Saturday, March 03, 2007

Looking Forward to April

Sure, you're going to have to pay your income taxes, but you're also going to have some great titles from Stark House. And when I say great, I'm not kidding. Three classic Gold Medal novels under one cover, including one of my very favorites by Dan J. Marlowe, The Vengeance Man. It's the real deal and stacks up against the best of Jim Thompson. Trust me. And besides that you get some fine work from Fletcher Flora and Charles Runyon, along with superb introductory materials by Charles Kelly and Ed Gorman. Don't miss this one! And then there's a double volume from Bill James, with an intro especially written for this edition. Again, not to be missed.

Anybody Seen This?

U. S. title: Joy House, based on the Day Keene novel of the same name. Charles Williams was one of the script writers. U.K. title: The Love Cage.


Beth Foxwell has a round-up of the important ones for today.

Steampunk Magazine Now On-Line

A new zine, $3.00 if you want the print version, or free if you download the pdf.

steampunk magazine - putting the punk back into steampunk: " Before the age of homogenization and micro-machinery, before the tyrannous efficiency of internal combustion and the domestication of electricity, lived beautiful, monstrous machines that lived and breathed and exploded unexpectedly at inconvenient moments. It was a time where art and craft were united, where unique wonders were invented and forgotten, and punks roamed the streets, living in squats and fighting against despotic governance through wit, will and wile.
Even if we had to make it all up.

SteamPunk Magazine is a publication that is dedicated to promoting steampunk as a culture, as more than a sub-category of fiction. It is a journal of fashion, music, misapplied technology and chaos. And fiction."

Precious Moments

Vote Early and Often

Rawlings Gold Glove Team Quick Ballot: "A stellar team of baseball pundits and purists — a congress of historians and experts, including those who played, managed, governed and reported on the game — were tasked with setting the initial ballot of 50 players for the All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team.

Now, it's in fans' hands to select the greatest defensive players since 1957 — one at each position. Picking the best will be no can of corn. If you need some tools to make your decision, use the Player Fielding Stats and Player Comparison pages to build your ballot."

I, For One, Believe Big Steve

Stolen Rockwell found with Spielberg - Yahoo! News: "LOS ANGELES - A Norman Rockwell work stolen from suburban St. Louis more than three decades ago was found in Steven Spielberg's art collection, the FBI announced Friday.

The painting, Rockwell's 'Russian Schoolroom,' was snatched during a late-night burglary at a gallery in Clayton, Mo., on June 25, 1973. The Oscar-winning filmmaker purchased the painting in 1989 from a legitimate dealer and didn't know it was stolen until last week, the FBI said in a statement."

Okay, Cap'n Bob. What're You Gonna Do about This?

Local News | | News for Seattle, Washington: "RENTON, Wash. - The organization that oversees high school sports in Washington is considering more specific rules for fans that could ban booing and offensive chants.

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association is drafting guidelines to crack down on negative conduct.

The association director blames rude fans for the dwindling number of people who want to be coaches and officials.

He says the guidelines will remind fans to cheer for their team, not against the other."

13 Things that Don't Make Sense

No, I'm not talking about that movie you saw yesterday. I'm talking about this.

Anna Nicole Smith Update

Thanks to Jeff "Always on the Job" Meyerson for the link.

Over-the-top farewell for Anna Nicole Smith - 03/02/2007 -
NASSAU - There were supposed to be 300 guests and a parade of stars. Hundreds of locals and tourists gathered near the church preparing for a show, hoping to spot Hugh Hefner, Patti LaBelle, Boyz II Men or Michael Bolton.

But fewer than 100 guests -- and no stars anyone could recognize -- turned up for Anna Nicole Smith's funeral in Nassau on Friday, an extravagant ceremony that brought the world's eyes onto the simple Baptist church and the now-famous hillside cemetery where she is buried.

Bahamians, who have grown tired of the media attention during recent weeks, now consider Smith part of their community. On Friday, they mourned her as one of their own.

