Saturday, October 07, 2006
By Bartee Haile - The cold-blooded murder of an unarmed man on Oct. 6, 1875 was Johnny Ringo's contribution to a Texas feud and the only confirmed kill of his mostly make-believe career.
John Peters Ringo was 19 year old, when he left his home in California for Texas. During the 'Hoodoo War' that in 1875 turned Mason County into a battleground, he threw in with the faction led by Scott Cooley. To prove himself, he volunteered to avenge an ambush killing by gambler James Cheyney.
When Ringo and a Cooley crony showed up at his place one October morning, Cheyney invited the strangers to breakfast. They followed him onto the porch to wash up for the meal. Ringo waited until his hospitable host's face was buried in a towel and blew him to kingdom come. "
Here's a story you haven't heard before.
Now and then someone asks me (though maybe not in these exact words), "How is it that somebody who's been consistently publishing for over 20 years, who's done three or four series, and who's sustained one of them for 20 years now, remains a complete unknown?"
As Mike Hammer says, "It was easy." I just never had a hit. People who ask me to blurb their first novels sell more copies of it than I've sold total. People who started writing about the same time I did are now on the New York Times list. Maybe I just don't write the right kind of books, or maybe my books just aren't that good. (I'd like to disregard that second possibility, but there it is.) Reviewers like me (mostly), editors like me, readers (when they can find the books) like me. But here I am, unknown.
I've come close to being known, though, a couple of times. When my evil twin, Jack MacLane, was writing for Zebra Books, the editor there really loved his work. After the first two books, I didn't have to offer a synopsis or even a title. My contract just said, "two books by Bill Crider." At one point, I was about to get The Big Push, with Blood Dreams. Die-cut cover with embossed inner cover. A dump in the front of all the chain stores. The works.
Didn't happen. The editor got pregnant and left the company. Another editor came in. The book was slapped back to the regular list, with a regular cover. The dump in the chains? Forget it.
What proof do I have of this? Not much, except for a cover flat that I got when the big plans were being made. That's it up there. The outer cover is on the top. The embossed inner cover is below it. Pretty cool, right? I sure thought so at the time. I thought Jack MacLane was on his way. And he was, straight to oblivion, which is where he remains. My brief brush with fame was pretty short, but it was fun while it lasted.
Friday, October 06, 2006
WZZM 13 Grand Rapids, Michigan - Police Find Snakes, Alligators Stabbed, Frozen At Assault Scene: "St. Louis, MO - St. Louis County police officers responding to an assault call found not only a human victim, but also exotic animals that were victims, too.
A 17-year-old victim was allegedly attacked by the 28-year-old suspect, who hit the victim at least 3 times with a sledgehammer. Police say the victim's injuries are not considered life threatening.
The attacker then allegedly impaled an alligator with a samurai sword. The alligator was chained up in the back yard of the home, in the 2300 block of Gardner drive in Moline Acres. That alligator was taken into surgery.
Police also found alive a 4-foot copperhead snake and a 6-foot rattlesnake. Two dead alligators and a dead snake were found in a freezer. "
Contestants answer trivia questions for the chance to win millions while also facing the risk of losing everything they have accumulated. ABC has ordered seven one-hour episodes."
The Norwegian researchers discovered remains of a total of 28 plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs — top marine predators when dinosaurs dominated on land — at a site on the island of Spitsbergen, about 1,300 km (800 miles) from the North Pole."
A Message From Big Daddy Thug
It’s been one year of Thuglit.
And what a year it’s been. Twelve months of pimps, pushers, dopers, killers, muggers, mobsters, robbers, hookers, hustlers, hitmen – and a couple of homicidal monkeys.
365 days. Countless bullets.SO, in honor of the year past and the many years ahead of us, we dedicate this issue to the Thugs and Thugettes around the world and officially honor the Thug Hall Of Fame Inductees for 2006. This year’s inductees were selected by an exhaustive panel composed of me, myself, and moi. Feel free to disagree with the selections. Also feel free to kiss my hairy beanbag.
