Sunday, December 31, 2006

And This...

Another Reason To Look Forward To 2007

That's the Way It Was

So how did your year go?

I wanted to finish three novels this year. I didn’t make it, though Dave Wilbanks and I recently completed the first draft of our novel-length sequel to Dead Earth: The Green Dawn. I submitted another novel to a mass-market publisher, so 2 out of 3 is the final tally.

I have a short story coming up as part of Delirium’s Horror D’oeuvre series. Another story was just sold to an horror anthology, though I’ll wait until I have a contract to announce that. I have a few other pieces in the pipeline – including one story accepted nearly four years ago – that are awaiting publication.

The writing continues. Over the next couple of days I will wrap up a sequel to an earlier story for a possible chapbook. I’ve got more pulp-inspired fiction to write for Wild Cat Books, including my novel Mad Reign of the Plague Master. I also plan to make serious progress on two horror novels.

So my resolution is to find more time to write. I have a great job, one I love and one that fits my limited skill set. But it sometimes takes a lot of hours from my life, so I have to be more flexible about my writing schedule, and not allow the setbacks to bother me so much.

It’s also been a good year for Pod of Horror. Nanci Kalanta has been a gracious host after giving us a new home at Horror World. We’re looking forward to a lot of offensive fun in 2007.

I hope it’s been a good year for you, and that ‘07 will be even better. Read a lot, and write, if that’s what you do. In fact, if you’re a writer, here’s my wish for you: less talking about writing and more typing. Stop the excuses. Play the video games after your pages are done. And don’t give up on your project. Type “The End” before you worry about revising that paragraph that bugged you back on page 13.

Paperback of the Day 12/31/06

Classic Comic Cover of the Day 12/31/06

"Micro-Giants"? My mind is boggled.

Pulp of the Day 12/31/06

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Paperback of the Day 12/30/06

Classic Comic Cover of the Day 12/30/06

Pulp of the Day 12/30/06


Here’s the thing.

Nobody disagrees that Saddam Hussein was a bad guy (well, maybe a few insurgents disagree, but for the moment we’ll pretend like we’re all on the same page). There might be a wee bit of contention over the notion that the Middle East or the world is in a better place because Saddam’s no longer in control (and, again, let’s set aside the question of should we have gone to Iraq in the first place instead of, you know, finishing up the hunt for Osama Bin Laden. By the way, if going into Iraq was anything more than finishing up what Daddy started or a grab for oil, something like the “he’s a threat, he’s mean to his people” rationale, then why aren’t we sending thousands of troops and millions in aid to the Sudan, where men, women and children –emphasis on women and children – are being tortured and murdered on a daily basis? And that’s just one of several other happy spots on the globe. Okay, Digression Controls initiated).

So, anyway, we capture him, make his homeboys put him on trial and execute him. And that’s good, right? Because when you’re our enemy, we vanquish you, baby. Scorched earth. It feels right.

Except when it doesn’t.

(Sigh. One more digression. Let’s also put on hold the debate over the death penalty. It’s a topic I’ve vacillated over since I was a teen. In theory it sounds good. In practice it eliminates bad guys, but only if we have the right bad guy. Time and again we’ve been shown that the wrong people get executed with alarming frequency. Not that Saddam was the wrong guy. He wasn’t.)

Just think about this: what works better for out purposes in Iraq – a dead Saddam around whom thousands of insurgents can rally and proclaim him a martyr for their cause, or locking Saddam up in prison for life and constantly providing updates of his incarceration – showing photos of him in the cafeteria line; doing laundry; sitting in the dimness of his cell, head hung in defeat? Essentially saying, “Look at this. This is what we did to the most powerful guy in this part of the world. You want some of this?”

In fact that last line could have come straight from the I-book of a Bush speech writer.

There’s no manual for this kind of stuff. Just conscience and a willingness to think it through, to weigh all the consequences of our actions

Have we made things better? The coming months will tell, but in the words of that great strategist and statesman Han Solo, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

Monday, December 25, 2006

Classic Comic Cover of the Day 12/25/06

Merry Christmas, everybody. I hope you enjoy a little peace on earth today, for at least a few hours.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

I'll Come At You Like A Spider Monkey

Okay, I didn't think I was going to like Talladega Nights. I was wrong.

By the way, I'm a sucker for any DVD with a gag reel. Wouldn't The Passion of the Christ have been improved 100% by bloopers over the end credits?

Also, I am all jacked up on Mountain Dew.

Classic Comic Cover of the Day 12/23/06

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Pod of Horror #26

Ho-ho-holy crap! It’s a nasty, elf-whippin’ holiday installment of horrordom’s favorite podcast. So warm up the wassail, get those nuts roasting on that open fire, and prepare for Pod of Horror #26.

* “The Little Hummer Boy” by Shane Ryan Staley, a classic heartwarming yuletide tale that will offend almost everyone, read by the author.

* J. F. Gonzalez drops down the chimney to discuss THE BELOVED.

* The nephew of Grim Rictus sings a Christmas carol.

* The prize package in The Tomb of Trivia swells to the size of Santa’s toy bag.

* Scott Bradley reviews HANNIBAL RISING and contemplates Koontz.

* Mark reads an original holiday horror tale.

Pod of Horror is hosted by Mark Justice and David T. Wilbanks. Download it at I-Tunes or direct to your desktop.

