Saturday, August 27, 2011

More Covers

Retrospace: Cover Gallery #12: Detective Magazines (Part II)


Internet Outages from Hurricane Could Force People to Interact with Other People, Officials Warn

Turn Right at Machu Picchu --Mark Adams

I can't remember where I heard about this book, but when I did, I knew I wanted to read it. Mark Adams, who was once and editor at an adventure travel magazine, decided to retrace the footsteps of Hiram Bingham, the man who made Machu Picchu famous. This is the story of his journey, and a second one on the Inca Trail.

Bingham's reputation has suffered greatly in the 100 years since he first set eyes on Machu Picchu, and while Adams isn't trying to rehab that reputation, he does present a balanced picture of Bingham's accomplishments without glossing over his shortcomings. Of course, for me the more interesting part of the book was Adams' own travels, which were considerably more rugged than mine when I visited Machu Picchu a few years ago. I was a mere tourist, whereas Adams was a first-time adventurer. He and his guide, John Leviers, travel some wonderfully interesting but too-tough-for-me terrain.

Adams is funny as well as insightful about Peru and its history. This is a highly entertaining book for anybody and especially for someone who's been to Peru or is planning to go someday. Check it out.

Today's Vintage Ad

The 20 Best Movies for Back to School

The 20 Best Movies for Back to School

6 Beneficial Things They Made You Stop Doing in School

6 Beneficial Things They Made You Stop Doing in School

Life Imitates "Art"

Loose Emu Locked Up in MD


E. C. R. Lorac, Checkmate to Murder, Bart House, 1946


George Lucas Makes More Changes To The Star Wars Films For Blu-ray

Today's Western Movie Poster

The Ideal Writing Hut?

George Bernard Shaw and The Marvelous Spinning Shed

The 10 Most Overused Songs in Movie History

The 10 Most Overused Songs in Movie History

Torrid Zone


Friday, August 26, 2011

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

Smashwords - Reel Life Crime - A book by Cary Pepper: Reel Life Crime mirrors the plot of The Maltese Falcon (Dashiell Hammett’s novel and John Huston’s 1941 film), while being an original mystery in its own right, a tongue-in-cheek hard-boiled detective story, an affectionate tribute to the noir genre, and a commentary on how much movies impact our culture and our everyday lives.

Today's Vintage Ad

Confessions of a Catholic Cop Thomas Fitzsimmons

This book was originally published by Tor, and now the author has reprinted it with his own title. It's a fast-moving story, and it seems entirely authentic. Fitzsimmons was a New York cop for ten yeartotal the realism is earned.

Michael Beckett and his partner, D'Amato are investigating a series of arsons, but D'Amato doesn't trust Beckett. Why? Because Beckett's had a part in a TV show, and now he wants to leave the department and pursue an acting career. And then D'Amato has problems of his own.

There's a interesting villain, a conspiracy that, as usual, goes all the way to the top, good dialogue, and lots of action. Check it out.

Get a rope!

Massachusetts State Police Shutdown Twelve-Year-Old’s Green Tea Stand - Forbes


Glen Watkins, Tavern Girl, Pyramid, 1950

Detective Magazine Covers

Retrospace: Cover Gallery #11: Detective Magazines (Part I)

10 best and worst British accents in film

10 best and worst British accents in film

Batten Down the Hatches!

Wishing the best for everyone in Irene's path. I know all too well what can happen. Stay safe.

15 Teams With the Most Unruly Fans

15 Teams With the Most Unruly Fans

Today's Western Movie Poster

Is It Halloween Yet?

Zombie Teeth are now available.

10 Strange Things People Tried to Smuggle Onto an Airplane

Ten Strange Things People Tried to Smuggle on Airplanes

Forgotten Books: Spoon River Anthology -- Edgar Lee Masters

Maybe this book isn't really forgotten, but I have a feeling not many people read it these days. It was a sensation when it was originally published, though. Masters had written many books before this one, and he wrote even more afterward, but none had the same effect.

