Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Brotherly Love :: J.E. Seymour

It's Baaaaaack

Frozen yogurt market heats up again - Houston Business Journal:: "After a wildly popular run in the 1980s, frozen yogurt stores are making a comeback with new locations swirling up all over Houston."

A Little Geek Love

And stay off her lawn, too.

'Geek Love' author fights off purse snatcher in Northwest Portland | Health & Fitness News - "Author Katherine Dunn spent more than 10 years training with the fighters of Knott Street Boxing Club in Northeast Portland’s Matt Dishman Community Center.

But Dunn, best known for her novel “Geek Love,” had never fought for a purse until Tuesday afternoon. Dunn, 64, was carrying a bag of groceries from Trader Joe’s to the Northwest Portland home where she has lived for more than 30 years when someone yanked the purse strap on her left shoulder so hard it spun her around.

“I was facing this young woman who shouted, ‘Let it go. Let it go,’” Dunn said.

She did not. So, Dunn said, 25-year-old Brandy Amber Carroll kicked her in the shin and slapped her face. Dunn figured that gave her permission to put her years of training to work."

No Comment Department

Leeds University advertises for lap dance research officer - Telegraph: "The advertised position, in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, is for: “Research Officer - The rise and regulation of lap dancing and the place of sexual labour and consumption in the night time economy”."

Robbin' Goth

Goth robber jailed for bizarre Eastbourne bank job (From The Argus): "A goth robber held up a bank but then gave away all the money he had stolen.

Frater Osiris Xnoubis was dressed from head to foot in black leather when he carried out the bizarre robbery."

A Flash of Green

APOD: 2002 November 10 - A Green Flash from the Sun: "Many think it is just a myth. Others think it is true but its cause isn't known. Adventurers pride themselves on having seen it. It's a green flash from the Sun. The truth is the green flash does exist and its cause is well understood. Just as the setting Sun disappears completely from view, a last glimmer appears startlingly green."

A Princess of Mars

Friday, November 27, 2009


You can own one, but supplies are limited. I figure this is a natural for Victor Gischler.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Black Friday Mishap Forces Tow Trucks to Return Cars | "Shoppers lining up extra early for Black Friday sales got a surprise when they went looking for their cars -- they were gone.

The incident happened at the Best Buy on Beechnut near the Southwest Freeway late Thursday night.

Houston Police say hundreds of people were lined up outside the store for the 4:30 a.m. Friday opening. Two tow truck drivers, who are contracted to remove cars parked overnight, towed about 12 cars before store patrons called police."

Barry Malzberg's 15 Favorite Issues of ASTOUNDING

I read about this video on the Fictionmags list, and of course I loved it.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Store goes topless for Black Friday | "North Austin tropical fish and aquarium store owner hopes to pick up business on Black Friday by going topless.

Caroline Estes, owner of Amazonia Aquariums , hopes that the publicity will help boost sales."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

World's Best Wedding Cake?

Icing on the cake... groom orders two-foot alligator for wedding as homage to his favourite team | Mail Online

Croc Update

Two jailed for beating sacred crocodile in Bangladesh | My Sinchew: "A court in southern Bangladesh sentenced two men to two years in jail after they beat and blinded a sacred crocodile at a Muslim shrine, police said Thursday."

Black Friday is for Suckers

Netbooks, e-book readers, and other Black Friday bargains to avoid. - By Farhad Manjoo - Slate Magazine

Forgotten Books: CRY AT DUSK -- Lester Dent

Several bloggers have commented on Lester Dent lately, and I happened to have had a copy of one of his books lying around for, oh, forty years or thereabouts, so I thought I'd read it.

It's not as if I haven't read Dent's work before. Back when the Doc Savage books were appearing from Bantam, I read quite a few of them. I've also read "Sail," the short story from Black Mask that gets reprinted often. But those things didn't prepare me for Cry at Dusk. Yikes. I don't know what I expected, but this wasn't it.

Let's just say that Dent must have had his copy of Psychopathia Sexualis open beside him as he typed. Can you read the blurb at the top of the cover? It's a clue to the contents. We all know what "corrupt and alien love" meant in the '50s, right? Well, I'll bet you never read a book from Beacon or the other "sex publishers" that's as strange as this one. I'd go so far as to say there wasn't another book in 1952 quite as weird and, yes, perverse. Not to mention "corrupt and alien." Even given the euphemisms of the time, Dent gets away with a lot here, more than I'd have thought possible.

