Saturday, November 03, 2007

Happy Birthday, Bob Feller!

One of the greats, sure enough. Age 89 today.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Student Wants On-Campus Porn Club - Education News Story - KSAT San Antonio: "SAN ANTONIO -- A University of Texas at San Antonio student is in the planning stages of forming a pornography club on campus, station KSAT 12 reported.

The student, Riley Jackson Starr, is posting fliers on campus in hopes of recruiting at least five students to Club X, which would watch and discuss sexually oriented materials."

Sir Isaac Newton . . . .

. . . . He invented more than those fig bars.

The MST3K Gang . . . .

. . . . is at it again.

Anna Nicole Smith/O. J. Update

My Way News - FBI Knew of O.J. Simpson Plan in Advance: "LOS ANGELES (AP) - Federal agents learned three weeks in advance that O.J. Simpson and a memorabilia dealer planned an operation to retrieve personal items Simpson said were stolen from him, according to FBI reports obtained Friday by The Associated Press.

Dealer Thomas Riccio said he reported to the FBI on Aug. 21 that a collector claimed to have belongings taken from Simpson, and that Simpson wanted to videotape the confrontation with the person peddling thousands of pieces of his memorabilia.

Riccio told AP that he raised the subject while talking with the FBI about an unrelated subject: a video of Anna Nicole Smith. But he said agents dismissed his report, telling him 'they didn't want to be involved in another weird celebrity case.'"

We're from the Government, and We're Here to Help You

News from The Associated Press: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Transportation Security Administration touts its programs to ensure security by using undercover operatives to test its airport screeners. In one instance, however, the agency thwarted such a test by alerting screeners across the country that it was under way, even providing descriptions of the undercover agents.

The government routinely runs covert tests at airports to ensure that security measures in place are sufficient to stop a terrorist from bringing something dangerous onto an airplane. Alerting screeners when the undercover officer is coming through and what the person looks like would defeat the purpose.

But that's exactly what happened on April 28, 2006, according to an e-mail from a top TSA official who oversees security operations."

Suspicions Confirmed

I'm not a fan of Daylight Saving Time. I've never really understood the reason for it because I've never seen any convincing statistics that prove the time change really saves energy. And now it appears that the reason I've never seen any is simple: there aren't any. Yet we go on switching our clocks and screwing up our sleep cycles twice a year. I'm beginning to think my grandmother had it right when she refused to change her clocks. And keep off my damn lawn.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Astronaut Update

Evidence Thrown Out In Ex-Astronaut's Case - Houston News Story - KPRC Houston: "HOUSTON -- The confession and evidence of a former Astronaut accused of attempted kidnapping will not be allowed in court, KPRC Local 2 reported Friday.

Orange Circuit Judge Marc Lubet ruled that the evidence taken from Lisa Nowak's vehicle be thrown out, as well as her jailhouse conversation with an Orlando police detective.

The judge said the actions of the Orlando police detective led to his decision."

20th Century Ghosts -- Joe Hill

Almost 30 years ago I sat down to read a short-story collection titled Night Shift. The author was Stephen King, and I thought the stories were terrific. They had a pulp vitality that I found exciting, and I was thrilled when the author signed the book for me at the World Fantasy Convention in Fort Worth.

And now I just finished reading a short story collection by Joe Hill, who's King's son. I don't plan to compare the two, except to say that Hill is a much smoother writer and more literary than pulpy, even at this stage of the game. He's clearly going in his own direction, and while some of the stories in
20th Century Ghosts can be classified as horror, most of them couldn't, even by stretching the definition.

One of the horror stories is the first one, "Best New Horror." You know exactly where it's headed before you get well into it, but it's that rare kind of story that's all the better for your foreknowledge.

The best pure horror story in the book, though, and the only one that reminds me of the famous father, is "You Will Hear the Locust Sing." It's a direct descendant of E. C. Comics, '50s monster movies, and Kafka. And it has maybe the best line in the book.

"Pop Art" reminded me of a movie I haven't even seen,
Lars and the Real Girl. In Hill's story, a boy's best friend is an inflatable doll named Arthur Roth. Unlike the Real Girl, Arthur's fully sentient. He can't talk, but he can write and interact with others. I had no trouble at all accepting this, and the story worked just fine for me. You might feel differently.

