George R. R. Martin
George Raymond Richard Martin known as GRRM, is an American novelist and short story writer in the fantasy and science fiction genres and television producer. He is best known for his series of epic fantasy novels, A Song of Ice and Fire, adapted into the HBO series Game of Thrones. In 2005, Lev Grossman of Time called Martin "the American Tolkien", in 2011, he was included on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world. George Raymond Martin was born on September 20, 1948, in Bayonne, New Jersey, the son of longshoreman Raymond Collins Martin and his wife Margaret Brady Martin, he has two younger sisters and Janet. His mother was of half Irish ancestry, he acknowledges French, English and German roots, which were confirmed on the television series Finding Your Roots. However, while he believed he was a quarter Italian because of who he was told was his paternal grandfather, a DNA test on the show confirmed his Irish and other ancestries but excluded any Italian ancestry, showing instead he is a quarter Ashkenazi Jewish.
The family first lived in a house on Broadway. In 1953, they moved to a federal housing project near the Bayonne docks. During Martin's childhood, his world consisted predominantly of "First Street to Fifth Street", between his grade school and his home. Martin began writing and selling monster stories for pennies to other neighborhood children, dramatic readings included, he wrote stories about a mythical kingdom populated by his pet turtles. Martin attended Mary Jane Donohoe School and Marist High School. While there he became an avid comic book fan, developing a strong interest in the superheroes being published by Marvel Comics, credited Stan Lee for being one of his greatest literary influences. A letter Martin wrote to the editor of Fantastic Four was printed in issue No. 20. Fans who read his letters wrote him letters in turn, through such contacts, Martin joined the fledgling comics fandom of the era, writing fiction for various fanzines. In 1965, Martin won comic fandom's Alley Award for Best fan fiction for his prose superhero story "Powerman vs.
The Blue Barrier". In 1970, Martin earned a B. S. in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism in Evanston, graduating summa cum laude. S. in Journalism in 1971 from Medill. Eligible for the draft during the Vietnam War, to which he objected, Martin applied for and obtained conscientious objector status. In the mid-1970s, Martin met English professor George Guthridge from Dubuque, Iowa, at a science fiction convention in Milwaukee. Martin persuaded Guthridge not only to give speculative fiction a second look, but to write in the field himself. Guthridge has since been a finalist for the Hugo Award and twice for the Nebula Award for science fiction and fantasy. In 1998, Guthridge and Janet Berliner won the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in the Novel for their Children of the Dusk. In turn, Guthridge helped Martin in finding a job at Clarke University. Martin "wasn't making enough money to stay alive", from writing and the chess tournaments, says Guthridge. From 1976 to 1978, Martin was an English and journalism instructor at Clarke, he became Writer In Residence at the college from 1978 to 1979.
While he enjoyed teaching, the sudden death of friend and fellow author Tom Reamy in late 1977 made Martin reevaluate his own life, he decided to try to become a full-time writer. He resigned from his job, being tired of the hard winters in Dubuque, he moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1979. Martin began selling science fiction short stories professionally in 1970, at age 21, his first sale was "The Hero", published in its February 1971 issue. His first story to be nominated for the Hugo Award and Nebula Awards was "With Morning Comes Mistfall", published in 1973 in Analog magazine. In 1975 his story "...for a single yesterday" about a post-apocalyptic timetripper was selected for inclusion in Epoch, a science fiction anthology edited by Roger Elwood and Robert Silverberg. His first novel, Dying of the Light, was completed in 1976 right before he moved to Dubuque and published in 1977; that same year the enormous success of Star Wars had a huge impact on the publishing industry and science fiction, he sold the novel for the same amount he would make in three years of teaching.
