Saturday, May 1, 2010

LAS VEGAS CENTRAL: WANNA GET LUCKY!

LAS VEGAS CENTRAL: WANNA GET LUCKY!

DEBORAH COONTS ~ MAY 2010


A young woman plunges from a Las Vegas sightseeing helicopter, landing in the Pirate’s lagoon in front of the Treasure Island Hotel in the middle of the 8:30 Pirate Show. Almost everyone writes her off as another Vegas victim.


But Lucky O’Toole smells a rat. She’s head of Customer Relations at The Babylon, the newest, most opulent mega-casino and resort on the Strip, so she’s got a lot on her plate: the Adult Film industry’s annual awards banquet, a spouse-swapping convention, sex toy purveyors preying on the pocket-protector crowd attending ElectroniCon…. Still, Lucky can’t resist turning over a few stones.


When a former flame is one of the snakes she uncovers, Lucky’s certain she’s no longer dealing with an anonymous Sin City suicide. To top it all off, Lucky’s best friend Teddie—Las Vegas’ finest female impersonator—presses to take their relationship to the next level. Leave it to Lucky to attract a man who looks better in a dress than she does.


Lucky must manage the Babylon’s onslaught of outrageous festivities, solve a murder, and struggle to keep her life and libido from spinning out of control… not to mention keep her balance in six inch heels.

THE CAT'S MEOW!

GOLF NOVELS: SHOOTING AN ALBATROSS!

GOLF NOVELS: SHOOTING AN ALBATROSS!

STEVEN R. LUNDIN


CAN’T VOUCH FOR THIS ONE AS IT APPEARS TO BE FROM A SUBSIDY PUBLISHER, STILL IT SOUNDS INTRIQUING . . .


In the fast-paced, based-on-truth novel Shooting an Albatross, author Steven R. Lundin carries us into wartime Hollywood, 1943, and the highly improbable, yet true, story of the only year in the history of professional golf that an entire season was cancelled. The 170th Field Artillery Battalion of the U.S. Army took over a golf course in Los Angeles that same year, setting the stage for a story that rivals anything found in fiction. It’s Army General versus Navy Admiral on the links.


Private Evan Wilkins of McCall, Idaho is chosen to partner with the general, laying the groundwork for a story of film moguls and raging passion, distrust and competition, and a commanding officer besieged by jealousy. The story builds to a climax of friendly-fire murder. This page-turner of a story is for anyone who covets an exciting read, whether it be suspense, romance, military, or a great round of golf.

FANTASY CORNER: SLEEPLESS!

FANTASY CORNER: SLEEPLESS!


CHARLIE HUSTON ~ JULY 2010


From bestselling author Charlie Huston comes a novel about the fears that find us all during dark times and the courage and sacrifice that can save us in the face of unimaginable odds. Gripping, unnerving, exhilarating, and haunting, Sleepless is well worth staying up for.


What former philosophy student Parker Hass wanted was a better world. A world both just and safe for his wife and infant daughter. So he joined the LAPD and tried to make it that way. But the world changed. Struck by waves of chaos carried in on a tide of insomnia. A plague of sleeplessness.


Park can sleep, but he is wide awake. And as much as he wishes he was dreaming, his eyes are open. He has no choice but to see it all. That’s his job. Working undercover as a drug dealer in a Los Angeles ruled in equal parts by martial law and insurgency, he’s tasked with cutting off illegal trade in Dreamer, the only drug that can give the infected what they most crave: sleep.


After a year of lost leads and false trails, Park stumbles into the perilous shadows cast by the pharmaceuticals giant behind Dreamer. Somewhere in those shadows, at the nexus of disease and drugs and money, a secret is hiding. Drawn into the inner circle of a tech guru with a warped agenda and a special use for the sleepless themselves, Park thinks he knows what that secret might be.


To know for certain, he will have to go deeper into the restless world. His wife has become sleepless, and their daughter may soon share the same fate. For them, he will risk what they need most from him: his belief that justice must be served. Unknown to him, his choice ties all of their futures to the singularly deadly nature of an aging mercenary who stalks Park.