"The Black Phone" is a crime story, about a boy who's caught and imprisoned by a serial killer. Great claustrophobic tension, worth your time.

If someone removed one of the nine stories from J. D. Salinger's Nine Stories and put "Better than Home" in its place, I'm not sure I'd notice. That's a compliment.

"Abraham's Boys" is about a famous vampire hunter and his sons, and I liked the way it played out.

The almost title story (no s on the end) is nicely evocative of old movie houses and may be the only real ghost story in the book.

Not all the stories worked for me. "Dead Wood" didn't even seem to be a story at all, and "The Widow's Breakfast" didn't have much of a point. "In the Rundown" seemed too obvious, and "Bobby Conroy Comes Back from the Dead" was a little too soft. I didn't care much for "The Cape," about a boy who can fly, or "Last Breath" (again, too obvious). And while I liked
I liked "My Father's Mask" quite a bit because it's unsettlingly weird, I still don't have a clue as to what was happening or what it was all about.

"Voluntary Committal" is the novella that closes the book, sort of, and it was a lot like a story from some '50s SF magazine, maybe F&SF, which might explain why I liked it.

I said that the novella "sort of" closed the book because Hill puts another short story into the Afterword. It's pretty good, too.

Thuglit #21 Now On-Line

If you don't want to read the stories (and you should), I'd advise you to click here just for a look at the cover. And click here for my comments on one of the stories.

When Billionaires Attack (Each Other)

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the link.

Billionaire Family Feuds - AOL Money & Finance: "Take a billionaire clan, add generational schisms, sibling rivalry, jealousy and greed and you end up with riveting family dramas to rival that of any prime-time television show. While Anna Nicole Smith's inheritance feud with her late husband's son was all over the news, these other blue-blood battles are just as salacious, if not as well-known."

Chupacabra Update

Photo at link.

'Goat sucker' actually a hairless coyote - "SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) -- The results are in: The ugly, big-eared animal found during the summer in southern Texas is not the mythical, bloodsucking chupacabra. It's just a plain old coyote. art.coyote.ap.jpg Phylis Canion holds the head of what researchers determined to be a hairless coyote.

Biologists at Texas State University announced Thursday night they had identified the hairless doglike creature.

KENS-TV of San Antonio provided a tissue sample from the animal for testing. 'The DNA sequence is a virtually identical match to DNA from the coyote,' biologist Mike Forstner said in a statement. 'This is probably the answer a lot of folks thought might be the outcome. I, myself, really thought it was a domestic dog, but the Cuero Chupacabra is a Texas Coyote.'

Phylis Canion and some of her neighbors discovered the 40-pound bodies of three of the animals over four days in July outside her ranch in Cuero, 90 miles southeast of San Antonio."

Crocs in Jail

Ananova - Police jail croc: "Police in Australia kept a 7ft 9in saltwater crocodile in a cell overnight after it threatened local fishermen.

Officers in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, say they had 'no other option' after capturing the crocodile late in the evening."

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the link.

Here They Come to Save the Day!

I'm working on the Oil Can Harry Breed, myself.

US scientists engineer 'mighty mice': "US researchers have engineered a line of 'mighty mice' whose human equivalent would have similar abilities to the bicycling champion Lance Armstrong, according to research published Thursday.

The breed of mice can run six kilometers (four miles) at a speed of 20 meters (yards) per minute for up to six hours without stopping, according to Richard Hanson, a biochemistry professor at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Like a Knife in the Brain

I mean that literally. X-Ray photo at link, for which thanks to Gerard Saylor.

Troops unite to save soldier knifed in head - Army News, opinions, editorials, news from Iraq, photos, reports - Army Times: "It felt like a nasty sucker punch. Yet when he strained his eyes to the hard right, there was something that didn’t belong: the pewter-colored contour of a knife handle jutting from his skull.

Sgt. Dan Powers, stabbed in the head by an insurgent on the streets of East Baghdad, triggered a modern miracle of military medicine, logistics, technology and air power."

Famous Author and Blogger Makes the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

Thanks to Steve Stilwell for the tip.

