Saturday, March 27, 2010

New Story at BEAT to a PULP

BEAT to a PULP :: The Pickle :: Chris La Tray

A Couple of Howard Hunt Covers in Color

A PQ Interview with E. Howard Hunt

I have no idea how a very low circulation zine got an interview with E. Howard Hunt, but there it is in the Spring 1979 (Volume 2, Number 1) issue.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Seattle Leads the Way

The Associated Press: Court: Seattle police OK to stun pregnant woman: "Three Seattle police officers were justified when they used a stun gun on a pregnant mother who refused to sign a traffic ticket, a federal appeals court ruled Friday in a case that prompted an incredulous dissent.
[. . . .]
Rather than give her the ticket and let her go on her way, the officers decided to arrest her. One reached in, turned off her car and dropped the keys on the floor. Brooks stiffened her arms against the steering wheel and told the officers she was pregnant, but refused to get out, even after they threatened to stun her.

The officers — Sgt. Steven Daman, Officer Juan Ornelas and Officer Donald Jones — then stunned her three times, in the thigh, shoulder and neck, and hauled her out of the car, laying her face-down in the street."

I Still Want You to Get off My Lawn

Men do not grow grumpy with age, research finds - Telegraph: "Rants by the likes of Jeremy Clarkson and Bob Geldof on the television show Grumpy Old Men might suggest otherwise, but a study suggests it is younger people who have a more negative outlook on life.

Despite the curmudgeonly stereotype cultivated by Victor Meldrew in the BBC sitcom One Foot in the Grave, scientists found that older people view the world through rose-tinted spectacles, remembering the good times rather than the bad."

Latest Issue of Crimefactory Now On-Line



Step Brothers

Yes, I watched this movie.

Yes, I laughed.

Yes, I'm ashamed of myself.

Yes, that is all I have to say.

Wouldn't Anyone Try to Help?

Drunk Pa. man tried to revive dead opossum | WOPULAR: "Police say they charged a Pennsylvania man with public drunkenness after he was seen trying to resuscitate a dead opossum along a highway.

State police in Punxsutawney say several witnesses saw 55-year-old Donald Wolfe, of Brookville, near the animal Thursday afternoon."

Hat tip to Fred Zackel.

Desire Under the Elms

Friday, March 26, 2010

Dracula Update

'Twilight' time! 'Dracula' creator's relative wants memorial in Dublin | Entertainment in Ireland and Around the World | IrishCentral: "Perhaps feeling that the worldwide fascination with Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and the 'Twilight' movie series has focused attention on the wrong vampires, a relative of the creator of the grand-daddy Gothic novel 'Dracula' wants to have a memorial erected in Dublin in time for the 100th anniversary of Bram Stoker's death this year.

'It's an oversight. There is no permanent memorial in his home city to this guy,' said Dacre Stoker."

Move Over, Paris Hilton

Heidi Montag’s Post-Hills Plans: Be a Hollywood Mogul - PEOPLE TV Watch: "I have been able to truly find what makes me the happiest in life,” Montag says.

And what might that be? “Getting to truly show the world my creative ability … while playing … different characters.”
One of the characters Montag wants to play is “a lifeguard named Summer” in a script she wrote herself.

“I am making the first 3-D beach comedy about a shark that attacks a small beach town and I save the day with my 3-D boobs,” Montag says. “I’ve even written a role for Dolly Parton to play the town mayor!”"

Hat tip to Vince Keenan.

The Museum of Bad Art

MOBA : The Collection: "The pieces in the MOBA collection range from the work of talented artists that have gone awry to works of exuberant, although crude, execution by artists barely in control of the brush. What they all have in common is a special quality that sets them apart in one way or another from the merely incompetent."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Dino Update

Scientists find first ever southern tyrannosaur dinosaur: "Tyrannosaurus rex, once believed to have only roamed the Earth north of the Equator, may also have lived in the southern hemisphere, paleontologists said Thursday.

Scientists from Cambridge, London and Melbourne have found the first ever evidence that tyrannosaur dinosaurs existed in the southern continents. They identified a hip bone found at Dinosaur Cove in Victoria, Australia as belonging to an ancestor of Tyrannosaurus rex."

