The Assembly descended on Earth eight years before, their huge ships landing in all the major cities. They destroyed a lot with their small ships, beams of power slicing up buildings. They also began sending out a telepathic pulse, called the Tone by humanity. It instantly took over adult minds and caused them to march toward the nearest Assembly ship and up into their holds, never to be seen again.
Immature minds weren’t affected, but as they grew older, it began to affect them. Few lasted past twenty, their progress noted by the black tendrils spreading through their eyes. When they were solid black, they were taken.
Holt Hawkins is a bounty hunter, twenty himself. But he is one of the Heedless, those few that the Tone doesn’t affect. He has his own problems, though, and hunts down bounties to pay his way out of trouble. He travels with his only friend, Max, a dog.
Mira Toombs is his current prey. She’s a Freebooter, one who prowls the Strange Lands, that area near Midnight City where time and space affect things strangely. Antimatter clouds hang over much of it. She finds artifacts and has a talent for putting them together in various combinations to form a lot of more powerful artifacts(anti-gravity force, time freezing, force shields). Her bounty is high, under a death sentence in Midnight City.
Something strange happens right after Holt captures Mira. An Assembly ship, the normal blue-and-white, is shot down by a strange red one, crashing near them. When Holt goes exploring, he finds an eight year old girl strapped inside. She remembers nothing but her name, Zoey.
As the four wander across alien held North America, feelings change, unwilling for Holt, old memories long suppressed about family arising. it becomes obvious that Zoey has some sort of powers, she knows Holt’s name without ever hearing it and is able to tell them when Assembly craft are near. It looks certain they are after, the reason for various factions fighting among themselves. A third group, with green-and-orange colors, join the fights.
This is a very promising new series and I look forward to more entries.
Release date is October 30th and it can be pre-ordered HERE
I first became aware of Ellery Queen at a young age when I read Michael Avallone’s U.N.C.L.E. novel, The Thousand Coffins Affair, in which a dying agent frantically reverses his clothes in an effort to leave a clue. it worked, the clue being a reference the the Queen novel, THE CHINESE ORANGE MYSTERY. Even then, it was still years before I learned that Ellery was actually two men, cousins Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee.
The title QUEENS FULL refers to the lineup of the tales within the covers: three novelettes and two short stories.
Two of the novelettes are set in Wrightsville, the small New England town Ellery visits frequently and the scene of several novels.
THE DEATH OF DON JUAN: an abrasive actor hired at the last minute for an amateur production play in Wrightsville is murdered between acts one and two and names the killer with his last breath. Sort of. Only Ellery and one other heard him.
THE WRIGHTSVILLE HEIRS: an elderly woman is murdered after announcing she intends to change her will, leaving out her three stepchildren and installing the young woman/caregiver who’d slavishly devoted her life to care for the old woman as heir until after that one’s death, then the estate goes to the children. A couple of attempts are made on the young woman with Ellery there to protect and figure the real murderer.
THE CASE AGAINST CARROLL: a young lawyer is up for the murder of the man who caught him embezzling from a trust fund. It looks bad for him until Ellery gets involved.
And the short stories:
E=Murder: a scientist is stabbed to death from behind and leaves a clue with his dying breath.
DIAMONDS IN PARADISE: a young woman’s diamond earrings are stolen just as the police, Inspector Queen in charges, raids the gambling establishment. The thief falls and with his dying breath says the earrings are in Paradise. It takes Ellery to decipher that mumbled clue.
Always have fun with the Queen stories. Old fashioned fun.
For more forgotten books, check out Patti Abbott over at Pattinase.
Jim Ryan is the man of the title, a new fellow in the area, buying a small ranch only six months before, intent on raising/selling cattle and living down a violent past. He had made a few friends, but it only took one incident to make him realize how tenuous a relationship that turned out. Attending a dinner invitation by Tom Strickland of the S-Bar and his daughter, he once more broached the subject of buying the S-Bar. Strickland had once been the big dog in the Cuchillo Plains, but age and an accident that left him stove up had loosened his hold. Ryan’s ranch bordered one side of him, another rancher, Hugh Baldwin, the other. Baldwin wanted the S-Bar also.
Ryan watched the old man lose his temper at the offer, used to such tantrums, but it escalated and old Strickland ordered him off the property. He went and was riding away when a shot rang out.
Ryan spun, pulling his gun to see the old man twisting down on the porch, his daughter and the ranch foreman coming out, and hearing hoof beats racing away. He pursued, a long chase happening, shots exchanged, the trail ending up in town. Ryan stalked through looking for the shooter and a hot horse.
Then the Sheriff comes in and, just as Ryan was about to tell what he knew, tells him he’s under arrest for murder. Baldwin is with him and his foreman, who says he was riding near the ranch when he saw Ryan shoot Strickland, then pursue him to shut him up.
