November 30, 2011


In case you needed another reason to order the e-book:

I'm currently editing Simon Rip's next adventure. (Hopefully, this will be my final one before sending it David.)

November 29, 2011

Grift Magazine Reviews First Shift

Over at Grift Magazine, John reviews Crime Factory: The First Shift. Incredibly stoked to have garnered a mention for my story, The Method.

A Rip Through Time E-Book

A Rip Through Time E-Book is now available from Smashwords:

Dr. Robert Berlin has created The Baryon Core, a powerful device with the ability to predict the future and retrodict the past by tracking the position and vector of every particle in the universe. Berlin swipes his own creation from The Company and disappears into history. The Company's time-cop Simon Rip and the sexy, brilliant Dr. Serena Ludwig join together to track Berlin and return the device. Their pursuit will take them back to the ice age and forward to the end of time. 

A Rip through Time follows the time-cop's travels in a series of five short stories written by several of today's top pulp writers. Chris F. Holm opens the collection with the fast-paced "The Dame, the Doctor and the Device." Charles A. Gramlich's "Battles, Broadswords, and Bad Girls" and Garnett Elliott's "Chaos in the Stream" breath new life into the time travel story. Bringing the saga to a gripping conclusion in "Darkling in the Eternal Space" is Chad Eagleton, who then takes it a step further with a mesmerizing coda, "The Final Painting of Hawley Exton." And for all the time-traveling enthusiasts, Ron Scheer provides an insightful essay, "Are We Then Yet," which explores the mechanics of time travel in popular fiction.

If that's not enough--in about a week or so, I'll announce a contest where one lucky and astute reader has a chance to win a free copy of the forthcoming Simon Rip novella by yours truly.

November 24, 2011

Smooth Criminals

At his Dead End Follies site, Benoit Lelievre recently posted the details of his Smooth Criminals challenge. It’s pretty simple really: you have a year to read a book within eight categories and write a review of it.

I haven’t been reading as much as I would like recently. Between my own writing, the day job’s stress, and Maria’s health issues, I just haven’t had much time. When I do have time, my patience for reading material is very small: if the book doesn’t grab me in some way by X number of pages then I move on. I’ve put down more books over the last several months than I can count. Hopefully, the challenge will spur me onward toward finishing something.

My choices (so far) are:

Hardboiled Classic:
I, The Jury--I know Thomas Pluck is reading this too. Great minds think alike, I guess. Honestly, mostly, it’s because I tried reading Spillane years ago and hated it. I know that’s a statement that will probably get me beat and I’m sure Max Allan Collins is probably now plotting my death somewhere, but I thought I’d try again. See if I felt the same.

Noir Classic:
Build My Gallows High by Geoffrey Homes--the basis for the Robert Mitchum film Out of The Past. For some reason it’s sat unread on my shelf.

Prison Book:
On The Yard by Malcom Braly--I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. Originally published in 1967, Braly wrote this book while doing time in San Quentin. It’s a classic of “prison lit,” known for it’s sharp dialogue and large cast of characters.

Book Written By A Writer Who Did Time:
You Can’t Win by Jack Black--No, not that Jack Black. This one was a turn of the century thief who wrote only one book, his memoirs. It was William Burroughs’ favorite book and the stylistic inspiration for Junky.

Book With A Psychopath As Protagonist:
Blackburn by Bradley Denton--I read this years ago. I’ve been wanting to read it again to see if I still believe there are only two books worth reading about serial killers: Blackburn and Shane Stevens’ By Reason Of Insanity.

Gothic Novel:
Carmilla by J. Sheridan LeFanu--the vampire classic I can’t believe I've never actually read. This one may be cheating just a little since I think it’s technically considered a novella. If so, blame Ingrid Pitt.

Classic Where The Plot Revolves Around A Crime:
Haven’t decided on this one yet. Maybe the Moonstone by Wilkie Collins?

The Why The Hell Am I Doing This To Myself Book:
Same with this category.

