Saturday, October 01, 2011

Beatles Update

The Beatles' First Ever Recordings To Be Released As 'The Beatles With Tony Sheridan: First Recordings'

No Comment Department

The New Yorker

Today's Vintage Ad

Great Site for Browsing

Good Show Sir - Only the worst Sci-fi/Fantasy book covers


Donn Broward (E. E. Halleran), Convention Queen, Ace, 1960

They Are So Wrong about Denise Richards

Hollywood's Worst Casting Choices - Photo Gallery - LIFE

10 Crazy Science Experiments That Wound Up In Your Kitchen

10 Crazy Science Experiments That Wound Up In Your Kitchen

Today's Western Movie Poster

I For One Welcome Our New Gill-Bearing Overlords

Fish caught on video using a rock to break open a clam

And Keep Off His Ice Pack!

Belgian eccentric who sees everything in black and white... because he thinks he's a penguin | Mail Online: The 79-year-old, nicknamed 'Monsieur Pingouin' (Mr Penguin) dons his favourite hooded black-and-white penguin costume when he takes trips out in local neighbourhood of Schaerbeek.

Mystery Enema WBAGNFARB

California Authorities Still Puzzled by Mystery Enema

Indestructible Duck WBAGNFARB An indestructible duck hit by a car at almost 100kmh survived with bruises after getting stuck inside the vehicle's grill for a day.

Neptune's Daughter

Friday, September 30, 2011

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention The Hungry eBook: Harry Shannon, Steven Booth: Kindle Store: Sheriff Penny Miller of Flat Rock, Nevada, is the kind of woman who will do whatever it takes to protect those she is sworn to serve, even when that includes a murderous biker, her wimpy ex-husband, a unit of incompetent National Guardsmen, and even the scientist responsible for releasing the undead upon an unsuspecting world.

If you're one of the tens of thousands of people who read the free short story, ‘Jailbreak,’ also by Booth and Shannon, this is your opportunity to find out what happens after that terrifying first night of the zombie apocalypse. And those of you encountering The Hungry for the first time are in for the ride of your life. Remember... Aim for the head!

The Biggest Bargain at Bouchercon . . .

. . . was Mystery Scene #11, which could be had at Maggie Mason's table in the dealers' room for a measly two bucks. It's from 1987, and I'm surprised people didn't snap up all the copies just for the photo on the cover alone. But it's the inside that's the real nostalgia trip. There's an interview conducted by the late Ellen Nehr, one of the great fans and a unique personality if ever there was one. There's a letter from Stephen Wright in which he cancels his subscription because he claims that editors Randisi and Gorman won't review his books in the magazine because they aren't published by "the commercial press." There's a letter from Michael Avallone (speaking of unique personalities) in which he rants about Stephen King, among other things. A book review by Charles Willeford. A short article by Willam R. Cox. There are columns by Max Allan Collins, Clark Howard, William Campbell Gault, Richard Laymon, Charles L. Grant, Jan Grape, and others. Book reviews, ads, photos. And lots more.

I'm sure some of the names above aren't familiar to the whippersnappers, who also don't remember the famous magician who appeared at the Bouchercon banquet in 1987. He's not mentioned in the article touting the convention, but I remember him well. At that banquet, I was awarded the Anthony for Best First Novel. Like a lot of the people I mentioned above, I used to be somebody. It seems like only yesterday.

My original copy of this magazine is at Texas A&M now, so I had to have this one just to read and remember. Great stuff. Maggie had a lot of copies that weren't sold. Too bad so many people missed out, but at least I'm giving you a look at that cover.

Gator Update (Sky Mall Edition)

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Today's Vintage Ad

Ig Nobel Prize Winners

Reuters: Prognosticators who predicted the end of the world and got it wrong, scientists who built a wasabi fire alarm, and researchers who studied how the urge to urinate affects decision-making were among the winners of spoof Ig Nobel prizes on Thursday.


