Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bazooka Joe? Surely They Jest.

'Bazooka Joe' movie planned | TV, movie and music news | Movies | "Studio exec Michael Eisner has hired screenwriter Mark Hammer for a planned feature-film adaptation of the Bazooka Joe bubblegum comic strip, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Hammer is a new writer who graduated from Chapman University with a degree in film this past weekend."

Happy Birthday, Ruta Lee!

Ruta Lee - Home

Top 5 Sluttiest Wedding Dresses

Top 5 Sluttiest Wedding Dresses Spotted In 2009: "Most people go for the classy, fashionable look on their wedding day. But there's some women, who take the time to really showcase their personal style, oh, and their bodies when they get ready to walk down the aisle. Talk about leaving nothing to the imagination for the wedding night, these brides almost need to put clothes back on to wow their grooms with lingerie when they slip under the matrimonial covers."

It's enough to read about this.  No need for you to click the link.

Dixie Dynamite

Friday, May 29, 2009

New Story at BEAT to a PULP :

BEAT to a PULP :: Maintenance :: Kieran Shea

Excellent Interview with Scott Cupp

Scott's a frequent commenter on this blog and a friend of more years that I like to think about.  Check out the interview at the link.

Missions Unknown � Made In SA: Scott A. Cupp: "SCOTT A. CUPP is a John W. Campbell Award-nominated short story writer and World Fantasy Award-nominated editor who frequently deals with the West (mythic and otherwise) in his fiction. He’s published eighteen works of fiction and an assortment of non-fiction articles and reviews over the last thirty years. He co-edited the World Fantasy Award-nominated anthology CROSS PLAINS UNIVERSE: TEXANS CELEBRATE ROBERT E. HOWARD (2006, FACT/Monkeybrain Books) which honored Howard in the 100th anniversary of his birth. He lives and works in San Antonio with his wife, Sandi, and a Bengal cat, Tygrr, who tolerates him."

Lambda Awards

Mystery Fanfare: Lambda Awards: "The 21st Annual Lambda Awards were given out last night in New York. The Lambda Literary Foundation is the country's leading organization for LGBT writers and readers."

Winners and nominees at the link.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

iWon News - Principal files complaint over missed high-five: "What do you call a high-five that misses? Many would just call it awkward, but an El Paso school principal calls it assault. The misfire came last week when schools superintendent Lorenzo Garcia was giving principals high-fives while celebrating state test scores. When Garcia came to Barron Elementary School principal Mary Helen Lechuga and she didn't raise her hand, he tapped her on the head instead.

But Lechuga - a former district administrator who was recently demoted - filed a police complaint saying she felt pain and feared what he might do next."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

HOA Asks Vet to Remove Bumper Stickers: "DALLAS - Frank Larison is a disabled veteran with more than 14 years of service, including more than a year of combat duty in Vietnam.

The 58-year-old former Marine now finds himself under attack by his Dallas homeowners association for displaying seven decals on his vehicle supporting the Marine Corps."

Forgotten Books: THE OPEN SQUARE -- Ford Clark

Is today a vacation day for Forgotten Books?  I'm kind of out of the loop, so I'll do one even if it is vacation time.

Back in 1966, the day before Judy and I were to move to Austin, where I'd be attending grad school at The University of Texas, a guy named Charles Whitman got on top of the 27-story Tower and opened fire on people all over the campus and nearby streets.  The event brought The Open Square a brief moment of notoriety, and I went out and found a copy as soon as I read about it.  It was a Gold Medal Book, after all.  How could I go wrong?

The notoriety stemmed from the fact that in Ford Clark's novel, a college kid named Ted Weekes climbs up into a tower with a magnum rifle and opens fire.  That's about where the similarities end, however.  Clark's novel is about a lot of other things: a city manager who thinks sex is dirty, hiswife, a cop named Ashton, and the small town held hostage by the gunman.  It's a nice picture of a time and a place, the way a lot of Gold Medals are.  You've probably never heard of it before.  I know I haven't seen it mentioned, or if I have, it's been many years.  It's truly a forgotten novel, but it's certainly worth a look if you ever run across it.