The other night at Murder by the Book, Joe Lansdale said to me, "You love this noir stuff, but you don't write it." Well, as he admitted after reflection, I've written a number of noir stories ("My Heart Cries for You," "Death's Brother," "Top of the World," "An Evening Out with Karl," and even "Franklin and the Can of Whup-Ass"). Later it occurred to me that I've also written a hard-core noir novel. Or my evil twin, Jack MacLane, has. It's one of my favorites of my own books, and it's noir to the bone. At least I think it is. Great cover, too. I commend it to you, assuming you can find a copy. You can decide for yourself.
I liked the movie a lot, so I'm sorry to hear this.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
The title character fought in Flanders, where he got a serious wound. No longer able to serve, he ekes out a living by selling his sword to whoever can pay. At the start of the book he and another man are hired by some powerful figures (who wear masks) to attack a couple of travellers and frighten them, maybe wound them, but not to kill them. When the masked men leave the room, one of the leaders of the Inquisition steps in and changes the orders. The men are to be killed. Who are the men? I'll let you find out, but let's just say that one of them shows up in The Three Musketeers, as well.
Things don't go as planned. Because of the gallantry of one of the travellers, Alatriste refuses to kill them. He won't let his companion kill them, either. This doesn't endear him to the Inquisitor or to his companion, and things get complicated, as you might have guessed.
The mother of the book's first-person narrator, Inigo Balboa, has placed him with Alatriste because she can no longer support him. Inigo tells the story years after its occurrence, and he naturally drifts into third person when describing events that he wasn't present to witness. The POV shift is handled pretty deftly, I thought.
My only problem with the book: not enough swashbuckling. It's all too obviously the first book of a series, so there's a lot of set-up, and a lot of introductory stuff of the "Little did I know the trouble that he would cause us in later years" kind. There's also a lot of history that occassionally slows down the narrative, or at least it did for me.
There's already a movie of the book (or actually all the books in the series). It's called Alatriste, and it stars Viggo Mortensen. It was made in Spain, and I don't know if it's had an American release. If so, it never played Houston. I'd kind of like to see it.
Blazing Adventrues Magazine HomePage: "Welcome to the launching of one of the interent's only place for original and new, yes, you read correctly, NEW pulp fiction sites.
This is the place for the high adventure, high drama, high suspense, that used to be all over the newsstands and under the beds of many a young man and young woman. They reached for that cheap thrill, that juicy love story, or to satiate that craving, that itching, for the bitter taste of a stug of gin, a sexy blonde bim in cheap nylons, dressed in a strapless number as red as blood, with legs that went on forever.
Or for the high flying adventure, the knockout fighting spirit, the fighting soldier, or the futuristic hero.
Where new fiction with the feel of the pulp, has now got a home to see the light of day."
A report made public Wednesday on an internal investigation examining a week of computer use found more than 1 million log entries in which 7,700 employees visited game and auction sites.
More than 4,700 log entries were to sexually explicit and gambling Web sites.
The findings are 'egregious' and 'alarming,' the department's inspector general, Earl Devaney, wrote in the report."
B2Up says its Bust-Up gum, when chewed three or four times a day, can also help improve circulation, reduce stress and fight ageing.
The gum works by slowly releasing compounds contained in an extract from a plant called Pueraria mirifica.
In theory, this helps to keep the muscle tissue in good order."
Jayme Lynn Blaschke's Gibberish: "Conflicting demands on my time have prevented me from blogging the fact that New Braunfels has gotten into the public art act as well this year. Only, well, this is New Braunfels. This town can't do anything without tying into its German heritage. So a cow parade was right out. Instead, residents and tourists have been treated to--I kid you not--the world's first Stein Parade!"
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
The creator of 'Star Wars,' which stamped the template for the franchise-tentpole film, says many small films and Web distribution are the future.
And in case anyone doubts he means it, Lucasfilm is getting out of the movie business.
'We don't want to make movies. We're about to get into television. As far as Lucasfilm is concerned, we've moved away from the feature film thing, because it's too expensive and it's too risky.
'I think the secret to the future is quantity,' Lucas told Daily Variety. 'Because that's where it's going to end up.'"