David Knight (Richard S. Prather), Dragnet Case No. 561, Pocket Books, 1956

The Origins of 7 Common Superstitions

The Origins of 7 Common Superstitions

Flannery O’Connor’s Backward Chicken: 5 Authors Famous for Something Else

Flannery O’Connor’s Backward Chicken: 5 Authors Famous for Something Else

6 Laws You've Broken Without Even Realizing Ii

6 Laws You've Broken Without Even Realizing It

Today's Western Movie Poster

Collectible Color Plates: Color Your Shelf

AbeBooks: Collectible Color Plates: Color Your Shelf: Most people familiar with AbeBooks will have seen the words ‘color plate’ used in association with certain rare book listings. Plates are whole page illustrations printed separately from the text (illustrations printed within the text are called cuts) and naturally color plates feature color illustrations.

To some book collectors, the golden age of color plates had to be the Victorian era where countless books were produced on flora and fauna complete with numerous color illustrations of everything from moths and butterflies to grasses and alpine plants. However, many subjects are addressed in color plate books, including satirical cartoons, sporting scenes, landscapes, costumes, fairy tales and architecture.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Houston News - Hair Balls: ​Man, the Houston Police Department is starting to seem less like a police force and more like the world's biggest frat party these days. Hard on the heels of the dismissal of one veteran cop for driving to work drunk off his ass and crashing into a (luckily almost empty) school bus, comes an allegation that three other boys in blue chomped down on some pot brownies they had seized in a drug raid.

The 20 Best Books for Language Lovers

The 20 Best Books for Language Lovers

Forgotten Books: Don't Dig Deeper -- William Francis

When I pulled this off the shelf the other day for a PaperBack feature, I figured I might as well read it. After all, there are times when nothing will do but a private-eye novel from the old days, one that uses plenty of the conventions (I never call them clichés) that we know and love.

This is a "one man against municipal corruption" book in the Red Harvest vein. Steve Cash is a private-eye who doesn't really want to get involved. But then he gets pushed around and beaten up, so he decides he's going to bring down the whole rotten system. Of course the fact that he has a paying client and a murder to investigate has something to do with it.

The plot is a little complicated, there's lots of shooting, and Cash takes a few more beatings. He does what he set out to do, but the ending's a bit more downbeat than you might expect. Solid stuff.

(Francis, full name William Francis Urell) also wrote as Curtis Lucas.)

Black Dragons

Thursday, September 29, 2011


The Raw Story: People around the world are happiest in the morning, according to a US study on Thursday that analyzed hundreds of millions of messages on the microblogging site Twitter.

Cornell University sociologists used language software to detect the presence of positive words in 509 million tweets from 2.4 million users in 84 different countries over a two-year period.

Archaeology Update

Pictures: Ancient Chariot Fleet, Horses Unearthed in China: Overall, 5 chariots and 12 horse skeletons were found in the tomb pit, according to China's state-sponsored Xinhua news service. Archaeologists believe the tomb was dug as part of the funeral rites of a minister or other nobleman during the Eastern Zhou dynasty period, about 2,500 years ago.

Yet Another . . . Never Mind

The Most Powerful Women in Business

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Jerry Haynes, 'Mr. Peppermint,' R. I. P.

Jerry Haynes, 'Mr. Peppermint,' dies at 84 | Dallas - Fort Worth: Few broadcasters had a bigger impact on North Texas than Jerry Haynes, who has died at age 84.

He died Monday morning at a nursing facility in Longview from complications due to Parkinson's Disease with family at his side.

"I helped raise families you know," Haynes said in a 2008 interview with News 8. "So, I was in people's living rooms every day as they were getting dressed and eating their cereal. So I'm a buddy. They saw me. I didn't see them."

I remember him well from Dallas Bandstand.

Sylvia Robinson, R. I. P.

'Mother of Hip-Hop' Sylvia Robinson dies, aged 75 - Music News - Digital Spy: Sylvia Robinson, the woman known as the 'Mother of Hip-Hop', has died today at the age of 75.

The singer-turned-producer passed away this morning at Meadowlands Hospital in Secaucus, New Jersey,

Family spokesman Greg Walker told Sister 2 Sister that Robinson suffered from ill health for several months before dying from congestive heart failure.

Robinson was known for her hit singles 'Pillow Talk' and 'Love Is Strange' - the latter released with Mickey Baker as Mickey & Sylvia - before co-founding Sugar Hill Records with her husband Joe and Milton Malden.

Tony Bennett Update

MSN Music News: Singer Tony Bennett has scored his first No. 1 album at the age of 85.