The deeper Park stumbles through the dark, the more he is convinced that it is obscuring the real world. Bring enough light and the shadows will retreat. Bring enough light and everyone will see themselves again. Bring enough light and he will find his way to the safe corner, the harbor he’s promised his family. Whatever the cost to himself.


It is July 2010.


The future is coming.


Open your eyes.

SCI-FI CORNER: FANTASTIC TV!

SCI-FI CORNER: FANTASTIC TV!


STEVEN SAVILE ~ MAY 2010


Fantastic TV is an illustrated celebration of five decades of sci-fi and fantasy series. Featuring interviews with writers and creators of each of the classic shows covered, offering a unique insight into the impact of genre TV from the men and women who brought their visions to life on the small screen. Interviewees reminiscences and the author s loving tributes describe the importance and/or uniqueness of all these different shows; how they relate to the world of genre fiction; how video truly did kill off its radio star predecessor, and how these shows continue to influence the writers and artists of today.

NOIR CORNER: MIDNIGHT CAB!

NOIR CORNER: MIDNIGHT CAB!


SFF AUDIO HAS A GREAT ENTRY IN THEIR AURAL NOIR CATEGORY, DOWNLOADS OF THE COMPLETE THREE SEASON OFFERING OF THE CANADIAN PRODUCED MYSTERY RADIO SERIES MIDNIGHT CAB . . .


The 1990s was full of mystery in Canada. Weekday broadcasts on CBC Radio featured more than a dozen detectives in fully dramatized mysteries. This was a result of The Mystery Project. Perhaps the most listened to series under this banner was Midnight Cab, a half-hour mystery show about a 19 year old Toronto cab driver named Walker Devereaux.


The show starred David Ferry as Walker Devereaux, a young man, rather gullible and naive, from Bear River (north of Lake Superior) who comes to Toronto in order to become an author and winds up driving a cab on the midnight shift.


From the start, he keeps running into problems (such as that body that someone left in the trunk of his cab), and he solves the mysteries with the help of his girlfriend, wheelchair-bound Krista Papadopoulos (who dispatches cabs), Alfonso Piatelli (his boss), and Metro Police Inspector Wilfred Kiss (a friendly homicide cop).


Each episode is fairly self-contained, but the series builds on its past episodes as well, so we see Walker’s developing relationship with Krista, his coming to terms with the big city, etc.


FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE

FOR LAND SHARKS EVERYWHERE!

AN EVENING AT BUDDIES LOUNGE #96!

AN EVENING AT BUDDIES LOUNGE #96!


BUDDIES LOUNGE IS BACK!! Join the BIG W every Friday evening as he continues to explore, with drink in hand, the Space-Age Pop Hi-Fi musical sounds of the 1950’s and the 1960’s in LIVING STEREO!


PLAYLIST:


• South Of The Border - Frank Sinatra

• Rock Slide - Buddy Morrow

• A Lot Of Livin’ To Do - George Chakris

• Guys And Dolls - Ray Ellis

• Fabulous Places - Sammy Davis, Jr.

• Start Of Something Big - Nelson Riddle

• Rules Of The Road - Nat King Cole

• Mr. Yunioshi - Henry Mancini

• All Or Nothing At Al - Ann Richards

• The Lady Is A Tramp - Ella Fitzgerald

• Question Mark - Esquivel

• Playing The Field - Buddy Greco

• Swang On Me - Dorothy Provine

• High Noon - Van Alexander

• Turned The Tables On Me - Eydie Gormé

• Twist It - John Barry Seven

• Kiss Me Honey Honey - Shirley Bassey

Clap Yo' Hands - Percy Faith

• Vieni, Vieni - Ray Charles Singers

• La Cucaracha Mambo - Woody Herman


TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

COCKTAIL NATION #122 ~ CHERI CAPRI!

COCKTAIL NATION #122 ~ CHERI CAPRI!


Thanks to Tiki nShark, it’s the Cocktail Nation with Koop Kooper. On the show this week, Koop catches up with Cherry Capri to talk about her life, her music, and Tiki Caliente. The Ask Koop segment tackles the toughest issues in a kind of Mission Impossible of the Dear Abbey advice column world, plus there are so many great events to attend and Koop will take a look at them and the world of swank. So sit back and enjoy the swingin Easy Listening tunes in moderation.


