Sunday, February 1, 2015

Author Spotlight: Tammy Salyer

Today the spotlight is on Tammy Salyer, science fiction author of the Spectras Arise series.

Contract of DefianceContract of BetrayalContract of War, and Conviction follow heroine Aly Erikson and her crew of anti-Admin smugglers through an ever-escalating glut of life-and-death adventures and the trials of a living on the side of liberty and freedom—whether they agree with the law or not—in the far future of the Algol star system. As former Corps members, most are no strangers to fighting and dissent, but more than anything, they want to spend their lives flying under the radar without control or interference from the system’s central government, The Political and Capital Administration of the Advanced Worlds. But the Admin's greed-drenched dualism of power and corruption has other plans, and throughout the series, Aly and her crew are reminded of one lesson time and again: when all other options run out, never let go of your gun.


Tell us a bit about yourself. How did you become a writer?

Hi Michael! Thanks so much for having me as a guest today to talk about that thing all writers bore the pants off their friends and loved ones talking about: writing.

Writing has always been a habit of my brain and fingers, and I’ve been writing journals, fiction, and nonfiction since I was a kid. When self-publishing took off a few years ago and it suddenly became easier to get works out to a whole ocean of readers, I decided to get serious and start writing for a bigger audience than myself. It took a lot of courage to get past that hump and “expose” myself (disclaimer: no children were harmed in this process) to more than my critique groups and friends, but it was also real incentive to hone the craft more. A writer who isn’t thinking about a real-life audience can have a tendency to just let the writing process be vague and meandering. So having an actual mode for reaching readers (outside submitting to the glacier-pace of traditional publishing) was exactly what I needed to motivate me to start regarding my writing skills to be as important as any other skill. I knew that if I was going to publish and make myself fair game for a wide spectrum of readers and criticism, I needed to make sure I was writing to the highest standards I was capable of.

How did you decide on speculative fiction? 

I never made a conscious decision about what genre to write in; I’ve always preferred genre fiction to read personally, so it was natural for my first published works to be in the genres I loved. Horror, fantasy, satire, and science fiction. The mental exercise of dreaming up things that can’t possibly be real is such a fun challenge. We all have an innate tendency to daydream and take mental vacations beyond our quotidian experiences. I just like to stretch those vacations beyond the confines of known reality.

Your main works are in the Spectras Arise series, consisting of three novels and a novella. Was there any particular inspiration behind this series?

Up to when I started Contract of Defiance, the first novel in the series, I wrote mostly fantasy. But one day, the protagonist popped into my head, racing through the corridors in a running gunfight through a huge spaceship, and the idea was born. It took off on its own, and I essentially followed the breadcrumbs of ideas that kept getting dropped by my subconscious. If I had to point to any particular inspiration, I would cite all of the science fiction movies I loved as a kid, most specifically Aliens. Having been in the military myself, writing a series about disgruntled space marines came pretty naturally. After finishing the series, I felt compelled to fill in a few remaining events that the main characters had experienced before the series was set and wrote a prequel called Conviction. It’s free on Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Smashwords, and at PayHip (links here - Ed.), or people can join my newsletter tribe for a copy, too. Any of your readers who love action and adventure in a space opera milieu should definitely check it out (and let me know what you think! I love hearing from readers).

What are you working on now? 

I’m positively giddy about what I’m doing now, actually. In a major gear shift, I’m working on a trilogy that’s much more fantasy (back to my old ways), but still set partially in outer space. I’m about a third of the way through the first book’s first draft and am already outlining the subsequent two, though I haven’t titled them yet. How to describe it . . . ah, that’s the hard part. I’ll go with something brief for now: In an alternative universe ruled by immortal but flawed beings known as Verities, a human life is cheap and often carelessly destroyed in their wars for power. When the family of a Knight who took an oath to keep their secrets is lost to their whims, he takes a new vow: To exact vengeance.

I’m hoping to have the trilogy completed by the end of 2015, and the first book will likely be out in September.


Author Bio

I am an independently published speculative fiction writer and freelance editor. My fangirl goal in life is to sing karaoke with Commander Mark Hadfield and novelist Neil Gaiman aboard the International Space Station. But I’ll settle for digestifs and tea with them somewhere on Earth, too. Want early access to my future novels, review copies, news, etc.? Please join my newsletter tribe. You can always find me at my website, Twitter, or Facebook. Thank you!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Author Spotlight: Ray Garton

Welcome back to Spaceship Urff! Personal circumstances (laziness) have kept the site dormant for a while, but it's back and more or less the same as ever! One change is that I've ababdoned an "issue" format and will now post items individually. Like this here interview with horror legend Ray Garton!