The short stories he was able to sell in his early 20s gave him some profit, but not enough to pay his bills, which prevented him from becoming the full-time writer he wanted to be. The need for a day job occurred with the American chess craze which followed Bobby Fischer's victory in the 1972 world chess championship. Martin's own chess skills and experience allowed him to be hired as a tournament director
Penthouse is a men's magazine founded by Bob Guccione. It combines urban lifestyle articles and softcore pornographic pictorials that, in the 1990s, temporarily evolved into hardcore. Although Guccione was American, the magazine was founded in 1965 in the United Kingdom. Beginning in September 1969, it was sold in the United States as well. Penthouse has been owned by Penthouse Global Media Inc. since 2016. The complete assets of Penthouse Global Media were bought out by WGCZ Ltd. in June 2018 after winning a bankruptcy auction bid. The Penthouse logo is a stylized key which incorporates both the Mars and Venus symbols in its design; the magazine's centerfold models are known as Penthouse Pets and customarily wear a distinctive necklace inspired by this logo. At the height of his success, who died in 2010, was considered to be one of the richest men in the United States. In 1982 he was listed in the Forbes 400 ranking of wealthiest people.). An April 2002 New York Times article reported Guccione as saying that Penthouse grossed $3.5 billion to $4 billion over the 30-year life of the company, with net income of half a billion dollars.
Penthouse magazine began publication in 1965, in the UK and in North America in 1969, an attempt to compete with Hugh Hefner's Playboy. Guccione offered editorial content, more sensational than that of Playboy, the magazine's writing was far more investigative than Hefner's upscale emphasis, with stories about government cover-ups and scandals. Writers such as Seymour Hersh, Craig S. Karpel, James Dale Davidson, Ernest Volkman exposed numerous scandals and corruption at the highest levels of the United States Government. Contributors to the magazine included such writers as Isaac Asimov, James Baldwin, Howard Blum, Victor Bockris, T. C. Boyle, Alexander Cockburn, Harry Crews, Cameron Crowe, Don DeLillo, Alan Dershowitz, Edward Jay Epstein, Joe Flaherty, Chet Flippo, Albert Goldman, Anthony Haden-Guest, John Hawkes, Nat Hentoff, Warren Hinckle, Abbie Hoffman, Nicholas von Hoffman, Michael Korda, Paul Krassner, Michael Ledeen, Anthony Lewis, Peter Manso, Joyce Carol Oates, James Purdy, Philip Roth, Harrison E. Salisbury, Gail Sheehy, Robert Sherrill, Mickey Spillane, Ben Stein, Harry Stein, Tad Szulc, Jerry Tallmer, Studs Terkel, Nick Tosches, Gore Vidal, Irving Wallace, Ruth Westheimer.
The magazine was founded on humble beginnings. Due to Guccione's lack of resources, he photographed most of the models for the magazine's early issues. Without professional training, Guccione applied his knowledge of painting to his photography, establishing the diffused, soft focus look that would become one of the trademarks of the magazine's pictorials. Guccione would sometimes take several days to complete a shoot; as the magazine grew more successful, Guccione embraced a life of luxury. However, in contrast to Hugh Hefner, who threw wild parties at his Playboy Mansions, life at Guccione's mansion was remarkably sedate during the hedonistic 1970s, he once had his bodyguards eject a local radio personality, hired as a DJ and jumped into the swimming pool naked. The magazine's pictorials offered more sexually explicit content than was seen in most sold men's magazines of the era. Penthouse has over the years, featured a number of authorized and unauthorized photos of celebrities such as Madonna and Vanessa Williams.
In both cases, the photos were taken earlier in their careers and sold to Penthouse only after Madonna and Williams became famous. In the late 1990s, the magazine began to show more "fetish" content such as urination, bondage and "facials". On January 15, 2016, a press release emanating from owner FriendFinder Networks announced that Penthouse would shutter its print operations and move to all digital. However, managing director Kelly Holland disavowed the decision and pledged to keep the print version of the magazine alive. In 1982, Guccione was listed in the Forbes 400 ranking of wealthiest people, with a reported $400 million net worth. An April 2002 New York Times article quoted Guccione as saying that Penthouse grossed $3.5 billion to $4 billion over the 30-year life of the company, with a net income of $500 million. In an effort to raise cash and to reduce debt, Penthouse sold its portfolio of several automotive magazine titles in 1999, for $33 million cash to Peterson Automotive, the national automotive-publishing group.
