Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 8 – Tournament of Death

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It’s Saturday so it must be time for Chapter 8 of the Flash Gordon Rewatch. Last week we left Flash with an electrified shovel he was about to use to sabotage the atom furnace powering the rays that keep Vultan’s flying city aloft. So, grab some black and white popcorn and settle down for Chapter 8 – Tournament of Death!   After some rather badly written caption cards we rejoin Flash as he sabotages the atom furnace. The furnace explodes in suitably dramatic fashion but despite the damage, Flash and the others are uninjured. With the atom furnace destroyed, the flying city begins to fall. Flash and Thun go to the throne room to rescue Dale but thanks to Dale’s timely distraction (or is it a betrayal, it’s hard to tell) and Vultan’s annoyance at their continuous interference, Flash and Thun are captured and taken to an execution chamber. Meanwhile, Prince Baron finds Zarkov who explains (sort of) that they can’t rescue Flash until the strength of the beam supporting the city reaches zero. Flash and Thun are brought before a firing squad but thankfully the beam collapses just before they’re shot. As the city begins to fall, Flash and Thun head to the … Read More

Embrace Your Weird

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ToDAY is the DAY Felicia DAY’s book comes out! Do you see what I did there? Clever, huh? No? Okay, whatever. Felicia Day is one of the most well known women in geekdom – from the early days of The Guild to the launch of the Geek and Sundry YouTube channel in 2012, Felicia has flown her geek flag high. Now she’s written a memoir – You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost). I preordered the audio book a while ago, and I’ll be listening to it as soon as I finish up The Martian. A few days ago Felicia posted a video on her Facebook page with her thoughts on being yourself and it really struck a chord with me. And it features potatoes and I’m reading The Martian which also features potatoes so there’s that, too. Anyway, here it is, and it’s well worth 3 minutes 35 seconds of your time.   [Embrace Your Weird by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 11th August 2015]

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 7 – Shattering Doom

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Time to find out if Flash survives Chapter 7 of the Flash Gordon Rewatch. Last week’s chapter ended with Flash being electrocuted and Vultan trying to find out if Dale still has feelings for the earth man.   Despte knowing Vultan is testing her loyalty, Dale cannot hide her true feelings towards Flash. She makes a half-hearted attempt to save him, then faints again. Having snuck off at the end of the last episode, Aura appears and rescues Flash by convincing Vultan that murdering Flash would prevent Vultan from hooking up with Dale. Vultan realizes Princess Aura has the hots for Flash and sends him to the laboratory so that Zarkov can save him. Zarkov is interrupted while playing with his new toys. In an effort to save Flash, Zarkov and Aura put Flash in the necrostimulator. They’re cutting it close, but Zarkov thinks it’ll turn out okay. So do I. Dale is still hung up on Flash and is horrified to learn Flash is being given to Princess Aura to take back to Ming. Vultan decides that chasing Dale around while laughing manically is not the best way to win her over and instead tries a few compliments. Dale is not amused. Trying a different tack, Vultan shows off … Read More

“No, they’re all behind the trees”

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I generally try to post a music video on a Wednesday but this week I’m going with something different. This is an animation by Avi Ofer that uses a voice memo from Amanda Palmer’s phone of a conversation she had with a sleeping Neil Gaiman. It’s very cool – apparently Neil has so many imaginative ideas trapped inside him they seep out at night.   I’m reading Neil Gaiman’s short story collection Trigger Warning at the moment and it’s great. I guess it’s not surprising his night time ramblings are equally creative. I talk in my sleep as well, mostly about monsters. For a limited time, I’m giving everyone who signs up to my mailing list 5 free books, including a copy of my science fiction novel, Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet when it’s released later this year. Click here to sign up and get your free books. [“No, they’re all behind the trees” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 5th August 2015]

“Wherever there is danger he’ll be there”

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A few weeks ago, Netflix Canada added the 80s TV show, Danger Mouse, to its line up. My wife and I watched the first episode and it was as fun as I remembered. Like all the best kid’s TV it has humour that works for kids and adults alike. Danger Mouse will be returning to British screens later this year and CBBC recently released a teaser trailer…   Good to see they haven’t changed the theme music and given that DM’s eye patch will now be an gadget laden “i-patch” it seems they haven’t lost the sense of humour either. Time will tell, I guess. Hopefully they’ll follow this up with a remake of the spinoff series – Count Duckula. For a limited time, I’m giving everyone who signs up to my mailing list 5 free books, including a copy of my science fiction novel, Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet when it’s released later this year. Click here to sign up and get your free books. [“Wherever there is danger he’ll be there” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 22nd July 2015]

“Game is over, I’m full of regrets”