The veteran's "Duets II" release has rocketed to the top of the Billboard 200 chart, thanks in part to much-publicized collaborations with Lady Gaga and the late Amy Winehouse, making Bennett the oldest living act to reach the top spot -- beating Bob Dylan's two-year-old record.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

CBS Dallas / Fort Worth: A Collin County business offering customers a break on the price of an oil change is requiring a little more than just bringing in a coupon.

Customers are being asked to quote a Bible verse, and some of them are finding out that if they won’t it will cost them.

It Can Happen Here

The Future Of Books: A Dystopian Timeline

The Most Ridiculous Covers of Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane

The Most Ridiculous Covers of Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane

Fearsome Foursome 2001

Today's Vintage Ad

6 Parodies That Succeeded Because Nobody Got the Joke

6 Parodies That Succeeded Because Nobody Got the Joke

Banned Books Week

Books Banned in Texas


David Knight (Richard S. Prather), Pattern for Murder, Graphic, 1952

Gator Update (Texas Greeting Edition)

Alligator Greets Woman at Front Door

You Can Help a Hungry Croc!


10 Fascinating Kidnappings

10 Fascinating Kidnappings

Today's Western Movie Poster

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Sex Bid Rebuffed, Woman Hits Man, Is Nailed By Cops

10 Most Laughable Movie Accents of All Time

10 Most Laughable Movie Accents of All Time

Banned Books Week

ALA |: Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009

Forgotten Music -- Billy Ward and his Dominoes

I loved this group when I was a youngster, but I had a some misconceptions about it. For example, I didn't know a thing about all the personnel changes it went through. And I didn't know that Billy Ward wasn't the lead singer. He owned the group and played keyboards, but others did the vocals. One of the group's biggest hits was "Sixty Minute Man," which we thought was pretty racy back in the '50s. The lead was sung by bass Bill Brown on this one.

But Brown didn't sing lead often. Ward's group was blessed with three of the great R&B leads of the '50s. (See if you don't agree.) The first of them was Clyde McPhatter, who sang on some of the early hits.

When McPhatter departed, Jackie Wilson, who'd been coached by McPhatter, took over the lead parts.

After Wilson left, Gene Mumford took over the lead, and the group had a few more hits. Here's one.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Carl Hiaasen, Hero

The Associated Press: Fla. welfare applicants less likely to use drugs: Preliminary figures on a new Florida law requiring drug tests for welfare applicants show that they are less likely than other people to use drugs, not more. One famous Floridian suggests that it's the people who came up with the law who should be submitting specimens.
Columnist and best-selling author Carl Hiaasen offered to pay for drug testing for all 160 members of the Florida Legislature in what he called "a patriotic whiz-fest." Several of the law's supporters say they're on board.
"There is a certain public interest in going after hypocrisy," Hiaasen said Tuesday, two days after he made his proposal in a Miami Herald column.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Home Truths: A Deep East Texas Memory (9780875654355): Gerald Duff: Books: From dealing with intrusive family members to judgmental classmates to marital bliss and misery, Duff’s memoir describes situations familiar to anyone who has ever lived in a small town. Experiences unfamiliar to the youths of today include growing up during World War II and the descriptions of propaganda tactics, hunting for your own meals, and dealing with the social mores of the 1950s and 1960s. Other occurrences however, such as working a summer job and the awkwardness of first dates, speak to people of every generation, young and old. �

Early in life Duff learned to tell lies as a survival mechanism against his meddling family and occasionally cruel classmates. He describes the ordeal of hiding both his domestic situation and his talent for the written word. Duff’s talents for lies and half-truths helped him not only to discover a hidden talent within himself, but also a future career.

Johnny Wright, R. I. P.

The Associated Press: Country music pioneer Johnny Wright dies at 97: Johnny Wright, a country music pioneer who had hits as a singer in the duo Johnnie and Jack and guided the career of his wife, Kitty Wells, died early Tuesday. He was 97.

Close family friend Eddie Stubbs said Wright died of natural causes around 1 a.m. at his home. He had been in failing health for some time. Stubbs said that as a lifelong Nashville resident, Wright was a witness to most of country music's greatest moments.