The story itself is kind of goofy. It begins with Oliver Stringer becoming a college football hero, but Stringer's not really his name. He's Johnny Marks, and he and his Uncle Walter have been on the run for years. Johnny doesn't know why, and Uncle Walter won't tell him. When U. W. is murdered, we get a long flashback in which we learn about Johnny's past and his involvement with a girl named Jennifer and a kid named Hermie Bouncett. Hermie is the bad guy, and he's as bad, corrupt, and perverse as they come. But he likes Johnny. A lot. He also likes being hit and kicked. Johnny's afraid that he might be like Hermie. But he knows he likes Jennifer. It's a mess. And I mean the plot as well as the situation.

Back in the present, we finally find out the Big Secret. Johnny's U. W. never knew it, so why they had to keep moving is a mystery to me. I guess nobody believed him, so they just kept beating him up. You'd think they'd learn.

The climax (and I guess there are two of them, so to speak) comes down in the Caribbean, and at least one of them is oddly anti-climactic. But maybe that part of the plot's not what interested Dent. At any rate, I'm glad I finally picked this one up. It's a very '50s book, so be warned. And if you read it, I can guarantee you won't be sailing on any stranger seas than these for a good while.

The File on Thelma Jordon

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Detective of Love

Frankie and the Fashions sing "Detective of Love." Can you remember all the detectives they name?

Another Review from a While Back

� A 1001 MIDNIGHTS review: PETER RABE - Dig My Grave Deep.

A Review from a While Back

� A 1001 MIDNIGHTS review: PETER RABE - Kill the Boss Good-By.

The Youngest Templar: Trail of Fate -- Michale P. Spradlin

This book takes up immediately after the ending of Keeper of the Grail, which is a good thing since that one ended with a real cliffhanger. It's probably no surprise that Tristan, who has the grail in his keeping, survives the shipwreck that closed the earlier novel. He washes up on the shore of France, where he encounters a group of alleged heretics, the Cathars, who are being hunted by the High Counsel. They're also led by a very attractive young woman named Celia, who awakens feelings in Tristan that he's never before experienced.

Robard Horde and Maryam are along, too, and they recognize the feelings for what they are. They also know that Tristan's desire to help Celia stems from those feelings, but they go along with him. This leads to battles, escapes, sieges, and more, with action and color on just about every page. It also leads to another humdinger of a cliffhanger ending.

Tristan, Robin, Maryam, and Celia are great characters and fun to be with. I'm eagerly looking forward to the next installment in this series.

Writer as Delivery Boy

Hand delivering signed copies of One Too Many Blows To The Head on Vimeo: "The brief adventures of a small press author and his attempts to add the personal touch. Making lemonade out of lemons after a shipping error. With thanks to the Mystery bookstore."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Don't let the headline fool you. Bush Intercontiental is the best of the airports covered. Not to spoil the surprise, but Newark is the worst.

Airports From Hell - Page 1 - The Daily Beast: "#1, George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)—Houston
Image: RNewsFoto / Houston Airport System
On-time departures 2009: 86.19%
On-time arrivals 2009: 84.73%
On-time holiday departures: 90% (ranked first)
On-time holiday arrivals: 86%
Average security wait time: 6.1 minutes
Tarmac nightmares: 22nd out 27
Safety: 5th out of 27
Amenities: 8th out of 27"

Captain Midnight

Captain Midnight - Free OTR Shows - Listen Now!: "Captain Midnight was a U.S. radio serial show from 1938 to 1949. Created by radio scripters Wilfred G. Moore and Robert M. Burtt, the program was developed at WGN in Chicago. Sponsored by the Skelly Oil Company, it began as a syndicated show in the fall of 1938, airing on a few midwest stations through the spring of 1940. In the fall of 1940, Ovaltine took over sponsorship, and the series was then heard nationally on the Mutual Radio Network where it remained until December, 1949."

Another intro I loved as a kid. The way the announcer says "Captain" is great. Fifty-six episodes at the link.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Have a great day. Don't eat too much, and give thanks for all that's right with the world.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

New Stories at A Twist Of Noir

A Twist Of Noir

Alligators in the Sewers!

The Book Behind the Sewer-Alligator Legend - City Room Blog - "There was Teddy May, the colorful former superintendent of city sewers, working a mouthful of tobacco with what teeth he had left while spinning his implausible story.

And there with him was Robert Daley, the young writer, asking the questions that would give new life — and credibility — to one of the great legends of New York City."

Great photo at the link, which comes via Boing-Boing. And check out Cryptomundo if you have time.

Gator Update (Life-Changing Edition)

PHOTOS The gator handling grandma and the hillbilly alligator man� Naples Daily News: "Joan Sturgill and Charlie the alligator battled for about two months before they made their peace.

Charlie permanently damaged her knee with his jaws, nearly broke her leg with his tail and put his teeth through her hand. But ask her if it was worth it and Joan, 52, will say yes.

Working with alligators has changed Joan’s life."

13 photos at the link.

Here's Adventure! Here's Romance!