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Appearances can be deceptive…   That was Take My Chance by DOLL$BOXX. These could be the lyrics: If there’s no love, I’ll wait Even when I’m angry and betrayed, I still haven’t given up completely, right? ONE CHANCE I’ll stretch it and take a risk I can’t let it end like this The last advantage The false hand of fate doesn’t enter in Game is over, I’m full of regrets GET UP one more time YOU SHOULD NOT DENOUNCE ME AS IMPOSTOR IF YOU CAN’T FIND OUT Stupidly dreaming Like chance, like fortune (Could it come true?) It can’t be that easy…(can it?) If there’s (I’m clinging to the numbers I can see) (If I’m crying, not thinking how things will go wrong…) No love (Until the end) I’ll wait Even when I’m angry and betrayed, I still haven’t given up completely, right? ONE CHANCE I’ll stretch it and take a risk I can’t let it end like this Just focusing a little, You won’t necessarily succeed Being unprepared– MISS IT!! A force boldly breaking free One more time DO YOU THINK THAT YOU WANT TO BEAT UP ON ME SO LOUD LOUD LOUD The times when I dream, I look … Read More

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 3 – Captured by Shark Men

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It’s Saturday, so it’s time for the next part of our Flash Gordon rewatch. Things were looking pretty bad for Flash and Dale at the end of last week’s episode – The Tunnel of Terror. Dale had been put into a trance using the dehumanizer and Flash had just fallen unconscious having been caught by a giant crab-parrot-Godzilla thing. I’ve got a feeling things will be okay (at least for a while) so grab some popcorn and your favourite beverage and let’s watch Chapter 3 – (spoiler) Captured by Shark Men.   I was right! Prince Thun comes to Flash’s rescue and kills the giant parrot with a “raygun”. Flash and Thun prevent the final stroke of the sacred gong from sounding, in the process stopping the wedding between Dale and Ming. They rescue Dale and flee, vandalising a religious idol along the way. To Princess Aura’s chagrin, Ming orders the use of the water trap. Flash and Thun (and the still-entranced Dale) are (again) cornered by Ming’s men and (again) Thun sacrifices himself to allow Flash and Dale to escape, but as Dale returns to her normal self, a trap door opens, plunging them into water and the waiting arms of the Shark Men. Princess Aura finds Thun and … Read More

“Monsters walking cross the floor”

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It’s Canada Day here in a very hot and sunny Vancouver so I thought I’d commemorate the occasion with a Canadian artist for music Wednesdays – Feist. 1 2 3 4 is one of my favourite songs of hers and probably her most well known. Here’s a couple of versions, first the original   And this is the version she sang on Sesame Street.   The song is taken from the album The Reminder. For a limited time, I’m giving everyone who signs up to my mailing list 5 free books, including a copy of my science fiction novel, Glitch Mitchell and the Unseen Planet when it’s released later this year. Click here to sign up and get your free books. [“Monsters walking cross the floor” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 1st July 2015]

Flash Gordon Rewatch – Chapter 1 – The Planet of Peril

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Time for the first chapter of the Flash Gordon rewatch. If you haven’t read the background for this series of posts, you can get up to speed with here. Otherwise, grab your popcorn and let’s settle down and watch The Planet of Peril.   We start the show with Earth already under threat from a mysterious (radioactive) planet that will soon hit Earth and smash it to atoms. Not good. After a quick trip around the world where we see how people are reacting to their imminent demise, we join polo player Flash Gordon and the lovely Dale Arden on a plane caught in a meteor storm. Things are already looking bad, but thankfully the airline has thought ahead and provided parachutes. Unfortunately, safety standards being what they were in 1936, there aren’t enough parachutes to go round. Always the gentleman, Flash grabs Dale and jumps out of the aircraft. Landing in a strange looking country, Flash and Dale encounter Doctor Alexis Zarkov – the prototypical mad scientist who believes he holds the key to saving Earth. After a brief debate, the three of them board Zarkov’s rocket ship and head off to save the planet. Thanks to Zarkov’s rocket and its counter magnets, the three earthlings make it … Read More

“a mouth like Texas and that ain’t small”

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The Jesus and Mary Chain are playing Vancouver tonight (to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their album, Psychocandy) and we’ve got tickets so this week’s musical interlude was an easy choice. A lot of the band’s tracks are distortion heavy (especially the tracks on Psychocandy) and are a bit of an acquired taste but this is Blues From a Gun.   And one of my favourite tracks, the b-side New York City.   Blues From a Gun is from the 1989 album, Automatic.   If you’re feeling really brave, this is You Trip Me Up from Psychocandy. If you’re interested in hearing more of The Jesus and Mary Chain, I recommend starting with the 1992 album, Honey’s Dead. Get a FREE copy of my short story, Only Friends by subscribing to my newsletter. [“a mouth like Texas and that ain’t small” by Philip Harris first appeared on Solitary Mindset on 13th May 2015]