The 10 Definitive Time Travel Movies

The 10 definitive time travel movies - slide show

Forgotten Books: THE VENETIAN BLONDE -- A. S. Fleischman

I was saddened by the death the other day of Sid Fleischman at age 90, so I thought I'd re-read one of his books. I believe The Venetian Blonde was his last Gold Medal book, but don't hold me to it. It's one of the funny little quirks of my memory that I remember how much this book impressed me back in 1964 when I first read it. Maybe it was the title, or possibly the cover, that caught my eye and made me pluck it off the newsstand. Either one would do the trick.

The blonde isn't in Italy. We're talking Venice, California, here. A cardsharp named Skelly still has his skill, but he's lost his nerve. He's in Venice to put the touch on a friend. Instead, he meets the friend's wife, who's about to work a million-dollar con and needs his help. Skelly doesn't want to get involved, but he's desperate for the dough. He owes a gambler $125,000, and the gambler's not happy about it, not at all.

Skelly meets the blonde in a bar, and she immediately falls for Skelly the way women do in these books. Skelly falls, too, but he doesn't see how it can ever work out.

As you have already guessed, the con doesn't go as smoothly as Skelly had hoped. There are plenty of twists and turns, with a couple of good ones only six or seven pages before the end. It's all very smooth and expertly told. Stark House has already done one Fleischman double, and it includes this novel. There's another double coming later this year. If you like Gold Medal crime and adventure novels, both volumes are well worth your time.

Two Nights with Cleopatra

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Make it So!

The Way Old Friends Do? Abba offer hope to new generation of fans with reunion hint - Times Online: "They have always maintained that they would never re-form and famously turned down $1 billion (�600 million) to tour again, but Abba have given a new generation of fans hope of seeing the band perform live.

For the Mamma Mia! devotees who have come to the band’s music nearly 30 years after they split, tribute bands and YouTube clips of the Swedish foursome in satin and spandex seemed the closest they could get.

But in an interview with The Times today, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, the male half of the Swedish group, offer a beguiling change of tone.

Asked if they would consider an intimate one-off performance — perhaps with an orchestra — that could be beamed around the world, Andersson said: “Yeah, why not?”"

Avatar II

Link via Neatorama.

She Was Probably on his Lawn

Houston vet, 84, after standoff: married 'too damn long' | Houston & Texas News | - Houston Chronicle: "After he allegedly fired a gunshot during an argument with his wife, a 84-year-old World War II-era veteran held SWAT officers at bay at the couple’s home in southwest Houston for nearly six hours early this morning before he was arrested peacefully.

The standoff began around 1:30 a.m. after the homeowner, who identified himself as Gerald Lancaster, fired a shot as his wife was leaving the home in the 10100 block of Amblewood, authorities said.
[. . . .]
Lancaster said he had been asleep during much of the standoff. He was surprised when he realized police officers had converged on his home.

Joe Lansdale Update

Joe Lansdale


Big Grinners Are Winners, US Study Shows: "The broader your smile and the deeper the creases around your eyes when you grin, the longer you are likely to live, according to a new U.S. study, AFP reported on Wednesday."

So Of Course She's Suing

Armrest bonks cell user on head during movie: suit :: CHICAGO SUN-TIMES :: Metro & Tri-State: "Taj Showers, settling in for a matinee with her 10-year-old son, did just that as The Incredible Hulk was doing his thing on the big screen. She clicked her vibrating phone and hunched forward to 'discreetly' hold her conversation, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court. But it was as she was leaning forward, her head tilted to the side that an upright armrest fell in to position -- bonking her so hard, she says, that she went to the hospital with a concussion."

Butch Cassidy Update

Butch Cassidy to make a comeback without Sundance Kid: "Butch Cassidy is set to hit the screens again in a sequel, entitled Blackthorn, but without his partner The Sundance Kid.

American actor Sam Shepard will star as Robert LeRoy Parker, who led the Hole in the Wall Gang on which the 1969 Butch Cassidy film was loosely based.

Spanish director Mateo Gil will helm the project, the filming for which will kick start in Bolivia next month, The Telegraph reported.

