Gary Lovisi's a man of many talents. He's the editor and publisher of both Paperback Parade and Hardboiled as well as a writer of fiction. He's done everything from Sherlock Holmes pastiches to the ultra-boiled stories in this new collection from Ramble House. What's "ultra-boiled" mean. This is from the introduction: "Ultra-boiled is hardboiled . . . on steroids." Lovisi says that these stories are "violent, maybe even brutal," but the back cover assures us that while the stories "are not for the faint of heart. . .they're definitely full of heart."
Ultra-Boiled collects 23 stories, of which five are original to the book and four have appeared only on-line in such well-regarded publications as Hardluck Stories and Plots with Guns. If you missed any of these the first time around, this is a good time to get them all in one place.
Issue 3 features fiction from some the best up and coming writers today including Dennis Tafoya, Greg Bardsley, Sandra Seamans, Daniel O'Shea, and we debut an excerpt from my good friend Jedidiah Ayres first novel, Peckerwood.
And the features, we've got some amazing stuff this issue:
Liam interviews filmmaker Nash Edgerton, director of the Square. Crimefactory founder David Honeybone interviews crime fiction legend Peter Temple. South African novelist Roger Smith offers up a fantastic Under the Influence piece. Australian novelist Leigh Redhead Returns to the Scene of her debut novel, Peepshow, and everyone's favorite blessedly foul mouthed critic, the Nerd of Noir, returns with another installment of the Crime Sleeper Double Feature.
Operating in New York City in the late 1840s, a gently-dressed Thompson would approach an upper-class mark, pretending they knew each other, and begin a brief conversation. After initially gaining the mark's trust, Thompson would ask 'Have you confidence in me to trust me with your watch until tomorrow?' Upon taking the watch (or, occasionally, money), Thompson would depart, never to be seen again.
Thompson was arrested and brought to trial in 1849, in a case that made newspaper headlines across the country. The New York Herald, recalling his explicit appeals to the victim's 'confidence,' dubbed him the 'confidence man."
What's the use of having a blog if you can't promote another writer now and then. If you haven't read Cocaine and Blue Eyes, you've missed a treat. I'm sure the others are equally good, and now you can get 'em on Kindle. Here's Fred:
Some of my books are now available on the Kindle & the Ipad.
Some of these have never been available.
Both my 1978 novel Cocaine and Blue Eyes & my 1980 novel Cinderella After Midnight are now available as Kindle Editions, for instance.
(The webzine "Beat to a Pulp" aka BTAP did a lovely excerpt "Big and bright and colorful, like the California Dream" from CINDERELLA AFTER MIDNIGHT this past February.
"I've always dreamed of owning a lotion company," said Will Ferrell, "I'm proud to be associated with Cancer for College. Since 1993, CFC has helped students realize their college aspirations. Proceeds to CFC provides college scholarships to cancer survivors.
Robert E. Howard Days this Weekend in Cross Plains: Full Schedule of Events: "Robert E. Howard, one of the best known action and adventure story authors, is being celebrated and fans are coming to “pay homage” to their favorite author in Cross Plains, TX this weekend June 11-12. They call it Howard Days and fans come from near and far to attend… putting Cross Plains in the spot light for a weekend."
Keith Laumer was a prolific SF writer who served in the U. S. Army and worked in the foreign service. His stories about Retief, a galactic diplomat, are pretty clearly a result of the latter employment. I find the early ones hilarious. (Others don't.) I also enjoy the novels in Laumer's Imperium series, especially the first, Worlds of the Imperium.Which brings us to today's Forgotten Book, because the foreign service diplomat who's kidnapped by the Imperium and take to an alternate America is Brion Bayard, who happens to be one of the characters Laumer's mainstream novelEmbassy.
Embassy is, as you can read on the cover, "A shocker to rival The Ugly American." It's Laumer's "straight" novel about the U. S. foreign service, which, if Laumer's to be believed, was staffed in the '60s by opportunists, lechers, poltroons, climbers, dumbasses, dullards, and layabouts. The setting is the mythical country of Samoy, which happens to be a lot like Burma (now Myanmar), where Laumer served. Bayard comes to the embassy ready to work, and he doesn't suffer fools gladly. He wants to do things right, and he doesn't like injustice. Naturally everyone is immediately out to get him out of Samoy and ruin his career.
Embassy is crammed with dozens of characters and plot lines, including an incipient communist revolution. It's not at all a humorous novel in the Retief vein, though there are moments of humor. Before it's over, there's plenty of action and violence. Torture, even. It's a serious take on the foreign service and what was wrong with it. Even if Laumer is exaggerating by a factor of ten, it's amazing that the U. S. has any standing left in the world.
I suspect that Laumer had high hopes for this book, and he must have been surprised when it wound up being published by a second-rank paperback house instead of some prestigious hardcover imprint. Even Pyramid didn't seem to have any faith in it, cramming its huge cast and story into a slim 200-page volume with tiny print and way too many lines on a page.
I enjoyed the book a lot, but I can see two problems, both of which could have been easily corrected. One is the narration. Bayard's sections of the book are in first-person. Why? I have no idea, since he's only one character among many and gets no more attention than a lot of the others. The other problem is the chronology. A good bit of time passes in the book, but it's hard to know when it happens. Some chapters pick up immediately after the preceding one, while between others a lot of time goes by.
