Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kasey Lansdale Update

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: Diseases from Loving :: Alec Cizak

In Case George Lucas Is Looking for a Plot for the Next Indiana Jones Movie. . . .

Cave complex may lie beneath Giza Pyramids - "An enormous system of caves, chambers and tunnels lies hidden beneath the Pyramids of Giza, according to a British explorer who claims to have found the lost underworld of the pharaohs.

Populated by bats and venomous spiders, the underground complex was found in the limestone bedrock beneath the pyramid field at Giza."

That Should Prove It, All Right

Strange Byrd sings in court - The Daily Journal: "A Las Vegas man charged with two felony theft counts sang a 'Kool & the Gang' song for Kankakee County Circuit Court Judge Clark Erickson Wednesday in an attempt to prove he is not delusional."

Fight Club Update

My Way News - Texas 'fight club' defendant sentenced to 3 years: "SAN ANTONIO (AP) - A man convicted of helping run what police called a 'fight club' that set developmentally disabled residents of a state-run center against each other was sentenced to three years in prison Friday.

A Nueces County jury spared Jesse Salazar the maximum punishment in the abuse scandal that surfaced with cell phone videos of employees at the Corpus Christi State School provoking residents into fights."

Shamus Awards at Bouchercon

The PWA Shamus Award Banquet will be held Friday, Oct. 16, from 6:30-9:00 at The Slippery Noodle, the most popular blues bar in Indianapolis. Good food, great music, and the Shamus Awards. Tickets are $50 and are available now. Reserve your place asap as seating is limited. Email Bob Randisi at with your home address and an invitation will be sent to you.

Oh Ugly Bird

Unknown Explorers - Big Bird: "The term Big Bird in this particular instance does not refer to the lovable 6 foot tall, yellow feathered bird from the hit children’s show Sesame Street but rather a mysterious creature that was sighted several times in the Rio Grande Valley of deep South Texas during the mid 1970’s. Big Bird, as the creature was dubbed, was described by witnesses as being five feet tall, having a huge wingspan of up to 12 feet and possessing two large red eyes on a gorilla like face."

Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.

Donavan's Brain

Friday, August 14, 2009

They'd Better Do It Right

Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede, one of the all-time great American comedy sf novels, will be a movie - Boing Boing: "Holy CRAP this is good news: Bradley Denton's incredible comic sf novel Buddy Holly is Alive and Well on Ganymede is being made into a movie directed and written by Robert Rugan."

Jon Heder to star in 'Buddy Holly' - Entertainment News, Exclusives, Media - Variety: "Jon Heder is set to star in 'Buddy Holly Is Alive and Well on Ganymede,' an adaptation of the Bradley Denton comic sci-fi novel. Robert Rugan wrote the script and will direct."

Great news for Brad Denton, and I hope I see him at Armadillocon to congratulate him.


Judy and I are getting ready to go to Austin for the Armadillocon. I'll try to take a photo or two, maybe get a short interview with some of the luminaries. Last year I was the Toastmaster. This year I'm on one panel. From the penthouse to the outhouse, the story of my life. Just kidding. I wasn't planning to be on any panels at all. I'm more interested in hanging out than I am in doing panels. Maybe I'll even find a book or two in the dealers' room.

The Dutch Lead the Way

Sex lags behind bathroom visits in popularity: Dutch survey : Health: "Sex might be fun, but the Dutch don't find it as fun as a pleasant trip to the bathroom, if survey results reported Thursday by the ANP news agency are to be believed. According to the poll of 1,000 adults, 88 per cent listed a visit to the bathroom as something 'they enjoy the most,' making it the most popular activity chosen, reported ANP. Only 21 per cent did the same for sex."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

I Advise Avoiding His Lawn

Blue Flame owner kills two: Harlem's restaurant supply owner shoots two dead after botched robbery: "A shotgun-wielding owner of a Harlem restaurant-supply company blasted two robbers to death and wounded two others on Thursday when he caught them pistol-whipping his employee, police said.