Ray has been writing novels, novellas, and short stories for thirty years. His work spans the genres of horror, crime, and suspense. His latest thriller, Frankenstorm, was released as an ebook serial by Pinnacle Books and is also now available in paperback. His short fiction has recently appeared in such anthologies as Nightscapes, Volume 1, Dark Visions: A Collection of Modern Horror, Volume 1, Horror Library 5, and Splatterlands: Reawakening the Splatterpunk Revolution. You can see his bibliography and keep up with new releases at his website, He lives in northern California with his wife Dawn and is currently at work on his next novel.

Let's peer into his dark, diabolical mind, shall we?


You've been writing horror for quite a long time now. How and when did you start?

Very early, as a child. I always had this urge to concoct stories and characters. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t doing that in one way or another. It was just part of my make-up. It was something in which I had no more say than talking — just another way of expressing myself, a way of communicating. And I preferred to communicate horror stories even then. What did I know about anything? I was a kid, a teenager, a college student, I had no experience. So I had to rely on my imagination, and doing that always seems to lead down some dark alleys. I always went for a strong reaction from my reader, and I usually got it. It was kind of like an eight-year-old boy shoving a frog into the face of a five-year-old girl just to watch her run away screaming. I think that kid lives inside every horror writer, it’s just expressed in different ways. I’ve always thought of myself more as a storyteller than a writer, and the kind of stories I like are about people in extreme situations.

I think that stems from the way I wrote back in school. I had little or no experience to draw on, so I looked around and exaggerated what I saw, or threw in a killer, or a werewolf. And it was fun! I took to horror movies early on, much to my parents’ chagrin, and those, along with the many books I read, mostly in the horror, suspense, crime, and science fiction genres, shaped my writing. And the bible, of course, I got a whole lot of that, and it was a huge influence. I think that’s why the horror genre was so appealing to me — I already understood that language. Most horror fiction and movies of the 1960s and ‘70s — going back long before that, of course, but I wasn’t around — took place in the King James Bible universe, where everything good comes from god and everything bad comes from the devil. I grew up on that kind of horror and that was the kind of horror I wrote, that and some non-supernatural thrillers. I finally got tired of just entertaining my friends and my first novel sold in 1983 and I’m still learning how to do this.

To date, you've written over sixty books. Which of your novels is your personal favorite? Which is the work which you consider to be the best example of your fiction?

Sex and Violence in Hollywood. It stands out as my most enjoyable writing experience — the book just poured out of me, and fast, and it was very spontaneous, I really didn’t know what was going to happen at any time until it happened — and I think it’s my best book. It’s one of the very few books that I finished before ever showing it to anyone. Most of my novels have been sold on the basis of sample chapters and an outline, but I finished this one first. I think it’s the best example of my writing, and it contains everything I love about writing. It’s not a horror novel, but my love of the genre is in there. It’s a thriller, but it’s also a comedy. I think the comedy was the most enjoyable part of writing it.

When I was a boy, I always wanted to be a writer, but originally, I wanted to be a comedy writer. I wanted to be Rob Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show, the character played by Van Dyke who was the head writer on a popular TV comedy show. But I ended up following my other love, horror fiction. That’s not a big leap. Comedy and horror are two sides of the same coin. Both rely on surprise, and both focus on someone’s misfortune, but with different results. One amuses and makes you laugh, the other is frightening and disturbing.

Sex and Violence in Hollywood does both. Unfortunately, it’s hard to categorize, it can’t be slipped into a specific genre, and that kept it selling to major publishers (all of whom loved the book without exception). Also unfortunately, it’s not horror, so a lot of people aren’t interested. It’s been hard finding an audience for it, even though I think it has a pretty wide appeal for all its quirkiness. It also features my favorite of all my characters, a celebrity defense attorney named Rona Horowitz. Some real people, like the late Johnny Cochrane, who was famous for the O.J. Simpson trial, Jack Lemmon, Stephen Spielberg, and others make brief appearances, and Jack Nicholson is a minor character. A producer has been trying for a couple of years now to develop it as a movie. That process is long and tedious and I usually give it little or no thought because, in the end, it usually falls through. But I’ve got everything crossed for this one — my fingers, toes, eyes, testicles, everything — because I really, really want this movie to happen.