World's Fastest Couch

Evolution Motorsport set new world record after motorised sofa hit 163km/h at Camden Airport

Link via Neatorama.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces 2012 Nominees for Induction

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Announces 2012 Nominees for Induction

"Country" Johnny Mathis, R. I. P.

"Country" Johnny Mathis Dead at 80 - The Boot: "Country" Johnny Mathis, a singer and songwriter credited with penning more than 400 tunes over the course of his 60-plus-year career, died yesterday (Sept. 27) in Nashville. He was 80.

Mexico Update

NBC Miami: Five severed heads were left in a bag near a Mexican primary school, the latest example of the ruthless violence plaguing the country.

Police were not able to determine if the grisly find, in an Acapulco neighborhood, was connected to extortion threats against teachers. Some 140 schools have closed their doors in recent weeks due to frightened teachers going on strike, according to The Associated Press.

Patti Abbott's Flash Fiction Challenge

pattinase: Flash Fiction Challenge: Reginald Marsh is a painter I am very fond of. He considered his work to be social realism and most of his scenes were from New York in the twenties and thirties.

You can find many examples of his work if you just google-image his name.

Challenge: Write a story in any genre of under 1000 words based on one of Marsh's paintings. If you don't have a blog, I will post it.

End date: Three weeks from today, October 18th.

I will donate $5.00 for every story submitted to Union Settlement, a social service
agency in East Harlem servicing 16, 000 people, with a minimum contribution of $100. This agency is near and dear to our family and badly in need of donations in these times.

Lawrence Block Goes Indie!

Alert the media: LB GOES INDIE!

Today's Vintage Ad

Yet Another List I'm Not On

Just as well, this time.

10 Teachers Who Turned Into Infamous Criminals

First It Was the Topless Co-Ed Pulp Fiction Reading Society . . . .

Library Hunks Remove Clothes for a Cause

Times Square ‘noir’

Times Square ‘noir’ - The Great White Way is going dark.

A new $27 million plan to redesign Times Square’s famed “bow tie” calls for an atmospheric “film noir” look for the five-block area, featuring permanent pedestrian plazas with a smooth, dark pavement studded with reflective metal disks designed to recapture the gritty feel of the city’s past.


Douglas Ring (Richard S. Prather), The Peddler, Lion Books, 1952

All Righty, Then

NBC Miami: An 18-year-old Florida girl accused of helping lure a 16-year-old boy into a fatal trap says she's a vampire who has drunk the blood of her boyfriend.

Just One More Little Thing…(The Charm of Columbo) |

Just One More Little Thing…(The Charm of Columbo)

Blast from the Past (1998)

I Found a Penny in the Street Last Week

8 Amazing Garage Sale Finds

Today's Western Movie Poster

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Houston Chronicle: After a Houston pastor's wife was shot execution-style in her garage last year, police suspected her husband.

They later came to charge the pastor, his son and the woman who was dating both men.

Pastor Tracy Bernard "T.B." Burleson distracted Pauletta Burleson with a shouting match so his 21-year-old son could creep up and shoot her in the head for part of her life insurance money, prosecutors said Monday.

You Know Adrenaline Junkies Who You Are

10 Best Jobs for Adrenaline Junkies

The Top 10 Books Lost to Time

The Top 10 Books Lost to Time

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

NBC Dallas-Fort Worth: A suspended University of Texas fraternity hazed recruits and hired performers for live sex shows, according to a lawsuit filed by the fraternity's national organization that seeks to recover more than $200,000 in money and property from its former local chapter.

The Bat

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

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

Pulp Modern Autumn 2011: The inaugural issue of Pulp Modern, a quarterly dedicated to crime, fantasy, and western fiction. Includes new stories by Jimmy Callaway, James Duncan, C.J. Edwards, Garnett Elliott, Melissa Embry, Edward A. Grainger, Glenn Gray, David James Keaton, John Kenyon, Chris La Tray, Yarrow Paisley, Matthew Pizzolato, Thomas Pluck, Stephen D. Rogers, Sandra Seamans, Copper Smith and a classic tale by pulp fiction pioneer Lawrence Block. (Edited by Alec Cizak)

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Find Her (A Mike Dalmas Story) eBook: Jochem Vandersteen: Kindle Store: A Trestle Press original digital short story series by Jochem Vandersteen:

“ Husband, father, vigilante... Mike Dalmas left Special Forces to become a dedicated family man, but when his daughter gets molested he had his revenge, killing the pervert who committed the crime.
Now the Bay City cops keep him out of jail if he takes care of their dirty work. The things their badge won't allow them to do but for which Dalmas has the right skill set.
Mike Dalmas is blackmailed in saving a young girl from a known sex offender. The cops want him to find her before she dies or loses the will to live. The clock is ticking... Will Dalmas be prepared what is needed to find her in time?”

