Saturday, May 31, 2014

And Keep Off Her Lawn

The Gerber Baby at Age 87 

Free for Kindle For a Limited Time The Doomsday Bag (Ed Noon Mystery) eBook: Michael Avallone: Kindle Store: “The Bagman disappeared at approximately 1:30, and hardly fifteen minutes had gone by before I knew that there was something in it for me." Ed Noon, Private Eye 

The President’s “Shadow” is missing, and with him the lethal Doomsday Bag—the black satchel that contains the thermonuclear codes for total world destruction. When that black bag disappears, the President hands detective Ed Noon the grimmest assignment of his career: find the Bagman, and fast. If Noon fails, there will be no world left to know about it. 

The Adventures of Ed Noon, Private Eye, spanning over 30 novels written between 1953 and 1990. Noon starts out dirt poor with a tiny office in Midtown Manhattan (his “Mouse Auditorium”) but success moves him to better digs, a lovely secretary (Melissa Mercer) and, eventually, the most important client of all: the President of the United States. The series concludes with a daring turn towards science fiction in the last two novels. Through it all, the wisecracking Noon is consistent: a movie and baseball-obsessed romantic who always fights the good fight. And, more often than not, wins.

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Attention to Books of Interest Wide Spot in the Road (The Drifter Detective #4) eBook: Wayne D. Dundee: Kindle Store: Vagabond P.I. Jack Laramie stops in the remote town of Buele’s Corner for a bite to eat. Before he finishes his bowl of chili, he gets caught up in a tornado of events that starts with a panicked, young couple racing into the diner to use the phone to call for help—a menacing motorcycle gang, The Deguelloes, is chasing after them. When the couple discovers the phone is out of order, Jack steps in to help them fend off the gang who’s accusing the couple of running some of their fellow bikers off the road.

Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ The Westerns

The Golden Age: Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ The Westerns

10 Most Famous Ships

10 Most Famous Ships  

It doesn't explain what I've always wondered about the Bismarck.  If the guns were as big as steers and the shells were as big as trees, how did they get the shells in the guns?

Song of the Day

Sink The Bismarck - Johnny Horton - YouTube:

I Want to Believe!

10 Utterly Bizarre Bigfoot Theories 

Today's Vintage Ad

John D. MacDonald: A Writer’s Writer

John D. MacDonald: A Writer’s Writer


Robert A. Heinlein, 6xH, Pyramid 1961

Forgotten Hits: The Saturday Surveys (May 31st)

Forgotten Hits: The Saturday Surveys (May 31st)

SF Cover Quiz

Quiz: Can you identify these classic sci-fi books by their covers?

In Case You Were Wondering (And, Really, Who Hasn't?)

This Is What A Bacon-Wrapped Alligator With A Chicken In Its Mouth Looks Like

Alan Furst Interview

Alan Furst: By the Book

Carleton Watkins: The Stanford Albums

“Carleton Watkins: The Stanford Albums.”: Breathtaking Landscape Photos That Helped Make Yosemite a National Park

The Last Outpost


Friday, May 30, 2014

Can You Guess These Classic Books From Their Phantom Covers?

Can You Guess These Classic Books From Their Phantom Covers?

Or Maybe Not

10 Words Every Book Lover Should Know

The mammoth that trampled on the history of mankind

The mammoth that trampled on the history of mankind: Next month, scientists will meet in the Dordogne to mark the 150th anniversary of the discovery of the La Madeleine mammoth – an engraving on ivory that proves man had lived alongside these prehistoric creatures

Song of the Day

D.W. Washburn - YouTube:

Old Folks Just Wanna Have Fun

B.C. - Times Colonist: The drama that has unfolded at Abbotsford’s Carlisle condominium complex during the last four years involves allegations of egg-throwing, scooter-tampering and prank phone calls (not to mention a hallway brawl and an alleged extra-marital affair).

Today's Vintage Ad

I Wonder If He Knows the Guy with the Stick

Naples man accused of robbing store with water hose nozzle  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Donald Barthelme’s Irreverent Vintage Children’s Book

The Slightly Irregular Fire Engine


Ellery Queen, The Lamp of God, Dell 10-Cent Books, no date

Remo Williams Update

80s classic Remo Williams to be reissued with a 70s-style cover: Splendidly bad action thriller Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins is to get a long-deserved reissue on Blu-Ray this July.

Judy and I saw this in the theater.  I liked it.

Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ The Venus Series

The Golden Age: Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ The Venus Series

10 Fascinating Facts About Forensics

10 Fascinating Facts About Forensics

I Found a Penny the Other Day

Andy Warhol's Digital Artworks Discovered On Floppy Disks From 1985 

I'll Just Have a Salad

Kangaroo brains on menu as first Aussie cookbook using native ingredients is released

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Texas man orders record-breaking $54.75 Starbucks drink spiked with 60 shots of espresso  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Soon We'll Have No Rights Left at All

Brooklyn man busted for keeping 3-foot-long alligator as pet  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Vintage Treasures: The Year’s Best Horror Stories: Series XIII edited by Karl Edward Wagner

Vintage Treasures: The Year’s Best Horror Stories: Series XIII edited by Karl Edward Wagner

A Forgotten Collection

The Dark Eidolon and Other Fantasies

Vintage Treasures: Galactic Derelict by Andre Norton

Vintage Treasures: Galactic Derelict by Andre Norton

More Forgotten Books

Black Gate: The Eternal Champion by Michael Moorcock

Galaxy, September 1972: A Retro Review

Galaxy, September 1972: A Retro Review

FFB: Rookie Blues: The Nick Train Stories -- Richard A. Lupoff

This book is only a couple of years old, but I think it qualifies.  I see only one copy available from Internet sellers, so it seems to have slipped down the memory hole.  That's too bad, since it has a lot to offer.

Start with the subtitle.  It's a collection, but it's not a short-story collection, exactly.  It's a novel, followed by the three previously published stories about Nick Train.  The works appear in chronological order, not the order of publication.  The novel, the most recently written piece, takes place in 1938.  The final story, "The Laddie in the Lake," was the first one written, but the setting is 1946.

In Rookie Blues, Train is a rookie NYC cop.  He'd been a professional boxer, but not a very successful one, so when a friend suggests he apply for a job with the police, Train gives it a shot.  To his surprise, he's hired.  Almost immediately things get complicated.  His beat partner's on the take, which is bad enough, but then the partner is killed.  Then his best friend, also a cop, is murdered.  And then there are the personal problems. Train is falling for a Chinese woman. His father dies.  And then . . . .  Things aren't what they seem, and Train doesn't know whom to trust.  

It's all put together in a smoothly written package with some keen observations of time and place along with the plotting, and the short stories are all very good, as well.  Here's hoping some small press will bring this one back so it can find the readers it deserves.

Date Bait


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Richard III Update

Scans reveal Britain's Richard III not a 'bunch-backed toad'

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Two drunken customers demand free food then trash Fort Lee McDonald's

I Want to Believe!

Beam me up, Scotty: teleportation ‘could become reality’

He Couldn't Find His Gub

Tennessee man Andrew Murray accused of using stick to stick up Florida bank

Here's the Plot for Your Next Meidcal Thriller

Man Accused of Stealing Human Skin From Hospital  

Annoying auto-start video.

Or You Might

26 Facts You Might Not Know about Dragnet

Free for Kindle For a Limited Time DARK THRILLERS-A Box Set of Suspense Novels eBook: BILLIE SUE MOSIMAN: Kindle Store: DARK THRILLERS is a boxed set of two suspense novels and one short story. 154,000 words. Bonus Inclusion: First chapters of BANISHED. Novels by the Bram Stoker and Edgar Award Nominee author of more than 50 books.

12 Fun Facts About Dollywood

12 Fun Facts About Dollywood 

Song of the Day

Freight Train Nancy Whiskey with the Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group with Lyrics - YouTube:

Ready for Some '90s Nostalgia? Well, Here It Is, Anyway.

19 Perfect People Magazine Covers From The 1990s

Today's Vintage Ad

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Woman attacked sister with knife during argument about beer  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ The Pellucidar Series

The Golden Age: Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ The Pellucidar Series


Robert A. Heinlein,  Methuselah's Children, Signet, 1965

Custer Captured

Custer Captured: Man or Myth, Either Way He Cuts a Fine Figure

How Shakespeare influences the way we speak now

How Shakespeare influences the way we speak now

Ray Bradbury on Zen and the Art of Writing

Ray Bradbury on Zen and the Art of Writing (1973)  

Link via SF Signal.

I Found a Penny the Other Day

8 Insanely Lucky Flea Market Finds

I Want to Believe!

