Possibly the most graceful dancer ever to appear in films, Cy Charisse died at the age of 86 in Los Angeles. We are lucky in that many of her performances in the big-budget Hollywood musicals are still available. Her single most famous dance may be her dance, by herself, in Silk Stockings. First, the movie trailer:
Then the beginning of the dance:
Here is the conclusion, and the finish of her transformation, which they gave away in the trailer, but then it was no big surprise that Cyd Charisse would, by the end of the story, be beautiful. Audiences expected that: they enjoyed going along for the ride.
The entire movie, Silk Stockings, is available, although there is a delay in getting a copy.
Four people who worked on the original Star Trek have died in the past several weeks. Alexander Courage, known for the show's theme. Joseph Pevney, who directed some of the most famous shows, including "The Trouble with Tribbles." Robert Justman, producer and director. Bill Dial, writer and actor. While I looking for information about them I discovered that there is a memorial listing of everyone who worked on the shows and who has died: Memory Alpha.
Amazon's strategy appears to be to press forward wherever possible, retreat for a time when it meets resistance, and then press forward again. By now, even big, well-established houses have begun to feel the pain. In an industry where unity is not a well-understood concept, Amazon is not yet seeing problems in its divide and conquer ways.
Of more interest in the longer run is the concentration of control of what's available for people to read. People interested in niche topics will be looking at more and more disabled "buy with one click" buttons. Given Amazon's stated purpose is to provide a better experience for its customers, there seems to be some lack of vision. Or perhaps merely another purpose, such as making the most money possible.
And any case, if you read, this story, which is still confined to the business pages, should be of interest to you.
The Bookseller, which reports on the UK publishing industry, reports the following from its annual poll.
Only half of young people aged 18-24 years old think people will still be using bookshops in 20 years' time. That was one of the statistics revealed at The Bookseller's Reading The Future conference on Thursday, which presented new consumer research into the reading and buying habits of 1,000 adults across the country.
The young were also reported to be more interested in using e-books and other readers than those over sixty-five: a big non-surprise in my opinion. As Kindle's pricing shows, e-readers are still expensive enough that a portable paperback trumps them for a lot of casual reading.
Soccer is major passion in most of the world, at least among people interested in sports. Here we have Werner, German soccer fan, who drops a ball into the midst of his local street fair, then gives a play by play commentary on the result.
I think cartooning's love of classical music may have begun because it was already composed, the small orchestras used to provide the film scores already knew it, and it was out of copyright. Or maybe because classical music in general and opera in particular lend themselves so easily to pictures from the imagination. Take thse two versions of Rossini's The Barber of Seville.
Unfortunately a complete version of this one isn't available, but Woody's bout with opera preceded that of Bugs. The Bugs version is rated number twelve on the list of the world's greatest cartoons; Woody's is number forty-three.
David Taylor has become president of Lightning Source as Ingram adds the POD printer to their book division. Previously it was a division on its own. This may reflect the increasing use of POD printing by publishers who previously viewed it as a stop-gap at most.
Budrys critiqued several of my stories and published some in Tomorrow, gave me advice about a novel, and published my first story collection, First Light, as number two of his then-new Unifont imprint. He reserved the number one slot for himself.
Many genre writers have similar stories. He was an astute editor and teacher of the craft of producing commercial fiction. He claimed never to rewrite his own work. I am dubious that absolutely true, since he did reissue several of his novels in "writer's cut" format. It is true that he opposed reworking material until it had lost its spontaneity.
Negotiations are underway to bring all of his works back into print. High time.
In the US and UK it is virtually impossible to get reliable figures for e-sales and sales of e-readers from Amazon and Sony, but on Taiwan, a bit more information is available. There, at least, figures for local production of devices is known and the split between Amazon and Sony is 60/40. They are shipping at least 60,000 units a month and expect production to double shortly. Shall we call it the silent market? It looks like Sony is still in the game, too.