Saturday, January 10, 2015

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Teen Girl Beats Up Boy for Farting Near Her 

Sharon Zukowski, R.I.P.

Mystery Fanfare: Sharon Zukowski: R.I.P.

Now Available: Hannibal for Hire (The Joe Hannibal Collection, Part II) - Wayne D. Dundee

Now Available: Hannibal for Hire (The Joe Hannibal Collection, Part II) - Wayne D. Dundee

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

A real pud ding dong: Kick off at all-you-can-eat buffet when staff cover up the desserts: The man, who was eating with a woman, had got into a heated row with door staff over the pudding concealment – so officers attended the scene within minutes to defuse the situation.

Surprise!

Fayetteville woman accidentally shoots husband: Fayetteville Police say Zia Segule, 28, left for work. His wife, 27-year-old Tiffany Segule, set the home alarm system. Zia Segule returned to the home unannounced to surprise his wife with breakfast.

How Apple Pie Became "As American As Apple Pie"

How Apple Pie Became "As American As Apple Pie" 

Song of the Day

Rod Stewart-Maggie May - YouTube:

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Mayville man accused of threatening to kill son in dispute with wife over Yahtzee

Job Opening of the Day

Recruitment Details: Jay Kay and Doris Klein Science Fiction Librarian

Link via Neatorama.

Today's Vintage Ad


First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Man brings shovel to gunfight, and wins

PaperBack



Robert Van Gulik, The Emperor's Pearl, Bantam, 1961

9 Celebrity #TBT Photos You May Have Missed This Week

9 Celebrity #TBT Photos You May Have Missed This Week

The Weird Week in Review

The Weird Week in Review 

I Want to Believe!

Scientist Sees Possible Signs Of Ancient Life On Mars In Rover Photos

Amazing Stories, May 1964: A Retro-Review

Amazing Stories, May 1964: A Retro-Review

Friday, January 09, 2015

Why Are Manhole Covers Round?

Why Are Manhole Covers Round? 

Song of the Day

G-Clefs - I Understand (Just How You Feel) - Auld Lang Syne - YouTube:

Iconic Restaurants In Every State

Iconic Restaurants In Every State

Not a slideshow.

Today's Vintage Ad


Once Again Texas Leads the Way

Self-taught 7-yr-old shocks family with bagpipe skills  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

10 Recent Space Discoveries No One Can Explain

10 Recent Space Discoveries No One Can Explain

PaperBack



Eric Allen, Louisa, Monarch, 1964

Croc Update (Burger Edition)

Nottingham Post: Crocodile burgers are being snapped up from Nottingham butchers – and could soon overtake horse meat as the top exotic product to try.

Mine, However, Isn't

This Woman's Baseball Card Collection Is Worth a Million Dollars

Andrae Crouch, R. I. P.

Andrae Crouch, legendary gospel figure, dies at 72: Andrae Crouch, a legendary gospel performer, songwriter and choir director whose work graced songs by Michael Jackson and Madonna and movies such as "The Lion King," has died. He was 72.

William Shatner Update

William Shatner Started A Company To Make This Wild Steampunk V8 Trike

A Forgotten Book

Mystery Review: JONATHAN GANT – Never Say No to a Killer.

This review links to a little essay I wrote on Clifton Adams.  Here's the link to that essay.  In it I talk about a number of Adams' books, including the one reviewed at the link above.

Vintage Treasures: The Year’s Best Fantasy, First Annual Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Vintage Treasures: The Year’s Best Fantasy, First Annual Collection, edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

FFB: The Liberated Future -- Robert Hoskins, Editor


Even after reading Robert Hoskins' introductory essay to this anthology, I'm still not sure what the title means.  The cover and title both just kind of scream '70s, though.

I've put the ToC below, so you can see that there's a varied selection of stories here.   A couple of them are (or were at one time) considered classics: Kornbluth's "Little Black Bag," about a doctor's bad from the future appearing in a "marching morons" society.  People who read the story on its original publication knew what a doctor's bag was.  I'm not sure that anybody did by 1974.  The other classic is "Private Eye," a Lewis Padgett story in its original version and here credited to Kuttner and Moore.  How can you commit a murder in a society where the cops have cameras that can see into the past and track your every movement (a society we seem to be moving closer to all the time)?  It's not easy.

And speaking of societies we're moving toward, Pohl Anderson's "Sam Hall" is a story that could have been written right this week.  There are paragraphs that sound eerily prescient.  It's about a society in which everyone is tracked by computer all the time and about what can happen when someone at the top decides to create a false identity that can act freely.  I liked this story a lot when I was a kid, mainly because it introduced me to the song "Sam Hall."  I never dreamed I'd be living in a society so much like the one Anderson describes.