"The Cisco Kid came to radio October 2, 1942, with Jackson Beck in the title role and Louis Sorin as Pancho. With Vicki Vola and Bryna Raeburn in supporting roles and Michael Rye announcing, this series continued on Mutual until 1945. It was followed by another Mutual series in 1946, starring Jack Mather and Harry Lang, who continued to head the cast in the syndicated radio series of more than 600 episodes from 1947 to 1956."

An irresistible intro, and an irresistible show, one of my favorites from my long-lost childhood. The radio version, not the TV version, which also wasn't bad. Two hundred episodes to choose from at the link. Give one a try.

Here's the Plot of Your Next Noir Novel

Man Called "Face of Evil' Gets Death for Murdering Two Girlfriends - KTLA: "A man convicted of murdering his girlfriend because she refused to dispose of his previous girlfriend's body has been sentenced to death."

Blood on the Moon

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Story with No Name Continues!


New Story at A Twist Of Noir

A Twist Of Noir

I Couldn't Resist This One

The Other Coast.

Link via Rhonda Eudaly's blog.

Christmas is Coming

Original King Kong Model For Sale – Neatorama

Mike Hammer Update

Mike Hammer Under Cover � Friends/Family/Fans of Max Allan Collins

Cue the Dueling Banjos

Hunting party from Houston becomes hunted in Mexico | Outdoors | - Houston Chronicle: "Like generations of Texans, nine Houston hunters traveled each autumn into northeastern Mexico's wildlife-rich ranchlands for a few uninterrupted days of shooting game, far removed from the workday world.

But that ended abruptly last month after the men were rounded up, robbed and terrorized by well-armed marauders."

I Didn't Take Them

18 baby crocodiles disappear in Khulna: "Some 18 baby crocodiles disappeared from Karamjal Crocodile Breeding Centre in Dakop upazila of Khulna on Monday.
[. . . .]
Local environmentalist Advocate Firoz Ahmed said missing of 18 crocodiles at a time is mysterious."

Vampires Are Indeed Taking over the Earth

Phoenix Takes Flight With Lost Boys Sequel: "South African pin-up Tanit Phoenix will lead the cast of the upcoming second Lost Boys sequel after signing on to play a romance novelist who hires Corey Feldman's character, Edgar Frog, to track down a missing family."

Which One Did You Have for Breakfast Today?

Ten Worst Breakfast Cereals: "According to Cereal FACTS (Food Advertising to Children and Teens Score), which was developed based on the best available science, in consultation with a steering committee of experts in nutrition, marketing, and public health, the 10 worst breakfast cereals based on nutrition score are:

1. Kellogg - Corn Pops (or Pops) - Chocolate Peanut Butter
2. Quaker - Cap'n Crunch - w/ Crunchberries
3. Kellogg - Special K - Chocolatey Delight
4. Kellogg - Special K - Blueberry
5. General Mills - Reese's Puffs
6. General Mills - Fiber One - Caramel Delight
7. Kellogg - Cocoa Krispies - Choconilla
8. General Mills - Golden Grahams
9. General Mills - Cinnamon Toast Crunch
10. Kellogg - Corn Pops"

Across the Pacific

Monday, November 23, 2009

A Review

� A Review by Bill Crider: JIM THOMPSON - The Killer Inside Me.

From 1001 Midnights.

Crossroad Blues Gets a Foreword

Busted Flush Press: CROSSROAD BLUES foreword by Greil Marcus!: "Busted Flush Press's reprint of Ace Atkins's first Nick Travers crime novel, Crossroad Blues (978-1-935415-03-9; paperback; $15) -- which will ship from Consortium to booksellers beginning December 11th -- features not only an original, never-before-published Nick Travers short story ('Last Fair Deal Gone Down'), it also offers the following new foreword by renowned music journalist Greil Marcus."

Marcus is a writer whose work on music I've long enjoyed. His Mystery Train is a favorite of mine. Check out his foreword at the link.

Reading and Writing podcast – Tarquin Hall

018 Reading and Writing podcast – Tarquin Hall interview

The TV Show I Love(d) -- The Andy Griffith Show

I liked Andy Griffith a lot before I ever saw his TV show. First I heard his recordings.

What It Was, Was Football (Part 1 And 2) (Digitally Remastered 93) - Andy Griffith
After that, I saw him in A Face in the Crowd, Onionhead and No Time for Sergeants (the movie), where he was first teamed up with Don Knotts. And then came the TV series. I was sold.

