Raymond Chandler

Famous for writing Farewell My Lovely, The Big Sleep and The Long Goodbye, the American crime Novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler, was born July 23, 1888 in Chicago Illinois. He spent his early years in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, living with his mother and father near his cousins and his aunt (his mother’s sister) and uncle. Chandler’s father, an alcoholic civil engineer who worked for the railway, abandoned the family. To obtain the best possible education for Ray, his mother, originally from Ireland, moved them to the area of Upper Norwood in the London Borough of Croydon, England in 1900. Another uncle, a successful lawyer in Waterford, Ireland, supported them while they lived with Chandler’s maternal grandmother. Raymond was a first cousin to the actor Max Adrian, a founder member of the Royal Shakespeare Company; Max’s mother Mabel was a sister of Florence Thornton. Chandler was classically educated at Dulwich College, London (a public school whose alumni include the authors P. G. Wodehouse and C. S. Forester). He spent some of his childhood summers in Waterford with his mother’s family. He did not go to university, instead spending time in Paris and Munich improving his foreign language skills. In 1907, he was naturalized as a British subject in order to take the civil service examination, which he passed. He then took an Admiralty job, and published his first poem.

Chandler disliked the servility of the civil service and resigned, to the consternation of his family, and became a reporter for the Daily Express and the Bristol Western Gazette newspapers. He was unsuccessful as a journalist, but he published reviews and continued writing romantic poetry. An encounter with the slightly older Richard Barham Middleton is said to have influenced him into postponing his career as writer. “I met… also a young, bearded, and sad-eyed man called Richard Middleton. … Shortly afterwards he committed suicide in Antwerp, a suicide of despair, I should say. The incident made a great impression on me, because Middleton struck me as having far more talent than I was ever likely to possess; and if he couldn’t make a go of it, it wasn’t very likely that I could. In 1912, he returned to America, visiting his aunt and uncle before settling in San Francisco where he took a correspondence course in bookkeeping, finishing ahead of schedule. His mother joined him there in late 1912. They moved to Los Angeles in 1913, where he strung tennis rackets, picked fruit. He found steady employment with the Los Angeles Creamery.

In 1917, when the United States entered World War I, he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He saw combat in the trenches in France with the Gordon Highlanders and was undergoing flight training in the fledgling Royal Air Force (RAF) when the war ended. After the armistice, he returned to Los Angeles by way of Canada, and soon began a love affair with Pearl Eugenie (“Cissy”) Pascal, a married woman 18 years his senior and the stepmother of Gordon Pascal, with whom Chandler had enlisted. Cissy amicably divorced her husband, Julian, in 1920, but Chandler’s mother disapproved of the relationship and refused to sanction the marriage. For the next four years Chandler supported both his mother and Cissy. After the death of Florence Chandler on September 26, 1923, he was free to marry Cissy. They were married on February 6, 1924. Having begun in 1922 as a bookkeeper and auditor, Chandler was by 1931 a highly paid vice president of the Dabney Oil Syndicate, but his alcoholism, absenteeism, promiscuity with female employees, and threatened suicides contributed to his dismissal a year later. Due to his straitened financial circumstances Following his dismissal , Chandler turned to his latent writing talent to earn a living, teaching himself to write pulp fiction by studying the Perry Mason stories of Erle Stanley Gardner. Chandler’s first professional work, “Blackmailers Don’t Shoot”, was published in Black Mask magazine in 1933. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939, featuring the detective Philip Marlowe, speaking in the first person.

His second Marlowe novel, Farewell, My Lovely (1940), became the basis for three movie versions adapted by other screenwriters, including the 1944 film Murder My Sweet, which marked the screen debut of the Marlowe character, played by Dick Powell (whose depiction of Marlowe Chandler reportedly applauded). Literary success and film adaptations led to a demand for Chandler himself as a screenwriter. He and Billy Wilder co-wrote Double Indemnity (1944), based on James M. Cain’s novel of the same title. The noir screenplay was nominated for an Academy Award. Said Wilder, “I would just guide the structure and I would also do a lot of the dialogue, and he (Chandler) would then comprehend and start constructing too.” Wilder acknowledged that the dialogue which makes the film so memorable was largely Chandler’s.