Turning the tables on the brutish bandits, 72-year-old Charles (Gus) Augusto opened fire with a 12-gauge shotgun he kept handy for such occasions, cops and witnesses said."

Are You Glad to See Me?

Or is that a turtle in your pants?

Pet shop thief shoves turtle in his pants | LOCAL NEWS | | News for Houston, Texas: "SPRING, Texas -- A thief who targeted a pet store in Spring can be easily identified by surveillance video of his face and by the suspicious bulge in the left pocket of his jeans."

Video at the link.

Fogotten Books: Goodnight Moom -- Jack MacLane

Not entirely forgotten, I guess, since there are Amazon reviews of it. Here's one comment: "I think this is a real sleeper classic." Here's another: "Read this book to see what happens to Harry. Or don't read it and spare yourself the nightmares. A book for adventurous folk." And another: "It was ok but too weird, . . . ." And of course, this one: "Good thing I got this book from a yardsale, free. The only reason I rate it 1 is because I can't rate it 0."

I tend to agree with the first guy. It's a classic about a brain-damaged guy named Harry who progresses from killing small animals to killing humans. His parents keep him locked up, but one night he escapes. He's killing, people are hunting him to kill him, and it gets pretty gory. Jack MacLane was obviously a real sick-o. As all the reviewers say in one way or another, this is not a book for the squeamish. Or maybe just not for anybody.

The Creature with the Atom Brain

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Anna Nicole Smith Update

NYC judge OKs $60M lawsuit against book author who claimed Anna Nicole Smith's lawyer was pimp - SFL: "A jury can decide whether the author of a best-selling book about the death of Playboy playmate Anna Nicole Smith defamed her lawyer by making allegations that may be too outlandish to be true, including that he pimped her to up to 50 men a year, a judge concluded Wednesday."

Galaxies Like Grains of Sand

YouTube - The Hubble Ultra Deep Field in 3D

John Quade, R. I. P.

London Free Press - Entertainment - Character actor John Quade dies at 71: "John Quade, who played the heavy in several Clint Eastwood movies and was the sheriff in the TV miniseries “Roots,” has died. He was 71.

His wife Gwen says Quade died in his sleep of natural causes Sunday at his home in the Southern California desert town of Rosamond.

Quade had dozens of TV and movie roles in a career that spanned more than a quarter-century. His movies included “Papillon” and “High Plains Drifter.”"

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

New Blog on the Block

Davy Crockett's Almanack

This one's from saddle pal Dave Lewis, or Evan Lewis as he's known to those who've read his short fiction. He just sold a story to EQMM, and there are bound to be more to come.


PD: Man caught trying to trade in car that killed bicyclist - Phoenix Arizona news, breaking news, local news, weather radar, traffic from ABC15 News | "They booked Timothy Kissida, 23, on charges of leaving the scene of a fatal accident and tampering with physical evidence.

Saturday, after the collision, police said Kissida traded in his light blue, 1992 BMW 325I to Peoria's Power Chevrolet, a local auto dealership, as part of the 'Cash for Clunkers' program after obtaining an estimate on the damages.

According to court paperwork, Kissida said the damage to the vehicle occurred when he hit a javelina."

Great photo at the link.

Les Paul, R. I. P.

Guitar legend Les Paul has died at 94 - Music- "NEW YORK - Les Paul, who invented the solid-body electric guitar later wielded by a legion of rock 'n' roll greats, died Thursday of complications from pneumonia. He was 94.

According to Gibson Guitar, Paul died at White Plains Hospital. His family and friends were by his side.

As an inventor, Paul also helped bring about the rise of rock 'n' roll with multitrack recording, which enables artists to record different instruments at different times, sing harmony with themselves, and then carefully balance the tracks in the finished recording."

