Thursday, December 08, 2016

The Sweet, Savage Sexual Revolution That Set the Romance Novel Free

The Sweet, Savage Sexual Revolution That Set the Romance Novel Free

Song of the Day

I Believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake in HD - YouTube:

Kindle Book Bargain of the Day

The Twenty-Year Death (Hard Case Crime Book 108) by [Winter, Ariel S.]A mere 99 cents! The Twenty-Year Death (Hard Case Crime Book 108) eBook: Ariel S. Winter: Kindle Store

Today's Vintage Ad

29 Movies That Will Turn 20 Years Old In 2017

29 Movies That Will Shockingly Turn 20 Years Old In 2017


Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Dubious Bridegroom, Cardinal, 1959

Why Are Poinsettias Associated with Christmas?

Why Are Poinsettias Associated with Christmas?

Greg Lake, R. I. P.

BBC News: Greg Lake, who fronted both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer, has died aged 69. One of the founding fathers of progressive rock, the British musician is known for songs including "In the Court of the Crimson King" and "I Believe in Father Christmas."

Virtual Tour of Manhattan Retailers' Christmas Windows

Window Wonderland

I Miss the Old Days

Striking Vintage Photos of Houston's Early R&B Scene 

Fidel Castro, Communist Dictator and Copyeditor

Fidel Castro worked on Gabriel García Márquez's manuscripts

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

“Every Customer Is a Story” (by Peter Sellers)

“Every Customer Is a Story” (by Peter Sellers) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN: Peter Sellers is a noted short-story writer and the 2001 winner of EQMM’s Readers Award for “Avenging Miriam” (December 2001). A few years ago, he expanded his range in the literary field by opening a second-hand bookshop in Toronto (something he talks about in this post). He is also the editor of a number of crime-fiction anthologies. It has been ten years since EQMM readers have had the pleasure of seeing a story by the Canadian author in our pages, but we expect to present a new Sellers story later this year.—Janet Hutchings

Song of the Day

X - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - YouTube:

Here's the Plot for Your Next Heist Novel

'Home Alone' thieves conned staff by posing as mannequins until store shut before stealing £10k of designer clothes

Yet Another List I'm Not On

Amazon announces its best-selling books of 2016 and No. 1 won't surprise you at all

Today's Vintage Ad

Val McDermid: ‘It Doesn’t Get Easier

Val McDermid: ‘It Doesn’t Get Easier, It Gets Harder!’ 


Erle Stanley Gardner, The Case of the Calendar Girl, Pocket Books, 1962

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . . .

. . . and now it's the frozen fish assault!  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

From Margaret Atwood’s Hag-Seed to Han Kang’s The Vegetarian, the best book jackets of 2016.

How (Almost) Everyone Failed to Prepare for Pearl Harbor

How (Almost) Everyone Failed to Prepare for Pearl Harbor: The high-stakes gamble and false assumptions that detonated Pearl Harbor 75 years ago

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Goodreads Choice Awards

Goodreads | Best Fiction 2016 — Goodreads Choice Awards

Rashaan Salaam, R. I. P.

The Daily Beast: Retired football star Rashaan Salaam was found dead in a Boulder, Colorado park Monday night at age 42. Salaam, a running back, won the Heisman Trophy in 1994 for the University of Colorado. He was a first-round draft pick for the Chicago Bears, where he became the youngest player to rush 1,000 yards. His cause of death is unknown, and authorities said there were no signs of foul play. The Daily Camera reported that police are investigating the death as a possible suicide.

Kindle Book Bargain of the Day The Forever War eBook: Joe Haldeman, John Scalzi: Kindle Store  

A mere 25 cents.  If you like SF and haven't read this, you should.  Scalzi provides the introduction.

Margaret Whitton, R. I. P.

Tampa Bay Times: You know Margaret Whitton's work even if you don't always remember her name. She was evil Cleveland Indians owner "Rachel Phelps" bent on taunting her players in Major League. She was the ignored wife intent on seducing Michael J. Fox in The Secret of My Success

Marget Whitton passed away on Sunday at her Palm Beach (Fla.) home after a brief battle with cancer, according to the Hollywood Reporter. She was 67.

Guess Which One I Need

Seriously though. The Things Children Used to Play With...

Song of the Day

Red Simpson The Highway Patrol - YouTube:

I Just . . . I Can't . . . I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot Last Week

The highest paid YouTuber in 2016 made ...: PewDiePie — who recently declared he will delete his YouTube channel once he reaches 50 million subscribers — is the highest paid digital star of 2016. 

The Swedish gamer — whose real name is Felix Kjellberg — made an estimated $15 million for the 12 months ending in June 2016, according to Forbes' recent ranking.

2017 Grammy Awards: Complete list of nominees

2017 Grammy Awards: Complete list of nominees

Today's Vintage Ad

12 of the Most Distracting Extras in Movie History

12 of the Most Distracting Extras in Movie History  

Link via Neatorama.


John Dickson Carr, Till Death Do Us Part, Bantam, 1950

Van Williams, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Van Williams, who played crime fighters on television during the 1960s, most notably the Green Hornet on a short-lived ABC show that later attained a cult following and that introduced American audiences to the martial arts master Bruce Lee, died last week in a care facility near his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 82.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Bad Movie Night

Bad Movie Night: The Holiday Season Joylessness of ‘Santa Claus Conquers the Martians’ 

Literal Bohemian Rhapsody

Literal Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" has been turned into a hardboiled crime noir film. You already know the plot. You probably already know the entire script. But you'll want to watch anyway.

Peter Vaughan, R. I. P.

Daily Mail Online: Peter Vaughan, best known for his roles in Porridge and Game Of Thrones, has died today aged 93, his agent said. The actor, who had a career in theatre, television and film spanning more than 75 years, died this morning, surrounded by his family.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

This Works Nearly Every Time

Vero Beach Man 'Plays Dead' So Guest Would Leave His Home  

The story reads like an episode of a bad sitcom.

Overlooked Movies: Man in the Shadow

As I mentioned on Friday, I read the novelization (by Harry Whittington) of this movie before watching it on Encore Westerns.  The movie and the novelization are very similar, although the level of violence in the movie doesn't equal that of the novelization.  The poster looks pretty good, and it makes me wonder what the movie would have been like in color.  As it is, it's a low-budget B&W production.  The B&W photography is very effective, so maybe color wouldn't have served this modern western well.

Jeff Chandler plays Ben Sadler, the sheriff who's going to investigate a murder of a worker on the Golden Empire Ranch, no matter who tries to stop him.  Orson Welles plays Renchler, the ranch owner, who asked two of his top hands to teach the worker a lesson.  He fights back, and they kill him.  They figure no one will care about one more wetback (the movie's term) death, but they didn't reckon on Sadler.  The closer Sadler gets to the truth, the more Welles ups the ante, and soon an attempt is made on Sadler's life.  It fails, but finally he's beaten and humiliated.  I won't spoil the ending for you, but there's nothing new here.

That doesn't mean it's not relevant to our own time. It certainly is.  You'll have to watch it and make your own judgment, but it seems more relevant now than ever.  It's very well done, and Orson Welles, even though he must have needed to money to make this kind of movie, is very good.  He's fun to watch.  Chandler is handsome and stalwart.  The supporting cast is very good, with Colleen Miller, Ben Alexander, William Schallert, Paul Fix, Royal Dano, Leo Gordon, and probably some others you'll recognize.

Man in the Shadow isn't a classic, but it's gripping for its short running time.  There's no trailer available.  Catch it if you can.