November 17, 2011

Zombie Plague

ZP Pin-up To Whet Your Appetite
Ten years ago, my friends Brian Roe and Skott Kilander created a free print-n-play game called Zombie Plague. People still download it and people still play it. It's gotten a lot of positive feedback in a decade and even been translated into multiple languages.

Yesterday on Facebook, Brian revealed the next step for Zombie Plague with a link to a Kickstarter page for a project "to create a forty-five page Zombie Plague comic that will also include revamped game rules."

For full details, and to pledge, go here.

November 14, 2011

A Rip Through Time: Things To Come

A Rip Through Time will soon be available in e-book format. Besides featuring the original serial, the collection will also include two unpublished extras: an essay by Ron Scheer on time travel in books and film, and a brand new story by me.

The Last Painting of Hawley Exton is a look into the world of Simon Rip through a very different window. When an unnamed narrator finds himself near the village of Blackledge, he dares venture onward to the shadows of Henthorn Forest and the home of Hawley Exton. Hoping to see an infamous painting commissioned by Lord Byron, he has no idea the horrors awaiting him among the rotting timbers of Quaritch Hall or the terrible burden he will be forced to bear.

This first collection will easily be a bargain at 99 cents.

A bargain and a hint of things to come...

November 10, 2011

Shane Stevens & Gil Cates

"The News of the Screen" column in the February 24, 1974, issue of The New York Times discusses Shane Stevens' involvement in the film adaptation of The Me Nobody Knows and reveals another doomed Hollywood project.

Gil Cates
Gil Cates was scheduled to direct Stevens' screenplay of the socially conscious musical. Cates was the well-known director of films like I Never Sang For My Father and Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams. Now, he's probably best known as the producer of the Academy Awards shows, former Dean of the UCLA Film School, and the uncle of Phoebe Cates.

In the column, Cates talks briefly about Me and then mentions his next scheduled project — a film version of Way Uptown In Another World adapted by Shane.

Neither of the duo's projects went anywhere.

In early September, I e-mailed Cates at The Geffen Playhouse where he served as Producing Director. I introduced myself, explained my research and asked if he remembered anything about Shane Stevens.

I received a response back on October 29. Cates apologized for the delay, said he remembered Stevens only dimly. The Me Nobody Knows and Way Uptown In Another World were "projects that just didn't happen." He wished me well and I thought that was that.

A couple of days later, Cates was dead.

He was a stranger to me, but it was still unsettling. He was a busy man who took the time to answer a question about Shane Stevens (a man he probably hadn’t thought about in 40 years) for a random guy in Indiana.

Now, he was dead.

The main enemy I face in constructing a portrait of Shane Stevens remainains the most ruthless — Time.

November 6, 2011

Darkling In The Eternal Space

For over a year Beat To A Pulp has been tantalizing us with chapters from Simon Rip's adventures. This sci-fi serial has everything you could want: a dashing hero, a brilliant scientist, a beautiful woman, travels across time and space, monsters, and some fantastic action-packed writing by Chris F. Holm, Charles Gramlich, and Garnett Elliott.

David Cranmer asked me to contribute the 4th installment. I have to admit that I was a little intimidated stepping into this playground. The writers that came before are some fantastic creators; they're the guys whose work I always try to catch no matter where they're appearing. But I wanted to give it a shot. This sort of fiction was my first love and something I don't get the opportunity to write very much. Plus, anytime you get a chance to work with David on a project, you'd be a fool to refuse. He's a first-class writer, a brilliant editor, and an honorable man. That's a rare combination, not only in this "business", but in life.

I'm pleased with Darkling In The Eternal Space. I hope you will be too.

Feel the wash of chronal energies:
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV

November 3, 2011

Musings on First Shift

Over at her excellent site, Musings Of An All Purpose Monkey, Elizabeth White talks Crime Factory: The First Shift. Stoked to have made her highlights--especially considering everyone else who graces the pages of Crime Factory's first collection.

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