The Time Travelers

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Texas Is in Second Place

And fourth.  And Fifth.  Alvin, you'll notice, isn't listed.

Which Cities Most Need Viagra? - Jacksonville News Story - WJXT Jacksonville: "Even though they don't often like to admit it, sometimes men need a little help.

Men's Health magazine decided to take a look at which major U.S. cities most need a little Viagra."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

No Comment Department

Dutch Artist Famous for Skinning Pet Cat Publishes Expose on Authors of Hate Mail - Local News | News Articles | National News | US News - "A Dutch artist famous for making her pet cat into a purse has launched a new controversial project: revealing personal details about everyone who has sent her hate mail over the cat 'art.'

Katinka Simonse, also known as Tinkebell, has assembled the thousands of e-mails she received since twisting her cat's neck and skinning it with her own hands in 2004, and she has published them along with the names, ages and addresses of each sender, according to the English version of the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad.

The book, 'Dearest Tinkebell,' is especially controversial because it also includes YouTube videos, MySpace profiles and any other embarrassing information available on the Web pertaining to the e-mail authors, NRC International reported."

A tip of the Crider chapeau to Walter Satterthwait.

Fwix | Claude the Albino Alligator in Fine Form Two Months After Amputation

Fwix | Claude the Albino Alligator in Fine Form Two Months After Amputation

This is the scene at the back entrance to the California Academy of Sciences building in Golden Gate Park during the early hours of a recent nightLife night - it’s famous Claude the Albino Alligator chilling in his crib, the Swamp. Unseen is Bonnie the banal, non-albino gator who cut him with a quickness earlier this year.

But Claude’s back in action these days, better than ever. Take a visit to check it out - you can actually see the dinodamagesuffered by this crafty crocodilian from the railing high above.

Hat tip to Janet Rudolph.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Man accused of robbing McKinney 7-Eleven with sword |
News for Dallas, Texas | Dallas Morning News
| Latest News
: "A sword-wielding man dressed in black robbed a 7-Eleven in McKinney, demanding cash and cigarettes, authorities said."

Wild West Monday Petition

We want more western books on the shelves Petition : [ powered by ]: "The western as a literary genre is popular worldwide and although there was a time, not so long back, when most bookshops had a western section these days are sadly gone. However together we can all show our support for the genre. Sign the petition get all your friends to do likewise and we'll send it to every publisher we can."

Hogdoggin'! The Virtual Motorcycle Rally Rolls On!

And check out this post, for sure. 

In the Last Episode, Mike Cane blew our minds with some computer magic.


Steel God and Lafitte watched from the roof of the Virtual Dive Bar as they rode into town.  The way everyone on the streets stopped what they were doing and watched as if these guys were the Pope or the Devil.


Lafitte said, “Well?”


“I think this is the beginning of the end.”


“Of us?”


Steel God barked a laugh.  “Shit, boy.  I mean the Rally.  We’re going to get out just fine.  It’s the rest of the town that might not be so lucky.”


Their engines sounded deeper and uglier than any Lafitte had ever heard.  They looked caked with grime and sludge.  They whooped and hollered, made animal noises.


“You know them?”


A nod.  “Los Muertos.  One’s Rapper.  Other one’s Nellie.  Texas.  They like fire.”


The big man sighed.  Watched the two park in front of the Dive Bar.  They dismounted and headed up the steps.  Even on the roof, they could hear the two shouting and laughing once inside.


“You got your Glock?”


Lafitte instinctively reached behind him, checked, but he already knew.  “Yeah.”


“All right. let’s go greet the fuckers.”




They had taken a table near the back, surveying everything happening on the main floor.  Looked like lazy kings on their thrones as Steel God and Lafitte approached.


“Well, well,” Rapper said, a deep drawl he made heavier on purpose.  “If it ain’t the Tin God and his Boy Wonder, Feet.  How the hell are ya?”


No handshakes or bro-hugs or any of that.  Just a wary distance. 