Ryan shoots out a lantern and beats a retreat amidst a hail of gun shots, one catching him in the leg. He escapes, but now is being hunted for murder. It had to be Baldwin and no one believes him innocent except his foreman, old Frank Sears.
The two of them knew of a cave along a hidden trail on the rim wall of the canyon and Ryan waits for him there. Sears tells him, as he patches the wound, that the countryside is being scoured for him, and the things being said. Even Strickland’s daughter, Ann, believes he did it.
Ryan is planning to just leave. He’d come here to escape violence and didn’t intend to get pulled into it. At his ranch, sneaking around the gun men waiting for him, he tells Sears all this and admits he wants to try to convince Ann of his innocence before he goes. He visits the S-Bar, finds Ann, and halfway convinces her of the truth. He says he will ask Sears to check on her on the way out.
When he returns to his ranch, he finds the old man face down in the mud, two bullets in his back.
That’s when things changed.
The showdown has a driving thunderstorm as a backdrop, a posse still believing Ryan guilty, and a man hellbent on burning everything down if he couldn’t take it. Ryan seems to be the only one standing in his way.
Nothing new here, the plot was probably old in 1957, but I like the way Hogan put it all together. he tells a nice story and I enjoyed the journey.
For more forgotten books, go to PATTINASE.
Forthcoming online game. Looks Interesting.
This 1956 western, along with another in the series, arrived yesterday. The Lone Ranger is a long time favorite of mine, as he is of any of us who were born shortly before or after WWII. This version I’m talking about. I’ve never heard any of the radio programs, though I have read the Striker novels.
I’d never seen this particular movie either. The other one I have is THE LOST CITY OF GOLD, the first movie I ever saw in a theater. I’ll watch and report on that one in the next few days.
This one is full of the usual tropes of these kinds of movies. A budding war between the white ranchers and the reservation Indians. At the beginning, the Ranger and Tonto save a young rancher, Pete Ramirez, from four Indians chasing him, though the Ranger notices something unusual about the quartet. They all had saddles.
A rancher named Kilgore is urging the ranchers and other townspeople, by any means legal or otherwise, to wipe out the Indians. The territory is up for statehood and Kilgore is against it, saying they weren’t ready. Too many wild Indians. The Governor has sent for the Ranger because he’s suspicious.
Michael Ansara plays Angry Horse, the strong young Indian pushing the aged Chief Red Eagle(Frank DeKova, the Chief on the series F-Troop) for leadership of the tribe.
All things fans of the series are familiar with are here. Moore plays the old miner to do some scouting work where his mask would draw too much attention. The stirring theme, the William Tell Overture, drew chills, I don’t mind admitting, carrying me back to my long ago youth. Silver working with almost human intelligence to help the Ranger several times. It’s all here.
Spirit Mountain on the reservation is a taboo place the Indians never go. Kilgore wants it, so we know there has to be something valuable up there. Sneaking in dynamite gives us some clues.
There’s nothing really ground-breaking here. Just a hell of a lot of fun. It’s a little more edgy than the series, what with The Ranger in a knock-down fist fight with Angry Horse. Tonto fighting it out with a dozen Kilgore hands to avoid being lynched while The Ranger races on Silver to the rescue, led by Scout.
I loved every second of it.
When I bought this comic, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A long time fan of both Doc and Bats, this seemed like an interesting team-up and I wondered how they were going to manage their meeting. In researching the key phrase “First Wave,” I learned that was a miniseries coming that would feature a new DC universe in a standalone series, a world with no superpowers.
It will feature, along with Batman and Doc Savage, heroes such as the Avenger, the Spirit, Blackhawk, along with other characters from the heroic pulps. Brian Azzarello is the writer and Rags Morales will do the art. Azzarello and Phil Noto do the honors in this one shot that sets up the main series.
Batman has been operating in Gotham City about a month and no one is exactly sure about his motives yet. Sure, he’s been taking down criminals. But is it to stop them or clear the way for his own business. Why does he wear a mask and hide his identity?
Doc Savage comes to Gotham City to capture the Batman and end his crime wave. And Batman is supicious of Doc as well. At a gala to honor Doc’s arrival, a supposedly drunk Bruce Wayne argues with him, then takes a swing at him to test him before cooler heads separate them. Everyone apologizes for the drunken playboy, though Doc is not fooled. He could smell no alcohol on Wayne’s breath.
Batman’s investigations have uncovered a connection between Wayne Industries and the Hidalgo Trading Company. Both are investors in a supposed investment group called Golden Tree, which is tied to a criminal named Dowd. He was dead when the Batman came to his offices, shot through the head, and he’s now been accused of outright murder. At this point in his career, Batman carries a couple of .45s.
We won’t go into how all this is resolved, then opens up the series to come later in 2010.
It was fun to see the two heroes battling each other and I look forward to the First Wave books. They sound like they might be fun.