Friday, July 01, 2016

I'll be at this game tonight

Sonoma Stompers Goes Co-Ed, Will Field Two Women

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas girl, 12, leads police on 110 mph chase during joyride 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Announcing the 2016 Robert E. Howard Foundation Award Winners

Announcing the 2016 Robert E. Howard Foundation Award Winners

Guy Novel -- Michael Ryan

It's 1996.  Robert Wilder is a comedian, not a hugely successful one, but one who has some pretty good gigs. It's his wedding day, and when he stops by a bank in a pouring rain, he offers a ride to a beautiful woman, who says her name is Sabine.  Before long they're in Baja California and in bed, and the intended bride is left waiting at the altar.  The next day Sabine is gone, along with a suitcase containing $200,000.

So far, so good, you might think.  We're in Gold Medal territory here.  I know where this is going.  Well, trust me, you don't.  Wilder goes home to his dog, his many irate phone messages, his landlady's disturbed daughter.  He talks to his best friend and finds out how much trouble he's in.  He doesn't care.  All he can think about is Sabine.  His best friend hooks him up with the best lawyer in L.A. to help him out with his increasingly complex situation.  

The less said about the plot after that, the better.  I'll tell you that about halfway through the book, Sabine shows up again.  Sabine, of course, isn't her real name.  Neither is anything that the lawyer has supposedly found out about her, and Wilder is in for the ride of his life. 

Naturally I got a kick out of the bit where the Commander of the Turkmenistan Border Guard reveals that he went to "Yootee."  "Hook 'em Horns . . . Happy hour half price Lonestar Longnecks killer nachos Waylon and Willie . . . ."

This is essentially a love story, about a guy who doesn't know himself but who learns a lot.  You have to swallow at least three huge coincidences, but what the hey.  The book is fast and funny and surprising.  Check it out.

Bill James, True-Crime Obsessive, on the Genre’s Enduring Importance

Bill James, True-Crime Obsessive, on the Genre’s Enduring Importance

Song of the Day

Shut Down The Beach Boys - YouTube:

When Elvis' Cheap Manager Created His Most Hated Album

When Elvis' Cheap Manager Created His Most Hated Album  

Auto-play video warning.

First It Was the Thin Mint Melee

Man punches another for refusing ramen noodles

Today's Vintage Ad


Help Nicolas Cage find national treasures in this patriotic puzzle

Help Nicolas Cage find national treasures in this patriotic puzzle

PaperBack



Florenz Branch (Florence Stonebreaker), Male for Sale, Uni Books, 1950

The Cartoon that Inspired a Generation of Opera Stars

How Bugs Bunny's "What's Opera, Doc?" Inspired a Generation of Opera Stars

FFB: Jackstraw -- Ron Faust

I first discovered Ron Faust's work back in the late '70s or early '80s when he wrote a couple of books for Gold Medal.  I've read his books off and on ever since.  I've reviewed a couple of them (here and here) on the blog.  (I thought maybe I'd reviewed them four or five years ago.  It was ten years.  Yikes.)  A few months ago I read a review of Jackstraw, which I hadn't known about, and I thought I'd better get a copy.  I'm glad I did.

Thomas Jackstraw (everyone calls him "Jack") is a mercenary.  He's in one of those small mythical Central American countries when he agrees to fake the attempted assassination of an American VP candidate, a femme fatale if ever there was one.  He thinks he's one step ahead of the plan, which would include his own death, but he's only a half-step ahead.  What he didn't figure on was the actual assassination of the presidential candidate who's travelling with her.  He manages to elude the people intent on killing him and get back to the U.S.  But that's only half the story.  Now Jack is on the run in the High Country.  There's some great wilderness survival stuff, which Faust is really good at, and then the political plot returns and kicks into high gear.

I really enjoyed this book, but then I've enjoyed all Faust's work that I've read.  His clear prose propels the plot, and Faust provides plenty of twists, but he also gives you plenty to think about.  Reading this book, published in 2013, it's hard not think about the current political campaign.  It's scary.  The book has a perfect setup for a sequel, but that's not going to happen, as Faust died in 2011.  A great loss to the world of thriller fiction.  