Top academic claims Britain has “underground network” of 15,000 vampires 

Forgotten Hits: #1 On This Date (May 29th)

Forgotten Hits: #1 On This Date (May 29th)

Oscar Dystel, R. I. P. Oscar Dystel, who combined sharp editorial judgments, shrewd marketing and attention-grabbing covers to propel Bantam Books from the brink of collapse to pre-eminence in paperback publishing after World War II, died on Wednesday at his home in Rye, N.Y. He was 101.

Forgotten Music

40 Albums Baby Boomers Loved That Millennials Don't Know   

Very annoying slideshow. But worth it if you miss the old days.

But wait!  There's More:  

Flavorwire: The Essential Mod Playlist

And even more:

10 Strange Original Versions Of Well-Known Songs

The Roar of the Iron Horse


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rare Coin Update

California couple scores millions after auctioning off record-setting rare coin haul

Soon to Be a SyFy Movie

Mega-croc vs supersnake: Researchers reveal 16-foot, 900-pound ancient species of crocodile that battled with 58 foot Titanoboa snake 60 million years ago 

Texas Doesn't Lead the Way . . .

Houston Ranks Low in Health, Fitness Survey (But We're Better Than Dallas!)

Supreme Justice -- Max Allan Collins

It's a few years from now, and the Supreme Court has taken a hard right turn.  Roe v. Wade has been over turned, there's prayer in schools, and the Constitution's in tatters.  Joe Reeder, former Secret Service agent, took a bullet for the president, but he's too outspoken about his opposition to the president's policies to stay in the job.  

When a Supreme Court justice is killed in what appears to be a bungled robbery.  Reeder has a special talent: he can "read" people using kinesics.  Watching the surveillance video of the robbery, he realizes almost at once that it wasn't a robbery at all but a planned assassination.  Appointed as a consultant to the FBI team investigating the robbery, Reeder faces opposition from some who don't believe what he's telling them, but then a second justice is killed.  Is someone trying to change the balance of power on the court by means of assassination now that a more liberal president is in office? And if so, who's doing it?

Reeder has other problems, too.  His daughter's really annoying boyfriend is one of them, and his pairing with agent Patti Rogers is another.  She doesn't entirely trust him because of his ability to read her so well, and yet at the end, she's the only one he has to rely on.

Max Allan Collins (with an assist from Matthew Clemens) has another winner.  This book rips along, so clear the decks before you start it.  It might be a while before you dare to take a break.

19 Architecturally Epic Bridges

19 Architecturally Epic Bridges You'd Want To Cross Again And Again

Why Do Students Get Summers Off?

Why Do Students Get Summers Off?: It’s commonly believed that school kids started taking summers off in the 19th century so they’d have time to work on the farm. Nice as that story is, it isn’t true.

Song of the Day

Jan & Dean - Surf City - 1963 - YouTube:

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

And keep off her lawn!

Store owner, 89, uses golf club on robber with sword  

Annoying auto-start video.

Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ The Martian Series

Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ The Martian Series

Today's Vintage Ad

The Most Underrated Movies of the 2000s

The Most Underrated Movies of the 2000s


Robert A. Heinlein, Farnham's Freehold, Signet, 1965

Maya Angelou, R. I. P.

WGHP Fox 8 Television: WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Award-winning author, renowned poet and civil rights activist Dr. Maya Angelou has died. She was 86.

“The Secret of the Ageless Girl” (by Leigh Lundin)

“The Secret of the Ageless Girl” (by Leigh Lundin) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN

I Miss the Old Days

Retronaut: c. 1981: DeLorean ads

Beyond the Valley of the Thin Mints Melee

10 Terrible Overreactions to Messed Up Fast Food Orders 

Croc Update (Daredevil Edition)

Daredevil wrestler puts head in crocodile's jaws at Thai zoo for £4 a day 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

25 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Texas

25 Words That Have A Totally Different Meaning In Texas


‘Vampire’ burial site discovered in Poland  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Fabulous First Editions from the 1940s

McElligot’s PoolFabulous First Editions from the 1940s: It was a decade of conflict and change. A world war sent the world into turmoil and yet the 1940s witnessed the publication of books that are still talked about today.

Lazy River


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

New from Perfect Crime Books

Perfect Crime Books: New editions of Robert J. Randisi's Joe Keough series. 

In a starred review [of Alone with the Dead] Publisher's Weekly said "Moving his readers along at a breathless pace (and keeping them one step ahead of the boys in blue), Randisi renders the mad ramblings of a pathetic young man who follows a series of sexual murders in the New York City tabloids and determines to copy, and finally to surpass, the murderer's work . . . This is top-notch suspense, right from the chilling prologue to the brutal conclusion." 