"Soft Come the Dragons" was Dean Koontz's breakout story, I think.  It's about "dragons" that can kill men by eye contact.  The protagonist figures out a way to avoid the problem and makes a discovery that nobody expected.  Not a great story, but more of a beginning for Koontz's career.

R. A. Lafferty shows in "Encased in Ancient Rind" that pollution might change the world in ways we don't suspect.  Not major Lafferty, but interesting.  I don't think "Conversations at Lothar's" is major Malzberg, either, but maybe I'm wrong.  "The Trouble with You Earth People" by Katherine MacLean is a humorous take on first contact, with aliens who've learned about earth society by watching TV.  They're a bit different from us, of course, and explaining themselves to us isn't at all easy.  I didn't much care for this one, but again, it could be just me.  I haven't read or reread the others yet, but I hope to get around to them.

ToC from the isfdb:
9 • Introduction (The Liberated Future) • essay by Robert Hoskins
13 • Sam Hall • (1953) • novelette by Poul Anderson
53 • Encased in Ancient Rind • (1971) • novelette by R. A. Lafferty
73 • The Little Black Bag • (1950) • novelette by C. M. Kornbluth
109 • The Trouble with You Earth People • (1968) • novelette by Katherine MacLean
139 • Street of Dreams, Feet of Clay • (1967) • novelette by Robert Sheckley
159 • Private Eye • (1949) • novelette by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore [as by Henry Kuttner ]
197 • Soft Come the Dragons • (1967) • shortstory by Dean R. Koontz
213 • The Run from Home • (1970) • shortstory by Joe L. Hensley
229 • Conversations at Lothar's • (1973) • shortstory by Barry N. Malzberg
235 • A Meeting of Minds • [Tower and the Hive] • (1969) • novelette by Anne McCaffrey
275 • The Liberation of Earth • (1953) • shortstory by William Tenn
297 • A Trip to the Head • (1970) • shortstory by Ursula K. Le Guin

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Rod Taylor, R. I. P.

The Birds Actor Rod Taylor Has Died at 84: The Australia-born movie star appeared in more than 50 Hollywood films throughout his career, from The Time Machine and The Train Robbers to The Catered Affair. More recently, he voiced Pongo in Disney's family-favorite 101 Dalmatians and played Winston Churchill in Inglourious Basterds.

Uh-Oh

‘Roots’ Miniseries Nears Green Light At History With Allen Hughes Directing: History is lining up its next high-profile event miniseries to follow Hatfields & McCoys and Texas Rising — a remake of one of the most celebrated TV programs of all time, blockbuster 1977 miniseries Roots.

Ramon "Ray" Gipson, R. I. P.

Obituary: Ramon "Ray" Gipson, Lead Singer of the G-Clefs, Who Had a Gold Record for "I Understand" 

Bid Early and Often

Presley’s first record, ‘My Happiness,’ up for auction

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

Amazon.com: The Man Who Understood Cats: A Caleb & Thinnes Mystery eBook: Michael Allen Dymmoch: Kindle Store: Two unlikely partners join forces to solve a murder disguised as suicide and catch a killer ready to strike again. 

Gold Coast psychiatrist Jack Caleb is wealthy, cultured, and gay. When one of his clients is found dead in a locked apartment—apparently from a self-inflicted wound— burned-out Chicago detective John Thinnes doesn’t believe it was suicide. And Caleb is inclined to agree. 

But Thinnes regards a shrink who makes house calls suspicious and starts his murder investigation with the doctor himself. An attack on Caleb that's made to look like an accidental drug overdose starts to change the detective’s mind. 

Soon, the two men find themselves a whirlwind of theft, scandal, and blackmail. Forced into an unlikely partnership, they’ll have to confront not only a killer, but hard truths within themselves that will change them forever.

A New Blog of Interest

Today in MYSTERY HISTORY

Latest Getting Away with Murder Now Online

GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER #98 JANUARY 2015

Asimov's Three Rules of Rebootics

Asimov's Three Rules of Rebootics  

Link via Neatorama.

Song of the Day

Mitch Miller - The River Kwai March ~ Colonel Bogey March - YouTube:

Turbulence

Van Gogh's Paintings Accurately Depict One of Our Most Complex Scientific Theories

Today's Vintage Ad


Too beautiful to be real?

Too beautiful to be real? 16 surreal landscapes found on Earth 

PaperBack



H. Allen Smith, Low Man on a Totem Pole, Bantam, 1946

I Want to Believe!