While these titles were successful, it is reported that the science and health magazines Omni and Longevity cost Penthouse $100 million, contributing to its eventual financial troubles. On August 12, 2003, General Media, the parent company of the magazine, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Upon filing, Cerberus Capital Management entered into a $5 million debtor-in-possession credit line with General Media to provide General Media working capital. In October 2003, it was announced that Penthouse magazine was being put up for sale as part of a deal with its creditors. On November 13, 2004, Guccione resigned as Chairman and CEO of Penthouse International, the parent of General Media. Penthouse filed for bankruptcy protection on September 17, 2013; the magazine's owner FriendFinder’s current common stock was wiped out and was no longer traded on the open market. In August 2013, FriendFinder’s stock was delisted from Nasdaq because it failed to trade for more than $1; as of 2015, General Media Communications, Inc. publishes entertainment magazines and operates as a subsidiary of FriendFinder Networks Inc.
In February 2016, Pentho
"Johnny Mnemonic" is a science fiction short story by American-Canadian writer William Gibson, which served as inspiration for the 1995 film of the same name. The short story first appeared in Omni magazine in May 1981, was subsequently included in 1986's Burning Chrome, a collection of Gibson's short fiction, it takes place in the world of Gibson's cyberpunk novels, predating them by some years, introduces the character Molly Millions, who plays a prominent role in Gibson's Sprawl trilogy of novels. The film plot differs from the short story, a novelization of William Gibson's screenplay written by Terry Bisson was published in 1995 under the title of Johnny Mnemonic. In 1996 a film tie-in edition of Gibson's original short story was published as a standalone book. "Johnny Mnemonic" is a data trafficker who has undergone cybernetic surgery to have a data storage system implanted in his head. The system allows him to store digital data too sensitive to risk transmission on computer networks.
To keep the cargo secure, the data is locked by a password known only to the intended recipient. Johnny enters a trance-like state while the data is being transferred or the password is being set, making him unaware of the contents and unable to retrieve it, he makes a modest living in the Sprawl by physically transporting sensitive information for corporations, underworld crime rings or wealthy individuals. As the story opens, Johnny has arranged to meet with his most recent customer, Ralfi Face, at the Drome bar. Ralfi is overdue to retrieve the hundreds of megabytes of data. To add to his troubles, Johnny has learned that Ralfi has placed a contract on him, although the reasons are unclear. Johnny finds Ralfi at his usual table, accompanied by his bodyguard Lewis. Johnny threatens them with a sawed-off shotgun in his bag, but Lewis incapacitates him with a neural disruption device hidden under the table. Ralfi reveals that the data was, unknown to him at the time, stolen from the Yakuza, who are interested in ensuring it is not revealed.
Johnny is rescued by Molly, a "Razorgirl" who has undergone extensive body modifications, most notably razor-sharp blades under her fingers. She joins the action at the table; when Lewis tries to attack her, she cuts his wrist tendons and takes the incapacitating control device from him. Ralfi offers to pay her off. Johnny offers a higher bid to hire her as a bodyguard. Johnny and Molly take Ralfi as they exit the bar, but a Yakuza assassin waiting outside cuts Ralfi to pieces with a monomolecular wire hidden in a prosthetic thumb. Johnny misses due to the man's enhanced reflexes. Molly is delighted to be facing another professional. Johnny decides that the only way to save himself from the same fate as Ralfi is to get the data out of his head, which can be done only by using a SQUID to retrieve the password. Molly takes him to an amusement park to meet Jones, a cybernetically enhanced dolphin retired from Navy service. Jones' previous assignment was to locate and hack into enemy mines using the SQUID and other sensors implanted in his skull.
Since he is now addicted to heroin, the result of the Navy's efforts to keep its dolphins loyal, Molly trades him a batch in exchange for finding the password. Johnny has Molly read it out so he can enter his retrieval trance, with recorders capturing all the data, they upload a snippet to a Yakuza communications satellite and threaten to release the rest unless Johnny is left alone. To deal with the Yakuza assassin, still following them, Molly leads Johnny to the Lo Teks, a group of anti-technology outcasts who live in a suspended hideout near the top of the geodesic domes covering the Sprawl. At Molly's request, the Lo Teks allow the assassin to climb up so she can face him on the "Killing Floor," a sprung-floor arena wired to synthesizers and amplifiers. Molly dances around the assassin, she tricks him into slicing off his own hand with his thumb wire. Overwhelmed by the noise and the strange environment, he jumps through a hole in the floor and falls to his death; the story closes nearly a year with Johnny now living among the Lo Teks.