Chandler’s only produced original screenplay was The Blue Dahlia (1946). He had not written a denouement for the script and, according to producer John Houseman, Chandler agreed to complete the script only if drunk, which Houseman agreed to. The script gained Chandler’s second Academy Award nomination for screenplay. Chandler also collaborated on the screenplay of Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train (1951), an ironic murder story based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel, which he thought implausible. Chandler clashed with Hitchcock to such an extent that they stopped talking. In 1946 the Chandlers moved to La Jolla, California, an affluent coastal neighborhood of San Diego, where Chandler wrote two more Philip Marlowe novels, The Long Goodbye and his last completed work, Playback. The latter was derived from an unproduced courtroom drama screenplay he had written for Universal Studios.

Sadly his wife Cissy Chandler died in 1954, after a long illness. Heartbroken and drunk, Chandler neglected to inter her cremated remains, and they sat for 57 years in a storage locker in the basement of Cypress View Mausoleum. After Cissy’s death, Chandler’s loneliness worsened and he became deppressed ; he returned to drinking alcohol, never quitting it for long, and the quality and quantity of his writing suffered. In 1955, he attempted suicide. Chandler’s personal and professional life were both helped and complicated by the women to whom he was attracted—notably Helga Greene, his literary agent; Jean Fracasse, his secretary; Sonia Orwell (George Orwell’s widow); and Natasha Spender (Stephen Spender’s wife), the last two of whom assumed Chandler to be a repressed homosexual, Chandler regained his U.S. citizenship in 1956.

After a respite in England, he returned to La Jolla. But sadly He died at Scripps Memorial Hospital On March 26, 1959 of pneumonial peripheral vascular shock and prerenal uremia (according to the death certificate) in 1959. Helga Greene inherited Chandler’s $60,000 estate, after prevailing in a 1960 lawsuit filed by Fracasse contesting Chandler’s holographic codicil to his will.  Chandler was Four chapters into writing his eighth novel. This was completed as the novel Poodle Springs by the mystery writer and Chandler admirer Robert B. Parker. In 1989 Parker, also finished a sequel to The Big Sleep entitled Perchance to Dream, which was salted with quotes from the original novel. Chandler’s final Marlowe short story, circa 1957, was entitled “The Pencil”. It later provided the basis of an episode of the HBO miniseries (1983–86), Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, starring Powers Boothe as Marlowe. In 2014, “The Princess and the Pedlar” (1917), a previously unknown comic operetta, with libretto by Chandler and music by Julian Pascal, was also discovered among the uncatalogued holdings of the Library of Congress. The work was never published or produced. It has been dismissed by the Raymond Chandler estate as “no more than… a curiosity.” A small team under the direction of the actor and director Paul Sand is seeking permission to produce the operetta in Los Angeles.

Chandler is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery, in San Diego, California and in 2010, a petition was signed to disinter Cissy’s remains and reinter them with Chandler in Mount Hope. After a hearing in September 2010 in San Diego Superior Court, Judge Richard S. Whitney granted the request. and Cissy’s ashes were conveyed from Cypress View to Mount Hope and interred under a new grave marker above Chandler’s, as they had wished. About 100 people attended the ceremony, which included readings by the Rev. Randal Gardner, Powers Boothe, Judith Freeman and Aissa Wayne. The shared gravestone reads, “Dead men are heavier than broken hearts”, a quotation from The Big Sleep. Chandler’s original gravestone, placed by Jean Fracasse, is still at the head of his grave; the new one is at the foot.

All but Playback have been made into motion pictures, some several times. In the year before he died, he was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America. As a result Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature, and is considered by many to be a founder, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers, of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. His protagonist, Philip Marlowe, along with Hammett’s Sam Spade, is considered by some to be synonymous with “private detective,” both having been played on screen by Humphrey Bogart, whom many considered to be the quintessential Marlowe. Some of Chandler’s novels are considered to be important literary works, and three are often considered to be masterpieces: Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The Long Goodbye is praised within an anthology of American crime stories as “arguably the first book since Hammett’s The Glass Key, published more than twenty years earlier, to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery. mMany of his novels have also been adapted for film and Television including The Big Sleep and Farewell My Lovely, many starring Humphrey Bogart or Robert Mitchum as hard-bitten detective Philip Marlowe.

