Friday, September 19, 2008

SEPTEMBER 19TH - TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!

SEPTEMBER 19TH - TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!

ARRRG! AVAST, YE SALTY SEA DOG! IT'S TALK LIKE A PIRATE DAY!

TO LEARN MORE CLICK HERE

RICHARD STARK /PARKER REPRINTS!

RICHARD STARK / PARKER REPRINTS!

Bruce Grossman, renown for his Bookgasm column Bullets, Broads, Blackmail, and Bombs, has a nice article on the first three (long overdue) Stark/Parker reprints – The Hunter, The Man With The Getaway Face, and The Outfit:

The Hunter is the book that would become the cornerstone to not only a long-running character, but also the quintessential professional thief all others would try to emulate. It starts out as a tale of revenge, with the backstory explained in flashbacks, as Parker was double-crossed by not only his partner, but his wife.

The story is told so well that you feel as though Parker could actually exist. (Sure, it would not be in a world that you would want to visit, but that’s not the point.) We’re given ringside seats to a tale of payback with Parker out for his share of the money that was taken from him. If people get in his way, they will just become a statistic in his eyes.

The writing of Stark (aka Donald E. Westlake) is unlike anything else up to this point, since Parker is such an anti-hero and one of the clearest ideas of a man on a mission. The book also lays out all the ground work to be found further in the series, including a syndicate-type operation known as The Outfit, and the way Parker recruits his fellow thieves. It all leads up to the final showdown, where Parker gets what’s coming to him and leads directly to the following story by ending with Parker aiming to get his face changed by a corrupt doctor.

TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

ROBERT E. HOWARD – QUOTE OF THE DAY!

ROBERT E. HOWARD – QUOTE OF THE DAY!

From Red Shadows:

Kane blinked: was this the illusion that precedes death? The shape he looked upon was such as he had visioned dimly in wild nightmares, when the wings of sleep bore him back through the lost ages.

Red Shadows is one of a series of stories featuring Howard’s puritan avenger, Solomon Kane. Kane tracks his prey over land and sea, enters the jungles of Africa, and even faces dark Gods and evil magic — all to avenge a woman he’d never met before.

TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY CLICK HERE

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: THE WRONG SIDE OF THE SKY BY GAVIN LYALL!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: THE WRONG SIDE OF THE SKY BY GAVIN LYALL!

Gavin Lyall (along with Desmond Bagley, Hammond Innes, and Alistair MacLean – all of whom are forgotten/out of favor today), was one of my favorite authors working in what was once called the High Adventure genre. Lyall’s first person narratives of aviation daring-do and intrigue filled my teenage head with dreams of adventure.

Published in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Lyall's first seven novels were action thrillers with different settings around the world. His first novel, The Wrong Side of the Sky, drew from his personal experiences in the Libyan Desert and in Greece, and set the standard for his meticulous research.

The Wrong Side of the Sky was an immediate success and allowed Lyall to quit his job as a reporter and take up novel writing full time.
The protagonist, Jack Clay, was typical of Lyall’s early heroes – an ex-Royal Air Force military transport pilot now making a threadbare living flying charter cargo flights of dubious legitimacy around the Mediterranean and other parts of Europe in an old Douglas DC-3.


His dreams of having his own airplane and own charter company are rapidly fading due to age and lack of money, but at least he is flying. While in Athens, Greece he has a chance encounter with an old wartime friend and rival pilot, Ken Kitson, when he lands in a luxurious private plane.


Kitson is personal pilot to the immensely wealthy former-Nawab of Tungabhadra in Pakistan, who is searching the world for his family's heirloom jewels, which had been stolen by a British charter pilot during the Partition of India. However, the Nawab is not the only one looking for the missing jewels, and is not the only one who would cheat, steal or murder to find them first.


This is all good stuff and typical of Lyall’s early work. His second novel, The Most Dangerous Game (1963) was set in Finnish Lapland, and was again meticulously researched with local details.


The film rights to Midnight Plus One (1965), in which an ex-spy is hired to drive a millionaire to Liechtenstein were purchased by actor Steve McQueen, who had planned to adapt it to the cinema before he died.


Shooting Script (1966) is about a former RAF pilot hired to fly a camera plane for a filming company is set around the Caribbean. The protagonists of Judas Country (1975) are again former RAF pilots, and the setting is now in Cyprus and the Middle East.

Later in his writing career, Lyall adapted to the demands of the market, turning to more LeCarre type espionage stories. These were told in the third person and, while they might have sold better than his early works, I found them stodgy and tough reading.

Lyall won the British Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger award in both 1964 and 1965, which I think speaks to the excellence of his early titles.

If you can dig up a copy of The Wrong Side of the Sky, I can guarantee you an evening of adventure and excitement, which will have you scrambling for more of Lyall’s novels.


Thursday, September 18, 2008

RARE RECORDINGS SET FOR RELEASE!

RARE RECORDINGS BY MILES DAVIS,DAVE BRUBECK, FRANK SINATRA, CARMEN MCRAE,OTHERS SET FOR OCT. RELEASE!

Written by Jeff Tamarkin
Published on 16 September 2008

Acrobat Music has announced the launch of its Premier Collection reissue series, covering jazz, rock, blues, country and other genres.

The initial release, set for October 21, features never-before-released radio broadcasts and transcriptions, as well as rare, out-of-print LPs. The initial releases will include Miles Davis (from his classic 1958 period, with John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans and others), Dave Brubeck (1956-57), Carmen McRae (her 1962 Ember Records LP), Frank Sinatra (1949-50 radio broadcasts), Rosemary Clooney (early '50s), Glenn Miller with the Andrews Sisters (1939 radio broadcasts) and Benny Goodman (a compilation taken from 1935-46 recordings).

Another CD, featuring Sarah Vaughan's only recordings with Woody Herman and His Orchestra (from 1963), debuts November 11.

For more information visit Acrobat Music.

HARLAN COBEN e-NEWSLETTER!

HARLAN COBEN e-NEWSLETTER!

Hey, gang!

The TELL NO ONE movie is still in theaters

Special Free Reading/Music Event:
Harlan reads and Missy Higgins sings
Next book? LONG LOST comes out March 31, 2009


IN THEATERS:

There is still time to see the TELL NO ONE movie, the word-of-mouth smash hit that Stephen Holden of the NY TIMES called, “the best mystery in the Hitchcock tradition since North by Northwest.”

It originally opened in only two cities more than two months ago and exploded to where it is currently playing on about 100 screens. To see more of the excellent reviews, go here.

If you want to know if it is playing near you, try Googling your zip code and the words “TELL NO ONE.” The trailer is at harlancoben.com. I don’t know when it comes out in DVD, but I will certainly do a mailing when it does.

SPECIAL FREE EVENT:


Missy Higgins Sings, Harlan Coben Reads, and They Both Discuss the Creative Process.

Where: New York City – Borders Books,
461 Park Ave (at 57th Street)
When: Tuesday, Sept 30 at 1 PM
Free to the public

Here’s the official press release on it:

In his recen t #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller HOLD TIGHT, Harlan Coben wrote about listening to Missy Higgins’s heartbreaking hit song WHERE I STOOD. Now Missy Higgins, the Australian superstar, is releasing her new CD in the USA, ON A CLEAR NIGHT.

Missy will perform songs from the CD while Harlan will read from his upcoming novel, LONG LOST (coming out March 31, 2009), which will feature the long-anticipated return of Myron Bolitar.

