Saturday, February 06, 2016

Those Non Sequesters Are Hard to Seize

Chris Christie won Saturday’s GOP debate.: . . . Rubio said after making passing reference to his own time in the Senate and the Florida House. Christie seized on the non sequester.  

Maybe the copyeditor will spot this soon, but it was too good to pass up for the blog.


"20 Rules For Writing Detective Stories" By S.S. Van Dine

"20 Rules For Writing Detective Stories" By S.S. Van Dine, One of T.S. Eliot's Favorite Genre Authors (1928)   

Hat tip to Deb.

Edgar Mitchell, R. I. P.

NASA: Astronaut Edgar Mitchell, lunar module pilot on Apollo 14, passed away Thursday in West Palm Beach, Fla., on the eve of the 45th anniversary of his lunar landing.  

Hat tip to Deb.

Alice Denham, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Alice Denham, a writer and former Playboy centerfold who left a vivid chronicle of her literary and sexual adventures in her 2006 memoir, “Sleeping With Bad Boys: A Juicy Tell-All of Literary New York in the Fifties and Sixties,” died on Jan. 27 at her home in Manhattan. She was 89.

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

Amazon.com: Carnosaur Weekend (Kyler Knightly and Damon Cole Book 1) eBook: Garnett Elliott: Kindle Store  Policing the timelines has always been dangerous, but the brave agents of Continuity Inc. have arguably the most important job in human history. Protecting human history. 

Newly promoted agent Kyler Knightly teams up with his uncle, Damon Cole, to stop unscrupulous developers from exploiting the Late Cretaceous. A luxury subdivision smack-dab in the middle of dinosaur country threatens not only the present, but super-rich homeowners looking for the ultimate getaway. 

8 Things Invented by Famous Writers

8 Things Invented by Famous Writers

Song of the Day

Claude Gray I'll Have Another Cup Of Coffee - YouTube:

How John D. MacDonald invented a subgenre that’s no longer his own

Sunbelt Baroque: How John D. MacDonald invented a subgenre that’s no longer his own

Today's Vintage Ad


John D and me: Heather Graham

John D and me: Heather Graham

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Patrick Quentin (Richard Wilson Webb & Hugh Wheeler), The Fate of the Immodest Blonde (Puzzle for Pligrims), Pocket Books, 1950

The Little Professor: Nineteenth-Century Novels I Wish Were in Print

The Little Professor: Nineteenth-Century Novels I Wish Were in Print (But Aren't)

The Weird Week in Review

The Weird Week in Review

Call Your Bookie Now!

Alligator picks underdog Broncos as Super Bowl winner

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

JOE DOWELL-WOODEN HEART. - YouTube:

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.

StarTribune.com: 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?

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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.

TMZ.com: 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 @ Amazon.com.  Barbara Neely’s Smart, Sassy and Groundbreaking Crime Novel
WINNER OF THE AGATHA, ANTHONY & MACAVITY AWARDS

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

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

Uh-Oh

'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

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Free for Kindle for a Limited Time

Harvesting The Hummingbird (Providence in Ecuador Book 1) - Kindle edition by Scarlett Braden. Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.  Abby never thought she'd have the strength, or the nerve, to get out. An abusive husband, a suffocating marriage, and a decade-long fight with PTSD conspired to trap her in that life. Now living in Ecuador amid the Andes Mountain Range, she enjoys a new life and a new relationship with an old friend. Her former troubles seem a world away. But that all changes when her new love confronts her ex back in North Carolina. If he becomes the next victim of the man she left behind, will it lead the violence of her past to her doorstep?

Bob Elliott, R. I. P.

The New York Times: Bob Elliott, who as half of the comedy team Bob and Ray purveyed a distinctively low-key brand of humor on radio and television for more than 40 years, died on Tuesday at his home in Cundy’s Harbor, Me. He was 92.

Art Scott's review of Bob & Ray: Keener than Most Persons, appeared on this blog a couple of years ago, and it's well worth taking another look at now.  Here's the link.

