Saturday, September 24, 2022

Saturday Music Club: The Zombies

 The first album: Begin Here (1965)

Danger Man, season 3, episode 3, "Sting in the Tail" (1965): soundtrack features Jeanne Roland singing the French adaptation of "She's Not There", "Te voila", in background and occasionally foreground (since the time cuts are weirdly resistant to being saved--when they don't insert themselves--on Blogspot, at 17:00 is a good point to start the relevant performance; a bit of it used in reprise at end of [a very good] episode):

Bunny Lake is Missing trailer: "Come on Time"
(repurposed "Just Out of Reach")

The Zombies on a pub tv: "Just Out of Reach" and "Nothing's Changed"

Track Listing: Tell Her No Leave Me Be You Make Me Feel Good Just Out Of Reach Indication Nothing's Changed Whenever You're Ready I Love You Is This a Dream? How We Were Before She's Coming Home Remember You Don't Go Away I Want You Back Again

The Zombies (1966; released in Japan and Europe)
Track Listing: 1) The Way I Feel Inside 2) How We Were Before 3) Is This The Dream 4) Whenever You're Ready 5) Woman 6) You Make Me Feel Good 7) Gotta Get A Hold Of Myself 8) Indication 9) Don't Go Away 10) I Love You 11) Leave Me Be 12) She's Not There

The Zombies at the Strand Bookstore, 15 March 2017

later records:

R.I.P. reconstruction

Below, compilation of songs from the album Into The After Life, and The Lost Album 00:00:00 Never My Love 00:02:39 I Know She Will 00:05:27 Smokey Day 00:07:52 Unhappy Girl 00:10:19 I'll Keep Trying 00:12:47 Conversation Off Floral Street 00:15:25 Walking in the Sun 00:18:10 If It Don't Work Out 00:20:42 Sometimes (Acid) 00:22:13 Telescope (Mr Galileo) 00:24:54 Girl Help Me 00:27:19 I Could Spend the Day 00:29:59 Imagine the Swan

The BBC Radio Sessions (2016 compilation)

Still Got That Hunger (2015)

The Zombies in 2015:

"Ma Non E Giusto" ("She's Not There" in Italian)

Saturday, September 17, 2022

SSW/FFB: stories by Fritz Leiber, Brian Aldiss, Poul Anderson, C. B. Gilford, Mack Reynolds, Michael Avallone...and, supposedly, Boris Karloff: from THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION, April 1958, edited by Anthony Boucher, and TALES OF THE FRIGHTENED, August 1957, edited by Lyle Kenyon Engel (and/or Michael Avallone) and related books and records...(pt. 4)

Further reviewing the small slew of late '50s f/sf/h fiction magazines begun with this post: Fantasy/Horror/SF fiction magazine issues from the 1950s fantastica "End of Summer": THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION April 1958 edited by "Anthony Boucher"; FANTASTIC April 1959 edited by Cele Goldsmith; FANTASTIC UNIVERSE April 1958 edited by Hans Stefan Santesson; TALES OF THE FRIGHTENED August 1957 edited by Lyle Kenyon Engel; SCIENCE FANTASY April 1958 edited by John Carnell (and INSIDE SF's F&SF/Mercury Press parody issue/September 1958, edited by Ron Smith, and MACABRE, Summer 1958, edited by Joseph Payne Brennan)

and continuing with these: Short Story Wednesday: Kit Reed, Margaret St. Clair, William F. Nolan, Avram Davidson, Richard Wilson, and others: April 1958 fantasy (and related) stories from THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASTIC UNIVERSE (part 2)

SSW: 1959 fantasy magazine fiction: Part 3: Kate Wilhelm, Harlan Ellison, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Gordon Dickson, Edward Wellen, Arthur & Irwin Porges: FANTASTIC, April 1959, edited by Cele Goldsmith (Lalli)

Note that the loving care with which this cover has been put together, as noted previously, includes attributing Poul Anderson's story to Mack Reynolds's pseudonym, and vice verse, and spelling Poul as "Paul"...also, an utter lack of page numbers on the issue's table of contents can't have helped a newsstand-browser's confidence...

But first, the two most famous stories in our April 1958 issue of F&SF: Fritz Leiber's cover story, "A Deskful of Girls" and the only story to follow it, Brian Aldiss's "Poor Little Warrior!".