Legendary ‘Atlantis’ metal possibly found in 2,600-year-old shipwreck off Sicily: Divers exploring an ancient shipwreck discovered ingots of what may be the legendary ancient metal orichalcum, which was said to have been originally forged in the lost kingdom of Atlantis.

8 Reasons Lost In Space Is Still A Hit

8 Reasons Lost In Space Is Still A Hit 

Paris Hilton Update

Reminder: Paris And Nicole Are Hotter Than You And Your BFF

Texas’s Last Last Meal

Why Death Row Inmates in Texas Don’t Get to Pick Their Last Meals

10 Infamous Prisons (Or, “Why I Don’t Commit Crimes Even Though I Want To”)

10 Infamous Prisons (Or, “Why I Don’t Commit Crimes Even Though I Want To”) 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

An Amusing Video

Pulpy Days 

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Attention to Books of Interest

The Lawyer: Stay of Execution - Kindle edition by Wayne D. Dundee. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.: In the Old West, J.D. Miller had been an attorney at law. A respected and successful one. Until the horrific, soul-scarring day when he returned home to find his entire family slaughtered—the charred remains scarcely recognizable in the smoldering ruins of what had once been their house. Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes, The Lawyer—a killing machine—was born, and he’s leaving a blood-splattered revenge trail as he searches out those who murdered his family. 

STAY OF EXECUTION is the first novella in a thrilling new hard-boiledWestern series by bestselling Amazon author Wayne D. Dundee (Manhunter’s Mountain, The Empty Badge) and BEAT to a PULP books. Based on characters created by Edward A. Grainger, author of the Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles adventures.

The Biscuit Thieves WBAGNFARB

Biscuit thieves arrested while scoffing shortbread in bowling club

The Last Dead Girl -- Harry Dolan

I haven't read Harry Dolan's previous novels about David Malone, but it turns out that's okay because this one is a prequel.  The year is 1998, and Malone is working as a guy who inspects houses for prospective buyers, not that he has time to do much inspecting in the course of the story.

Malone meets a young woman who's been in a car accident, and they're immediately romantically involved.  Then she's murdered.  Malone is a suspect, but the cop in charge of the investigation doesn't really press him.  Malone begins to look into things on his own, as often happens in this kind of story.  He finds out a lot, too.

The book jumps around in time and perspective.  Malone narrates his sections in first person, but we get sections from the PoV of a killer as well as flashbacks from the PoV of the murdered woman.  Malone has a bit of backstory that's filled in, too.  There are plenty of surprises as the plot unfolds, and the writing is clean and assured. Check it out the next time you're in the mood for a serial killer tale.

Some of the Best from Tor.com 2014 is Free to Download Now!

Some of the Best from Tor.com 2014 is Free to Download Now! 

Song of the Day

Paul Simon - Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard lyrics - YouTube:

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Comedian attacked with baseball bat on stage in Renton  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Stu Miller, R. I. P.

NYTimes.com: Stu Miller, a former Giants pitcher who committed perhaps the most famous balk in All-Star Game history at windy Candlestick Park in San Francisco, died on Sunday at his home in Cameron Park, Calif. He was 87.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

“Murder Most Advanced” by William Dylan Powell

“Murder Most Advanced” by William Dylan Powell | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN: William Dylan Powell’s Department of First Stories debut, “Evening Gold” (EQMM November 2006), won the Robert L. Fish Award for best short story by a new American author. The Texas writer is an ad man who managed to make time for his own writing and continues to produce both fiction and nonfiction. He has recently completed a private-eye novel featuring the protagonist of his upcoming EQMM story “The Seagull and the Skull” (don’t miss it in the July 2015 issue) and is currently at work on a book of Texas history. In this post, he explains how he became a rule-breaker in his writing—and achieved success.—Janet Hutchings

Happy Birthday, Nicolas Cage!

Flavorwire: Celebrate Nicolas Cage’s 51st Birthday With His 51 Looniest Out-of-Context Dialogue Quotes

Today's Vintage Ad


Art. Lots of Art.

The Verge: The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery have an amazing gift for the world in 2015: a newly available collection of 40,000 digitized Asian and American artworks. The Smithsonian says its vast collection has mostly never been seen by the public, and the institution is making the collection available for free public use. The art dates from the Neolithic period to present day; the Smithsonian says the collection includes "1,806 American art objects, 1,176 ancient Egyptian objects, 2,076 ancient Near Eastern objects, 10,424 Chinese objects, 2,683 Islamic objects, 1,213 South and Southeast Asian objects, and smaller groupings of Korean, Armenian, Byzantine, Greek and Roman works."