Whispering - Les Paul And Mary Ford


Demolished! 11 Beautiful Train Stations That Fell To The Wrecking Ball � INFRASTRUCTURIST

Chocolate: Is there Anything It Can't Do?

Study: Chocolate cuts risk of death in heart attack survivors - On Deadline - "Chocolate lovers rejoice: A new study shows a substantial cut in the risk of death from heart disease for heart attack survivors who eat chocolate two or more times per week."

Soon We Will Have No Freedoms Left

The Associated Press: Man spotted riding bicycle with gator on shoulders: "The 3-foot-long alligator on a bicyclist's shoulders was a real attention-getter. St. Charles Parish sheriff's deputies stopped the cyclist. He allegedly ran, leaving both wheels and his toothy little rider."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

CRIME Blog | The Dallas Morning News: "While California inmates are apprehensive over the prospect of living together, Texas has the most integrated prison system in the country, Marquart says, and has for some time. The tale of how it got to that point, 'is the greatest untold story pertaining to race relations in the United States,' he says."

The Brain that Wouldn't Die

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stooges Update

"Three Stooges" casting news - The Names Blog - "Peter and Bobby Farrelly haven't quite settled on the cast for 'The Three Stooges,' but the funny filmmakers are making progress. In town this week to see Paul McCartney play at Fenway, Peter Farrelly told us that Paul Giamatti has signed on to replace Sean Penn as Larry. [. . . .] Playing Moe will be Benicio Del Toro, one Hollywood's biggest 'Three Stooges' fans. Still to be cast is Curly. There had been reports that Jim Carrey would utter Curly's signature 'n'yuk, n'yuk, n'yuk,'' but it's not so."

Zombie Update

DARABONT TAKES THE WALKING DEAD TO TV: "Frank Darabont is close to finalizing a development deal with AMC to write and direct a tv series adaptation of The Walking Dead. If your head just exploded you probably realize how potentially huge this is. AMC realizes how big it is as well, and indeed, it will be one of the richest development deals ever made, according to Variety. Joel Stillerman, AMC's head of programming, production and original content says that 'The series will stay faithful to the tone of the original novels. This is not about zombies popping out of closets,this is a story about survival, and the dynamics of what happens when a group is forced to survive under these circumstances. The world (in 'Walking Dead') is portrayed in a smart, sophisticated way.'"


Police: Woman Tried to Run Over KFC Employee Because of Missing Condiments - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - "An Arizona woman who didn't get condiments with her order at a KFC drive-thru was arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon after she tried to run over an employee in a fit of rage, police say.

Police in Surprise, Ariz., arrested 26-year-old Monique Aguet after she tried to run over a Kentucky Fried Chicken employee Wednesday, MyFoxPhoenix reported.

Aguet went inside the restaurant, which didn't cut the mustard with a KFC employee who ordered her to to leave the building and followed her outside, Surprise Police spokesman Lt. Craig Scartozzi told MyFoxPhoenix."

This Is Me, Jack Vance -- Jack Vance

The first book I ever read by Jack Vance was Big Planet, a "travel through wonders" adventure that was 1/2 of an old Ace Double (well, it wasn't old when I read it; it was brand new). I've read it a couple of times since, and it's still a favorite, along with The Dragon Masters, The Last Castle, the Demon Princes series, and many others. So I'm in the target audience for Vance's brief autobiography.

If you want to know about Vance's writing, you're out of luck. He says that he's spent a large part of his live avoiding "shop talk" because he doesn't enjoy it. He has very little to say about his work in this book. He does, however, talk about a life filled with travel, music, and fun. He even manages to make his many jobs (some successes, some failures) during the Depression sound like fun. Most of the memories that Vance sets down here are happy ones, and you can't blame him for that. You might find yourself wishing for more salacious details in some places, or for more about his friends in the SF field, but you won't get them. Vance says that this will be his final book, which is sad to hear, but he has a wonderful backlist out there that will be giving pleasure to readers for years to come.

