Absolute Elsewhere

F79 (1979) revised and updated  21 December 1999.

Adams, Douglas, HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY, 1, 1979, Harmony Books, HB. See 1981 entry.

Adler, Margot, DRAWING DOWN THE MOON, 1, 1979, Viking, HB. See also 1986 entry, and Research Bibliography. Subtitle: "Witches, Druids, Goddess-worshipers, and Other Pagans in America Today."  This is simply the best book ever written on occultism in the US.  Adler's study of neo-pagan movements stands as a model of how it should be done.  The key word here is FACTS.  Adler was a practicing neo-pagan, and a reporter for National Public Radio, who used her contacts to dig out the history of the movement, and the various personalities involved.  The book is sympathetic but objective.  Adler is not afraid to expose some of the quirkishness or outright silliness of some of these groups.  She's not shy about casting doubts upon some of the movement's own myths (especially concerning their claimed links to medieval witchcraft).  She also makes it clear that most neo-pagans are not the wild-eyed weirdos that many people believe they are.  Adler is the granddaughter of pioneer psychiatrist Alfred Adler.

ALIEN, Motion Picture, 1979, Scott, Director: Ridley, O'Bannon , Writer: Dan, Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon craftily combined plots from two B movies, IT (1958) and Mario Brava's TERRORE NELLO SPAZIO (1965, known as PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES in the US), with elements from H. P.Lovecraft and artist H. P. Giger's "biomechanoid" vision.  The "alien" is really the ultimate rapist. Other life forms provide places for it to lay its eggs, and provide food for its young (made grotesquely clear in a deleted scene that remains in A. D. Foster's tie-in novel).  The venereal nature of the "alien" may be a genuine touchstone  of this period's hysteria over rape.  The sequel, ALIENS (1986 entry) is also  interesting as a kind of cultural sign of the times, too.

AMITYVILLE HORROR, THE, Motion Picture, 1979, Rosenberg, Director: Stuart, As haunted house movies go, this one's not bad, but it actually suffers from having to stick to the events in Anson's book (1977 and 1978).  There was no real reason to follow it, because by 1979 the whole incident was being exposed as fiction, anyway.  The three real parapsychologists who attended the "seance" in the house after the Lutz's evacuation, smelled fraud  from the beginning.  Ed and Lorraine Warren, self-proclaimed demonologists (with book contracts with Prentice Hall), tirelessly promoted the house as well as themselves.  In 1979, William Weber admitted that he and the Lutz's had cooked  the whole tale up to make some big bucks.  The Lutz's never came up with his cut.  He sued.  They countersued (see Auerbach, ESP, 1986 for more gory details).  I'm waiting for the final sequel to the cycle: THE AMITYVILLE FRAUD.

Anthony, Piers (Piers A. D. Jacob), HASAN, 1, 1979, Dell. PB.
Anthony, Piers (Piers A. D. Jacob), GOD OF TAROT, 1979, Jove, PB. 1st novel in the TAROT trilogy.  In a recent rare, interview in THRUST, a science fiction fanzine, Anthony said that the TAROT books were among his best works.  On the Planet Tarot, apparitions alter the consciousness of all who enter them.  The planet becomes a Mecca for a profusion of religions and cults which all claim the revelations as their own.  Brother Paul, of the Holy Order of Vision (surely modeled
on the real life San Francisco based Holy Order of Man , is sent out to settle the disputes.  The "animation," the mechanism of these visions, serves up some disturbing images and experiences.  I detect the  influence of Charles Williams  (especially
THE GREATER TRUMPS) on this series.  For many who only know Anthony as the creator of the annoyingly cute XANTH novels, these darkly  erotic, metaphysical novels may be something of a surprise (see 1980 entry).

APOCALYPSE NOW, Motion Picture, 1979, Coppola, Director: Francis Ford,

Asprin, Robert, ANOTHER FINE MYTH, 2, 1979, Dell, PB.  As you would suspect from the punning title, there's some Laurel   and Hardy here.  Laurel in this case is a bumbling magician's apprentice, while Hardy is a demon from another dimension, who is trapped with absolutely no powers.  These two characters exist in a universe created in 70's generic fantasy novels and D&D fantasy games.  It took a while for these novels to really take off because of distribution problems.  The
original publisher (Dunning) was not well known outside the fan market.  The mass paperback came out on Dell's SF line.  Titles that came out under this banner are the truly disappearing books of the late 70's and early 80's.  They were on the rack one  week and out of print the next.  Good books like Piers Anthony's HASAN (1979  entry) and Steve Englehart's THE POINT MAN (1981 entry) slipped into obscurity  with this company.