Hundreds showed up at the church to watch the arrivals, and about 1,000 people, mostly locals, pressed against the barricades surrounding Lakeview Memorial Gardens, where the burial took place inside a green tent, the view blocked by stretch limousines and SUVs.

Undaunted, the crowd made itself a part of the spectacle, erupting in cheers and chants of ''LAR-RY DAD-DY'' when Smith's ex-boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, arrived, and lustily booing when Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, pulled up. Vendors trawled the crowd, hawking candy bars and ice cream, fruit medley and plastic containers of tuna salad.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Owing to circumstances beyond my control, I wasn't able to get to Black Snake Moan this afternoon. So I asked myself, "What absolutely nutty and moronic movie could I watch instead?" Crank was the answer.

Here's the deal: Chelios (Jason Statham) has been injected with some kind of Chinese poison. Adrenalin can combat the poison, so Chelios will die if he doesn't keep moving and keep stimulated. Speed meets D.O.A. Anyway, Chelios starts moving.

is the word for the movie. You'd have to see it to get my meaning, but, trust me, it never slows down. It's nonstop maiming, killing, exploding, running, jumping, injecting, snorting, fucking, fighting, shooting, biting, and kicking. And falling, mustn't forget falling. My favorite stimulation scenes involved Amy Smart. She doesn't have much of a role, but she makes the most of it.

If you're the kind of person who watches a movie and says at some point or other, "But that seems somewhat implausible," then you'd better not watch this one. But if you need an hour and a half of burn-down-the-house action, I highly recommend that you check it out.

Happy Birthday, Lou Reed!

Lou Reed is 65 today. Hard to believe.

Sure, the Velvet Underground was more than just the one guy, but to me he was the main man. "Heroin" and "I'm Waitin' for my Man" are pure Reed. I have all the Velvets LPs and most of Reed's solo LPs. Some great, great stuff there. "Satellite of Love." "The Ocean." "Walk on the Wild Side." Happy Medicare, Lou!

Top 25 Crimes of the Century

Time has them for you. Check 'em out.

March 2, 1836

On this day in 1836, Texas became an independent country.

Texas Declaration of Independence: "The Texas Declaration of Independence was produced, literally, overnight. Its urgency was paramount, because while it was being prepared, the Alamo in San Antonio was under seige by Santa Anna's army of Mexico.

Immediately upon the assemblage of the Convention of 1836 on March 1, a committee of five of its delegates were appointed to draft the document. The committee, consisting of George C. Childress, Edward Conrad, James Gaines, Bailey Hardeman, and Collin McKinney, prepared the declaration in record time. It was briefly reviewed, then adopted by the delegates of the convention the following day."

Gunshoe Review

New issue now live and on-line. Check it out.

New Mike Ripley Column

It's right here. Check it out.

NoirCon 2008

Dear Friends,

We commemorate the 90th anniversary of David L. Goodis’s birth (March 2nd, 1917) by announcing the birth of NoirCon.

In the spirit of GoodisCon 2007, we are proud to announce a conference dedicated to the celebration of the Noir, past, present and future.

Following such great masters as Goodis, Hitchcock, Wells and Boucher, NoirCon will seek to honor the finest in writing, film and art.

Presentation of the second annual Deen and Jay Kogan Award will be given.

Noircon will be a three day event convening on April 3rd and running through April 6th, 2008 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

So mark your calendars.

NoirCon will be another great weekend of lively conversation, wonderful company and entertaining multimedia presentations.

Do not hesitate to contact us!

Thank you,

Lou Boxer and Deen Kogan


Murdaland now has its website up and running. Very slick. Check it out right here.

Caveman Makes Good - ABC developing 'Cavemen': "Winner for most unusual piece of development this pilot season goes to ABC, which has turned a series of quirky Geico commercials into an actual half-hour comedy project.

'Cavemen' will revolve around three pre-historic men who must battle prejudice as they attempt to live as normal thirtysomethings in modern Atlanta.

