Friday, April 24, 2015

Richard Corliss, R. I. P.

Variety: Richard Corliss, for 35 years the witty, incisive and compassionate voice on film and culture at Time magazine, died Thursday after a stroke, the magazine announced Friday.

And His Hair Was Perfect

Man wearing wolf mask robs Spring Valley hair salon  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

The Roots of Arbor Day

The Roots of Arbor Day

Elvis Presley, the Voracious Reader

Elvis Presley, the Voracious Reader 

Song of the Day

You Can Have Her - YouTube:

Video: Oldest Footage of London Ever

Video: Oldest Footage of London Ever - Fascinating Video 

Today's Vintage Ad


O Canada

Mirror Online: Eight-year-old Sarah Auger from Quebec, Canada, has been told she is no longer allowed to read books on her daily 20-minute bus ride to and from school.

PaperBack



Robert Guttwillig, After Long Silence, Popular Library, 1959

In his house at R'lyeh dead Cthulhu waits dreaming

Human ancestors had tentacles

I Miss the Old Days

I saw one of these a few times in Austin in the '60s, and once I even saw it in Town Lake.  I don't know if LBJ was the driver, however.

The '60s at 50: 1965: LBJ's Amphicar

Or Maybe You Did

Top 10 Sequels You Didn't Know Existed

The Curse on Shakespeare's Grave

The Curse on Shakespeare's Grave

FFB: The Heirs of Anthony Boucher -- Marvin Lachman

This post originally appeared on September 6, 2005.  This is a book that shouldn't be forgotten.

Marv Lachman has written a book about mystery fandom that I predict will be on a lot of awards lists next year. In this anecdotal illustrated history, he gives capsule summaries of every Bouchercon (including attendance figures), discusses every mystery fanzine ever published, looks at mystery fandom from its beginnings to the present, and even talks a bit about fannish scholarship and the future of fandom. 

For me, reading The Heirs of Anthony Boucher was almost as good as reliving many of the best moments of the last thirty years. When Judy was reading the book last night, she said, "This is like old home week." I think that nails it for those of us who have been fans for many of the years covered in the book. 

But The Heirs of Anthony Boucher is certainly more than that. It's an invaluable documentation of the history (so far) of fandom, and it's something that everyone who cares about mysteries, mystery writing, and mystery fandom should own and read. I suggest that you order a copy now. You won't regret it.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Things Are Different There

Strippers liven up funerals with erotic dancing in China  

Hat tip to Art Scott.
Possibly NSFW photos.

Robots Just Wanna Have Fun

Robot with $100 bitcoin buys drugs, gets arrested: This is the curious story of how a robot armed with a weekly budget of $100 in bitcoin managed to buy Ecstasy, a Hungarian passport and a baseball cap with a built-in camera—before getting arrested.  

Hat tip to Tom Neary.

They Want to Believe!

Vilonia to Host 2015 AR Bigfoot Conference  

Hat tip to John Duke.

Brooklyn Leads the Way

Brooklyn Author Recreates Borges’ Library of Babel as Infinite Website

How To Become a Better Reader in 10 Steps

How To Become a Better Reader in 10 Steps

Wally Lester, R. I. P.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Wally Lester, an original member of one of Pittsburgh's most successful and popular groups, The Skyliners, died Tuesday of pancreatic cancer at age 73 in Southport, N.C.

Song of the Day

The Skyliners - Since I Don't Have You - YouTube:

50 Movie Robots Ranked From Good To Evil

50 Movie Robots Ranked From Good To Evil

Today's Vintage Ad


First It was the Thin Mints Melee

Couple stabbed with sword at Connecticut hookah lounge 

The Man Who Doubled as a Mobster and a Florist

The Man Who Doubled as a Mobster and a Florist

PaperBack



Charles Goodman, Hell's Brigade, Magnum, 1966

Something for the Oenophiles

What does 170-year-old champagne taste like? 

A happy trail for sexy Dale

Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blogzine: Number 1725: A happy trail for sexy Dale

102-Year-Old Woman Watches Footage of Herself Dancing For the First Time

102-Year-Old Woman Watches Footage of Herself Dancing For the First Time

Vintage Treasures: Razored Saddles, edited by Joe R. Lansdale

Vintage Treasures: Razored Saddles, edited by Joe R. Lansdale

A Guide to Ringo Starr's Solo Career in 20 Songs

Meet the Beatle: A Guide to Ringo Starr's Solo Career in 20 Songs

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mary Doyle Keefe, R. I. P.