Bateson, Gregory, MIND AND NATURE, 1, 1979, Dutton, HB. See 1980 entry.

Bloom, Harold, FLIGHT TO LUCIFER, THE, 1, 1979, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, HB. See 1980 entry.

Bonewitz, P. E. I., REAL MAGIC, 2, 1979, Creative Arts (Berkeley, Ca), Trade. Revised reprint of 1971 ed., Isaac Bonewitz is one of the most articulate of the 70's neo-pagans (see 1971 entry). This is one of the best of all the magic books of the 60's  and 70's.  He has great wit, a virtue that fails in most occult writers.  He's  enough of a scholar to know that there is a high percentage of bullshit in occult doctrines, and isn't afraid to point it out when he sees it.  One of the interesting things about this edition is that Bonewitz correctly predicted the  waning of interest in the occult in the 80's.  The volume also contains one of  the best annotated bibliographies of occult books of importance in this period. Bonewitz seems to have been a major influence and source for Adler's DRAWING DOWN THE MOON (1979 entry), which speaks highly of him.  This volume is one of  the better books on the occult for the curious and agnostic reader.
Brown, Peter Lancaster, MEGALITHS AND MASTERMINDS, 1979, Scribe's, HB. This is another solid survey of astroarchaeology from Brown.  It's basically the same information available in MEGALITHS, MYTHS, AND MEN (1978 entry), with some updating and restructuring.
Burl, Aubrey, PREHISTORIC AVEBURY, 1979, Yale University Press, HB. This is Burl's exhaustive study of the archaeology of one of the  most mysterious of megalithic sites in Britain.  Burl is of the older school of megalithic archaeology which views the findings of Alexander Thom, and astroarchaeology with great skepticism.  There's enough data here to satisfy the megalithamaniac for a long time.

Camp, L. Sprague de, BLADE OF CONAN, THE, 1979, Ace, PB.  Essays on R. E. Howard from fanzine AMRA.

Cazeau, Charles, and Scott, Stuart D., EXPLORING THE UNKNOWN, 1979, Plenum, HB.  Da Capo, Trade.  This is a largely CSICOP (see 1977 entry) inspired work of skepticism which attempts to refute most of the "fringe" ideas of the 60's and  70's.  Works of modern skepticism are best when they take on a specific work or incident, and at their worst when they attempt to refute ideas in general (their opponents have the opposite problem).  Cazeau's very specific refutation of some
of Barry Fell's evidence in AMERICA B.C. (1976 entry) is very, very good.  Unfortunately, the book uncritically rehashes arguments from other skeptics for the balance of the text, from ancient astronauts to astrology (skeptics are still beating that dead horse).  There is also a curiously weak refutation of Velikovsky.  With these flaws, it's still an essential volume in  the skeptical library.

Chatelain, Maurice, OUR ANCESTORS CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, 2, 1979, Dell. PB.

Comfort, Alex, I AND THAT, 1979, Crown, HB.

Daniken, Erich von, PROPHET DER VERGANGENHEIT, 1, 1979, Econ- Verlag, HB.  British and US title: SIGNS OF THE GODS?

David-Neel, Alexandra, BUDDHISM: ITS DOCTRINES AND ITS METHODS, 2, 1979, Avon, PB.

Davis, Nigel, VOYAGES TO THE NEW WORLD, 1979, William Morrow, HB. Davis' book is a major work of anti-diffusionism. Davis seems opposed to any thesis which suggests there were Old World contacts with the New World before Columbus.  When he cannot ignore it, such as the Viking finds at  L' anse' aux Meadows, in Newfoundland, he does his
best to deprecate the finds' importance.  For example, he argues that although Vikings did come to America  before Columbus, there weren't many of them, and therefore they had little or no impact.  Although Davis is English, he strongly defends the American anthropological dogma of the total isolation of Pre-Columbian America.  The margins of my copy are full of notes on Davis' use of half truths and questionable sources to support his character assassinations of theorists he disapproves of.