These two popular artists will join up for this one free event – a great chance to hear and meet both. A CD and book signing will follow.
To watch the WHERE I STOOD video, click here.

Man that should be fun! Other than that, I’m not touring much until LONG LOST is released, but I will have another NYC brunch-event on Sunday, September 28 (with Dionne Warwick, Larry Block and Marlo Thomas) and there are a few dates in Boston, Naples FL, and West Virginia scattered about. For details, check here.

NEXT BOOK?

LONG LOST, a new Myron Bolitar novel, will be out March 31st of next year in the USA. (I don’t know about other countries yet.) What’s the early scoop? Well, for the first time, a Myron book will be in the first person.

That’s right – Myron tells the story.

Yes, Win and Esperanza and Big Cyndi and El-Al are all back. Oh, and Myron won't just be in the New York-New Jersey area. So far, he has visited Paris and London – and I still have a hundred pages to go.

LONG LOST is a wild ride. You will also see a few characters from HOLD TIGHT pop up again. I can’t wait for you to read it.

That’s all!
Best,Harlan

JAMES CRUMLEY - R.I.P.

JAMES CRUMLEY - R.I.P.

Missoula author James Crumley, 68, died Wednesday afternoon at St. Patrick Hospital after many years of health complications.

Crumley has published 11 novels, taught at universities across the country and worked in Hollywood for several years. Famous for his hard-boiled mysteries, his works include “One to Count Cadence,” (a novel about Vietnam) “The Last Good Kiss,” “The Wrong Case,” “The Mexican Tree Duck,” “Bordersnakes,” “The Final Country,” and most recently, “The Right Madness.”

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE


BURN NOTICE NEWSLETTER!

BURN NOTICE NEWSLETTER!

COMING UP ON BURN NOTICE:

When a client is being forced into a kidnapping scheme, Michael must pose as a security consultant - a guy who will stop at nothing to foil the gang's plan.

Tune in tonight at 10/9C for the Burn Notice summer finale, "Good Soldier"!

New episodes will return in time to add some Miami sun to your winter!

THIS WEEK ON THE BURN NOTICE SITE:

SUMMER FINALE BEHIND-THE-SCENES

Tonight, after the summer finale airs, head to the official Burn Notice site for a special behind-the-scenes look at the finale's thrilling car chase scene with the show's Stunt Coordinator.

SUN. SURF. ESPIONAGE. SWEEPSTAKES

LAST WEEK TO ENTER! Think the sun and sand of Miami looks great on Burn Notice? It's nothing compared to seeing it in person! Enter this sweepstakes for a chance to win a VIP weekend getaway for two to beautiful Miami.

COVERT OPS GAME

Covert Ops is a weekly interactive adventure game where you work alongside Michael and Fiona. You could win an actual 2009 Saab 9-3 convertible! Play Mission #7 now, and Mission #8 after (or even during!) tonight's show.

MATT NIX EPISODE COMMENTARY

Burn Notice creator Matt Nix provides a video commentary for every episode this season. Don't miss his insights on last week's episode, "Double Booked"

BURN NOTICE NOVEL

Read an excerpt from Burn Notice: The Fix, the first action novel based on USA Network's hit show. Author Tod Goldberg will be doing in-store signings during the next few weeks; check our list for one in your area.


ROBERT E. HOWARD – QUOTE OF THE DAY!

ROBERT E. HOWARD – QUOTE OF THE DAY!

From The Beast From The Abyss:

His only religion is an unfaltering belief in the divine rights of cats.

TO READ THE ENTIRE STORY CLICK HERE

BRING BACK SHIRLEY BASSEY!

BRING BACK SHIRLEY BASSEY!

The EURO CRIME BLOG reports a clip from the new Bond movie theme is available on the
BBC website:

Jack White and Alicia Keys' theme for the new James Bond movie has had its first airplay.Radio 1 DJ Jo Whiley debuted Another Way To Die on her morning show. The track will feature in Quantum of Solace which is out on 31 October.


The song, which is the 22nd Bond theme, is driven by White's trademark fuzzy guitar riffs and thunderous drum rolls.The pair were announced to score the track in July despite Amy Winehouse being hotly tipped for the role.

The track sees the singer trading vocals with Keys over a horn section with White singing: "Another blinger with the slick trigger finger for Her Majesty."

Keys responds with: "Another one with the golden tongue poisoning your fantasy."

TO READ THE FULL BBC ARTICLE AND TO LISTEN TO A CLIP CLICK HERE

HIGH NOON!

HIGH NOON!

Released by Prion Books on 6 October 2008. I'm especially proud of this one. Unlike the war volumes which I've edited this year, I've tried to highlight the work of a handful of artists in the pages of High Noon, so the contents are heavily biased towards Gerry Embleton, Jesus Blasco and Alberto Breccia, with 4 stories apiece from Embleton and Blasco and 3 by Breccia, plus a story apiece by Sergio Tarquinio and Jorge Macabich.

Synopsis

Whooping Injuns, wandering cowpokes, grizzled prospectors, mysterious hombres in sombreros and masked outlaws - this is the untamed West of our childhoods, where the heroes are rugged and honest, the villains are yellow-bellied cowards and only the toughest survive. From the Great Plains to dusty Texan trails and lawless prospecting towns, every thrilling story in this book is jam packed with gunfights, jaw busting saloon punch ups, racing stagecoaches and tomahawk throwing varmints. So saddle up partner, grab your six-gun and prepare to ride into town.

Contents

Davy Crockett & the Paddleboat Pirates Art: Gerry Embleton.
The Gun Crew Art: Alberto Breccia.
Kit Carson and the Man Who Hated Redskins Art: Jesus Blasco.
Kansas Kid and the 'Frisco Racketeers Art: Gerry Embleton.
Buck Jones and the Apache Manhunt Art: Alberto Breccia.
Kit Carson and the Cheyenne War Art: Jesus Blasco.
Kansas Kid and the Brand of the Double-D Art: Jorge Macabich.
Buck Jones and the Man from Montana Art: Jesus Blasco.
Davy Crockett and the Duel With Danger Art: Sergio Tarquinio.
Kit Carson—Indian Tamer Art: Gerry Embleton.
The Hunter (Buck Jones) Art: Alberto Breccia.


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

HARLAN COBEN ENEWSLETTER!

HARLAN COBEN e-NEWSLETTER!

Hey, gang!

The TELL NO ONE movie is still in theaters

Special Free Reading/Music Event:
Harlan reads and Missy Higgins sings

Next book? LONG LOST comes out March 31, 2009
________________________________________

IN THEATERS:

There is still time to see the TELL NO ONE movie, the word-of-mouth smash hit that Stephen Holden of the NY TIMES called, “the best mystery in the Hitchcock tradition since North by Northwest.”

It originally opened in only two cities more than two months ago and exploded to where it is currently playing on about 100 screens. To see more of the excellent reviews, go here.

If you want to know if it is playing near you, try Googling your zip code and the words “TELL NO ONE.” The trailer is at harlancoben.com. I don’t know when it comes out in DVD, but I will certainly do a mailing when it does.
________________________________________

SPECIAL FREE EVENT:

Missy Higgins Sings, Harlan Coben Reads, and They Both Discuss the Creative Process.

Where: New York City – Borders Books,
461 Park Ave (at 57th Street)

When: Tuesday, Sept 30 at 1 PM

Free to the public

Here’s the official press release on it:

In his recen t #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller HOLD TIGHT, Harlan Coben wrote about listening to Missy Higgins’s heartbreaking hit song WHERE I STOOD. Now Missy Higgins, the Australian superstar, is releasing her new CD in the USA, ON A CLEAR NIGHT.

