Saturday, November 29, 2008

PULPFEST 2009!

PULPFEST 2009!

Pulpfest 2009, a new and improved version of the venerable convention catering to fans and collectors of vintage popular fiction, will be held from Friday, July 31st, through Sunday, August 2nd, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel and Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Sellers of pulp magazines, all-fiction digests, dime novels, and other collectible books and periodicals are already lining up for exhibit space, and the convention will be advertised and promoted extensively to capture the attention of new hobbyists as well as veteran attendees. Preliminary flyers carrying basic information are being distributed at various collectibles shows this fall, beginning with Bouchercon, the annual gathering for collectors of mystery fiction. The Pulpfest 2009 committee has already contacted several publications to inquire about advertising the convention, and additional flyers will be designed and distributed throughout the year.

Additionally, the Pulpfest 2009 website is now operational and can be found at www.pulpfest.com. In the weeks and months to come, it will be updated regularly to provide new information on guests and programming as soon as it becomes available.

Dealers interested in helping promote Pulpfest 2009 can download and print out either of two flyers already available on the website in PDF form. These can be distributed at collectibles shows and sent with mail-order shipments. Following an extensive search for the best available venue, the Pulpfest 2009 committee chose the Ramada Plaza for its spacious accommodations, numerous amenities, ease of access, and competitive pricing. The committee has negotiated a guest-room rate of $84 plus tax per night, significantly less than that offered by other pulp conventions.

The Convention Center’s main room boasts more than 10,000 square feet of space and will accommodate up to 80 eight-foot tables. A separate room on the same floor will be set up theater-style for our evening programming. A con suite will be open for after-hours conversation and conviviality. Located just off Exit 116 of Interstate 71, the Ramada Plaza is just 20 minutes from Columbus International Airport and 10 minutes from downtown Columbus, making our convention site easily accessible to attendees whether they’re driving or flying.
The Ramada offers complementary transportation via shuttle to and from the airport, downtown Columbus, and various other locations (including restaurants) within a five-mile radius of the hotel.The newly renovated hotel additionally offers all the usual amenities. High-speed wireless Internet access is now available in the main lobby, convention center, and guest rooms. Guests can avail themselves of a whirlpool, an exercise room, and both indoor and outdoor pools, as well as a full-service business center. Parking is free for hotel guests and single-day convention attendees.

The Ramada’s spacious restaurant, Justin’s Place, serves traditional American cuisine and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner seven days a week. The hotel’s cozy lounge, Bowties, is open until two a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.The Ramada Plaza is an extremely popular venue for conventions of our type and size. For 15 years now it has hosted Cinevent, an annual confab of vintage-film fans and collectors of movie memorabilia. Hotel management is both committed to and experienced in providing the courteous, comprehensive service that produces satisfied conventioneers.

Pricing schedules for dealer tables and registrations will be forthcoming shortly. Information on guests and programming will be posted here and on the Pulpfest 2009 website as soon as it is confirmed.

Visit the Pulpfest 2009 website at http://www.pulpfest.com/

ANATOMY OF A PULP COVER!

ANATOMY OF A PULP COVER!

If you've ever wondered how a finished pulp cover comes together, pulpster Ron Fortier has a good post featuring the step-by-step process he and artists Rob Davis and, Shane Evans cooked up the cover for their forthcoming SECRET AGENT X - Vol III.

I like the finished product above, but I'm partial to the black & white version below.


TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

THE CAT'S MEOW!

'NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY' TO RETURN AS SERIES!

'NO. 1 LADIES DETECTIVE AGENCY' TO RETURN AS SERIES!

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency will return to screens next year as a six-part series, the BBC has announced.

A feature-length TV pilot, directed by the late Anthony Minghella, aired in March to impressive ratings and positive reviews from critics.

Based on Alexander McCall-Smith's bestselling novels, the 60-minute episodes will follow the adventures of Botswana's only female detective Mma Ramotswe.

Jill Scott, Anika Noni Rose, Desmond Dube and Lucian Msamati will reprise their roles from the TV pilot. Survivors star Paterson Joseph is a new addition to the cast as Cephas Buthelezi, a rival detective to Mma Ramotswe.