And here's a link to 500 or so Bob & Ray shows you can listen to. 

What It’s Like To Test Drive a Ford Model T

What It’s Like To Test Drive a Ford Model T

Song of the Day

Three Stars - Tommy Dee with Carol Kay & the Teen-Aires - Crest 1057 - YouTube:

MYSTERY ART

MYSTERY ART | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN: I spent part of this week looking over comments on the Readers Award ballots EQMM received for the 2015 awards. One reader suggested that we institute an award for artwork—covers, interiors, or both.

Today's Vintage Ad


Marilyn Monroe and Her Pets

Marilyn Monroe and Her Pets

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Merle Miller, The Sure Thing, Popular Library, 1950

Agatha Award Nominees

Mystery Fanfare: Agatha Award Nominees

Happy Birthday, Robert McGinnis!

Robert McGinnis (born February 3, 1926)[1] is an American artist and illustrator. McGinnis is known for his illustrations of more than 1,200 paperback book covers,[2] and over 40 movie posters, including Breakfast at Tiffanys (his first film poster assignment),[3] Barbarella, and several James Bond and Matt Helm films.[4]

Check out his website here: Robert McGinnis Gallery — Images from the Artist  

Have a look at some great movie posters here: American Art Archives.  

Buy a copy of the excellent The Art of Robert McGinnis here.

Remembering the 'last day music lived'

Remembering Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the 'last day music lived' 

The Day the Music Died

The Day the Music Died

The Day The Music Died

Forgotten Hits: The Day The Music Died

I don't feel so bad about my book accumulation now

Luigi Lineri, the prophet of the Adige’s stones   

Link via Messy Nessy.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Criders around the World

On his blog, John Scalzi mentioned a website, Forebears.io, where you can see how many people share your surname and how they're distributed around the world.  Naturally I had to give it a try.  It turns out that there are about 11,938 Criders in the world and that 11,892 of them live in the United States.  There's one Crider in Bangladesh, and there are 14 in Canada, with 9 in Australia and 7 in Argentina.   And that's the story of the Criders around the World.

Judy's surname, Stutts, is far less common.  Only 4363 of those, and all but 5 live in the U.S.  The outliers are in Canada. 

The Trap of Solid Gold: Please Write for Details

The Trap of Solid Gold: Please Write for Details

Song of the Day

The Fortunes "You've Got Your Troubles" - YouTube:

I Want to Believe!

Trekker believes trail in the Himalayas could come from the yeti

Today's Vintage Ad


Valley of the Dolls is 50 and more relevant than ever.

Valley of the Dolls is 50 and more relevant than ever.

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F. Van Wyck Mason, Himalayan Assignment, Pocket Books, 1953

I'd say uh-oh, but I haven't read these

'Walking Dead' Producer Adapting 'Pendergast' Novels for Spike TV 

The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy

The 100 Jokes That Shaped Modern Comedy

Happy Groundhog Day!

Where Did Groundhog Day Come From?

NTTAWWT

Suffolk man 'had sex with 450 tractors' 

Overlooked Movies: Buck and the Preacher

I don't think of Buck and the Preacher as a blaxploitation picture, myself, though obviously whoever did the trailer below does.  I think of it as a western, because that's what it is.  There are a couple of plots, and the poster gives you a good idea of one of them that's not obvious at all in the trailer.  And speaking of the poster, note Sidney Poitier's cool pistols that fire shotgun shells.  He can shoot both at once without the trace of a kick, as you can see in the trailer.

Poitier plays Buck, a wagon master who's leading feed slaves from Louisiana to a better life in the west.  After an attack on the wagon train by men hired by plantation owners to bring back the former slaves, Poitier's on the run from the villainous DeShay (Cameron Mitchell). That's plot #1.  

While he's running, Poitier comes across Belafonte, the Preacher, and takes his horse.  At that point, Belafonte is chasing Buck for the reward money, which is substantial.  That's plot #2.  