The sequel apparently tells the story of Cassidy in his twilight years trying to commit one last robbery."

Hat tip to David Cranmer.

Signed 'Wind in the Willows' Sells for $48,800

The Associated Press: Signed 'Wind in the Willows' copy sold for $48,800: "A signed copy of the classic children's book 'The Wind In The Willows' has been sold at auction in London for 32,400 pounds ($48,794) — around 10 times its estimated value.

The book contains a dedication from author Kenneth Grahame to the daughter of English author Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, who is said to have inspired the character of Ratty."

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

Johnny Maestro, R. I. P.

The Associated Press: Singer Johnny Maestro dies in Fla., battled cancer: "Singer Johnny Maestro of the rock 'n' roll and doo-wop band The Brooklyn Bridge has died.

Original band member Les Cauchi says Maestro died late Wednesday in Florida. Maestro was 70 and had been battling cancer. His last residence was in Cape Coral, Fla.

Maestro begin his career in the 1950s with The Crests, whose hits included '16 Candles."

Hat tip to Donna Courtois.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

But very slowly.

UH physicist gets patent for magnet after 20 years | Houston & Texas News | - Houston Chronicle: "Roy Weinstein had given up.

To heck with the patent office, the 82-year-old physicist decided. After waiting two decades for a patent on his potentially revolutionary superconducting magnets, he'd had enough.

“As you might imagine, waiting 20 years is a pretty nasty chore,” said Weinstein, an emeritus professor at the University of Houston.

Then, amazingly, the patent arrived on Feb. 23 — 20 years and three days after he applied for it."

Treasure Hoard Update

Anglo-Saxon Staffordshire hoard saved by �1.3m heritage grant | Culture | "A grant of �1,285,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF) will keep the glittering treasures of the Staffordshire hoard, the most spectacular heap of Anglo-Saxon gold ever found, in the region where an amateur metal detector found it last summer after it spent 1,300 years buried in a nondescript field."

Swords And Sandals And Werewolves

News: Swords And Sandals And Werewolves, Oh My!: "Got to hand it to the folks at AV Pictures: They've clearly mastered the art of coming up with catchy titles and building films around them. They did it earlier this year with Lesbian Vampire Killers and now they're at it again with the almost-as-catchily-titled Gladiators Versus Werewolves."

History's Most Destructive Volcanoes

History's Most Destructive Volcanoes | LiveScience

Today's Western Movie Poster

Bigfoot Update

Cryptids: The Elusive Bigfoot - Techland - "Why is it so hard to find Bigfoot? We could say, “Because there's no such thing as Bigfoot!” and call it a day but that's not fair to Bigfoot. Give Bigfoot some credit. He's lasted centuries without getting caught, killed, or filmed with a high definition camera on a tripod. So without getting into the real/not real debate, let's assume Bigfoot exists and move on . . . ."

Forgotten Music: Clyde McPhatter

Clyde McPhatter had one of the great voices in popular music. He started his career with Billy Ward and the Dominoes but left to form his own group, the Drifters, with whom he recorded some great songs, including the definitive (for me) version of "White Christmas." Like my last Forgotten Music entry, "Honey Love" was banned from many radio stations. Seems very tame today, of course.

McPhatter left the drifters and went on to record some fine solo records, including "A Lover's Question," which was written by Brook Benton.

In the '60s, McPhatter tried to change his style to meet the times. He did some fine songs, but hardly anyone listened. His career headed downhill, and he died of alcohol abuse in 1972, not yet forty years old. Shortly before his death, he'd told an interviewer, "I have no fans." He was wrong, though. He had at least one. I still remember exactly where I was when I heard of his death on my car radio. I'm still a fan, and I still listen to his music often.

Palm Springs Adventure

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

And They Don't Even Have Lawns

Elevator Shooting In Queens: "An elderly woman is accused of shooting a neighbor in a Queens elevator.

73-year-old Iraida Palmieri has a bullet wound on her forehead.

Police arrested 81-year-old Maria Cartagena on charges related to the shooting."

Just in Case You Were Wondering

Baboons Gobble Grapes in South African Wine Region - ABC News: "Baboons, it seems, prefer pinot noir. They also like a nice chardonnay.