“Just wanted to welcome you humps to the Rally.  Took you long enough to show up.”


Nellie laughed like a hyena.  He already had two empties in front of him and half a third of piss-poor beer.  Rapper had his hand wrapped around a bottle of bottom-shelf tequila.


Rapper said, “Well, goddamn.  I just wanted to make sure all the pussies got shaken out before the fireworks began.”


Steel God grinned. “So, planning some fireworks?”


Rapper looked at Nellie.  Nellie balled his fists together, then flicked all his fingers out, spread em.  “Boom!”


Steel God joined in the laughing, and so did Lafitte, although he didn’t find this shit funny.


It died down.  Rapper and Nellie getting serious, knowing what was next.


Steel God said, “No fireworks.”


“Well, fuck you with bells on.  Who made you Sheriff?”


Lafitte remembered the poor Sheriff he’d helped recently after Smith orchestrated abeating on him in this very bar.  That man was still in the hospital down in Sioux Falls.  ICU.  So pretty much, Steel God was the law this week.


“No fireworks.”


Rapper shrugged.  “Gee, Mister.  I’m frightfully sorry.  We’ll be good little boys.”


Nellie tapped Rapper on the arm.  “No Boom?”


Rapper winked at him.  “Suuuuuure.  No Boom.”


Steel God crossed his arm.  Set his jaw.  A good ol’ fashioned staredown.  Lafitte damn near expected a Spaghetti Western movie whistle or a Wah wah wah.  None of that.  Just the jukebox burbling along in the background.


Rapper downed a big slug of tequila, then stood.  “Anything else, your highnessty?”


Lafitte thought Steel God might give him the sign.  Have him pull the gun, blast a kneecap.  Kill the retarded one. 


But instead, Steel God nodded, subtle but deep as a bow among this crowd, and turned to go.  Showing his back to these guys.  Wow.


Lafitte followed him out the door.  Caught up.  Said, “Why’d you play it gentle with those guys?”


“They saved my ass once.  But before I could repay them, they got tangled up with a Sheriff down there, name of Rhodes.  And that landed me in jail.  I gotta say, Rhodes is a good one.  He gets it.  Let me go after a week.  Told me those two nuts had killed three people when their meth lab blew up.  Then they added fuel to the fire, watched it burn.  So…maybe I owe them., maybe not.  I haven’t decided yet.”


Lafitte said, “Can’t say I’d blame you if you cut them loose.”


Steel God stopped, turned a bit, and Lafitte thought he might have an answer, some wisdom, anything.  Instead, after letting the wind blow around them for a few moments, Steel God looked at Lafitte, blinked, and then kept walking.




It happened late that night.  Eight people dead, twenty more injured.  A bone-shaking explosion, especially with Lafitte right next door, asleep in what looked to be a teenager’s room, he and Kristal sharing a small bed, naked and sweating like the tropics after some asshole had bashed the A/C unit in on a crank binge.


They both woke up, the explosion cracking the window, everything going orange.


Up and out of bed, Kristal wrapping herself in the sheet, and Lafitte grabbing for his gun first, his underwear second, and he was off to check on Steel God.

He wasn’t in bed, so Lafitte was frantic, down the stairs and shouting his name.


Found him in the front yard, still dressed, like he’d been expecting this.  The house next door was belching yellow and orange, plus plenty of black smoke.  Embers blowing around in the wind.  You could already see smoke coming off the tees and the roof of the surrounding homes, including Steel God’s HQ.


Lafitte said, “We need some hoses, sprinklers.”


“No,” Steel God said.  “We need to clear out, head to town.  I figure we’ve got a day before this blows over that way.”


“Jesus, we can still hold this off!  What the fuck?”


And then, across the circle of the cul de sac, another house suddenly exploded, splinters and glass raining down around the two of them.


Steel God turned to Lafitte.  “Ain’t no garden hoses going to work on what they’ve got planned.  Find them.  Meet me at the back of the Dive Bar.”


Lafitte went back inside to get dressed, grab a couple of men.  But the whole time he tied his boots on, he felt as if the whole world might crack beneath him, and down he’d go to hell.




