Saturday, August 08, 2009

Matt Helm Update

Spielberg Will Produce, Not Direct Matt Helm | /Film: "Over the past 12 hours a little speculation has emerged about the next directorial effort by Steven Spielberg. A report in Variety suggested he could be taking the reigns of Matt Helm. But there were issues with relationships between studios, as Matt Helm, based on Donald Hamilton’s 1960s counter-agent who starred in a series of 27 books, was developed by Dreamworks and orphaned at Paramount when the studios split last year. The idea of Spielberg taking on a modern version of the character was interesting, but now it seems he’ll only produce."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

But Only if You Damn Kids Stay off Our Lawns

BBC NEWS | Health | People 'get happier as they age': "Most people get happier as they grow older, studies on people aged up to their mid-90s suggest.

Despite worries about ill health, income, changes in social status and bereavements, later life tends to be a golden age, according to psychologists.

They found older adults generally make the best of the time they have left and have learned to avoid situations that make them feel sad or stressed."

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: I Celebrate Myself :: Nik Morton

10 Best Movie Sequels Of All Time

The List: Best Movie Sequels Of All Time | Chattanooga Pulse

Top 10 mysteries of Human Behavior

The 10 mysteries of human behaviour that science can't explain - Telegraph: "The New Scientist magazine compiled a list of the everyday aspects of life which continue to confound the world's greatest brains, including the reasons behind kissing, blushing and even picking your nose."

Oddly enough, some of these have nothing at all to do with behavior.

No Comment Department

The men transforming into female hybrids (and dab hands at dusting)
| Mail Online
: "Modern women are turning their husbands into 'male-female hybrids' by ordering them to do a rising number of domestic chores, a relationship counsellor claims.

Women increasingly used to being in charge in the workplace are adopting the same policy at home, telling their men to perform traditional housewives' tasks such as the laundry, vacuuming and ironing.

As a result men are abandoning their natural manly instincts and becoming hybrids of both sexes, according to a book by relationship expert Francine Kaye."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Woman banned from Conroe bingo hall | LOCAL NEWS | | News for Houston, Texas: "CONROE, Texas – A Huntsville woman says she was banned from a bingo hall in Conroe after she said she noticed something fishy and started asking questions.

Veronica Smith received a letter that consisted of only one sentence: “'You are no longer eligible to play bingo in this hall or be on the premises per Commander Kenny' -- whatever his last name is,” Smith said, reading the letter aloud."

I Walk the Line

Friday, August 07, 2009

And Now They're Going to Re-Imagine. . .

News: Exclusive: RAIN to Awaken The Dragon? | Latino Review: "El Mayimbe here with a scoop!

About two years ago this month, the trades reported that Warner Independent Pictures has set 'The Shield' exec producer Kurt Sutter to write and make his feature directing debut on 'Awaken the Dragon.'

A noir-style remake of 'Enter the Dragon,' the 1973 martial arts classic that made Bruce Lee a global star, Sutter said he's writing 'Awaken the Dragon' as a contemporized drama about a lone FBI agent who pursues a rogue Shaolin monk into the bloody world of underground martial arts fight clubs."

A Review of an Old Story of Mine

Gravetapping: "Top of the World" by Bill Crider

Another TOWER Interview

Busted Flush Press: TOWER interview #3: Allan Guthrie


Eastern Standard Crime: THE BULLET AWARDS: July 2009 Results

Full list at the link.

Paris Hilton Update [I]f you are one of Paris Hilton's many pets the dog house is the place to be. Hilton recently shared photos of her new designer doghouse on Twitter. Paris's pinkified pet playhouse has two floors. Downstairs there is a living room and upstairs there is a bedroom and a closet to stash the many outfits she has purchased for her small pets. Hilton's dogs, which bear names like Tinkerbell, Marilyn Monroe, Prince Baby Bear, Harajuku, Dolce and Prada, will feel right at home because the mini-mansion, outfitted by interior decorator Faye Resnick was designed to resemble Hilton's own home in all its pink majesty and includes miniature Philippe Starck furniture, heat, air conditioning and even a black crystal chandelier and black ceiling moldings.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.
Photo of doghouse at link.