When I was in high school, I thought I'd write poetry all my life. I read all kinds of poetry and loved 99% of it, including the poems by Masters that were in our high school textbook. I checked Spoon River out of the library and read all of it. I was highly impressed, but I'd never looked at it since then. I picked up a copy the other day at a library sale and started to read. It was like visiting old friends, though none of them is alive. Lucinda Matlock, Hod Putt, Judge Somers, Benjamin Pantier (buried with his dog), Anne Rutledge, and so many others, "all, all, are sleeping on the hill," as they have been all my life, but they're still as eloquent as ever. Small-town life hadn't been depicted like this before, and if Masters never had another success like this one, he doesn't have to worry about winding up like his character John Horace Burleson. Masters wrote one mighty book that works as well for me today as it did more than 50 years ago.

Bhowani Junction


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Or Maybe It's Sumatran

Giant rat killed by pitchfork in Marcy Houses is believed to be Gambian pouched rat

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Here's the Plot for Your Next underground Thriller

Scientists find underground river beneath Amazon - FRANCE 24: AFP - Brazilian scientists have discovered an underground river some 4,000 meters (13,000) feet deep, which flows from west to east like the country's famous waterway.

70 Years of EQMM

NEW YORK —One of America's longest-running magazines celebrates its 70th anniversary this year. A special double 70th Anniversary issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (September/October 2012) is on sale now, featuring stories by a number of Edgar and Shamus award-winning authors, including Lia Matera, Brendan DuBois, Bill Pronzini, Jonathan King, Clark Howard, Loren D. Estleman, Cheryl Rogers, and more! Also featured: a reprint of one of the original Ellery Queen stories and another in the series of anniversary articles EQMM has been running throughout 2011. The celebration continues with the upcoming November and December issues.
Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine is published by Dell Magazines, whose other publications include Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Analog Science Fiction and Fact, and Asimov’s Science Fiction.

Pirates of Barbary -- Adrian Tinniswood

Captain Jack Sparrow and all the rest of the pirates of the Caribbean? Mere poseurs. But the pirates of Barbary were the real thing. You don't have to take my word for it. Adrian Tinniswood proves it pretty conclusively in this book. In the days of the Barbary states, piracy was a thriving business, with many places building their economies on pirate plunder.

A lot of the pirates weren't from the Barbary states at all, however. They were from Britain and other countries, and they were as brave, foolhardy, and ruthless as they come. Tinniswood's book is full of sea battles, brutality, hangings, chases, and escapes, all of which make for great reading.

What might be a little surprising is how relevant the book is to our own country's past ("to the shores of Tripoli") and also to what's happening right now. Tripoli is back in the news, and the Somali pirates are making headlines everywhere while using the virtually the same tactics as the Barbary pirates.

If you like reading about the pirates of old (and who doesn't?), you can't go wrong here. Highly recommended.

Rancho Diablo.

Today's Vintage Ad

On a Day Like Today . . .

. . . I sometimes think of the long ago, back when I worked at the Red Arrow Freight Line in the summers (that's me standing in the back of the truck). It was just as hot then as it is now, if not hotter, but I spent five days a week from eight to five in a warehouse or a truck cab or a trailer with no air-conditioning. I don't remember thinking that it was horrible, though I'm sure it couldn't have been comfortable.

Often in the late afternoons, we'd take an empty trailer to the Futorian factory and load it up with Stratoloungers (I think they're still being made, but not in Mexia, Texas). The chairs were in big chair-shaped cardboard boxes, and they had to be stacked in the trailer. Since I was the young guy, I got to climb on the first level to help stack the second and third levels. The first few rows were the worst because they were in the front of the trailer. No air at all, and the heat had built up in there all day. Occasionally I'd make the rookie mistake of raising up a little too high when I was standing on the chairs. Then the back of my sweaty shirt would touch the metal roof of the trailer. The shirt didn't provide a lot of protection, and the other guys would get a big kick out of my reaction. As you can imagine, I was thrilled to be a source of amusement for them.