Back in the early '60s I read The Ugly American and liked it. I wish I'd seen this book when it came out, but I'm glad I finally got around to reading it.
A 2006 advertising campaign used both Chevy and Chevrolet. On Tuesday, G.M. sent a memo to Chevrolet employees at its Detroit headquarters, promoting the importance of “consistency” for the brand, which was the nation’s best-selling line of cars and trucks for more than half a century after World War II.
And one way to present a consistent brand message, the memo suggested, is to stop saying “Chevy,” though the word is one of the world’s best-known, longest-lived product nicknames."
According to his bio in the back of the book, "Jeff Klima is a devilishly handsome jack-of-all-trades who makes love like a banshee. If that frightens you, perhaps you'd be happier reading something a little less awesome." It's a good thing I don't frighten easily.
After a series of dead-end jobs in retail (including a porn shop), Klima jumped at the chance to get in on a start-up business that involved cleaning crime scenes. He had no experience, no training, no real clue about what to do. He had to learn on the job. His memoir tells all about it. And more. It's not just about the job but about Klima's life, which seems always seems to be just about to get out of his control. While he works the crime scenes, he's a college grad who's still living in the frat house because he can't afford to leave. He lives from job to job, and when there aren't any jobs, he doesn't pay his bills or his taxes. But it's better than retail.
Klima has a knack for fast-moving narrative and dark humor, which is the kind you'd expect in a book like this. It's gory and gruesome, and Klima doesn't spare any details. He spent two years in the business, and in that time he saw the results of just about every kind of death you can imagine. Suicides, murders, accidents, deaths in prison, deaths in cars, you name it and he cleaned it. And that's not all. The business branched out to cleaning hoarder houses. Reading about some of these made me feel like Mr. Clean by comparison. It's all terrible but fascinating.
Klima eventually left the business and got another low-paying job, maybe because he could no longer stand to be "this racist, uncompassionate whelp who sees dead bodies as dollar signs and trauma as a means to a fancy dinner out. . . ." Not a nice guy, and even by the end he's not a lot nicer. He has a way with words, though, and if this book's any example, he's on his way to a new career as a writer. It's gotta be better than retail.
Marriage proposal in sewer is a success | Metro.co.uk: "It's not the most romantic spot for a marriage proposal but it’s one that worked for Steven Sparks - the 41-year-old got down on one knee in front of girlfriend Carolyn Payne during a trip to Victorian sewers."
Joseph Strick, Screenwriter, Is Dead at 86 - Obituary (Obit) - NYTimes.com: "Joseph Strick, an Academy Award-winning director, screenwriter and producer known for filming the unfilmable — in particular weighty, bawdy literary works whose screen adaptations often ran afoul of censors worldwide — died on June 1 in Paris. He was 86 and had made his home in Paris since the 1970s."
It has been 66 years since the dark night when he waited with bated breath, preparing to crawl through ‘Harry’ and under the wire of Stalag Luft III.
Many years after the war the former RAF pilot, and his brave and resourceful comrades, would be immortalised by the iconic 1963 film - starring Richard Attenborough and Steve McQueen - which remains the staple fare of every Christmas Day celebration."
But, according to a News Corporation (which owns Fox News) wire report, the Rocket Man, 63, serenaded the 400 guests into the wee hours Saturday night to celebrate the marriage of Limbaugh, 59, to Kathryn Rogers, 33, in the Ponce de Leon ballroom of Florida's fabled Breakers hotel in Palm Beach. Sir Elton's fee: $1 million, the report notes."
Australian Crocodile Hunter: Viva Croc Vegas | Gambling911.com: "Las Vegas is set to get a massive shake up Aussie style, thanks to Australia's Team Terri Irwin. The wife of the late, great, Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin, and her world class team have a vision of everyone doing the Crocodile Rock at an upcoming Croc themed show and expo on the famed Las Vegas Strip. Media Man and Gambling911 take the croc probe to the smiling crocodile situation..."
When Jack Clark was driving a cab in Chicago, he wrote a book about a Chicago cabbie named Eddie Miles and published it himself, selling it to his fares. Now the book's been reprinted by Hard Case Crime with what I suspect is a much cooler cover.
Nobody's Angel is an interesting choice for a crime fiction line, since it's hardly a crime novel at all, at least to my way of thinking. Sure, there's a murder and a slashing, but they seem incidental to main thrust of the novel, which is more about the life of Eddie Miles and how it's spiraled down the drain, much like the city of Chicago seems to have done. There's a strong thread of nostalgia for the city's past and the way things used to be, and Miles' tours of the town are almost like a trip through Dante's Inferno. The plot, however, is thin.
Don't get me wrong, however. I liked the book a good bit. The writing's good, and Eddie's an interesting character. The descriptions of Chicago and of the people who wind up in Eddie's cab are really well done. If you're looking for something a little different from the usual crime fare, this might be just the thing for you.
Or maybe BP leads the way. I live about 15 miles from this plant.
BP: 500,000 pounds of emissions released: "At BP’s Texas City refinery, more than 400 pounds a day of benzene — 40 times the state reportable levels — was released during a 40-day period while a subunit of the refinery’s ultracracker unit was offline, according to a company filing with the state’s environmental agency Friday.
In all, BP officials said more than 500,000 pounds of pollutants and nonpollutants were released while the company increased flaring as they tried to repair a compressor on the faulty unit."