So, Leiber's "A Deskful of Girls" pretty much blew my mind as a  teenager, first reading it around 14 or so years old in The Best of Fritz Leiber most likely, the 1974 volume that was released perhaps a bit prematurely, but Leiber at his best might well've been the best writer to come out of the fantasy/sf magazine community, ahead of such inspirations as Lovecraft and Heinlein, and ahead of such peers as Bradbury and Sturgeon and heirs such as Le Guin and Emshwiller and Russ, and his almost direct colleague in Lovecraft-mentorship (and HPL-transcendence), Robert Bloch. Rereading it this last week doesn't impress me much less, despite familiarity, and all the others, Norman Mailer, Joyce Carol Oates and all, who have similarly traced the passage through her later life that "Marilyn Monroe" took...though Leiber published his account of a rather obvious Monroe analog in 1958, with her rapacious "therapist"/"analyst" and the genuinely exploitive as well as supernatural means he has discovered for controlling her and other women "patients"--removing aspects of themselves through a kind of ritual that pulls parts of their selves away from them, in a kind of psychic yet tangible self that the story's protagonist refers to as "ghostgirls." The tangible selves, wispy as their physical form is, can be used by the villain of the piece in several fashions, explicitly and implicitly addressed, when he doesn't simply take them from his file drawer and toy with them, or show them off, as to his somewhat different male temporary victim, Leiber's protagonist, hired by an actor, whose relation with the Monroe-correspondent resembles Joe DiMaggio's post-divorce interaction, to discover what's going on with his ex-wife and this extortionist. The vicious psychologist/parapsychologist has his run-in with the Monroe character, and it doesn't go as he might've expected. It's a hell of story, and is by the slimmest thread tied into Leiber's Change War stories (a quick reference to some of the supernatural technology several characters employ being provided by the time-travelers involved in the the truer CW stories), but it's mostly a remarkably grounded horror story for its time, feminist in approach even when even the more sympathetic male characters fail to fully appreciate the what some women can and will do, in the face of various sorts of exploitation or paternalistic "protection"...Leiber coming from an acting family, himself mostly raised by the women in his family, and having a brief, peripheral Hollywood career himself might not've hurt his insights here.

While the Aldiss story is good early work by him, an interesting mix of what Boucher correctly suggests is a Bradburyian lavishness in the prose (but with a lighter and more jazzily discursive touch than Bradbury usually managed), but also a kind of rather contemporary consideration of what might drive a married man to go back in time to be a "Poor Little Warrior!", hunting a brontosaurus on what amounts to a potted safari...but one that isn't quite as foolproof as one might desire in a distracting his case to help him forget about his failing relation with his wife, which is touched upon in terms that take the story in a vaguely Updike or Amis or Philip Roth direction (rather than the more thoroughly mournful flavor John Cheever gave such matters in fantasies such as "The Enormous Radio"). This is not the story that will make me forget such early Aldiss as "Let's Be Frank", but I can see why it's an old favorite of many.

This ever-more impressive F&SF issue can be read here. While the highly uneven, but not altogether negligible latter issue of Tales of he Frightened can be read here.

Tales of the Frightened was one of three fiction magazines that Lyle Kenyon Engel and Republic Features Syndicate launched in 1957, along with one in 1956, all four seeing only two issues each, and each with a somewhat better covers on their first issues than their second issues would offer:

both issues of American Agent

, at least, was tied to an essentially stillborn syndicated radio series of short fillers, read by Boris Karloff, written by Michael Avallone...who probably was the actual editor of at least the two fantastica magazines (Engel is listed in them as Editorial Director), even as Avallone had been credited as editor of the two slightly earlier issues (1956-57) of Private Investigator Detective Magazine, both featuring Avallone's series detective Ed Noon (and please see below for Avallone's reported account), and Avallone also the likely author of some of the stories bylined by the utterly obscure among contributors to the magazines...when they weren't by other old pros such as Mack Reynolds, also in hiding. (American Agent apparently had a similarly planned unsuccessful radio run, getting as far as hiring veteran actor Lee Bowman as lead, according to the inside and outside back-cover blurbs for six planned Republic Features syndicated radio series--the others non-fictional or joke-laden in content--but as far as I know at this point, none of the others saw even raw recordings for the eventual initial pair of record albums, nor the book collecting the prose form of the radio vignettes, that the horror package would eventually produce). At least one report online has Republic Features Syndicate going under in '57, hence the end of the magazines (while Peter Enfantino reports at the link below that Avallone recalled a distributor's workforce-strike killed them--which seems unlikely, given the haphazard packaging of the second issues, unless the strike predated their preparation, but perhaps Avallone misremembers the stock-speculation-driven collapse of the dominant magazine distributor of the time, the American News Co.) and lack of radio penetration for whatever was actually recorded. Engel went on to decades of book packaging, Avallone to decades of writing. And the single vignettes in both issues of TotF attributed (more or less) to Karloff are Avallone's, from the radio vignette series and as collected in the book.

