Sunday, March 29, 2009

Solomon Kane Appetizer

Here's a couple of links, should you not have seen them already...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tropic of Despair Read by Author

Hi everyone, I thought you might enjoy my podcast: lostcontinentlibrarys Podcast

- - Walter

David Grann on Colbert Report

David Grann, author of the Lost City of Z was interviewed on The Colbert Report. It's short, but you can put a face to the name and it's cool to see adventure get some coverage. That's what happens when Brad Pitt stars in the movie of your book!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cover Art For April/May LCL Magazine!

The next issue is being put together and here is a preview of the cover art.
I'll announce a preview of the contents in two weeks!

Having Fun

I was goofing around with Photoshop tonight...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Classic Adventure in Our Time

I caught the end of a doc (20 minutes or so) on the legendary lost cities topic associated with Brazil. In this documentary, they naturally took the position that the Spanish explorers were exaggerating grass and mud structures essentially painted white (with mud). They also cited the deaths related to disease brought over by the Europeans and their evil colonialism, of course.

Personally, I am a diffusionist who believes in the possibility that civilization was as advanced here as it was anywhere else in the remote past. I do not buy that the Middle East, aka Sumeria and the Fertile Crescent, or India, or Egypt is necessarily where civilization began. There is growing evidence that civilization may have started in the Americas and spread there, or ventured there -- thus the Amerindian ancestors were just as colonial as anyone else.

My point is that I do not believe exploration and colonization are automatically bad concepts, because not all explorers or colonists were murderous thieving bastards as contemporary history likes to paint them. Western society (particularly in the US) of the past fifty years has experienced a feminizing trend and a few generations have now grown up under this social influence. The female of the species is generally the nest builder and thus values hearth and home over wandering and exploration, so naturally there are young scholars whose view of history reflects this influence. I argue that people under such an influence would logically condemn exploration and colonization, resulting in seeing only the bad in those two human enterprises. It is like during the eras when the masculine/wandering/hunting influence was stronger in society and they rarely if ever saw the bad things that happened during the age of exploration and colonialism. The problem is not the values of nesting nor the values of exploration/colonialization -- the problem is the tendency to throw the baby out with the bath water. Another issue is we live in the era of not holding individuals accountable, thus specific bad explorers/colonizers are not singled out, all are condemned. The truth is, the world has mostly benefitted from exploration and colonization and there will always be assholes among the ranks of any group.

The documentary touched a bit on Col Fawcett, without drawing any conclusion on his fate. They did speak with a local native whose historical oral archive is adamant that they do not know what happened to Fawcett. I find that interesting because one might think they would offer the most down-to-earth explanation first, being residents of the jungle and knowing its dangers intimately.

I bring this up because it is an interesting era in which to be classic adventure fans. Much of the genre we love found its identity in the age of exploration and colonial eras. That is one big reason why I am dedicated to preserving this great genre because there are generations missing out on wonderful literature and movies. I am no apologist. The human race is not the scourge of the Earth. Exploration is our greatest calling and is the best source of adventure entertainment.


Friday, March 20, 2009

Just Adventure

As fun as 'high adventure' is, I'd like to remind all us fans that there are a lot of 'just adventure' films out there that are just as great in their own right. I don't know about you, but most of my collection in the genre is made up of these movies.

Now, some people might not classify Legend of the Lost as an adventure film, because the past ten years have seen the rise of 'super-action' and digital mania, thus presenting all adventure movies with an increasing emphasis on machine-gun rapid, choreographically obsessed action imagery. Legend of the Lost is an adventure movie, though, if only for its setting and basic plot: a man is searching for the fate of his father who was seeking an ancient lost city in the Sahara Desert. Sounds a bit like the upcoming Col Fawcett movie to me. Indeed, John Wayne and Rossano Brazzi (wearing a pith helmet!) journey through the hazards of the North African desert with tagalong Sophia Loren and do reach the lost city. Another fine example of the 'just adventure' movie is Mountains of the Moon, based on the true story of Sir Richard Burton and John Speke and their search for the source of the Nile. Nope, there's no ultra-cool martial arts posturing between Patrick Bergin and Delroy Lindo here, just excellent acting and a fascinating story.

One reason I love these movies so much may be that I've traveled extensively. Travel can be one of those things in real life that is truly movie-worthy. Real life adventuring can be as well. The point is, most of even the greatest real-life adventures were not wall-to-wall action a mile a minute and yet they still can make some of the best adventure movies. Take Zulu. There's a movie that most of the young moviegoers today just would not tolerate -- and they'd miss out. This movie tells the tale of Roarke's Drift where about a hundred British soldiers (a dozen who won the Victoria's Cross) hold off a seige of a thousand or more Zulu warriors. This movie takes the time to set up the situation and the characters before it begins the standoff. There is not the endless barrage of 'action music' and there isn't the annoying requisite posturing we see in today's film. Zulu has a pace that is real. Much like travel. Not every single moment must be tension-intensive to be enjoyable. Just being there can be an adventure in itself. Getting there certainly can be. I remember every time I went to Kabul, I had to take a small propellor-driven aircraft over the Hindu Kush to get there. Ask the white-knuckling newbies if it didn't feel like adventure when the plane hit turbulence over the jagged icy peaks (every time because it's unavoidable). If you've ever had to experience a 'combat landing' in a Twotter to land in Iraq because of the threat of anti-aircraft weaponry, you've experienced adventure. But it's also adventure to take the horse or camel ride into and throughout the ruins of the valley of Petra,
or to pull on your backpack and hike into your local mountains for the weekend. Those who have done such things can appreciate 'just adventure' movies.