Some of you already know what the highlight of the book is. Okay, maybe not for everyone, but certainly for me. It's on page 180, part of a short section where Vance discusses books he enjoys and says "Bill Crider, who writes about Sheriff Dan Rhodes in Clearview, Texas, is always a pleasure to read." I was stunned and thrilled to read that sentence. It's hard for me to believe that a man whose books I've been reading for more than 50 years has read my work and enjoyed it. You'd think I'd be too old and jaded to get such a huge kick from finding that out. You'd be wrong.

Some years ago, Scott Cupp met Vance at a convention and told me that Vance had mentioned my books. I thought he was kidding me. Apparently he wasn't.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Police: Man used deer antlers in north Austin fight | Latest News | "A man faces aggravated assault charges in connection with an incident using an unusual weapon.

According to an arrest affidavit, Randy Keith Carlson, 43, is accused of attacking another man with deer antlers.

Witnesses reported that Carlson and another man were arguing when Carlson began attacking the other man with the antlers on Monday afternoon."

Rough Justice

Man killed by shards of glass after hurling girlfriend through shop window | Mail Online: "A man bled to death when he was impaled on a large shard of glass after throwing his girlfriend through a shop window in a street row."

Lone Wolf McQuade

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Very Nice Review . . .

. . . of one of my books at Jake Murdock's Desk.

And Stay off Her Lawn!

Granny, 87, Kills Venomous Rattler With Bare Hands | NBC Miami: "An 87-year-old Tampa woman had had it with the motherloving snakes on her motherloving porch.

So when a seven-inch pygmy rattlesnake slithered up to Esther Orring's door and bit her on the hand, she got even, strangling the venomous little serpent with her bare hands."

Next she'll be joining those yobs in England.

Happy Birthday, Arlene Dahl!

Arlene Dahl - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: "Arlene Dahl (born August 11, 1928)[1] is an American movie actress and former MGM contract star, who achieved notability during the 1950s. She is the mother of actor Lorenzo Lamas."

Mermaid Update

Israel Mermaid Fever Makes A Splash: Mythical Creature Spotted Near Haifa | World News | Sky News: "Israel is in the grips of mermaid fever after numerous sightings of the mythical sea creature off its coast.

One town council is taking the reports so seriously it is offering a $1m (�609,000) reward to anyone who can prove the existence of a mermaid in its waters.

Kiryat Yam municipality, near Haifa, says it has been told of dozens of sightings in the past few months.

They say it is a female figure, it looks like a young girl.

'Many people are telling us they are sure they've seen a mermaid and they are all independent of each other,' council spokesman Natti Zilberman told Sky News."

Ohio Leads the Way

Paddlings on Fountain Square? | | Cincinnati.Com: "Scofflaws sporting signs is one thing - but public paddlings on Fountain Square?

If Hamilton County Municipal Judge Fanon Rucker gets his way, those and other alternatives to jail are in some criminals' future.

'I'm looking at options,' Rucker said."

Texas Doesn't Lead the Way

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - NOAA: July Temperature Below-Average for the U.S.: "The July 2009 temperature for the contiguous United States was below the long-term average, based on records going back to 1895, according to a preliminary analysis by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C."

Meanwhile, in my part of Texas, we've had the hottest, driest summer on record.

Narrated by Thomas Pynchon


BookDaily - Book Samples for Book Lovers

"Read the first chapter of any book you want for free!"

Link via Paul Levine at Naked Authors.

Footprints Included?

Grauman's on the block as value peaks: "Amid seismic shifts in local exhibition, Warner Bros. and Viacom are stepping up efforts to unload L.A.-area movie theaters piecemeal, including the iconic Grauman's Chinese in Hollywood. Such an exit would conclude an initially profitable but more recently tedious tenure of ownership for the studio companies."