PLAYLIST:


SG Sound ~ Escapade Velocity

The Blue Dahlia ~ I Want to Talk About You

Cherry Capri ~ One Mint Julip

Esquivel ~ Marie

Jimmy Vargas ~ Boulevard Of Broken Dreams

Frank Sinatra ~ They Can't Take That Away from Me

Anita O'Day ~ Love Me Or Leave Me

DJ Bonebrake ~ High Low

Da Howlies ~ Honolulu Heat Stroke

Richard Hayman ~ Night Love

Mark Copeland ~ I Love Paris

Skip Heller ~ El Tiradito

George Shearing ~ Jumpin'

Billy May ~ Jooms Jooms

Martin Denny ~ Martinique


TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

Friday, April 30, 2010

HIGH ADVENTURE CORNER: HAROLD LAMB!

HIGH ADVENTURE CORNER: HAROLD LAMB!


TWO NEW BOOKS FROM ONE OF THE GREATEST OF ALL PULP ADVENTURE WRITERS . . .


SWORDS FROM THE SEA

EDITED BY HOWARD ANDREW JONES

INTRODUCTION BY S. M. STIRLING


Vikings, pirates, heroes, rogues, and explorers . . . all have heard the siren call of the sea, and master storyteller Harold Lamb chronicled some of their most daring exploits. This single volume contains all of Lamb’s historical seafaring stories, drawn from rare and fragile pulp magazines. Never before collected, these short stories and novels are a treasure trove of adventure. Best known for his stirring tales of Cossacks and crusaders, Lamb was no stranger to swashbuckling, and his sea stories deliver it in buckets.


Sail with John Paul Jones as he fights to save the crippled Russian fleet from the Turks, one eye always alert for the knives of his czarist rivals. Venture across the desert with a lone American on a desperate venture against the Barbary corsairs. Seek the Northeast Passage, beset by ice, storms, and traitors from within, at the side of explorer Ralph Thorne. Ride the whale road with the Vikings, plying their swords from Iceland to Byzantium. Introduced by best-selling author S. M. Stirling, this volume concludes with a rare behind-the-scenes look at Harold Lamb’s writing secrets, penned by the editor who made him famous.


SWORDS FROM THE EAST

EDITED BY HOWARD ANDREW JONES

INTRODUCTION BY JAMES ENGE


Their conquest was measured not in miles but in degrees of longitude. They smashed the gates of empires, overthrew kingdoms, diverted rivers, and depopulated entire countries. They were the Mongols of Genghis Khan, swift and merciless, but also resourceful, bold, and cunning. Their tale has seldom been told in the West, and never by an author with the acumen of Harold Lamb.


Ride with young Temujin as he outwits schemers and assassins and rises to conquer Asia as Genghis Khan. Venture to the land beneath the northern lights on a mission of vengeance with Maak the Buriat. Stand with Aruk the gatekeeper and Hugo the Frank as they hold the pass against the Sungar hordes. Lamb’s action-packed Mongolian stories, available here in one complete volume, restore the Mongols to their place in history, portraying them not as mindless barbarians but as men of honor and bravery who laid down their lives for their leader and their lands.


TRADE PAPERBACK ~ $24.95 EACH


FOR MORE INFO VISIT UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA PRESS

THE MAGICIAN DETECTIVE, AND OTHER WEIRD MYSTERIES!

THE MAGICIAN DETECTIVE, AND OTHER WEIRD MYSTERIES!


CHARLES FULTON OURSLER
EDITED BY JOHN LOCKE


Fulton Oursler was one of the great editors of his time, ruling over the Macfadden publishing empire for two decades. He created the first true-crime magazine, True Detective Mysteries, and off-beat titles like Ghost Stories and True Strange Stories.


He achieved national fame in the '30s as the editor of Liberty. But stage magic was his first love, and, in his heart, he remained a conjurer in a black cape and top hat. In this collection of early fiction, Oursler's bewitching imagination takes flight in tales of magic, murder and mesmerizing mystery. Apparitions, half-wits, secret panels, devious deceptions, lunatic asylums, warring magicians, criminal masterminds-it's all here.

