Sunday, February 07, 2016

15 Surreal Places In Texas You Need To Visit Before You Die

15 Surreal Places In Texas You Need To Visit Before You Die  

Hat tip to Deb.

Dan Hicks, R. I. P.

Mashable: Dan Hicks, frontrunner of the band Hot Licks, died on Saturday, his wife said on Facebook. The Bay Area musician — who was the band's singer, songwriter and bandleader — battled throat and liver cancer for two years before passing away at age 74.

Monkey on the lam WBAGNFARB

Monkey on the lam in Minerva Park

10 Amazing Histories Behind Common Words

10 Amazing Histories Behind Common Words

Song of the Day

Johnny Cash - Daddy sang bass with lyrics - YouTube:

Whatever Happened to John Carpenter's Creature From The Black Lagoon?

Whatever Happened to John Carpenter's Creature From The Black Lagoon? 

Today's Vintage Ad



This Food Test Will Determine If You're Actually From Texas

This Food Test Will Determine If You're Actually From Texas

PaperBack



Jerry Sohl, The Anomaly, Curtis Books, 1971

2016 DGA Winners

2016 DGA Winners: Complete List

'Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book)' trailer

'Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book)' trailer: Even picture books can have unreliable narrators.

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The Princess Bride by William GoldmanAbeBooks: The Best Movies from Books: I adore movies. It's funny; if I spend two hours watching television, I sometimes feel guilty, as though I’ve wasted my time. But watching a movie rarely leaves me feeling as though I’ve just lost two hours to the brainless abyss (I will be polite and not mention the exceptions that come to mind). So I will almost always choose a movie over a television show. And even better than a movie, of course, is a book, and when comparing the two, the limitations of modern technology (particularly when compared to our own boundless imaginations), mean that books almost always win, for me.

13 World “Capitals”

13 World “Capitals” 

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Those Non Sequesters Are Hard to Seize

Chris Christie won Saturday’s GOP debate.: . . . Rubio said after making passing reference to his own time in the Senate and the Florida House. Christie seized on the non sequester.  

Maybe the copyeditor will spot this soon, but it was too good to pass up for the blog.


"20 Rules For Writing Detective Stories" By S.S. Van Dine

"20 Rules For Writing Detective Stories" By S.S. Van Dine, One of T.S. Eliot's Favorite Genre Authors (1928)   

Hat tip to Deb.

Edgar Mitchell, R. I. P.

NASA: Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, lunar module pilot on Apollo 14, passed away Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla., on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his lunar landing.  

Hat tip to Deb.

Alice Denham, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Alice Denham, a writer and former Playboy centerfold who left a vivid chronicle of her literary and sexual adventures in her 2006 memoir, “Sleeping With Bad Boys: A Juicy Tell-All of Literary New York in the Fifties and Sixties,” died on Jan. 27 at her home in Manhattan. She was 89.

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

Amazon.com: Carnosaur Weekend (Kyler Knightly and Damon Cole Book 1) eBook: Garnett Elliott: Kindle Store  Policing the timelines has always been dangerous, but the brave agents of Continuity Inc. have arguably the most important job in human history. Protecting human history. 

Newly promoted agent Kyler Knightly teams up with his uncle, Damon Cole, to stop unscrupulous developers from exploiting the Late Cretaceous. A luxury subdivision smack-dab in the middle of dinosaur country threatens not only the present, but super-rich homeowners looking for the ultimate getaway. 

8 Things Invented by Famous Writers

8 Things Invented by Famous Writers

Song of the Day

Claude Gray I'll Have Another Cup Of Coffee - YouTube:

How John D. MacDonald invented a subgenre that’s no longer his own

Sunbelt Baroque: How John D. MacDonald invented a subgenre that’s no longer his own

Today's Vintage Ad


John D and me: Heather Graham

John D and me: Heather Graham

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Patrick Quentin (Richard Wilson Webb & Hugh Wheeler), The Fate of the Immodest Blonde (Puzzle for Pligrims), Pocket Books, 1950

The Little Professor: Nineteenth-Century Novels I Wish Were in Print

The Little Professor: Nineteenth-Century Novels I Wish Were in Print (But Aren't)

The Weird Week in Review

The Weird Week in Review

Call Your Bookie Now!