As for the other guys in the photo, the one on the left if N. D. Hendricks, known as Little Nap. In the middle is Lynn Fulwiler, the manager of the Penney's store and the father of my sister's first husband. On the right is Thedford Rhodes, father of Ray Rhodes, who was just a tyke when the photo was made.

Why Couldn't They Have Done this 50 Years Ago?

Mother Nature Network: Few things conjure up fearful memories more than the whirring sound of a dentist's drill. Now thanks to a new, non-invasive dental breakthrough, it may soon be possible to get a filling without the drilling, according to Science Daily.


Louis Charles Boyer, The Redhead from Chicago, Pyramid, 1954.

Will the Persecution Never End?

Paris Hilton reality show, 'The World According to Paris,' canceled by Oxygen after one season

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.


Judy and I will be heading off to Armadillocon in a couple of hours. We missed last year's convention because Judy had pneumonia. She's feeling a little better this year, so we're looking forward to making the trip and seeing friends that we haven't seen in a while. If you're in Austin, drop by the Renaissance Hotel and get a day pass for the con. I'll be on three panels on Saturday, and I'm even doing a signing.

The blog will go right on without me, with the usual features plus lots of other great stuff.

Criminal Geniuses of the Day

Jewelry heist is a bust for 'clown' robbers - KDVR: Sonny’s Rocks Jewelry Store, like most jewelry stores, no longer displays real jewelry, a change the store made when the price of precious metals and gems started going up a few years ago.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Who Could Deny It?

Beef Jerky-Potato Chip Hybrid Is the Pinnacle of Human Innovation

Here's the Plot for Your Next Medical Thriller

Stem cell case could land woman in prison - Houston Chronicle: Umbilical cords, once considered medical waste, turned into a $300,000 stem cell gold mine for one Arizona businesswoman whose black market dealings in Texas border towns landed her in Houston federal court.

Feeling Safer Now?

The Consumerist: Last week, folk singer and aviation enthusiast Vance Gilbert thought he'd pass the time on his United Airlines flight from Boston to Washington, DC, by perusing some books about old aircraft. This was apparently enough to set off alarm bells among the flight crew, who had the plane return to the gate where Gilbert was met by the authorities.

Forgotten Music -- "The Road Goes on Forever" by Robert Earl Keen, Jr.

If you've ever heard this song, you probably haven't forgotten it. You'll like hearing it again, though, if you're like me. It's a Gold Medal noir in a 5-minute song, something Gil Brewer or Day Keene or Charles Williams or Harry Whittington might have written. The little B&W video that goes with it isn't bad, either. A couple of the shots gave me a smile, and the whole thing makes me grin for a while after I've seen it.

Tribute to a Bad Man


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Police: Iowa City Woman Deemed Too Drunk For Bikini Wax, Attacks Employee with Towel

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Cold Truth (Lou Mason Thrillers) eBook: Joel Goldman: Kindle Store: If you love Michael Connelly, Lee Child and John Grisham, you’ll love the first two books in the Lou Mason Thriller series!

When two of his partners are killed, corruption, sex and murder fill trial lawyer Lou Mason’s docket as he tracks the killer. Will Lou be the next victim? Find out in Motion to Kill.

Lou Mason is back in The Last Witness and this time it's personal when his surrogate father, Homicide Detective Harry Ryman, arrests his best friend, Wilson "Blues" Bluestone, Jr., for murder. Mason unearths secrets someone will do anything to keep as he closes in on a desperate killer, setting himself up as the next target.

Wind River Now in E-book Format!

Rough Edges: The Wind River Series Now Available as E-books: Back in the Nineties, Livia and I wrote a six-book Western series for Harper Paperbacks called WIND RIVER. We wanted to put both names on the books, but the publisher nixed that idea and insisted on a single by-line. Now the whole series is available for both the Kindle and the Nook with both names on it as intended. If at all possible, these books should be read in order, because we knew what was going to happen in the sixth book before we ever wrote a line of the first book, and there are developments all the way through leading up to that. I think these are some of our best Westerns, and I hope those of you who give them a try enjoy them. (I'll put links to the Kindle editions of all six books on the E-Book Catalog page.)