Do you have any overarching goal or ambition as an author?

To entertain. I think of myself primarily as an entertainer, that’s my job. If I can keep doing that, the readers won’t go away.

You co-authored a book about the controversial haunting of the Snedeker family, the events of which form the basis for the film A Haunting in Connecticut. You've since publicly stated that the events depicted in the book should not be considered non-fiction due to the unreliability of the witnesses. Do you personally have any belief in the paranormal, or do you believe such tales belong only to the domain of fiction?

I’ve been fascinated by the paranormal my whole life. As a boy, I was terrified of it because of my family’s religious beliefs. We were Seventh-day Adventists, and Adventists believe there are no ghosts, only demons posing as ghosts. I grew up believing that anything mysterious, anything we didn’t understand, was probably evil. And I grew up scared shitless. All the time. I don’t believe that anymore. In fact, I’m not much of a believer, I’m pretty skeptical across the board.

I don’t believe in things like demons or ghosts. If it turns out that there is life after death and dead people are trying to communicate with the living, I seriously doubt that it’ll be discovered on a paranormal “reality TV” show because those shows are all bullshit. Those shows, “paranormal investigators” like Ed and Lorraine Warren (The Amityville Horror, In A Dark Place: The Story of a True Haunting, etc.), psychics like the late Sylvia Brown, mediums like John Edward or James von Praugh — all complete and utter bullshit, nothing more than con artists who prey on vulnerable people. I’m not saying that weird, inexplicable things don’t happen — the world is full of things we don’t understand yet — I just don’t include the supernatural on my list of possible explanations, and unlike so many, I certainly don’t jump to that explanation first. As a horror writer, as someone who’s always looking for a new idea, I do consider that explanation as possible material for a story or book. But I don’t believe it. There are still plenty of things we don’t understand, but look at all the things we’ve learned about our world, all the mysteries we’ve solved, all the weird phenomena we’ve been able to explain. In all those millennia of exploration and discovery, the supernatural usually has been our desperate, ignorant explanation for the things we didn’t understand, but not once in human history has the supernatural turned out to be the actual cause of or explanation for anything. Everything we’ve believed was supernatural at first has been perfectly natural and rational. I think that will continue to be the case. We humans fear the unknown and come up with some pretty scary explanations for it. That’s how we deal with fear.

That’s where people like me come in. Horror writers entertain with fear. But because I’m a horror writer, most people are shocked that I don’t believe in the paranormal. In fact, some even get pretty miffed about it. As I said, I’ve always been fascinated by it and have done tons of reading about it over the years. In fact, the reason I took on the job to write In a Dark Place was that I’d followed the adventures of Ed and Lorraine Warren in the National Enquirer when I was a kid and I thought it would be a fun job. But it wasn’t. When the stories told by members of the family allegedly plagued by an infestation of demons didn’t mesh, I approached Ed Warren for advice. He said, “These people are crazy. All the people who come to us are crazy. That’s why they come to us. Use what you can and make the rest up. You write scary books, right? That’s why we hired you. Just make up what you have to and make it a good scary story.” That’s how Ed and Lorraine worked. I’ve talked to other writers who’ve worked with them and have been told of similar experiences. That’s how the entire paranormal industry works. All those books about “true hauntings,” all those TV shows about ghosts and demons, those are all con artists making money off of people’s need to believe.

Can you tell us about any upcoming books or other projects?

Two new novellas were released by Cemetery Dance, Dereliction and Vortex. My new novel Frankenstorm was serialized in six parts and will be available in paperback in May, and I’ve started work on a new one in a similar vein in which I get to destroy the Las Vegas strip. (Note: This interview was conducted in early 2014. Frankenstorm is available here.) I’m also working on a new thriller.


Let's all thank Ray for joining us by buying his books, shall we? Head over to where you can find all the links and whatnot.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Spaceship Urff #1



Greetings, Urfflings!

Welcome to the premiere issue of Spaceship Urff! We have a great Author Spotlight to kick things off: British science fiction writer Ian Hutson! His work is of a satanical satirical bent, and his humor (or humour) definitely comes through in the interview.

Next up is a review of Tangerine, a science fiction novel by Wodke Hawkinson. This one has a really interesting premise and is written in a highly accessible style with strong character development.

