Saturday, January 21, 2006

What's Up with the Inkslinger?

For some reason I can no longer read Paul Guyot's blog. It's password protected, like a high-security document, and I don't have clearance. Maybe he's posting nuclear secrets now.

Update: He's back. Link is on the right if you want to check.

A Night for Screaming -- Harry Whittington

Ed Gorman has some fine comments about Harry Whittington's A Night for Screaming today, and he mentions the gerat cover. But he doesn't have a picture of it. You can see one here.

Friday, January 20, 2006

I Just Don't Know What to Say about This

From Hollywood Elsewhere.

Happy Birthday, Slim Whitma!

Slim Whitman is 82 today. Lots of people my age have memories of having been at Woodstock or having seen the Beatles. Who did I see? Slim Whitman. I've seen him in concert three times. What does that tell you about me? (That's a rhetorical question, folks.)

End of an Era

US News Article | "NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (Reuters) - The Connecticut factory that produced the Winchester rifle, celebrated in cowboy movies as the gun frontiersmen used to settle the American West, is shutting down after 140 years in New Haven.

Belgian-based Herstal Group told its 186 workers this week it plans to shutter the U.S. Repeating Arms plant, formerly known as Winchester Rifle Company, on March 31 due to slow sales.

That would end production of the Model 70 bolt-action rifle and the Model 94 lever-action rifle, known as 'The Gun that Won the West' because of its use by frontiersmen in the late 19th century.

Newer models carrying the Winchester name still will be produced in Belgium, Japan and Portugal, the company said."

Somehow, having all the Winchesters made in Japan (and Belgium and Portugal) just doesn't seem right.

Official Site of Bettie Page

Official Site of Bettie Page

Graham Powell has reminded me that in talking about the resemblance of a certain cover model to Bettie Page, I neglected to mention Bettie Page's website. The link above will take you there, and it's well worth the trip.

Mystery*File Update

MYSTERY*FILE ON-LINE: "GUILT EDGED MYSTERIES. Between 1947 and 1956, E. P. Dutton published most of their detective fiction under a single imprint, that of “Guilt Edged” mysteries. Steve Lewis, Victor Berch and Bill Pronzini have combined resources to come up with a complete checklist of the books in this series, including many cover images."

The Bottle on Poe's Grave - Decades-old mystery: Who visits Poe's grave? - Jan 19, 2006: "BALTIMORE, Maryland (AP) -- Continuing a decades-old tradition, a mystery man paid tribute to Edgar Allan Poe by placing roses and a bottle of cognac on the writer's grave to mark his January 19 birthday.

Some of the 25 spectators drawn to a tiny, locked graveyard in downtown Baltimore for the ceremony climbed over the walls of the site and were 'running all over the place trying to find out how the guy gets in,' according to Jeff Jerome, the most faithful viewer of the event."

I wrote a story that explained who the mystery person is. You probably never read the story, and you're not the only one. Be that as it may, I'm not telling the answer.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Kerouac Manuscript Update

Thomas Hawk's Digital Connection: Indianapolis Colt's Owner Jim Irsay Doesn't Want to Share Jack Kerouac's Classic On the Road Manuscript

The link above comes from the comments section. Check it out.

First draft of Kerouac's Beat bible, 'On the Road,' arrives in San Francisco, the very city it sanctified

First draft of Kerouac's Beat bible, 'On the Road,' arrives in San Francisco, the very city it sanctified: "Last week, an airtight black suitcase passed through a security checkpoint at the Indianapolis International Airport on its way to San Francisco. A guard ordered the case opened and found inside a tattered and frayed scroll of yellowed paper 119 feet and 8 inches long.

'Oh I know what this is,' the baggage screener said to Jim Canary, a conservator who was accompanying the artifact. 'This is one of them religious scrolls, ain't it?'

Not a bad observation. The scroll was in fact the manuscript of one of the most famous and iconic novels of the 20th century, Jack Kerouac's stream-of-consciousness Beat generation bible, 'On the Road,' which is on exhibit for the next three months at the San Francisco Public Library."

I'll never forget reading On The Road back in about 1958. I checked the book out of the Gibbs Memorial Library in Mexia, Texas, and I felt so hip I could hardly stand myself. I thought then that I'd be another Kerouac, going down Route 66 to the promised land. Didn't happen, but I loved the book anyway.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Speaking of the Zombie Apocalpyse . . .

. . . my story is here.

Vampyre Update :: KARE 11 TV - News Article Girlfriend of 'vampyre' gubernatorial candidate is fired: "The partner of the new gubernatorial candidate, Jonathon 'The Impaler' Sharkey, says she's been unjustly fired from her job.