Missy will perform songs from the CD while Harlan will read from his upcoming novel, LONG LOST (coming out March 31, 2009), which will feature the long-anticipated return of Myron Bolitar.

These two popular artists will join up for this one free event – a great chance to hear and meet both. A CD and book signing will follow.
To watch the WHERE I STOOD video, click here.

Man that should be fun! Other than that, I’m not touring much until LONG LOST is released, but I will have another NYC brunch-event on Sunday, September 28 (with Dionne Warwick, Larry Block and Marlo Thomas) and there are a few dates in Boston, Naples FL, and West Virginia scattered about. For details, check here.
________________________________________

NEXT BOOK?

LONG LOST, a new Myron Bolitar novel, will be out March 31st of next year in the USA. (I don’t know about other countries yet.) What’s the early scoop? Well, for the first time, a Myron book will be in the first person.

That’s right – Myron tells the story.

Yes, Win and Esperanza and Big Cyndi and El-Al are all back. Oh, and Myron won't just be in the New York-New Jersey area. So far, he has visited Paris and London – and I still have a hundred pages to go.

LONG LOST is a wild ride. You will also see a few characters from HOLD TIGHT pop up again. I can’t wait for you to read it.

That’s all!

Best,
Harlan

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROBERT B. PARKER!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, ROBERT B. PARKER!

IT DOESN'T MATTER IF IT'S A SPENSER NOVEL, A JESSE STONE STORY, A SUNNY RANDALL TALE, A WESTERN, A YOUNG ADULT NOVEL, A CHANDLER REDUX, OR A STAND-ALONE, IF PARKER WRITES IT, I'LL READ IT.

A TIP OF THE HAT TO THE RAP SHEET FOR THE REMINDER.

I GET DIZZY JUST WATCHING!

WHY DOES THIS MAKE ME LAUGH?



Thanks to NEATORAMA for this link to this video. The man in the “kangourou” costume is French prankster Rémi Gaillard. He’s famous in France for wearing national sports teams’ uniforms and slipping by security to join the teams on the pitch, at victory parties, in audience with President Jacques Chirac, etc. - all for the benefit of the camera.

The influence of Jackass and the UK’s Dom Joly are apparent in this video of Gaillard on a rampage dressed like a kangaroo. The song is “Kangourou Nomade” by the French ska band Nomades et Skaetera.
Doing that much 'jumping' this guy has got to be in some kind of shape!

EVA CASSIDY – SOMEWHERE!

EVA CASSIDY – SOMEWHERE!

Ten years after the release of her last album, the now platinum SONGBIRD, twelve years after her passing, comes a new Eva album of all new songs.

From Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors to her own Somewhere, Cassidy covers a wide musical spectrum-country, folk, blues, R&B, western swing, Appalachian, Celtic, Gershwin. This gives the CD a slightly schizophrenic feel, but the clarity and raw emotion in Cassidy’s voice more than makes up for this slight drawback.

As a singer Cassidy is many different things to many different people. She never allowed herself to be pigeonholed – she was never just folk, or just jazz, or just blues – she was multifaceted and never shied away from a different style or different sound.

For me Eva is a soul singer. On the new CD Somewhere, I can find her in Chain of Fools, Walking After Midnight, Summertime, and the title song (which Eva penned) Somewhere. I only know her through her music, I never had the opportunity to see her perform, I didn’t even discover her until after her passing, yet her voice touches something special in me and I miss her.

TO PREVIEW SONGS FROM SOMEWHERE CLICK HERE

ROBERT E. HOWARD - QUOTE OF THE DAY!

ROBERT E. HOWARD - QUOTE OF THE DAY!

From Post Oaks & Sand Roughs:

But I'll likely write every kind of junk in the world before I'm through. This game is like a ladder. The first rung is the hardest. After that, everybody above you is comin' down on your fingers with their boot heels, but if you've got the guts, you'll hang on. I'm hanging on right now. My fingers are torn and bleedin', but I'm stayin' on till hell freezes and the Devil comes out to skate on the ice.

Post Oaks & Sand Roughs is a semi-autobiographical adventure novel by Robert E. Howard. It was first published in 1990 by Donald M. Grant, Publisher, Inc. in an edition of 850 copies. The book contains an introduction and appendix by Glenn Lord where Lord identifies the real people who appear as thinly disguised characters in the novel.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

NO NEW IDEAS!

I FOUND THIS HILARIOUS! PROVING ONCE AGAIN THERE ARE NO COMPLETELY ORIGINAL IDEAS.

A TIP OF THE FEDORA TO HEMINGWAY'S LOUNGE

KOLCHAK #3 TOMORROW!

KOLCHAK #3 TOMORROW!

BLOG BUDDY AND COMIC WRITER EXTRODINAIRE TELLS US:

The Word according to publisher Moonstone Books:

Kolchak: Night Stalker of the Living Dead 3
By Christopher Mills and Tim Hamilton
Issue 3 of 3
32 pages FC $3.99

This is it, Kolchak fans!

One more small town that thought "it couln't happen here" is overrun with the animated corpses of men...and pigs? Hey, zombies are zombies, and they're everywhere! Carl Kolchak just wants to finish his story before lunch, especially since he's on the menu! Just what is the terrible secret behind this little farm town?

Go to your LCS (local comic shop) to get yours on Wednesday!

If you can't find your favorite Moonstone books at your LCS, you can always order direct from us www.moonstonebooks.com.

MY NAME IS BRUCE!

MY NAME IS BRUCE!

YOU JUST GOTTA LOVE BURN NOTICE’S BRUCE CAMPBELL – A GUY WHO DOESN’T TAKE HIMSELF TOO SERIOUSLY AND MAKES THE BEST OUT OF EVERY B-MOVIE HE’S EVER BEEN IN. I ADMIRE HIS ATTITUDE AND I’M GOING TO BE PAYING FOR A SEAT WHEN HIS LATEST – MY NAME IS BRUCE – COMES TO TOWN.

HERE’S THE SYNOPSIS FROM BRUCE’S WEBSITE:

My Name is Bruce is the heroic struggle of a small mining town (Gold Lick, Oregon) to rid itself of a vengeful monster. Guan-di (Jamie Peck), the Chinese god of war and protector of the dead, has been unleashed by cemetery desecrating teenagers to protect the graves of Chinese miners lost in a deadly cave-in of yesteryear.

The deadly demon’s mission is to eradicate all those who transgressed against the tomb (relatives included), which is virtually the entire population of Gold Lick. The inbred community has to find a solution so Jeff (Taylor Sharpe), the sole survivor of a deadly Guan-Di encounter, takes it upon himself to kidnap his idol, Bruce Campbell (Bruce Campbell), star of countless B-movie horror films, and recruit him to be their local savior.
Mortified at first, Bruce eventually goes along with Jeff’s prank, convinced that it’s all an elaborate birthday present from his agent (Ted Raimi), and begins to enjoy the spoils of being a movie hero, including free liquor and Jeff’s attractive mother, Kelly (Grace Thorsen) very afraid.

But Jeff’s scheme goes horribly wrong when his hero, known more for fighting directors than mythical warriors, haphazardly leads the town in battle against Guan-Di. Confronted by a monster that’s not a guy in a rubber suit, and with the blood of innocents on his hands, Bruce abandons the harsh reality of Gold Lick for the sanctity of his former, artificial life.
In his ramshackle desert trailer, Bruce resumes the daily grind of genre sequels, poor housekeeping and cheap whiskey, but a gut-wrenching call from his biggest fan, Jeff - now forced to take on Guan-Di alone - prompts the actor to re-evaluate his destiny.