An hour later, Lafitte pulled up to the Dive Bar, both men in tow at the end of a long rope.  He’d found them on the road out of town, trying to escape but too drunk on homemade hooch to kep their bikes upright.


Even beaten and rope-burned, they were still a giggling mess.  Saying Boom and Wheee and nonsense.  Steel God walked up to Rapper and slapped him so hard, Lafitte thought skin might come off.  He did the same for Nellie.  They both sobered up instantly.


Rapper immediately spit at God’s feet.  “You owe us!  You can’t do a goddamned thing and you know it.  Word gets around, you’re dead.”


“I’m not going to kill you.”


“Then let us go.  What’s the other choice? Lock us up?  You think anything can hold us? Shit, you won’t do anything.  Just going to pound my nose and my gut then let me go.  See Nellie?”


Nellie said, “Like ground beef.”


“Yes, like ground beef.  So get on with it.”


Steel God smiled.  “I’m not going to kill you.  I’m not going to lock you up.  But you two, I’ve had enough of this.  As long as you both remember what’s about to happen to both of you, and you remember I’m the one that caused it, I’ll be satisfied.”


He grabbed both by their necks and told Lafitte to loosen the rope.  After that, he told Lafitte to unlock the padlock on the basement door.


Lafitte stopped.  Waited.




“You remember who’s down there, right?”


“What’s he talking about?”  Rapper, getting worried.


Steel God said, “Unlock the door.”


Lafitte’s hand shook as he did.  And then he opened the door, stepped away quickly.  Steel God pushed the two men closer to the door until they were right outside.  Looked down into the darkness at the bottom of the stairs.  After a few moments, they saw the burning tip of a cigarette and heard the echoing music: Oo Ee Oo Ah Ah, Bing Bang, Walla Walla Bing Bong


Steel God shoved them both down the stairs.  They screamed and yelped and bounced all the way down.  Then there was a burbling laugh.  Evil, growing in volume, crazier by the moment.


Steel God slammed the door, slammed the padlock home.  Then he leaned against the door, breathing heavily.  Head bowed.


Lafitte said, “When do we check on them?”


“Steel God said, “We don’t.”




The sky south of town was like sunrise, even though it was only four a.m., from the fire.  It would work its way north tree to tree, brush to brush, house to house.


Lafitte cleared his throat, tried not to imagine what was going on beneath their feet.  Figured it would take many bottles of red wine to wipe him clean.  But all he had was beer.


Steel God said, “That might just be the worst thing I’ve ever done.”


“You think?”


A shrug.  “Okay, maybe not.  How about an early breakfast?”


They started around towards the front door.  Already out on the main street, many bikers were packing up and leaving. 


Steel God said, “See what I mean?  Beginning of the end.”




Crider’s on top of Pop Culture.  He’s got gonzo noir wrapped around his little finger.  And he’s an Edgar nominee for “Cranked”. In fsct, listen to him read it here at


One of the nicest guys in the biz, and one of the writers we turn to when we want to feel good about how twisted we are in all this creepy stuff we write.  He makes it all feel like home.


Sheriff Dan Rhodes, now there’s a guy who can trick you into thinking he’s not as hardcore as he is.  It’s like Andy Grifftih if Mayberry had meth labs instead of moonshine stills.  Don’t let Crider fool you: there’s meat in them thar books.  And a bunch of sugar, too.  But don’t’ call on Dan Rhodes if you need someone to carry a tune, as is made clear in his new book, MURDER IN FOUR PARTS.


Thanks for the support, Bill.  I reckon all those people who read Dan might be a bit sniffy about a guy like Lafitte, but you know what they say: making assumptions makes an ASS out of U.  ME?  I’m just peachy.  So grab up HOGDOGGIN’ on June 1st.  For you Texas types, I’ll be at Houston’s awesome Murder By the Book on june 8th with Sean Doolitte, so if you want to wait til then, I understand.  I’ll see you there, shake your hand, and deface your book.



