Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Monday, February 27, 2006

The Flash Mind Reader

If that friend of yours who has always claimed to be a little psychic and spends his or her money going to professional fortunetellers ever shows you this, and claims that it's proof of the existence of paranormal abilities, then direct your friend here, and politely refuse to gloat. Or say, "In your face! Who's the psychic now, bee-yotch???" Either way is fine.

Pulp O' The Day

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Pulp O' The Day

Goodbye, Kolchak

Darren McGavin passed away yesterday. He was 83. Tonight I'll watch a couple of epsidoes of The Night Stalker in his memory. I think it's a little too soon to pop in A Christmas Story, isn't it?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Monday, February 20, 2006


Chris Fletcher has bought a story of mine for an upcoming issue of The Late Late Show online 'zine.

As much as I appreciate it (because I think it's a good story and it needed a home), the really cool part is that he wants me to do an audio version for their new podcast.

I've been wanting to do a reading of one of my pieces for a while now. In fact, I started to read a Halloween story for Pod of Horror back in October, but I thought putting that on the show would be a little self-serving (which makes no sense when you consider of all the other self-serving bullshit I've put on there).

I'll let you know when both versions are available.

Pod of Horror #10

Pod of Horror #10 has gone live! And this time around:

* J. F. Gonzalez talks about SURVIVOR, his early magazine career and things he can't show his wife.

* Advice Demon Grim Rictus gets another call from you-know-who.

* On the Tomb of Trivia, we give away a Jeff Strand three-pack, SUCCULENT PREY by Wrath James White from Bloodletting Press, and THE ILLUSTRATED STEPHEN KING TRIVIA BOOK edited by Brian Freeman and Bev Vincent, illustrated by Glen Chadbourne, courtesy of Cemetery Dance.

* You want horror news? David T. Wilbanks has a Poopapalooza.

* Has Mark Justice ever been paid by Gothic.Net? Are you kidding me?

* Willie Nelson sings about gay cowboys!

Get your fear on with Pod of Horror # 10. Find it now at I-tunes or listen here.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

One Of My Favorite Books

Back in my misspent youth, at the height of my pulp-science fiction phase, renowned SF writer Philip Jose Farmer, himself a fan of the pulps since they first were published, wrote a cool Ace Double novel.

The Ace doubles were a lot of fun. You would read one novel, then flip the book over to read another. Many were single author books. Others had different writers for each side. I have many of them -- SF and Western -- stuffed away on shelves, but my favorite is this one:

And on the flip side:

Farmer's versions of Doc Savage and Tarzan, granted immortality by a sinister group called The Nine, battled each other before reluctantly becoming allies. Sweet, sweet stuff.

That wasn't the fist meeting between Farmer's "Doc Caliban" and "Lord Grandrith". In 1969, the two teamed up for A Feast Unknown, an wild romp filled with a lot of sex and massive bronze, uh, body parts.

Later on, Farmer would finally get to do the real Doc Savage:

And Tarzan:

And his love for the characters really shines though.

Farmer was the first author who made me want to write, and his Riverworld series remains one of the great classics of SF.

Thanks, Phil.

You can find more Farmer here.


Thanks, Randy.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

LOST Isn't

It was another fine episode of Lost this week. So far the show is very skillfully avoiding the sophomore slump.

I’ve heard some viewers complain that Lost has lost it’s way, as if the critics have gotten a peek at some secret Lost playbook and can point to where the producers deviated from their plan.

Hey, you jamokes, it’s the second friggin’ season. Give it a chance.

I know, I know. We were all burned by The X-Files. “We’ve know where we’re going with this mess,” they told us. But it turns out they were more confused than Dick Cheney taking a shot at a covey of quail.

However, Lost still provides the best hour of entertainment on TV. The writers continue to ratchet up the mystery and suspense, while the character development remains superb.

In fact, a lot of novelists could learn a few things about story structure from Lost.

You know who you are.

I’ve also heard that Invasion has gotten better. After the first three episodes remarkably duplicated the effects of Nyquil, I left and never went back. Maybe I’ll catch the DVDs this summer.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Write Thang

It's been a pretty productive week so far, other than my wife being sick. That's caused me to undergo hardships like cooking, cleaning and shopping.

I feel faint.

But she's on the mend, and I have accomplished a few things.

The novel I'm writing with Dave Wilbanks is cranking right along. I returned my latest section to him today.

My solo novel, The Firecracker Man, is on pace to be finished by the end of March (he says, knowing that the Great Lords of Karma are laughing even now). Then I plan to head into the next novel, once I narrow it down from the six ideas crying out for attention.

Also, there has been some movement on another project that's near and dear to my heart. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

And, no, I still haven't been paid by the lowlifes at Gothic.Net. Thanks for asking, though.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Pulpish Pictures

No big theme here. Just some covers I enjoy.


