shark and deal with them. You can’t, Jim. You are an honorable person. You don’t belong in Hollywood.” He must have been right. I never found any success there. Bob must have known me. He once said “My brother is coming to town. Of course, we aren’t close like you and I.” He’s been gone twenty years and I still miss him every day. (By the way, we both had wives. He said I didn’t fit in, in Hollywood.)
The more things change, the more they remain the same. You can quote me. Even in the future, Lupoff reveals the familiar personalities and activities that have been going on in the movie business since Colonel Selig asked Tom Mix if he could ride and Tom said, “A little.”
The spirit of adventure lives in Lupoff’s story. Call it “pulp,” call it “conflict,” it is alive in these pages as Alfonso–Fonso, for short–deals with such matters as “Oort” matter, similar to what the pioneering giant, Jack Williamson, called “see-tee”
Another pioneer is brought to recollection with the portrayal of “Gharq of Grodlar”, a cousin to the alien Lensmen of E.E. “Doc” Smith.
OK, Dick. Now a good word for you. Richard A. Lupoff has written more good stuff than any other prolific popular author in history. Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote many books of Tarzan and Mars and other subjects, but these books lacked the depth of thought and innovation of story that Lupoff has put into his. Max Brand turned out many exciting action stories, but these were not of the quality Lupoff has put into his works.
Richard A. Lupoff is one of the great writers of science fiction and fantasy and mystery of all time.
Burbank, CA., 2009
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