Tomorrow…now this next gang, you’ve never seen anything like the ragtag mismatched First Offenders.  Hide your eyes and ears.


On the Main Stage: ZZ Top “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers”


Martin Dressler -- Steven Millhauser

Martin Dressler is a kid who works in his father's cigar store.  He has big dreams, and when he goes to work as a hotel bellboy, he begins to realize them, moving up first in the hotel's chain of command and then moving out on his own as an owner first of a cigar stand, then restaurants, then grander and grander hotels.  

The subtitle of this novel is The Tale of an American Dreamer, and reading it is sometimes like reading a dream.  As the hotels become grander, the story becomes more fantastical and the prose becomes more dreamlike, until at the end I wasn't sure whether Martin was dreaming, whether I was, or we both were.

The story takes place as the 19th century is becoming the 20th, and Millhauser fills it with reams of particular details.  Character development?  Not so much.  There are few characters in the novel to begin with, and they're barely sketched.  Martin's parents, for example, just disappear after a while.  The three women with whom Martin is most involved are hardly more than a few gestures and attitudes.  But then human character doesn't seem to be the point.  The energy of the city (New York, of course), the drive to achieve a dream, the power of the imagination: those are what the book seems to me to be about.

The writing is beautiful, and it's a good thing, because that's what has to carry the book.  I wouldn't think this one's for all tastes, but it made a nice change of pace for me.

Libraries Aren't What they Used to Be

Library Conduct Violations Reach All-Time High - Seattle News Story - KIRO Seattle: "The City of Seattle has been cracking down on bad behavior at its libraries, and there doesn't appear to be any shortage of it.

KIRO Team 7 Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne discovered security has already ejected 432 patrons in the first four months this year for offenses like assault, drug dealing, intoxication and lewd conduct."

Musing on a Book Description Gone Tomorrow (Jack Reacher, No. 13): Lee Child: Books: "In a novel that slams through one hairpin surprise after another, Lee Child unleashes a thriller that spans three decades and gnaws at the heart of America . . ."

I was thking about ordering Gone Tomorrow the other day, so I went over to Amazon and read the review and book description there.  The above sentence, however, didn't do a very good selling job.  I mean, how often have you been surprised by a hairpin?  And have you been surprised by one recently?  I don't even know if they make hairpins now.  I know my grandmother used them, but I haven't seen one in 50 years.  My mother used bobby pins occasionally, but that's different thing.  Or sort of different, and maybe not as surprising as a hairpin.

I like the idea of the novel "gnaw[ing] at the heart of America," but it's a little scary.  Do I want to hold in my hands a book that might start gnawing at my own heart?  Is a carnivorous book a good idea?  I don't think so, but what do I know?  My books, generally non-carnivorous as far as I can tell, don't sell nearly as well as Child's books do.  Maybe the publishers are onto something.  Or maybe they're just on something.  I don't know.

That's pretty much all I have to say.  I need to go into the other room for a while, but I'm going to be careful.  I don't want to be surprised by a hairpin.

Like Mink, Like Murder -- Harry Whittington

I've had a copy of Harry Whittington's Mink for 30 years or so, but I've never read it because it's in French.  David Laurence Wilson discovered that it was rewritten and published in English by Leisure as one of Whittington's "unknown" novels in 1965.  It was titled Passion Hangover, and the pseudonym used was J. X. Williams.  Wilson was asked to restore the novel, to find the orignal tale encased in the rewrite.  A daunting task, no doubt about it, but Wilson was up to it, and the result is a 36,000 word tale that lives up to Whittington's reputation as one of the best '50s paperbackers.

Sam Baynard was a college student until he fell for a woman named Elva, who introduced him to Collie Cohzak.  Collie was Sam's downfall, and Sam soon found himself in prison for the robberies he committed with Collie.  Now Sam's out and going straight.  He delivers milk, and he's doing well at the job.  But in a Whittington story, you can't escape your past that easily.  Elva and Collie show up with a plan that involves Sam, and he can't refuse them.  There's mink involved, too, and sex, and a good woman who loves Sam.  Whittington and Laurence tighten the screws, and the story zips along so fast that you hardly have time to blink.