Project, from ABC TV Studio, is penned by Joe Lawson, an advertising copywriter who was behind the 'Caveman' ads -- as well as other Geico commercials (think the cockney-speaking Geico gecko, and the reality TV spoof 'Tiny House').

Daniel Rappaport, Guymon Cassady, Will Speck and Josh Gordon are exec producers. Speck and Gordon, commercial directors who recently helmed the Will Farrell feature 'Blades of Glory,' are on board to also direct."

Shame on the AP

Unlike this blog, they couldn't stick to their ban.

Peru Update

Peru launches campaign against lateness - Yahoo! News: "LIMA, Peru - Sirens wailed, church bells rang and a sea of confetti fluttered through Lima's historical central plaza at the stroke of noon Thursday, alerting Peruvians to synchronize their watches at the start of a nationwide campaign to promote punctuality.

Chronic lateness is often overlooked by Peruvians who consider it an endearing cultural trait. But President Alan Garcia thinks otherwise.

It's a 'horrible, dreadful, harmful custom,' Garcia said as the nationally televised ceremony kicked off the campaign, 'La Hora sin Demora,' or 'Time without Delay.'

The Forum for National Consensus, a government-led council of business and citizens' groups responsible for the effort, is asking schools, businesses and government institutions to stop tolerating 'hora peruana,' or 'Peruvian time' — which usually means an hour late.

Peruvian officials proposed the initiative last month, saying that Peruvians' constant lateness reflects a negative attitude toward work and hurts national productivity."

Even the Aggies Give this Brilliant Idea a Thumbs Down

Postal Service fixes long waits by removing clocks | - Houston Chronicle: "The Watson Post Office is one of the nation's 37,000 post offices in which clocks have been removed from retail areas as part of a 'retail standardization program' launched last year. The effort is designed to give the public-service areas a more uniform appearance, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in Thursday editions.

'We want people to focus on postal service and not the clock,' said Stephen Seewoester, Dallas spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.

At the Fort Worth post office, the hook that once held up the small battery-powered clock now protrudes from a plaster wall. The clock was taken down months ago.

A customer-service expert at Texas A&M University was not impressed with the decision to take down the timepieces.

'It's silly,' said Leonard Berry, holder of the M.B. Zale Chair in Retail and Marketing Leadership. 'I guess they think people don't have watches.'"

March Thuglit Now On-Line

Check out the March issue of Thuglit for stories by such luminaries as Anthony Neil Smith, Daniel Hatadi, D. T. Kelly, Alejandro Pena, and David C. Daniel.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Into the Volcano -- Forrest DeVoe, Jr.

Back in the 1960s, I read spy novels by the trailer load. Recently I've been reading some newer ones and having quite a good time. Into the Volcano was just right for me because it's set in 1962, the time when I was reading so heavily in the field.

It's got just about everything you could ask for: a private espionage firm known as The Consultancy, a woman whose martial arts skills make Mrs. Peel's pale in comparison; a stalwart hero who can take torture as well as anyone, exotic locations, a super-villain with a billion-dollar lair in a dormant volcano, and so on. The action never lets up, and the action's fine. I believe the sequel is about to be published, and I'm sure I'll be reading that one, too.

Forrest DeVoe, Jr., is a pen name used by Max Phillips, one of the founders of Hard Case Crime and the author of
Fade to Blonde, a fine book in the Hard Case line. Both that one and this one are highly recommended. Check 'em out.

Geek Movies Not On DVD, A through K

: RevolutionSF - Geek Movies Not On DVD, A through K : Feature: "Geek Movies Not On DVD, A through K
� Staff and Contributors
February 23, 2007

Inspired by Glenn Erickson's always interesting annual Movies Not on DVD list at the entertaining DVD Savant, we at RevolutionSF decided to put together our own list. We contacted writers, critics, artists, and even a game designer for their selections.

There were a few rules:

1) DVDs must NOT be available in the U.S. (Region 1). The exceptions would be movies that are on cheapie labels and deserve a much better edition.

2) The DVDs need to be geek-related and/or something of interest to SF Revolutionaries. All science fiction, horror, and mysteries with supernatural elements are copacetic. Most cult films make the grade. TV movies are fine but NOT TV series.