Against his better judgment (and the angry citizens of Gold Lick), Bruce returns to defeat Guan-Di, save Jeff, and snag his hot mother. In the climactic, mano-a-monster, Bruce tries to rise above the miserable, off-screen schmuck that he is and become a hero…in real life.
Be afraid, Gold Lick – be very afraid.

TO GET MORE AND SEE THE TRAILER CLICK HERE

CORDUROY MANSIONS - ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH!

CORDUROY MANSIONS - ALEXANDER McCALL SMITH!

THE RAP SHEET brings us word British writer Alexander McCall Smith, best known for his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, has just begun penning his own serial novel for The Daily Telegraph’s Web site. It’s called Corduroy Mansions. Installments will appear each weekday through February 13, 2009.

In an introduction to this “digital novel,” Smith says he enjoys the discipline forced upon him by writing fiction at such a rapid clip, but is looking forward, too, to some daily interaction with his newspaper audience.

“Readers will also be able to contact me with suggestions as to how the plot should unfold,” Smith explains, “as at any time in the publication of the novel I shall only be about 20 episodes ahead of the one that is published that day. This should make the novel interactive--to some extent at least. I obviously have my own ideas of what will happen, but I shall be open to persuasion.”

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

NEWS FROM THE SHIRLEY BASSIE FAN CLUB!

NEWS FROM THE SHIRLEY BASSIE FAN CLUB!

For those of you who don't check
The Bassey Blog regularly, you might like to take a look today! There are some great new photographs of Shirley Bassey taken last night at London Fashion Week; one of the first public appearances since her operation earlier in the year. It's great to see Dame Shirley looking so well.And details of two exciting new releases coming soon...

SHIRLEY BASSEY LIVE IN JAPAN


The wait is finally over - after more than three decades this superb live album is finally being released outside of Japan - on a superb digitally remastered CD from Beat Goes On records. This really is the must-have CD of the year, so far!

CLICK HERE to order from Amazon UK

CLICK HERE to order from Amazon USA

STOPS THE SHOWS / 12 OF THOSE SONGS

Two classic sixties albums released in full on CD for the first time. Pre-orders now being taken...

CLICK HERE to pre-order from Amazon UK

CLICK HERE to pre-order from Amazon USA

GOLDSTAR: CATALINA CLUB JAZZ GREATS!

GOLDSTAR: CATALINA CLUB JAZZ GREATS!

Here's another great HALF-PRICE bargain from Goldstar -- Catalina Jazz Club has numerous dates available for their Jazz Great's series. I guarantee you will have a fantastic time at the show and, if you chose to eat, a great culinary experience (you can just have a drink if you so desire).

The Catalina Jazz club hosts great live jazz in a setting with Old World charm. Catalina has lived up to its slogan "Nothing But the Best in Jazz" by presenting a veritable Who's Who of jazz legends such as Dizzie Gillespie, Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Chick Corea, Ray Brown, Joe Williams, Max Roach, Carmen McRae, Joe Henderson, Benny Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Branford Marsalis, Joshua Redman and many more.

TO VIEW THIS EVENT CLICK HERE

IT'S MAGIC!: A TRIBUTE TO SAMMY CAHN!

IT'S MAGIC!: A TRIBUTE TO SAMMY CAHN!

As I’ve posted before, if you are not a Gold Star member you should be. It's free to sign up (
CLICK HERE) and members receive half-price (or free) ticket offers for numerous concerts, plays, and other activities - events you would actually want to attend. There is usually an associated handling fee, but I've seen several concerts at Catalina Jazz Club in LA and the Canyon Club in Agoura for the cost of the handling fee alone.

Right now, Gold Star is offering half price ($17.50) tickets to this Sunday’s (09/21/2008) event at the Beverly Hills' Wilshire Theatre: It's Magic!: A Tribute to Sammy Cahn.

One of Hollywood's greatest lyricists, Cahn won four Oscars, and wrote such classics as "I'll Walk Alone," "Only the Lonely", and "Come Fly With Me". The show features singer Freda Payne, comic actor Harry Shearer, Sam Harris, Steve Tyrrell, Judith Owen, Karen Morrow, and host Leonard Maltin. The show, produced and directed by Corky Hale, benefits the Wilshire Theatre Beverly Hills Revitalization Project.

TO VIEW THIS EVENT AT GOLD STAR CLICK HERE

HOMICIDE CREATORS TEAM UP AGAIN!

HOMICIDE CREATORS TEAM UP AGAIN!

Homicide: Life on the Streets was a brilliant series that launched the television careers of two very talented men: David Simon and Tony Fontana.

Simon, who wrote the book that the series was based on, went on to create The Wire and Generation Kill, while Fontana gave us the amazing Oz.

The two will come together for an HBO miniseries that looks at the manhunt for Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth. The series will be based on James L. Swanson's book Manhunt.

A tip of the fedora to CRIMESPREE CINEMA

ROBERT E. HOWARD – QUOTE OF THE DAY!

ROBERT E. HOWARD – QUOTE OF THE DAY!

From The Moon Of Skulls:

Our golden spires split the stars; our purple-prowed galleys broke the waves around the world, looting the sunset for its treasure and the sunrise for its wealth.

TO READ THE COMPLETE SOLOMON KANE TALE CLICK HERE

COFFEE HOUND!

COFFEE HOUND!

This dog walks into a coffee shop and asks the waitress: "How much is the coffee?" "Coffee is three dollars the waitress says". "How much is a refill?" the dog asks. "Free, "says the waitress."Then I'll take a refill!"

Monday, September 15, 2008

NINJA KITTY!



THIS IS ONE SNEAKY CAT!

LA TIMES ON STARK'S PARKER NOVELS!

LA TIMES ON STARK'S PARKER NOVELS!

The LA Times today features an appreciation of Richard Stark's (Donald Westlake's) tough as nails Parker novels.

Richard Stark created the character of Parker, a nerveless professional thief, all the way back in 1963, in "The Hunter" ( University of Chicago Press: 198 pp., $14 paper). Stark was, and is, a pseudonym for Donald Westlake, then a young writer so inventive and wildly fecund that he had no option but to publish under other names. Bucklin Moon, the legendary editor at Pocket Books (Moon wrote novels himself, knew William Faulkner and was responsible for the bestselling success of "Peyton Place"), had commissioned "The Hunter" and loved the book. He asked Westlake for more. At first, Westlake didn't get it. Parker was such a bad guy, he told Moon, an exact compendium of what a lead character should not be, with no quirks, no small talk, no friends, no pets.

TO READ THE COMPLETE ARTICLE CLICK HERE

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AGATHA CHRISTIE!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AGATHA CHRISTIE!

Dame Agatha would have been 118 years old today. To celebrate, her estate has anounced the discovery of 27 reels of recording tape running a total of more than 13 hours, which are filled with Christie’s painstaking dictation of her life story, rough material recorded in the early 1960s that eventually made up her autobiography, published posthumously in 1977. It stands as one of only a handful of recordings of Christie, the British mystery writer, who rarely agreed to be interviewed.

Christie’s estate is calling the tapes a rare find and a significant addition to the collection of memorabilia related to Christie.

TO READ THE FULL STORY IN THE NEW YORK TIMES CLICK HERE

CURRENT Y/A READING!

CURRENT Y/A READING!