It's hard to say why no American publisher wanted this book in its original form, whatever that was, but it's great that we have it now.  You have to wait to July to read it, but it'll be worth it, especially considering the two other novels included under the same cover from Stark House.  Save your pennies so you won't miss this one.

The Evil

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Paging Steve McQueen

Giant Blob Found Deep Beneath Nevada - Science News | Science & Technology | Technology News - "Hidden beneath the U.S. West's Great Basin, scientists have spied a giant blob of rocky material dripping like honey."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Once Again, Texas Leads the Way

Houston blogger jailed for contempt in Anna Nicole case | Front page | - Houston Chronicle: "A Houstonian who’s being sued by the mother of the late Anna Nicole Smith spent the holiday weekend in jail, making her the latest gossip blogger to pay a steep price for her hobby."

Happy Birthday, Kingston Trio!

Kingston Trio Blog: "Happy birthday, Kingston Trio! 52 years old today, May 27th, 1957"

Popular Culture Periodicals -- Jeff Canja

This is one of those reference books that I love looking through.  It's a price guide that covers just about everything: digests, men's sweat mags, pulps.  It's full of B&W and color illustrations.  And it even has a short history of pop fiction periodicals.  I can spend hours browsing in books like this, so for me it's an essential book.  It probably is for others, too.  Highly recommended.

The Nose Knows

Revealed: How sense of smell helps us find a potential mate - The Daily Record: "MEN sniff out potential partners ... it's official. In fact, scientists have discovered that both sexes use smell as a way of finding a mate.

Researchers compared the genetic profile of 90 married couples with those of 152 random pairs of people."

Don't Crush that Gator, Hand me the Pliers

Officials say a 47-year-old man is recovering after he was attacked by an alligator at Lake Okeechobee. | | The Gainesville Sun | Gainesville, FL: "Officials say a 47-year-old man is recovering after he was attacked by an alligator at Lake Okeechobee.

According to a news release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Antonio Prado was using a net to catch fish at Nubbin Slough in Lake Okeechobee on Monday afternoon when he was attacked by the alligator.

Prado was dragged under the water by the alligator, which bit him on his arm and chest. The alligator released Prado after the man's 24-year-old son threw a pair of pliers at it."

Brimstone -- Robert B. Parker

If you've been reading this blog for any time at all, you know I'm a hopeless fan of Robert B. Parker.  I don't think anybody bothers to edit his books these days, though.  On page 2 of Brimstone, there's this exchange:

"Railroad station," Cole said.
"Why?" I said.
"No idea," I said.

Either a lines been dropped, or Cole's the one who said "No idea." 

But that doesn't bother me.  I still enjoyed the story.  It's pretty slight.  Cole and Hitch find Allie, the woman Cole loves, after a year's search.  She's pretty much hit bottom, working as a cheap whore, but Cole takes her back.  He just has to kill one man to get her.  Cole, Allie, and Hitch ride into another where Cole and Hitch work as lawmen.   There's a preacher and a saloon owner who get crossways.  An Indian's riding around killing people and horses.  Cole and Hitch take care of business.  

Cole's pretty much Spenser, though not exactly.  In these westerns, he doesn't tell his own story.  Hitch is the first-person narrator, so we get to see Cole through his eyes.  Hitch knows him pretty well, but we rarely get below the surface.  Now and then Hitch and Cole talk about manly things, though not as much as in the earlier two books in the series.

By now, people are pretty evenly divided on Parker.  They've either quit reading him or they'll read whatever he puts out there.  I'm in the latter category.  If you're not, Brimstone's not the place to begin catching up.  If you are, you'll probably have as much fun reading it as I did.  It won't take you long.

Satan's Cheerleaders

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Conflict of Interest

The third and final chapter has been posted.

Will the Persecution Never End?

Paris Hilton and boyfriend thrown off David Furnish yacht party | Herald Sun: "PARIS Hilton has been giving Cannes the benefit of her singular style - being evicted from a private yacht party after being caught in a toilet entanglement.