He and Molly have gone into business for themselves, using Jones' SQUID to retrieve traces of all the data he has carried and blackmailing former clients with it. In Gibson's 1984 novel Neuromancer, the first of the Sprawl trilogy, Molly relates the rest of Johnny's story to the protagonist, Case. Molly claims. Sneakernet Gibson, William Carleton. Johnny Mnemonic. Toronto: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-224618-X. Bisson, Terry. Johnny Mnemonic. New York: Pocket Books. ISBN 0-671-52300-7. Gibson, William, "Johnny Mnemonic", in Weiß, Anton Rauben, Aleph. Johnny Mnemonic title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
AOL is an American web portal and online service provider based in New York City. It is a brand marketed by Verizon Media; the service traces its history to an online service known as PlayNET, which hosted multi-player games for the Commodore 64. PlayNET licensed their software to a new service, Quantum Link, who went online in November 1985. PlayNET shut down shortly thereafter; the initial Q-Link service was similar to the original PlayNET, but over time Q-Link added many new services. When a new IBM PC client was released, the company focussed on the non-gaming services and launched it under the name America Online; the original Q-Link was shut down on November 1, 1995, while AOL grew to become the largest online service, displacing established players like CompuServe and The Source. By 1995, AOL had about 20 million active users. AOL was one of the early pioneers of the Internet in the mid-1990s, the most recognized brand on the web in the United States, it provided a dial-up service to millions of Americans, as well as providing a web portal, e-mail, instant messaging and a web browser following its purchase of Netscape.
In 2001, at the height of its popularity, it purchased the media conglomerate Time Warner in the largest merger in U. S. history. AOL declined thereafter due to the decline of dial-up and rise of broadband. AOL was spun off from Time Warner in 2009, with Tim Armstrong appointed the new CEO. Under his leadership, the company invested in media brands and advertising technologies. On June 23, 2015, AOL was acquired by Verizon Communications for $4.4 billion. In the following months, AOL made a deal with Microsoft. AOL began in 1983, as a short-lived venture called Control Video Corporation, founded by William von Meister, its sole product was an online service called GameLine for the Atari 2600 video game console, after von Meister's idea of buying music on demand was rejected by Warner Bros. Subscribers paid a one-time US$15 setup fee. GameLine permitted subscribers to temporarily download games and keep track of high scores, at a cost of US$1 per game; the telephone disconnected and the downloaded game would remain in GameLine's Master Module and playable until the user turned off the console or downloaded another game.
In January 1983, Steve Case was hired as a marketing consultant for Control Video on the recommendation of his brother, investment banker Dan Case. In May 1983, Jim Kimsey became a manufacturing consultant for Control Video, near bankruptcy. Kimsey was brought in by his West Point friend Frank Caufield, an investor in the company. In early 1985, von Meister left the company. On May 24, 1985, Quantum Computer Services, an online services company, was founded by Jim Kimsey from the remnants of Control Video, with Kimsey as Chief Executive Officer, Marc Seriff as Chief Technology Officer; the technical team consisted of Marc Seriff, Tom Ralston, Ray Heinrich, Steve Trus, Ken Huntsman, Janet Hunter, Dave Brown, Craig Dykstra, Doug Coward, Mike Ficco. In 1987, Case was promoted again to executive vice-president. Kimsey soon began to groom Case to take over the role of CEO, which he did when Kimsey retired in 1991. Kimsey changed the company's strategy, in 1985, launched a dedicated online service for Commodore 64 and 128 computers called Quantum Link.