Peter Enfantino reviews (in 2010) the Michael Avallone collection of vignettes and the issues of the magazine here...and reaffirms my suspicion (and might well've been my initial source for it) that Avallone ghost-edited the magazines for Engel...Enfantino identifies the "Mark Dane" story in the issue as also Avallone's.

And this is apparently the first edition of the Avallone book (1963):

and these the Karloff recordings, the Mercury LP "Volume 1", also from '63: Side 1

Side 2

And Volume 2, complete:

The stories I've read first in the Frightened issue have run to those by my old favorites, unsurprisingly...crime-fiction writer (and more than occasional horror-fiction writer for such CF magazines as Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine in its early decades) C. B. Gilford, whose story is this issue isn't the only one to cross-over from crime fiction to horror. "The Lucky Coffin" of the title confers a sort of immortality, apparently, on those wise enough to have purchased it...including the parsimonious, cantankerous (to say the least) and generally unpleasant uncle of the protagonist, and his long-suffering fiancee, and what it takes to make their dreams come to fruition. A fine and cheerful story, about the morally bankrupt.

Even better, and dealing with a similar class of anti-hero, is Poul Anderson's "Mr. Tiglath", the name offered by a dealer in persons trapped, like genies, in bottles of various sorts, and whom can be put to various uses. It's unsurprisingly best not to make such deals, even if Mr. Tiglath might not be Satan himself so much as an associated figure, and eventually meeting the prices one might pay. The story has excellent detail and even makes a reasonable case why the protagonist might be foolhardy enough to take the chance.

The attributed Mack Reynolds vignette, the joke-story "Dead End", is pun-laden enough so that Isaac Asimov and co-editors snapped it up for Microcosmic Tales, largely devoted to vignettes, but as Peter Enfantino similarly noted a dozen years ago, it's rather an anemic pun, to not quite make another myself, even if it is one of the few stories here to ever be reprinted. The other Reynolds story, attributed to "Mark Mallory", is a slightly clumsy bit of supernatural hugger-mugger called "The Man Who Stole His Body", in which the spirit of an accomplished surgeon strikes a desperate bargain with his guide on the way to an afterlife, and tries to convince another surgeon on staff at his hospital to perform extreme measures to keep his potentially dead body alive. Quite beyond the supernatural elements of the story, the narrative would like us to accept that a modern surgical suite would have rusty, as opposed to perhaps recently-used and in need of cleaning, instruments at tableside, or that either the rushed living or the living dead doctor would look upon the seconds, at most, to pull on surgical gloves to make a lick of difference, even while eschewing scrubbing up for several minutes beforehand. It verges on being a clever conceit of a story, but one can see why Reynolds stuck a pseudonym on this one over even the mildly clever if forced pun story.

The Avallone vignette in this issue, headnoted with an advisory that the radio series was meant to be broadcast as The Frightened, is attributed only to Karloff, as if he were writer as well as narrator. As reprinted in the various formats of the Avallone collection Tales of the Frightenend, this one leads off the book, under the title "The Man in the Raincoat"...we are, I think, supposed to realize the strange man in the titular coat has an oddly-shaped umbrella somewhat suggestive of a scythe, but that is not spelled out in the story, such as it is as published here (or as recorded). The apparently two other Avallone stories here, one mildly reprinted, might well average better, and I will see soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Some western and historical fiction awards


The Western Writers of America Spur Awards (winners and nominees):

...and the Owen Wister and other awards: (and others accessible in that column)

The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction (work published in the Commonwealth and Ireland):

The Western Fictioneers Peacemaker Awards and shortlists:

The Scott O'Dell Award for YA and children's historical fiction:

The ARA Historical Novel Prize (ARA is the commercial sponsor) for Australian and New Zealander work:
"A range of sub-genres are eligible, including historical mystery, historical romance, alternate history, historical fantasy, multi-time, time-slip, and parallel narrative novels."
2020 (the first) Winners and short/longlisters:

Saturday, September 10, 2022

2022 Anthony, Barry, Derringer and Macavity Awards and Nominees: at the Bouchercon

Anthony Awards

courtesy and Maura Lynch @Loudmouthkid62

***indicates winner


  • Runner, by Tracy Clark (Kensington)
  • ***Razorblade Tears, by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron)
  • The Collective, by Alison Gaylin (Morrow)
  • Clark and Division, by Naomi Hirahara (Soho Crime)
  • These Toxic Things, by Rachel Howzell Hall (Thomas & Mercer)