How the D.B. Cooper mystery got a Minnesota twist: "Thirty-six years after Cooper disappeared into the night, America is still fascinated by the case. There are scores of websites, books, movies and songs. The country's only unsolved hijacking has become an iconic back story for everyone who has dreamed of getting away with something or getting away from everything.

'In my case, the fascination is with an unsolved crime that's stuck in my memory for all these years,' said Bill Crider, an author who also has an online pop culture magazine. 'I'm a mystery writer, so I like solutions.'"

Gator Update (Long Island Edition)

100-year timeline at link.

See you later, alligator? Occasionally, Westchester residents do: "MOUNT KISCO - The toothy reptile abandoned in Mount Kisco today marks the 10th confirmed alligator discovery in Westchester County in the last 100 years, according to news reports archived by The Journal News and The New York Times."

Harry Potter Update

Timesonline: J.K. Rowling has completed her first book since she finished her blockbusting series of Harry Potter novels which have sold 400 million copies world-wide.

Fans hoping to lay their hands on the latest work are, however, doomed to disappointment as only seven copies will ever be printed, and only one of those has been put up for sale.

The book - a collection of five wizarding fairy stories entitled "The Tales of Beedle the Bard” - has been handwritten and illustrated by the author herself. To add to its rarity value, the seven copies have been bound in brown morocco leather and mounted with silver and semi-precious stones.

Dead Street -- MIckey Spillane

This one's straight out of the '50s. Jack Strang, a retired NYC cop, discovers that a woman he loved 20 years ago and had presumed dead is still alive and living in a unique retirement village in Florida. The catch is that she's blind and has amnesia. (I'm not giving away anything here that's not in the blurb on the back cover.) And it won't surprise you to learn that whoever tried to kill her so long ago is still after her.

Spillane's style hasn't changed much except maybe to become a bit leaner. Strang calls women "doll" just like Mike Hammer did 60 years ago. (Strang also says that there was a cowboy actor named Buck Jones when he was a kid. Not unless he's even older than I am, there wasn't.) Maybe the violence has been toned down a little, too, and Strang, though known as "the Shooter," doesn't knock off as many hoods as Hammer did in the course of a book.

I've been reading Spillane for 50 years, and I've never been ashamed to admit it. There's been some discussion of his work on rara-avis lately, with a lot of people saying that Spillane's for adolescent minds and so on. Probably true, but I don't care. Entertainment Weekly reviewed Dead Street and gave it an A. I liked it, too, but I certainly wouldn't expect everyone to. In fact, I expect some people will read it and wonder what all the fuss was about. As I said, it's straight out of the '50s, and times and reading tastes have changed. Okay, mine haven't, but you know what I mean.

Spillane completed only the first 8 chapters of this novel before his death. Max Allan Collins wrote the final 3 chapters working from Spillane's notes, and it's a nearly seamless transition. I had fun with all of it. Check it out.

Tires for Tats

Winding Road � Archive � Need a New Set of Dunlops? Just Get a Tattoo: "Only in Vegas… Dunlop is offering a free set of four tires for folks willing to don the Dunlop logo or tread pattern for life. Tattoo artists are on hand to ink the company’s logo on your body. The tattoos are crowd favorites. We hear the line starts at 8:00 a.m. and the first reservations are taken an hour later. Dunlop officials expect all available spots, roughly 20 per day, to be spoken for within five minutes. We hear one guy did it just to get a free tattoo and he was amazed that there were some free tires in the deal."

Claude Rains Will be the Driver

Army tests James Bond style tank that is 'invisible' | the Daily Mail: "New technology that can make tanks invisible has been unveiled by the Ministry of Defence.

In secret trials last week, the Army said it had made a vehicle completely disappear and predicted that an invisible tank would be ready for service by 2012.

The new technology uses cameras and projectors to beam images of the surrounding landscape onto a tank."

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Boston: Classy City, Classy Stories in the Paper

Author: Hitler’s veggie diet misguided bid to fix farts - "Medical historians are unanimous that der Fuhrer had der farting problem, according to an article by historian and travel writer Tony Perrottet in this month’s The Smart Set, a magazine from Drexel University in Philadelphia.

Hitler wrongheadedly tried to cure himself, Perrottet says, by reasoning a mostly vegetarian diet would make his farts less offensive.

