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    The Desert of Souls

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In 8th century Baghdad, a stranger pleads with the vizier to safeguard the bejeweled tablet he carries, but he is murdered before he can explain. Charged with solving…

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    The Bones of the Old Ones

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    As a snowfall blankets 8th century Mosul, a Persian noblewoman arrives at the home of the scholar Dabir and his friend the swordsman Captain Asim. Najya has escaped…

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    The Waters of Eternity

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    Venture into the time of the Arabian Nights with stalwart Captain Asim and the brilliant Dabir as they hunt an unseen killer that craves only the eyes of…

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    Plague of Shadows

    Monday, August 13, 1066

    In the third official novel in Paizo’s Pathfinder Tales line, the race is on to free Lord Stelan from the grip of a wasting curse, and only Elyana,…

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    Stalking the Beast

    Monday, August 13, 1066

      When a mysterious monster carves a path of destruction across the southern River Kingdoms, desperate townsfolk look to the famed elven ranger Elyana and her half-orc companion…

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Oct
20

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Hardboiled Monday: Fast One

fastoneAs with preceding Hardboiled Mondays, Chris Hocking and I are working our way down the master list in alphabetical order. Details and the list are here. And earlier discussions are here.

I remain disappointed that there was so little interest voiced about the Howard Browne book from last week. As far as I’m concerned, that’s one of the finest books on the entire list, but I think we got more FB Likes and comments on that silly Spam Haiku post on Wednesday. If you somehow missed our discussion on The Taste of Ashes, take a look. And if you like this stuff, by God, order a copy of the complete Paul Pine detective stories from Stephen Haffner. Just trust me on this one.

Today we’re looking at Fast One, by Paul Cain.

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Oct
17

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Lord Dunsany Re-Read: A Dreamer’s Tales, Part 1

dreamer's talesThis week launches the first instcallment of our read through of a Lord Dunsany short story collection, A Dreamer’s Tales. My friends Bill Ward and C.S.E. Cooney have been kind enough to join me in posting their thoughts. You can join in too — this book’s stories not only are quite short, they’re freely available as a Kindle download or through Project Gutenberg. It won’t take very long to catch up if you haven’t read them yet, so you might want to do so before you read any further. We began with  the first five of them.

We could have started the re-read with any of Lord Dunsany’s eight short-story collections, but I thought the opening entries in A Dreamer’s Tales were quite strong and hopefully would convince newcomers to stick with him.

Here’s how I rate them. One star is a standout. Two stars means it’s among Lord Dunsany’s very best.

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Oct
15

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Spam Haiku

heatherjansch

Some stunning work from Heather Jansch.

Bill Ward and I were talking the other day about the vast waves of spam that wash up from the Internet onto our sites and how it could be inspiring. After all, wonderful artwork can be fashioned from driftwood swept in from the sea. Could we do the same with phrases clipped from tens of thousands of messages and “friendly posts” for our blog sites trapped by our spam filters?

Yes. Yes, we could. And surely we have shaped it into art destined to shine like a beacon and illuminate the way for future disciples.

Incidentally, Bill searched for Spam Haiku and found a Haiku site dedicated to the actual food product. Really and truly. Ours is different from that, though. We’re artistic innovators, we are, fashioning masterpieces culled from Internet spam.

Well, maybe not masterpieces. Surely not masterpieces.

They’re not true Haiku,
but perhaps they will amuse.
They fit the meter.

Anyway, our creations can be found below, made entirely from phrases we found in our spam filters. Some were trimmed for size, but it’s surprising how much of it simply worked as it was. Read More

Oct
13

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Hardboiled Monday: Howard Browne

ashesAs with preceding Hardboiled Mondays, Chris Hocking and I are working our way down the master list in alphabetical order. Details here. And earlier discussions are here.

Chris Hocking recommended all of Browne’s mystery novels: the four Paul Pine books and a standalone, Thin Air. I couldn’t lay hands on the first three Paul Pine books, and Thin Air got lost in the mail, but Hocking had given me The Taste of Ashes. It came wrapped in a deceptively mediocre cover that provided little clue as to how outstanding the prose within would be.

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Oct
10

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The Big Lord Dunsany Re-Read

time and the godsI don’t actually know how big it will be, because so far I have me and anyone else who wants to join in. Which means just me.

While prepping for the lecture I gave at the Big Read I started thinking about all of the great Lord Dunsany short stories I’ve enjoyed over the years and realized that there were a couple of collections I’d still only sampled from. I decided it was time to revisit that lyrical master of the fantastic.

I hope some of you will join in. For the next three or four Fridays I’ll be reading through A Dreamer’s Tales, and for the first week I’ll be reading: Read More

Hardboiled Monday

Hardboiled Monday: Fast One

Monday, October 20, 2014

As with preceding Hardboiled Mondays, Chris Hocking and I are working our way down the master list in alphabetical order. Details and the list are here. And earlier discussions are here….

Hardboiled Monday: Howard Browne

Monday, October 13, 2014

As with preceding Hardboiled Mondays, Chris Hocking and I are working our way down the master list in alphabetical order. Details here. And earlier discussions are here. Chris Hocking…

Hardboiled Monday: Such Men are Dangerous

Monday, October 6, 2014

Following up on the hardboiled master list, I thought I’d talk about the book by Lawrence Block that holds the number two slot (because we’re going in alphabetical order until…

Hardboiled Monday: Queenpin

Monday, September 29, 2014

Following up on last week’s hardboiled master list, I thought I’d talk about the first writer whose work appears on it, Megan Abbott. Chris Hocking was kind enough to…

Hardboiled and Noir List

Thursday, September 25, 2014

A few posts ago I mentioned my friend Chris Hocking had provided me with an amazing list of hardboiled and noir fiction. Hocking gave me the titles of the…