  • Her Name Is Knight, by Yasmin Angoe (Thomas & Mercer)
  • The Other Black Girl, by Zakiya Dalila Harris (Atria)
  • Walking Through Needles, by Heather Levy (Polis)
  • ***Arsenic and Adobo, by Mia P. Manansala (Berkley Prime Crime)
  • All Her Little Secrets, by Wanda M. Morris (Morrow)


  • “The Search for Eric Garcia,” by E.A. Aymar (from Midnight Hour: A Chilling Anthology of Crime Fiction from 20 Authors of Color, edited by Abby L. Vandiver; Crooked Lane)
  • “The Vermeer Conspiracy,” by V.M. Burns (from Midnight Hour)
  • “Lucky Thirteen,” by Tracy Clark (from Midnight Hour)
  • “Doc’s at Midnight,” by Richie Narvaez (from Midnight Hour)
  • ***“Not My Cross to Bear,” by S.A. Cosby (from Trouble No More: Crime Fiction Inspired by Southern Rock and the Blues, edited by Mark Westmoreland; Down & Out)
  • “The Locked Room Library,” by Gigi Pandian (Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, July/August 2021)
  • “Burnt Ends,” by Gabriel Valjan (from This Time for Sure: Bouchercon Anthology 2021, edited by Hank Phillippi Ryan; Down & Out)


  • Cold-Blooded Myrtle, by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Algonquin Young Readers)
  • Bury Me in Shadows, by Greg Herren (Bold Strokes)
  • The Forest of Stolen Girls, by June Hur (Feiwel & Friends)
  • ***I Play One on TV, by Alan Orloff (Down & Out)
  • Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche, by Nancy Springer (Wednesday)


  • Under the Thumb: Stories of Police Oppression, edited by S.A. Cosby (Rock & A Hard Place Press)
  • Midnight Hour: A Chilling Anthology of Crime Fiction from 20 Authors of Color, edited by Abby L. Vandiver (Crooked Lane)
  • Trouble No More: Crime Fiction Inspired by Southern Rock and the Blues, edited by Mark Westmoreland (Down & Out)
  • ***This Time for Sure: Bouchercon Anthology 2021, edited by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Down & Out)
  • When a Stranger Comes to Town, edited by Michael Koryta (Hanover Square Press)


  • The Ninja Betrayed, by Tori Eldridge (Agora)
  • Warn Me When It’s Time, by Cheryl A. Head (Bywater)
  • Bury Me in Shadows, by Greg Herren (Bold Strokes)
  • The Mother Next Door, by Tara Laskowski (Graydon House)
  • ***Bloodline, by Jess Lourey (Thomas & Mercer)


  • The Combat Zone: Murder, Race, and Boston’s Struggle for Justice, by Jan Brogan (Bright Leaf Press)
  • Murder Book: A Graphic Memoir of a True Crime Obsession, by Hilary Fitzgerald Campbell (Andrews McMeel)
  • Last Call: A True Story of Love, Lust, and Murder in Queer New York, by Elon Green (Celadon)
  • ***How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America, edited by Lee Child and Laurie R. King (Simon & Schuster)
  • The Haunting of Alma Fielding: A True Ghost Story, by Kate Summerscale (Penguin Press)

The winners of two other honors have been announced in advance of the convention.


  • Ellen Hart


  • Alexander McCall Smith

Barry Awards

***indicates winner
"All readers of Deadly Pleasures are qualified to vote. Please submit votes by August 1, 2022."

Best Mystery/Crime Novel

THE DARK HOURS, Michael Connelly (Little, Brown)
***RAZORBLADE TEARS, S. A. Cosby (Flatiron Books)
LAST REDEMPTION, Matt Coyle (Oceanview)
CLARK AND DIVISION, Naomi Hirahara (Soho Crime)
BILLY SUMMERS, Stephen King (Scribner)
WE BEGIN AT THE END, Chris Whitaker (Henry Holt)

Best First Mystery/Crime Novel

WHO IS MAUDE DIXON?, Alexandra Andrews (Little, Brown)
GIRL A, Abigail Dean (Viking)
DOWN RANGE, Taylor Moore (William Morrow)
FALLING, T. J. Newman (Simon & Schuster)
***SLEEPING BEAR, Connor Sullivan (Emily Bestler/Atria)
STEEL FEAR, Brandon Webb & John David Mann (Bantam)

Best Paperback Original

THE HUNTED, Gabriel Bergmoser (HarperCollins)
ARSENIC AND ADOBO, Mia P. Manansala (Berkley)
BLACK CORAL, Andrew Mayne (Thomas & Mercer)
***THE GOOD TURN, Dervla McTiernan (Blackstone)
BOUND, Vanda Symon (Orenda Books)