Thursday, June 30, 2016

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot

Rare Dinosaur-Era Bird Wings Found Trapped in Amber

Song of the Day

"San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair)" by Scott McKenzie - YouTube:

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The 12 Best Civil War Movies 

Today's Vintage Ad


On the Road

By the time this appears on the blog, I'll be on my way to the airport to take a vacation.  Don't worry about the kittens.  My neighbor who's taken care of several generations of Crider felines is on the job, and she'll see to it that they have plenty of food, water, and human companionship while I'm gone.  I probably won't be answering many, if any e-mails for a while, and I won't be responding to comments.  There will be content on the blog, although maybe not as much as usual.   I'll catch up when I return.

PaperBack



Floyd Mahannah, The Broken Angel, Pocket Books, 1958

I Found a Penny in the Walmart Parking Lot

Ancient trove of silver unearthed in Scotland

I Miss the Old Days

Retrospace: Wonder Woman S2E12

Alvin Toffler, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Alvin Toffler, the celebrated author of “Future Shock,” the first in a trilogy of best-selling books that presciently forecast how people and institutions of the late 20th century would contend with the immense strains and soaring opportunities of accelerating change, died on Monday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 87.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Uh-Oh

A new 'Lost in Space' series coming to Netflix

Forgotten Music -- Ma Rainey

The Queer Black Woman Who Reinvented The Blues: In the 1910s and 20s, Ma Rainey took the stage with an ostrich feather in one hand and a gun in the other.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

First It Was the Thin Mint Melee

Dispute over salsa and chips erupts into chair throwing brawl at Texas restaurant

For Those of You in the San Francisco Area

Mystery Fanfare: Literary Salon Wednesday, July 6: Bill Crider

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

Top 12 Motorcycle Movies   

Hat tip to Mark Harris.

Dark Shadows Before I Die

Dark Shadows Before I Die: John Scoleri's daily exploration into each episode of the gothic soap opera on its 50th anniversary...  John Scoleri has embarked on a journey to watch and comment on every episode of Dark Shadows on the 50th anniversary of its original airdate.

First It Was the Thin Mint Melee

Forgotten sour cream leads to Milwaukee fast food shooting 

Sir Mack Rice, R. I. P.

Detroit's Sir Mack Rice, 'Mustang Sally' writer, dead at 82: Detroit soul stalwart Sir Mack Rice, who wrote “Mustang Sally,” “Respect Yourself” and other enduring R&B hits, died Monday in metro Detroit of complications from Alzheimer's disease.

Song of the Day

Jan & Dean - Surf City - 1963 - YouTube:

The Trap of Solid Gold: "You Remember Jeanie"

The Trap of Solid Gold: "You Remember Jeanie"

Today's Vintage Ad


“The Story Is the Thing” (by Rand B. Lee)

“The Story Is the Thing” (by Rand B. Lee) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN  Rand B. Lee is a freelance writer living in Santa Fe, New Mexico. His short stories can be found in many science-fiction anthologies, in periodicals such as The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and in the 2013 collection The Green Man and Other Short Stories (Curiosity Quills Press). He is the youngest surviving child of Manfred B. Lee, coauthor of the Ellery Queen detective novels and short stories. Occasionally, Rand’s stories too venture into the realm of detective fiction. And he has helped us celebrate EQMM’s 75th anniversary by contributing an article about his father to our August 2016 issue (on sale July 19).—Janet Hutchings

Uh-Oh

All our favorite bands are coming to ABC’s ‘Greatest Hits’ show: REO Speedwagon, Rick Springfield, Foreigner, Kenny Loggins and other ‘80s acts will be performing live on the new ABC summer series Greatest Hits.

PaperBack



Henry Slater, Conspirator, Pocket Books, 1949

First It Was the Thin Mint Melee

The Smoking Gun: After her repeated demands to have sex were rebuffed, a Florida woman grabbed a hatchet and began beating on the locked door of the bathroom where her beau had sought refuge, police report.

Things You Can See in My Hometown


Scotty Moore, R. I. P.

Musical icon, Elvis’ guitarist Scotty Moore dies: He was the man behind "The Man," the one producing the signature licks amid the screams and hysteria and history making moments. Scotty Moore was one of the foundational figures in rock and roll, a profoundly influential guitarist, and the musician who helped Elvis Presley become The King.

Why I still love actual paper books

Why I still love actual paper books

He Misses the Old Days

One Guy's Quest to Save the 1960s Time Capsule Homes of America

Vintage Treasures: The Best Science Fiction of the Year #4, edited by Terry Carr

Vintage Treasures: The Best Science Fiction of the Year #4, edited by Terry Carr