Reviews of the Latest Rancho Diablo Novel


Today's Vintage Ad


Peter Cheyney, The Man Nobody Saw, Avon, 1956

Headline of the Day

Robber Uses Semi-Truck to Smash Adult Store and Steal Sex Toy

Hat tip to Art Scott.

A Change Is Gonna Come

Diet Coke Gets New Look for Fall

The Immortal Woman

Now I Know: The Immortal Woman: Henrietta Lacks, pictured above, died on October 4, 1951, from cervical cancer which had metastasized throughout her body. She was 31 years old, and was buried in a family burial plot without a tombstone. But while Lacks herself is gone, a small part of her lives on. And lives nearly everywhere.

Today's Western Movie Poster

We Can All Sleep Better Now

Portland police recover stolen goat

Well, Duh

Males believe discussing problems is a waste of time, study shows

10 Oscar-worthy sci-fi movie performances

Den of Geek: A genre constantly overlooked at awards ceremonies, sci-fi cinema is full of stunning performances. Here’s a list of 10 that deserved Oscar attention…

They Were Rolling in Dough

Greek police smash violent doughnut ring: It took an undercover operation, but Greek police have blown a hole in a ring of alleged crooks who had cornered the doughnut market in a beach resort.

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Each Dawn I Die


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention

D*CKED by Greg Bardsley, Kieran Shea, Jedidiah Ayres in Literature & Fiction: The parameters of the dare were simple. No rules, no quarter. Make him a hero. Make him a perp. Make him a throwaway reference. Whatever fired the writer's imagination...all amalgamated into an anthology unequaled and inspired by the most vexing juggernaut of modern American politics — Dick Cheney. Tearing out of wilderness comes D*CKED, a satirical Deathmobile – dark, sleek, and muscled-out. Get ready to laugh and run for cover. You’re about to get D*CKED.

Breaking and Entering Is Tiring Work

WLS 890AM: Police in Tennessee were called to a funeral home where workers found two intruders sleeping inside caskets.

Here's That List Again

Class of 2015: So young, Ferris could be their dad - Back to School - The Top 20
1. There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.
2. Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.
3. States and Velcro parents have always been requiring that they wear their bike helmets.
4. The only significant labor disputes in their lifetimes have been in major league sports.
5. There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships.
6. They “swipe” cards, not merchandise.
7. As they’ve grown up on websites and cell phones, adult experts have constantly fretted about their alleged deficits of empathy and concentration.
8. Their school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.
9. “Don’t touch that dial!”….what dial?
10. American tax forms have always been available in Spanish.

More at the link.

And Keep Off His Lawn! An elderly Reno homeowner on Friday shot and wounded two of three burglars in an incident where he held one injured suspect captive during an eight-hour stand-off.

Police said the 72-year-old resident held Robert Marin, 26, — who was armed with a knife — for an additional four hours after he accidentally shot Marin in the wrist.

The homeowner did not have a telephone to report the incident and had to gather his strength to force Marin outside and have a neighbor call police about noon on Friday, detectives said.

The resident told police that Marin hit his gun hand with his walking cane, which caused the gun to go off and strike Marin in the wrist. He then held the man for an additional four hours until he had enough strength to confront him further, according to a police report.

The Only Thing We Have to Fear . . . . A suspicious package that caused this morning's evacuation of Jacksonville City Hall and surrounding streets contained LED light bulbs from a routine FedEx delivery, not an explosive, authorities said this afternoon.

John Howard Davies, R. I. P.

Reuters: John Howard Davies, a child actor and comedy producer best known for his lead role in David Lean's 1948 film "Oliver Twist", has died aged 72, his former employer the BBC said on Tuesday.


Just now reading about the quake near D. C. Hope everyone from that area is okay.

