Saturday, October 19, 2013

Pimpage: An Occasional Feature in Which I call Attention to Books of Interest Blackwell Chronicles Volume 2 eBook: Troy D. Smith: Kindle Store Award winning author Troy D. Smith presents six stories of the Blackwell family, originally from Tennessee, in this second volume of the Blackwell Chronicles. This volume of short stories follows a set of brothers and their kinfolk on their adventures (or misadventures, in some cases) from the American West and Frontier to the Australian Gold Rush. 

The stories in this collection include: 
"Blackwell Down Under," Caleb Blackwell seeks gold in Australia; 
"Blackwell the Highwayman," Duke Blackwell decides to see what it's like on the wrong side of the law; 
"The Blackwell Raid," Max Blackwell meets up with brother Jake to fight Comanches; 
"The Blackwell Gang," After leaving the owlhoot trail, Duke Blackwell is wanted for murders he didn't commit; "Blackwell's Star," Caleb Blackwell returns to America, tired of hunting gold; 
and "Blackwell Unchained," Jake Blackwell is a captured Union soldier during the War Between the States.

I Miss the Old Days

10 Vintage Photos Of Halloween At The White House

Song of the Day

▶ Diane Renay _ Kiss Me Sailor - YouTube:

His Initials Weren't J. R.

The First African-American Major League Baseball Player 

Today's Vintage Ad

Gators and Drugs -- Together Again

Drug search at home uncovers alligator living in hot tub


Nikki Content (Fan Nichols), Hideaway, Gold Medal, 1953

The Paperback Revolution

The Paperback Revolution: Half a century before e-books turned publishing upside down, a different format threatened to destroy the industry.

The Book Of Robert E. Howard #1 & #2

The Golden Age: JEFFREY JONES, The Book Of Robert E. Howard #1 & #2

You Mean It's Not French?


Link via The Presurfer.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

 Houston Chronicle: Authorities say a man from a Texas town called Gun Barrel City was caught with a loaded revolver in his carry-on bag at New York City's LaGuardia Airport.


Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe Comes to TV Thanks to ‘Castle’ Creator 

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Ex-Death Row Inmate Sets Up Scholarship on Behalf of His Houston Lawyer

Missle Monsters


Friday, October 18, 2013

Bum Phillips, R. I. P.

Ultimate Texans: Andrew “Bum” Phillips Jr., who spent half his adult life as a football coach and every waking moment as the personification of all things Texan, died Friday at his ranch in Goliad.

Lou Scheimer, R. I. P. It is a sad day for animation and fans of cartoons everywhere. Legendary animation giant Lou Scheimer has passed away. The Emmy and Grammy winning co-founder of Filmation was 85 years old.

Pimpage: An Occasional Feature in Which I call Attention to Books of Interest Emma Who Runs the World eBook: Neal Barrett Jr., Doug Potter: Kindle Store: The world is in a chaotic state and only seems to be getting worse. It's not an accident and it isn't the people everyone points to causing it. So who is responsible? The answer is Emma.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas Fifth-Graders Wear Fake Mustaches in War on Drugs, Because it Totally Makes Sense

Song of the Day

▶ Buggles - Video killed the radio star 1979 - YouTube:

The Hidden Easter Eggs That Link Star Wars and Indiana Jones

The Hidden Easter Eggs That Link Star Wars and Indiana Jones

Today's Vintage Ad

Not a Forgotten Book

How Stephen King's Wife Saved 'Carrie' and Launched His Career 

Set the DVR!  Syfy announced today that on Saturday, November 9, it will premiere its new movie about a sister and brother team, prospecting for gold in an underwater cave, who accidentally disturb a colony of blood-sucking amphibious predators, aka sea vampires, who can function on land without having to wait for some freakish weather system to wreak havoc on the area — just dim-witted gold-prospecting siblings. . . 

Perhaps more newsworthy, Syfy also announced that two weeks later, it finally will premiere the movie that was supposed to have started it all. Stonados will premiere on the network on Saturday, November 23.  It’s about — you know it’s coming — a freak weather system, that causes the hurling of deadly boulders. 


Brett Halliday (Davis Dresser), The Corpse Came Calling, Dell, 1955

Adam Scott And Amy Poehler Reunited The Cast Of "Hart To Hart"

Adam Scott And Amy Poehler Reunited The Cast Of "Hart To Hart"

Covers of a Forgotten Magazine

The Golden Age: AVON FANTASY READER, 1947-1952

Illinois Leads the Way

The Great American Menu: Foods Of The States, Ranked And Mapped

A Forgotten Magazine

Black Gate Blog Archive Galaxy Science Fiction, May 1951: A Retro-Review

Croc Update (Olympic Edition)

Croc And Awe: Caimans Swarm On Olympic Site  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Yet Another Forgotten Book

Black Gate Blog Archive  Vintage Treasures: Strange Eons by Robert Bloch

Gloria Lynne, R. I. P.