Also featured is an in-depth exploration of the astonishing career of Fulton Oursler.


6X9 ~ PERFECT BOUND

210 PAGES ~ $18.00 POSTPAID


CHECK OR MONEY ORDER TO:

OFF-TRAIL PUBLICATIONS
2036 ELKHORN RD.
CASTROVILLE, CA 95012


FOR MOR INFO VISIT OFF-TRAIL PUBLICATION

PULP CENTRAL: CROSSOVERS ~ VOLUME1!

PULP CENTRAL: CROSSOVERS ~ VOLUME1!


DAWN OF TIME-1939
WIN SCOTT ECKERT

COVER BY MARK MADDOX


Crossovers is a massive timeline of crossover stories in which characters, situations, or universes are linked together in order to build the Crossover Universe. Lovingly compiled by crossover and Wold Newton expert Win Scott Eckert, Crossovers lists upwards of 2000 crossover stories, with innumerable additional timeline entries which outline the secret history of the land of fiction. With introductions by Kim Newman (Volume 1) and Jess Nevins (Volume 2), each volume is illustrated with over 200 book and magazine covers, and contains appendices covering myriad television crossovers, alternate universes, and Newman's Anno Dracula series.


From the depths of ancient ages, when Atlantis and Opar fell, when Solomon Kane traveled back in time to fight alongside Conan, and Red Sonja battled Claw . . .

. . .To the Regency, Victorian, and Edwardian eras, when both Zorro and Cagliostro fought Dracula; Frankenstein's Creature went to Pellucidar; the Scarlet Pimpernel clashed with the sorcerer Leonox; detective C. Auguste Dupin took on the notorious Black Coats; Phileas Fogg sparred with Captain Nemo; and Sherlock Holmes' legendary pursuit of justice led to cooperation or conflict with Arsène Lupin, Doctor Who, Dracula, Allan Quatermain, Professor Challenger, the Phantom of the Opera , Raffles, Fu Manchu, Fantômas, the Time Traveler, Carnacki, the Invisible Man, Father Brown, Rouletabille, Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Hercule Poirot, The Shadow, and even Martian invaders . . .


. . . And to the burgeoning Twentieth Century, which saw Tarzan variously team up with Judex and Batman, and separately take on Mr. Hyde and Frankenstein's creature; Sexton Blake take a case at Pemberley House and pursue Raffles; the Nyctalope battle Ernst Stavro Blofeld; Indiana Jones outwit Dracula; G-8 and the Red Falcon soar together over the skies of France; Jeeves and Wooster bump up against some Cthulhuoid awfulness; and Doc Savage meet the Rocketeer and clash with Fu Manchu . . .


US $30.95/GBP £22.99

6x9 ~ Trade Paperback ~ 460 pages


FOR MORE INFO VISIT BLACK COAT PRESS

AGE OF ACES PRESENTS!

AGE OF ACES PRESENTS!

DOWNLOADABLE PDF AIR WAR PULP STORIES!


NEW THIS WEEK:


THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF COFFIN KIRK

ARCH WHITEHOUSE.


The six adventures of Arch Whitehouse’s “Coffin Kirk” appeared in Flying Aces from October 1937 to June 1941. They featured Brian “Coffin” Kirk’s battles against the evil Circle of Death. Kirk is ably assisted by his simian sidekick Tank. All of these stories have been available for dowload on our site, but we have decided to put them together in one PDF so that our loyal readers can access them more easily.



THEY HAD WHAT IT TAKES - PART I: CHARLES LINDBERGH

ALDEN MCWILLIAMS

FEBRUARY 1937 FLYING ACES.


Starting with the February 1937 issue of Flying Aces, Alden McWilliams began his illustrated tribute to the pioneer aviators of that era. He called it “They Had What it Takes”. It appeared in each issue of Flying Aces until June 1940. Each week we will make a new installment available for download. Part 1 features the greatest legend of them all, Charles Lindbergh.