Headline of the Day

Bull semen forces closure of interstate ramp

The Return of Shell Scott

Just saw on Facebook that Mark Ellis will be scripting a series of Shell Scott graphic novels from Sequential Pulp, with art by David Enebral.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Local School Districts Paying Cash For Truancy Tips CBS Dallas / Fort Worth: A program to stop truancy in two North Texas school districts could be a moneymaker for some.

Both the Arlington and Mansfield Independent School Districts are participating in the “You Earn, They Learn. Stop Truancy.” program.

A Guest Post by Timothy Hallinan


Is writing better if it's fun?

I don't mean the obvious question, whether a writing session is more enjoyable if it's fun, but rather does it make any difference to the quality of the work that's being done?

I think, after writing God only knows how many novels (okay, 18), that it actually doesn't.

This comes to mind because last week saw the publication of the book that was more fun for me to write than any other in my career. It's the second in my Junior Bender ebook series, LITTLE ELVISES. The great joy of writing Junior's world is that everybody's bad. He's a burglar who moonlights as a private eye for crooks, and all the other characters are the crooks—with a few enjoyable exceptions, such as corrupt cops.

Good citizens from the straight world pop up now and then, but most of the characters we follow are bad guys and girls.

I think most writers will tell you that they secretly enjoy writing their villains more than they do their heroes and heroines. Evil has a lot of energy—you need a really strong Othello to keep Iago from walking off with the show. And when I write the Junior books, I'm surrounded by Iagos, even if many of them are, like most career criminals, somewhat stupid Iagos.

The Juniors are intended to be both mysterious and funny, a combination I seem to appreciate more than the great mass of book buyers, who have little difficulty resisting the impulse to buy them. But the books entertain the hell out of me, and I don't think I've ever laughed so loudly while writing as I did on LITTLE ELVISES. Most of the humor comes from the characters just talking to each other.

Here's a snip between Junior and his friend and sometimes-accomplice, Louie the Lost. Louie was a major-league getaway driver until he made a bad in Compton after a diamond robbery, a bunch of jacked-up white gangsters in a Cadillac with a million in ice in the trunk, and half the black population of LA staring in through the windows. Now Louie is a listening-post; people who want to know what's going on in the criminal world of the San Fernando Valley go to him. So anyway, someone's taken a shot at Junior and Junior has called Louie, and the conversation wanders.

I said, “He gave me money.”

“Yeah?” Louie waved the cigar smoke away. “You in the giving vein?”

“You've been going to your extension course. 'Richard III,' right?” Crooks have more time than most people for self-improvement, but Louie was one of the few I knew who took advantage of it.

“Wouldn't miss it. Good old Richard, nothing stopped him.”

“I always had trouble keeping the kings straight,” I said. “All those Richards and Henrys.”

“Naaahhh. They're a snap. Kings are just crooks with better hats.” He leaned forward. “But tell me something, how the hell do you multiply and divide with Roman numerals?” He sucked long and happily on the cigar and then used the little tool he poked the cigar tip with to scratch the surface of the table. “Let's say four Dukes stick up some minor palace, okay? They get, I don't know, CCCMMXXXVIII shillings. Then they gotta divide that by IV.” He scratched the problem, division sign and all, on the table, and regarded it. “I mean, come on. Look at that.”

I said, “It probably came down to who had the biggest gun.”

Okay, it's not “Saturday Night Live,” but writing stuff like this is enormous fun, especially since I never know what anyone is going to say. I laughed pretty much the whole time I wrote the book.

And that made me distrust it. The best-received books I've written (critically, that is) were the two that gave me the hardest time. THE QUEEN OF PATPONG, which has been nominated this year for both an Edgar and a Macavity, gave me so much trouble that I tossed it, twice. The old American Puritan streak in me surfaced and created an equation: difficult = good.

So I actually parked LITTLE ELVISES for a year before I did anything with it, so I could let my enthusiasm cool and allow the fat to rise. And when I went back to it, I loved it.

So this is what I've learned. I have no idea when I'm writing, whether I'm writing well or poorly. I can be having a terrible time and getting good stuff, or I can be loving it and turning out dreck. In the case of LITTLE ELVISES (although I'm not the one who should say it) I turned out a pretty good book while having a lot of fun.