NY Daily News: New York-born jazz vocalist Gloria Lynne, known for her graceful phrasing and resonant tone, has died. The singer, most celebrated for the warming ballad “I Wish You Love,” succumbed to a heart attack Tuesday night at Columbus Rehabilitation Center in Newark.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Another Forgotten Book

Liberace’s Little-Known Cookbook 

Yes, Another Forgotten Book!

The Big Time by Fritz Leiber  

Link via SF Signal.

Early Morning in Alvin

Some places in Texas got a lot of rain the other day.  We didn't, but at least we got a rainbow.

Forgotten Books: Emerald Flash -- Charles Knief

Charles Knief won the PWA contest in 1995 with Sand Dollars, the first novel to feature John Caine, a private-eye/bodyguard in the Travis McGee vein.  Three other novels followed, and then . . . silence.  He was clearly planning to write more books in the series, as evidenced by this long and interesting interview.  If you're wondering what happened to him, Jochem Vandersteen tracked him down and has a short interview with him here.

A couple of people have done FFB posts on Sand Dollars.  You can read them here and here.  I read that one back in the '90s and also the second novel in the series, Diamond Head.  I saw this one on the shelf in a thrift store the other day and picked it up.  The influence of John D. MacDonald is evident from the title (Emerald Flash/A Flash of Green).  Plus, John Caine lives on his boat and has a weakness for helping women in distress.  Not to mention a penchant for soliloquies.  There are two women in Emerald Flash, one much more dangerous than the other.  Margo Halliday is on the run, accused of murdering her husband by the police and accuse of stealing a bunch of emeralds from Colombian smugglers by the Colombians.  Caine knows for sure she's guilty of the theft, since she pays him with emeralds for his protection.

The story is essentially one of escape and pursuit, as it turns out there's someone trying to kill Caine, too.  Caine is nothing if not tough and resourceful, and Halliday turns out to be something a bit different from what Caine first thought.  If you're looking for an entertaining adventure, this one fills the bill.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Houston Uglier than Detroit? Yikes!


Time to Curtail Sales of Parrots to Civilians

Man Arrested After Throwing Parrot at Cop

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Chipotle Employee Hospitalized after Being Attacked by Customer: An employee at a Seattle-area Chipotle restaurant was hospitalized Wednesday evening after a customer attacked him with a glass bottle of hot sauce. 

Interview with Bill Watterson

Mental Floss Exclusive: Our Interview with Bill Watterson!

Archaeology Update

Big clawed fossil had spider-like brain: Scientists have discovered the best-preserved nervous system in an ancient fossil. 

Dating back 520 million years, the clawed spider-like fossil shows clear evidence of a brain and of nerve cords running through the creature's trunk.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Time Magazine Cover: The United States of Texas: In this week's Time Magazine they asserts that Texas is the future of the country and that future is going to be complicated. The cover is a map of Texas broken down into individual states and pretty clever.

I Miss the Old Days

15 Old TV Characters Internet Would Have Loved

Song of the Day (For Geezerly Baseball Fans Everywhere)

Yet Another List I'm Not On

6 Inspiring Self-Publishing Success Stories (That Aren’t ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’)

22 Things That Belong In Every Bookworm's Dream Home

22 Things That Belong In Every Bookworm's Dream Home

Today's Vintage Ad

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The 25 Most Suspenseful Movies Ever Made


George F. Worts, Overboard, Popular Library, 1950

Here's the Plot for Your Next Big Prison Break Thriller

2 convicted killers mistakenly released from Florida prison: The Orlando Sentinel reported that Charles Walker and Joseph Jenkins, both 34, were released from the Franklin Correctional Institution in Carrabelle after officials received forged paperwork indicating the men's sentences had been reduced.

America's favorite beers by state.

Map: America's favorite beers by state.

Ummmmmmm, Fried Everything!

And of course Texas leads the way.

State Fair Of Texas: 2013 Big Tex Choice Awards Winners and Finalists

14 Words That Are Their Own Opposites

14 Words That Are Their Own Opposites   Hat tip to Doc Quatermass.

No Way

Yeti May Be A Big Brown Bear, DNA Tests Reveal

Yet Another List I'm Not On

Here's Your List Of The 9 Highest-Paid TV Actors Of The Year

Ed Lauter, R. I. P.

