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WORDS AND IMAGES : Fantastic Voyage : The reissued sci-fi fable 'The Ship that Sailed to Mars' takes its place among children's classics.

March 04, 1993|FRANCES HALPERN | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

A writing colleague has just finished a modern-day science fiction fantasy about an ocean liner able to sail to other planets. I wondered about the possibilities of such a tale capturing the imagination of someone at a publishing house. And then I met Ventura publisher Vivi Wagner of StoneWall Publications.

StoneWall recently reissued the magical science fiction fable "The Ship that Sailed to Mars." Originally published in 1923, the prophetic tale was written and illustrated by William M. Timlin, an English architect and artist who died in 1943 in South Africa.

Wagner discovered the 70-year-old edition of the book in her aunt's library in New York and fell in love. She searched for and found the author's relatives, who were delighted to have the book reprinted.

"It had to be brought back," said Wagner. "It is a timeless children's classic and belongs on the shelf of every grandparent and book collector, alongside the fantasies illustrated by Arthur Rackham and Edmund Dulac."

Original copies of the book (almost impossible to find) are worth at least $1,000, according to Wagner. The incredibly beautiful new edition, which features 48 full-color illustrations, sells for only $25 and is available at local bookstores. Or contact StoneWall Publications, 4651 Aurora Drive, Ventura.

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Following the screening of "Gas Food Lodging" at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Ojai Playhouse, writer-director Allison Anders and lead actress Brooke Adams will participate in a discussion about the film.

Just two years ago Anders was a welfare mother trying to raise two daughters on food stamps and occasional odd jobs. The film, based on her adaptation of Richard Peck's novel "Don't Look and it Won't Hurt" is part of the Ojai Film Society's ongoing series.

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The screening of Part I of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" will kick off a new series of literary films hosted by Friends of the Prueter Library. The films will screen at 7 p.m. every Monday at 510 Park Ave., Port Hueneme. Guests will help select future films. Call 486-5460.

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Everyone is welcome to attend the Conejo Valley Genealogical Society meeting Tuesday in the Thousand Oaks Library on Janss Road. A session for beginning genealogists will be offered at 6:30 p.m. followed at 7:30 with a talk by Richard Dean, Ventura County recorder, who will describe how to access county records. Call 497-8293 for details.

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The Ventura County Writers Club will hear journalist and screenwriter Frederic Hunter at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Pleasant Valley Church, 1101 Ponderosa Drive, Camarillo. Hunter, whose "Lincoln and the War Within" will be shown on PBS KCET, has a long list of television and film credits. His print credits include more than 700 feature stories written while he was on the staff of the Christian Science Monitor in Boston. Call 495-8730.

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