I guess the moral of all this is that, fun or not, I have to write. There's no gift for the reader in an unwritten page.

Timothy Hallinan is the author of the Poke Rafferty Bangkok Thrillers, the Simeon Grist Mysteries, and the Junior Bender Mysteries. His most recent Bangkok book, THE QUEEN OF PATPONG was nominated this year for both the Edgar and the Macavity awards for Best Novel. In 2010 he began to write the Junior Bender books as ebook originals, an experiment he has greatly enjoyed. The first of those is CRASHED and the second is LITTLE ELVISES. Hallinan lives in Los Angeles and Southeast Asia.

Today's Vintage Ad

Get a Rope!

About 325,000 Items Missing from Houston Libraries: One look at the Houston Public Library's delinquency records is enough to both buoy and sink the hearts of book-lovers: Borrowers seem to like the printed word so much that they've failed to return 243,102 books since 1999.

In all, 119,558 library patrons have taken 325,000 items from the system since 1999, according to a Houston Chronicle analysis of the delinquency database.

No Comment Department

ABC Buys ‘Jekyll & Hyde’-Inspired Drama Project From Sheldon Turner: Turner and Klein will executive produce the project, described as an odd buddy show where the buddies happen to be the same person.


Ernest Jason Fredricks, Cry Flood!, Ace, 1959

Nick Ashford, R. I. P. Nick Ashford, one-half of the legendary Motown songwriting duo Ashford & Simpson who penned elegant, soulful classics for the likes of Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye and funk hits for Chaka Khan and others, died Monday, his former publicist said. He was 70.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

They're Everywhere!

Firefighter captures alligator in Rhode Island river

Hat tip to Ted Fitzgerald.

You Can Probably Guess Which of these Places I've Been

World's 12 worst tourist traps

6 Shockingly Affordable Sci-Fi Inventions

6 Shockingly Affordable Sci-Fi Inventions

Today's Western Movie Poster

Hell on Wheels -- Latest in the Rancho Diablo Series! Hell On Wheels (Rancho Diablo) eBook: Colby Jackson: Kindle Store: Everyone in Shooter's Cross knows that Mike Tucker isn't a ranch hand. He's a shootist, lightning quick and totally lethal with his Tranter pistols.

Jenny Blaylock has always been nervous around Tucker because he knows he's a stone cold killer. Something's broken inside Tucker, and she's afraid that he's going to get her family hurt.

But when her husband Sam is out of town and her daughter is kidnapped by a ruthless gang, Jenny has no choice but to saddle up and ride with Tucker. The trail is long and hard, and she knows its going to end in sudden death, hellfire and gunsmoke.

20 Celebrities With Stunning Home Libraries

20 Celebrities With Stunning Home Libraries

10 Awesomely Bad Films with Cult Followings

10 Awesomely Bad Films with Cult Followings

Bill Trojan, R. I. P.

Fan and publisher Bill Trojan died on August 21 in his hotel room shortly after the end of Renovation. Trojan was a Eugene, Oregon, area fan. Trojan had been in Reno for the convention, where he was working as a volunteer.

Hat tip to Steve Stilwell.

Forgotten Films: Strangers When We Meet

My recent Evan Hunter kick reminded me that I read Strangers When We Meet more than 50 years ago, probably right before or right after I saw the movie based on it. I remember being impressed by both. Sure, they're soap opera, but they're great soap opera.

Kirk Douglas plays a bored young architect who enters into an adulterous affair with Kim Novak. If you're a whippersnapper who's never seen Kim Novak, you're in for a treat. She was one of the great beauties of the era, and she's also a fine actress. And check out the rest of the cast: Walter Matthau, Ernie Kovacs, Barbara Rush, and more.

And then there's the setting, the suburbia of the late '50s. The Eisenhower years. The movie captures that time and place as well as anything you'll ever see. The morality is pure '50s, too, and while it might seem quaint now, remember that the '60s loomed ahead. A change was gonna come.