No doubt the easy-going Andy is partially responsible for Sheriff Dan Rhodes, but my favorite part of the show was always the supporting cast, especially Don Knotts as Deputy Barney Fife (Barney Fife, c'est moi!). And Gomer and Goober and Otis Campbell, the Darlings, Ernest T. Bass, Opie, Aunt Bee, Miss Crump, Thelma Lou, Floyd the barber, and on and on. I admit without shame (though I might lose all your respect) that I can still watch the episodes I've seen dozens of times and laugh as much as ever. When Knotts left the show, I gave Jack Burns a chance, but after a few episodes, I stopped watching. He wasn't terrible, but he wasn't Knotts.

If I had to take one TV show with me to a desert island, this would probably be the one. I know that might disappoint those of you who thought I'd chose Nova or maybe the entire run of Masterpiece Theater, but I've always admitted that I low taste. Give me Gomer making a citizen's arrest, and I'm a happy man.

Goin' Rogue

AFP: Rogue kangaroo tries to drown dog: "A rogue kangaroo tried to drown a dog and then viciously attacked its owner when he launched a rescue bid, paramedics said on Monday.

The kangaroo held the dog under water at a dam near Melbourne and left deep lacerations across the 49-year-old owner's face and body when he dived in to save his pet."

Fake Movies in Real Movies

Top 14 Fake Movies from Real Movies - "You love movies? So do the people who make movies. Sometimes, they love movies so much, they make other movies within the movies. And sometimes those faux movies look so great, you wish they were real.

Well, get your fake popcorn popped, because below the staff of 'reviews' 14 of our favorite fake films from real films (and one sitcom). They don't exist, but that makes them all the better."

Sometimes It Might Be Best Not to Know

Adopted son traced biological parent to be Charles Manson: "Like many adopted children, Matthew embarked on a mission to find his biological parents. He wanted to know, most especially, his father and see if there is any identity of him in what the son has become today."

eBay Purchase of the Year (But Not by Me)

Mondo Tees Blog � Blog Archive � ALLIGATOR (1980) GAME FOUND! EBAY PURCHASE OF THE YEAR!: "I am obsessed with ALLIGATOR and Robert Forster and a few years ago when I saw a YouTube video for this game, I thought it was a myth. I didn’t think I’d ever find it, but today while I was typing in random searches on eBay it came up for a super low price! I declare this my eBay purchase of the year for 2009!"

Great photos at the link. I didn't know this game existed.


Patient trapped in a 23-year 'coma' was conscious all along | Mail Online: "A man thought by doctors to be in a vegetative state for 23 years was actually conscious the whole time, it was revealed last night.

Student Rom Houben was misdiagnosed after a car crash left him totally paralysed.

He had no way of letting experts, family or friends know he could hear every word they said."

Taste the Blood of Dracula

Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Mom

My mother, Frances Antoinette Brodnax Crider, was born on this day in 1916.

Light Reading for the Bathroom

Rare Charles Darwin book found on toilet bookshelf: "An auction house says it is selling a rare first edition of Charles Darwin's 'On the Origin of Species' found in a family's guest lavatory in southern England.

Christie's auction house said Sunday the book — one of around 1,250 copies first printed in 1859 — had been on a toilet bookshelf at a family's home in Oxford."

Hat tip to Art Scott.

I'll Bet You Can Hardly Wait

‘300′ Producer Brings Superhero Treatment To ‘American Gladiators’: "As long as Hollywood is turning board games into movies, why not also mine game shows? [. . . .] [N]ow a producer of '300' is bringing 'American Gladiators' to the big screen."

Good-Bye to All That

Ten things mobiles have made, or will make, obsolete - Recombu :: read > compare > buy: "As Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez would say, 'In the end, there can be only one'."

Hey, Why Not?

Billy Carter gas station historic? -- "In the age of the $787 billion stimulus package, it is, perhaps, a modest question:

Should American taxpayers foot the bill to enshrine the gas station run by the late Billy Carter -- the beer-swilling, wisecracking, self-professed redneck brother of the 39th president?"

I Remember

The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor | Head Cheerleader by Jack Ridl: "It was about 12:30 p.m. on this day in 1963 that President John F. Kennedy was fatally shot while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas. It was the first successful assassination of an American president since 1901, and the only presidential assassination ever caught on film. Almost every American alive at the time remembers where they were when they heard the news."

Fat Chance

Brain boffin calls for schools to get back to books: "A brain expert says that concentration on computers in schools is a waste of time and money and has called for a return to books."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Odds of wearing skinny pants in Mesquite ISD: slim to none | News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News | News: Education: "Move over, baggy pants. Saggy pants? Old news.

“Skinny pants” are the newest rage, and at least one area school district is aiming to keep them off school campuses.

Seth Chamlee, a student at Kimbrough Middle School in Mesquite, found that out the hard way on Tuesday. School administrators gave him a choice: Go home, or trade his skin-tight skinny pants for slacks provided by the school."

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.

Mark of the Vampire