Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Part II of The Drawing of the Three.

After being deformed and disfigured and finally meeting the prisoner in Part I, we make contact in Eddie Dean's when—and there's gonna be a showdown. Join our discussion of Part II of The Drawing of the Three.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Ed Gorman

It does the heart good to see the love flowing in from so many corners of the internet for Ed Gorman who recently passed away. What a decent, caring human being that we were fortunate enough to know. Ed was a friend who would drop an email letting me know what he was up to and had asked on several occasions if I wanted to join this or that project. I wish I had been able to jump on board more often, but I'm grateful to have had the opportunity and privilege to anthologize a couple of his short stories. And, more importantly, be able to call him a friend. You will be missed, Ed.

Here's a story that had been republished in 2011 at the BEAT to a PULP webzine called "Stalker."

“Who in the world am I?”

Did you watch Westworld 1.03: “The Stray” on HBO? Of course, your faithful reviewing bot did and here's a sample of my review:
I guess if you want to gift a robot a thought-provoking piece of literature, then Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865) is a fine choice. “Who in the world am I?” Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) reads aloud from the classic that Bernard Lowe (Jeffrey Wright) passes to her in another of their covert meetings.
But it would seem Dolores has an equally provocative “present” in return when she asks Bernard the whereabouts of his son. He dodges the question by telling her it would be too hard for her to understand, but is intrigued why she would pose the question in the first place. To have a conversation, she needs to ask personal questions, Dolores explicates, and it would appear by his expression that she has pleasantly surprised Westworld’s head of programming with her advanced cognitive abilities.
When Dolores awakes in her bed (probably a good thing he didn’t give her the mathematician’s sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There (1871), where the conclusion suggests everything is a dream within a dream), she uncovers the gun she had found buried in the ground and now keeps hidden away in her dresser drawer. Hidden? It would seem not much could be kept squirreled away for long with the amusement park’s Big Brother ability to call up and scan specific locales.

*Rest of my article can be found at Macmillan's Criminal Element blog.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Two-Trick Pony (The Drifter Detective Book 8)

Very stoked to announce that Two-Trick Pony by Garnett Elliott is now available for both print and ebook. Here's the description and thank you, dMix, for the cover:

What happens when a Drifter stops drifting?

Two-Trick Pony features the first and last (?) cases of wandering P.I. Jack Laramie, bookending his not-so-glamorous career. In ‘The Big Bronc Hit,’ a fresh-faced young Jack travels to Amarillo, eager to earn his money on a foray into Texas horse country—until he learns the true nature of his ‘investigation.’ Rodeo clowns, a broke-down bronc-riding champ, and a mystery woman round out the cast, with a final confrontation among the rocky crags of Palo Duro Canyon.

In ‘The Vinyl Coffin,’ an older, more jaded Jack makes his next-to-last mistake when he decides to settle down in Dallas, finally opening the detective office he’s been dreaming of. But quitting a vagabond’s life doesn’t do much for the middle-aged blues, and after a nightcap at the infamous Carousel Club that leaves him face to face with an old nemesis, he finds himself helping a faded star already down the path to self-destruction. Does Jack get pulled in too, or does he rally in time to save both of them? Well, it is his ‘last’ case ...

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Netflix’s Amanda Knox

Did she get away with murder? Or did she simply get caught in the line of fire? Don’t expect answers to such direct questions from this Netflix Original Documentary. 
Key people who were involved with the case are interviewed, and they have a way of circling the query on everyone’s mind with double responses. A makeup free, cropped hair Amanda Knox sits in a stark setting for the film’s opening and delivers a provocative statement: “If I am guilty it means that I am the ultimate figure to fear. Because I’m not the obvious one. But on the other hand, if I’m innocent, it means that everyone is vulnerable … Either I’m a psychopath in sheep’s clothing, or I am you.”
*Read the rest of my article here

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Drawing of the Three

Thank you for joining me on a journey of Stephen King’s The Drawing of the Three (1987), the 2nd book in The Dark Tower series. Several of us have just finished a trek through The Gunslinger (1982), which originally was a collection of short stories, later bound together, effectively capturing a world certainly familiar to us—Wild West background set to modern pop tunes—but stirring nightmarish images where time is out of mind and people displaced in various purgatories. The main protagonist, Roland Deschain of Gilead, is obsessed with locating the Dark Tower, so he shadows the man in black, who seems to have answers when confronted, though they are obtusely revealed with a turning over of Tarot cards. The man in black explained that Roland has caught the attention of his superior, who remains unknown, taking an interest in Roland’s endeavors.

With Stephen King's chapters getting a little strange, the plan is to read a section a week (about 100 pages), and each Tuesday we will meet to discuss major themes, motifs, and reactions. Make sure to bookmark the HQ page for the schedule and links to all of the chapter discussions as they go live! This chapter sees Roland wandering across a different kind of desert but, this time, without a known purpose—that is, until he happens upon a door. Join us in the comments for a lively discussion of the start of The Drawing of the Three through The Prisoner, Chapter 2: “Eddie Dean.”