Michael Connelly

American author Michael Connelly was born 21 July 1956. He writes very exciting detective novels and other crime fiction, notably those featuring LAPD Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch and criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller. After graduating from the University of Florida in 1980, Connelly got a job as a crime beat writer at the Daytona Beach News Journalwhere he worked for almost two years until he got a job at the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel in 1981. There, he covered the crime beat during the South Florida cocaine wars, an era that brought with it much violence and murder. He stayed with the paper for a few years and in 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of the 1985 Delta Flight 191 plane crash, a story which earned Connelly a place as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. the honor also brought Connelly a job as a crime reporter at the Los Angeles Times. He moved to California in 1987 with his wife Linda McCaleb, whom he met while in college and married in April 1984. After moving to Los Angeles, Connelly went to see the High Tower Apartments where Raymond Chandler’s famous character, Philip Marlowe, had lived (in The High Window), and Robert Altman had filmed. Connelly got the manager of the building to promise a phone call in case the apartment ever became available.

Ten years later, the manager tracked Connelly down and he decided to rent the place. This apartment served as a place to write for several years, but it was more based on the nostalgia of the place than the comfort of it (for example, it didn’t have air conditioning).After three years at the Los Angeles Times, Connelly wrote his first published novel The Black Echo, after previously writing two unfinished novels that he had not attempted to get published. The novel was sold to Little, Brown to be published in 1992 and won theMystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award for best first novel.The book is partly based on a true crime and is the first one featuring Connelly’s primary recurring character, Los Angeles Police Department Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch, a man who, according to Connelly, shares few similarities with the author himself. Connelly named Bosch after the Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch, known for his paintings full of sin and redemption, including a painting called “Hell”, a copy of which hangs on the office wall behind Connelly’s computer. Connelly describes his own work as a big canvas with all the characters of his books floating across it as currents on a painting. Sometime they are bound to collide creating cross currents. This is something that Connelly himself creates by bringing back characters from previous books and letting them play a part in books written five or six years after first being introduced.[3]Connelly went on to write three more novels about Detective Bosch — The Black Ice (1993), The Concrete Blonde (1994), and The Last Coyote (1995) — before quitting his job as a reporter to write full-time.

In 1996, Connelly wrote The Poet, his first book not to feature Bosch; the protagonist was reporter Jack McEvoy. The book was a success and earned Connelly comparisons to author Thomas Harris by reviewers. In 1997, Connelly returned to Bosch in Trunk Musicbefore writing another book, Blood Work (1998) about a different character, FBI agent Terry McCaleb. The book was made into a film in 2002, directed by Clint Eastwood, who also played McCaleb. The story features McCaleb, an agent with a transplanted heart, in pursuit of his donor’s murderer. The book came together after one of Connelly’s friends had a heart transplant and he saw what his friend was going through with survivor’s guilt after the surgery.When asked if he had anything against the changes made to fit the big screen, Connelly simply said; “If you take their money, it’s their turn to tell the story”.Connelly wrote another book featuring Bosch, Angels Flight (1999), before writing Void Moon (2000), a free-standing book about Cassie Black, a Las Vegas thief. In 2001, A Darkness More Than Night was released, in which Connelly united Bosch and McCaleb to solve a crime together, before releasing two books in 2002. The first, City of Bones, was the eighth Harry Bosch novel, and the other was Chasing the Dime, a non-series novel.

In 2001, Connelly left California for Tampa Bay, Florida together with his wife and daughter, so that both he and his wife could be closer to their families. But even though Connelly moved from one coast to the other, his novels still took place in Los Angeles; he feels no desire to write books set in Florida.[4]In 2003, another Bosch novel, Lost Light, was published. With this book, a CD was released, Dark Sacred Night, the Music of Harry Bosch, featuring some of the jazz music Bosch listens to.Connelly himself says he prefers listening to rock and roll, jazz and blues. While writing he listens exclusively to instrumental jazz, though, because it does not have intrusive vocals and because the improvisational playing inspires his writing. The Narrows was published in 2004. This book was a sequel to The Poet, but featured Bosch instead of McEvoy. Together with this book, a DVD was released called Blue Neon Light: Michael Connelly’s Los Angeles. In the film, Connelly presents some of the places in Los Angeles that are frequently featured in his books.[1]The Closers was published in May 2005 and was the eleventh Bosch novel. It was followed by The Lincoln Lawyer in October, Connelly’s first legal novel. It featured defense attorney Mickey Haller, Bosch’s half-brother. The book was made into a film in 2011, directed by Brad Furman; Matthew McConaughey played Mickey Haller.