"He looked just like a terrorist. Really."

Monday, February 13, 2006

Got Damned?

My contributor copy of Damned Nation arrived today. This is a nice thick book for only $9.99.

It contains my story “Das Hollenfeuer”, but don't let that stop you. It also has stories from writers like Tom Piccirilli and Poppy Z. Brite.

You can order it here and here, among other places. Hey, it's a bargain at twice the price.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


So I have this I idea I’m dying to do. See, I’ve always been a fan of pulp fiction – the real pulp fiction, from the 30s and 40s. Particularly the hero pulps like Doc Savage, The Shadow and The Spider.

For a long time I’ve kicked around concepts for modern day pulp stories. I’ve even written a few, but the market for such stuff is hard to find, particularly now that Adventure Fiction Online is gone (they ran several of my stories, including one of my faves “The Sun God Comes Home”). I even toyed with the idea of putting it on a website.

When Muy Mal debuted at the first of this year, I suddenly realized how my plan would work.

PULPWORLD would be the umbrella title for a site that showcased serialized pulp novels: hard-hitting, apocalyptic pulp-style adventures, written by several writers and exploring different genres. You could drop in weekly and get new chapters of yarns starring sword-wielding barbarians, bloodthirsty urban avengers and science heroes.

So what’s stopping me?

I need at least a couple of other writers to provide enough content to make the trip each week worthwhile, and the writers I know who are interested in writing pulp fiction number exactly one. Me.

And I don’t have the technical expertise to put it together. So somebody on the team would have to be technosavvy

But one day I’ll find a way to make PULPWORLD work. And when I do, Mr. Resurrection, The Dead Sheriff and The Sun God will have a home.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

My Trenchcoat Period

This came in the mail today:

It’s an Ellery Queen comic book from 1961. I bought it the other day on eBay. It reminded me that I never told you about my short-lived career as a private detective.

I’ve always loved detective stories. As a kid, I was fascinated by Encyclopedia Brown, The Hardy Boys and Alfred Hitchcock’s The Three Investigators. I wanted to be like them, to be able to spot clues and pull together all the pieces of a puzzle while everyone else stood around scratching their heads. I wasn’t very good at clue-spotting, but I was convinced it was a talent that I would develop with experience.

So one day when I was about eleven, I decided to become a private investigator. Oh, I knew there were schools you could attend to study crime detecting methods. I just wasn’t patient enough to wait until I was an adult. After all, Frank and Joe Hardy weren’t much older than me, right? Of course, their dad was a cop. Mine worked in a steel mill. Maybe they had an advantage there. But my dad had given me a very useful too: the legendary Justice stubbornness.

I was going to be a P.I. right now.

I figured every good gumshoe had business cards. I took typing paper and drew business cards on them, as professionally as I could muster. If I recall correctly, they read something like this:

Mark Justice
Private Detective
No Case Too Big Or Too Small

Imagine that in an eleven-year-old’s scrawl, along with my phone number, and you have a idea of the caliber of private dick my neighborhood was dealing with.

(By the way, some who know me won’t be surprised to find out I was a dick at an early age. But that’s another column altogether.)

Once I had my business cards, I passed them out on my street. I remember receiving a lot of patronizing smiles and pats on the head from the grownups. I didn’t want their compliments, dammit. I wanted a case.

Let me digress at this point to tell you about the Hot Girls. These were the three sisters that lived a few houses down the road. The oldest girl was already out of high school, so she wasn’t around much. The youngest daughter was only a couple of years older than me and didn’t really show up on my radar.

But the middle girl....

Oh mama. Middle Girl made me feel the same way Batgirl did when I saw her in TV, like everything in my head was all squishy.

Middle Girl was probably a junior or senior in high school at the time, way out of my league. Of course I was too young and naive to even have a league. That didn’t stop the other guys in the ‘hood and me from hanging around Middle Girl as much as possible.

When she sunbathed. When she washed her car. When she did anything.

Since she was a goddess, Middle Girl naturally had a lot of boyfriends. And in the summer of my P.I. career, she had one particular guy. We’ll call him Charley, mainly because I don’t remember his name.

On the day I passed out my shamus business cards, I must’ve given one to Charley, because several days later the phone rang at the house and Mom handed it to me with a funny look. “Somebody wants to speak to ‘Mark Justice, Private Detective’,” she said. I recognized the look. It said what have you gone and done now?

But I didn’t have time for that kid stuff. This was business.


A voice I barely recognized said, “Is this the private detective?”

“Yes," I said, my voice crackling with a combination of nerves and puberty.

“This is Charley, Middle Girl’s boyfriend. I need to hire you.”

This was it. My first case.

“First, I need you to tell me if her car is in the driveway,” Charley said.