Map Update

Oldest map in western Europe found engraved on 14,000-year-old chunk of rock | Mail Online: "We all rely on maps, be they the sat nav in your car or a traditional A-Z, and archaeologists have found our ancient ancestors were no different.

They have unearthed what they believe to be the oldest map in Western Europe, in a Spanish cave steeped in legend.

The complex etchings were engraved on a hand-sized rock 13,660 years ago, probably by Magdalenian hunter-gatherers."

Photo of map at the link.

Bury Me Deep -- Harold Q. Masur

Last week I bought a copy of Megan Abbott's Bury Me Deep. Back when the title was announced, I immediately thought of Masur's book, which is a lot different from Abbott's, I'm sure.

Masur was a lawyer who wanted to write a book that crossed the with of Rex Stout's books with the complicated legal stuff in Erle Stanley Gardner's Perry Mason novels. Masur's first-person narrator is lawyer Scott Jordan, and if he's not Archie Goodwin, he's not bad. I wouldn't classify the book as hard-boiled. It's more like medium-boiled. Jordan's no tough guy, though he can do what's called for in a tough situation.

The book opens with Jordan walking into his apartment and seeing the woman pictured on the cover to the left. Within a few hours, she's dead, and Jordan is (of course) a suspect in the murder. The story's fast-moving and complex and holds up well, even though the book's over 60 years old.

Masure went on to have a long career and served as MWA president. He died only a few years ago, but now his books are mostly (and unjustly forgotten). You should pick one up and check it out.

I Thank a Fool

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

News on Plano / Texas police find 21 cats living in hotel room: "Texas cops say man who previously had dead animals in refrigerator found with 21 cats at hotel

A man who previously kept dead animals in cold storage and dozens more living in filthy conditions in a Dallas home was under investigation Monday after police found almost two dozen cats in his suburban motel room. Plano police stopped the man on Sunday and found he had outstanding warrants for animal cruelty and outdated animal vaccinations related to his previous case."

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Obese Houston inmate found with gun after 5 searches | Breaking News | - Houston Chronicle: "An obese Harris County jail inmate turned over a pistol that had been hidden in the folds of his skin after he went through at least five searches upon his arrest and was booked into two different local lockups, authorities said."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

John Hughes, R. I. P.

John Hughes Dies | "John Hughes has died of a heart attack.

Hughes suffered the heart attack while taking a morning walk during a trip to NYC to visit family.

He directed such hits as 'The Breakfast Club,' 'Pretty in Pink,' 'Sixteen Candles' and 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off.'

He was 59."

Croc, er, Human Remains Update

'Crocodile remains' human | Otago Daily Times Online: "Children spent weeks playing with human remains in a creek before a parent discovered what they were, it emerged yesterday.

Believing they had found a crocodile carcass, the children had picked up parts of a badly decomposed body in Stanmore Bay on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula, north of Auckland."

From an Interview with Chris Isaak

Chris Isaak considers himself "Mr. Lucky" | Houston Music | - Houston Chronicle: "Q: You've covered Solitary Man — is there a better song out there?

A:No. And if you have a second, get the book by David Wild about Neil Diamond. It will fill you in and make you realize why without Neil Diamond, the USA would probably not be free, and you and I and many others would be working in chains in a sewage plant someplace."

And keep off our lawns, too!

And Get Off My Lawn, Too!

It's SO over: cool cyberkids abandon social networking sites |
Media |
The Guardian
: "From uncles wearing skinny jeans to mothers investing in ra-ra skirts and fathers nodding awkwardly along to the latest grime record, the older generation has long known that the surest way to kill a youth trend is to adopt it as its own. The cyberworld, it seems, is no exception.