Largely undeterred by electric fences, hundreds of wild baboons in South Africa's prized wine country are finding the vineyards of ripe, succulent grapes to be an 'absolute bonanza,' said Justin O'Riain of the University of Cape Town."

Hat tip to James (Maurice) Powell.

Robert Culp, R. I. P.

Actor Robert Culp Dies at Age 79 - Robert Culp : "Robert Culp, best known as Kelly Robinson in the '60s TV show I Spy and more recently as Warren Whelan on Everybody Loves Raymond, has died.

The 79-year-old actor was rushed to Queen of Angels Hospital on Wednesday morning after falling outside his Hollywood home, authorities said. He was pronounced dead shortly after arrival, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Culp suffered a blow to the head after falling while taking a walk and was found by a jogger who called 911."

When Werewolf Hunters are Jailed, Werewolves will Roam Free

Bainbridge Island police arrest "werewolf hunter" - Seattle News - "Police have detained a man they say was waving a large sword around and stabbing objects in the parking lot of a Bainbridge Island building supply store.

The shirtless 35-year-old man was covered with scrapes and cuts. He told the off-duty Bainbridge Island police officer who approached him Tuesday afternoon that he was 'hunting werewolves and chuds' who could disguise themselves as humans. The man said he feared getting hurt."

Link via Dave Barry's blog.


Scientists find how relaxed minds remember better | Reuters: "Stronger and more lasting memories are likely to be formed when a person is relaxed and the memory-related neurons in the brain fire in sync with certain brain waves, scientists said on Wednesday."

Collectible Ray Bradbury

Martians and Burning Books: Collectible Ray Bradbury: "Ray Bradbury is best known for Fahrenheit 451, his 1953 dystopian novel of community disconnect, book-burning, paranoia and isolation in a bleak future. But since 1947 (when his first short story collection Dark Carnival, was released), Bradbury has published 11 novels and countless short stories on every topic imaginable, many of which have collectible editions available. Throughout his impressive career, Bradbury has always been generous with his fans and happy to sign or inscribe copies, but early Bradbury autographs are more scarce."

Dino Update

New Dinosaur Species Found In Utah Sandstone - WBBM 780 - Chicago's #1 source for local news, traffic and weather: "A new species of dinosaur has emerged from the rocks of southern Utah.

Buried by a collapsing sand dune, perhaps 185 million years ago, the new dino was probably a plant eater and an early relative of the giant animals later known as sauropods, researchers report in Tuesday's edition of the journal PLoS One.

Named Seitaad ruessi, the species was 10-to-15 feet long and 3-to-4 feet high. It's bones were found protruding from sandstone at the base of a cliff, directly below an ancient Anasazi cliff dwelling."

2010 Spinetingler Award: Best Short Story on the Web Nominees

2010 Spinetingler Award: Best Short Story on the Web nominees | Spinetingler

Monkey on the Lam

The Associated Press: Elusive monkey romps in Tampa Bay area: "ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — In the hours after a monkey on the lam fell into a woman's pool and then swiped some fruit from her backyard tree, fans of the wily primate cheered it for avoiding capture.

'Go little monkey, go! No cages for you,' wrote a guy named Jack on the 'Mystery Monkey of Tampa Bay' Facebook fan page. (There were more than 16,000 fans of the elusive monkey as of Wednesday morning.)"

Hat tip to Scott Cupp.

Texas Mountain Laurel

Free Mr. Wiggles!

Pasadena police investigate bizarre case of stolen orchid with ransom note left behind - 3/23/10 - Houston News - "A homeowner in the 4000 block of Dogwood Hill went outside around 8am on Thursday and made the bizarre discovery. According to Pasadena Police spokesperson Vance Mitchell, the man saw a note written in green marker taped to his door reading, 'If you want your plant back, call 409-XXX-XXXX.' No further demands were given.

The missing plant was a rare Hawaiian orchid in a red ceramic pot. The plant is valued at $60.