Detroit Free Press | Veteran character actor Ed Lauter, whose long, angular face and stern bearing made him an instantly recognizable figure in scores of movies and TV shows during a career that stretched across five decades, died Wednesday. He was 74.

Flight to Mars

▶ Flight To Mars (1951) Trailer - YouTube:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Report: Tavares DCF worker was drunk, naked when she bashed boyfriend's van... 

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas Race Track's Bacon Beer Milkshake Is Likely The Best Thing Ever 

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Pimpage: An Occasional Feature in Which I call Attention to Books of Interest

Never Come Back: David Bell: 9780451417510: Books  Elizabeth Hampton is consumed by grief when her mother dies unexpectedly. Leslie Hampton cared for Elizabeth’s troubled brother Ronnie’s special needs, assuming Elizabeth would take him in when the time came. But Leslie’s sudden death propels Elizabeth into a world of danger and double lives that undoes everything she thought she knew....

When police discover that Leslie was strangled, they immediately suspect that one of Ronnie’s outbursts took a tragic turn. Elizabeth can’t believe that her brother is capable of murder, but who else could have had a motive to kill their quiet, retired mother? 

More questions arise when a stranger is named in Leslie’s will: a woman also named Elizabeth. As the family’s secrets unravel, a man from Leslie’s past who claims to have all the answers shows up, but those answers might put Elizabeth and those she loves the most in mortal danger. 

Among the Anthropophagai!

A couple of years ago I was on the semi-regular "apes" panel at Armadillocon in Austin.  Another panelist was Joe Lansdale, and when the discussion moved to the famous cover of Zeppelin Stories for "Gorilla of the Gasbags," Joe challenged people to write a story based on that cover.  As it turned out, I wrote two stories, one of which I sold to Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine (it hasn't been published yet).

The second story was too long (nearly 10,000 words) for most magazines, but it was a lot of fun to write.  What I wanted to do was to write a story that could've appeared in a pulp magazine back in the '30s, capturing the spirit of the kind of grand old adventure tales that I like to read now and then.  

Looking at the cover, I was reminded of a comment in Othello about "men whose head do grow beneath their shoulders."  Maybe you can tell why.  So the story grew out of that.  I sat on it for a long time, trying to think of a market, but I couldn't come up with anything.  So I decided to go the Kindle route, and you can buy it now for a mere 99¢!  

Those of you who got the freebie edition now have the collector's cover.  I decided to change it and use part of the original.

Or Maybe You Do

19 Things You Might Not Know Were Invented by Women

Song of the Day

▶ The Earls, Remember Then, 1962 - YouTube:

You Know You Want It!

Dinosaur skeleton for sale: 150million-year-old Diplodocus nicknamed Misty

The Truth Behind 10 Movie Urban Legends

The Truth Behind 10 Movie Urban Legends

Today's Vintage Ad

Yet Another List I'm Not On

The National Book Award Finalists Are… 

It's the Heart that Counts

SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN: “It’s the Heart that Counts” (by Evan Lewis) Posted on October 16, 2013

The Bonytongues WBAGNFARB

New Species of Giant Amazonian Fish Discovered in Brazil 


Bart Frame, The Black Satin Jungle, Macfadden, 1966

Texas Doesn't Lead the Way

College Rankings 2013 

2014 Rock Hall of Fame nominees

Linda Ronstadt, Yes, Nirvana among 2014 Rock Hall of Fame nominees 

Why We Still Love P.G. Wodehouse’s Wooster and Jeeves

Why We Still Love P.G. Wodehouse’s Wooster and Jeeves 

Worth a Look for the Nic Cage Gif Alone

The 12 Weirdest Vampire Movies Ever Made

Ummmmmm. Grilled Cheese Sandwiches.

26 Truly Thrilling Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

Diner attacks restaurant with chainsaw 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Archaeology Update

BBC News: A major archaeological dig in Wiltshire has unearthed evidence of frogs legs being eaten in Britain, 8,000 years before France, it has been claimed.

The Curse of The Fly

▶ The Curse of The Fly Trailer - YouTube:

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Now Available as an E-Book

One of Randisi's best westerns and one of his own favorites of his work.  Check it out! The Ghost with Blue Eyes eBook: Robert J. Randisi: Kindle Store: THAT TRAGIC SIGHT 

It was a sight that would haunt Lancaster's soul for the rest of his life—a beautiful little girl with startling blue eyes. Eyes that looked up at him as he fired the shot that killed her. He hadn't meant to do it. Why did she have to get in the way just as he drew down on the man he was hired to kill? He asked himself that question every day, but he never found the answer, or a way to forgive himself. Even before the girl's body was cold, Lancaster hung up his guns and picked up a bottle. But even the booze couldn't get those blue eyes out of his head. And when he found another little girl who needed his help, a girl as desperate and sad as the one he'd killed, he knew he'd finally found a way to regain his soul...even if it cost him his life in the bargain.