Strangers When We Meet


Monday, August 22, 2011

Jerry Leiber, R. I. P.

Jerry Leiber of songwriting team Leiber and Stoller dies at 78 - Jerry Leiber, who with his songwriting partner Mike Stoller created a songbook that infused the rock 'n' roll scene of the 1950s and early '60s with energy and mischievous humor, has died. He was 78.

Leiber, the words half of the duo, died Monday at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles of cardiopulmonary failure, said Randy Poe, president of the songwriters’ publishing company.

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985 and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, Leiber and his lifelong writing partner, Stoller, wrote hits that included Elvis Presley's rat-a-tat-tat rendition of "Hound Dog" in 1956 and Peggy Lee's 1969 recording of the jaded "Is That All There Is?"

But they may be best remembered for the ebullient, impudent hits written for�the Clovers ("Love Potion No. 9"), the Drifters ("Ruby Baby"), the Cheers ("Black Denim Trousers and Motorcycle Boots"), the Robins ("Smokey Joe's Cafe," "Riot in Cell Block No. 9") and, especially, a Robins' spinoff group that Leiber and Stoller helped create, the Coasters ("Searchin'," "Yakety Yak," "Poison Ivy," "Charlie Brown," "Down in Mexico," "Little Egypt").

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention CLAN eBook: Harry Shannon: Kindle Store: They have been among us for thousands of years. One mysterious gene they carry lies dormant—until they change.

Joe Case is an ex-cop searching for the man who humiliated his sister. Kelly McCammon is a Hollywood executive running from the Russian mob.

Destiny leads them to tiny Salt Lick, Nevada…A town under siege.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

In Texas schools, response to misbehavior is questioned - The Washington Post: In Texas, the specter of harsh discipline has been especially clear.

Here, police issue tickets: Class C misdemeanor citations for offensive language, class disruption, schoolyard fights. Thousands of students land in court, with fines of up to $500. Students with outstanding tickets may be arrested after age 17.

The Adjustment Bureau

Since I knew this movie was based on a story by P. K. Dick, I was expecting a good dose of paranoia, and that's just what I got. The less said about the plot, the better, so I'll just give you the basics.

Matt Damon plays David Norris. Once the country's youngest congressman, he's now running for the senate. He and Emily Blunt, meet cute in a men's room. They immediately feel a powerful attraction to each other, but there are forces intent on keeping them apart.

Do we have free will, or are all our actions part of some bigger plan? What part does chance play in our lives? Those are the questions raised in the movie.

Matt Damon gives a performance that makes you wish he'd actually run for office, and Emily Blunt is fine, too. If you're looking for a little romantic fantasy, this movie might be the answer. Check it out.

Today's Vintage Ad

You Know You Want One

The Thuggie!

Link via Neatorama.


Leslie Waller, 'K,' Gold Medal, 1963

Ross Barbour, R. I. P.

The Four Freshmen Society: Ross Barbour, the last of the founding members of the Four Freshmen, passed away on Saturday, August 20, 2011.

Readers of this Blog Will Not Be Surprised When prospective drug customers visited Izek Tuggle’s Corson Street apartment, the alleged drug dealer reportedly showed off a four-and-a-half foot alligator to intimidate them, according to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office.

Hat tip to Jeff Segal.

Rhode Island Leads the Way

Yahoo! Finance: There is a strong indication that home builders have almost ceased activity in several states as demand for newly built homes has dwindled. The slowdown in new home permits is particularly stark when compared to the total number of existing homes in each state. 24/7 Wall St. examined the number of building permits to find the states where no one wants to buy a new home.

Today's Western Movie Poster

Texas Doesn't Lead the Way

10 Great Places to Eat from a Food Truck

Where Are They Now?

Where do 'Big Lebowski' stars abide today?

