Saturday, August 27, 2011
Friday, August 26, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Hat tip to Art Scott.
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine is published by Dell Magazines, whose other publications include Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, and Asimov’s Science Fiction.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
When two of his partners are killed, corruption, sex and murder fill trial lawyer Lou Mason’s docket as he tracks the killer. Will Lou be the next victim? Find out in Motion to Kill.
Lou Mason is back in The Last Witness and this time it's personal when his surrogate father, Homicide Detective Harry Ryman, arrests his best friend, Wilson "Blues" Bluestone, Jr., for murder. Mason unearths secrets someone will do anything to keep as he closes in on a desperate killer, setting himself up as the next target.
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
1. There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.
2. Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.
3. States and Velcro parents have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets.
4. The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.
5. There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships.
6. They “swipe” cards, not merchandise.
7. As they’ve grown up on websites and cell phones, adult experts have constantly fretted about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration.
8. Their school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.
9. “Don’t touch that dial!”….what dial?
10. American tax forms have always been available in Spanish.
Police said the 72-year-old resident held Robert Marin, 26, — who was armed with a knife — for an additional four hours after he accidentally shot Marin in the wrist.
The homeowner did not have a telephone to report the incident and had to gather his strength to force Marin outside and have a neighbor call police about noon on Friday, detectives said.
The resident told police that Marin hit his gun hand with his walking cane, which caused the gun to go off and strike Marin in the wrist. He then held the man for an additional four hours until he had enough strength to confront him further, according to a police report.
Both the Arlington and Mansfield Independent School Districts are participating in the “You Earn, They Learn. Stop Truancy.” program.
THE FUN ZONE
Is writing better if it's fun?
I don't mean the obvious question, whether a writing session is more enjoyable if it's fun, but rather does it make any difference to the quality of the work that's being done?
I think, after writing God only knows how many novels (okay, 18), that it actually doesn't.
This comes to mind because last week saw the publication of the book that was more fun for me to write than any other in my career. It's the second in my Junior Bender ebook series, LITTLE ELVISES. The great joy of writing Junior's world is that everybody's bad. He's a burglar who moonlights as a private eye for crooks, and all the other characters are the crooks—with a few enjoyable exceptions, such as corrupt cops.
Good citizens from the straight world pop up now and then, but most of the characters we follow are bad guys and girls.
I think most writers will tell you that they secretly enjoy writing their villains more than they do their heroes and heroines. Evil has a lot of energy—you need a really strong Othello to keep Iago from walking off with the show. And when I write the Junior books, I'm surrounded by Iagos, even if many of them are, like most career criminals, somewhat stupid Iagos.
The Juniors are intended to be both mysterious and funny, a combination I seem to appreciate more than the great mass of book buyers, who have little difficulty resisting the impulse to buy them. But the books entertain the hell out of me, and I don't think I've ever laughed so loudly while writing as I did on LITTLE ELVISES. Most of the humor comes from the characters just talking to each other.
Here's a snip between Junior and his friend and sometimes-accomplice, Louie the Lost. Louie was a major-league getaway driver until he made a bad in Compton after a diamond robbery, a bunch of jacked-up white gangsters in a Cadillac with a million in ice in the trunk, and half the black population of LA staring in through the windows. Now Louie is a listening-post; people who want to know what's going on in the criminal world of the San Fernando Valley go to him. So anyway, someone's taken a shot at Junior and Junior has called Louie, and the conversation wanders.
I said, “He gave me money.”
“Yeah?” Louie waved the cigar smoke away. “You in the giving vein?”
“You've been going to your extension course. 'Richard III,' right?” Crooks have more time than most people for self-improvement, but Louie was one of the few I knew who took advantage of it.
“Wouldn't miss it. Good old Richard, nothing stopped him.”
“I always had trouble keeping the kings straight,” I said. “All those Richards and Henrys.”
“Naaahhh. They're a snap. Kings are just crooks with better hats.” He leaned forward. “But tell me something, how the hell do you multiply and divide with Roman numerals?” He sucked long and happily on the cigar and then used the little tool he poked the cigar tip with to scratch the surface of the table. “Let's say four Dukes stick up some minor palace, okay? They get, I don't know, CCCMMXXXVIII shillings. Then they gotta divide that by IV.” He scratched the problem, division sign and all, on the table, and regarded it. “I mean, come on. Look at that.”
I said, “It probably came down to who had the biggest gun.”
Okay, it's not “Saturday Night Live,” but writing stuff like this is enormous fun, especially since I never know what anyone is going to say. I laughed pretty much the whole time I wrote the book.
And that made me distrust it. The best-received books I've written (critically, that is) were the two that gave me the hardest time. THE QUEEN OF PATPONG, which has been nominated this year for both an Edgar and a Macavity, gave me so much trouble that I tossed it, twice. The old American Puritan streak in me surfaced and created an equation: difficult = good.
