Saturday, February 06, 2016

Here They Come

Hey hey, The Monkees announced a 50th anniversary album and tour: The Monkees — the greatest fake band ever assembled for a madcap TV show — will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the series this summer with a new album, titled Good Times!, and a lengthy North American tour kicking off May 18 in Fort Myers, Florida, Rolling Stone reported Friday.

Friday, February 05, 2016

David J. Lake, R. I. P.

David Lake (writer) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: David John Lake (26 March 1929 - 31 January 2016) was an Indian-born Australian science fiction writer, poet, and literary critic. He moved to Australia in 1967.

Jon Tuska, R. I. P.

I received the following information from Bill Pronzini, and I'm posting it with his permission.

Just received the sad news that Jon Tuska has died [on January 18] in Portland, OR at age 73.  Author of numerous books on Hollywood film and the western fiction genre; co-founder of the Golden West Literary Agency and editor for many years of Five Star Press's line of western novels.  Don't know if you had any dealings with him, but I sold him several collections of my western stories and edited a number of other single-author collections for him and his wife, Vicki Piekarski.  WWA's best short fiction Spur Award that Marcia and I received in 2008 was for a novella he commissioned and published.

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

The Guardian: A bookshop in Texas is offering a 10% discount to customers who are legally “open carrying” a handgun while shopping for new reading material.

Here's the Plot for Your Next Principled Hitman Novel

Spared by the hitmen with principles

Song of the Day


I'm Sure You'll All Agree

Every single Super Bowl ranked from best to worst.

Today's Vintage Ad

Joe Dowell, R. I. P. NEW YORK — Joe Dowell, a singer briefly popular in the early 1960s who had a No. 1 hit with the ballad "Wooden Heart," has died. He was 76.

Sadly, No

Was it really woolly mammoth on the menu?


Troy Conway (Michael Avallone?), The Berlin Wall Affair, Paperback Library, 1967

The book most people have lied about reading

The book most people have lied about reading – and it's not War and Peace

MatricĂșleme por favor

'Teachers' strip off as racy channel debuts NAKED English lessons

I Want to Believe!

Martian Cauliflower Structures Discovered By NASA's Spirit Rover Could Be Proof Of Alien Life On Mars 

FFB: Hail Storme (Dreamsicle) -- W. L. Ripley

What we have here is both an old and a new book.  In 1993 W. L. Ripley published Dreamsicle, which has become a sort of forgotten book.  Lee Goldberg and Joel Goldman remembered it, though, and they've brought it back as Hail Storme, giving it a new title that fits with others in the series, including the most recent one, Storme Warning, which I reviewed here.  When I read that one, I enjoyed it so much that I knew I'd have to go back and read the others in the series.  So I started with the first one, which is another winner.

As I mentioned, the original title of the book was Dreamsicle, and I thought it might have something to do with a tasty treat I remember fondly from my childhood, but that wasn't the case.

Wyatt Storme is a former star wide receiver for the Dallas Cowboys who's quit football at the peak of his fame because he doesn't like the invasion of his privacy that comes with being a star.  He wants to live an uncluttered life away from too much civilization. The book opens with Storme doing a bit of bow-hunting in the Ozarks and discovering a huge marijuana field.  He has to kill a vicious guard dog and wound a man to get away.

Storme has a well-developed moral code, so he reports the events to the local sheriff, who's killed almost immediately thereafter.  Storme can't let something like that pass, and before long he's hooked up with Chick Easton, a bounty hunter who becomes his psycho sidekick.  Storme is tough, but Chick might be even tougher, and he has a backstory that explains why he's a little bit crazy.  Chick is after a rogue chemist, and of course that ties in with the death of the sheriff and the marijuana field.  

Turns out there's a brand new drug, and it's called Dreamsicle. Powerful people are behind it, and they don't want any interference from outsiders like Storme and Easton.  Before long, it's two men against municipal corruption (crooked cops, crooked lawyers, crooked everybody), and Chick is arrested for the murder of the sheriff.  Storme's lawyer gets Chick released, and it's pretty much all-out war.  There's lots of shooting, lots of action, lots of dying, and lots of wisecracking before things are settled down.

In my earlier review, I said I was reminded of Spenser and Travis McGee by Ripley's book.  That's still true.  Entertaining macho stuff, slick writing, and great characters.  I'll be visiting this series again for sure.  

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Maurice White, R. I. P. Maurice White, co-founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, died in his sleep Thursday morning ... TMZ has learned. 

Maurice died in L.A. after a long battle with Parkinson's. He was diagnosed in 1992 and his condition deteriorated in recent months. The disease had progressed to the point he was forced to stop touring with the band 1994.

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

Blanche on the Lam (Blanche White series Book 1) - Kindle edition by Barbara Neely. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @  Barbara Neely’s Smart, Sassy and Groundbreaking Crime Novel

Blanche White is a plump, feisty, middle-aged African-American housekeeper working for the genteel rich in North Carolina. But when an employer stiffs her, and her checks bounce, she goes on the lam, hiding out as a maid for a wealthy family at their summer home. That plan goes awry when there’s a murder and Blanche becomes the prime suspect. So she’s forced to use her savvy, her sharp wit, and her old-girl network of domestic workers to discover the truth and save her own skin. Along the way, she lays bare the quirks of southern society with humor, irony, and a biting commentary that makes her one of the most memorable and original characters ever to appear in mystery fiction. 

'Hap and Leonard': A Behind-the-Scenes Preview

'Hap and Leonard': A Behind-the-Scenes Preview of SundanceTV's Quirky New Drama

Okay, I'll Watch

CMT wants to cast a young Elvis, Johnny Cash for new TV series: Million Dollar Quartet, the show's working title, is adapted from the Tony-Award winning musical of the same name and will be set in Memphis during the early days of the civil rights movement and tell the story of the "rise of modern music," according to the network.

Song of the Day

Jimmie Rodgers - T For Texas - YouTube:

A Review of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

Forgotten Book: Between the Living and the Dead by Bill Crider (2015)

What are the biggest health myths?

What are the biggest health myths   

Link via mental_floss.

Today's Vintage Ad

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

Elvis Presley's Best Film


Juba Kennerley, The Terror of the Leopard Men, Avon, 1951


'MacGyver' Reboot, Dr. Phil Drama Land CBS Pilot Orders

It's Science!

A Stanford psychologist explains why spacing out and goofing off is so good for you 

Richard Powers’ Interior Art

Witch Doctors and Mind-Reading Sleuths: Richard Powers’ Interior Art for 1950s Men’s Adventure Magazines

Intrepid Rats WBAGNFARB

Intrepid rat scampers up man's leg to steal chip in British pub

Vintage Treasures: Science Fiction Carnival, edited by Fredric Brown and Mack Reynolds

Vintage Treasures: Science Fiction Carnival, edited by Fredric Brown and Mack Reynolds