Producer Timothy Bricknell said: "We are determined to make sure the series lives up to Anthony's vision of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency.

"Everyone involved is very pleased to be back in Botswana and capturing the essence of such a remarkable and extraordinary country."

Charles Sturridge and Tim Fywell will direct the episodes, with Richard Curtis, the late Minghella and the late Sydney Pollack credited as executive producers.

The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency is a co-production between the BBC, HBO and The Weinstein Company.

SOUNDS LIKE A CLIVE CUSSLER NOVEL!

SOUNDS LIKE A CLIVE CUSSLER NOVEL!

Titanic Expedition Was a Cover For Secret Navy Missions

Robert Ballard, the explorer who found the wreckage of the Titanic, has just revealed that the expedition was actually a cover story for the US Navy about two lost nuclear submarines:

The Navy was not interested in the Titanic. … I mean, they funded the technology because it had so many military applications. And I was a naval intelligence officer for 30 years, and so I did a lot of missions for the Navy. Many remain classified, my best stuff. Rats …

Yes, the Titanic was a cover for a series of military operations. The Titanic was here, and over here was the Scorpion and over here was the Thresher (as he says this, he arranges three objects on a tabletop, roughly in a line, the center one depicting the Titanic).

And had that not occurred, I probably would not have found the Titanic because they wouldn’t have funded me. I mean, if the Titanic was in the Indian Ocean, it’d probably still be in the Indian Ocean. But … it was straddled by two very interesting subs that we had lost — and the Scorpion was lost on war patrol … and it was carrying nuclear weapons. So it was a very hot sub to the Navy …

TO READ MORE CLICK HERE

REJECTED JAMES BOND THEMES!

REJECTED JAMES BOND THEMES!

OVER AT HIS WRITER'S LIFE BLOG, BUDDY LEE GOLDBERG HAS A SUPERB POST ON REJECTED JAMES BOND THEMES ~ INCLUDING JOHNNY CASH'S TAKE ON THUNDERBALL, AND AS ABOVE ALICE COOPER GIVING HIS VERSION OF THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN!

A LOT OF THIS WAS NEW TO ME AND VERY COOL!

ALL OF THE REJECTED SONGS ARE SUPERIOR TO THE CURRENT JACK WHITE / ALICIA KEYS MESS DEVISED FOR QUANTUM FOR SOLACE!

TO CHECK OUT LEE'S POST CLICK HERE

ALL OF THESE ARE PART ON A BBC DOCUMENTARY JAMES BOND'S GREATEST HITS.

TO VIEW THE DOCUMENTARY CLICK HERE

Friday, November 28, 2008

RARE BOND ITEMS AT CHRTISTIES!

RARE BOND ITEMS AT CHRTISTIES!

On Tuesday, December the 4th at CHRISTIES, South Kensington, there will be two lots of very rare and unique items relating to the cinematic history of James Bond, once the property of enigmatic film producer Kevin McClory, offered for sale for the first time.

They consist of firstly, Lot #85: Kevin McClory's personal copy of the 'THUNDERBALL' shooting script and his spiral notebook containing 20 pages of mounted storyboard for the Vulcan Bomber ditching sequence & related notes. Secondly, Lot #86: Kevin McClory's personal copy of the 'NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN' shooting script & corresponding underwater storyboard which accompanies his personal copy of the almost mythical script for the 'James Bond film that never was'; 'WARHEAD', written by the triumvirate of 'Ipcress File' writer Len Deighton, James Bond's most famous incarnation Sean Connery and Kevin McClory. This iconic script has been variously described as:

'The Bond film that got away.' and 'One of the great unfilmed scripts – so good it tempted a retired Sean Connery to return as 007.' - Total Film Magazine

'It is the most ambitious and action-packed James Bond movie ever.' - Scotland On Sunday

'It's like a mythical sort of beast, almost the Holy Grail, this Bond film that never was.' and ,It would have been the most extravagant Bond film ever.' – The Battle for Bond Author Robert Sellers

All these items are the property of a private collector and are offered here for the first time to someone who will appreciate their importance in cinema history as a whole and specifically the cinematic history of James Bond.