FOR MORE CLICK HERE

THE CAT'S MEOW ~ DOUBLE PLAY!

AGE OF ACES ~ THE COMPLETE CAPTAIN COMBAT!

AGE OF ACES ~ THE COMPLETE CAPTAIN COMBAT!

BARRY BARTON


While Death flies the Swastika across the bloody skies of World War II one American pilot stands before the pendulum of history! Amidst the vivid flames of the European conflict, Bill Combat has made it his personal mission to bring down the German Fuhrer and his Nazi henchmen. He knows first hand the ruthlessness of the Nazis, for they had already murdered his mother and uncle. And now he finds himself in the #1 spot on the Nazi's "Most Wanted" list. But Captain Combat has vowed that when the battle smoke clears, freedom and dignity will reign while Nazi evil shall be banished from the earth!


The Captain Combat stories were originally published bi-monthly from March to August 1940, over a year before America would be thrust into the Second World War. Age of Aces Books has gathered together all three of Barry Barton’s dynamic and thrilling novels of modern war into one volume for the first time.


THE COMPLETE CAPTAIN COMBAT

386 PAGES ~ 6X9 TRADE PAPERBACK ~ $16.99

FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE

PULP CENTRAL: WINDY CITY PULP STORIES #10!

PULP CENTRAL: WINDY CITY PULP STORIES #10!


CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF ADVENTURE!


WALTER BAUMHOFER COVER ART


CON BOOK FOR WINDY CITY PULP AND PAPER CONVENTION, APRIL 2010. ARTICLES AND FICTION FEATURING MATERIAL ON AND ABOUT ADVENTURE AND IT'S 100TH ANNIVERSARY.


6X9 ~ 126 PAGES ~ B&W ~ ILLUSTRATED ~$10

BLACK DOG BOOKS


NOW AVAILABLE FROM ADVENTURE HOUSE

NEVIL SHUTE COVER GALLERY!

NEVIL SHUTE COVER GALLERY!

STEVE HOLLAND HAS A GREAT COVER CAVALCADE OVER AT BEAR ALLEY FEATURING ONE OF MY FAVORITE, AND NOW VERY OVERLOOKED, AUTHORS – NEVIL SHUTE. TRUSTEE FROM THE TOOL ROOM, NO HIGHWAY, AND THE RUINED CITY ARE ALL AS GOOD AS HIS MORE REMEMBERED NOVELS, A TOWN LIKE ALICE AND ON THE BEACH . . .


TO CHECK IT OUT CLICK HERE

GOING LONG: LEGENDS, ODDBALLS, COMEBACKS & ADVENTURES!

GOING LONG: LEGENDS, ODDBALLS, COMEBACKS & ADVENTURES!

THE EDITORS OF RUNNER’S WORLD


MARCH 2010


For more than 40 years, Runner’s World magazine has been the world’s leading authority on running—bringing its readers the latest running advice and some of the most compelling sports narratives ever told. From inspirational stories such as "A Second Life"(the story of Matt Long, the FDNY firefighter who learned to run again after a critical injury) to analytical essays such as "White Men Can’t Run" (a look at what puts African runners at the front of the pack), the magazine captivates its readers every month.


Now, for the first time, the editors of Runner’s World have gathered these and other powerful tales to give readers a collection of writing that is impossible to put down.


With more than 40 gripping stories, Going Long transcends the sport of running to reach anyone with an appetite for drama, inspiration, and a glimpse into the human condition.

A RUNNER’S TALE!

A RUNNER’S TALE!

BAKER-2-VEGAS 2010


I’ve run the Baker to Vegas law enforcement team relay race a number of times in the past 33 years – starting back in 1978 in the third year of the race when it was still known as the Death Valley Relay. In those days, the race began at a rock in the desert and ended at a rock in the desert.


Until this year, 1988 was my most significant outing. I was working the Anti-Terrorist Division (ATD) at the time. There were only thirty-five of us in the division and we produced a twenty runner team that placed 3rd in the race’s Over 800 division – the ages of the twenty runners on the team adding up to over 800 years.