Day, Daniel, TOLKIEN BESTIARY, A, 1979, Ballantine, PB.

Dibdin, Michael, LAST SHERLOCK HOLMES STORY, THE, 2, 1979, Ballantine, PB. The title is no joke.  It is a shocking novel that maintains that Sherlock WAS Jack the Ripper.  To the dedicated Holmes fanatic (and that's me,  too) this book is like holding a black mass in the Vatican.  Other than that rather dubious distinction (which one of moderate intellect is able to deduce in an unentertainingly short period of time) there is little worth the effort here.

Ellwood, Robert S., ALTERNATIVE ALTERS, 1979, University of Chicago Press, HB. See Research Bibliography.

Evans, Christopher, MICRO-MILLENNIUM, THE, 1, 1979, Viking, HB. Print is dead, baby.  Ho Hum.

Farmer, Philip Jose, IMAGE OF THE BEAST, 2, 1979, Playboy Press, PB. Reprints IMAGE OF THE BEAST (1968 entry) & BLOWN (1969 entry).

Fowler, Raymond E., ANDREASSON AFFAIR, THE, 1979, Prentice Hall, HB. entry

Fuller, John G., AIRMEN WHO WOULD NOT DIE, THE, 1, 1979, Putnam, HB. See 1980 entry.

Godwyn, Joscelyn, ATHANASIUS KIRCHER, 1979, Thames and Hudson, Trade, Art and Imagination series.
Godwyn, Joscelyn, ROBERT FLUDD, 1979, Thames and Hudson/ British ed., Shambhala, Trade. Art and Imagination series.

Halevi, Z'ev Ben Shimon (Warren Kenton), KABBALAH, 1979, Thames and Hudson, Trade. Art and Imagination series.

Hall, Robert Lee, EXIT SHERLOCK HOLMES, 2, 1979, Playboy Press, PB.

Hammel, Peter Michael, THROUGH MUSIC TO THE SELF, 1979, Shambhala, Trade. Translation of 1976 German ed.
Hapgood,  Charles, MAPS OF THE ANCIENT SEA KINGS, 2, 1979, Dutton, Trade. Revised ed.

Hill, Ruth Beebe, HANTA YO, 1, 1979, Doubleday, HB. See 1980 entry.

Hitching, Francis, MYSTERIOUS WORLD: ATLAS OF THE UNEXPLAINED, 1979, Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. HB. Need Copy and Info.

Hughes, David, STAR OF BETHLEHEM, 1, 1979, Walker and Co., HB. See 1980 entry,

Huxley, Francis, DRAGON, THE, 1979, Thames and Hudson, Trade, Art and Imagination series.

Johnson, Warren, MUDDLING TOWARD FRUGALITY, 2, 1979, Shambhala, PB.

Krupp, E. C., IN SEARCH OF ANCIENT ASTRONOMIES, 2, 1979, McGraw Hill,  Trade.  In the astroarchaeology glut of the late 70's, this was one of the best surveys available.  Krupp was director of the Griffith Observatory, and had field work experience in American archaeology sites.  There is a wealth of good hard data in its pages.  Krupp includes a substantial body of research on pre- Columbian sites, an area where much is still to be learned.  The final chapter deals with "fringe" ideas such as those of Velikovsky, von Daniken, and John  Michell.  It is astroarchaeology and its discoveries about ancient monuments' alignments with the sky, which show Velikovsky to be in error in WORLDS IN COLLISION.  Krupp's refutations are, in my opinion, about the best available on this subject.

Lau, Theodora, HANDBOOK OF CHINESE HOROSCOPES, THE, 1, 1979, Harper and Row, HB. See 1980 entry.

Lessing, Doris, RE: COLONIZED PLANET 5, SHIKASTA, 1, 1979, Random House, HB. See 1981 entry.

Lord, Glen, ed., HOWARD COLLECTOR, THE, 1979, Ace, PB.  Essays about R. E. Howard from fanzine HOWARD COLLECTOR.

Machlin, Milt, ed., TOTAL UFO STORY, THE, 1979, Dale Books (NYC), PB. entry

Margulies, Leo, ed.,  WEIRD TALES, 2, 1979, Pyramid, PB.