Carrie Fisher slept with a 'nerd' to bag Star Wars role: "New York, Oct 4: Actress and writer Carrie Fisher, who became one of the highest-profile celebrities to speak publicly about having mental illness, once again opened up, as she spoke with George Wayne in Vanity Fair.
In a rather candid interview to the magazine, the star this time chose to discuss casting-couch practices in Hollywood, while she also talked about her struggles with bipolar disorder, maintaining that she's now taking only prescribed medication for it.
When asked how she bagged Princess Leia's role in Star Wars trilogy, that helped her attain international recognition in the 1970s, Fisher said, 'I slept with some nerd. I hope it was George [Lucas].'"
Kenneth Anderson-Jones, 75, found the dusty and dirt-encrusted framed document in a pile of bric-a-brac at the sale near his home in Stratford-upon-Avon.
When he got it home, he cleaned it up to find it was a letter written in 1856 by Lincoln giving Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant total command of the American army, a move that led to victory in the American Civil War.
Yesterday, his nephew took the letter to Sotheby's to have its authenticity checked. The American Library of Congress, which keeps official documents, said it did not hold a copy of the letter and was keen to examine Mr. Anderson-Jones's find."
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Monday, October 02, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 2, 2006
PRIVATE EYE WRITERS OF
The Private Eye Writers of
Best Hardcover Novel
Best Paperback Original Novel
THE JAMES DEANS by Reed Farrel Coleman (Plume)
Best First Novel
FORCING AMARYLLIS by Louise Ure (Mysterious Press/Warner)
Best Short Story
“A DEATH IN UENO” by Michael Wiecek (Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, March 2005)
“The Eye” – for lifetime achievement
Max Allan Collins
The Shamus Awards have been given annually since 1982 to honor novels and short stories featuring protagonists who are paid investigators not employed by a unit of government.
PWA was founded in 1981 by Robert J. Randisi to recognize the private eye genre and its writers. This year’s Shamus Awards were presented Sept. 29, 2006 at the 25th anniversary PWA banquet at the
For additional information about the awards, contact awards chair Ted Fitzgerald at tedfitz[at] msn.com.
'The book had a bunch of very bad language in it,' Diana Verm said. 'It shouldn't be in there because it's offending people. ... If they can't find a book that uses clean words, they shouldn't have a book at all.'
Alton Verm filed a 'Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials' Thursday with the district regarding 'Fahrenheit 451,' written by Ray Bradbury and published in 1953. He wants the district to remove the book from the curriculum.
'It's just all kinds of filth,' said Alton Verm, adding that he had not read 'Fahrenheit 451.' 'The words don't need to be brought out in class. I want to get the book taken out of the class.'
He looked through the book and found the following things wrong with the book: discussion of being drunk, smoking cigarettes, violence, 'dirty talk,' references to the Bible and using God's name in vain. He said the book's material goes against their religions beliefs."
“Damn, I really did it. I blew the first words on the Moon, didn’t I?” he is reported to have asked officials later, amid uncertainty as to whether he had blown the moment or simply been drowned out by static interference as his words were relayed 250,000 miles back to Earth.
Now, after almost four decades, the spaceman has been vindicated. Using high-tech sound analysis techniques, an Australian computer expert has rediscovered the missing “a” in Mr Armstrong’s famous quote. Peter Shann Ford ran the Nasa recording through sound-editing software and clearly picked up an acoustic wave from the word “a”, finding that Mr Armstrong spoke it at a rate of 35 milliseconds — ten times too fast for it to be audible.
Sunday, October 01, 2006
Jason Johnson, described by critics as 'the Irish Irving Welsh', will open up an unusual auction in cyberspace next month: a chance to become a character in his third novel. The highest bidder on his website, www.woundlicker.com can pay for the bizarre privilege of joining a former flasher and his psychiatric patient/girlfriend in his next book.
Johnson, whose second novel, Alina, was released last month, is as brutally frank about his motives as he is with his violent plots and muscular prose. The 37-year-old freelance journalist, whose first two books have received critical acclaim in Ireland, admits he is starting the auction to secure financial freedom."