It is my privilege and my pleasure to make a huge announcement.
The script for Phil Tucker’s lost film Space Jockey has been discovered, thanks to a copy of it kept by an original cast member. The film remains lost to the best of my knowledge, but Tucker’s script for his lost film has surfaced.
In September 2019, I was contacted by Tok Thompson, professor of Anthropology and Communication at the University of Southern California. Tok’s mother Donnis Stark Thompson, recently departed, had lived a full and fascinating life that included an early stint as an actress. And when Phil Tucker shot the lost film in Fairbanks, Alaska during the late summer of 1953, she was part of the cast. Years later among his mother’s belongings, Tok’s family discovered her copy of the Space Jockey script. Contacting film journalist Phil Hall, Tok was advised to contact me about the script because of my Phil Tucker book I Cannot, Yet I Must.
Thanks to Tok graciously sharing the script, I’ve been able to read it and, thanks to the copyright research of Elias Savada, it’s been confirmed that Tucker’s script was never copyrighted or renewed. As the script is public domain, I am pleased to say that it will be published in the year 2021. Also, there are hopes of performing it in some manner.
As this project is in development and ongoing, I’ll have more to post as the year keeps rolling on, with a publication date to be narrowed down and announced later. I hope that everyone out there who is a fan of Robot Monster, Phil Tucker’s movies, and cult cinema in general is as excited about this project as I am, and I look forward to you being able to experience this lost original script by Phil Tucker.
Two more novels in the Maize Noir world of Midwestern themed crime fiction are coming, Spider’s Wine and Attack Therapy. They are written and on the way this year, but now is the time for Part 1 of this loosely connected trilogy. So, without further ado, let’s close with an excerpt from Screw Punch:
She had nothing left to do but help Kim find her tool and get out of there.
So she paused to look into a wall mirror above the little microwave that sat on the inadequate table. Her hair had been pulled up in a pony tail that she now released to shake her hair around and regather in her hands.
As she shaped her hair together into a thick stream, she noticed absentmindedly that the closet door was open by a small crack.
She looked up critically at the mirror, noticing straight white-blond hairs that were escaping her pony tail and that she smoothed back over her scalp with both hands. Then she pulled off the hair tie, rested it on two fingers, and grabbed all of her hair and bunched it all within one petite fist.
And then she stopped, frozen, and hair began to drift down. In the mirror, her eyes enlarged and her mouth opened silently.
A pair of eyes was staring back at her from the closet.
The final part of the movie ended eight minutes before class was over, and the teacher spent the time asking everyone if the movie matched how they envisioned it from reading the play, talk that was half-audible from the whirring rewind of the old VHS tape. Brian was buoyed at class being almost over, the comfort of casual conversation going on in the background, and the machine noise as he drew in the folder creases. Soon, the bell rang and they were dismissed. Brian was out the classroom door with his typical energy, into the main hallway, and then climbed the main stairwell to a large window.
The sky was almost black.
He stuck his head out of the partially opened window to see no sun. The darkness covered most of the sky, only a hint of the morning’s blue in the east but the smeared charcoal faded into gray in the west. There the rain was already falling, and soon it would run down in cold jets from a dark silver sky over the school.
“Partly cloudy, chance of rain.”
Brian turned slowly and walked to study hall. It was on the first floor, a short distance with no rush, and all he had to do was descend further downwards.
Copyright 2018 Anders Runestad. All rights reserved.
These two stories are just the beginning. In the not too distant and foreseeable future, I will be unleashing more short fiction. While there are a few story outlets around, there isn’t a glut of pulp magazines like Planet Stories and Thrilling Mystery anymore. The true inheritor of the short fiction mantle is indie self-publishing, and I’m glad to be a part of it.
Speaking of the future . . . I’ve been cooking up some more book projects, which I will reveal more about this fall.
I’ve been away from the blog for too long, so I’ll get everything up to speed:
–Belatedly . . . Happy Easter!
–A big congratulations to this year’s Rondo Award winners, announced just this past Sunday night. My book I Cannot, Yet I Must did not win in its category but I honestly did not expect that it would. The competition was stiff indeed, and the winner and runners-up are absolutely deserving. Myself, I’m still just tickled to be a nominee and that I can forever call myself a Rondo-nominated author.
–With Easter recently celebrated and springtime here, it’s time to post some exuberant music. And I can’t imagine anything more exuberant than this thundering, brain-melting, blistering performance by Simple Minds from Newcastle, England in 1982. Enjoy!
Check it out! Phil Hall is one of the few people to write anything about Phil Tucker’s Space Jockey and I quoted him thusly in my book. Recently I’ve been happy to make his acquaintance and was interviewed for his wide-ranging cinema podcast, The Online Movie Show With Phil Hall. It’s a fun little chat, and Phil asks all the right questions about Robot Monster, Phil Tucker, and related subjects. Many thanks to Phil for having me on!