The proliferation of parents and teachers trawling the pages of Facebook trying to poke old schoolfriends and lovers, and traversing the outer reaches of MySpace is causing an adolescent exodus from the social networking sites, according to research from the media regulator Ofcom.

The sites, once the virtual streetcorners, pubs and clubs for millions of 15- to 24-year-olds, have now been over-run by 25- to 34-year-olds whose presence is driving their younger peers away."

Ocular Evidence at the Link

Mars monument 'proof of life' | The Sun |News: "THIS mysterious monument could be proof there was once life on Mars.

The rectangular structure — measuring five metres across — was photographed by a super high resolution camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The giant monolith juts out of the planet's surface casting a huge shadow below."

Snakes in a Car

My Way News - Man pulls snake from car engine with 'chopsticks': "There were a couple of things wrong with Katie Prewitt's Geo Tracker. There was the rope that seemed to hang from the car's undercarriage. And then that hissing noise; maybe a faulty emissions valve. She took the car into her husband's Klamath Falls body shop, but Dave Prewitt wasn't quite sure what to make of the problem, either. He called his friend Martin Schenck, who works across the street at Downtown Automotive, looking for a little help.

That's when they saw it: A flash of movement inside the engine, a slithering sort of movement.

'It didn't take too long to figure out that sticking our hands in any part wasn't a good idea,' Schenck said, who's been working with automobiles for 28 years.

The 'rope,' it turned out, was an angry 3-foot diamondback rattlesnake. How it got there - or why - is anybody's guess, but it probably snuggled up to the Tracker's warm V6 engine while Prewitt had the vehicle parked at her Pine Grove home."

Wait Until Twilight -- Sang Pak

Okay, so you look at the cover of Wait Until Twilight, and you see the photo of the really pale kid. Then you read the blurb: "What I need to do needs to be done before it gets too dark. . . ." No one would blame you if you thought you were getting some kind of Stephenie Meyer clone. The publisher probably thinks that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it's very misleading. What you're going to get is a Southern Gothic coming-of-age novel. And no vampires.

Samuel Polk is a sophomore in high school. For his video project, he and a friend go to a house his friend's told him about. In the house there's a woman with three monstrous kids that she claims were immaculately conceived. [SPOILER ALERT: She knows better, as we find out later. END OF SPOILER ALERT] The kids are so monstrous that the sight of them causes Sam to hurl. He doesn't use the video.

Sam has plenty of troubles. His mother has been dead only a year. His father seems obsessed with something he's building in the yard. School's not easy on a rebellious kid, so there are girl troubles, fights, and detentions. And worst of all, those three kids have a brother who's pretty much a total nutjob. He's homicidal, and he tries to force Sam to admit his own murderous tendencies.

Sam's a good kid, though, driven to succeed at his studies and to do the right thing. Most of the time. The question is whether he can get through things and come out on the other side a more mature person. You'll have to find that out for yourself. I'm not telling.

I think I can promise that for the most part you won't know where the book is headed. There are a couple of surprises at the ending, which achieves an unexpected but deserved poignance.

The Hound of the Baskervilles

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Budd Schulberg, R. I. P.

NYTartsbeatblog: Budd Schulberg, the legendary screenwriter and novelist who won an Oscar for his classic 1954 film “On the Waterfront,” has died. He was 95.

Mr. Schulberg, the son of a movie executive born in New York, rose to fame in the 40’s and 50’s with a succession of award-winning books and screenplays, most notably his novels “What Makes Sammy Run” (1941) and “The Harder They Fall” (1947), and the film “A Face in the Crowd” (1957). But it was “On the Waterfront” that Mr. Schulberg was best known for. The film, starring a young Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint, nearly swept the 1954 Academy Awards, earning eight Oscars, including one for Best Picture and another for Best Actor, which went to Mr. Brando.

Thuglit Issue #32

Thuglit Issue #32

Gator Update (Drugs Edition -- Again!)

