Stephen Kahn

Have a good life being strangled by Bianca’s hands at the movies

In Hard to tell on November 10, 2011 at 1:49 am

It’s about time for my new reader, joem, to get bored with my blog and wander away. However, Joe, I appreciate your dropping in.

All my life, I have been much more of a reader than a movie goer. I read much more science fiction than I watched science fiction movies. (My wife is the opposite.)

However, even though I started reading science fiction by the age of ten, my first science fiction traumas were cinematic. I bugged my father to take me to some science fiction movie about aliens; it scared me so much I bugged him to take me home, much to my disgust. It might have been Plan Nine from Outer Space [renowned as the worst science fiction movie ever made]. However, I watched a bit of that movie not long ago and it did not ring any repressed memory bells.

Then a year or two later, I went to see the movie version of War of the Worlds by myself. I stuck it all the way through, but for weeks afterwards I had nightmares about Martian death rays incinerating me

By twelve I could handle science fiction horror movies. My brother and I took our little sister to see Them (a movie about giant ants in Los Angeles) while we were living in Brea (small town in Orange County). We thought the giant ants were cool, but our sister was scared silly and ran crying into the lobby, much to the irritation of my brother and myself.

I can only think of one written science fiction story that really scared me: “It’s a Good Life,” by Jerome Bixby.

Almost as good at scaring me, however, was Theodore Sturgeon’s “Bianca’s Hands.” I could not find a print version online; however, I did find a reading by Spider Robinson, though you have to wade through a lot of music and other stuff to get to the story.

  1. Invader’s from Mars scared me the most. The Thing was also scary, and War of the Worlds, when the guys get zapped into dust piles.

    And even though I was older, Them sort of got to me.

    I was reading sci fi back then, but the weird stuff in the early 50s was in the comic books, before they got banned.

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