Monday, October 31, 2016


There’s a lot of underhanded business going on in the park that seems to be trickling down from the corporate top. Secrets, deceptions, and inappropriate behaviors are making the rounds. We’ve seen it from the upper levels, and now we’re getting more from the lower levels. 
The two techs—Lutz (Leonardo Nam) and Sylvester (Ptolemy Slocum), who had a run-in with Maeve after not putting her in sleep mode—are back. (I agree with Lutz, he probably did place her in sleep mode … she had just used her count-to-three trick to wake herself up.) They are again with Maeve, and Lutz is feeling a little more than creeped out by her presence because of last time.
*Rest of my review for Westworld's "Contrapasso" can be found here.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Going Into The Weekend...

I'm reading a lot (as usual) for work to include manuscripts, detective, and science fiction novels but strictly for recreation I'm enjoying THE MUSIC OF THE PRIMES by Marcus du Sautoy. I'm a math enthusiast but I don't think you have to be one to enjoy Sautoy's entertaining work on the history of prime number theory. Very much recommended. Besides the reading this weekend, I'm searching for a new backgammon app because I've pretty much conquered the old one which has become repetitive. If anyone out there has any suggestions I'd love to hear them. Other than that the family is gearing up for Halloween which brings a big smile to the little one and even bigger smiles to us old kids watching her dressing up and having fun.

Have a great weekend, friends.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Hold a Scorpion by Melodie Johnson-Howe

Diana Poole has split with her egocentric boyfriend, Peter Bianchi, who had chided her to take a good look at herself. So she does—by going to a movie theater and watching her larger-than-life image on the silver screen.
A middle-aged actress who is on the back burner of Hollywood, Diana mulls the ended relationship and career mistakes that has brought her to this empty, darkened movie house. As she views herself, she insightfully ponders, “… narcissism is as demanding as an unpaid drug dealer.” Driving back to her Malibu home (after being lulled to sleep by her own hues), despondent thoughts are temporarily erased when she notes a woman waving boisterously in her direction. A fan? Someone she knows? She’s not sure as the brief encounter turns to horror.
My further two-cents on HOLD A SCORPION can be found at Macmillan's Criminal Element blog.

Monday, October 24, 2016

“Dissonance Theory”

Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) and Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) are having another sit down, talking more about feelings—specifically the loss of her parents. When Bernard offers to take away her pain, she asks why she would want that, using the same words Bernard had used when talking with his ex-wife about the death of their son—basically, it’s the only thing she has left of them. Is Bernard programming her with dialog based on his own life, and if so, to what purpose? To make her more real? 
In any event, Bernard offers Dolores another way to search for her soul: a game called The Maze, where the goal is to find the center. He tells her if she can do that, then maybe she can be free. She replies, “I think … I think I want to be free.” Could it be that both Ford and Bernard are using pawns to find the center of this mythical maze, first one there wins a prize? 
*My continuing thoughts on Westworld can be found here

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.”

Monday, October 10, 2016

Marcus du Sautoy explains the fractal nature of Pollock's paintings

What's In A Name: Bob Ford

Dr. Robert Ford. 
Somehow this name didn’t quite register while watching the first episode. I mean I heard it, Anthony Hopkins plays Robert Ford, creator, or rather “God,” of Westworld. But what a choice of a name it happens to be … Bob Ford, the man who lives in infamy for shooting outlaw Jesse James in the back while James was hanging a picture in the family home.
Now, the Westworld park, we are told, is about people finding out exactly who they are and what they are capable of doing, and they can enjoy the freedom of that discovery without consequence—where you can be an outlaw like James or a treacherous ne’er-do-well like Ford. Maybe the show’s architects don’t have an agenda in mind with the moniker “Bob Ford,” but Western enthusiasts will certainly find it curious that the most disrespected individual, arguably, in Wild West history has the highest held position in Westworld … then again, I’d be willing to throw my chips on the table that it’s a tell-tale sign of what we’re going to find out about the park’s creator. 
More of my review of the second episode can be found at Criminal Element. Thanks in advance for taking a look.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016

Rumors and Impending Action

Hope all bloggers had a superior weekend!

Monday finds me typing away at new articles for Criminal Element where I moonlight as a freelance writer. The latest post is my take on the Westworld debut. Did you watch? I thought it was a bit familiar but overall has my curiosity piqued with what Anthony Hopkins has planned for his unusual amusement park. So I'll be reviewing that for the next ten weeks and, in addition, finish Longmire season five recaps by Friday and every Tuesday whittle my way through The Dark Tower. Tomorrow we come to the conclusion of The Gunslinger and I hope you have your library cards ready to pick up the second book in the series, The Drawing of the Three.

On the publishing front, I'm looking to release Garnett Elliott's Two Trick Pony very soon. This will be the eighth book in The Drifter Detective series and it may just be where the road comes to an end for Jack Laramie, grandson of Cash Laramie. I'm not saying for sure but there are rumors, pilgrims.

That's it for me on the work front—never slow down, never grow old.