Margolis, Jack And Richard Clorfene, A CHILD'S GARDEN OF GRASS, 3, 1979,  Ballantine, PB.  A revised ed. of the grass bible (see 1970 entry).

Marks, John, SEARCH FOR THE "MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE," THE, 1, 1979, Times Books, HB. See 1980 entry.

Matthiesson, Peter, SNOW LEOPARD, THE, 2, 1979, Bantam, PB. entry
MEETINGS WITH REMARKABLE MEN, Motion Picture, 1979, Brooks, Director: Richard, Brooks, Writers: Jeanne De Saltzman and Richard. This is a film based on G. I. Gurdjieff's autobiographical novel   about wandering through central Asia looking for enlightenment.  This is an amazing disappearing movie!  I have  read articles and reviews about it, but have no idea if it ever was released to theatres or not.  I have met people who claim to have seen it.  So, what's the story?
     I recently acquired a vidio copy of the film, now distributed by PARABOLA magazine, and can now say that it really does exist.  One of the interesting things about it is that it was filmed almost entirely in Afganistan shortly before the war with the USSR. No bomb craters are visible. Shown is the tie-in edition from Dutton, PB, 1979.

Moore, William, with Berlitz, Charles, PHILADELPHIA EXPERIMENT, THE, 1, 1979, William Morrow, HB. See 1980 entry.

MURDER BY DECREE, Motion Picture, 1979, Clark, Director: Bob, Hopkins, Writer: John.  This is the climax of the "revisionist" Holmes movies of the 70's.   Once again, as in A STUDY IN TERROR (1965 entry), Holmes stalks Jack the Ripper.  The script is based on new research suggesting that the murders were the work of a group of men close to the royal family, who sought to protect the decadent Prince Eddy, Duke of Clarence, from a scandal.  It also belongs to the sub-genre of post-Watergate-fallout, reflecting a lot of cynicism about how the power structure works.  Christopher Plummer is a very good Holmes, and James Mason is just great as Watson.  Director Clark made his mark with a witty  Romero-style horror movie entitled CHILDREN SHOULDN'T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS (1972), and he looked like a man with promise.  He went on to make PORKY'S (1981) and PORKY'S II (1983).  What does that say about trends in the 80's?

O'Neill, Timothy R., INDIVIDUATED HOBBIT, THE, 1979, Houghton Mifflin, HB.

Ostrander, Sheila, Schroeder, with, Lynn, Ostrander, Nancy, SUPERLEARNING, 1979, Delacorte Press, HB. Need copy and info.  PB?
Pagels, Elaine, GNOSTIC GOSPELS, THE, 1, 1979, Random House, HB. See 1981 entry.

Place, Marian T., ON THE TRACK OF BIGFOOT, 2, 1979, Pocket Book, PB, This is published in Pocket Books' young adults line.  It is a fairly good short summary of the whole bigfoot phenomenon.  The book has something almost unheard of in bigfoot books--an index.  Hats off to Place for this startling new innovation in Sasquatch research.
Playfair, Guy L. and Hill, Scott, CYCLES OF HEAVEN, 2, 1979, Avon, PB. This is one of the better speculative science books of this period. The authors are especially concerned about the passive and negative effects of electromagnetic fields and cycles of human life.  The most telling point, for  me, was the authors' assertion that we all live within powerful electronic fields (like the electrical circuit in the home) and we still have little idea  how it effects us.

Pournelle, Jerry, JANISSARIES, 1, 1979, Ace, Trade. Pournelle's rising popularity as a science writer, editor, and novelist in the late 70's can be taken as a portent of a new disturbing trend in speculative fiction.  Pournelle edits paperback anthologies which glorify SDI  (usually reprinted from COMMENTARY or THE NATIONAL REVIEW) along with science fiction tales of the most martial sort.  Pournelle and his circle of writers, such as David Drake, Janet Morris, Larry Niven, etc., write space operas which project a philosophy that can only be defined as neo-fascist.  JANISSARIES is the first of many similar novels by him which seek to glorify war, the warrior, and the virtues of being TOUGH in general.  It is nearly always a one note performance, rather like what would have happened if Robert Heinlein had kept writing STARSHIP TROOPERS over and over.  It's sick, low brow, Reaganism at its worst.

Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) with Levine, Stephen, GRIST FOR THE MILL, 2, 1979, Bantam, PB.

REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON ASSASSINATIONS, US HOUSE  OF REPRESENTATIVES; AKA THE FINAL ASSASSINATIONS REPORT, 1979, GPO and Instant PB by Bantam.  Issued July 1979. Fourteen years after THE WARREN REPORT (1964 entry), the House of Representatives issued this report which says what the whole country already knew: John Kennedy was killed by a conspiracy, and the original WARREN REPORT was undiluted bullshit.  Unfortunately, the Select Committee on Assassinations  and its report did little to restore the people's faith in the Government's credibility.  The committee almost self-destructed in a silly battle over budget and methodology.  Later, its chief counsel decided that organized crime was the guilty party, and ignored significant evidence that lead in other directions.  Yet
as unsatisfactory as the Report is, it at least showed that some of the "nuts" and "weirdos," who had been screaming bloody murder, weren't such nuts after all.  There's an important lesson in that.

Ropp. Robert de, WARRIOR'S WAY, 1979, Dell, PB. Need Copy and info.

Rosen, R. D., PSYCHOBABBLE, 2, 1979, Avon, PB, entry.

Roszak, Theodore, PERSON/PLANET, 1979, Doubleday, Trade.
Saberhagen, Fred, AN OLD FRIEND OF THE FAMILY, 1, 1979, Ace, PB. This is the second of Saberhagen's Dracula novels.  It has some similarities to the later Hammer films which brought the Count into the post-war world.  Modern vampires are decadent and evil, and the enemy of traditional vampires ("Trad-Vamps"?!) like Dracula.  When in doubt, suggests Saberhagen, stick with traditional vampires.  They still bite your neck, but do it with style.

Sagan, Carl, BROCA'S BRAIN: REFLECTIONS ON THE ROMANCE OF SCIENCE, 1, 1979, Random House, HB. See 1980 entry.

Severin, Tim, BRENDAN VOYAGE, 2, 1979, Avon, PB.  Tim Severin can best be described as a second generation, Irish,   Thor Heyerdahl.  He thought that an Irish legend about St. Brendan's westward voyage, in the 6th century, might actually describe a voyage to North America.  He set out in a reconstructed leather boat to duplicate the voyage. In 1977, he completed the dangerous navigation.  Severin thought this could prove that 6th century Irishmen could have sailed to the New
World.  He ignores what historians and mythologers already know about the legend of St. Brendan:  It is an obvious rewrite of the ancient Irish epic of the Voyage of Bran. Scholars know that the tale dates from about Roman times.  Severin may have shown that ancient Celtic folk could have imigrated to the New World.  Severin has had a delightful career sailing Heyerdahl-like voyages all over the globe.  You just have to like him.
Shepard, Odell, THE LORE OF THE UNICORN, 1979, Harper, Trade. First Published in 1930 by Houghton Mifflin.

Shirley, John, DRACULA IN LOVE, 1979, Zebra Books, PB.
St. Clair, David, DAVID ST. CLAIR'S LESSONS IN INSTANT ESP, 2, 1979, Signet, PB. This is one of many books on practical application of psychic powers in daily life.  As silly as the title, this is one of the better, more intelligent, of the many psychic how-to-do books from the period.

Starhawk (Miriam Samos), SPIRAL DANCE, THE, 1979, Harper and Row, Trade, Starhawk is one of the popularizers of that feminist witchcraft that was so popular with college-aged women of the late 70's and early 80's.  THE SPIRAL DANCE  became a kind of bible for the women's neo-pagan movement.  It is a good example of "syncretism" or Spenglerian "pseudomorphosis" in that it  hangs elements borrowed from ancient European paganism, witchcraft, native American religions, and a shot of Castaneda voodoo shamanism all around the idea of goddess worship.  If you are not familiar with this material, it may be fairly convincing.  The more familiar you are with this subject, the more likely it may seem unconvincing, even half-baked.  I think Starhawk was trying  to do  the same thing for women's spirituality that Gerald Gardner attempted to do with witchcraft in the 30's and 40's. Both tried to build a unified belief system out of impossibly diverse elements.