Mitchell adds that thieves struck at a house next door. That homeowner reported receiving a note on similar paper, but written in red marker. It read, 'I took ur Mr. Wiggles if u want him call this number,' which had the same 409 prefix as the other note. The police report doesn't mention a value on Mr. Wiggles, or specify who or what he may be."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

River Oaks apartment complex offers clothing-optional sundeck | | - News, Houston news, Texas News, Headlines: "HOUSTON -- The competition to lease apartments is tough, and there are all kinds of incentives to get tenants. You’ve probably heard the offers for a free television or free rent, but a River Oaks apartment complex is taking a different approach. Instead of giving you something, it’s offering to let you take something off.
[. . . .]
You see, on the La Maison sundeck, four stories high in the middle of Houston, clothing is optional."

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Houston has second largest population jump in United States - 3/23/10 - Houston News - "New government figures show the Houston area saw the second biggest population jump in the country, second only to the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex."

Texas History Forum in the Alamo

23rd Texas History Forum to be Held on May 22 � Inside the Gates: "The DRT Library will be holding its twenty-third Texas History Forum on Saturday, May 22, 2010, in Alamo Hall on the Alamo Complex. Entitled “Historiography: Texas History Detectives,” this year’s Forum will feature presentations by three distinguished historians, Gregg Cantrell, James E. Crisp, and Light T. Cummins."

Link via Will's Texas Parlor.

No Comment Department

Movies - News - Jamie Foxx writing 'Laverne & Shirley' film? - Digital Spy: "Jamie Foxx is reportedly writing a script for a big screen Laverne & Shirley remake.
[.. . .]
'Jamie and I are trying to do it,' [Gary] Marshall said.

He added: 'He's writing it. It's a whole different modern day take on how they came up on the streets during difficult times. Laverne would be this very tough girl with a big 'L'"

Is Anyone Surprised?

BBC News - Lie-in for teenagers has positive results: "A school that has allowed its pupils to start the day an hour later says it has seen absenteeism decline.

At Monkseaton High School, in North Tyneside, 800 pupils aged 13-19 have started lessons at 10am since October.

Early results indicates that general absence has dropped by 8% and persistent absenteeism by 27%."

Sherlock Holmes Update

BBC - Press Office - New drama Sherlock commences filming: "BBC Wales Drama, BBC One and Hartswood Films announce the start of filming on Sherlock, a contemporary remake of the Arthur Conan Doyle classic, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Starter For Ten, Stuart: A Life Backwards) as the new Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman (The Office, Hot Fuzz) as his loyal friend, Doctor John Watson. Rupert Graves (God On Trial, Midnight Man) plays Inspector Lestrade."

Rome Adventure

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Top 10 Books Written by Librarians

Librarian Literature: Top 10 Books Written by Librarians


This article appeared in the Spring 1979 issue of Paperback Quarterly (Volume II, Number 3). I've never seen a Pockette.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Wild Hog Update

Missouri City residents tormented by roving band of wild hogs in Sienna Plantation - 3/22/10 - Houston News - "Dozens of wild pigs have been tearing apart yards and frightening people in a subdivision in Missouri City. The herd is roaming through Sienna Plantation, off Sienna Parkway."

A couple of months ago I turned in a Sheriff Rhodes book to St. Martin's. The title, if they don't change it, is The Wild Hog Murders. Sheriff Rhodes leads the way.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Houston teacher encourages beatings on bus, educator says | Houston & Texas News | - Houston Chronicle: "A teacher has been fired from a southwest Houston private school for encouraging her students to punch a 5-year-old classmate during a field trip to a Chuck E. Cheese restaurant in Sugar Land, the school’s director said."

Houston Crime Update

FBI looking for men they've dubbed 'Women Wannabes,' who robbed at least a couple banks while wearing wigs - 3/22/10 - Houston News - "The FBI needs your help to find a couple of men they've dubbed the 'Women Wannabes' bank robbers. The two men, they say, wore wigs while robbing at least a couple of Houston-area banks."

j. D. Salinger Update

South Park to Pay Tribute to JD Salinger | Comedy Central Insider Blog: "On this week's all-new South Park, Mr Garrison assigns The Catcher in the Rye, following the removal of the classic novel from the school's banned books list. After reading it, the boys are inspired to write their own controversial book entitled The Tale of Scrotie McBoogerballs."