The Quantum Link software was based on software licensed from Inc.. The service was different from other online services as it used the computing power of the Commodore 64 and the Apple II rather than just a "dumb" terminal, it provided a fixed price service tailored for home users. In May 1988, Quantum and Apple launched AppleLink Personal Edition for Apple II and Macintosh computers. In August 1988, Quantum launched PC Link, a service for IBM-compatible PCs developed in a joint venture with the Tandy Corporation. After the company parted ways with Apple in October 1989, Quantum changed the service's name to America Online. Case promoted and sold AOL as the online service for people unfamiliar with computers, in contrast to CompuServe, well established in the technical community. From the beginning, AOL included online games in its mix of products. In the early years of AOL the company introduced many innovative online interactive titles and games, including: Graphical chat environments Habitat and Club Caribe from LucasArts.
The first online interactive fiction series QuantumLink Serial by Tracy Reed. Quantum Space, the first automated play-by-mail game. In February 1991, AOL for DOS was launched using a GeoWorks interface followed a year by AOL for Windows; this coincided with growth in pay-based online services, like Prodigy, CompuServe, GEnie. 1991 saw the introduction of an original Dungeons & Dragons title called Neverwinter Nights from Stormfront Studios. During the early 1990s, the average subscription lasted for about 25 months and accounted for $350 in total revenue. Advertisements invited modem owners to "Try America Online FREE", promising free software and trial membership. AOL discontinued Q-Link and PC Link in late 1994. In September 1993, AOL added Usenet access to its features; this is referred to as the "Eternal September", as Usenet's cycle of new users was dominated by smaller numbers of college and university freshmen gaining access in September
Jonathan Samuel Carroll is an American fiction writer known for novels that may be labelled magic realism, slipstream or contemporary fantasy. He has lived in Austria since the 1970s. Carroll was born in New York City to Sidney Carroll, a film writer whose credits included The Hustler, June Carroll, an actress and lyricist who appeared in numerous Broadway shows and two films, he is nephew of Broadway producer Leonard Sillman. His parents were Jewish. A self-described "troubled teenager," he finished primary education at the Loomis School in Connecticut and graduated with honors from Rutgers University in 1971, marrying artist Beverly Schreiner in the same year, he relocated to Vienna, Austria a few years and began teaching literature at the American International School, has made his home in Austria since. His first novel, The Land of Laughs, is indicative of his general subject matter. Told through realistic first person narration, the novel concerns a young schoolteacher, Thomas Abbey, researching the life of a favorite children's book author of his youth, which involves meeting the author's daughter in her and her late father's idyllic home town of Galen, Missouri.
Everything seems fine. The line blurs between the fantasy world created by Abbey's research subject and the life of the people in Galen, while the reader begins to wonder just how much trust can be placed in this narrator. Subsequent novels would expand on these themes, but contain unreliable narrators in a world where magic is viewed as natural, his son, Ryder Carroll, is the inventor of the Bullet Journal. Carroll's short story, won the World Fantasy Award, his novel, Outside the Dog Museum won the British Fantasy Award and his collection of short stories won the Bram Stoker Award. The short story "Uh-Oh City" won the French Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire, his short story "Home on the Rain" was chosen as one of the best stories of the year by the Pushcart Prize committee. Carroll has been a runner-up for other World Fantasy Awards, the Hugo, British Fantasy Awards; the Land of Laughs Voice of Our Shadow The Answered Prayers Sextet Bones of the Moon Sleeping in Flame – World Fantasy Award nominee, 1989 A Child Across the Sky – BSFA nominee, 1989.
"Jonathan Carroll: Galen to Vienna to the World". In Schweitzer, Darrell. Discovering Modern Horror Fiction. Mercer Island, WA: Starmont House, 1985, pp. 129–34. Interview with Jonathan Carroll on wotmania.com A conversation with Jonathan Carroll on SF Site The Complete Rain Taxi Interview with Jonathan Carroll Jonathan Carroll interview on the Critique Magazine website One on One interview with Jonathan Carroll by Barnes and Noble Studio Official Jonathan Carroll Website and daily blog Glass Soup – the official website for his novel, art design by Ryder Carroll--- www.rydercarroll.com Jonathan Carroll at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database Jonathan Carroll at Bold Type Author essay titled "New Year's Resolutions".