A hypochondriac, Hitler swore off meat in 1931, saying his ham tasted like “a corpse” after his niece Geli Raubel killed herself.

From then on, Hitler ate vegetables, oblivious that his diet was making him smell worse. His physician, Dr. Theo Morell, wrote that after Hitler downed his vegetables, “constipation and colossal flatulence occurred on a scale I have seldom encountered.”"

James Reasoner

James has a neat new website, and it includes a lengthy (but not complete) list of his books. Check it out.

Happy Birthday, Dick Francis!

The only 3-time winner of the Best Novel Edgar turns 87 today.

Forty years ago, I walked into a little convenience store in Austin, Texas, and pulled the book on the left off the spinner rack. (Yes, that very one. I still have it.) I opened it up and read the first paragraph:

I was never particularly keen on my job before the day I got shot and nearly lost it, along with my life. But the .38 slug of lead which made a pepper shaker out of my intestines left me with fire in my belly in more ways than one. Otherwise I should never have met Zanna Martin, and would still be held fast in the spider threads of departed joys, of no use to anyone, least of all myself.

Naturally I bought the book, then the ones preceding it, and I've read each novel since. I don't care who wrote the books. I've enjoyed every single one of them, and I plan to keep right on reading them for a while.

Another Horror Movie Quiz

Easier than the last one I mentioned. Shorter, too.

Bonus: Paris Hilton!

And Speaking of Elvis

Thanks to John Duke for the tip. - Elvis Presley Reclaims No. 1 Spot on Forbes' List of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment: "Elvis Presley is still the King.

Presley, who earned an estimated $49 million in the past 12 months, has reclaimed the No. 1 spot on's list of Top-Earning Dead Celebrities. He last topped the list in 2005.

John Lennon ranks second with earnings of $44 million, followed by Charles M. Schulz ($35 million), George Harrison ($22 million), Albert Einstein ($18 million), Andy Warhol ($15 million), Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss) ($13 million), Tupac Shakur ($9 million), Marilyn Monroe ($7 million), Steve McQueen ($6 million), James Brown ($5 million), Bob Marley ($4 million) and James Dean ($3.5 million).

Presley died in 1977. His estate continues to generate millions from music royalties, DVDs, licensing deals and tourism at Graceland, the rocker's mansion in Memphis, Tenn.

Forbes said the celebrities on the list, posted Monday, earned a combined $232 million in the past 12 months."

Update on Robert Goulet and Elvis

I knew I wasn't making this story up.

Welcome to the Elvis Information Network: "CA: You know Memphis is an Elvis town and you factor into a local legend.

GOULET: When he shot the television set? He also shot 50 other people. They told me that he had about a hundred sets in the basement. And he'd shoot the damn thing out - you know he was on pills and he didn't know quite what he was doing and he'd BANG! and they'd look at each other and say, 'Get another set!' They mention me all the time. I don't know why. I remember once we sat together backstage for two hours. And he was a charming, delightful, delightful man. And at one point I said, 'That's a beautiful ring you have there.' He said 'You like it?' I said, 'It's beautiful!'

He took it off his hand and put it on mine. He gave me his ring. And years later all the jewelry I had in my house - I trust everybody. I was brought up to believe that you cannot steal, cheat or lie and I've been stolen from, cheated or lied to all of my life. And so jewelry - who needs it? But this one was something special to me and it's gone."

The Poe War Goes National

From Ed Pettit: There will be a piece on National Public Radio's All Things Considered this afternoon about the whole Poe brouhaha. Jeff Jerome from Baltimore gets his say, as well. It ran this morning on the local (Philly) broadcast of NPR's Morning Edition, or as a friend of mine called it today, Morning Ed(ition).
If you miss the broadcast on your local public radio station, you can always listen online here:
Now that this is a national news story, things may heat up again. Might be time to go to the mattresses.

Worst Halloween Costumes of all Time?

You make the call.

Robert Goulet, R. I. P.

The thing I think of every time I hear Goulet's name is that he's the guy who caused Elvis Presley to shoot his TV screen. I suspect that won't get into a lot of the obits, and it may not even be true, but I've always liked the story. Muse: "Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Goulet, the singer whose rich baritone voice and classic tall, dark, dashing good looks made him a star on stage and television, has died. He was 73.