I read fairly extensively in the YA (Young Adult) genre mainly because, on a regular basis, I find more enjoyable, better written, faster moving, less pretentious and more engaging novels than are ever offered on the adult best seller lists.

I started reading Cinda Williams Chima two years ago with Warrior Heir, which I found a rivetting modern day sword and sorcery tale. The follow up, Wizard Heir, took the series in a new direction, but still provided and enjoyable read. Now, the third in the series sits atop my ‘to be read’ pile.


THE DRAGON HEIR / Cinda Williams Chima

The covenant that was meant to keep the wizard wars at bay has been stolen, and Trinity must prepare for attack. Everyone is doing their part -- Seph is monitoring the Weirwalls; Jack and Ellen are training their ghostly army; even Anaweir Will and Fitch are setting booby traps around the town's perimeter. But to Jason Haley, it seems like everyone wants to keep him out of the action. He may not be the most powerful wizard in Trinity, but he's prepared to fight for his friends. When Jason finds a powerful talisman --a huge opal called the Dragonheart--buried in a cave, his role takes on new importance. The stone seems to sing to Jason's very soul -- showing him that he is meant for more than anyone guessed. Trinity's guardians take the stone away after they realize that it may be a weapon powerful enough to save them all. Without any significant power of his own, and now without the stone, what can Jason possibly do to help the people he cares about -- and to prove his mettle?

Madison Moss can feel the beating heart of the opal, too. The desire for it surges through her, drawing her to it. But Maddie has other things besides the Dragonheart on her mind. She has a secret. Ever since absorbing the magical blow that was meant to kill Seph, she's been leaking dark powers. Although Maddie herself is immune to magic, what would her friends think if they knew what kind of evil lay within her? Trinity's enemies are as enthusiastic about her powers as she is frightened. They think they can use her to get to the Dragonheart -- and they'll use anyone Maddie cares about to make her steal the stone for them.

Moral compasses spin out of control as a final battle storms through what was once a sanctuary for the gifted. With so much to lose, what will Jason and Maddie be willing to fight for -- and what will they sacrifice? Every man is for himself in this thrilling conclusion to the Heir trilogy.


I’m a sucker for teenage spy tales – probably because my formative years were obsessed with The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and James Bond. IMHO the top teenage spy series are the Alex Rider novels by Anthony Horowitz, the Young Bond books by Charles Higson, and the Cerub series by Robert Muchamore. I will also cop out to regularly watching the cartoon series Totally Spies and (my favorite) Kim Possible.

All this is leading to a new teenage spy series I just picked up. Now along with the top teenage spy series mentioned above, there is also some complete dreck out there. So when I picked the first Sqad novel off the bookstore shelf and saw the premise was ‘high school cheerleader spies,’ my immediate reaction was to put the book back on the shelf - then I saw the school The Squad cheered for was Bayport High. I then took a closer look, since anybody who wants to reference/pay tribute to the Hardy Boys and Nacy Drew (who both operated out of Bayport) deserves the benefit of the doubt.

I bought the first novel, Perfect Cover, and was immediately caught up in a fully realized fictional world. Despite my doubts, Perfect Cover was very entertaining. I enjoyed everything from a secret lair beneath the school to bulletproof push-up bras and a holographic cheerleading squad. Toby Klein is an engaging, smart, against the grain protagonist, and I’m going back to the bookstore today to pick up book two, Killer Spirit.


THE SQUAD: PERFECT COVER / Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Bayport High operates like any other high school - jocks at the top, outsiders at the bottom, and everyone else in between. Enter Toby Klein, a sophomore computer hacker who doesn't play well with others. She has zero school spirit, a black belt in karate, and what her guidance counselor calls an "attitude problem." She's the last person you’d expect to be invited to join the varsity cheerleading squad.

But things are different at Bayport.

Bayport's varsity cheer squad is made up of the hottest of the hot. But this A-list is dangerous in more ways than one. The Squad is actually a cover for the most highly trained group of underage government operatives the United States has ever assembled. Athletically, they're unmatchable, though they make it all look easy on the field. Mentally, they're exceptional - but with one flash of their gorgeous smiles, you'll completely forget that. Socially, they're gifted, so they can command and manipulate any situation. And above all, they have the perfect cover, because, beyond herkies and highlights, no one expects anything from a cheerleader.

Toby Klein might not seem like the most likely recruit, but she’s never been one to turn down a challenge. If she can hand the makeover, Bayport High may just have found its newest cheerleader.

Pretty, popular, armed, and extremely dangerous - meet THE SQUAD.


THE SQUAD: KILLER SPIRIT / Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Saying Toby Klein is an unlikely cheerleader is like saying Paris Hilton might be into guys - understatement of the year. But the varsity squad at Bayport High gives new meaning to the phrase All-American, and Toby's double life as a varsity cheerleader and a government operative means balancing protocol, pep rallies, computer hacking, and handsprings.

Now something’s about to go down in Bayport, and the Big Guys Upstairs need to know what. The Squad is on the case, but it looks like this mission could put the "L" in lethal. And if the spy business doesn't kill Toby, it’s starting to look like Brooke, the team's captain, might. The nominations are in for homecoming court, and rumor has it that Toby is the unlikely frontrunner for queen.

Terrorist threat? Bloody mission gone wrong? Demented squad captain?

Bring it on.

The Last Knight introduced us to Knight and Rouge in the start of a new series for established YA fantasy author Hilari Bell. It was fast moving and hilarious without being slapstick. I was excited to spot the follow-up, Rogue’s Home, and bought it immediately.

ROGUE’S HOME: A KNIGHT AND ROGUE NOVEL / Hilari Bell

The Boys Are Back!

Sir Michael Sevenson and his squire, Fisk, can't seem to keep out of hot water. After five long years, Fisk has been called home to Ruesport to investigate who framed his sister Anna's husband, Max, as a blackmailer. Anna figures that Fisk, with his criminal past, is uniquely qualified to find out who set Max up. Of course Michael feels he has to come along to help his friend; but now he wears the tattoos of the unredeemed and fears he might be more hindrance than help.

As in The Last Knight, Hilari Bell's first Knight and Rogue novel, Rogue's Home combines the banter of a buddy story with elements of classic fantasy, medieval derring-do, and mystery. Michael and Fisk are likable guys who just seem to he magnets for trouble. You never know what is going to happen to these would-be heroes next.

ROBERT E. HOWARD – QUOTE OF THE DAY!

ROBERT E. HOWARD – QUOTE OF THE DAY!

From Queen of the Black Coast:

Conan stood in the moonlit silence, the dripping sword sagging in his hand, staring down at the remnants of his enemy. The red eyes glared up at him with awful life, then glazed and set; the great hands knotted spasmodically and stiffened. And the oldest race in the world was extinct.

Queen of the Black Coast was first published in Weird Tales magazine circa May 1934. It is set in the pseudo-historical Hyborian Age and concerns Conan becoming a notorious pirate and plundering the coastal villages of Kush alongside Bêlit, a head-strong femme fatale.

Due to its epic scope and atypical romance, the story is considered an undisputed classic of Conan lore and is often cited by Howard scholars as one of his most famous tales.

Howard earned $115 for the sale of this story to Weird Tales and it is now in the public domain.

TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY CLICK HERE

SWATCH TURNS TO THE DARK SIDE!


SWATCH TURNS TO THE DARK SIDE!