This list is by no means complete, but a mere sampling of what we thought. Let us hear your thoughts and suggestions at"

No Comment Department - Sales of Rap Albums Take Stunning Nosedive - Celebrity Gossip | Entertainment News | Arts And Entertainment: "The turning point is hard to pinpoint. But after 30 years of growing popularity, rap music is now struggling with an alarming sales decline and growing criticism from within about the culture's negative effect on society."

Herman Brix (aka Bruce Bennett), R. I. P.

I saw him in many, many movies and serials. One of the greats.

Herman Brix, UW athlete, actor: Local News: The Seattle Times
LOS ANGELES — Herman Brix, a University of Washington football and track-and-field star who parlayed a silver medal for the shot put at the 1928 Olympics into a Hollywood career that included playing Tarzan in a 1935 movie, has died. He was 100.

Mr. Brix, who later adopted the stage name Bruce Bennett and appeared as Joan Crawford's husband in "Mildred Pierce" and as a gold prospector in "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," died of complications of a broken hip Saturday at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center, his son, Christopher, said Tuesday.

Mr. Brix, who was born in Tacoma, played football, basketball and soccer for Stadium High School, and competed in swimming and track and field.

He was an All-America tackle on the Huskies football team and went to the Rose Bowl in 1926, where the University of Alabama beat his team. A 1928 graduate, he earned a bachelor's degree in economics.

Mr. Brix moved to Los Angeles in 1929 after being invited to compete for the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

He became friends with actor Douglas Fairbanks, who arranged a screen test for the handsome young athlete at Paramount. While playing a small role as a running back in the 1931 Paramount college-football movie "Touchdown," Brix broke his shoulder, costing him a chance at the 1932 Olympics as well as losing the role of Tarzan at MGM, where he is said to have been the studio's leading candidate for the role.

Instead, the star-making role in MGM's 1932 hit "Tarzan the Ape Man" went to Olympic swimmer Johnny Weissmuller, who went on to appear in a string of Tarzan movies.

Two years later, Brix got his chance to play the jungle hero in "The New Adventures of Tarzan," produced by an independent film company whose principals included Tarzan author Edgar Rice Burroughs, who supposedly selected him.

Because the AP and I No Longer Mention Paris Hilton . . .

. . . I will not be linking to this.

Will the Persecution Never End?

Remember, this blog started the trend.

AP Entertainment Editor Institutes Ban on Paris Hilton Coverage: "NEW YORK The Associated Press decided to give up a major vice last week: its addiction to stories about Paris Hilton. In the past year, Hilton has appeared on the wire an average of twice a week.

The wire service's entertainment editor Jesse Washington sent a memo to staffers on Feb. 13 that said, barring any major events, the AP would not run any mention of Paris Hilton on the wire, according to the memo, which was obtained by the New York Observer.

In the Observer article Washington was quoted as saying, 'There was a surprising amount of hand-wringing. A lot of people in the newsroom were saying this was tampering with the news.' Washington added that one editor's response was: 'This is a great idea -- can we add North Korea?'

The AP was largely successful in the experiment, but Washington said that, unfortunately, her name did pop up in a couple of stories."

Anna Nicole Smith's Tasteful Send-Off

Thanks to Jeff "Mr. Good Taste" Meyerson for the link.

iWon News - Smith to Have 'Over the Top' Memorial: "NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) - Anna Nicole Smith will be buried in a custom-made gown next to her 20-year-old son following an 'over the top' memorial service with a tightly controlled guest list, said a friend helping to organize the memorial.

The memorial service, with about 300 guests at an undisclosed church, will feature large amounts of pink flowers, her favorite color, and singing from a well-known performer whose name organizers aren't ready to disclose, said the friend, Patrik Simpson of Beverly Hills, Calif.

'It will be a very beautiful, Anna Nicole send-off,' Simpson told The Associated Press in an interview Wednesday night in the Bahamian capital of Nassau. 'Of course it will be over the top because it's Anna Nicole.'