Alligator picks underdog Broncos as Super Bowl winner

Here They Come

Hey hey, The Monkees announced a 50th anniversary album and tour: The Monkees — the greatest fake band ever assembled for a madcap TV show — will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the series this summer with a new album, titled Good Times!, and a lengthy North American tour kicking off May 18 in Fort Myers, Florida, Rolling Stone reported Friday.

Friday, February 05, 2016

David J. Lake, R. I. P.

David Lake (writer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: David John Lake (26 March 1929 - 31 January 2016) was an Indian-born Australian science fiction writer, poet, and literary critic. He moved to Australia in 1967.

Jon Tuska, R. I. P.

I received the following information from Bill Pronzini, and I'm posting it with his permission.

Just received the sad news that Jon Tuska has died [on January 18] in Portland, OR at age 73.  Author of numerous books on Hollywood film and the western fiction genre; co-founder of the Golden West Literary Agency and editor for many years of Five Star Press's line of western novels.  Don't know if you had any dealings with him, but I sold him several collections of my western stories and edited a number of other single-author collections for him and his wife, Vicki Piekarski.  WWA's best short fiction Spur Award that Marcia and I received in 2008 was for a novella he commissioned and published.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

The Guardian: A bookshop in Texas is offering a 10% discount to customers who are legally “open carrying” a handgun while shopping for new reading material.

Here's the Plot for Your Next Principled Hitman Novel

Spared by the hitmen with principles

Song of the Day

JOE DOWELL-WOODEN HEART. - YouTube:

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

Every single Super Bowl ranked from best to worst.

Today's Vintage Ad


Joe Dowell, R. I. P.

StarTribune.com: NEW YORK — Joe Dowell, a singer briefly popular in the early 1960s who had a No. 1 hit with the ballad "Wooden Heart," has died. He was 76.

Sadly, No

Was it really woolly mammoth on the menu?

PaperBack



Troy Conway (Michael Avallone?), The Berlin Wall Affair, Paperback Library, 1967

The book most people have lied about reading

The book most people have lied about reading – and it's not War and Peace

MatricĂșleme por favor

'Teachers' strip off as racy channel debuts NAKED English lessons

I Want to Believe!

Martian Cauliflower Structures Discovered By NASA's Spirit Rover Could Be Proof Of Alien Life On Mars 

FFB: Hail Storme (Dreamsicle) -- W. L. Ripley

What we have here is both an old and a new book.  In 1993 W. L. Ripley published Dreamsicle, which has become a sort of forgotten book.  Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman remembered it, though, and they've brought it back as Hail Storme, giving it a new title that fits with others in the series, including the most recent one, Storme Warning, which I reviewed here.  When I read that one, I enjoyed it so much that I knew I'd have to go back and read the others in the series.  So I started with the first one, which is another winner.

As I mentioned, the original title of the book was Dreamsicle, and I thought it might have something to do with a tasty treat I remember fondly from my childhood, but that wasn't the case.

Wyatt Storme is a former star wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys who's quit football at the peak of his fame because he doesn't like the invasion of his privacy that comes with being a star.  He wants to live an uncluttered life away from too much civilization. The book opens with Storme doing a bit of bow-hunting in the Ozarks and discovering a huge marijuana field.  He has to kill a vicious guard dog and wound a man to get away.

Storme has a well-developed moral code, so he reports the events to the local sheriff, who's killed almost immediately thereafter.  Storme can't let something like that pass, and before long he's hooked up with Chick Easton, a bounty hunter who becomes his psycho sidekick.  Storme is tough, but Chick might be even tougher, and he has a backstory that explains why he's a little bit crazy.  Chick is after a rogue chemist, and of course that ties in with the death of the sheriff and the marijuana field.  

Turns out there's a brand new drug, and it's called Dreamsicle. Powerful people are behind it, and they don't want any interference from outsiders like Storme and Easton.  Before long, it's two men against municipal corruption (crooked cops, crooked lawyers, crooked everybody), and Chick is arrested for the murder of the sheriff.  Storme's lawyer gets Chick released, and it's pretty much all-out war.  There's lots of shooting, lots of action, lots of dying, and lots of wisecracking before things are settled down.

In my earlier review, I said I was reminded of Spenser and Travis McGee by Ripley's book.  That's still true.  Entertaining macho stuff, slick writing, and great characters.  I'll be visiting this series again for sure.