Gator capture leads to drug arrests in north Fla. - Weird News - "TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- An alligator capture has led to the arrests of some north Florida apartment tenants who forgot to hide their drugs."

Paging Sheriff Dan Rhodes

Human foot found in US recycling plant - Yahoo!7 News: "Officials in western New York state are trying to figure out how a bare human foot got mixed in with recyclable trash on a conveyor belt at a landfill.

Sheriff Phil Povero says a worker at the Ontario County landfill's recycling plant spotted the severed right foot on Monday night, the Daily Messenger reported.

Povero says authorities believe the foot is an adult's, but aren't sure whether it belonged to a man or woman."

Yours Truly, Billy the Kid

Courier-Journal - New Mexico library has Billy the Kid letters: "SANTA FE, N.M. — The handwritten letter to the governor is polite, articulate and to the point.

'Dear Sir,' begins the missive. 'I wish you would come down to the jail and see me.'

The sender of the letter to territorial governor Lew Wallace was none other than Billy the Kid, the legendary gunslinger who was being held in the Santa Fe jail at the time. Just four months later, the Kid was gunned down by Sheriff Pat Garrett.

But in a boon to history lovers and Billy the Kid buffs, that March 1881 letter and an earlier letter to the governor from New Mexico's most famous outlaw are now in a state history library in Santa Fe and available for public viewing."

Red Seas under Red Skies -- Scott Lynch

It's been almost a year since I reviewed Scott Lynch's first novel, The Lies of Locke Lamora. That's because it takes me that long to work myself up to reading a 750-page fantasy novel. I liked the first book pretty well, though, and Lynch is the guest at Armadillocon in a couple of weeks, so it was time to get going on this one.

I'm not sure I'm glad I did. Here's the problem. If you read a couple of books in a series, you might want to continue. But Lynch is already way late in delivering the manuscript of the third book. Plus I discovered that he's planning a seven-book series. I doubt that I'll still be around when he's finished.

Okay, that has nothing to do with the current book. What do you think about a novel that begins with a cliff-hanger scene from much later in the story? And then ends after more than 750 pages with another cliff-hanger? I confess that I wasn't too bothered, especially by the latter gimmick. After all, if there are five more books to come, I figure things will work themselves out.

I was bothered more by the fact that this is really two novels. About half of it is a caper novel, but then the caper novel more or less stops for 350 pages and pirate novel takes off. Finally both things (and a lot of others) get resolved in the end. I got tired before I finally reached it. Another thing that bothered me was a character who might as well have been carrying a big sign that said, "I Will Be Killed Before This Book Ends." I was hoping to be surprised by something different, but I wasn't. Oh, well.

There's plenty of action, the world and society where Locke Lamora lives are as detailed as anyone could want, the characters are well drawn, and the dialog is fun. I still found it slow going, though. Maybe book three will win me over again. If I read it.

No Comment Department

Twilight Series Eclipses Harry Potter Records On The Best-Selling List � Right Bollywood: "This week Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series eclipses records previously set by Harry Potter on USA Today’s best-selling list."

Gator Update (Cross Plains Edition)

Alligator's slaying vindicates dad, son :
Front page : Abilene Reporter-News
: "Word has it a monster was slain in Cross Plains in recent days, and Dick Vestal, 79, and his son, Chris, feel perhaps a natural vindication.

Not too many folks, it seems, believed their tales of the alligator that used to haunt a stock tank on the family farm in Cross Plains.

Dick Vestal said the saga begins about three years ago, when he first saw two eyes sticking up from the water.

“I went back and told everybody that there was an alligator in the tank,” he said. “They all wanted to know what I’d been drinking.”"

Cross Plains, in case you've forgotten, is the place where Robert E. Howard spent a lot of his life (and an unlikely place to find a gator).


CBS Films will light up 'Gunsmoke'--The Hollywood Reporter: Risky Business: "CBS Films is headed back to Dodge.