He Should Have Stayed off the Lawn

Would-be thief gets a taste of small town justice - News, Weather and Sports for Spokane, WA and Coeur d'Alene, ID |: "Some are calling it La Crosse justices after a man stole another [69-year-old] man's wallet and ended up getting tackled, hog-tied and left in the middle of Main Street for the police to find him."

Forced Vengeance

Monday, August 10, 2009

Get In the Ticket Line Now

3D film to be made of Michael Jackson's final days - Times Online: "Michael Jackson will appear in cinemas in 3D this autumn after Sony Pictures was given permission by a judge in Los Angeles to make a film from the footage of the singer rehearsing for his planned This Is It concert series at the O2 in London.

The $60 million movie, which is expected to be directed by Kenny Ortega, will be released in cinemas on October 30 in the United States."

15 Worst Movie Titles

15 Worst Movie Titles - "Fifteen of the corniest, most ridiculous and downright bad titles of real movies."

Philip K. Dick Update

Terry Gilliam to adapt Philip K. Dick’s The World Jones Made - SFFMedia: "Terry Gilliam, renowned for his excellent science fiction/fantasy films such as Brazil and Twelve Monkeys, as well as being part of the Monty Python comedy team, is planning to adapt Philip K. Dick’s science fiction novel The World Jones Made for the big screen."

The Hugo Awards

The Hugo Awards

Thanks to Todd Mason for the link.

Hank, R. I. P.

Jungle Island's 'crocosaurus' dies at 47 - Miami-Dade - "He was 2,000 pounds of muscle and scaly flesh, believed to be the largest of his kind on this side of the planet. He dined on cold and raw chickens, their bones crackling as he crunched. He was an intimidating creature. So when he came to Miami, the dry-humored staff at Jungle Island marketed him by giving him a cute name.

Hank the Crocosaurus, among the most popular of the Watson Island tourist attraction's confection of unusual animals, was found motionless at the bottom of his pool Saturday. He was 47."

Joe Lansdale Interviews Hap & Leonard

Right here.

And while you're there, you should go ahead and read this short story by Neal Barrett, Jr.

Gator Update (Personal Watercraft Edition)

Alligator Holds Stranded Jet Skier At Bay - County By County News Story - WFTV Orlando: "A man whose personal watercraft's engine stalled was stranded on an Orange County lake while an alligator lurked nearby.

Rescue crews had to pull the man out of Lake Lawne near the San Jose Shores area of Orlando on Sunday evening.

The engine of the personal watercraft he was riding stalled and he was stuck in the middle of the lake for about an hour. He could see an alligator nearby and yelled for help."

Sunrise in Alvin

It's gonna be another hot day, folks.

West Side Story Was Never Like This

Gang attacks lad with 4ft python | The Sun |News: "A BOY was recovering yesterday after being held down by a gang of yobs and bitten by a terrifying new weapon - a SNAKE.

The 4ft-long green reptile sank its fangs into the 14-year-old's right arm, leaving two deep puncture marks.

The helpless lad had been pinned to the ground in a park by his tormentors, who also made racist comments. They then ran off, leaving him shaking with fear."

Gator Update (Training Camp Edition)

Reid says Eagles won't let distractions get in the way of their preparation for season - : Sports: "'If you think this is bad, I remember when I was with New Orleans and we trained in a swamp. Not only was it unbearably hot every day, there were mosquitoes the size of birds. We came out one day and there was an eight-foot alligator in the middle of the field. Some guy in suspenders, a cowboy hat and a pipe in his mouth showed up. He was back the next day wearing a brand new pair of alligator-skin boots.'"

Busted Flush Press: DAMN NEAR DEAD... the sequel!

Busted Flush Press: DAMN NEAR DEAD... the sequel!: "DAMN NEAR DEAD... the sequel!
In 2006, Busted Flush Press released its first original short story collection, Damn Near Dead (edited by Duane Swierczynski, introduction by James Crumley; 0-9767157-5-9; trade paperback original; $18). With 27 all-new 'geezer noir' tales by some of today's top writers -- including Laura Lippman, Stuart MacBride, Mark Billingham, John Harvey, Megan Abbott, Colin Cotterill, Ken Bruen, Reed Farrel Coleman, Jeff Abbott, and many more -- DND went on to earn five award nominations and one win (for Bill Crider's 'Cranked'... read 'Cranked' for free here).