Dead Sea Scrolls Update

International Business Times: The ancient texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls are online for the first time ever (with translation) thanks to a partnership between the Israel Museum in Jerusalem and Google.

Hat tip to Angela Crider.

Asterix Update

BBC News: Asterix creator Albert Uderzo is handing over the reins to a younger artist after 52 years drawing the famous comic book hero.

Hat tip to Richard Prosch.

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

Tennessee Leads the Way

10 States With The Most Sales Tax

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Today's Vintage Ad

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Northwest Florida Daily News: After a few too many drinks, a woman came home and resumed an argument with her boyfriend that began earlier that day. She also poured alcohol all over the floor and “kicked the dog repeatedly,” before she began to hit and scratch her boyfriend.

The Snake Had It Coming Riley County police were called to a home last Friday where they found the man throwing a boa constrictor to the ground repeatedly.


C. L. Moore, Jirel of Joiry, Ace, 1982

Archaeology Update (Croc Edition)

Science World: The fossilized remains of a 60-million-year-old, long-extinct, freshwater relative to the modern crocodile have been found by University of Florida researchers.

The 20-foot-long, fish-eating ancient crocodile is believed to be the first known land animal from the Paleocene New World tropics. It was discovered in the same northeastern Colombian coal mine as titanoboa, the world’s largest snake.

Here's the Plot for Your Next Underwater Treasure Thriller

The Raw Story: When the SS Gairsoppa was torpedoed by a German U-boat, it took its huge silver cargo to a watery grave. Seventy years later, US divers said they are working to recover what may well be the biggest shipwreck haul ever.

Florida-based Odyssey Marine Exploration on Monday confirmed the identity and location of the Gairsoppa and cited official documents indicating the ship was carrying some 219 tons of silver coins and bullion when it sank in 1941 in the North Atlantic some 300 miles (490 kilometers) off the Irish coast.

That's worth about $200 million today, which would make it history's largest recovery of precious metals lost at sea, Odyssey said.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee . . .

Off the Beat with Will Greenlee: "He said that they got into an argument over porn," the report states. "She told him to get away from her and he did not. She then grabbed a golf club and started beating him with it."

Today's Western Movie Poster

Gator Update (Mudbogging Edition Update)

Detroit Free Press | Two of the three men accused of stealing a stuffed alligator and taking it mudbogging, have entered a plea in the case.

Croc Update (Friendship Edition)

"Chito" and His Crocodile "Pocho": A 20 Year Friendship

The Woman Who Shocked America: Shirley Jackson

AbeBooks: The Woman Who Shocked America: Shirley Jackson: Born in 1916, Shirley Jackson shocked the literary world with her short story, The Lottery. Published in June 1948 in the The New Yorker, The Lottery is considered one of the most famous short stories in the history of American literature. (Spoiler alert - ending of short story is revealed below)

Shirley Jackson began her literary career early through her involvment with the Syracuse University campus literary magazine. It was there that she met her future husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman - a noted literary critic. The Hymans ultimately settled in Vermont while Stanley worked as a professor at Bennington College and Shirley focused on her writing. Jackson was quoted in Twentieth Century Authors (1954) as saying, "our major exports are books and children, both of which we produce in abundance". The Hymans had four children - all who figured prominently in many of Jackson's short stories. Life Among the Savages, a memoir written by Jackson in 1953, was described by her as, "a disrespectful memoir of my children". Friends of the family described them as "colorful, generous hosts" and both were avid readers with a library estimated to be over 100,000 books.

Much more at the link.

Forgotten Films: Heartbreak Hotel

Judy and I saw this movie when it opened in 1988, and we loved it. We must have been the only ones because it disappeared soon afterward. It's set in 1972, and it's the story of a kid who kidnaps Elvis Presley to cheer up his depressed mother, played by Tuesday Weld.