The movie unit is developing a feature reboot of “Gunsmoke” and has hired “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” writer Gregory Poirier to pen the screenplay. Craig Baumgarten, who has produced such pics as journalist drama “Shattered Glass” and martial arts tale “Never Back Down,” will produce the new take.

The action-adventure will re-imagine Marshal Matt Dillon, the hero of the classic Western, for modern audiences. The story will be set in the same American West as the original but will feature a contemporary look and modern action twists."

There's that "re-imagine" word again.
Link via Lee Goldberg.

Castle of Blood

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

World Fantasy Awards Nominations

World Fantasy Awards Home Page

Click the link for the list.

Anybody Seen These? : Sunday Comics on Wednesday? DC's New 'Wednesday Comics': "At a time when many newspapers are cutting back on their comics sections, DC Comics is looking to remind readers of the fun and excitement a full Sunday-sized comics section can offer.

Except they’re going to do it on Wednesdays.

The publisher today officially announced Wednesday Comics, a new 12-part weekly series launching this summer that will be presented in a 14” x 20” broadsheet format and will have to be unfolded and opened to be read. The 'Wednesday' part of the title refers to the fact new comic books go on sale at comic book stores nationwide every Wednesday."

Hat tip to Bob Vasquez.

Rick Klaw Interviews Joe R. Lansdale

Dark Forces Book Group: From the Cutting Room Floor: Joe R. Lansdale Part I: "A month or so back, I interviewed Joe R. Lansdale for the San Antonio Current ('Crazy sort of folk' July 1, 2009). As is common with interviews, a lot of it didn't end up in the final publication. This won't be a big surprise to anyone who has interviewed Joe, but I had enough left over for two blog posts.

This first entry focuses on the unpublished questions pertaining to Hap & Leonard."

Arizona Leads the Way

Relaxation Drink Has Some Calling it Liquid Pot: "PHOENIX - There's a new drink being sold in Arizona -- but why are people comparing it to pot? It's called Drank, and it's a 16-ounce soda drink that tastes sort of like grape soda.

It's the opposite of an energy drink. Drank calls itself an extreme relaxation product, so much so, that some have dubbed it 'weed in a can.'"

Texas Doesn't Lead the Way

Office of last chance: Texas will soon make sure that competent lawyers handle death-row appeals | Editorial | - Houston Chronicle: "Death-row appeals are life-and-death matters. Starting next year, Texas will finally make sure that they're done right.

“The status quo has been an international embarrassment,” state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, said recently, and we agree. Private lawyers appointed by the courts have too often done lousy jobs."

Billy Lee Riley, R. I. P.

Billy Lee Riley, 75, Dies; Rockabilly Singer Also Multi-Instrumentalist - "Billy Lee Riley, 75, the growling rockabilly singer and multi-instrumentalist who accompanied Jerry Lee Lewis, Charlie Rich and others in recording sessions in the 1950s, died Aug. 2 at a hospital in Jonesboro, Ark. He had colon cancer.

Mr. Riley recorded for the Memphis-based record label Sun Records, which discovered and nurtured such talents as Lewis, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley. The Sun label originated a style known as rockabilly, a hybrid of country music and jump rhythm-and-blues. While not as well-known as others on the label, Mr. Riley was cited by Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen as among their favorite performers from that era.

He was best known for the 1957 regional hits 'Flying Saucers Rock'n'Roll' -- which inspired the name for his backup band, the Little Green Men -- and 'Red Hot,' both with Lewis on piano. The songs were later recorded by rockabilly revivalist Robert Gordon, who closely copied Mr. Riley's arrangements and got the song 'Red Hot' onto the national charts in 1978."

Hat tip to Scott Cupp. Riley's "Flying Saucers Rock 'n' Roll" inspired a great SF story of the same name by Howard Waldrop.