These lots have received a lot of attention and significant advance bidding has already been registered for them. They are confidently expected to reach far in excess of their estimated price.

CHRISTIES catalogue gives these lots a full page spread to reflect the importance of these very rare and unique items. They can be viewed, with more detailed descriptions, on the CHRISTIES website by:

CLICKING HERE

AND

CLICKING HERE

KITTY WACK-A-MOUSE!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: CASCA ~ THE ETERNAL MERCENARY BY BARRY SADLER!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS: CASCA ~ THE ETERNAL MERCENARY BY BARRY SADLER!

The Casca books were a men’s adventure series of the top order created by Barry Sadler (of The Ballad of the Green Berets fame) who wrote at least the first half-dozen novels in the series.

Synopsis: from the Casca website:

[Casca: The Eternal Soldier, the first book in the series,] opens in Vietnam in 1970. A badly wounded soldier is flown into a US army hospital with what seems a near-fatal wound. Major Julius Goldman spots a rapid healing of the man's wound and has him isolated to see if he can work out why. The man, Casey Romain, recovers and tells the stunned doctor of his remarkable life that began nearly two thousand years before on Golgotha at the Crucifixion.

Goldman appears to fall into a trance and is transported back to the day of Jesus' execution and spots Casey, now a Roman legionary called Casca Rufio Longinus, acting as part of the escort to make sure the condemned man is executed. Casca eventually decides to end Jesus' agony by spearing him on the cross, but only wounds him. Jesus condemns Casca to live forever as a soldier until the Second Coming, and a spot of Jesus' blood falls onto Casca's tongue, purifying him.

Casca dismisses the curse as nonsense until he receives what should be a fatal blow from his sergeant in a fight over a girl. Casca kills the assailant and lies down to die, only to make a miraculous recovery the next day. For killing his superior, he is sentenced as a slave to serve in the Greek copper mines, where he works for the next fifty years.

The story, of course, moves on from this point as Casca, the immortal soldier, moves from battle to battle, century to century, always fighting, always surviving, always the consumate mercenary.

The first half-dozen or so books in the series (those written by Sadler) are very enjoyable, working out all the variations on his original inspirational theme – taking the Roman soldier who speared Jesus and making him an immortal soldier travelling through time.

This book was written in 1979. The Highlander series came out seven years later, so Sadler beat them to the punch.

Sadler knew his audience, mostly guys like him, and so wrote in a very straight-forward style. He did his historical research, however, making the early Casca books very realistic historical war stories.

Later books in the series, especially those written after Sadler’s death, suffered from uneven quality, rushed deadlines, and hack writing. They lost the personal touch and inspiration Sadler originally brought to the series.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

FIRST TIME THRILLS!

FIRST TIME THRILLS!

PUBLISHER’S WEEKY HAS A GREAT ARTICLE ON EIGHT UPCOMING DEBUT MYSTERY THRILLERS:


Starvation Lake
by Bryan Gruley(Touchstone, Mar.)
First printing: 75,000


Plot: The young hockey goalie who lost his lower Michigan town its one chance for the state championship returns decades later to seek redemption as editor of the weekly newspaper. But he's soon embroiled in a murder case when his long-dead former coach's snowmobile turns up without a body and on the wrong lake.

Author's inspiration: “Knowing I play hockey, my agent said, 'Why don't you write about those middle-aged guys who play hockey in the middle of the night?' I immediately had an idea and decided to set it in a place I loved and knew well, northern Michigan. The rest flowed from those two things.”

Clues to success: Senior editor Trish Lande Grader says, “The manuscript was an immediate in-house favorite, with reps recommending it to their colleagues and saying the comparison to Lehane was completely warranted. We've got quotes from Coben, Connelly and Pelecanos, among others, and Bryan's passion and commitment are unstoppable and contagious.”

Body count: 2

Hollywood pitch: Mystic River meets Slap Shot in Fargo.