After releasing Crime Beat in 2006, a non-fiction book about Connelly’s experiences as a crime-reporter, He wrote Echo Park, which begins in the High Tower Apartment that Connelly rented and wrote from. His next Bosch story, The Overlook, was originally published as a multipart series in the New York Times Magazine. After some editing, it was published as a novel in 2007. In October 2008, Connelly wrote The Brass Verdict, which brought together Bosch and Mickey Haller for the first time. He followed that in May 2009 with The Scarecrow, which brought back McEvoy as the lead character. 9 Dragons, a novel taking Bosch to Hong Kong, was released in October 2009. The Reversal, released in October 2010, reunites Bosch & Haller as they work together under the banner of the state on the retrial of a child murderer. The Mickey Haller novel The Fifth Witness was released in 2011.The Drop, which refers, in part, to the “Deferred Retirement Option Plan” that was described in the 2008 novel The Brass Verdict. was published on November 28, 2011. One of his most recent Bosch novel, published on November 26, 2012, is titled The Black Box.

Connelly was one of the creators and executive producers of Level 9, a science fiction action TV series that aired for 13 episodes in the 2000-2001 season on the UPN television network. His novel Blood Work was adapted into a film in 2002 with a screenplay by Brian Helgeland and direction by Clint Eastwood, who also played the lead role.Connelly was the subject of the 2004 video documentary Blue Neon Night: Michael Connelly’s Los Angeles. He occasionally makes guest appearances as himself in the ABC comedy/drama TV series Castle. Along with Stephen J. Cannell, James Patterson, andDennis Lehane, he is one of Castle’s poker buddies.Connelly’s novel The Lincoln Lawyer was made into a film in 2011, with Matthew McConaughey playing defense lawyer Michael “Mickey” Haller. Following the commercial success of the film, the ABC network had commissioned a pilot for a TV series featuring Haller from the production studios Lions Gate & Lakeshore. His books, have also been translated into 36 languages, and have garnered him many awards icluding the Edgar Award, Anthony Award, Macavity Award, Los Angeles Times Best Mystery/Thriller Award, Shamus Award, Dilys Award, Nero Award, Barry Award,Audie Award, Ridley Award, Maltese Falcon Award (Japan), .38 Caliber Award (France), Grand Prix Award (France) and Premio Bancarella Award (Italy) and he was also the President of theMystery Writers of America from 2003 to 2009

Ernest Hemingway

American author and journalist Ernest Hemingway was Born July 21, 1899. His economical and understated style had a strong influence on 20th-century fiction, while his life of adventure and his public image also influenced later generations. However, long before Ernest Hemingway wrote his first story, his mother was busy writing about him, in a series of scrapbooks documenting the future author’s childhood. the contents of five Hemingway scrapbooks are available online, giving fans and scholars the chance to follow the life of one of te 20th century’s literary greats from diapers to high school degree.Grace Hall Hemingway began the series of scrapbooks by describing how the sun shone and robins sang on the day in July 1899 when Hemingway was born.The scrapbooks also contain childhood paintings and tell of Hemingway playing the cello, suiting up for a ‘lightweight’ football squad and taking up boxing. During his junior year of high school, he was on his school’s prom committee and, according to a report card note from his Latin teacher, showed ‘improvement both in attitude and work.’