Rock with Me Baby - Billy Lee Riley

Long Lost -- Harlan Coben

Harlan Coben hit the crime field at the dead run with a series of comic crime novels featuring a sports agent named Myron Bolitar. These books were funny, fast, and fun. But Coben had bigger things in mind, like becoming a world-wide bestselling writer. Which he did. His books sell in the millions in countries around the globe.

But now and then Coben returns to Bolitar, as he does in Long Lost. These books aren't like the earlier ones, though. They're more like bestselling thrillers, though they do have a good bit of the humor that made the earlier books so much fun. They also have Win, everybody's favorite psycho sidekick. But they're heavier on the blood and violence, and the plots are "bigger." This one, for example, has a result that will change the world forever," as we're told on the first page.

So here's the deal. Myron gets a call from an old flame on the same day that his current love breaks it off with him (Myron's not lucky with lasting relationships). The old flame is Terese Collins, whom you might remember from an earlier book. If you don't, it doesn't matter. Her husband's been murdered, and she wants Myron's help. Since he's unattached, and since he's also wanted by the cops, he flies to Paris, where things suddenly get very complicated. The plot Myron uncovers might seem a tad far-fetched, but who cares? It's action all the way, with lots of angst and sentiment, too. I always get a kick out of Myron, even in his altered state, and if you're enjoyed Coben's other books, you're bound to like this one, too.

Crimespree Awards Announced

Central Crime Zone: "The 2009 Crimespree Awards and..
The votes are in the winners have been determined.
Each Category will also have the four runners up, the winners in bold with an asterisk."

Complete list at the link.

The Mask of Satan

Monday, August 03, 2009

Isn't "The Shack" a Big Religious Best-Seller?

RadioShack Finally Dropping 'Radio' From Branding (RSH): "RadioShack (RSH) is going to start branding itself as 'The Shack,' in an effort to focus on its current business selling cellphones and consumer electronics, and to distance itself from its geeky past as an electronics parts store.

Hard to see 'The Shack' as an upscale brand, but perhaps it makes sense, as fewer of the company's customers going forward will have ever owned a radio."

Bates Motel, Part II

Vermont Man Charged With Digging Up Dad - Local News Story - WPTZ Plattsburgh: "A Vershire man has been accused of digging up his father's remains and bringing them home with him because he missed his late father.

Dominik A. Bailey Jr., 43, has been charged with felony removal of human remains after allegedly digging up the cremated man's remains from a Vershire graveyard."

Will the Persecution Never End?

OK! Magazine: First For Celebrity News :: Celebrity News :: Paris victim of ‘tell-all’ book: "ABOVE: She is back with boyfriend Doug

PARIS Hilton's former manager is writing a tell-all book about her.
[. . . .]
Jason's pitch letter apparently states: 'Jason will demonstrate how, for 10 years, he managed to save his mercurial client from disgrace by manipulating the media, and Paris herself.

'Paris was oftentimes her own worst enemy, making a sex tape with a former boyfriend, nursing hangovers during photo shoots, falling asleep everywhere, and getting thrown in jail for numerous driving violations.

“If Paris Hilton didn't have Jason Moore pulling the strings, cleaning up her messes she could well have faded into oblivion.'"

Killing Mum -- Allan Guthrie

Carlos Morales isn't a killer. He's just a broker. Send him the dough and the instructions, and he'll pass along the job to someone who'll get it done. That's the way it's always worked, that is, until now, when Carlos gets an envelope with $10K in cash and a note saying that the person to be killed is his mother. Another little problem is that the note uses the name Charlie, which only his mother and his wife call him. Charlie decides to play along, with (you guessed it) disastrous results. Trust me: You wouldn't want to be one of Guthrie's protagonists.

This little book is published by Crime Express, and it's 96 pages long. It's got suspense aplenty, and a few surprises, too, though if you've read Slammer, you might not be as surprised as someone who hasn't. I'll say no more about that.