******************
Dead Men's Dust
by Matt Hilton(Morrow, Apr.)
First printing: 30,000


Plot: Joe Hunter is an ex-military officer and, in his own words, “the weapon sent in when the planning is done and all that's left is the ass kicking.” In this first of a series, Hunter sets out across Southern California after his wayward brother, who has become entangled in a cat-and-mouse game with a serial killer.

Author's inspiration: “I think of Joe Hunter as a guy with a strong moral code and the necessary skills to help people in difficult situations. I've given him a specific set of skills, but want him to be different from other heroes—a kind of vigilante rather than a PI or a detective. Then I put him in a lean, mean cinematic thriller because I just love them.”

Clues to success: Executive editor David Highfill says, “Everyone loves a charismatic hero in an action thriller (think Lee Child's Jack Reacher), and we have an excellent new guy on the block in Joe Hunter. But then Matt adds fuel to the fire with one of the smartest, most sarcastic and frightening bad guys I've read in ages. Their confrontation is memorable—and downright irresistible.”

Body count: 14

Hollywood pitch: Jack Reacher meets Thomas Harris.

******************
A Tight Lie
by Don Dahler(St. Martin's Minotaur, Mar.)
First printing: 25,000

Plot: Huck Doyle, a professional golfer, dreads the possibility of having to return to his law career. Then he gets a phone call from a friend who claims he's being framed for murder. In accepting his pal's request to look into things, Huck doesn't anticipate taking a deep dive into the murky world of the sex industry and killers for hire, where nothing is what it seems.

Author's inspiration: “I knew if I could weave the things I appreciate most—mystery, beautiful women, fast cars, tough men and golf—into a compelling, believable, fast-paced narrative with a knockout resolution, it would be a book I'd enjoy as much as those I've read by favorites like Nelson DeMille, Patricia Cornwell, Gregory McDonald and Dick Francis.”

Clues to success: According to executive editor Pete Wolverton, “There are two factors that are generating in-house buzz for Don's debut. First off, this is not just another golf mystery; Don has woven a thread of golf into a vicious crime thriller. Secondly, he's an award-winning TV journalist—currently a news anchor for WCBS-TV—and his industry connections will give us a fantastic platform for getting media coverage.”

Body count: 5

Hollywood pitch: Chinatown meets The Tin Cup.

FOR THE COMPLETE LIST CLICK HERE

THE REAL RETRO BOND!

THE REAL RETRO BOND!

DESPITE MY ILL FEELINGS TOWARD QUANTUM OF SOLACE, I LIKE THE IDEA OF RETURNING BOND TO HIS ROOTS. THE ABOVE POSTER BY ILLUSTRATOR FRANCESCO FRANCAVILLA DOES IT THE RIGHT WAY.

TO CHECK OUT FRANCAVILLA'S SKETCHBOOK CLICK HERE

A TIP OF THE SHOULDER HOLSTER TO TANNER'S DOUBLE O SECTION BLOG

HAPPILY EVER OVER!

HAPPILY EVER OVER!

A Holiday Epic - A never before recalled history of something no one remembers anymore, or "How Santa Saved The World Then Lost It All"

Happily Ever Over is an epic tale that explains a lot of what you you never understood about holidays. An economic crisis among the magical creatures leads to crime and adventure, involving the Pied Piper who lives in his extermination van after his wife left him, an investigator who loves a mysterious ghost, and Santa Claus as you've never seen him -a time-traveling, whip-cracking descendant of grizzly bears! It's a long story, but one you'll never forget. Written and illustrated by C Merry. She originally self-published this in 2003 and gave it to her friends as a gift. Now she's sharing it with us online, and has since been approached by a publisher.


TO CHECK IT OUT CLICK HERE


A TIP OF THE SANTA FEDORA TO MISS CELLANIA

THANKSGIVING CAT!


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!




Wednesday, November 26, 2008

ONE NIGHT STANDS AND LOST WEEKENDS!

ONE NIGHT STANDS AND LOST WEEKENDS!