David Keith looks nothing much like Elvis, and he sure doesn't sing like him, but he's absolutely convincing as E. at the stage of his career when he might have saved himself if he'd had the gumption. Watching this movie, you'll wish he had, if you didn't already. Tuesday Weld is great and lovely and should have had a much better film career. Charlie Schlatter is very good as her son, and in fact the entire cast is excellent. There are some wonderful scenes, like the one where Schlatter's character tells off Elvis for letting his career go into the dumper and the one where Elvis sings with Schlatter's band.

The movie was filmed in Texas, and it was nice to see the familiar locations. The hotel is actually Green Pastures, an Austin restaurant where Judy and I ate a couple of times when I was in grad school (we couldn't afford it more than that). It's still there, and I'm sure it's still expensive. We got a kick out of seeing it in the movie.

I thought Heartbreak Hotel would be a big hit, but it was far from it. Sometimes a movie seems to be made just for me, and I guess this is one of them.

Heartbreak Hotel

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sara Warneke (a.k.a. Sara Douglass), R. I. P.

SF Signal: RIP: Sara Warneke (a.k.a. Sara Douglass): Locus Online is reporting that Australian author Sara Warneke, who most folks know as bestselling fantasy novelist Sara Douglass, passed away today from cancer.

Warneke works included BattleAxe (1995), Starman (1996), Enchanter (1996), and The Wounded Hawk (2001), as well as the Wayfarer Redemption series, the Crucible trilogy, and the Darkglass Mountain series.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Interesting Books to Your Attention Killing Ways 2: Urban Stories eBook: Steven Torres: Kindle Store: Hard luck, hard knock, hot and cold blooded killers, criminals, and the people they collide with.

False confessions: Silence is golden

The Economist: People have a strange and worrying tendency to admit to things they have not, in fact, done

You Knew Someone Would Try It Sooner or Later

BBC News: A few million virtual monkeys are close to re-creating the complete works of Shakespeare by randomly mashing keys on virtual typewriters.

A running total of how well they are doing shows that the re-creation is 99.990% complete.

The first single work to be completed was the poem A Lover's Complaint.

Help a Friend

Hawaiian Eye: Mark Troy on Crime Fiction: Help a Friend: Kevin Tipple, a fellow writer and a reviewer from Plano, Texas is experiencing extremely difficult times. Life keeps delivering him and his family body blows that have cost them their health and income. Without help, they will soon be homeless. They have encountered numerous roadblocks in their attempts to get assistance from the State of Texas. Friends from all over have donated generously, but it is still not enough. Now we are taking his case directly to Governor Rick Perry's office. Many of us have sent the email below. If any readers of this blog would join in the campaign, you help would be very much appreciated. We hope it will do some good. It can't hurt to try.

You can contact the Governor's office here:
http://governor. state.tx. us/contact/ assistance. aspx

For more on Kevin's situation, please visit his blog:
http://kevintipples corner.blogspot. com/

Read the rest of the post on Mark Troy's blog at the link above.

Lost and Found

Reuters: A French schoolboy has dug up a glass jar containing severed human fingers preserved in alcohol which police believe may belong to a local carpenter who lost four digits in an accident 30 years ago.

Link via Boing Boing.

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

Harry Shannon’s new novel CLAN has been marked down to 99 cents for a few days only!

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. Buy this thriller with a bit of horror today for only 99 cents – the price will increase soon.

Bouchercon Memories

On Saturday, Judy and I went to see Drive. (I reviewed the novel here. If you don't have time for the review, there's a brief but interesting comment from the publisher of the book that's worth a look.) I wanted to see the movie because I'd read and admired the book, of course, but also because I know Jim Sallis a little and think highly of him as a person and as a writer.

I enjoyed the movie quite a bit. Great cast, great look, fine performances (and gut-wrenchingly violent at times), but that's not what I wanted to talk about. See, thinking about driving and Jim Sallis caused me to remember the 1997 Bouchercon in Monterey. Jim and his wife, Karyn, were planning to fly into San Jose and drive down, and they invited me and Judy to ride along with them. So I've been driven by the creator of the Driver in Drive. Pretty neat, eh? It was great to be chauffeured by a great writer, and the conversation was good, too.