Hat tip to Toby O'Brien.

The Norton Top 10 Riskiest Online Cities Report Reveals Who’s Most Vulnerable to Cybercrime

Seattle leads the way.

The Norton Top 10 Riskiest Online Cities Report Reveals Who’s Most Vulnerable to Cybercrime: "Cybercrime, a threat that affects one in five online shoppers and cost Americans $560 million in 2009 due to online fraud, may hit closer to home than many realize. Norton from Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC) teamed up with independent research firm Sperling’s BestPlaces to find and expose the nation’s top 10 cities most vulnerable to cybercrime."

Link via Dwight Silverman's TechBlog.

Back to the Future

Enthusiasts revive Polaroid film, plan to sell it - Yahoo! News: "A group of engineers and enthusiasts who leased an old Polaroid film factory in the Netherlands announced Monday that they had successfully reinvented instant film and will start selling packs this week.

The news gives new life to some old Polaroid cameras. The company, called The Impossible Project, will sell film for SX-70 cameras made in the '70s as well as more recent cameras that take 600-series film."

The 5 Creepiest Unsolved Crimes Nobody Can Explain

The 5 Creepiest Unsolved Crimes Nobody Can Explain |

Bombers B-52

Monday, March 22, 2010

Dallas -- Will F. Jenkins (aka Murray Leinster)

Earlier today I posted a lobby card for the movie Dallas. Here's the cover of the tie-in novel.

100 Must See Movies For Men

Best Movies to Watch: 100 Must See Movies For Men | The Art of Manliness: "100 Must See Movies: The Essential Men’s Movie Library"

"Save Boogertown"

Camden residents organize to "Save Boogertown" - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |: "Members of a historic Camden neighborhood are protesting a developer's plan to build a thoroughfare in the area.

All jokes aside, the neighborhood is affectionately known as 'Boogertown' by its citizens. The neighborhood got the name from a builder back in the 1930's."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Best, Worst, and Deadliest Roads in America

The Best, Worst, and Deadliest Roads in America: The Rankings | Driving | Reader's Digest

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Set the DVR

Daily Dispatch Online: "Animal Planet, 10pm: I’m Alive – An engagement party turns to tragedy when one of the guests is attacked by an alligator and a man is bitten five times by the deadly death adder. Will they survive?"

Gator Update (I Get Around Edition)

Alligator found 20 miles out to sea swimming with whales | MNN - Mother Nature Network: "Stunned researchers came across the Georgia alligator while out looking for North Atlantic right whales."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Mammoth Update

Woolly mammoths resurfacing in Siberia - Los Angeles Times: "Reporting from Moscow — The beasts had long lain extinct and forgotten, embedded deep in the frozen turf, bodies swaddled in Earth's layers for thousands of years before Christ.

Now, the Russian permafrost is offering up the bones and tusks of the woolly mammoths that once lumbered over the tundra. They are shaped into picture frames, chess sets, pendants. They are gathered and piled, carved and whittled, bought and sold on the Internet."

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

2010 Spur Awards

Click here for a list of winners and nominees. Congratulations to all.

Susan Slade

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A. S. Fleischman, R. I. P.

THE GUMSHOE SITE: "A. S. Fleischman died on March 17 at his home in Santa Monica, California. He was well known to children as Sid Fleischman, who won the Newbery Medal in 1987 for THE WHIPPING BOY. THE 13TH FLOOR (Greenwillow, 1995) and THE MIDNIGHT HORSE (Greenwillow, 1990) were both nominated for an Edgar in the juvenile mystery category. As A. S. Fleischman, he wrote several adult mystery novels such as THE STRAW DONKEY CASE (Phoenix, 1948) and COUNTERSPY EXPRESS (Ace, 1954). LOOKING BEHIND YOU, LADY (1952), DANGER IN PARADISE (1953), MALAY WOMAN (1954) and THE VENETIAN BLONDE (1963, all four from Gold Medal) were recently re-issued from Stark House Press as double-books."

I just posted a birthday notice for Fleischman a few days ago. I'm very saddened by this news.