This issue's article is the first installment of Spaceship Urff Classics. This will be an ongoing series of articles covering classic works of speculative fiction, whether that be science fiction, fantasy, horror, etc. This article on Stanley G. Weinbaum's "A Martian Odyssey" was originally published on the old SpecFicPick site.

B-Smitten is a feature I'm particularly excited about. This is for my fellow lovers of B-movies. This month, we present Manos: The Hands of Fate, a truly awful film that nevertheless holds a very special place in my heart.

Finally, the Books section lists several speculative fiction books you can check out, along with links to their Amazon listings. Authors, you can submit your books for the next issue; check out the Submission Guidelines here.

Each section/article is self-contained in its own post for ease of linking/navigation. Just click on the ones you want to read up above. At the end of each, you'll be able to return to this page to see what else might interest you or click on through to the next article. If you have any questions/comments, feel free to post them below. Enjoy!

Michael K. Rose

Spaceship Urff #1 -- Author Spotlight: Ian Hutson

I'd like to welcome author Ian Hutson to Spaceship Urff! Since I can't really say anything about him that he hasn't said better himself, we'll jump right into the interview. Tally Ho!


Just who is Ian Hutson?

My Father was a Grimsby deep-sea fisherman turned Cold War spy, an electronic-warfare expert turned naval historian. My Mother was a factory-worker, home-maker, socialite and lady. When I was born we moved to Hong Kong in time for the worst cholera epidemic, drought and typhoon of the century. As a child I spoke only Cantonese and a little pidgin English.

I learned to read and write at age nine, on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, Scotland where my Father listened in to the USSR’s transmissions and we all lived on a croft with two pet sheep and a house with no running water and no bathroom. Aged ten we lived in a friend’s public zoo in Norfolk (and I skipped school for the year). Aged fourteen I enjoyed driving my Aunt around to lay off her semi-pro bets at bookmakers. I eventually studied for a BA in Operation Research Systems Analysis and a Masters in Industrial Relations and then started work in the British Civil Service and EDS, ITSA, AVIVA et al. Only got shot at once, while my car was stuck at traffic signals - and they missed me (just).

Corporations and I company on acrimonious terms and I left to concentrate on my own businesses. Naturally, I promptly went bankrupt when the world went belly-up and lost my home, car and valuables to the Official Receiver’s auctioneers, although I must say that the County Court lady Judge was a sweetums, considering. I am now a peacenik vegan hippie living in a hedgerow in Lincolnshire, England, and my hobbies are starving, patching my underwear and being happy. If I grow up then I rather want to be a Womble or possibly a Clanger.

Fair enough. So I understand you do unspeakable things with words. Would you like to speak about it?

I feel that I should talk to someone. Perhaps a trained professional with a couch and a way with hypnotism. The notion that words have rights too is one that often worries me. We pluck them out of the aether and slap them down in new neighbourhoods like demented social workers relocating refugees, but is is fair to the words? In re-homing 'risible' next to 'science' and in putting 'guffaw' next to 'gusset' have we split up a lexicographical family? Will the new combinations work or will there be riots? I practise the most appalling segregation and attempts at linguistic-cleansing in my writing, unashamedly favouring English-English over all of the more modern derivatives. Am I a professional? Yes indeed - I never, never, never approach my typewriter without first donning my white lab-coat and my safety spectacles.

Why did you decide to become a writer?

Sheer ruddy desperation with two sources. I don't have voices in my head, I have cartoonists, and they filter everything that I see and hear about me in the world. There's no escaping them so I decided to humour them by writing their memoirs. Secondly, and this is more to do with desperation, as a disgraced, disgruntled, de-bagged, discharged professional chap beyond the legal commercial re-employment age (in my fifties) and living in rural England without the benefit of a velocipede or so much as a workable bus service, there was nowt else left to try. I think of myself as a Book Breeder. It is my avowed ambition in life to succeed in my attempts to persuade my first edition Heinleins to mate with my Tom Sharpes, to enter the library cages one day and find that my Ronald Searle sketches have spent the night in the same basket as Clarke's 2001.

Tell us a bit about your books.

Many and varied, ramblings, hitherto not at all serious. Like a lot of authors, once I've finished something I tend to dislike it intensely and I have been very careful to always mop up after myself and to unpublish and forget. I'm quite protective of everyone's right to be nostalgic and proud of their roots, whatever they may be, and I thus not only refuse to retrospectively apologise for the English Empire but I glory in its caricature and celebration. Enjoy the past, times were different then and tomorrow will be more different still. I am also a firm believer that reality has enough sad, nasty and violent endings to last beyond the lifetime of the human species, so why add more? I like books that don't depress or worry unduly, and that is what I try to write.

