Visions of Paradise

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Viva Italia!

Even during the past two weeks in Italy, f&sf was never too far from my mind. So here are some sfnal comments from the trip:

• Both Naples and Rome were filled with bookstores, including an entire block filled with used book stands in Rome. One of the stands was selling copies of the Italian edition of Galaxy from the 50s and 60s. I was tempted to buy some of them, but you had to buy an entire package of nearly a dozen issues, and that was too much to buy of stuff I cannot even read.

• Instead I bought a copy of Clifford D. Simak’s novel Anna Sensa Fine, which is the Italian edition of City.

• The main reason we were in Italy was for Silvio & Fei Fei’s wedding, and I finally got to meet Silvio’s dad Gey, who is a big science fiction fan. He grew up reading those Italian editions of Galaxy, so it is not surprising that his two favorite authors are Robert Sheckley and Jack Vance.

• Among Gey’s talents is film-making, so he showed us two short films he made in the 90s, one of them entitled “7th Victim,” which is based on Sheckley’s story of the same name, and was quite well done. The other film was a time-travel fantasy imagining Queen Isabella traveling between the 20th and 15th centuries, thus using that knowledge to inspire Columbus to sail for the New World.

• Whatever free time I had on the trip was spent rereading Poul Anderson’s The Earth Book of Stormgate after 30 years. I’ll post that review here soon.


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