Villains Bond Fans Love To Hate

In a series of heroic adventures from Dr. No to Quantum Of Solace, James Bond outfoxes and destroys a nefarious bunch of evildoers bent on conquering the world. Destroys? Well, not quite. Like Bond himself, true villains live on forever, remembered fondly by their fans—and now by Swatch. Celebrating the legendary British secret agent’s most memorable adversaries, the Swatch 007 Villain Collection presents twenty-two Swatch watches inspired by the best of the worst: the bad guys Bond fans love to hate.

Has Swatch gone over to the other side? In a provocative and insidiously subversive move, the mischievous maker of iconic Swiss watches has aligned itself with the enemies of the world’s most famous gentleman spy. “We’ve discovered the dark side of the myth,” said N. G. Hayek, also known as Dr. Swatch. “And we love it. It’s absolutely fascinating.” As the news raised eyebrows in London, Paris and Berlin, the notorious inventor of the plastic watch hastened to explain his intentions. “It’s the art of the villain that interests us. Ian Fleming’s novels and all the Bond films, the villains play a crucial role. And if Bond is alive and well today, it is thanks in no small part to the enduring power of his enemies.”

Indeed. The Swatch 007 Villain Collection is a tribute to the Bond saga as a whole. It honours the art of infamy that Bond’s creators developed with perfidious cunning and cinematic flair through twenty-two thrilling adventures. Each model in the Villain collection evokes one or more wily evildoers. We know them all—armed to the teeth and dressed to kill: there’s Dr. No with his stylish suit and metal hands and Blofeld with his fluffy white cat purring under the sign of SPECTRE. Rosa Klebb has a nasty knuckle-duster, Xenia Zaragevna Onatopp a black leather strap to match her killer thighs and deadly Red kiss. There’s a metal-mouthed monster of a man called “Jaws” and scheming Soviet Russians whose watches evoke the Evil Empire’s glory days. Fiendishly clever actors add lustre to the glowing legend, and Villains pays tribute to outstanding performances: Christopher Walken’s malevolent Max Zorin deserves his stylish Retrograde; Richard Kiel’s menacing JAWS gets a massive, polished steel Irony THE Chrono; Lotte Lenya’s Rosa Klebb is given a pair of knuckle-dusters welded to an Irony Lady. And in homage to Casino Royale, poker-faced master of malice Mads Mikkelsen (alias Le Chiffre) nabs an Irony Big with an Ace of Spades. There are more to come, of course, as Swatch explores the dark side of the story.


More than forty-five years have passed since Dr. No debuted on the silver screen in 1962, but the fascination that has nourished the myth of 007 shows no signs of fading. If anything, it’s growing stronger—Quantum Of Solace, Bond flick number twenty-two, premieres this year—and the 22nd Swatch watch in the new collection is a fitting tribute to Dominic Greene, the latest Bond villain we’re sure to hate.

DR. NO - Dr. No (SUYK117)
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The first Bond film featured the nefarious, ever elegant Dr. No, the “SPECTRE” agent played by Julius Wiseman who dies sinking into the bubbling vat of a nuclear reactor. Dr. No and the reactor find a suitably elegant tribute in the form of this distinctive Skin Chrono: its textured white and pale beige synthetic fabric strap evokes Dr. No’s high-collared suit, and the dial recalls the reactor’s instrument panel. The milky plastic case has a black plastic crown and pushers and frames the sunbrushed light beige dial. The applique silver “instrument panel” is framed by a broad black ring with red hour markers and white minute indices and holds the silver legend “DANGER LEVEL” embossed against a black ground. Applique silver Arabic numerals indicate hours 4 and 8 and a delta sign is positioned to mark hour 12. Set within the black band are the two chrono counters, each with black numerals and black hands set off by a white dial, and the continuous seconds counter at 6 o’clock. The latter has a white dial with a red dot at the centre, black Arabic numerals and a black hand, and carries the label “HIGH VOLTAGE” printed above it on the lightly patterned pale beige central zone. Squelette metal hour and minute hands mark the time.

ROSA KLEBB - From Russia with Love (YSS239)
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Russia’s Rosa Klebb wields a nasty weapon in From Russia With Love, and this stylish Lady’s satin-brushed stainless steel bracelet features subtly sinister end pieces shaped like Klebb’s knuckle-duster. The bracelet leads to a satin-brushed stainless steel case and unmarked bezel framing a sunbrushed silver dial with applied silver Arabic numerals at all hours. Reflective metal hour and minute hands and a delicate silver seconds hand mark the time.

ODDJOB - Goldfinger (YOG102G)
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A brilliant tribute to Oddjob, bowler-hatted henchman to the Midas of malice featured in the memorable Goldfinger, released in 1964. The heavy gold-coated stainless steel bracelet of this stunning Irony THE Chrono features a lightly engraved 007 logo on one of the links that evoke gold ingots leading to the massive, golden, stainless steel case. Mounted on the case is a golden bezel with engraved minute ring. The brown and gold diamond-patterned dial is circumscribed by a brown flange with a golden minute ring and golden Arabic numerals (05, 10, 15 … 60) at all hours.

Flush with the flange is a flat outer ring with engraved gold-on-black tachymeter scale. Embossed gold ingot-shaped markers indicating hours 4, 8 and 12 are complemented by applied golden Arabic numerals at hours 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11. The grooved golden chrono and continuous seconds counters feature black Arabic numerals and black or white indices and black hands. Lustrous golden hour and minute hands with white superlite highlights and a slim white chrono seconds hand mark the time.

EMILIO LARGO - Thunderball (SVCK4039G)
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Emilio Largo, a black-hearted villain in Thunderball, wears a ring with an evil-eyed black octopus, the emblem of Bond’s enemy. The stainless steel bracelet of this dashing Irony Chrono Diaphane features satin-brushed steel links and a central row of paired dark resin inlays set in steel. The 007 pistol logo appears on the brushed steel end piece on the six o’clock side of the bracelet, just below the frosted translucent plastic case. Mounted on the case is a matt black aluminum bezel with sparkling transparent white crystals set at all hours. T

he sunbrushed champagne dial shows a black minute ring with Arabic numerals (2, 4, 6 … 18; 22 … 60) and a black-on-white date window at 4 o’clock. Black-rimmed white superlite dots in relief mark hours 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 11 and a black-rimmed white delta in relief appears at hour 12. The 60-minute counter features a white dial with black numerals and indices; the 1/10th second counter offers a contrasting black dial with white numerals and indices. At 6 o’clock, the continuous seconds counter features Largo’s black octopus emblem on a pure white dial. Tie-shaped squelette metal hour and minute hands with superlite white highlights and a silver chrono seconds hand mark the time.

BLOFELD’S CAT - You Only Live Twice (GE218)
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Popular still among Bond film fans are Blofeld and his fluffy white cat, to which Swatch pays tribute with this classic Gent. The white synthetic leather strap evokes the cat and her master’s affiliation with the enemy organisation known as “SPECTRE”, represented by the ominous octopus with 8 spiky tentacles. This menacing beast appears engraved on a shining stainless steel charm dangling, like an ID tag on a collar, from the single stainless steel end piece that joins the six-o’clock side of the strap to the clear plastic case. The 007 pistol logo is displayed in silver on the white synthetic leather loop. The dial is a mirror marked at 1 o’clock by a light green cat’s paw print. All other hours are marked by printed white Arabic numerals. The hour, minute and slim central seconds hands that mark the time feature a sandpaper silver surface.