“Just a minute.” I put the phone down and crept out the kitchen door. I tried to make myself as inconspicuous as possible by strolling down the driveway to check the mail box. Of course, my eagle eyes missed nothing. Her car was there.

I went back in and reported to Charley. He didn’t sound very happy.

“Okay,” he said. “Were there any other cars there? Like one you didn’t recognize?”

I had to go back out and check. Son of a gun, there was a little sports car parked in the street. My eagle eyes had somehow missed it. And Middle Girl was getting into the car with some guy.

I had to tell Charley. He was my client and deserved nothing less than the truth.

When I told him the bad news, he sounded a little sad, but he thanked me anyway and promised to pay me.

Pay me? Holy crap. I was so caught up in the excitement of my first case, I forgot about my fee.

The next day Charley was back at Middle Girl’s house, trying to win her back. I don’t think it worked out very well for him.

But as he drove slowly up the street after the break up, he stopped by my house and thanked me again.

He also gave me fifty cents.

I was a paid professional. I was a private detective.

I never saw Charley again, though I still kept an eye on Middle Girl. I think this was more for me than for him.

And I never got another case.

Still, for one shining moment, I was a P.I.

Pee Eye, baby.

So pardon me if I get misty-eyed when I see a Hardy Boys book at the flea market or I buy an Ellery Queen comic on eBay.

I’m just reliving my Glory Days, toots.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

90 Million Viewers

They say 90 million people watched this year's Super Bowl.

Too bad that didn't include the referees.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Lazy Monday

I had the day off, which I needed to recover from the Super Bowl. Last year I got 90 minutes of sleep before I had to get up for work. This was a little nicer. After all, I'm not 19 anymore. Or 29. Or 39.

These were my major accomplishments for the day:

1. Dogsat for Ed the Female Dog while my Mother's bathroom was remodeled.

2. Finished reading a novel I had to review.

3. Took a nap.

4. Wrote and submitted the review.

5. Submitted a short story.

6. Had dinner and watched a Nero Wolfe movie from the great A&E series.

7. Started reading a new novel (this one's for me).

Now that's a good day.

Pod of Horror #9

Tuck the kids in bed, lock the door and turn up your speakers: Pod of Horror #9 is here! This time around:

* Horror’s favorite Advice Demon (okay, okay, the only Advice Demon) Grim Rictus reveals his tragic romantic past.

* We have the scoop on the DAMNED NATION anthology direct from editors Robert N. Lee and David T. Wilbanks.

* Mike Oliveri brings us up to date on his news comic book series WEREWOLVES: CALL OF THE WILD, and takes us behind the scenes at MUY MAL.

* The Mistress of the Macabre, Nanci Kalanta, lays out this month’s Horror World festivities.

* More free books from Cemetery Dance and Bloodletting Press in The Tomb of Trivia and a Shocklines $50 gift certificate.

Download it from I-Tunes or direct from Horror Reader.com.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

I Was Right

She couldn't feel her face.

My Weekend

Recorded a new Pod or Horror yesterday. I’ll tell you more about it on Monday. I really enjoy the process, since Dave and I cut up so much behind the scenes. Today we shared stories of Napoleon Dynamite, writers with big egos and bestiality. That’s the stuff that ought to go on the podcast.


We’re well into DE:TVR, our collaborative novel. My illness delayed my writing by a day, but I delivered my pages to Dave yesterday afternoon. I had to clear the decks for (drum roll here) the Super Bowl party.

Norma’s making six of her original, superb homemade taco pizzas. She spent the day baking fudge and brownies. And there’ll be Margaritas. Perhaps my friend Connie will repeat her declaration from the 2003 Super Bowl Party: “Marky, I can’t feel my face.”

Aye Carumba!


Talked to Dr. David Gallo last night. In addition to being a big-time oceanographer at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Cape Cod and starring in every other TV documentary, he’s the smartest guy I know and he’s official science advisor to The Breakfast Club. He was on his way back from L.A., where he was at some event with Naomi Judd. Here’s a pic:

That’s the house she grew up in here in Ashland. If you read her book, you might be left with the impression she was dirt poor. Some here feel that is, ah, poetic license.

Oh, and he also mentioned that he had an invitation to go to a dinner in NYC prepared on the site by my next wife Rachael Ray.

That’s it, buddy. Stick that knife in and twist it.


A magazine editor just returned a story, asking for some changes. I wrote this one so long ago the details are fuzzy. I’ll have to find time today to read it and see if I think I can make the changes work.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Brokeback To The Future

To view the trailer that may make you look at Christopher Lloyd in a different light, click here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

ER After Dark

I spent a big chunk of last night in the local emergency room.

Much blood was removed from me. Many drugs were added to me.

At one point, a nurse serenaded me with "Guitarzan". I know this wasn't a fever dream because my wife was there too.

I'm better today, so I guess it wasn't a wasted night.