Somehow I've Missed Every Single One

Ten iconic travel experiences : Cultural Activities

Nine foods that fight fatigue

Nine foods that fight fatigue

City For Conquest


Sunday, August 21, 2011

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Running Wylde eBook: Paul Bishop: Kindle Store: Best known for his police thrillers featuring LAPD homicide detective Fey Croaker and her crew of detectives, Paul Bishop is also an accomplished writer of short stories. The tales contained in Running Wylde run the gamut from dark and twisted to humorous to touching personal memoir pieces. Each tale is finely crafted and swiftly told.

Included in this volume is an extensive introduction in which Paul talks about combining his writing career with his other full time gig as a veteran detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. Each story also has its own introduction describing its origins and purpose.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention UNIDENTIFIED eBook: Billie Sue Mosiman: Kindle Store: From an Edgar and Stoker Nominated author comes a true novel of suspense.

Karl LaRosa is living the good life as a Hollywood agent. He's got the best clients, the finest car and home, plenty of lovers, and the world by the tail. Then someone starts stalking him, running him off the road, vandalizing his house, and so much more. Why was his life crumbling right before his eyes? What had he done to deserve such an enemy?

What he doesn't know is that the events in his life follow the script of a murder movie being filmed, a film he's involved in. Can Karl solve the mystery of his increasingly bold assailant before he falls victim to a particularly gruesome death? His stalker is Unidentified. Which one of those involved with the new film is a killer? Karl LaRosa is presented with a paradox he needs to solve--he has to--his life depends on it.

Workshop Opportunity if You're in the Central Texas Area

Here's a workshop that will be both fun and informative. If you want to add some authenticity to your crime scenes or if you are a CSI junkie, this is the one for you.

Where: The Brazos Center, 3232 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan, TX

When: September 10, 2011, 8:30-4:00

Lunch will be provided


Suzanne Lowe and Jorge Molina, Evidential Artists, Texas Rangers

Jeff Tomberlin, Forensic Entomologist, Texas A&M University

Steve Smith, Cognitive Psychologist, Texas A&M University

Speaker bios can be found at

Learn how police artists give a name and a face to human remains.

Learn how criminologists use insects to determine time of death.

Learn the value of eye witness testimony and the fallibility of memory.

To register or to find out more, go to

Brazos Writers is an affiliate of the Arts Council of the Brazos Valley. Out mission is to support writers of every genre.

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Tom De Haven, U. S. S. A. Book 1, Avon, 1987

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Hugo Award Winners


2011 Hugo Award Winners

2100 valid voting ballots were counted, 2086 electronic and 14 by postal mail.

Best Novel (1813 ballots)
Blackout/All Clear by Connie Willis (Ballantine Spectra)

Best Novella (1467 ballots)
The Lifecycle of Software Objects by Ted Chiang (Subterranean)

Best Novelette (1469 ballots)
“The Emperor of Mars” by Allen M. Steele (Asimov’s, June 2010)

Best Short Story (1597 ballots)
“For Want of a Nail” by Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s, September 2010)

Best Related Work (1220 ballots)
Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It, edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea (Mad Norwegian)

Best Graphic Story (1263 ballots)
Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse, written by Phil and Kaja Foglio; art by Phil Foglio; colors by Cheyenne Wright (Airship Entertainment)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form (1755 ballots)
Inception, written and directed by Christopher Nolan (Warner)

Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form (1466 ballots)
Doctor Who: “The Pandorica Opens/The Big Bang,” written by Steven Moffat; directed by Toby Haynes (BBC Wales)

Best Editor, Short Form (983 ballots)
Sheila Williams

Best Editor, Long Form (898 ballots)
Lou Anders

Best Professional Artist (1304 ballots)
Shaun Tan

Best Semiprozine (1112 ballots)
Clarkesworld, edited by Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan, Sean Wallace; podcast directed by Kate Baker

Best Fanzine (870 ballots)
The Drink Tank, edited by Christopher J Garcia and James Bacon

Best Fan Writer (814 ballots)
Claire Brialey

Best Fan Artist (993 ballots)
Brad W. Foster

John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (1138 ballots)
Lev Grossman

Link via Lawrence Person.

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'Til We Meet Again