Best Thriller

THE DEVIL’S HAND, Jack Carr (Emily Bestler/Atria)
THE NAMELESS ONES, John Connolly (Emily Bestler/Atria)
DEAD BY DAWN, Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
RELENTLESS, Mark Greaney (Berkley)
SLOUGH HOUSE, Mick Herron (Soho Crime)
***FIVE DECEMBERS, James Kestrel (HardCase Crime)

Derringer Awards

Derringer Awards Video

Golden Derringer Award: S. J. Rozan

Macavity Awards

The Macavity Award is named for the “mystery cat” of T.S. Eliot (Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats). Each year the members of Mystery Readers International nominate and vote for their favorite mysteries in five categories.

The year listed is the year of the award, for books published in the previous year.

***indicates winner


Best Mystery Novel:

  • Michael Connelly: The Dark Hours (Little, Brown and Co.)
  • ***S.A. Cosby: Razorblade Tears (Flatiron Books)
  • Val McDermid: 1979 (Atlantic Monthly)
  • Alan Parks: Bobby March Will Live Forever (World Noir)
  • Chris Whitaker: We Begin at the End (Henry Holt)
  • Colson Whitehead: Harlem Shuffle (Doubleday)

Best First Mystery:

  • Alexandra Andrews: Who is Maude Dixon? (Little, Brown)
  • Abigail Dean: Girl A (Viking)
  • Erin Flanagan: Deer Season (University of Nebraska Press)
  • ***Mia P. Manansala: Arsenic and Adobo (Berkley)
  • Wanda M. Morris: All Her Little Secrets (William Morrow)

Best Mystery Short Story:

  • Tracy Clark: “Lucky Thirteen” (Midnight Hour, Crooked Lane Books)
  • ***Richard Helms: “Sweeps Week” (EQMM, July/August 2021)
  • Steve Hockensmith: “Curious Incidents” (EQMM, January/February 2021)
  • R.T. Lawton: “The Road to Hana” (AHMM, May/June 2021)
  • G.M. Malliet: “The White Star” (EQMM, July/August 2021)
  • Gigi Pandian: “The Locked Room Library” (EQMM, July/August 2021)
  • Dave Zeltserman: “Julius Katz and the Two Cousins” (EQMM, July/August 2021)

Best Nonfiction/Critical:

  • Mark Aldridge: Agatha Christie’s Poirot: The Greatest Detective in the World (HarperCollins)
  • ***Lee Child with Laurie R. King, editors: How to Write a Mystery: A Handbook from Mystery Writers of America (Scribner)
  • Margalit Fox: The Confidence Men: How Two Prisoners of War Engineered the Most Remarkable Escape in History (Random House)
  • Richard Greene: The Unquiet Englishman: A Life of Graham Greene (W.W. Norton)
  • James McGrath Morris: Tony Hillerman: A Life (University of Oklahoma)
  • John Tresch: The Reason for the Darkness of the Night: Edgar Allan Poe and the Forging of American Science (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
  • Edward White: The Twelve Lives of Alfred Hitchcock: An Anatomy of the Master of Suspense (W.W. Norton)

Sue Feder Memorial Award for Best Historical Mystery:

  • Rhys Bowen: The Venice Sketchbook (Lake Union)
  • ***Naomi Hirahara: Clark and Division (Soho Crime)
  • Susan Elia MacNeal: The Hollywood Spy (Bantam)
  • Sujata Massey: The Bombay Prince (Soho Crime)
  • Silvia Moreno-Garcia: Velvet was the Night (Del Rey)
  • Lori Rader-Day: Death at Greenway (William Morrow)

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Western Music: Saturday Music Club on Thursday

Ennio Morricone: Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu (For a Few Dollars More)(live performance, with a few flubs)

Per Qualche Dollaro in Piu original recordings

Gustav Holst: "Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity" from The Planets
(inspiration for no few Hollywood western themes)

Jerome Moross: The Big Country

Joseph Horowitz: "Composing the American Frontier" (NPR article/playlist) 
includes performances of 
Virgil Thomson: The Plow that Broke the Plains (excerpt)
Aaron Copland: "Billy the Kid" (excerpt)
Antonin Dvorak: "Suite in A"  (excerpt)
Roy Harris: "Symphony No. 3" (excerpt)
Arthur Farwell: "Navajo Dance No.2"
immediately after each, an NPR news report will begin, jarringly

Leigh Harline: Warlock

Aaron Copland: Rodeo

Hot Rize: "Western Skies"

The Texas Playboys and Asleep at the Wheel:

Mary Youngblood: "Hearts Desire"

Odetta: 900 Miles