Goulet suffered from a rare form of pulmonary fibrosis, a progressive and fatal condition. He was being treated at Cedars- Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and was awaiting a lung transplant when he died yesterday, the Associated Press reported."

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

You've seen the play with 15 laterals in the Trinity vs. Millsaps game, right? Now here's the story.

Sleepy Hollow Meets Texas

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the link.

Embalmed heads found in I-30 truck | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | News: Local News: "On the face of it, the truck full of human heads could have been a Halloween prank or the makings of a scary movie.

'This is in the top five of the strangest things – maybe the strangest – that I've ever encountered,' Hunt County Justice of the Peace Aaron Williams said Monday.

Judge Williams was called to the scene when a regular traffic stop Sunday morning by Royse City police turned into a grisly discovery of severed heads in the back of a tractor-trailer.

Police said the truck driver was pulled over for speeding about 2:30 a.m. on Interstate 30 at the Hunt County line. Because he was acting suspiciously, officers looked in the back and saw about two dozen embalmed human heads staring back at them from plastic bags and containers."

Scott Cupp

Texas writer Scott Cupp's name has turned up here now and again, and he's contributed items to the blog. Rick Klaw has an interview with him posted here.

You Need This for Home Protection

Video at the link. Hat tip to Neatorama.

TechEBlog � Feature: World's Largest Shotgun (with Video Demonstration): "The world's largest shotgun aka Punt Gun measures 10-feet long and has a 2-inch barrel. Due to its size and recoil, this gun has to be mounted directly on the punts. Just a single blast could wipe out 50-100 ducks resting on the water's surface."

Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

I got tricked by the trailer of this movie into expecting more than I got. I should've known better. The first movie was mediocre. So is this one. Mainly because it didn't make any sense. I'm too lazy to explain why in detail, but let's just say that the whole thing about swapping powers, which isn't even explained, isn't handled with any kind of logic. And (huge spoiler) if the Silver Surfer could destroy the Eater of Worlds, why didn't he just do it long ago, making the noble sacrifice and saving his own world in the bargain? (End of huge spoiler.)

And what is up with Mr. Fantastic's hair? I couldn't tell from one scene to the next where the gray was going to be. Sometimes it just went away altogether.

There were a few funny lines, some of the action was okay, but a lot of the special effects were right out of the cheese factory. I can't really recommend this one, but it has one thing going for it: It's short, only about 90 minutes long. There's something to be said for that.

Don't Forget to Pick Up Your Free Taco Today

Taco Bell's Big Enchilada - "Taco Bell pitched a softball during the World Series. On Tuesday, it will pay. The official quick-service restaurant of Major League Baseball is offering everybody in America a free taco between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. in their local time zones. The offer is good in all 50 states and the District of Columbia."

Monday, October 29, 2007

In Case You Were Wondering . . .

. . . why Thrilling Days of Yesteryear hasn't shown up on your RSS feed lately, that's because Ivan has moved his blog from Salon to Blogger. You can now find it here. Be sure to check in.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

State report says Texas has too many reports | - Houston Chronicle: "AUSTIN — The Texas State Library and Archives Commission is declaring there are too many state reports.

It says so in a 668-page report.

The project took 18 months and included the commission's small team canvassing more than 170 agencies, and public colleges and universities, checking on all the reports they are assigned to do."

Halloween Horrors

The Little Professor provides links to her favorite horror tales from years long gone by.

Geico Cavemen Have another Party

This time it's a masquerade.

Don't Invite this Guy to Dinner

Thanks to Jeff Meyerson for the link.

iWon News - Holy Cow! 103 Hamburgers in 8 Minutes: " CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) - A competitive eater who has already triumphed at a famous hot dog eating contest swallowed 103 small hamburgers in 8 minutes Sunday to take home $10,000.

Joey Chestnut, 23, of San Jose, Calif., surpassed the previous record of 97 Krystal burgers - 2 1/2 inches square - held by Japan's Takeru Kobayashi, set at last year's Krystal Square Off.

'We never thought we'd see someone anywhere near, let alone past, the century mark when we started the Krystal Square Off in 2004,' said Brad Wahl, vice president of marketing for The Krystal Co.