PaperBack



Jay Williams, The Rogue from Padua, Dell, 1954

Or Maybe You Did

Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Eyes

10 Crazy Tales About Daring Bank Robbers

10 Crazy Tales About Daring Bank Robbers 

Sheriff Dan Rhodes Not Available for Comment

Bill proposed to make cowboy hat official Texas headwear

The Worst (And Most Important) Smuggling Job in the History of Literature

The Worst (And Most Important) Smuggling Job in the History of Literature

Alvin Man in Multi-State Crime Spree (Update)

Alvin Man Arrested in Multi-State Crime Spree Has a Violent, Drug-Fueled Past 

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Paul Revere's Time Capsule Update

Boston Museum Opens Paul Revere's Time Capsule 

How Low Can You Go?

Someone Has Vandalized Mark Twain's Grave

The Executioner Interview Part II

BISH'S BEAT: THE EXECUTIONER INTERVIEW PART II

Bill Pronzini's excellent story becomes short film

Ed Gorman's blog: Bill Pronzini's excellent story becomes short film

Rereading as Rebirth

Rereading as Rebirth: Young Susan Sontag on Personal Growth, the Pleasures of Revisiting Beloved Books, and Her Rereading List 

Song of the Day

The Grass Roots - Midnight Confessions - [STEREO] - YouTube:

24 Mispronunciations Guaranteed To Annoy The Nerd In You

24 Mispronunciations Guaranteed To Annoy The Nerd In You

Today's Vintage Ad


Paging George Kelley

The Stanley Maze Comes To Life: The Stanley Hotel public Hedge Maze Design Contest

PaperBack



Georges Simenon, The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By, Berkley, 1958

Archaeology Upate

Ancient Amulet Discovered with Curious Palindrome Inscription

New EQMM Podcast

PodOmatic | Best Free Podcasts: EPISODE 65: “Fontaine House” by Terrie Farley Moran

I Want to Believe!

Yahoo: A suspicious pack of what appeared to be a group of large animals has sparked a viral debate about a possible sasquatch sighting in Arizona.

The Omnibus Volumes of C.J. Cherryh, Part I

The Omnibus Volumes of C.J. Cherryh, Part I

Western Trail Blazer -New (and Recent) Releases

Western Fictioneers: Western Trail Blazer -New (and Recent) Releases: Western Trail Blazer has prepared some exciting books for you in the last quarter of 2014 (and the first week of 2015)... with many more right around the corner. We've been blessed with some truly talented authors who have entrusted us with sharing their creative visions... and we're passing the blessings on to you. If you love westerns (and of course you do!) you'll want to check these out.

Brooklyn Leads the Way

CBS New York: A police officer was seriously hurt after flying off a moving patrol car in Brooklyn, and on Monday night, surveillance video told a very different story than was first provided by the department.

Overlooked Movies: What's Up, Doc?

Some of you older folks might remember the days when Peter Bogdanovich made movies that played to big audiences and brought in big bucks at the box office.  One of those movies was What's Up, Doc?, a crazy screwball comedy that I find hilarious. 

Here's the gimmick. There are four overnight bags that look just alike.  One contains rocks, one contains jewels, one contains a dictionary and some clothes, and one contains some top-secret government papers.  If you can keep up with the bags as they change hands and places in the movie you should be able to win at the shell game 100% of the time.

Ryan O'Neal is the uptight smart guy who meets up with the smartass uneducated woman (Barbara Streisand) who might be smarter than he is.  His fiancĂ©e is played by Madeline Kahn in a wonderful performance (not that O'Neal and Streisand aren't very good, too.  There's a great chase scene through the streets of San Francisco (as good as the one in Bullit? You decide) and many great comic moments with a fine cast.  If you've never seen this and if you ever need a laugh, give it a try.  

What's Up Doc? (1972) Official Trailer

What's Up Doc? (1972) Official Trailer - Barbara Streisand Movie HD - YouTube:

Monday, January 05, 2015

I Want to Believe!

John Carter is Back From the Dead 

I Need a Dog

Dog Discovers $18,000 Diamond While Sniffing Around A Bush

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Reptile Shop Owner Hit Employees With Bearded Dragon Lizard

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Tennessee man Jeremiah Taylor arrested for 'hitting girlfriend with a steak' 

Bess Myerson, R. I. P.

NYTimes.com: Bess Myerson, a New York favorite daughter who basked in the public eye for decades — as Miss America 1945, as a television personality, as a force in public affairs and finally, under a harsher light, as a player in a shattering municipal scandal — died on Dec. 14 at her home in Santa Monica, Calif., her death occurring in the relative obscurity in which she had lived her last years. She was 90.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Robert Adey, R. I. P.