BOOKGASM'S ROD LOTT HAS A NICE REVIEW OF LAWRENCE BLOCK'S LATEST ANTHOLOGY . . .

Lawrence Block would rather you not read ONE NIGHT STANDS AND LOST WEEKENDS. After all, it’s not his best work — and he tells you that right up front. At least there’s a good reason for it: This anthology represents his earliest work of super-short stories, cranked out for men’s magazines of the 50s and 60s. Understandably, he’s more than a little critical of stuff he wrote decades before he really knew what he was doing. (Hell, I sometimes cringe at things I’ve written a week ago.)

But curiosity rises above any mediocrity, and Block fans will want it regardless. Considering the $14.95 price tag, they’ll be amply rewarded. Some of the stories exhibit a real clever streak, like “Just Window Shopping,” told from the point of view of a serial Peeping Tom who’s taken one eyeful too many.

TO READ THE FULL REVIEW CLICK HERE

MY MOST ANTICIPATED FILM OF THE SEASON!

MY MOST ANTICIPATED FILM OF THE SEASON!

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY'S OSCAR WATCHER DAVE KARGER GIVES THE LOW DOWN ON CLINT EASTWOOD'S GRAN TORINO:

If you're like me, when you saw the trailer for Clint Eastwood's new drama Gran Torino, you groaned and thought, Ugh, this looks just like Dirty Harry but older. But I had a chance to see the film last week and I'm happy to report that has much more depth. Like Eastwood's last acting-and-directing job, Million Dollar Baby, it goes to some very surprising places.

THIS ONE IS AT THE TOP OF MY LIST!
TO READ KRAGER'S FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, CASABLANCA!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, CASABLANCA!

THE WRITERS' ALLIANCE WITH GARRISON KEILLOR GIVES US THE LOW DOWN:

It was on this day in 1942 that the film Casablanca had its first showing. The event took place at the Hollywood Theater in New York City. It starred Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart. Casablanca is the story of a cynical freedom fighter-turned-nightclub owner, Rick Blaine, an American expatriate living in Casablanca and staying out of politics, staying on the good side of the local police chief. Then Victor Laszlo, a leader of the European resistance movement, turns up in town and needs Rick's help. He brings his wife, Ilsa, who turns out to be Rick's former lover, a woman who ran away from Rick and broke his heart. Rick has two visas to get out of occupied Casablanca, and he considers escaping with Ilsa, but gives his visas to Victor and Ilsa.

The film did pretty well and got decent reviews. The New Yorker magazine called it "pretty tolerable." But it won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and now it's one of the best-loved films of all time, and one of the most quoted.

PLOTS WITH GUNS #4!

PLOTS WITH GUNS #4!

TO READ THE FOURTH ISSUE OF THE MYSTERY EZINE PLOTS WITH GUNS CLICK HERE

THE CAT'S MEOW!


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN #5 - THE VAMPIRES OF PARIS!

TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN #5 - THE VAMPIRES OF PARIS!

NEWS FROM WIN SCOTT ECKERT:

Once upon a time, the world was but a stage for the exploits of the Shadowmen... The Vampires haunted the rooftops of Paris... Count Zaroff hunted the Serpent Men in the streets of New York... The Queen of Atlantis killed to save her mythical Kingdom... Arsene Lupin prowled the back alleys of Saigon... While in outer space, Doctor Omega and Professor Moriarty finally set foot upon an asteroid...

This fifth anthology of pastiches features some of the most amazing encounters between the legendary heroes and villains of popular literature: Count Dracula and Joséphine Balsamo, Lord Ruthven and the Count of Monte Cristo, the Nyctalope and Ernst Stavro Blofeld, Arsène Lupin and Hanoi Shan, Irma Vep and Fascinax, Monsieur Lecoq and Dr. Loveless... and even Sherlock Holmes and Tevye the Milkman!