Hard Case Crime Update from Charles Ardai


Donald Westlake's final novel, MEMORY, is finally here.

I've seen and held a copy; I've seen it available for delivery on and (and the easier-to-type; and I've seen it on the shelves of one bookstore near me. Chances are it's at one near you, too.

You know where else I've seen it? In USA Today last week (where they unfortunately rendered the title as "Memoir," but were very kind to give it the write-up they did). And I'm told that Time magazine will be running a piece about it in their next issue. Time magazine! And to think that when Don originally wrote the book in the early 1960s his agent told him he wouldn't be able to sell it.

The book tells the story of a man who's been the victim of a brutal assault and has to deal with the consequences: a peculiar form of brain damage that prevents him from forming or holding onto memories. When he gets out of the hospital he goes looking for his old life -- but how can you find something when you can't even remember what it was? And what if you're hundreds of miles from home, with no money and no resources, and only the cards in your wallet to remind you where you need to go...

For a taste of the book, you can read the sample chapter on our Web site, But you're going to want more than a taste of this one. It's our first new book in four months, it's one of the longest we've ever published, and it's really, really good. This is not one you'll want to miss.

And we've got another new book that you might enjoy checking out as well: the first new Gabriel Hunt adventure novel since last November's HUNT AT WORLD'S END. This one's called HUNT BEYOND THE FROZEN FIRE and it's co-authored by Christa Faust, Edgar Award-nominated author of MONEY SHOT. In it, Gabriel and his team of hardy adventurers travel to Antarctica in search of a scientist who vanished after a final radio transmission in which he claimed to have found something impossible. What did he find...? You wouldn't believe me if I told you. The book's in stores now -- why not pick up a copy and find out for yourself?

We've got plenty more good things coming, too -- the next Hard Case Crime book will be NOBODY'S ANGEL, a gorgeous, heartbreaking noir novel written by a Chicago cab driver named Jack Clark; and the next Gabriel Hunt book, HUNT AMONG THE KILLERS OF MEN, is co-written by David J. Schow (screenwriter of "The Crow" and other Hollywood pictures) and takes Gabriel to the dark underworld of Shanghai. But those are both a couple of months away (June and July, respectively). In the meantime, I very much hope you'll give Don's book a read, and Christa's, and let me know what you thought of them. They're as different as can be from one another, but I think they'd make a hell of a one-two punch.

Charles Ardai

P.S. Congratulations to the winners of our drawing for free advance copies of MEMORY: Naomi in Ohio; Charlene in Los Angeles; Jared in Kansas City, MO; David in Iowa; Audrey in Bangor, Maine; Jack in upstate New York; Tom in Tennessee; Stan in Maryland; Fran in Seattle; Kristin just 50 miles away in another part of Washington; Dannie in California; and Mike in Massachusetts.

New York Leads the Way

Japanese-style Yotel pod hotel lands in New York City

Harper Simon

Harper Simon is Paul Simon's son, and the similarities between the two is striking, at least when it comes to singing voices and musical choices. In fact, it would be easy to call Harper Simon the best new Paul Simon album in years. And while that wouldn't be too far off the mark, it would be unfair. Harper's his own man, and his new CD stands just fine as something unique and his own. "All to God," "Wishes and Stars," and "The Audit" are fine tracks, then so are all ten of the tracks here. I don't know quite how to describe the music, but if Paul Simon had made an alt-country album, it might have been something like this. I like it a lot. You can listen to some of the tracks on Harper Simon's My Space page and judge for yourself if you're so inclined.

Top 10 Saturday Morning Cartoons

10 Greatest Saturday Morning Cartoons in History : COED Magazine

Today's Western Movie Poster

Archaeology Update

Back in business: Pompeii's most popular snack bar re-opens... nearly 2000 years after it was destroyed by Mt Vesuvius | Mail Online: "n AD79 it was Pompeii's most popular hang out, where locals would stop off to meet friends and partake in a snack of baked cheese smothered in honey.

Now, nearly 2000 years after the Italian city was buried under ash and rubble by the devastating eruption of Mount Vesuvius, its favourite snack bar has re-opened."

Photos at the link.