BLOFELD - On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (YGB1001AG)
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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service features Telly Savalas in the role of Ernst Stavro Blofeld. One of Bond’s most formidable and long-lived antagonists, he is featured in three Bond films and is marked by the menacing sign of “SPECTRE”, an evil-looking octopus. The matt black aluminum bracelet of this elegant Irony Big features matt gold-coloured central links and gold 007 pistol logo printed on the first black link on the 6 o’clock side of the bracelet. Mounted on the matt black aluminum case is a silver and black bezel with black indices at hours 1,2 4, 5, 7, 8 10 and 11. Straddling the centre of the sunbrushed silver dial is Blofeld’s menacing silver octopus whose oval eyes are mirrored golden appliques. In the absence of all numerals, mirrored silver applique hour markers indicate all hours but 10 and 11, where they are replaced by the golden eyes. Mirrored golden squelette hour and minute hands and a thin black central seconds hand mark the time.

WINT & KIDD - Diamonds Are Forever (YLS434)
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In Diamonds Are Forever, black-hearted Blofeld henchmen Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd attempt to assassinate James Bond with a bomb disguised as dessert. The alligator-pattern white leather strap has a black leather loop with a white 007 pistol logo and a stainless steel clasp; the strap forms an elegant counterpoint to the stainless steel bezel mounted on this classy Irony Medium’s polished stainless steel case. The bezel is set with 44 transparent white crystals that form a sparkling frame around the sunbrushed silver dial, which features a delicate white vortex pattern at its centre. Skeleton black Arabic numerals with white infills indicate hours 9, 10, 11 and 12; skeleton white Arabic numerals with black infills mark hours 4, 5, and 6; a black-on-white date window is positioned at 3 o’clock. A pair of transparent white crystals is set in the dial at hours 1 and 2; set directly opposite, at hours 7 and 8, are two more crystals, black. Slim oval squelette metal hour and minute hands and an elegant black central seconds hand with a white superlite highlight mark the time.

BARON SAMEDI - Live And Let Die (GB237)
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In Live And Let Die, Bond does battle with a skeletal villain who goes by the name of Baron Samedi. The bone-coloured superlite silicon strap of this scary Gent features a black print skeleton stretching from the 6 o’clock side across the dial to the 12 o’clock side of the strap, where the skeleton’s bones are raised above its head. The matt black plastic case holds a black dial with the bone-coloured superlite skull mask of Baron Samedi. In the absence of all numerals and indices, round-tipped black hour and minute hands and a delicate white seconds hand mark the time.

SCARAMANGA - The Man With The Golden Gun (SUYB119)
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The Man With The Golden Gun pits Bond against the supremely elegant assassin, Francisco Scaramanga, played by Christopher Lee. Elegance is the name of the game with this superb Skin Chrono, whose black leather strap is stamped with a tone-in-tone 007 pistol logo on the 12 o’clock side and whose grooved golden end pieces show a head-on shot of the business end of Scaramanga’s golden gun. The matt black plastic case offers an elegant contrast to the end pieces and frames a black, white and golden dial. A black-on-white minute ring surrounds a broad sunbrushed golden band with embossed skeleton Arabic numerals with white infills at hours 4, 8 and 12 and similar hour markers at hours 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11. The 60-minute and 1/10th of a second chrono counters and the continuous seconds counter feature white dials with black numerals and black hands framed by applied golden bands with printed black indices. A second minute ring appears in white on the glossy black central zone of the dial, which contrasts nicely with the white hour and minute hands that serve to mark the time.

JAWS - The Spy Who Loved Me (YOS429G)
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The Spy Who Loved Me presents Bond with an unforgettable villain whose polished heavy-metal dentures give him the nickname “Jaws”. The stainless steel bracelet of this weapons-grade Irony THE Chrono recalls Bond’s worthy adversary with a central row of polished stainless steel teeth set in contrast to the satin-brushed surfaces of the links and the massive stainless steel case. Mounted on the case is a brushed stainless steel bezel whose polished indents at all hours recall this villain’s bite. The black flange features a white and yellow minute ring with Arabic numerals (02, 04, 06 … 60) and a second ring indicating the hours in silver (ONE, TWO, THREE … TWELVE) and white or yellow Arabic numerals (13, 14, 15 … 24). A thin yellow ring on the flange frames the dial’s shades of silver, black and yellow.

A minute ring with black, yellow and white indices circles the darker grey centre, which has polished metal applique Roman numerals at hours 4, 8 and 12 and a white-on-black date window at 4 o’clock. The chrono and continuous seconds counters feature brushed silver dials with black indices and yellow hands, silver or black Arabic numerals and yellow ID labels: MIN, DEC, SEC for the 60-minute, 1/10th of a second and continuous seconds counters, respectively. Polished metal squelette hour and minute hands with superlite white highlights and a yellow chrono seconds hand mark the time.

HUGO DRAX - Moonraker (YRS410G)
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Moonraker finds the world’s most famous gentleman spy up against a billionaire French villain by the name of Sir Hugo Drax, whose company manufactures space shuttles. The high-tech angle is well represented by this striking Swatch Irony Retrograde, whose stainless steel bracelet combines brushed with polished and glossy black stainless steel links. The signature 007 pistol logo is lightly engraved on the brushed steel end piece on the 6 o’clock side of the polished stainless steel case. Mounted on the case is a polished stainless steel bezel with engraved white triangular hour markers. The flange framing the dial is split into black and white zones and features a tachymeter scale and the words “DRAX ENTERPRISE CORPORATION” across the top. The black-versus-white split extends to the lightly textured dial, where applique silver Arabic numerals mark hours 4, 8 and 12 and a black-on-white date window opens at 4 o’clock. The 60-minute and 5-minute chronograph arcs show applique silver frames and white-on-black or black-on-white numerals and indices and a grey vortex pattern; the 30-second chrono counter is an applique silver crescent with black indices. The continuous seconds counter at hour 6 features a grooved silver dial and silver vortex graphic and a black hand. Silver squelette hour and minute hands with white superlite highlights and the central chrono seconds hand mark the time.

ARIS KRISTATOS - For Your Eyes Only (SUJB104)
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For Your Eyes Only features sinister heroin smuggler and KGB agent Aris Kristatos, whose devious attempt to frame Milos “The Dove” Colombo fails. The black silicon strap of this sporty Swatch Jelly in Jelly has a raised black-wing pattern that evokes the dove and Kristatos’ evil schemes. The moulded black plastic case frames a sunbrushed anthracite dial with a silvery dove at its centre. Surrounding the dove is a black minute ring with white hour markers, and black Arabic numerals at all hours. Black hour and minute hands with superlite white highlights and a thin silver seconds hand mark the time.

GENERAL ORLOV - Octopussy (YGS127)
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Bond’s enemy in Octopussy is the fanatical Soviet General Orlov, whose dying words are inscribed on the bezel of this bold Irony Big: “YES BUT TOMORROW I SHALL BE A HERO OF THE SOVIET UNION”. The black leather and red stitching lend a military look to the strap that holds the brushed stainless steel case and engraved brushed steel bezel. The brushed steel look extends to the dial, which is circumscribed by a minute ring with white hour markers, red minute indices and a black arrowhead at hour 12. General Orlov’s rank is evoked on the dial by a five-point star drawn in black with blank and brass-coloured facets that give it a three-dimensional aspect. Black squelette metal hour and minute hands and a slim red central seconds hand mark the time.