I Miss the Old Days

Rick(y) Nelson's appearance at an oldies reunion in 1971 inspires "Garden Party"

A List I'm On!

My 10 Favorite Western Authors | Lee Goldberg

30 Criminally Underrated Movie Sequels

30 Criminally Underrated Movie Sequels

Song of the Day

▶ Les Paul & Mary Ford - "Tiger Rag" - YouTube:

10 Convictions Reversed by DNA Evidence

10 Convictions Reversed by DNA Evidence

Link via The Presufer.

Today's Vintage Ad

Blimp vs. Zeppelin: What's the Difference?

Blimp vs. Zeppelin: What's the Difference? 

And don't forget to buy this book.

Yet Another List I'm Not On

Most Famous Book Set In Every State 


Charlotte Jay, The Fugitive Eye, Avon, 1953

10 Groundbreaking Women Scientists Written Off By History

10 Groundbreaking Women Scientists Written Off By History 

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

KOMO News: A man whose love of ranch dressing is apparently equaled only by his hair-trigger temper attacked a 68-year-old customer at a Ballard Jack in the Box after informed his third packet of ranch would not be free, according to the Seattle Police Department.


10 Incredible GIFs Showing How Aging Changes Our Appearance

Francis Ford Coppola reunited with long-lost ‘Apocalypse Now’ typewriter

The Raw Story: Francis Ford Coppola was reunited Tuesday with the typewriter he used while working on “Apocalypse Now,” nearly four decades after he left it in a Tokyo hotel room.

Great Photos of Airships

Airships - In Focus - The Atlantic

After looking at the photos, go and buy this book.

More Overlooked Movies -- How Many Have You Seen?

The All-Time Greatest Grindhouse Films 

Overlooked Movies: Curse of the Demon

Time to face the facts: Not all the horror movies of the '50s were as bad as The Killer Shrews.  A few of them were surprisingly good, and one of the good ones was Curse of the Demon (aka Night of the Demon).  Maybe it's good because it was directed by Jaques Tourneur, or maybe because it was adapted from a story by M. R. James.  Or both.  Oh, and Peggy Cummins is in it.  The movie's faithful to the spirit of James's story in that it doesn't go for cheap scares and relies more on suggestion and atmosphere.  Well, mostly.  The story is that the part that doesn't was added to the movie over the objections of the star, the screenwriter, and the director.

Dana Andrews is an American in England, looking into a satanic cult led by a man named Karswell, played by Nial MacGinnis in a nice performance.  Andrews is skeptical of Karswell's powers, but as things begin to happen, he starts to become less so.  Karswell says that Andrews will die in three days, and it seems as if his curse might very well come true.  There are some nice, eerie scenes, including a visit to Stonehenge and a seance that leads to a chase through a forest.  

This played as just another low-budget horror film and was advertised as such, but it was way better than most.  Check it out.

Curse of the Demon

▶ cu - YouTube:

Monday, October 14, 2013

What's Up with New York?

New Yorkers Forgot to Kill Each Other Last Week:  That’s right – zero, zip, zilch, nada, no murders! This also marks the lowest number of shootings and the lowest number of murders “at any time since comparable records were kept.”

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

. . . and now it's another baseball-bat attack!

Woman Hits Neighbor With Bat For Being on 'Her' Side of Fence

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee. . .

. . . and now it's the baseball-bat attack!

Police: Man's first plane ride ends in baseball-bat attack  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Gabriel Hunt Makes a Comeback

Rough Edges: Gabriel Hunt Makes a Comeback

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time Ratfish (Schlock Zone Drive-In) eBook: Buck Hanno, Donald J. Bingle, Mel Odom, J.E. Mooney, Evili: Kindle Store: The Ratfish didn't ask to be here. But now that they are, they intend to spawn and mutate and kill and eat and spawn and multiply and chow down on the local population until they are the only local population. Then, they'll either turn on each other or conquer the world.

Song of the Day

▶ Larry Finnegan "Dear One" - YouTube:

Just Ask Seepy Benton

Edward Frenkel on Love and Math: What is it like to be a mathematician?

