Cheney: still wrong after all these years

Former veep, elegantly cloaked in fiction Crediting Dick Cheney for his rebuke of Donald Trump's bigotry gets no traction with me. Sorry Dick: you can’t make up for decades of reckless decisions and bad policy based on one easy moment of obvious decency. You’re still a modern architect of the very party now on the verge of nominating a racist … Continue reading Cheney: still wrong after all these years

San Francisco: Crime and Baseball

San Francisco--can you get any stranger? Spiked baseball bats chained to parking meters all over town. They appeared, 27 of them, on Thanksgiving: preparations for the Black Friday zombie shopper apocalypse? Speaking of crime, baseball, and the City by the Bay: check out Tom Pitts' Knuckleball... The whole city of San Francisco wants a cop-killer caught. Over … Continue reading San Francisco: Crime and Baseball

The Patron Saint of Juvenile Delinquents

Everyone who's grown up Catholic has a few stories to share, long or short. The good folks at The Citron Review were good enough to publish one of my really short ones: CONFIRMATION Mrs. Dever sees their faces but can’t remember what to call them. They all look alike. They all look bored. They all look … Continue reading The Patron Saint of Juvenile Delinquents

Debut San Francisco Cyber-Noir

Mark Richardson’s Hunt for the Troll (New Pulp Press) is a step up from ordinary pulp. It’s what happens to San Francisco noir when the shiny new promise of Silicon Valley comes to town, pushing back the fog to play some light in the corners. In this case, the light is more ominous than the dark. Our … Continue reading Debut San Francisco Cyber-Noir

The Blind Rooster Jumps to Paperback

Preston Lang’s The Blind Rooster (Crime Wave Press) is now more pulpy than ever before. It's recently been made available in paperback! Reading this dime-store crime tale is a lot like people-watching at the Laundromat: the major figures resemble coin-op types, people resigned to the vague indignity of paying to have their underwear tumble around in a public washer. And don’t … Continue reading The Blind Rooster Jumps to Paperback

Kingly Reads for the Throne

Eight great books to get you through those lonely moments with the fan on. Presented in no particular order—the right book will depend on your mood, and the size of the job before you. 1. The Onion Ad Nauseum This is closest to reading the old classic: an actual newspaper. It’s a little heavy to … Continue reading Kingly Reads for the Throne

Review: C.S. DeWildt’s Love You to a Pulp

C.S. DeWildt’s Love You to a Pulp packs two narratives, tight spirals driving like hammerdrills against the cranium til they breach the dark cavern beneath. You’ll know it when you get there underground with him. In the first narrative glue-nose dick Neil McGrath sniffs out a mystery involving the pharmacist’s daughter in a Podunk southern town. In the … Continue reading Review: C.S. DeWildt’s Love You to a Pulp

The Halloween Hundred

Dragons Are Dangerous Mulridge interrogated the boy, chilled by his flat voice and steady hands. Twenty years in police psychiatry, he’d never met so cold a child. “You’re a knight?” Mulridge said. “Is that dragon blood on your costume?” “I’m a knight. Knights kill dragons.” “Did you know the dragon you killed was your brother?” … Continue reading The Halloween Hundred

Better Than the Local Library

Anyone interested in reviewing books should know about Edelweiss, a free online catalog housing a seemingly endless collection of forthcoming and recently-released titles. I can tell you what Edelweiss is, and I can walk you through how I use Edelweiss to select books for review. But the best way to really understand what’s available there … Continue reading Better Than the Local Library

Writers at Rest

Taking a break from producing fiction? A couple of reads that offer ridiculous, pathetic, sad, witty, funny--fun--looks at the fiction-writer's life include The Visiting Writer, a short story from Matthew Vollmer's collection Gateway to Paradise, and Chris Belden's novel, Shriver. The Visiting Writer delivers us into the world of literary aspiration, a lament on the lack of success, a self examination, … Continue reading Writers at Rest