News traveled fast Friday when Sharkey announced he was a vampyre and he wants to be Minnesota's next governor. Just hours after the Friday news conference, Sharkey's girlfriend learned she was losing her job as a school bus driver."

Tomorrow Times Seven -- Frederik Pohl

Fred Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth wrote one of my favorite SF novels, The Space Merchants. By himself, Pohl's written a number of novels I've enjoyed, and dozens of short stories. Included in the book to the left is one of my favorites, "The Day of the Boomer Dukes," which was New Wave before there was such a thing. The story was published in 1956, and not in one of the more prestigious magazines. It was in Future, one of the Columbia House publications. I suspect it was written for a higher-paying market, but I could be wrong. Anyway, it's a good story, and a funny one, too. I also enjoyed "The Knights of Arthur," dated though it may be. The other stories, while fun to read, didn't seem to me as good, but I was perfectly happy to be reading all of them. The '50s were a good decade for magazine SF, at least to those of us who were at the right age to be reading it at the time.

New Author Website

Crimedog One

Anthony Neil Smith's new website is live. It's not a blog, and he threathened to cut off my fingers and stuff them into a convenient orifice if I called it one. After seeing his author photo, I believe him.

Fish-End Press

Fish-End Press

This is the place to go if you've been wanting to write that story about the zombie apocalypse. Western short stories and others will be solicited later.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hummmmmm, One More Time

OK, sure, you're tired of hearing about James Frey. So am I, but this long book review, written back in 2003, is pretty funny. The author, John Dolan, begins by saying "This is the worst thing I've ever read," and he concludes that the book is "self-aggrandizing, simple-minded, poorly observed, repetitious, maudlin drivel." Unlike a few million other readers, Dolan wasn't fooled.

Art Scott Sez . . .

Art Scott, for my money, is the expert on paperback cover art. (He's a driving force behind this book.)

Of the post immediately below, he has this to say: "Vince has a sharp eye. I think it's a fact that the inspiration for Twilight Women / Aphrodite's Lover WAS Bettie Page. See attached, artist just mirror flipped her head the other way. Perhaps you can work this into the display somehow with a NSFW disclaimer."

I've included the "safe for work" version here, this being a family blog, but you can see the two pictures together here, at least temporarily, in the NSFW version and make your own decision. Art Scott reports, you decide.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Paperback Covers!

Well, I've wasted plenty of time, and there are now 176 scans of the covers of my old paperbacks. I probably won't be adding any more for a while, but if you want to catch the slideshow and waste some of your time, you can see it here.

The covers here are two of my favorites in the "conveniently located limbs and foliage" category. I should say "two of my favorites," however, since they're obviously the same cover with a couple of little additions and subtractions.

Jesse Stone: Night Passage

Tony Bray Interviews Tom Selleck and Robert B. Parker in January 2006: "CBS has struck gold with the Jesse Stone mystery franchise that features Selleck in a complex role that is so anti-Magnum that it surprises his fans. It also delights mystery lovers who enjoy a good yarn."

The link is to a review of the movie and a long interview with Parker and Selleck. I watched the movie last night and enjoyed it. The plot's kind of thin (why are you not surprised?), but Selleck's good at brooding, and he delivers Parker's lines the way I think they should be delivered. There's another Jesse Stone movie coming up, and I'm looking forward to it.

If you haven't gotten enough of Parker and Selleck, there's another interview here.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


I watched Hustle on AMC last night and enjoyed it. It's about a team of grifters who do long cons on greedy people, and it's also about the cops who are trying to catch them. It was nice to see Robert Vaughan again, looking just like a somewhat older Napoleon Solo, and the whole team did a good job. The style is sort of retro '70s, which was fine with me. Plenty of plot holes,and the big "twist" was obvious to me from the git-go, but certainly good enough to encourage me to watch again.

Best Noir Novel of 2005?

Steve Lewis says the best one he read was Megan Abbott's Die a Little. Check out his review here.

How Tall Is Anna Nicole Smith?

Yes, how tall is Anna Nicole Smith (known as Vicki when she lived in my hometown of Mexia, Texas)? That's the question that's on everyone's mind these days. Interestingly enough, nobody knows that answer. Check out the bizarre details at this website devoted to letting the public know the heights of its favorite celebs.

Bond is Back

In print, that is. Thanks to Frank Denton over at The Rogue Raven for alerting me to these new paperback editions of Ian Fleming's Bond novels. Just as Sean Connery is the "real" Bond on film, Fleming's Bond is the "real" one in print.