How I Spent May 2018

DorisMay18Well, the big thing for me this month was working on my Bernice Summerfield story for Big Finish. Even though it’s a short story, it turned out to suck a chunk of my energy away from other projects. I still managed to get a bit of additional writing in on the side, though.

I’ve had some pretty big changes going on in the background and I’m taking stock of my future projects. I’m still chipping away on my book Monster Hunters, Dinosaur Lovers: Speculative Fiction in the Culture Wars, and my second, rather shorter book project is nearing completion. It won’t be long ’til I’ve written enough Amazing Stories retrospectives to fill a book. What with my guest appearance in Bernice Summerfield: In Time and all, that’s quite a few books.

Right, best stop blogging about myself then, as that’s a topic that I can guarantee nobody will want to read a book about.

Articles published this month:

Article topics for June and beyond:

June18andbeyond

 

On Amazing Stories Issue 16 (and the Amazing Annual)

Mastermindmars2

My latest Amazing Stories retrospective is available to read. This time I’m looking at the two issues that were out in July 1927: the standard monthly instalment, and the one-off annual. Our guests this time include H. G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and some other people who aren’t as well-remembered!

I notice that I’ve picked up a few followers after winning the Bernice Summerfield contest, so if you’re a newcomer… yeah, this is how I spend my time. Reviewing science fiction magazines from close to a century ago. Hey, there are worse hobbies.

Announcement: I’m Writing for Bernice Summerfield!

bsumbk30ab_intime_1417_cover_largeI’m positively giddy to announce that I’m the winner of the Big Finish/Time Ladies contest to write a story for the upcoming anthology Bernice Summerfield: In Time.

For those unfamiliar with her, Bernice Summerfield is a character created for Virgin’s Doctor Who novels in the 1990s before getting her own spin-offs in both prose and audio. She’s an archaeologist of the future, although my story takes place in her younger days as a teenage military cadet who has yet to find her true calling.

In Time will feature contributions from James Goss, Mark Clapham, Dave Stone, Victoria Simpson, Antonio Rastelli, Simon Guerrier and Peter Anghelides, with Xanna Eve Chown editing. Lisa Bowerman, who plays Bernice in her audio adventures, will read the audiobook. It’ll be available for your perusal this December. I’m proud to be joining a pretty awesome team of people all round.

Bar unexpected developments between now and December, my story for Bernice Summerfield: In Time will mark my debut as a published fiction author. It’s a step up that I’m very excited about, and I’d like to offer my sincerest gratitude to Big Finish for choosing me.

 

Mummy Movies: Did Disney Get There Before Universal?

Egyptian Melodies

I’m still on a mummy kick, and here’s another tidbit I’ve found.

The Mummy – the 1932 Universal film with Boris Karloff – is, for all intents and purposes, where the horror subgenre of the mummy movie began. There were a few earlier films that played with the idea of the resurrected mummy, but from what I can discern about these mostly-lost movies, they didn’t quite get the ingredients right. They had people dressing up as mummies as jokes, for example, or used offbeat concepts like mummies being resurrected through electric shocks (as per Jane C. Loudon’s science fiction epic The Mummy! or Poe’s humorous “Some Words with a Mummy”).

But then we have this.

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Mummies in Legend: Setma Khāmuas and Nefer-Ka-Ptah

mummyposterThe living mummy of horror films is one of pop culture’s biggest icons of ancient Egypt, but the concept has almost no basis in actual Egyptian belief. So far, in reading up on the topic, I’ve come across precisely two stories from ancient Egypt that involve resurrected mummies. One is the myth of Osiris, who came back from the dead to have intercourse with Isis after she had embalmed his body; this story is mentioned multiple times in The Mummy with Boris Karloff as precedent for the mummy’s resurrection (in fact, an early draft of the script suggests that Karloff’s character actually is Osiris). The other is the story of Setma Khāmuas and Nefer-Ka-Ptah.

This legend is recorded on a papyrus from circa 233 BC, and is one of a number of legends about Setma Khāmuas, a folk-hero derived from the historical figure Prince Khaemweset (a son of Ramesses II). I believe that the first English translation of the story was by Peter Le Page Renouf in Records of the Past (1875), but the version I have at hand is from Sir Ernest A. Wallis Budge’s book Egyptian Tales & Romances (1931). I’ve seen various different spellings of the characters’ names, and deferred to those used by Budge.

Continue reading “Mummies in Legend: Setma Khāmuas and Nefer-Ka-Ptah”