I was fortunate enough to convince my good friend (and very talented writer!) Christopher Paul Carey to collaborate on a tale, and our editor and publisher, Jean-Marc Lofficier, was very pleased with the result. Our story, "Iron and Bronze," combines elements drawn from Pierre Benoit's L'Atlantide, Jules Verne's duology The Barsac Mission, J. H. Rosny and Philip José Farmer's Ironcastle, and Guy d'Armen's Doc Ardan, against the backdrop of H. Rider Haggard's Africa.Tales of the Shadowmen 5:

The Vampires of Paris, is now available direct from Black Coat Press and from Amazon.com -- coming soon to B&N.com and Borders.com We hope you'll check it out!

SERGEANT ZERO!

SERGEANT ZERO!

NEWS FROM ANTHONY SCHIAVINO OVER AT THE PULP FACTORY:

There's been a select few that know of this project. It started as a couple of pulp stories and has pretty much snowballed into a six issue series, with more coming, that I've been writing. A mix between WWII war stories and 1950s hardboiled noir starring a patriotic hero and a whole lot of post traumatic stress. If you like Band of Brothers and any kind of noir, especially the old Bogie movies...you'll like this.

Dave Flora and Doug Klauba have been working with me on concept art, along with an amazing illustrator from Italy, Simone Guglielmini. What Simone has been doing has been nothing short of breathtaking. The two images I'm posting are Dave's take on the character which I've called the poster boy version. This isn't the actual cover art BUT it could be. Dave did just an amazing job. What Simone has been doing has been grittier and more war torn. The soldier. I can't show you those just yet.

This has been a long time coming. Right now we're working on the pitch. Where it ends up....well stay tuned.

WYNN'S SINATRA'S!

WYNN'S SINATRA'S!


The legendary Frank Sinatra mystique will thrive once again on the Las Vegas strip. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that casino mogul Steve Wynn will open a new Italian restaurant called Sinatra in his new resort Encore.

Considering that the Sinatra family fiercely protects the singer's image, permission to use the Chairman's moniker may be considered a coup. Still, Wynn and the singer have Sin City history together. The hotelier revitalized the Golden Nugget when he snagged 'Ol Blue Eyes to appear exclusively at the hotel during the '80s.

Wynn says the the Sinatra clan has loaned him such priceless memorabilia as the singer's 1953 Oscar and several Grammy awards which will be peppered throughout the eatery. What's more, Paul Anka has also promised the gold record he won for writing the English lyrics for “My Way.”


For those who expect something along the likes of such themed eateries as Planet Hollywood or The Hard Rock Cafe, think again. "It won't be a museum," he told the paper. "It will be the most stunning restaurant in the country." Encore is the $2.2 billion all-suites sister hotel to Wynn Las Vegas. Look for the new eatery to open its doors Dec. 22.

PENGUIN'S MARLOWE!

PENGUIN'S MARLOWE!

PENGUIN UK IS OFFERING A COOL PHILIP MARLOWE POSTER FOR PURCHASING THEIR NEW MARLOWE SET!

"Philip Marlowe is the quintessential hard-boiled private investigator. Gumshoeing the mean streets of Los Angeles in the Thirties, Forties and Fifties, Marlowe is on the trail of mobsters, hoods, femme fatales, killers, liars, drunks, crooked police and anyone else looking for a short cut to the American Dream.The seven novels and four short stories collected in these eight books reveal a dark, wicked world where the gun trumps honesty every time."

TO CHECK IT OUT CLICK HERE

A TIP OF THE FEDORA TO BILL CRIDER

RANDISI'S RAT PACK MYSTERIES!

RANDISI'S RAT PACK MYSTERIES!

TO PROMOTE THE DECEMBER RELEASE OF HIS THIRD 'RAT PACK' MYSTERY, THE PROLIFIC ROBERT J. RANDISI HAS BEEN INTERVIEWED INDEPTH BY SHOTS eZINE.

TO READ THE INTERVIEW CLICK HERE

THE CAT'S MEOW!


SOPHIE MILMAN LIVE IN MONTREAL DVD!

SOPHIE MILMAN LIVE IN MONTREAL DVD!

SOPHIE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE CURRENT JAZZ SINGERS. HER VOICE IS THAT OF A TRUE TORCH SINGER.