Anthony Boucher used to say that the novella was better for crime fiction than the novel, unless I'm mis-remembering, always a good possibility. At any rate, the length is perfect for this nasty little tale. And though it's nasty, it's not devoid of humor. Bleak, black humor, but humor nonetheless. Slip this one in your pocket to read the next time you're in line at the post office or the DMV. It'll make your wait shorter, and you'll feel lucky to be where you are instead of in Carlos' shoes.

Update from Ross Bradshaw: Moved up from the comments.
Hi guys. On the basis that many of you reading this will be from the US of A, the cheapest way to get this book is to order it from For reasons I assume are legal and sound business that company does not charge postage to send books to the USA. And they're an alternative to the Amazon machine.

Wasn't This a Clive Cussler Novel?

Divers recover treasure from Argentina shipwreck | "BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — Divers have concluded a mission to retrieve 9.5 tons of unrefined gold and silver worth nearly $22 million from a shipwreck off southern Argentina.

A border police officer on duty in the city of Rio Gallegos confirmed to The Associated Press that the effort to recover the Polar Mist's valuable cargo ended Sunday."

Hat tip to Jeremy Lynch at Crimespree.

Apocalypse Now

From The Road and 2012 to Colony and Day One, Apocalypse Movies and TV Shows Dominate - "A flood of postapocalyptic stories is now headed toward movie theaters and TV screens: Expect to see characters fending off cannibals, picking up day-to-day survival techniques and struggling to maintain their humanity amid the ruins. Previous waves of pop-culture disaster, from the Atomic Age paranoia of “War of the Worlds” to Watergate-era flicks such as “The Towering Inferno,” have depicted calamity in stunning detail. Many of the new projects, however, actually skip the spectacle of doomsday. Instead, they’re more fixed on what goes down in the aftermath."

Ross Macdonald

Tobias Jones on the crime novels of Ross Macdonald | Books | The Guardian: "Hailed as one of the 'holy trinity of American crime writers', Ross Macdonald surpassed his predecessors Chandler and Hammett, writing detective novels informed by sorrows and by Freud, argues Tobias Jones."

Link via David Thompson on Twitter.

Planet of the Vampires

Sunday, August 02, 2009

This is NOT a Good Idea

Spielberg picks next directing job: 'Harvey': "Steven Spielberg will soon be seeing imaginary rabbits.

The filmmaker will direct as his next film a contemporary adaptation of Mary Chase's play 'Harvey,' about a man and his friendship with an invisible six-foot tall rabbit. 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks will coproduce the project.

'Harvey' was first adapted for the screen in 1950 with James Stewart in the starring role as Elwood P. Dowd."

Okay, This Is Even Scarier than the Nappie Story

A Gary Busey Family Photo

Hat tip to John Green's Twitter feed.

Top 10: Worst Movie Sequels

Top 10: worst movie sequels of all time: "So, without further adieu, here is the worst of the worst, the “baddest” of the bad, the “Oh my God, I hope whoever had the idea for this film never has kids because stupidity is hereditary”…Top 10 Worst Movie Sequels of All Time."

Is it just me, or are there others out there who, when they see something like "without further adieu," want to find an unconcealed weapon and go looking for the writer? It's probably just me, getting cranky in my old age.

Want to Read Something Really Scary?

Pupils start school still in nappies - Telegraph: "A growing number of parents are failing to potty train their children before sending them to primary school. Some parents have made it a low priority because they are too busy, while others have a more relaxed attitude and are happy to 'wait until the child is ready', according to teachers."

Of course that's England. It couldn't happen here. Could it?

Lee Child Interview Podcast

011 Reading and Writing Podcast – Lee Child interview: "Welcome to the eleventh episode of the Reading and Writing podcast featuring an interview with Lee Child, New York Times bestselling writer of 13 thriller novels featuring Jack Reacher. Child’s latest novels include Gone Tomorrow and Nothing to Lose."

Click the link. You can listen, download, and/or subscribe at iTunes.

New Story at Beat to a Pulp

BEAT to a PULP :: Esther Meaney :: Patricia Abbott

Black Sabbath