As Hemingway matured, the scrapbooks showcased his earliest attempts at the craft that would come to define his professional life. Among them were a short story from his high school’s literary magazine, clippings from some of his first assignments as a high school newspaper reporter and a sonnet in which 16-year-old Hemingway seemed to poke fun at himself.’Nobody likes Ernest, that, is straight stuff,’ he said, ‘and when he writes stories – we all cry “Enough.” By the time Hemingway was five, his mother noted that he was collecting war cartoons and had an appreciation for characters with courage.’He loves stories about Great Americans,’ she wrote.The scrapbooks have a plethora of family photos from the Hemingway family’s home in Oak Park, Illinois, and their vacation cottage on a lake in Northern Michigan, including shots of a bare-bottomed baby Hemingway playing in the water by a canoe.They include letters to Hemingway and others he wrote as a child, including a note of contrition in which he confessed to bad behavior in church.’My conduct tomorrow will be good,’ 13-year-old Hemingway promised.

Hemingway produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s, and won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. He published seven novels, six short story collections and two non-fiction works. Three novels, four collections of short stories and three non-fiction works were published posthumously. Many of these are considered classics of American literature.emingway was raised in Oak Park, Illinois. After high school he reported for a few months for The Kansas City Star, before leaving for the Italian front to enlist with the World War I ambulance drivers. However In 1918, he was seriously wounded and returned home. His wartime experiences formed the basis for his novel A Farewell to Arms. In 1922, he married Hadley Richardson, the first of his four wives. The couple moved to Paris, where he worked as a foreign correspondent, and fell under the influence of the modernist writers and artists of the 1920s “Lost Generation” expatriate community. The Sun Also Rises, Hemingway’s first novel, was published in 1926.

After his 1927 divorce from Hadley Richardson, Hemingway married Pauline Pfeiffer. They divorced after he returned from the Spanish Civil War where he had acted as a journalist, and after which he wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls. Martha Gellhorn became his third wife in 1940. They separated when he met Mary Welsh in London during World War II; during which he was present at the Normandy Landings and liberation of Paris. Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea in 1952, Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in two successive plane crashes that left him in pain or ill-health for much of the rest of his life. Hemingway had permanent residences in Key West, Florida, and Cuba during the 1930s and 1940s, but in 1959 he moved from Cuba to Ketchum, Idaho, where sadly he committed suicide on July 2, 1961. However A farewell to Arms remains a popular novel and ‘The scrapbooks his Mother created are part of the collection that Hemingway’s widow, Mary, gifted to the JFK Library and Museum after the author’s 1961 suicide.

The Snowman

A film adaptation based on the exciting Jo Nesbø crime thriller The Snowman is due for release in October. Originally due to be directed by Martin Scorsese, it’s Directed by Tomas Alfredson (Let the Right One In, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy) it stars Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, JK Simmons, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Toby Jones, with a score composed by Jonny Greenwood.

It features Norwegian detective, Harry Hole who is investigating a number of recent murders of women around Oslo. His experience of an earlier training course with the FBI leads him to search for links between the cases, and he finds two – each victim is a married mother and after each murder a snowman appears at the murder scene. Then more women disappear and are believed to have been abducted or murdered in a similar way. Almost all of the victims vanished after the first snowfall of winter and a snowman is found near the scene, this fact having been ignored by the original investigators.

Further digging leads Harry and his team – including newcomer Katrine Bratt, recently transferred to Oslo from the Police Department in Bergen – to suspect that paternity issues with the children of the victims may be a motive for the murders. They discover that all of the victims’ children have different fathers to the men they believe to be their father. Following DNA testing, results lead the investigation down a few wrong alleys and several murder suspects are eliminated from the enquiry.

Within a short time, Harry Hole and Katrine are drawn together – personally as well as professionally. In the past he has avoided having affairs with female colleagues, but he is now tempted. During a departmental party, Katrine tries to seduce Harry and though he rejects her, Harry has fantasies about her and realises that she is a kindred spirit – a brilliant detective able to notice the smallest of details and understand the connections between them. Moreover, she has the same kind of obsessive dedication to the job which he himself has – an obsessiveness which had earlier caused his girlfriend, Rakel, to break off their relationship. To complicate matters further, during the investigation, Harry continues to meet with Rakel clandestinely, despite the fact that she is in a new relationship.