I probably don't even have to tell you that after a while, Belafonte realizes that he and Buck are really on the same side and that they need to stick together.  And I probably don't have to tell you that DeShay is going to come to a well-deserved end.  But I will, so consider yourselves told.

There's some comedy in the movie, and there's some action, too.  It's pretty much a traditional western in most ways, aside from the actors cast in the leads.  You can imagine John Wayne and Dean Martin in these roles, for example.  Putting Poitier and Belafonte in them was groundbreaking in its day (1972).  The movie's a little slow in spots, but it's still fun.  Good nontraditional score, too.

Buck And The Preacher

Buck And The Preacher Trailer Blaxploitation - YouTube:

Monday, February 01, 2016

First It Was the Thin Mint Melee

Italian reporter snaps, beats video-bomber with inflatable banana

First It Was the Thin Mint Melee

Crime | alligator.org: Gainesville Police arrested James Donald Robertson Jr., 61, on Wednesday morning after they said he attacked someone with a bag of potato chips.

Do You Really Want to Know?

Where Did That Corn Dog Come From? 

Song of the Day

Johnny Russell - Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer - YouTube:

I'm Sure You'll All Agree

The 10 Best Superhero Performances in Movies  

Link via Neatorama.

Today's Vintage Ad


'The Searchers': 60 Years Later

'The Searchers': 60 Years Later

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Donald R. Morris, Warm Bodies, Perma Books, 1959

This Year’s Most Outrageous Excuses for Being Late to Work

CareerBuilder: My favorite is this one: "My lizard had to have emergency surgery in the morning and died during surgery. I had to mourn while deciding whether to have the lizard disposed of by the vet or bring the lizard corpse with me to work."

15 Slick Facts About 'Grease'

15 Slick Facts About 'Grease'

The Mysterious Numbers Station Formerly Known As UVB-76

The Mysterious Numbers Station Formerly Known As UVB-76

New Poem at the Five-Two

The Five-Two: Bill Baber: FIFTY-SEVEN LOUSY BUCKS

New Story at Beat to a Pulp

Dave Zeltserman | Town Pride

The Century-Old Comic Strip Devoted to Cheese-Fueled Nightmares

The Century-Old Comic Strip Devoted to Cheese-Fueled Nightmares

Sunday, January 31, 2016

12 Facts About Carol Channing For Her 95th Birthday

12 Facts About Carol Channing For Her 95th Birthday: Carol Channing turns 95 today, and the actress, singer, dancer, and funny woman has a lot to celebrate. Her long, storied career includes her hit Broadway shows Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Hello, Dolly!, and her lovably wacky roles in Thoroughly Modern Millie and Alice in Wonderland. Her 70 year entertainment presence has garnered a Tony (plus two honorary ones), a Golden Globe, and an Academy Award nomination.

Signe Toly Anderson, R. I. P.

Examiner.com: Fans of the Jefferson Airplane, already sad over the death of Paul Kantner, were dealt a second blow Saturday as it was revealed that Signe Toly Anderson, who was the group's original vocalist and sang on their debut album, had died on Jan. 28, the very same day as fellow Airplane member Paul Kantner.

2016 Screen Actors Guild Award Winners

Here Are Your 2016 Screen Actors Guild Award Winners 

Song of the Day

Paul Anka With George Hamilton IV And Johnny Nash-The Teen Commandments (Of Love)-1958 - YouTube:

8 Classic Movie Props That Were Tossed in the Trash

8 Classic Movie Props That Were Tossed in the Trash

Today's Vintage Ad


Helen Macdonald: By the Book

Helen Macdonald: By the Book

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Dick Tracy: His Greatest Cases No. 2 Snowflake and Shaky, Gold Medal, 1975

The Weird Week in Review

The Weird Week in Review

I Want to Believe!

CIA jumps on return of ‘X Files’ bandwagon by releasing photos and reports of UFO sightings in the 50’s

Or Maybe You Did

Beatles' Famous Rooftop Concert: 15 Things You Didn't Know

I For One Welcome Our New Carnivorous Overlords

Scientists Say Venus Flytraps Can Count