Simpson's partner, Pol Atteu, has designed more than a dozen gowns for Smith, including the one in which she was to be buried in a 'very elegant' casket that will most likely be closed, he said. He declined to describe the dress."

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Brazoria, Texas, Was there First

Texas leads the way. New York Follows. New York City and Tri-State News from WABC-TV: "The City Council today approved a symbolic resolution to ban 'the 'n' word' a racial slur that has a painful history intertwined with slavery.
The non-binding measure calls for New Yorkers to voluntarily stop using the slur against blacks, which has more recently been adapted among entertainers and youths as a term of endearment.

Councilman Leroy Comrie, the sponsor of the bill, says people are also denigrating themselves by using the word, and disrespecting their history.

The effort began weeks ago at the start of Black History Month, and has gradually gained nationwide notice and support. Other municipalities have passed measures similar to New York City's, and a historically black college in Alabama recently held a four-day conference to discuss the slur."

Will the Persecution Never End?

Jeff "Ever Vigilant" Meyerson has provided yet another example of America's co-called "justice."

Bigfoot Alert - Is Bigfoot Living In The California Forest?
There's a big mystery in the Northern California woods. Is a Bigfoot living in a national forest? John Iander of CBS station KOVR-TV in Sacramento, Calif., reports that a California couple has found big prints in the woods and experts are saying it may not be a hoax.

It was just after a rainstorm, a great time for hunting deer. It was a perfect place, high up in the dense woods of the Plumas National Forest.

Chuck and Michelle Padigo had been down the logging road lots of times, including just a few days earlier.

Past two gates, about three miles from the highway, in a recently logged area, Michelle looked down and spotted something very strange.

What the Padigo's say they encountered was more than three dozen huge footprints spread out over a hundred yards or more.

Anna Nicole Smith Update

National Enquirer: "Pneumonia — not a drug overdose — killed Anna Nicole Smith, the National Enquirer has learned exclusively.

In the new issue just hitting newsstands, The ENQUIRER reports that preliminary findings reveal that tests performed during the autopsy show Anna Nicole had a severe case of pneumonia. Prescription drugs that she had taken made the condition worse and did play a role in her death. The full toxicology report has not yet been completed.

Sources very close to the death investigation told The ENQUIRER that the prescription drugs masked the seriousness of her pneumonia. Anna Nicole had previously been hospitalized for pneumonia in the Bahamas after her son died.

This time, the painkillers Anna Nicole was taking masked her symptoms and quickened the deadly effects of the pneumonia."

Top 10 Nerd Crushes

CARRIE FISHER - FISHER TOPS NERD CRUSH LIST: "CARRIE FISHER has topped a new internet poll to find the Hottest Nerd Crush of all time. The actress' portrayal of PRINCESS LEIA in Star Wars beat GILLIAN ANDERSON's X-Files detective DANA SCULLY in the new hit list, which focuses on the hottest comic book characters and sci-fi stars. The top 10 list is: 1. CARRIE FISHER 2. GILLIAN ANDERSON 3. CARRIE-ANNE MOSS (The Matrix) 4. GRACE PARK (Battlestar Gallactica) 5. LARA CROFT (Tomb Raider computer game vixen) 6. FAMKE JANSSEN (X-Men) 7. JERI RYAN (Star Trek: Voyager) 8. AEON FLUX (comic book heroine) 9. JENNIFER GARNER (Alias) 10. NATASHA HENSTRIDGE (Species). "

John Travolta Could Have Saved Anna Nicole

Travolta says Scientology could have saved Anna Nicole | "As various parties continue to fight over the remains of Anna Nicole Smith and custody of her baby, John Travolta has stepped into the fray.

The Pulp Fiction star has decided to use her death as a chance to promote Narconon – the controversial Church of Scientology drug rehab programme – saying it could have saved the Playmate's life.

A toxicology report from the 39- year-old's autopsy has not been completed yet, but methadone and other drugs were discovered in the Florida hotel room where she died earlier this month.