Then Katrine Bratt attempts to frame one of the major suspects, however this backfires spectacularly when she herself becomes a suspect. Harry chases her across Norway and finally catches up with her at a previously discovered murder site. She is apprehended and committed to a psychiatric unit. At the same time, Hole’s superior officers decide that the scandal of allowing a serial killer to work on the murder case will be damaging and determine that they require a scapegoat to appease the press. Due to his previous issues with alcoholism, and poor reputation within the police department, Harry Hole is put forward in absentia. However another victim is discovered, and Hole realises that the murderer is still at large…

Jane Austen

English novelist Jane Austen tragically died in 18th July 1817. She was born 16th December 1775 and her works of romantic fiction, set among the landed gentry, earned her a place as one of the most widely read writers in English literature. Her realism and biting social commentary have gained her historical importance among scholars and critics. Austen lived her entire life as part of a close-knit family located on the lower fringes of the English landed gentry. She was educated primarily by her father and older brothers as well as through her own reading. The steadfast support of her family was critical to her development as a professional writer. Her artistic apprenticeship lasted from her teenage years into her thirties. During this period, she experimented with various literary forms, including the epistolary novel which she then abandoned, and wrote and extensively revised three major novels and began a fourth. From 1811 until 1816, with the release of Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma (1816), she achieved success as a published writer. She wrote two additional novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, both published posthumously in 1818, and began a third, which was eventually titled Sanditon, but died before completing it.

Austen’s works critique the novels of sensibility of the second half of the 18th century and are part of the transition to 19th-century realism. Her plots, though fundamentally comic, highlight the dependence of women on marriage to secure social standing and economic security. Her work brought her little personal fame and only a few positive reviews during her lifetime, but the publication in 1869 of her nephew’s A Memoir of Jane Austen introduced her to a wider public, and by the 1940s she had become widely accepted in academia as a great English writer. The second half of the 20th century saw a proliferation of Austen scholarship and the emergence of a Janeite fan culture. Biographical information concerning Jane Austen is “famously scarce”, according to one biographer. Only some personal and family letters remain (by one estimate only 160 out of Austen’s 3,000 letters are extant), and her sister Cassandra (to whom most of the letters were originally addressed) burned “the greater part” of the ones she kept and censored those she did not destroy. Other letters were destroyed by the heirs of Admiral Francis Austen, Jane’s brother. Most of the biographical material produced for fifty years after Austen’s death was written by her relatives and reflects the family’s biases in favour of “good quiet Aunt Jane”. Scholars have unearthed little information since. Since her death Jane Austen’s novels such as Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and Emma, have all remained popular and have given rise to numerous television and film adaptations.

Clive Cussler

American adventure novelist and marine archaeologist Clive Eric Cussler, was born July 15, 1931 in Aurora, Illinois. His exciting thriller novels, many featuring the character Dirk Pitt, have reached The New York Times fiction best-seller list more than seventeen times. Cussler is also the founder and chairman of the real-life National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), which has discovered more than sixty shipwreck sites and numerous other notable sunken underwater wreckages. He is the sole author or lead author of more than 50 books. Born in Aurora, Illinois, Cussler grew up in Alhambra, California and was awarded the rank of Eagle Scout when he was 14. He attended Pasadena City College for two years and then enlisted in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. During his service in the Air Force, he was promoted to Sergeant and worked as an aircraft mechanic and flight engineer for the Military Air Transport Service (MATS) After his discharge from the military, Cussler went to work in the advertising industry, first as a copywriter and later as a creative director for two of the nation’s most successful advertising agencies. As part of his duties Cussler produced radio and television commercials, many of which won international awards including an award at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

Clive Cussler began writing in 1965 when his wife took a job working nights for the local police department where they lived in California. After making dinner for the kids and putting them to bed he had no one to talk to and nothing to do so he decided to start writing. His most famous creation is marine engineer, government agent and adventurer Dirk Pitt. The Dirk Pitt novels frequently take on an alternative history perspective, such as“what if Atlantis was real?” or “what if Abraham Lincoln wasn’t assassinated, but was kidnapped?”The first two Pitt novels, The Mediterranean Caper and Iceberg, were relatively conventional maritime thrillers. The third, Raise the Titanic!, made Cussler’s reputation and established the pattern that subsequent Pitt novels would follow: a blend of high adventure and high technology, generally involving megalomaniacal villains, lost ships, beautiful women, and sunken treasure. Cussler’s novels, like those of Michael Crichton, are examples of techno-thrillers that do not use military plots and settings. Where Crichton strove for scrupulous realism, however, Cussler prefers fantastic spectacles and outlandish plot devices. The Pitt novels, in particular, have the anything-goes quality of the James Bond or Indiana Jones movies, while also sometimes borrowing from Alistair MacLean’s novels. Pitt himself is a larger-than-life hero reminiscent of Doc Savage and other characters from pulp magazines.