Among my favorites are The Tiger of Eschpanur and its companion The Indian Tomb. You have to realize that the classics The Man Who Would Be King and The Wind and The Lion are also 'just adventures', as are Gunga Din, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and She. One of many reasons why Raiders of the Lost Ark remains the best Indy movie is because it is the most physically realistic of the series. Not necessarily in what is being depicted but in how, and that makes all the difference. It's usually (not always, for you stick-in-the-asses reading this) this element of presentation that is a difference between today's 'high adventure' (more like spastic adventure) and 'just adventure'. It's that you CAN believe Indy could pull off the under-the-truck maneuver more than the Mutt-straddling-two-jeeps-while-expertly-fencing-gag because Raiders took the time to present something unlikely in a physically believable way whereas the latter film relied on the digital cartooning we've come to expect. (I argue that if they had taken the time to do that shot physically, it would have been a lot cooler). The difference between the adventure film styles today is like the difference between a novel and a comic book. Both are good, depending upon what you're in the mood for, but some think everything should be a comic book.

I urge those who haven't to take some time occasionally and watch a 'just adventure' film. Try any of the above mentioned films and also films like The Island at the Top of the World, In Search of the Castaways or any of the Sinbad movies. Cinema seems to be the only art form wherein many of those who enjoy it want to throw away its history. That would be a shame for the adventure genre because the overwhelming majority of its best achievements predate the last thirty years. Fortunately, we have projects like Lost City of Z to look forward to, showing there is hope for the future of the genre.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


I'm still trying to figure out how to allow your comments to show up without having to click on the comments word icon thingy. As soon as I do, your comments will hopefully show up automatically.
But I am approving them. At the moment, you have to click on something to see them.

Indy a Fiasco?

In the article, Brad Pitt's 'The Lost City of Z' Gets Cooking by Monika Bartyzel Dec 10th 200, she referred to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls as a 'fiasco'.

Though there was some getting used to the first Indy film in nearly twenty years, and there were a couple of bumpy moments (the duck-jeep in the tree was too much, Indy's fridge flight was questionable and Jr's sword fight straddle drew a mild cringe), I didn't think the movie was a fiasco in any way. The moments most fans questioned were mere moments and not enough to ruin the movie. Sure, I had my critique, which you can read in the June 2008 issue of LCL, but I liked the movie. It's still better than Temple of Doom in many ways -- though I admit I have learned to be more forgiving to TOD(Indy)* over the years. Indy and the KCS is a good movie. None of the sequels top Raiders, but few movies in general top that one.

I'm curious what you all think on this topic...

* = TOD(Indy) is my way of distinguishing from how I refer to my own novel (as E A Guest) Tropic of Despair which I often refer to as TOD.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

LCL Magazine Feb/March 2009 Now Available!

The new issue is posted and available, free as usual!
If you have read it already, please take a moment to give a rating and review at Lulu!

Use the link to the right or just click here!

Monday, March 16, 2009

New Features in LCL Magazine

I'm trying some new things to liven up the magazine this issue.

You will notice when you go to the Adventure Cinema DVD reviews there are now links to previews of the movie being reviewed. After this page is the new Adventure Theater page, featuring video links to two classic adventure films. Also, one of the feature articles provides links to a film in its entirety! Finally, Real Life has gone 'live', as well, featuring an audio interview of David Hatcher Childress.

You'll really like this issue, I believe! Worth the wait!

New Podcast!

I'm going to try my hand at a podcast!

The theme will be a mix of Lost Continent Library and my interests in strange things. I'll likely do two per week, and two of those per month will be LCL related, i.e. adventure entertainment, etc.
I am already registered on the podcast site and as soon as I have the first one produced, I'll announce and link it here.

The new issue is being sewn together right now. Some software incompatibilities prevented me from finishing that final task before uploading. As soon as it's up, I'll let you know!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

LCL Mag Feb/March Just An Inch Away!

Whew! I finally finished the issue. I'll be sewing all the elements together and converting it into a PDF on Monday. Once that's done, it'll be posted and available.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

LCL Feb/March 2009

I'm working away at getting the issue together. Allow me to share the contents with you:

Feature articles on the adventure film High Road To China and the history of the pith helmet.

Fiction from Richard Senate, Teel. James Glenn, and a third piece that may be another new one.

Reviews of DVDs with links to previews! Beer review, pictorial, and the usual fun.

It's on the way...

Monday, March 9, 2009

LCL Feb March Issue Almost Here!

I know, I know! Boy is this one taking forever!

Here's a little preview on the content in the upcoming issue...

THE FLIGHT OF THE HERCULES is an LCL exclusive: the FIRST fiction by seasoned ghost hunter RICHARD SENATE!

THE FACE OF FEAR is a really cool tale from Teel. James Glenn, new to our pages and very worthy!

Trust me, the new issue IS coming!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Preview of Cover Art for Feb/March Issue

Here's a look at the cover of the upcoming issue...

Next LCL Issue On the Way!

The Feb/March issue of LCL is being worked. A bunch of stuff is done and I'm waiting for some artwork and fiction. I'm enjoying the movie reviews this month especially. Also, I'm livening up the mag a bit with some cool new features.

Look for it sometime around next weekend (hopefully)!