I was the young kid on the team that year and in my running prime. It also helped that in our assignment with ATD, we were paid to work out an hour a day, so everyone was in decent shape. As the youngest and fastest, I was assigned to run the dreaded leg 15 – the Spiderman leg – a six mile segment that starts out uphill, in the dark of midnight, and just keeps getting steeper, rising over 1000 feet to the hand-off point at the summit (5000 feet elevation) before Highway 80 begins the long swoop down to Vegas. Until I began running marathons in the early 2000s, it was the hardest run I’d ever undertaken – the first and last time I’d ever puked crossing a finish line.


Since then, I’ve run Baker to Vegas a couple more times with various geographic area teams, but simply for the fun of participating and never seriously in contention.


Until this year – 2010.


Assigned to Mission Area in the north end of the San Fernando Valley, I found the members of the team to be very serious having placed 11th in 2009. This year the plan was to cut 45 minutes off the previous year, so there was some serious training going on.


I’ve been running 4 to 5 miles twice a day for several years, cutting back from the 120 training miles a week I was running when marathons were still in my wheelhouse. But with age, I’m 56 now, comes a deterioration of speed. No longer were 6:15 minute miles something for which I could aim. Now, 7:30 to 8:00 minute miles was a normal pace – 7:15 minute miles if I was really pushing the edge of my envelope.


I put those 7:15 minute miles in during our team qualifying runs on the five mile course around Balboa Park. I was the oldest runner (by ten years) and no longer the fastest runner on our ‘mixed’ team (five female runners and fifteen male runners), but neither was I the slowest. I had experience on my side and a deep base of miles run.


In assigning the legs for the 2010 race, I was offered leg 20, the 5 mile anchor leg, which I happily accepted. Often referred to as the ‘Hollywood’ leg – because you get to cross the actual finish line where all the crowds are waiting and cheering – the terrain is a flat shot down Desert Inn Road with two long inclines, one going over the 15 Freeway and the other coming up from where Desert Inn Road dips through a short tunnel under Las Vegas Boulevard – the Strip.


A short distance after the second incline, Desert Inn Road intersects Paradise Road. Here, runners turn left and run a final half mile to the Hilton Hotel Convention Center, actually entering the convention center and running down two sides of the interior of the building before crossing the finish line.


This is a great leg and built for speed, which was the only thing I was concerned about. I figured I could put in a good time, but not the excellent time that might be needed to get the total team time under our goal of 17 hours for the 120 mile distance. Still, the time of day, 0500 to 0530, ensured the weather would be cool – both factors suited to my physiology.


However, two weeks before the race, I developed a serious sinus infection affecting my entire upper respiratory area. It was the first time I’d been sick in over two years, and the week before the race I couldn’t have run ten minutes per mile let alone any kind of competitive time.


I got on antibiotics in a hurry, missing two days of running completely (a rare occurrence) and only slogging through a slow five miles once a day on the other days of the week. In reality, the layoff probably worked in my favor, as otherwise I probably would have over trained.


Arriving in Vegas two days early, I was feeling much better and went out both mornings and did training runs on my leg of the race to figure out mileage points and adjust to the higher Vegas elevation (2,500 feet). I actually love running in Vegas in the early morning, especially on the Strip. There are very few people about, but the lights still flash, the outside speakers still blare, and the barren heart of Sin City is revealed – it’s like getting a glimpse of the truth behind the Wizard of Oz.


Because there were 243 teams in the race this year starting times were staggered, with the fastest teams getting assigned the latest starting times. Our team was scheduled to be under starter’s orders in Baker at 1300 on Saturday afternoon. I was scheduled to be at the start to leg 20 at 0430 Sunday morning, expecting to get the baton handed-off to me between 0500 and 0530.


Before going to bed at 2200 hours on Saturday night, I called our team captain to see if we were still in the race (there are all kinds of things that can happen to get a team disqualified). She told me the team was running 30 minutes behind schedule due to the 102 degree heat in the early legs. Apparently, a runner from another team had to be airlifted to hospital when he collapsed after running leg 3 in the high temperatures.