Stewart, Mary, LAST ENCHANTMENT, THE, 1, 1979, William Morrow, HB.

Stone, Merlin, ANCIENT MIRRORS OF WOMANHOOD, 1979, New Sybilline Press (NYC), Trade.

Strieber, Whitley, WOLFEN, THE, 2, 1979, Bantam, PB. entry.

TOMB OF DRACULA, Marvel Comics, 1979, #70, final issue, probably April 1979, dated August 1979.
Trento, Salvatore Michael, SEARCH FOR LOST AMERICA, THE, 2, 1979, Penguin, Trade, Trento also believes that ancient and medieval Europeans came to  America.  Although Trento was associated with Barry Fell, he follows standard   archaeological methods, and is much less prone to wild assumptions and snap judgments.  This was a very good book that seems to have been overlooked in the shouting match between Dr. Fell and the "skeptics".  Trento's book deserves a second
Vallee, Jacques, MESSENGERS OF DECEPTION, 1, 1979, And/Or Press, Trade. 

Vaughan, Alan, INCREDIBLE COINCIDENCE, 1, 1979, Lippincott, HB. See 1980 entry.
Waisbard, Simone, MYSTERIES OF MACCHU PICCHU, 1979, Avon, PB. Reprint of 1974 French Title.  This is one of the few popular books on the archaeology and historical problems of the most mysterious ruin in the world.  Waisbard presents fairly convincing evidence that Macchu Picchu was never "lost," but just ignored for years.  Waisbard argues that Macchu Picchu is not the famous Inca lost stronghold of Vilcamba, as its discoverer Hiram Bingham claimed it was.   Waisbard shows that Bingham knew where Macchu Picchu was located before his famous expedition in 1911.  Waisbard believes that Macchu Picchu is a holy priestly city.  Considering how few books there are on the subject, any book on Macchu Picchu is welcome.  This is one of the best of Avon's "mysteries" series.
Watkins, Leslie with Ambrose and, David, Milles, Christopher, ALTERNATIVE 3, 2, 1979, Avon, PB. See also 1978 entry.  According to OMNI magazine (Sept, '83) this book is a hoax.  "To make his book more believable, author Leslie Watkins admits, he mixed fiction   with a twisted version of the truth,"  says the article from OMNI'S "Antimatter" section.  But then Watkins says he never believed that anyone would take it seriously.  Statements like those make me want to slap the author silly, screaming, "So why did you try to make it so believable, moron?"  What are we to make of OMNI's statement that "ALTERNATIVE 003 [sic] was only a joke, of course: it was published on April Fool's Day of 1977, by Avon."?  The book's own indicia states it was published in June of 1979!  At least they got the publisher right.  All this seems to be a double  incentive to not believe everything you read (see also CAPRICORN ONE, 1978 entry).

Weinberg, Steven, FIRST THREE MINUTES, THE, 2, 1979, Bantam, PB. entry

Wichanowsky, Fred, ONCE AND FUTURE STAR, THE, 1979, Barnes and Noble, Trade.
Wilgas, Neal, ILLUMINOIDS, THE, 2, 1979, Pocket Books, PB. entry. 

Williams, Gwyn A., MADOC: THE LEGEND OF WELSH DISCOVERY OF AMERICA, 1, 1979, Methuen (London), HB. entry.
Wilson, Robert Anton, UNIVERSE NEXT DOOR, THE, 1979, Pocket Books, PB. First volume in SCHRODINGER'S CAT trilogy.

Worshofsky, Fred, DOOMSDAY, 2 1979, Pocket Books, PB.

Wing, R. L., I CHING WORKBOOK, THE, 1979, Trade, Doubleday, Spiral bound.

WINTER KILLS, Motion Picture, 1979, Richert, Director: William, From Richard Condon's novel.  Re-edited and re-released in 1983.

Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn, BLOOD GAMES, 1, 1979, St. Martin's Press, HB.3rd novel in the St. Germain series.

Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn, MESSAGES FROM MICHAEL, 1, 1979, Playboy, Press, HB. See 1980 entry.

Zukav, Gary, DANCING WU LI MASTERS, 1, 1979, William Morrow, HB. See 1980 entry.

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