MAX ZORIN - A View To A Kill (YRS411)
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In A View To A Kill, Christopher Walken plays the diabolically clever French businessman Max Zorin, whose plot to flood Silicon Valley is foiled by the enterprising Bond. The black leather strap of this high-tech Swatch Retrograde shows parallel rows of red and white stitches and has a black leather loop with the 007 pistol logo printed in white. The brushed stainless steel case contrasts with the polished stainless steel crown and pushers, caseback and bezel; the latter is engraved to highlight a gear-tooth pattern around the circumference. The flange features a white-on-black scale on the top half, and white hour markers with black minute indices against a red ground on the lower half. The three chronograph arcs characteristic of all Swatch Retrograde models are set against a reflective grooved silver dial. The 60-minute and 5-minute arcs feature black groove-pattern dials, white Arabic numerals and outer bands labelled ‘60 MINUTES’ and ‘5 MINUTES’ in red on white, and white hands. The 30-second arc with red central seconds hand shows white Arabic numerals on black. Skeleton black Arabic numerals with white infills mark all hours but 6, and a white-on-black date window appears at 4 o’clock. Skeleton metal hour and minute hands with superlite white highlights mark the time.

GEORGI KOSKOV - The Living Daylights (SUJK139)
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Bond does battle in The Living Daylights with Georgi Koskov, a corrupt Soviet general who deals in drugs and weapons. The textile strap of this wickedly cold-war Swatch Jelly in Jelly, inspired by Soviet military insignia, features red and beige vertical stripes and three gold stars on either side of the frosted transparent plastic case. The painted red dial extends the Soviet-era cold war theme with a shiny gold emblem, reminiscent of Red Army medals, outlined in light grey and surrounded by gold-dot hour markers circled in light grey at all hours but 6 and 12. In the absence of all numerals, silver hour and minute hands and thin silver seconds hand mark the time.

FRANZ SANCHEZ - Licence To Kill (YCS512)
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James Bond’s chief antagonist in Licence To Kill is drug dealer Franz Sanchez. In a nod to Sanchez and his green pet iguana, the moulded leather strap of this tropical Irony Chrono has a bright green lizard-skin pattern. The strap stitching and 007 pistol logo on the loop form an effective contrast in white. Mounted on the brushed stainless steel case is a pink stainless steel bezel with a white minute ring. A second white minute ring appears on the black ring circumscribing the silver dial, whose vertical stripes recall the striped silk shirt that Sanchez wears. Embossed silver Arabic numerals mark hours 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 11 and 12, and a white-on-black date window appears at hour 4. The chrono and continuous seconds counters emerge from the dial’s grooved silver centre and feature grooved black dials, white numerals and indices, and green hands. The counters are ringed in white and green and linked by a green circle on which white Arabic numerals (13, 16, 20, 21, 23) and white dots indicate the hours. Silver squelette metal hour and minute hands and a slim pink chrono seconds hand mark the time.

XENIA ONATOPP - GoldenEye (SUBB122)
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GoldenEye features the villainous Xenia Zaragevna Onatopp, a former Soviet fighter pilot who does her best to crush the gentleman spy to death with her killer thighs. The black leather strap of this delightfully nasty-looking Square features the tone-in-tone 007 pistol logo micro-injected on the 12 o’clock side and evokes Onatopp’s military gear by means of shiny metal buttons with stars in relief, and steely studs that snap to close. The plastic case is a glossy black frame around the sunbrushed crimson dial, which features a printed pattern structured to form a red star that evokes, once again, the Moscow connection. Printed silver Arabic numerals mark hours 3, 6, 9 and 12. Tapered silver hour and minute hands and a delicate black seconds hand mark the time.

ELLIOT CARVER - Tomorrow Never Dies (SUJK138)
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The bad guy in Tomorrow Never Dies is Elliot Carver, an international media baron scheming to wreak havoc on a global scale. The power of the media figures prominently on this graphic Swatch Jelly in Jelly whose plastic strap features a bold and dynamic collage of tabloid newspaper headlines, articles and photographs evoking a “tomorrow” that promises nothing but trouble. The clear plastic strap has two plastic loops; one features the 007 pistol log in red, the other has the blue and red Carver Media empire logo. The clear plastic case frames a see-through plastic dial revealing the movement beneath it. Printed white skeleton Arabic numerals with blue infills mark all hours, with hours 5, 6, 7 and 8 partially obscured by a black “TOP SECRET” stamp that extends from the dial to the six o’clock side of the strap. White hour and minute hands and a slim white central seconds hand mark the time.

ELEKTRA KING - The World Is Not Enough (GE215)
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Sophie Marceau plays the treacherous Elektra King, the bad girl Bond outwits in The World Is Not Enough. Inspired by one of King’s shawls, the moulded textile strap of this intricate Gent features dark blue and blood-red threaded patterns embroidered upon a beige ground. The beige fabric loop shows the 007 pistol logo embroidered in dark blue, and three small stainless steel charms with blood-red synthetic resin inlays set with transparent white crystals dangle from the strap. The clear plastic case frames a sunbrushed silver dial on which the patterns from the strap are taken up in the same dark blue and blood red colours and complemented by grey-dot indices marking hours 1 through 6, 11 and 12. In the absence of all numerals, tie-shaped reflective metal hour and minute hands and a slim metal seconds hand mark the time.

ZAO - Die Another Day (SFK327G)
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Bond’s chief antagonists in Die Another Day are a man called Moon and his henchman Zao, marked forever by diamonds blasted into his face. The signature scars appear on this Skin in the form of aurora boreal crystals set in stainless steel links that show engraved slashes; the slashes and bracelet end pieces have a textured ‘hammered silver’ surface; set off in polished steel on the 6 o’clock end piece is the 007 pistol logo. The transparent plastic case frames a sunbrushed silver dial with stylized applique silver Arabic numerals at hours 3, 6, 9 and 12; aurora boreal crystals mark all other hours. Tapered black hour and minute hands mark the time.

LE CHIFFRE - Casino Royale (YGS128)
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Gambler, math whiz and banker to terrorists, Le Chiffre weeps blood while attempting to bankrupt Bond in a poker game in Casino Royale. The shimmering black synthetic leather strap of this elegant Irony Big recalls Le Chiffre’s black tux at the gaming table, while the black leather loop displays a silver 007 pistol logo. Mounted on the brushed stainless steel case is a stainless steel bezel engraved to highlight a delicate motif. The sunbrushed anthracite dial features a dark grey Ace of Spades in the centre, with printed black Arabic numerals at hours 3 and 9, red hearts at hours 1 and 7, black clubs at 2 and 8, black spades at 4 and 10, red diamonds marking hours 5 and 11, and a black capital A (for Ace) at 12 o’clock. Tapered metal hour and minute hands with both engraved and mirrored surfaces and a slim red central seconds hand mark the time.

DOMINIC GREENE - Quantum of Solace (SUIB402)
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Celebrating the latest dastardly villain to take up arms against James Bond, this darkly elegant Swatch Chrono Plastic presents the distinctive mark of Dominic Greene on a black silicon strap with ivory silicon inserts leading up to the matt black plastic case, which has ivory chrono pushers and a matt black crown. The silicon loop features the famous 007 pistol logo and the words “Greene Planet” appear in ivory on the 6 o’clock side of the strap. Mounted on the case are a rotating black plastic bezel with silver Arabic numerals (05, 10, 15 � 60) and a white tachymeter scale on the narrow black flange. Subtly printed on the glossy black dial we find the mark of Greene again as a backdrop to the prominent white Arabic numerals at hours 4, 8 and 12 and black-on-white date window at hour six. The chrono counters and continuous seconds counter are ringed by white-on-ivory indices and feature grooved black dials with white numerals and delicate silver hands. Tapered silver hour and minute hands with superlite white highlights and a central chrono seconds hand mark the time.

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