Okay, so the pressure was off for me to have to turn in a super fast time to complete the final leg. I caught six hours sleep, calling the team captain back at 0400, only to be told the team’s runners had made up all the lost time during the night legs and we were now 2 minutes ahead of schedule!


I flew out of the hotel and drove out to the starting point of my leg. I was met by members of our support team, who got me signed in and rigged me out with a lightweight safety vest with flashing LCD lights and my runner’s number.


In what seemed like just a few minutes, the loudspeaker from the race administration table blared out our team number – meaning our leg 19 runner, Kika Wheeler (our fastest female) was less than two minutes out. I moved into the hand-off shoot and looked back down Desert Inn Road for a glimpse of Kika’s flashing legs.


During the race, every team provides a follow vehicle to keep pace behind their runner. When a runner enters the coned-off hand-off chutes, the follow vehicle has to pull off and slowly drive to the front of the chute before falling in behind the next runner.


I saw Kika coming and began yelling encouragement. She was still moving fast, but looked completely spent. She slapped the baton into my hand and I exploded out of the chute like a rookie running his first marathon – going out way too fast to maintain any kind of pace.


The support crew in our team follow van told me later they pulled up to the front of the chute to wait for me and sat there, waiting and waiting, until they realized I had already blown past before they got there.


About a quarter of a mile into my leg, I knew I had to back down the pace or burn out. When you do this, your adrenaline driven mind gives you the illusion you are running way to slow. Fortunately, I’d experienced this enough times before to keep my discipline and not speed up. Within a couple of minutes, I began to feel normal.


The weather was in the low ‘60s. I’d broken a well-oiled sweat, and was running smoothly. And then some young stud from the Culver City Police Department team blew past me, leaving me sucking the exhaust from his follow vehicle. I was ticked. I did not want to be passed, but I still kept my discipline and didn’t speed up. I hoped I could keep in contact with the Culver City runner, but I also had to make sure I finished the leg without burning up.


Past the one mile point, I realize I was in the zone. I couldn’t feel my body making any effort to run – it was just running. In the darkness, my field of vision had narrowed to a long tunnel in which I could only see directly in front of me. I was cruising on autopilot and was loving it.


Through mile three, I passed three runners, but not the guy from Culver City who had blown past me. I could see him ahead of me, however, and realized he was slowing down and I was gaining. I mentally checked my reserves and picked up my pace to go after him.


In mile four, I was ten yards behind the Culver City runner when he reached the bottom of the long incline taking Desert Inn Road over the 15 Freeway. He hit that incline and I saw his pace falter. I lowered my hips in my running posture, essentially kicking my body into a lower gear, and powered up the hill, passing the Culver City runner to the accompaniment of the hoots and yells from the crew in my follow vehicle.


The rule when you pass a runner, like I had just done, was to not to pass unless you knew you could hold them off and stop them from passing you again. I had no doubt, the kid from Culver City was toast, he was still running okay, but he didn’t have anything left to speed up and catch me.


I hit the crest of the incline, passed over the 15 Freeway, and hit the other side leading down and under Las Vegas Boulevard and up the other side. In this stretch I passed another runner and was no longer able to hear the Culver City runner’s ragged breathing.


I was maintaining my pace. I knew I was running faster than normal because everything around me had slowed down. I was having my best run in years.


As I approached the left turn onto Paradise Road, I could see another runner struggling in front of me. I don’t know where the speed came from, but I kicked it up and took the runner on the turn.


Now it was a little over a half mile to the finish line and I couldn’t see any other runners ahead of me (there were obviously a lot of runners ahead of me from teams who had started their runs earlier than our team). I was searching for mental motivation not to back off my pace.


The day before the race Daryl Gates, the chief of police for L.A.P.D. from 1978 to 1992, and a man I admired and honored deeply, had passed away at 88 years old from cancer. He had run the Baker to Vegas relay almost every year while he was chief. So, now I whispered, “This one is for you, Chief,” and from somewhere found the energy to pick up the pace again.


Down Paradise Road, into the parking lot of the Convention Center, and through the doors into the main building and a wall of sound from the crowd gathered there. I was not going to be caught from behind at this point. I virtually flew down the wide lane on two sides of the large building and tapped the baton on the electronic timer as I crossed the finish line.