And be sure to drop by the Justice & Wilbanks message board.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Classic Comic Cover of the Day 12/16/06

Greetings From Flu Land

Just don't get to close to the screen. *cough*

While I seem to have a mild case of the crappin' crud, Dave Wilbanks has been hit hard, so the new episode of Pod of Horror will be Dave-less (and Grimmy-less, since, amazingly, our Advice Demon has also fallen ill * cough cough *). PoH #26 is our Christmas episode. Try to imagine the warmth and entertainment in those old Bing Crosby annual TV specials, then try to imagine the exact opposite. That's our show.

It includes a special holiday story -- read by the author -- that I warned may shut down the Internet. I'll read an original tale called "The Thing in the Stocking." Dave's story will have to wait until next year. Also, J.F. Gonzalez makes a special appearance to talk about his great new novel The Beloved. I'll have more when the show goes live in a day or so.

Over at the Shocklines message board, Joe Kroeger has reviewed Damned Nation. He was kind enough to single out my contribution:

The story that I considered to be the best entry in this anthology is DAS HOLLENFEUER by Mark Justice. With a disturbing vision of a future where the Third Reich won the war with the help of the legions of Hell, Mark Justice’s writing is imaginative and rich with imagery culminating in an ending that takes your breath away. This story is well worth getting this book for.

You can read the entire review here.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Correcting the Mistakes

As I sit here pretending I'm not coming down with a nasty virus, I see that the good folks at Regret the Error have posted their annual summation of the best media corrections of 2006. But it was while surfing their archives that I discovered their correction of the year for 2005:

Our choice this year is a correction that combines many elements that are indicative of the correction format: it is very short, the error is very bad and also very funny, and the correction is entirely inadequate. Ladies and Gentleman, the Correction of the Year for 2005, as published in the Denver Daily News on July 27:

The Denver Daily News would like to offer a sincere apology for a typo in Wednesday's Town Talk regarding New Jersey's proposal to ban smoking in automobiles. It was not the author's intention to call New Jersey 'Jew Jersey.'

This makes some of my on-air gaffes look downright reasonable, and that puts a smile on my face.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Pod of Xmas

A little sneak preview:

There will be a new Pod of Horror on Monday, our annual Christmas episode. I'll be reading a new story written especially for this episode. We'll have an author interview and all the usual stuff.

And we will also include a holiday horror classic, possibly the most vile and disgusting Christmas story of all time, read by the author. Start your guessing now.

This could shut down the Internet. The whole thing. At the very least, I expect protests, letters to the editor and a congressional investigation. It's that nasty.

You have been warned.

More on Monday.

Monday, December 11, 2006


A power outage while I had AOL open has destroyed my mail files, including a ton of correspondence related to my writing and Pod of Horror. If anybody has a sweet fix-it touch when it comes to AOL, please let me know.

Pulp Rumor Update

Rumor no longer, as Ron Fortier pointed out in his comments to the post below. The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that director Sam Raimi will be involved with a new movie version of The Shadow, though, at the moment, not as a director.

Raimi reportedly has great affection for the character. That's good. I don't really feel the crew behind the 1994 Shadow movie felt the same way.

That version, contrary to popular opinion, did not produce total suckage. While many pulp purists took issue with the melding of the radio and pulp version of the character, I wasn't bothered. Let's face it: far more people know The Shadow as the crimefighter who can cloud men's minds and become invisible. Just like more people know the "Me Tarzan, you Jane" version of Burroughs's ape man, rather than the educated, erudite adventurer from the novels.

My problem with the 1994 film was the ridiculous drug warlord backstory for Lamont Cranston. And the stupid animated knife with a face.

Okay. And Alec Bladwin's laugh wasn't so hot.

There have been hints that this Raimi deal might include a new version of Doc Savage. That, too, would make me happy. When my wife and I saw Raiders of the Lost Ark at a sneak preview back in 1981, I turned to her and said, "That's what the Doc Savage movie should have been." Non-stop action and spectacular escapes. That's the Doc for me.

While George Pal's 1975 Doc flick was destroyed by its campy take on The Man of Bronze, some moments from the pulps shine through, like Doc's chase of the Mayan assassin and the slide down the elevator cables, and the dinner attack on the yacht. Teasing glimpses of the Doc movie that could be.

At least having a fan of the original heroes at the helm is a step in the right direction.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pulp Rumor

IGN is reporting that Spider-Man's Sam Raimi is planning to direct a movie that would team up Doc Savage with The Shadow, The Avenger and other characters from the Street and Smith stable.

That's an item heavy with the stench of too-good-to-be-true, though Raimi is a big Shadow fan and tried for years to get a movie off the ground before the 1994 Alec Baldwin flop. That one had some nice bits, as did the Doc Savage movie. We'll have to talk about it sometime.

Look for continuing coverage as only the Department of Justice can provide. :^)

More Audio

My reading of the prologue to Ghoul by Brian Keene is up now at the Delirium Insider.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Pod of Horror #25

It’s the 25th episode of Pod of Horror (isn’t that the silver bullet anniversary?) And for your listening pleasure we present:

* A holiday greeting from Chinese Dracula

* Grim Rictus puts on the bling and becomes a rappin’ pimp daddy

* Scott Bradley reviews Richard Laymon’s THE CELLAR

* A December Horror World Update

* The horror news flows freely in Dave’s Poop

* In the Tomb of Trivia, we’re giving away books by Jack Ketchum, Ray Garton, Edward Lee, Jeff Strand, Simon Clark, Jeremy R. Johnson and Alan M. Clark

* Listener e-mail and highbrow banter (err, okay, middle-to-lowbrow banter)

Pod of Horror is hosted by Mark Justice and David T. Wilbanks. Download it at I-Tunes or direct to your desktop.

And be sure to drop by the Justice & Wilbanks message board.