And now... a sequel is in the works!

Alvin, Texas, crime writer Bill Crider (whose DND story was an Edgar nominee!) returns to 'geezer noir,' this time as Damn Near Dead 2's editor. The anthology will debut at NoirCon (Nov. 4-7, 2010; Philadelphia, PA) with several of the contributors in attendance.
And just who are the contributors?? Well, stay tuned... Trust me, this will be quite a line-up!!"

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon

Sunday, August 09, 2009

"Human Foot" Update

"Foot" in NY recycling plant was bear paw: "It turns out that a decomposing 'foot' found among recyclables at a western New York landfill came from a bear, not a person."

I'll Just Have a Hamburger

Mice, anyone? Making a meal out of mice in Malawi - Yahoo! News: "LILONGWE, Malawi – Cooked, salted or dried, field mice strung on sticks are sold as a popular delicacy in Malawi markets and roadside stalls.

The mice are hunted in corn fields after the harvest when they have grown plump on a diet of grains, fruits, grass and the odd insect. The most widely eaten species is known locally as Kapuku, gray in color and with a shorter tail than the more common rat."

Photo at link.

Re-Imagining Robin Hood

Dark Knight/300 Producers Developing Futuristic Robin Hood Movie | /Film: "Ridley Scott isn’t the only man in Hollywood making a Robin Hood movie. Warner Bros is also developing a film based on the classic tale, but with a sci-fi twist. . . .

According to RiskyBiz, the story will “be set in a dystopian London and center on a band of thieves whose activities restore hope to the city’s embattled population.” The producers describe it as “a futuristic action adventure” that will be “both inspired by and pay homage to the legend of Robin Hood.”"

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Hard Case Crime Update


I know, in my last e-mail I wrote that I planned to keep the identity of our second December title a secret until we got closer to its Christmas-season publication date (I think I said something like "I'll tell you when it gets a little colder outside"). Well, it's only August and still plenty hot here in New York City -- but it's hard to keep a secret in the age of the Internet, especially when sites like put books up for pre-order four months in advance...

Yes: You can now see our second December title on (though you have to hunt around a little, due to a bizarre error that has our book's cover attached for some reason to a horror novel by Gord Rollo). But since they let the cat out of the bag early, I figured we might as well come clean, too -- so you can find a full complement of information on the book (cover art, description, sample chapter) at our Web site:

And what is the book...? It's the very hard-boiled story of a man murdered by a blast from a sawed-off shotgun to the face at point-blank range; of a criminal on the run from Chicago who comes to a dirty Pennsylvania coal-mining town and winds up locking horns with the corrupt Masonic lodge that runs the town; of a Pinkerton detective who sets out to clean up the town; and of the doom that pursues a man across an ocean and leaves him at the mercy of the world's most ruthless criminal mastermind. It's a story narrated by a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, whose partner in investigating the twisted plot is a drug addicted private investigator with a brain like a steel trap.

And wait till you see the cover -- Glen Orbik has really outdone himself here, with his portrait of a gorgeous, bosomy dame in a transparent negligee watching with horror as a man with a brand on his arm appears in her doorway.

And the author -- it's one of the best-selling authors in the world. His books have been made into movies, computer games, comic books; they've sold tens of millions of copies. He's not someone you'd think of as a Hard Case Crime author in a million years!

Now, I can hear you out there, saying, "Come on, Ardai -- if you're gonna spill, spill already. What's the name of the damn book?"


I think you're just going to have to visit our Web site and see for yourself.

Charles Ardai
Editor, Hard Case Crime

Ice Station Zebra