Retro TV with antennae

Lost in Space While Lost in Transit

I’ve needed comic relief while I await another print galley of Altogether Alien, being sent to my current address this time, or one can only hope. For this next book in the Other Worldly series, six times has not been a charm when it comes to the publishing process. Yes, delays happen, but a lack of timely, comprehensive communication is what leaves me feeling downright humorless and lost in transit myself.

Hence, this past Saturday morning, much like a kid consuming cartoons, I found myself watching a 1965 episode of My Favorite Martian. It was reruns I viewed of this particular retro show in my childhood, as I was only four years old when the episode about a cloning machine first aired.

A couple of things regarding My Favorite Martian, which happens to be mentioned in Aliens Abound, book three of the Other Worldly series. First, it starred Ray Walston as the Martian, who also starred in a favorite musical of mine, South Pacific, featured in the (hopefully) soon-to-be-launched Altogether Alien because of the mythical tropical island of Bali Ha’i.

Second, while watching this show after so many years, I realized the cheesy antennae protruding from Walston’s head actually look like metal TV antennae from back in the day.

And, most uncanny, the cable TV channel on which I watched My Favorite Martian is called “antenna TV.”

Beginning with Aliens Abound, my protagonist Rowan Layne learns how Martian is considered a no-no term by Labyrinthians who originate from Mars, despite the reality that Mars is actually called Mars, unlike other planets comprising our solar system in my novels. Although Earth is also known as Earth.

Throughout the Other Worldly series, I have some fun with references to other campy TV shows featuring aliens of the extraterrestrial kind, including The Jetsons and Roger Ramjet cartoons. Both are from the early sixties, so it was also reruns I watched, back in the day. But it now dawns on me how they might have framed my fascination with the very subject I write about now, aliens who look and sometimes act like humans.

Beginning especially with Aliens Abound, I also mention the original late 1960s Star Trek series, often with a bit of snark. But Rowan does give Congressional members a piece of her mind in referencing more important social consciousness aspects of this groundbreaking show when she addresses that legislative body therein.

In the upcoming Altogether Alien, a favorite show from carefree childhood days is featured: Lost in Space. And I can’t help but realize that the first print galley shipped to the wrong address last week, and which has to be received from the printer and approved to the publisher before the book can be launched for sale via online stores, is kind of lost in space. Of course, the space is the Las Vegas area, but still…

In Altogether Alien, it’s the goofy robot from Lost in Space that enables me to engage in comedic fodder. And while I haven’t been able to find currently airing episodes of this show to watch for reference—and much needed nostalgia—fifty (yikes) years later, in Altogether Alien the entire series is procured for some youthful aliens to watch and absorb, with hilarious results. Well, I find it hilarious, so hopefully it will make readers laugh out loud too.

But, back to “antenna TV” on Saturday morning. Following My Favorite Martian in the nostalgic lineup was I Dream of Jeannie. A 1973 episode called “The Solid Gold Jeannie,” in which Jeannie enters the astronaut isolation chamber to be with Tony. Whereupon one of Major Tony Nelson’s fellow astronauts returning from space mistakes Jeannie, a genie, for an extraterrestrial entity. Downright uncanny, given the timing.

One hopes the timing on the launch of Altogether Alien will soon enter warp speed, Star Trek style. I might as well be lost in space at this point, because that’s what it feels like, waiting for this print galley to arrive on my doorstep. Too bad I can’t have Jeannie cross her arms and blink her eyes to make it suddenly appear.

I wish an alien could bring it to me. Where are Rowan Layne and her pals when you need them?

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