FOX Carolina 21: HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Mary Doyle Keefe, the model for Norman Rockwell's iconic 1943 Rosie the Riveter painting that symbolized the millions of American women who went to work on the home front during World War II, has died. She was 92.

Charlene Weir: R.I.P.

Mystery Fanfare: Charlene Weir: R.I.P.

The Winter Family -- Clifford Jackman

The Winter family isn't really a family, though in a way you could say they're all related by blood, of which there is a copious quantity in this novel.  The family is instead a band of outlaws.  They first come together at the end of the Civil War as a group assigned to go out ahead of Sherman on his march through Georgia.  Augustus Winter isn't their leader at this point.  That title belongs to a Union lieutenant named Quinten Ross, who's a psycho killer, Jan Müller, the Empire brothers, who are stupid and vicious, and Augustus Winter, who turns out to be the most terrifying of them all.  Along the way they pick up Lukas Shakespeare and a slave named Fred Johnson.  

After the war they separate and engage in various depredations, reuniting in Chicago, where Ross' brother needs some help with rigging an election.  The scenes in a slaughterhouse are rivaled in their brutality by the saloon fights and battles leading up to the election.  Leaving Chicago, the gang separates again and gets back together at various points, including in Oklahoma and Arizona where they engage in bounty hunting and scalping Indians.  Winter frightens even the members of his family.  "It is often observed that murderers do not look like murderers. No one said that of Augustus Winter."  His very appearance on the scene causes men to wet their pants.  (I do wish that Jackman had avoided saying at one point, "Winter is coming."  Since that's been used as the tagline of a well-known TV series, it seems a little out of place, although it has something of the same significance.)

Some readers might be reminded of the work of Cormac McCarthy, specifically of Blood Meridian, but I kept thinking about Flannery O'Connor's Misfit from "A Good Man Is Hard to Find," who says, " . . . it's nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can – by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness, . . ." Pretty much everybody in this novel has that attitude, except for Winter, who never seems to find pleasure even in the killing.

The scary thing about the novel is that as Winter and the family move westward, they aren't so much the last of the frontier but the harbingers of the civilization that's replacing them.  The Winter Family is a gripping story that's full of blood, terror, and violence.  "Enjoyment" might not be the right word for what I felt, but the book is a great read.


The Origins of 7 Department Store Chains

The Origins of 7 Department Store Chains

Song of the Day

Steppenwolf - Magic Carpet Ride 1968 HQ - YouTube:

“I Am a Genre Writer” (by Margaret Maron)

“I Am a Genre Writer” (by Margaret Maron) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN

Today's Vintage Ad


Or Maybe You Did

10 Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Spies   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Soon We'll Have No Personal Freedoms Left

Briton arrested after he 'urinated in ice machine at Florida Hard Rock Hotel' 

PaperBack



Robert Payne, The Gold of Troy, Paperback Library, 1961

I For One Welcome Our New Homonid Masters

U.S. Court Recognizes Chimpanzees As "Legal Persons" For First Time 

How Many Have You Been To?

The best restaurants in America 

25 Novels That Will Turn You Into an Environmentalist

Best Environmental Novels: 25 Novels That Will Turn You Into an Environmentalist

I Want to Believe!

Video: Has Google found the Loch Ness Monster?

First It was the Thin Mints Melee

Man snubbed by senior couple on cruise ship accused of battering them unconscious 

Yes, There Is a Photo

Bikini Wearing Granny Arrested for DUI 

Who Says TV Is Out of Ideas?

‘Galaxy Quest’ Series Headed To Television: Other movie titles from the Paramount catalogue that the studio’s TV division is turning into series with the original auspices include straight-to-series comedy School Of Rock at Nickelodeon, with the film’s director Richard Linklater and producer Scott Rudin; drama Shooter, which has a pilot order at USA, with the movie’s star Mark Wahlberg producing; as well as a Shutter Island series for HBO with Martin Scorsese that is among Pat TV’s projects in development. Additionally, Paramount TV is co-producing the Minority Report Fox pilot, which is considered likely to go to series.