So I actually parked LITTLE ELVISES for a year before I did anything with it, so I could let my enthusiasm cool and allow the fat to rise. And when I went back to it, I loved it.
So this is what I've learned. I have no idea when I'm writing, whether I'm writing well or poorly. I can be having a terrible time and getting good stuff, or I can be loving it and turning out dreck. In the case of LITTLE ELVISES (although I'm not the one who should say it) I turned out a pretty good book while having a lot of fun.
I guess the moral of all this is that, fun or not, I have to write. There's no gift for the reader in an unwritten page.
Timothy Hallinan is the author of the Poke Rafferty Bangkok Thrillers, the Simeon Grist Mysteries, and the Junior Bender Mysteries. His most recent Bangkok book, THE QUEEN OF PATPONG was nominated this year for both the Edgar and the Macavity awards for Best Novel. In 2010 he began to write the Junior Bender books as ebook originals, an experiment he has greatly enjoyed. The first of those is CRASHED and the second is LITTLE ELVISES. Hallinan lives in Los Angeles and Southeast Asia.
In all, 119,558 library patrons have taken 325,000 items from the system since 1999, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of the delinquency database.
Jenny Blaylock has always been nervous around Tucker because he knows he's a stone cold killer. Something's broken inside Tucker, and she's afraid that he's going to get her family hurt.
But when her husband Sam is out of town and her daughter is kidnapped by a ruthless gang, Jenny has no choice but to saddle up and ride with Tucker. The trail is long and hard, and she knows its going to end in sudden death, hellfire and gunsmoke.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Leiber, the words half of the duo, died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of cardiopulmonary failure, said Randy Poe, president of the songwriters’ publishing company.
Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, Leiber and his lifelong writing partner, Stoller, wrote hits that included Elvis Presley's rat-a-tat-tat rendition of "Hound Dog" in 1956 and Peggy Lee's 1969 recording of the jaded "Is That All There Is?"
But they may be best remembered for the ebullient, impudent hits written for�the Clovers ("Love Potion No. 9"), the Drifters ("Ruby Baby"), the Cheers ("Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots"), the Robins ("Smokey Joe's Cafe," "Riot in Cell Block No. 9") and, especially, a Robins' spinoff group that Leiber and Stoller helped create, the Coasters ("Searchin'," "Yakety Yak," "Poison Ivy," "Charlie Brown," "Down in Mexico," "Little Egypt").
Joe Case is an ex-cop searching for the man who humiliated his sister. Kelly McCammon is a Hollywood executive running from the Russian mob.
Destiny leads them to tiny Salt Lick, Nevada…A town under siege.
Here, police issue tickets: Class C misdemeanor citations for offensive language, class disruption, schoolyard fights. Thousands of students land in court, with fines of up to $500. Students with outstanding tickets may be arrested after age 17.
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Amazon.com: Running Wylde eBook: Paul Bishop: Kindle Store: Best known for his police thrillers featuring LAPD homicide detective Fey Croaker and her crew of detectives, Paul Bishop is also an accomplished writer of short stories. The tales contained in Running Wylde run the gamut from dark and twisted to humorous to touching personal memoir pieces. Each tale is finely crafted and swiftly told.
Included in this volume is an extensive introduction in which Paul talks about combining his writing career with his other full time gig as a veteran detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. Each story also has its own introduction describing its origins and purpose.
Karl LaRosa is living the good life as a Hollywood agent. He's got the best clients, the finest car and home, plenty of lovers, and the world by the tail. Then someone starts stalking him, running him off the road, vandalizing his house, and so much more. Why was his life crumbling right before his eyes? What had he done to deserve such an enemy?
What he doesn't know is that the events in his life follow the script of a murder movie being filmed, a film he's involved in. Can Karl solve the mystery of his increasingly bold assailant before he falls victim to a particularly gruesome death? His stalker is Unidentified. Which one of those involved with the new film is a killer? Karl LaRosa is presented with a paradox he needs to solve--he has to--his life depends on it.
2011 Hugo Award Winners
2100 valid voting ballots were counted, 2086 electronic and 14 by postal mail.
Best Novel (1813 ballots)
Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)
Best Novella (1467 ballots)
The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)
Best Novelette (1469 ballots)
“The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010)
Best Short Story (1597 ballots)
“For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)
Best Related Work (1220 ballots)
Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian)
Best Graphic Story (1263 ballots)
Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (1755 ballots)
Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner)
Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (1466 ballots)
Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)
Best Editor, Short Form (983 ballots)
Best Editor, Long Form (898 ballots)
Best Professional Artist (1304 ballots)
Best Semiprozine (1112 ballots)
Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan, Sean Wallace; podcast directed by Kate Baker
Best Fanzine (870 ballots)
The Drink Tank, edited by Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon
Best Fan Writer (814 ballots)
Best Fan Artist (993 ballots)
Brad W. Foster
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (1138 ballots)
Link via Lawrence Person.