Clive Cussler has had more than seventeen consecutive titles reach The New York Times fiction best-seller list.Following the publication in 1996 of Cussler’s first nonfiction work, The Sea Hunters, he was awarded a Doctor of Letters degree in 1997 by the Board of Governors of the State University of New York Maritime College who accepted the work in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis. This was the first time in the college’s 123-year history that such a degree had been awarded. In 2002 Cussler was awarded the Naval Heritage Award from the U S Navy Memorial Foundation for his efforts in the area of marine exploration. Cussler is a fellow of the Explorers Club of New York, the Royal Geographic Society in London, and the American Society of Oceanographers. As an underwater explorer, Cussler has discovered more than sixty shipwreck sites and has written non-fiction books about his findings.

Forbidden planet

I’ve recently watched the classic 1956 American science fiction film Forbidden Planet again. It stars Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis and Leslie Nielsen and is considered one of the greatest science fiction films of the 1950s which ultimatley inspired many modern Science fiction stories. The characters and isolated setting are similar to those in William Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

It takes place In the 23rd century, where the starship C-57D reaches the distant world Altair IV to determine the fate of an Earth expedition sent there 20 years earlier. Dr. Edward Morbius, one of the expedition’s scientists, unsuccessfully tries to persuade the relief ship not to land, saying he cannot guarantee their safety. Commander John J. Adams, Lieutenant Jerry Farman, and Lieutenant “Doc” Ostrow are met by Robby the Robot, who transports them to Morbius’ residence. Morbius describes how one by one the rest of the expedition was killed by an unknown planetary force that vaporized their starship, the Bellerophon, as the last survivors tried to lift off. Only Morbius, his wife (who later died of natural causes), and their daughter Altaira were somehow immune. Morbius offers to help them prepare for the return journey, but Adams says he must await further instructions from Earth.

However That night, an invisible intruder sabotages equipment aboard the starship. Adams and Ostrow confront Morbius the following morning wanting answers. Later Adams and Altaira are also attacked by a tiger, which had previously been tame in Altaira’s presence, Adams disintegrates the animal. Adams and Ostrow then learn Morbius has been studying the Krell, a highly advanced native race that perished overnight 200,000 years before. In a Krell laboratory Morbius shows them a “plastic educator”, a device capable of measuring and enhancing intellectual capacity. Morbius then takes them on a tour of a vast, 20 miles square, Krell underground machine complex, still functioning and powered by 9,200 thermonuclear reactors.

To prevent further sabotage, Adams orders a force field fence deployed around the starship. However It proves ineffective when the intruder returns and murders Chief Engineer Quinn. Morbius warns Adams that he has had a premonition of further deadly attacks, similar to what happened with the Bellerophon. That night, the invisible creature returns But the ship’s weapons have no effect, and it kills Farman and two others. Morbius, asleep in the Krell lab, is startled awake by screams from Altaira. Later, while Adams tries to persuade Altaira to leave, Ostrow sneaks away to use the Krell educator. Ostrow explains to Adams that the underground machine was built to materialize anything the Krell could imagine. He says that the Krell forgot one thing: “Monsters from the Id”. Adams asserts that Morbius’ subconscious mind created the creature that killed the members of the original expedition and attacked his crew; however Morbius refuses to accept this accusation.

Altaira then tells Morbius that she intends to leave with Adams and the creature reappears so Morbius commands the robot to kill it, however Robby knows the creature is a manifestation of Morbius and is unable to kill it (thanks to Asimov’s first Law of Robotics). So Adams, Altaira, and Morbius take refuge in the Krell Laboratory but the seemingly unstoppable rampaging monster pursues them until Morbius finally accepts the truth and confronts the creature himself….