A television show is any content produced for broadcast via over-the-air, cable, or internet and viewed on a television set, excluding breaking news, advertisements, or trailers that are placed between shows. Television shows are most scheduled well ahead of time and appear on electronic guides or other TV listings. A television show might be called a television program if it lacks a narrative structure. A television series is released in episodes that follow a narrative, are divided into seasons or series – yearly or semiannual sets of new episodes. A show with a limited number of episodes may be called serial, or limited series. A one-time show may be called a "special". A television film is a film, broadcast on television rather than released in theaters or direct-to-video. Television shows can be viewed as they are broadcast in real time, be recorded on home video or a digital video recorder for viewing, or be viewed on demand via a set-top box or streamed over the internet; the first television shows were experimental, sporadic broadcasts viewable only within a short range from the broadcast tower starting in the 1930s.
Televised events such as the 1936 Summer Olympics in Germany, the 1937 coronation of King George VI in the UK, David Sarnoff's famous introduction at the 1939 New York World's Fair in the US spurred a growth in the medium, but World War II put a halt to development until after the war. The 1947 World Series inspired many Americans to buy their first television set and in 1948, the popular radio show Texaco Star Theater made the move and became the first weekly televised variety show, earning host Milton Berle the name "Mr Television" and demonstrating that the medium was a stable, modern form of entertainment which could attract advertisers; the first national live television broadcast in the US took place on September 4, 1951 when President Harry Truman's speech at the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference in San Francisco was transmitted over AT&T's transcontinental cable and microwave radio relay system to broadcast stations in local markets. The first national color broadcast in the US occurred on January 1, 1954.
During the following ten years most network broadcasts, nearly all local programming, continued to be in black-and-white. A color transition was announced for the fall of 1965, during which over half of all network prime-time programming would be broadcast in color; the first all-color prime-time season came just one year later. In 1972, the last holdout among daytime network shows converted to color, resulting in the first all-color network season. Television shows are more varied than most other forms of media due wide variety formats and genres that can be presented. A show may non-fictional, it may be historical. They could be instructional or educational, or entertaining as is the case in situation comedy and game shows. A drama program features a set of actors playing characters in a historical or contemporary setting; the program follows their adventures. Except for soap opera-type serials, many shows before the 1980s, remained static without story arcs, the main characters and premise changed little.
If some change happened to the characters' lives during the episode, it was undone by the end. Because of this, the episodes could be broadcast in any order. Since the 1980s, there are many series that feature progressive change to the plot, the characters, or both. For instance, Hill Street Blues and St. Elsewhere were two of the first American prime time drama television series to have this kind of dramatic structure. While the series, Babylon 5 is an extreme example of such production that had a predetermined story running over its intended five-season run. In 2012, it was reported that television was growing into a larger component of major media companies' revenues than film; some noted the increase in quality of some television programs. In 2012, Academy-Award-winning film director Steven Soderbergh, commenting on ambiguity and complexity of character and narrative, stated: "I think those qualities are now being seen on television and that people who want to see stories that have those kinds of qualities are watching television."
When a person or company decides to create a new series, they develop the show's elements, consisting of the concept, the characters, the crew, cast. They "pitch" it to the various networks in an attempt to find one interested enough to order a prototype first episode of the series, known as a pilot. Eric Coleman, an animation executive at Disney, told an interviewer, "One misconception is that it's difficult to get in and pitch your show, when the truth is that development executives at networks want much to hear ideas, they want much to get the word out on what types of shows they're looking for."To create the pilot, the structure and team of the whole series must be put together. If audiences respond well to the pilot, the network will pick up the show to air it the next season. Sometimes they save it for mid-season, or father review. Other times, they pass forcing the show's creator to "shop it around" to other networks. Many shows never make it past the pilot stage; the show hires a stable of writers, who usually
Robert Charles Joseph Edward Sabatini Guccione was an American photographer and the founder of the adult magazine Penthouse in 1965. This was aimed at competing with Hugh Hefner's Playboy, but with more extreme erotic content, a special style of soft-focus photography, in-depth reporting of government corruption scandals. By 1982 Guccione was listed in the Forbes 400 wealth list, owned one of the biggest mansions in Manhattan. However, he made some extravagant investments that failed, the growth of free online pornography in the 1990s diminished his market. In 2003, Guccione's publishers filed for bankruptcy and he resigned as chairman. In 2013, documentary filmmaker Barry Avrich produced and directed a biography on Guccione entitled Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story; the film had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival prior to airing on Epix and HBO. The film was independently produced by Melbar Entertainment Group. Guccione was born in Brooklyn, New York of Italian descent, from Sicily and raised Catholic in Bergenfield, New Jersey.