And what's this Diesel-Electric Elephant Company thing I keep hearing about?

The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company - a pre-postcolonial global non-multinational serving the local community. One of the magificent things to come out of Sir Timothy John "Tim" Berners-Lee OM FBE FRS FREeng FRSA's little invention is the hot poker up the backside of the big publishing houses. Yes, they still rule and ninety-nine percent of the money paid for books still goes into their pockets, but they are now as the titled and landed gentry are - living on borrowed time, dancing to a desperate tune and without the future that they assumed they would always have. Independent publishing has heralded the best of times, and the worst of times. As Queen Victoria once remarked, everyone has a book inside them - and as Mr Churchill glibly corrected while fondling her knee, in most people's cases that is exactly where it should stay. The undeniable benefit to the sudden publication of reams and reams of utter rubbish is that every pile contains a ruby, an emerald of a story or a diamond of a concept. The Diesel-Electric Elephant Company, with its overtones of colonial Raj and its undertones of duffel-coated trainspotting, is the tiny corporate machine that I use to add my reams of crud to the literary pile. It is an ambitious company, a ruthless company, a hungry predator of a company and one day, no doubt about it, will have its own kettle and staff biscuit tin.

What are you working on now?

In accordance with the strict Diesel-Electric Elephant Company policy on conformity, I am working on something completely different - working title Rupert Of The High Seas. A nautical romp populated with merchant bankers, classic pirates (the same profession, surely, separated only in the flow of the fourth dimension) and lashing waves and time travel. As usual I will be taking a potato-masher to an over-cooked pot of history, spicing it up with nonsense and this time adding in a crust of adventure.

There is a pirate captain who has no idea what most of the parts of a ship are called, crew members named after mysterious parts of the ship and a lifetime spent being chased, as was my dear late mother, by the English navy. You simply can't argue with the invention and naval efficacy of the Gatling-Cannon. The gestation and difficult birth of the book will be detailed in the first quarter of 2014 on the DEEC website,


Well, I think that should give you an idea of what Ian's writing is like! Check out his story collection, NGLND XPXon Amazon. You can also visit his website, connect with him on Facebook, and follow on Twitter. Chin-chin!


Spaceship Urff #1 -- Review: Tangerine by Wodke Hawkinson

Ava Majestic works for a company surveying planets for possible future colonization. But more than that, she is the rightful heir to an alien device which Augustus Agnotico, an egotistical billionaire, seeks to add to his collection. Oblivious to the existence of the device and the reason why Agnotico has been harassing her, Ava goes back to work exploring the planet Tangerine, cataloging the lifeforms and identifying any potential hazards. But she soon discovers the truth and comes to recognize the connection between her and Needle, the man sent by Agnotico to keep track of her.

Tangerine is an engaging science fiction story with elements of mystery and suspense. The world-building is top-notch, and writing team Wodke Hawkinson do a fantastic job of bringing the characters to life, especially Ava and her cat-like companion, Pisk.

The first half of the novel is dedicated not only to this world-building and character development but also sets up the mystery. The nature of the device and Ava's connection to it are closely guarded, leaving the reader to wonder along with Ava exactly what is going on; even Agnotico doesn't know what the device is, only that he must possess it. Once the mystery is revealed and the characters are set on the paths they must follow, the novel moves along briskly, and I found it incredibly hard to put down, wanting to know if and how the things they were doing would have unintended consequences.

Science fiction lovers will enjoy the imaginative descriptions of this future world, its technology and alien creatures, but these things don't get in the way of the progression of the story by any means. There is even a touch of romance, and I think book lovers of any stripe will enjoy this one.

Tangerine is available both in print and as an eBook from Amazon. Click here for your copy.

Spaceship Urff #1 -- Spaceship Urff Classics #1: Stanley G. Weinbaum's "A Martian Odyssey"

Originally published in the July 1934 issue of Wonder Stories, "A Martian Odyssey" was a highly influential work on the then-burgeoning genre of science fiction. It's easy to see why. Isaac Asimov considered this visionary story to be a work that changed the way all subsequent stories in the genre were written, and the Science Fiction Writers of America (now known as SFWA) chose it to lead off the fantastic anthology The Science Fiction Hall of Fame, Volume One, 1929–1964, which I recommend highly.