CHESLEY BONESTELL, Beyond the Solar System 1964

The Golden Age: CHESLEY BONESTELL, Beyond the Solar System 1964

Today's Vintage Ad

Order Your 2014 Calendar Now

Tattooed Librarians of the Ocean State | Rhode Island Library Association

Peru Update

15 Peruvian Foods You Have To Try


Maurice Procter, The Devil Was Handsome, Pyramid, 1965

Or Maybe You Have

The Greatest Horror Movies You Haven’t Seen 

Sponsored Graffiti

Across the street from my daughter's townhouse in Houston.  The building's owner allows the graffiti artists to paint on the wall.  These examples have now been painted over, and I haven't see the latest works.  

Keep 'Em Covered!

'Explosion' of feral pigs targeting our nuts 

No Comment Department

Welcome to, the dating website for ghosts 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

New Poem at The 5-2

The 5-2 | Crime Poetry Weekly, Annual Ebooks - Gerald So, Editor: Sasha Swarup-Deuser MARILYN MONROE

Only Art Scott Will Understand This

The greatest athlete of all time just retired

Columbus Day

Columbus Day — Articles, Video, Pictures and Facts: Throughout its history, Columbus Day and the man who inspired it have generated controversy, and many alternatives to the holiday have appeared in recent years.

When I was a kid, Christopher Columbus was still regarded as a heroic figure, and school kids everywhere learned all about the Pinta, the Niña, and the Santa Maria.  We learned the following little jingle: 

In fourteen hundred ninety-two,
Columbus sailed the ocean blue
And found this land, land of the Free,
Beloved by you, beloved by me.  

It never occurred to most of us that Columbus never actually set foot on the American continent or that there was anything unusual about "finding" a land that had already been found by a lot of other people before him.  Our whole grade school was bused to the local movie theater to see Fredric March in Christopher Columbus with the heroic and noble Fredric March.

Things have changed.  We see Columbus' voyage and its results from other perspectives.  History has turned dark, and today won't be celebrated the way it was when I was young.  Sometimes I feel like that wedding quest who was waylaid by the Ancient Mariner.

Monstrosity [The Atomic Brain]

▶ Monstrosity [The Atomic Brain] (1964) trailer - YouTube:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Oscar Hijuelos R. I. P.

Pulitzer-Winning Novelist Dies At 62: Oscar Hijuelos, a Cuban-American novelist who won a Pulitzer Prize for his 1989 novel "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love" and whose work often captured the loss and triumphs of the Cuban immigrant experience, has died. He was 62.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

New Story at Beat to a Pulp

BEAT to a PULP :: The Shadow Line :: Charles Ardai

Mr. Campion Update

In the year which sees the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Margery Allingham Society, Ostara Publishing is proud to publish new editions of the two novels to feature Allingham’s famous detective Albert Campion which were written by her husband, following her death in 1966.

Mr Campion’s Farthing and Mr Campion’s Falcon, first published in 1969 and 1970, were written by Philip ‘Pip’ Youngman Carter, the artist and journalist who was married to Margery Allingham for almost 40 years  (They met aged 17 and were secretly engaged at 18, marrying five years later).

Youngman Carter was an acknowledged (though un-credited) collaborator on many Allingham novels and  designed the dust-jackets for several of them. After her death, Youngman Carter completed her unfinished novel Cargo of Eagles, which was published posthumously in 1968.

Youngman Carter’s Mr Campion mysteries are now available in trade paperback and, for the first time,as eBooks. For full details click here.

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time Snapshots eBook: Paul D. Brazill: Kindle Store: Snapshots - 12 shots of the dark stuff: noir, crime and horror. 

A short, sharp collection of 12 blackly comic slices of flash fiction from Paul D. Brazill, author of Gumshoe, Guns Of Brixton and Roman Dalton - Werewolf PI.

Alvin, Texas, Not Included

The World's Most Bizarre Tourist Attractions

Song of the Day

▶ the cleftones - heart and soul - YouTube:

Top 10 Walled Cities

Top 10 Walled Cities

Today's Vintage Ad

I Miss the Old Days

The '60s at 50: Thursday, October 3, 1963: Perry Mason loses a case


Jack Williamson, The Humanoids, Lancer, 1963

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

Top 10 action movies 

Dell Mapbacks

The Golden Age: DELL MAPBACKS Pt 1, Most Cover art by Gerald Gregg

Soon to be a SyFy Movie of the Week

Catch the killer slugs! Spanish molluscs on rampage in Britain's gardens  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

New York's Finest

Female NYPD cop caught on camera abusing street vendor   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.  

Warning: vulgar language.

11 Bloody Facts About Vampire Bats

11 Bloody Facts About Vampire Bats

Mexican Spitfire