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Julie Andrews singing Burlington Bertie from Star!

An evening pause: Julie Andrews, in her prime, had one of the most incredible screen presences of any actor in the history of film. Unfortunately, though everyone will agree that she has had a marvelous career, except for a few rare but truly wonderful exceptions (Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music) I have always felt that her amazing ability to mesmerize an audience with a mere look was generally wasted in most of the movies she made.

Here is Julie in the movie Star!, which did not do well when released because it came out at a time (1968) when filmgoers seemed uninterested in entertaining musicals. Movies then had to relevant (oh that word!). She is playing a young woman whose deepest passion is to perform on the stage. This scene is her first real chance to do something solo. Stay till the end. Her first words after the she leaves the stage says it all. Unfortunately the versions available now cut that last line, where she so sincerely says, “That was wonderful.”

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

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