Suddenly, my arms and legs felt disconnected, as if they were wind-milling of their own volition. Our team catcher grabbed me and helped steady me. I couldn’t get enough air and was gasping for breath.


Then I was surrounded by team members jumping up and down, yelling at me, jostling me, and high-fiving each other. I’d crossed the finish line in 32:18 for the five miles – under 6:30 per mile! Our total time 16:58:08. We’d broken our 17:00:00 goal. We placed 7th in our mixed team category and 90th overall out of 243 teams.


I don’t know where the run came from – somewhere deep inside, the ghost of Chief Gates carrying me, or just the perfect combination of time of day, weather, enough runners ahead of me to keep me chasing them, and serendipity.


I guess it really doesn’t matter.


In the grand scheme of world events, cataclysmic disasters, and actual athletic accomplishments, my five mile jaunt in the desert doesn’t even rate as a grain of sand. But in my personal perspective, those five miles were a gold nugget. I’d left everything I had, and some of what I didn’t know I had, out on the course – in my mind I was still a runner.


They say if women could remember the pain of child birth, they would never get pregnant again. I felt great the day of the race, but the next day and for a solid week afterward, my legs felt like two dead stumps, my knees ached, and my thighs in particular felt liked they had been run over by a big rig. Every time I went out to run, I swore I would never run competitively again – never, never, never!


And then one day I went out for a run, felt great, and started thinking about next year’s race . . .

RED PANDA #59 ~ SINS OF THE FATHER!

RED PANDA #59 ~ SINS OF THE FATHER!

NEW FROM DECODER RING THEATRE . . .


A series of mysterious accidents is plauging the business interests of a certain wealthy former gad-about. Is it mere coincidence, or is Fenwick Industries being targeted? And when both the city's mystery men and a secret government agent get involved, will the cure be worse than the disease? How many must pay for the...Sins of the Father?


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MYSTERY CORNER: HELLCATS AND HONEYGIRLS!

MYSTERY CORNER: HELLCATS AND HONEYGIRLS!

LAWRENCE BLOCK / DONALD WESTLAKE


DUST JACKET ILLUSTRATION: GLENN ORBIK


OCTOBER 2010 ~ $30.00


PULP WRITER BILL RAETZ TIPS US TO THIS COOL NEWS ABOUT TWO FAVORITES, LAWRENCE BLOCK AND DONALD WESTLAKE . . .


Subterranean Press is proud to publish an omnibus containing the three novels jointly written by Lawrence Block and Donald E. Westlake. The individual titles have out of print for nearly five decades.


FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY LAWRENCE BLOCK:


“Now, as I write these lines, Don’s been gone a year and a week. And our three joint novels are now available in this handsome hardcover edition. I’m happy about this, and I can only hope that Don would be pleased as well.


I can’t be sure of that, as he hasn’t had any say in the matter. I do know that, in recent years, he became increasingly open about pseudonymous work that he’d previously kept in the dark. Part of this may have stemmed from a recognition of the inevitability of it all. There are people out there practicing a weird form of scholarship on the crap of which we who wrote it thought so little, and a quick search of the internet can unearth no end of information about our early work, some of which may even be true. The genie, alas, is out of the bottle, and the toothpaste is out of the tube. And, really, what difference does it make?


When Don agreed to have Hard Case Crime reissue some of his early books — crime novels, I should point out, which had nothing to apologize for— a mutual friend asked him why he thought this a good idea. The money didn’t amount to much, after all, and the work was not as good as what he’d produced since then, and —


’The difference between being in print and out of print,’ Don told him, ‘is the same as the difference between being alive and being dead.’


So I don’t think it’s too great an abuse of our friendship that I’m shepherding these three books back into print.”


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PULP CENTRAL: YUGOSLAVIAN PULP!

PULP CENTRAL: YUGOSLAVIAN PULP!

PULP INTERNATIONAL HAS POSTED AN UNUSUAL COVER CAVALCADE OF ASSORTED SUPER COMICS FROM THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA, CIRCA LATE 1980S.


TO CHECK IT OUT CLICK HERE