Hilton and her boyfriend were kicked off the private yacht party at the Cannes Film Festival after they were caught toilet pashing."

Doc Wilde and the Frogs of Doom -- Tim Byrd

Looking for a Doc Savage pastiche and a Lovecraftian adventure all in one?  Look no further.  Tim Byrd has it for you right here.  Doctor Spartacus Wilde and his two kids, Brian and Wren, are plunged into action almost from page one when they learn of the disappearance of Grandpa Wilde.  They go from the top of what's obviously the Empire State Building to the South American jungle, tangling with all kinds of weird frogs, not to mention frog-men, along the way.

Wilde is so much like Savage that I expected to him to start trilling on any page.  He never did, but his shirt is always ripped.  So is Grandpa Wilde's, for that matter.  Like their dad, the kids are fluent in many languages, know more science than a college prof, know more literature than your average English teacher, and are as agile as monkeys.  Doc's other companions are the ape-like Declan mac Coul and the cultivated Phineas Bartlett (he's "good with quotations").  The whole crew speeds from one cliffhanger to the next so fast that you'll hardly be able to keep up.

Byrd is clearly out to hook both the youngsters and the older folks who've read Doc Savage.  Who else would he expect to get this joke: "The impact rattled the man of brawn's skeleton, . . ."  I'll bet Byrd's been waiting years to get the one into print.

It's all in good fun, and you should know by now if this is your kind of thing.  If it is, you're probably already waiting for the sequels, which should come along very soon.

Abba: Is there Anything They Can't Do?

Ananova - Coma girl sings Abba hit: "A toddler who was gravely ill shocked her family when she woke from a coma singing Abba song Mamma Mia."

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Kansas City Bomber

Monday, May 25, 2009

New Story on CrimeWAV

Episode 38: Gary Dobbs - Rhonda Noir | "This week we've got another story from the other side of the pond. I hope you'll enjoy by Gary Dobbs with 'Rhonda Noir.' This one will make you think of Guy Ritchie, Tarantino, and all the goods! Enjoy!"

Damn Near Dead

Some kind words for the book in general and "Cranked" in particular over at Pulp Serenade.

The Last Soldier

ABC News

You have to sit through an ad to see him, the last living veteran of WWI.

Who Does the Stunts for James Bond?

The family who do stunts for James Bond - Times Online: "Nearly every James Bond actor has shared a secret. At some point during filming they have been introduced to a man called Powell. And each time that man has made sure that 007 drives faster, fights better and shoots straighter.

The Powell family is among the best-kept secrets in film, having performed Bond’s stunts for more than 40 years. In 20 films, Fred “Nosher” Powell, 80, and Dennis “Dinny” Powell, 76, or Nosher’s sons Greg, 54, and Gary, 45, have helped successive Bonds from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig do the dirty business of making Bond look good."

Strange Bargain

Jeff Pierce has a nice post about Harry Whittington over on The Rap Sheet.  Maybe one of you can help him identify the cover artist he's wondering about.

Hogdoggin' Virtual Motorcycle Rally

If you haven't been keeping up with the Hogdoggin' Virtual Motorcycle Rally at the Crimedog One website, you'd better check it out.  Why?  Well, because it'll crack you up and because this week Sheriff Dan Rhodes's occasional biker pests, Rapper and Nellie, will show up.  Maybe even today.  You wouldn't want to miss that, and there might be a special treat here on this blog, too.  BOLO.

Return of Captain America

It's Memorial Day!

A Brief History of Memorial Day - TIME: "The exact origins of Memorial Day are disputed, with at least five towns claiming to have given birth to the holiday sometime near the end of the Civil War. Yale University historian David Blight places the first Memorial Day in April 1865, when a group of former slaves gathered at a Charleston, S.C., horse track turned Confederate prison where more than 250 Union soldiers had died. Digging up the soldiers' mass grave, they interred the bodies in individual graves, built a 100-yd. fence around them and erected an archway over the entrance bearing the words 'Martyrs of the Race Course.'"