The Witch of Lime Street: Séance, Seduction, and Houdini in the Spirit World by David Jaher

When he wasn’t chained and hanging from skyscrapers, or entombed underwater, Harry Houdini spent much time debunking criminals and fraudulent spiritualists. By the 1920s, Spiritualism had taken on religious weight both in Europe and the United States, and as with such phenomena, unscrupulous types stepped in to gain profit or to exploit hopeful séance attendees […]

Ultra the Multi-Alien: The Hero of Dalesville

No superhero has received more ridicule than Ultra the Multi-Alien. Even Aquaman garnered more respect during the years when fans denigrated him as the useless Justice League member who swims and talks to fish.  Jon Morris includes Ultra in his The League of Regrettable Superheroes, stating “Ultra resembles a mixed-up box of puzzle pieces.”  Blogger […]

Power Records: The Action Comes Alive!

I can’t do audio formats. When friends went mad for Welcome to Nightvale, The Thrilling Adventure Hour, and podcasts, I hoped for print editions of these recordings so I could join the fun.  Thankfully, the forces behind Welcome to Nightvale have come through for me, publishing scripts I can read while listening to episodes. But […]

Midge and Lenny

The first episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel contains the greatest television scene I’ve ever witnessed. Until reaching that magic moment, viewers receive introductory material about Miriam “Midge” Maisel, a well-to-do resident of the Upper West Side in New York during the late 1950s.  Her husband’s a professional, her father’s a mathematician at Columbia University, […]

Finding Shinganagh: An Irish Homecoming

In 2019, Worldcon, the annual World Science Fiction Convention, happened in Dublin, Ireland.  Beyond enjoying the convention, my time on the Emerald Isle represented a homecoming, an unexpected reunion of sorts, because I connected with my familial roots in a stunningly unexpected way. The process began with my mother, who passed in 2004, and who […]

Swamp Thing’s Kin

If you ever go back into Wooley Swamp, son, you better not go at night!There’s things out there in the middle of them woodsThat’d make a strong man die from fright!There’s things that crawl, and things that fly,And things that creep around on the ground!And they say the ghost of Lucias Clay gets up and […]