So what made "A Martian Odyssey" so remarkable? The story is a fairly straight-forward adventure tale: an astronaut named Dick Jarvis, part of the first manned expedition to Mars, crashes his auxiliary craft and must travel by foot to return to his comrades. A generation earlier, a story like this would have been set in Africa or India. However, aside from the dated technology and language, this story holds up so well because of the unique way in which Weinbaum created his alien landscape. His aliens were, simply put, incredibly alien. We are introduced to a highly intelligent ostrich-like creature named Tweel, a sinister black tentacle monster with psychic powers, a curious silicon-based creature that excretes blocks of silica and uses them to build pyramids around itself, and barrel-shaped automaton-like creatures that seem only to exist to feed material into a machine at the core of a tunnel network beneath their "city."

These aliens are fanciful enough, but Weinbaum goes a step further and establishes the fact that not only is their morphology completely alien, but even the way they think is different from the thought patterns of humans. Tweel, Jarvis's companion during his journey, seems to possess a language in which words for different objects--rocks, for example--change from moment to moment. The language, therefore, is situational as opposed to being based on the general commonality between objects. Tweel, Jarvis finds, takes great delight in the fact that for Jarvis, a "rock" is always a "rock."

Even the plant life of Weinbaum's Mars is extraordinary. Jarvis notes a bed of grass that parts as he walks through it. Picking up one of the "blades," he finds that it possesses two tiny legs.

Weinbaum wrote a sequel to "A Martian Odyssey" called "Valley of Dreams" as well as several other stories, but  he unfortunately died within 18 months of this story's publication, cutting short the life of a man who, despite his already considerable contribution to science fiction, could have become a giant in the genre. But it is a testament to his imagination and accessible style of story-telling that through a single work, he made such an impact on all science fiction writers who were to follow.

You can download a free copy of "A Martian Odyssey" from Project Gutenberg or Amazon.


Image of Stanley G. Weinbaum courtesy of Wikipedia

Spaceship Urff #1 -- B-Smitten: Manos: The Hands of Fate

For the first installment of B-Smitten, I wanted to start you off with a real gem of a film. I've long held that the best bad movies are made in earnest. They are not made to be bad films; they are made because a filmmaker truly believes he can pull it off. For me, a lot of the intentionally bad films fall flat. More than that, they can become boring as you sit through schtick after schtick and moments the filmmaker thinks will be funny. Manos: The Hands of Fate has only one single "humorous" sequence involving a young couple making out in a car. The rest of the film is deadly serious, and as a result... it's a scream.

Manos was the brainchild of Harold P. Warren, a fertilizer salesman from Texas who claimed that it was easy to make a horror film, and that to prove his point, he was going to make one of his own. He raised barely enough money to get the job done and the result is a film that has become a legend among lovers of B-movies.

Briefly, it follows the adventures of a couple (Mike and Margaret), their whiny daughter and their dog as they try to find the Valley Lodge. Despite following a crudely hand-painted sign pointing toward the Valley Lodge, they end up on a ranch owned by The Master and overseen by his lackey, an incredibly creepy satyr named Torgo. Unable to escape the ranch, they are pursued and eventually captured by The Master and his harem of wives.

Highlights include:

1. Mike ineptly looking for the dog and trying to get the car to start.
2. Torgo lusting after Margaret, making clumsy, jittery passes at her and peeping at her through the window as she changes.
3. Torgo defying The Master and claiming Margaret for his own, but then looking really remorseful about it.
4. Long, awkward moments in which the characters stare at each other, saying and doing nothing. I think these were meant to build suspense, but they're hilarious.
5. The epic slap fight between The Master's wives.
6. The wives attempting to "massage" Torgo to death.

I will say here that a lot of people have trouble sitting through Manos: The Hands of Fate. It's understandable; it's a truly awful film, and the beginning is very slow. But if you can make it through to the halfway point, I think you'll find the rest of the film truly enjoyable in a way that only bad movies can be. If you need a little help, the guys from Mystery Science Theater 3000 have you covered; Manos: The Hands of Fate is considered one of the essential MST3K episodes, and Joel and the bots are really on fire with the wisecracks. If you've only seen the MST3K version, try to track down the unedited version of the film. There's actually a lot of nuance that you'll otherwise miss. I found my copy on a 50-film box set from Mill Creek Entertainment called Pure Terror.

Until next time... don't do anything if The Master wouldn't approve!