From Art Scott:  Robert Adey, author of Locked Room Mysteries, the definitive reference, Fan GoH at 1990 London Bouchercon, has passed away.  A giant in the mystery field, as scholar, bibliographer and collector.  He sussed more rare books out of unlikely spots in the British Isles than anyone, and once his own collection was taken care of, he saw to it that they wound up in good hands.  My Hell Bomb Floozies and several dozen other impossibly scarce gems of that sort came out of his garage loft on a memorably hot day in July 1989.  

Photo by Art Scott.



Quarry's Choice -- Max Allan Collins

Quarry's back and Hard Case has him.  (No extra points if you get the allusion, geezers.)  The year is 1973, and as Quarry and the Broker are leaving a club, someone makes an attempt on the Broker's life.  They didn't figure that Quarry would be there, and he does what Quarry does.  The Broker is shaken and stirred but okay.

Not long afterward, Quarry gets a phone call from the Broker, who has a job for him.  This time, the Broker is the client.  He tells Quarry that the attempt to kill him came from Biloxi, Mississippi, and that he wants Quarry to go there and take out the man behind it.  In the course of the events following his arrival in Biloxi, Quarry gives us a guided tour through the sleazy underbelly of the South in the '70s, the strip clubs and motels and restaurants, all of them so vividly described that you'll think you're there.  

As usual, Quarry gets the job done, but not without some risk and some damage to himself.  He also shows his human side a few times.  He might be a remorseless killer, but he's not just a killing machine.  He has depths.

Quarry's Choice is another top-notch entertainment from Max Allan Collins.  If you've been following Quarry's career since 1976, as I have, you'll have this book ordered or in your hands already.  If you haven't, it's a great place to start.  Check it out.   

Why Were Chopsticks Invented?

Why Were Chopsticks Invented?

Song of the Day

R. B. Greaves - "Take A Letter Maria" - YouTube:

The Galveston Plague of 1920

Houston Press: While Ebola is the most recent incredibly unexpected disease to show up in Texas, it isn't anywhere near the most deadly. Long before anyone even knew Ebola existed, the city of Galveston grappled with an outbreak of bubonic plague.

Today's Vintage Ad


Forgotten Hits: 50 Year Flashback - January 5, 1965

Forgotten Hits: 50 Year Flashback - January 5, 1965

I Want to Believe!

Huge aeroplane flew in ancient India

PaperBack




Steve Harragan, Kiss of the Damned, Uni-Books, 1953

20 T.S. Eliot Quotes for Better Living and Creative Inspiration

20 T.S. Eliot Quotes for Better Living and Creative Inspiration

Archaeology Upate

Tomb of previously unknown pharaonic queen found in Egypt

10 Dirty Little Secrets About The Experts We Trust

10 Dirty Little Secrets About The Experts We Trust

Now Available: The First Three Blaze! Novels

Rough Edges: Now Available: The First Three Blaze! Novels

In Case You're Going to Japan for the First Time

A Westerner's guide to Japanese toilets

Sunday, January 04, 2015

It's Florida Man!

49 Crazy Headlines That Could Only Be Created by Florida Man

How the Elevator Transformed America

How the Elevator Transformed America 

Song of the Day

Manhattan Transfer-Operator - YouTube:

Or Maybe You Do

10 Facts You May Not Know About Elvis Presley

Today's Vintage Ad


10 Badass Explorers Who Put Indiana Jones To Shame

10 Badass Explorers Who Put Indiana Jones To Shame

Paris Hilton Update

Paris Hilton showcases cleavage in sexy spa selfie after celebrating NYE in Las Vegas   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

PaperBack



Agatha Christie, Remembered Death, Pocket books, 1947

Croc Update (Feeding Time Edition)

Man, 58, suffers hand and head injuries after being attacked by crocodile at reptile park   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

12 Movies For The Next 12 Months

12 Movies For The Next 12 Months

Edward Brooke, R. I. P.

NY Daily News: BOSTON — Former U.S. Sen. Edward W. Brooke, a liberal Republican who became the first black in U.S. history to win popular election to the Senate, died Saturday. He was 95.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

I Want to Believe!

Fisherman Says He Saw Bigfoot Bathing ... And He Sent Us A Picture!

I Grow Old, I Grow Old

30 things turning 30 in 2015 

Vintage Treasures: Bow Down to Nul by Brian W. Aldiss / The Dark Destroyers by Manly Wade Wellman

Vintage Treasures: Bow Down to Nul by Brian W. Aldiss / The Dark Destroyers by Manly Wade Wellman