CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 29, 1985 |
Submitted for your approval: A science fiction collection of 300,000 items worth millions of dollars that Forest Ackerman wants to donate to the City of Los Angeles for a museum. But in six years of trying, the museum remains in "The Twilight Zone." Ackerman, 69, said his ultimate fantasy is for the city to provide the $5 million to build a 30,000-square-foot exhibit hall somewhere in Los Angeles.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 21, 1988
The recent death of Robert Heinlein, science fiction writer and the best of that genre (Part I, May 10), reminds me that he received his start toward success as an author by failing as a politician. In 1938, Bob Heinlein, then a physically disabled Naval Academy graduate, sought the Democratic nomination for the Assembly in the old 59th District (western part of Los Angeles County). He ran against Charles Lyon, Republican Speaker of the Assembly who had cross-filed, as was then permitted.
June 15, 2004 |
The best-known castaways -- Tom Hanks and his volleyball, for example, and Robinson Crusoe -- come from the world of make-believe. One way to tolerate the idea of enduring years without human contact, apparently, is to fictionalize it. Daniel Defoe transformed Scotsman Alexander Selkirk, who spent four years on an island off Chile, into Crusoe -- and gave him a sidekick for company.
April 20, 2013
Festival of Books What: Rob Roberge is on the panel "Fiction: True Grit" in conversation with Frank Bill, James Greer and Joshua Mohr, moderated by Jim Ruland. Where: Annenberg Auditorium, USC When: 2 p.m. Sunday Price: Free. Tickets are available online. There is a $1 service fee applied to each ticket reserved. Information: latimes.com/festivalofbooks
April 13, 1986 |
James (Jamie) Winslow Ricklehouse, a "translucently fair" 40-year-old woman is the witty narrator of Nora Johnson's formidable, fabulist tale about money and power--"for usually they go together." A Catholic, the daughter of a scion of a successful business, known simply as The Firm, she tells us what it was like being brought up in a privileged Manhattan family during the '50s and '60s.
May 4, 1989 |
In the Night Cafe by Joyce Johnson (E. P. Dutton: $17.95. 231 pages) In a memoir, people and events appear because they were real. In a novel, they appear because they have to be real. Joyce Johnson wrote a first-rate memoir several years ago. "Minor Characters" told of her young days as a middle-class student from Queens who, for a few years, became part--a small but wonderfully sentient part--of the Beat circle around Jack Kerouac. Now, Johnson has written a novel with a roughly similar theme.
July 27, 1986 |
"The Gold Tip Pfitzer" is a sequel to Irene Handl's first and only other novel, "The Sioux." Both were written in the 1960s by the English actress-turned-novelist and are being issued after years out of print. They detail the lives of the Benoirs, a family so rich and fiercely devoted that woe to those who would attempt to marry into the tribe.
June 8, 1986
Francoise Sagan's female fans may have trouble identifying with this story told by a male of 60, writing of a woman he loved and lost 30 years before. There is too little dialogue in the book for the object of his unrequited passion or any of the other key characters to reveal themselves. So we are left with the narrator's gushy prose, forgivable perhaps because of the setting (French country estates), the romantic era (1830) and his own sentimental character.
September 21, 1986 |
This is a very kinky mystery--but don't get the wrong idea. The story does have some sexy bits, but nothing shocking. It's just that the wisecracking, cigar-smoking sleuth is named Kinky, whose twangy urban banter brings to mind the onstage persona of the author, Kinky Friedman, better known as a country singer and songwriter, here making his fiction debut.
September 28, 1986 |
In his fourth novel, Todd Walton, author of the critically praised "Inside Moves" and "Louie & Women," delivers an unusual and often gripping tale that begins like a hard-boiled crime story and becomes something resembling science fiction. Walton evokes a paranoid romanticism reminiscent of Craig Nova, Don DeLillo or Thomas Pynchon as he tracks the fate of Lily and Charlie, two down-and-out musicians on the run from an army of "very well-connected" thugs out not just for blood but for spirit.