Travolta said: 'It's so sad. We could have helped her with Narconon but didn't get a chance to. I wish we had.'"

Surely This is a Joke

They're going to remake The Fly? Again? With Nicolas Cage?

NICOLAS CAGE - CAGE WANTS THE FLY: "Nicolas Cage is vying for the part of THE FLY in a planned remake of DAVID CRONENBERG's 1986 cult classic, according to the director himself. Cronenberg, who is working on an operatic version of the creepy man-insect story, will not be involved in the remake, but he has been kept abreast of developments. He tells E! 'From what I hear, Nic Cage wants the part.' "

Will the Persecution Never End?

Why aren't those guys out catching dope peddlers, hit men, and cat burglars instead of persecuting innocent blondes?

Thanks to Jeff "Wings of Justice" Meyerson for the link.

The Bunnies Do Bond

James Bond, that is. You can see it here.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

If You Had Too Much Time on Your Hands . . .

. . . you might come up with something like this. Or not.

The 51 Best Magazines of All Time

Yes, it's another one of those lists. And a very interesting one, at that.

New Issue of Crime and Suspense Now On-Line

Welcome to the eighteenth issue of Crime and Suspense, the ezine for fans of crime, suspense and mystery fiction. This month the editors have released their inner Irish! Oh, and did you know that young Saint Patrick was a kidnap victim? He was stolen away from Britain by slave traders when he was just a lad, and taken to Ireland where he was a slave until he escaped and returned to Britain. Then he returned to Ireland--a risky prospect at best!--and ministered to the people there. Even religious history is fraught with crime.

Want to be on a Reality Show?

Here's how to apply.

The Picasso Flop -- Vince Vn Patten & Robert J. Randisi

Van Patten will be plugging the book on Fox News Live tomorrow, Feb. 28, 10:45 am PT, 12:45 noon CT and 1:45 pm ET. He'll be on the first half hour of the show.

Bob Randisi swears this is right.

She Creature

I find this vaguely disturbing.

Link via Paul di Flippo of the fictionmags list.

Unfortunately, the Allie Reynolds Card Isn't Bringing Quite this Much

1909 Honus Wagner baseball card sells for record $2.35 million: "LOS ANGELES — The 'Holy Grail of baseball cards,' the famous 1909 Honus Wagner tobacco card once owned by hockey great Wayne Gretzky, has sold for a record-setting $2,350,000, the seller of the card said Monday.

The anonymous buyer has only been identified as a Southern California collector. SCP Auctions Inc., a company that holds sports memorabilia auctions, said it bought a small share of the card. It is scheduled to be shown at a news conference at Dodger Stadium today."

New Crime Fiction Zine

Check it out. - Mugshots Magazine: "Welcome to Mugshots Magazine.

We're a quarterly crime fiction rag. Just getting started. Little different from the rest of the boys and girls on the block. Not better, not fancier, just a little different.

And why's that, you ask? Easy. We supply the picture, you supply the story. Interested? Then check out the guidelines over on the side.

Now accepting submissions for Spring 2007

Deadline for submissions is May 1st."

Baseball Card of the Day

Monday, February 26, 2007

Will the Persecution Never End?

Probably not.

Why Is E-Mail so Popular?

Post Office may issue 'forever' stamp - Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON - The next hike in postage rates could be ameliorated by the introduction of a "forever" stamp that would cover first-class postage despite future increases.

The independent Postal Regulatory Commission scheduled a Monday morning briefing to announce its ruling on the Postal Service's requests to raise first-class rates 3 cents to 42 cents and to establish the permanent stamp.

If the commission agrees, the matter goes back to the board of governors of the Postal Service, which is expected to schedule any rate changes in May. The commission can also reject or modify the rate proposal and send that to the postal board for a response.

A key part of the plan is the so-called forever stamp, which would allow consumers to hedge against future rate increases.

The stamp, which would not show a denomination, would sell for the first-class rate at the time of purchase and would remain valid for mailing permanently, even if rates increase.

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