Chestnut beat 12 other contestants. Kobayashi, who won all previous Krystal Hamburger Eating Championships, didn't compete this year because of lingering jaw pain from having a wisdom tooth extracted in June."

Porter Wagoner, R. I. P.

USA Today: In 1957, he joined the cast of the Grand Ole Opry and celebrated his 50th anniversary with the show this spring. He eventually became the radio show's public face.

He was best known, perhaps, for his flashy, custom-made stage suits that cost thousands of dollars. He sometimes joked that the suits forced him to stay thin, saying he couldn't afford to replace them.

In 1960, he launched TV's syndicated Porter Wagoner Show, on a budget of less than $1,000 an episode. It predated Hee Haw and CMT. At its peak, it aired in more than 100 markets, making it the most important country-music TV property of its time.

Wagoner introduced a young Dolly Parton in 1967. They recorded many duets together, including The Last Thing on My Mind and Just Someone I Used to Know. Wagoner produced some of Parton's early solo hits (1975's The Seeker). The partnership ended acrimoniously in 1974, but Parton wrote I Will Always Love You for him as she left.

More than anything, Wagoner loved a song that told a story. He favored sentimental recitations and macabre tales of murder and insanity, like the cult favorite The Rubber Room. Between 1954 and 1980, he had 20 top 10 country hits, including Green, Green Grass of Home, The Carroll County Accident and The Cold Hard Facts of Life. He won Grammys for three gospel albums with the Blackwood Brothers. In 2002, he became a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

When She Was Bad -- Ron Faust

I like the work of Ron Faust, though not everybody agrees with me. (Read the comments on this post.) So you'll have to take it with a grain of salt when I recommend When She Was Bad. This is one of those stories about a guy who meets the wrong woman. Really the wrong woman. And of course he can't resist her. You might think you know this story, but at the point when the one you know would end, this one's just getting started. By actual end, I wondered if Faust was putting me on, but I decided that I didn't care. Getting there was a lot of fun, and I was laughing about half the way at all the twists and turns.

And speaking of the end, I really liked it that there's no long, drawn-out climactic scene eating up fifty or sixty pages. When Faust does get to the end, he ends it.

I had a thoroughly good time with this one, not that that means anything.

And Pete Rose Will be Sent to Monte Carlo

Ripken to visit China as envoy -- "Cal Ripken Jr. has developed a lucrative, baseball-centered career that includes stints as a television analyst, co-owner of a minor league team and a long list of other business interests since retiring from the Baltimore Orioles in 2002. But when he boards a plane at Washington Dulles International Airport today for his latest venture, he'll be carrying a batch of newly printed business cards.

On one side of the small card his name appears in English, and on the back is a series of Chinese characters - an important tool for the newly appointed special envoy for the U.S. Department of State."

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

The Sasquatch Gang. If you look at the website, note the road sign. Too bad they didn't use my book, too.

Now This is a Guy Who Knows Gators!

50 YEARS OF CHASING ALLIGATORS -- "Ernest Brown, a longtime Gatorland employee, celebrated 50 years of employment at the theme park last week with friends and family."

"Redhead" -- Duane Swierczynski

In a move calculated to drive bibliographers and completists up the wall, St. Martin's has reprinted Duane Swierczynski's The Blonde in trade paperback format and added a novella titled "Redhead." "Redhead" isn't a standalone story. You pretty much have to have read The Blonde to figure out what's going on, so it will probably never be reprinted separately. If you want to read it, you'd better buy this paperback. Is it worth it? Hey, what's $13.95? A mere pittance. But if you're a person who thought the ending of The Blonde was just right, then you might not want to know what happens to Kowalski and The Blonde afterward. If you do want to know, then get out the old wallet and spend the cash.

What will you get for your money? I can't say too much about the plot without giving away the good stuff, so I'll just say the story hits the ground running and never lets up. You got your government assassins with nicknames line Bonesaw, The Surgeon, and Ana Esthesia. You got a body count that's somewhere past 75. You got your explosions. And you got Terrill Lee Lankford's apartment, which has now starred in at least two movies and this novella. Can anyone else's apartment say the same?

I guess the lucky people are the ones who haven't read The Blonde yet. They get two great stories for the price of one.