At the convention, Judy and I found ourselves in the Hospitality Room one day, and we struck up a conversation by a young writer who was sitting alone at a table. She'd just published her first novel, and since she had lived for a while in Waco, Texas, we enjoyed talking to her about her time there. I'll bet that was the last time Laura Lippman was ever alone at a Bouchercon, and while she probably doesn't remember the conversation, I certainly do.

But enough of the nostalgia and name-dropping. Paul McCartney once told me that it was in bad taste, so I'll just move along.

Arch West, R. I. P.

NBC Dallas-Fort Worth: Doritos are to be sprinkled over the grave of their creator during a graveside service later this week.

Arch West, of Dallas, is credited with creating the iconic snack chip after a family trip to San Diego in 1961.

According to West's daughter, Jana Hacker of Allen, her father was a Frito-Lay marketing executive when he pitched the idea for Doritos after seeing fried tortilla chips in San Diego.

Today's Vintage Ad

A Visual History of Literary References on 'The Simpsons'

A Visual History of Literary References on 'The Simpsons'

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Texan burns down house to return to prison - Houston Chronicle: Most inmates want out of the pen. Randall Lee Church burned a house down to get back inside.

Released in April after years of incarceration, he could not adjust. "Everything had gone fast forward without me," he said in a recent interview at Bexar County Jail.

Church, 46, pleaded guilty to arson and is going back to prison, where he spent 26 years for fatally stabbing a man.


C. L. Moore, Jirel of Joiry, Paperback Library, 1969

A Killer's Essence -- Dave Zeltserman

Earlier this month I mentioned this novel by Dave Zeltserman, but it wasn't yet available. Now it is. Check it out.

Top 10 Movies for Hypochondriacs

Top 10 Movies for Hypochondriacs

Today's Western Movie Poster

Words that annoy us all, you know

Words that annoy us all, you know.

I For One Do Not Welcome Our New Crazy Raspberry Overlords

Mail Online: Mr Ring explained: 'Your pet will not stay in the yard, you will not go in your yard because in a matter of minutes you will have hundreds of ants on you.'

Sounds Like Good News to Me

FCC's net-neut rules now official • The Register: The publication of the densely worded, profusely footnoted 42-page document makes it official: the FCC has come out strongly for what it deems to be "Preserving the Open Internet".

Riders of Death Valley

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What about the Family?

Funk legend Sly Stone homeless and living out of a van in Los Angeles

Today's Vintage Ad

Understatement of the Day

Human remains found in drum at the home of missing woman | Mail Online: Earlier police chief Tom Comey described the gruesome discovery in a 55-gallon drum as a 'significant development in the case.'

Get a Rope!

Santa Cruz Sentinel: Authorities were called to the 700 block of 41st Avenue Saturday afternoon for reports of an intoxicated woman abusing a duck.


C. L. Moore, Northwest Smith, Ace, 1982

No Comment Department A man found dead at the downtown flood wall was likely trying to retrieve a gun he tossed into the water to hide it from police, his brother said.

Planking, Batmanning, Mushrooming, . . Razor-Bombing

Yes, razor-bombing.

The 6 Most Horrifying Lies The Food Industry is Feeding You

The 6 Most Horrifying Lies The Food Industry is Feeding You

Today's Western Movie Poster

10 Days to More Powerful Thumbs? If you can exercise while playing video games, such as with the Nintendo Wii, why can't you exercise while text messaging? After all, nowadays, it seems that text messaging is the only exercise teens and young adults get anyway.

That's the idea behind Textercise, an exercise program that combines text messaging with aerobics.

Didn't Philip K. Dick Write a Story about This?

WFTV Orlando: Kissimmee drivers called Eyewitness News when they got some strange parking tickets, with next week’s date on them, on city blocks where there are no parking restriction signs.

Say It Ain't So!

Fiction Review: The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and C.M. Kornbluth. St. Martin’s Griffin, $14.99 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-00015-6: Pohl has attempted to make this classic novel relevant to modern readers with new references to Wal-mart, Enron, and Reagan, but the revisions only throw the 1950s attitudes and gender stereotypes into sharp relief, resulting in a dated, muddled mess.

Across the Rio Grande