Terry Teachout on the Forthcoming Reprints of Simenon's Maigret Novels

About Last Night | One thing at a time: . . .I was delighted to learn that Penguin has embarked on a uniform paperback edition of Georges Simenon’s seventy-five Maigret novels, all of which will be freshly translated and published in chronological order.

The entire essay is well worth your time.

Hat tip to Art Scott.

Troubled Tom Horn

Troubled Tom Horn: Steve McQueen and troubled productions seemed to be synonymous. Look at any one of his classic films—The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Sand Pebbles, Bullitt and Papillon—each riddled with turmoil. Those productions, however, paled in comparison to his last Western, the highly underrated Tom Horn.

Black Bart: The Flawed Gentleman Bandit

Black Bart: The Flawed Gentleman Bandit

A Publisher's Take on the Amazon Affair

the cockeyed pessimist: WHO'S AFRAID OF AMAZON.COM

“A True Girl of the West” and “Belle of the Ranch”

“A True Girl of the West” and “Belle of the Ranch” 

Song of the Day

The Earls - Life Is But A Dream - YouTube:

Book Giveaway: Lawrence Block’s Borderline and a New Mike Hammer Novel

Blog Milestone Giveaway: Lawrence Block’s Borderline and a New Mike Hammer Novel

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

 Permian Basin 360: A man was arrested for allegedly assaulting his elderly mother with the leg of a bed.

The Tarzan Series -- Great Illustrations!

The Golden Age: Edgar Rice Burroughs ~ The Tarzan Series

Today's Vintage Ad

Win a Book!

Prairie Rose Publications: New Release From Painted Pony Books—Waiting For a Comet by Richard Prosch

The 10 Best Tap Dance Scenes In Film |

The 10 Best Tap Dance Scenes In Film


Robert A. Heinlein, Revolt in 2100, Signet, 1956

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

'I did it for the family...I would only rob banks for my family': How a seemingly-respectable father convinced his two kids to join the bank-robbing business

USA Sadly Excluded

Top 10 Nations Whose People Live the Longest 

Save Our Stacks

College libraries should keep their books in the stacks: It’s not about the books. It’s about the books representing the last place on campus where intellectual contemplation thrives.

13 Vintage Internet Ads Begging You to Get Online

13 Vintage Internet Ads Begging You to Get Online 

I Miss the Old Days

The Amazing All-in-One Breakaway Dress, 1944 

Another Forgotten Movie

Zardoz: an appreciation 

Overlooked Movies: Cold in July

Okay, this is a blatant cheat since this is a brand new movie, now showing in theaters and maybe on your cable or satellite's "on demand" feature.  Comcast has it on demand, and that's where Judy and I saw it.  I'm writing about it because I don't want you to overlook it.

The movie is based on a novel by Joe R. Lansdale, and it captures the spirit of the book very well.  Michael C. Hall plays Richard Dane, just an ordinary guy in a little East Texas town.  It's a far cry from his role as Dexter, which may be one reason he was eager to play it. He has a frame shop, he's married, he has a little boy.  One night he hears a burglar.  He gets his home defense revolver, confronts the burglar, and when his finger slips on the revolver's trigger, he kills him.  The burglar was unarmed.  Not that it matters.  The town considers Dane a hero.  Hall's very good as the everyman type who knows he's not a hero and who eventually gets in way over his head, beginning at the point when Sam Shepard shows up.  Just out of the Huntsville penitentiary, Shepard believes his son was the burglar, and he's not happy about what's happened.

This is where I stop with the plot summary, since there are twists that I don't want to reveal. If you've read the book, you know what's coming, but I'm not going to be the one who tells.  The trailer reveals way too much, but you might have watched it already.  Sorry about that.

What I'll tell you is that the whole cast is excellent. Shepard is gruff and ready, and Don Johnson nearly steals the show as flamboyant private-eye Jim Bob Luke.  He has great shirts and a dandy car, too.  I'll also mention that there's plenty of tension and suspense and that the violence goes pretty far, especially in the climactic scenes.  This is a very effective thriller.

That being said, there are some plot threads left dangling, and the theme of fathers and sons that enriched the novel is barely hinted at. I got the impression that the original script might have been cut by 15 minutes or more. So while I think the movie is don't-miss entertainment, I think you should read the novel, too.  All those questions are answered there.