His father, was an accountant and his mother, was a housewife. He rejected entering the priesthood, he attended high school at a prep school in Blairstown, New Jersey. In his teens, Guccione married Lilyann Becker; the couple had Tonina. The marriage failed, he left his wife and child to go to Europe to be a painter, he met an English woman, moved to London with her, married her. They had four children: Robert Jr. Nina and Nicky. To support his family, Guccione managed a chain of laundromats until he got work as a cartoonist on an American weekly newspaper, The London American, while Muriel started a business selling pinup posters, he created cartoons for Bill Box's humorous greeting card company, Box Cards. Penthouse began publication in 1965 in the United Kingdom and in North America in 1969, an attempt to compete with Hugh Hefner's Playboy. Although Playboy had always had a liberal bent and championed the Civil Rights Movement and other social justice causes, Guccione offered editorial content, more sensational and the magazine's writing was far more investigative than other men's magazines, with stories about government cover-ups and scandals.
Writers such as Craig S. Karpel, James Dale Davidson and Ernest Volkman, as well as the critically acclaimed Seymour Hersh, exposed numerous scandals and corruption at the highest levels of the United States government. On the other hand, Playboy retained a certain conservatism and embraced mainstream American consumerism rather than reject it. During the late 1960s, feminist groups criticized the magazine for supporting women's liberation only in terms of making them free to engage in sexual relationships with men. While Playboy devoted extensive print to covering sports, one of Hugh Hefner's great passions, Guccione had no interest in them and never bothered discussing sporting events or athletes in Penthouse, instead preferring to cover the art world; the magazine was founded on humble beginnings. Due to his lack of resources, Guccione photographed most of the models for the magazine's early issues. Without professional training, Guccione applied his knowledge of painting to his photography, establishing the diffused, soft focus look that would become one of the trademarks of the magazine's pictorials.
Guccione would sometimes take several days to complete a shoot. As the magazine grew more successful, Guccione embraced a life of luxury. However, in contrast to Hugh Hefner, who threw wild parties at his Playboy Mansions, life at Guccione's mansion was remarkably sedate during the height of the sexual revolution in the 1970s, he once had his bodyguards eject a local radio personality, hired as a DJ and jumped into the swimming pool naked. The magazine's pictorials offered more sexually explicit content than was seen in most sold men's magazines of the era. Up to the end of the 1960s, it was not acceptable to display anything more than a female's buttocks or breasts in mainstream publications and anything more risked obscenity charges. Only low-budget underground magazines displayed female explicit poses. However, the counterculture movement led to an liberated sexual attitude after which a series of court rulings struck down most legal restrictions on pornography. Penthouse has over the years, featured a number of authorized and unauthorized photos of celebrities such as Madonna and Vanessa Lynn Williams.
In both cases, the photos were taken earlier in their careers and sold to Penthouse only after Madonna and Williams became famous. In Williams's case, this led to her forced resignation as Miss America 1984; the September 1984 issue in which Williams was first featured included a layout with pornographic actress Traci Lords, only 15 when the photo shoot was done and was revealed to be underage throughout most of her career. In the late 1990s, the magazine began to show more "fetish" content such as urination, bondage and "facials."In the early 1970s, Guccione invested around US $45 million in construction of Haludovo Palace Hotel, a luxury hotel resort in Malinska, on the Adriatic coast of Yugoslavia. He invested additional $500,000 in advertisement. Despite Yugoslavia being nominally a communist country, it encouraged foreign investments; the entire project was designed by Yugoslav archi