Tin Men – Christopher Golden

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23303661Author Christopher Golden gives us a near future sf/thriller. America has set itself up as the policemen of the world. In effect, the defacto rulers of the world.

This is accomplished with technology only they control: the tin men. Robotic soldiers controlled by humans that run them with their minds in command while their bodies survive in tubes that keep them alive. No fighting is allowed. Other than that people are free to be what they want.

The main characters are Kate and Danny, tin men soldiers. As a human Kate is missing her legs and enjoys the freedom of being able to run. Among other things. Danny has a thing for Kate.

As our story opens, the POTUS is in Athens, part of a G20 summit, where he plans to present his demands to European leaders to prevent an economic collapse.

But even a benevolent dictatorship is untenable to most people.

The Anarchists strike…

An EM pulse fries every circuit board in the world and the satellite system circling the planet. Can’t be repaired, only replaced, and that could take years under the best circumstances. Only heavily shielded bases, a few around the world survive.

And the tin men.

The world is quickly going to Hell and Kate and Danny suddenly realize something about the tin men. An uncomfortable truth they’d not been told.

The race is on to get to Athens to rescue the President who’s teamed up with an enemy for survival: the Russian president.

Liked this one. The writing is crisp and kept me involved.

New In The House

A lot of stuff this week, a mix of a lot of review copies coming in and stuff I bought.

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1 Tarzan: Return To Pal=ul-on – Will Murray: a sequel to Tarzan The Terrible I believe.

2: The Martian – Andy Weir: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

3: Clearwater – Bobby R. Woodall: In 1879, a small town in the Indian Territory is robbed by a murderer who has just escaped execution. The town springs in to action and quickly forms a posse — an aged sheriff, a retired Pinkerton Operative, an Indian scout, and the bank?s president, who has secretly embezzled all of the town?s money.

4: Mercer’s Manor – Bobby R. Woodall: t is a unique blend of an ex-Union officer’s struggle to overcome atrocities of being a prisoner of war at Andersonville Prison, made more difficult from the harsh realities of post-war survival. Atrocities inflicted on him that will forever be engraved into the main characters mind, (Dan Mercer) as he searches out a new way of life on the untamed plains.

5 & 6: Faraday: The Iron Horse & The Trackwalker: two more in the series, the first by James Reasoner. There was a third, but I don’t have a cover image and been having trouble with my scanner.

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These are all review copies that have come in during the week. Will get to them as soon as possible.n

His Name Was Holy Ghost(Uomo avvisato mezzo ammazzato… Parola di Spirito Santo)1972

Spaghetti vet Gianni Garko plays a character that’s polar opposite his mostSpiritoSanto_Poster_Big famous role: that of the gunman Sartana. Where Sartana was always in black, Spirito Santo/ Holy Ghost appears wearing white, even to a cape, rides a white horse, and even has a white dove he calls Eagle. At times in the film, director Giuliano Carnimeo(billed as Anthony Ascott) reinforces the notion that he might be a real ghost. He seems to pop in and out at odd times, appearing suddenly to commit a little violence, then fading from the scene just as quick.

The latest “liberator” of Mexico has taken over and, as usual in these cases, he’s more interested in lining his pockets. General Ubarte(Poldo Bendandi) is his name and he’s setting in the middle of an impregnable fort where a fortune in gold is hidden. The Holy Ghost is looking for it. He had a map won in a poker game, then the loser tried to kill him. Unfortunately a bullet managed to blow out the map where the gold was marked.

Sam_4158Holy Ghost is looking for another fellow, Samuel Crow(Paolo Gozlino, billed asPaul Stephens), that may know where the gold is hidden, then the engineer who designed the fort, now a prisoner of Ubarte. He falls into the revolution when he rescues the deposed president Don Firmino(Georeg Rigaud) and his beautiful daughter Juana(Pilar Velázquez), a benevolent pair interested in freeing Mexico.

imagesThe Holy Ghost has a sidekick, Chicken(Cris Huerta), a big bluff man with religious leanings. He can fight though. Another spaghetti “face,” Nello Pazzafini, plays a Colonel.

This film came out at a time when the spaghetti western genre had recived a bit of revitalization with the comedy of the Trinity films. This one had a fair amount of comedy mixed within the usual spaghetti violence. The film has the usual assortment of odd weapons, a small machine gun for the Holy Ghost, a grenade launcher in the final assault on the fort, and even loaded eggs. Chickens were fed bits of gun powder abd their eggs exploded when close to flames(I don’t know about that one).

Not a bad film at all.

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FFB: 2 Guns For Hire

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25505952Like many working writers, Todhunter Ballard used different pseudonyms on his prose. Neil Macneil was one of many that he used on his Costa in and McCall novels.

Tony Costaine and Bert McCall were partners, PIs that billed themselves as business detectives. They didn’t get paid by the hour, but received a fee of 20,000 dollars. Plus expenses of course.

Which is to say criminal activities might not slip into their lives.

Like their current case. The Climax Car Company, high end models, was on the verge of bankruptcy, no longer able to compete with the big three, and the founder, Magnus Paddock, had recently committed suicide. The family called them in because they’d done work for the old man before. And they didn’t believe it was suicide.

In the course of the case they deal with a corporate raider that’s offering more than the it’s worth, shots fired at them, hot women, another murder, a half brother to the family with criminal tendencies, and cops that keep arresting them even though they are usually on the receiving end of the violence.

A lot of fun.

Concrete Angel – Patricia Abbott

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23130335Patti Abbott has given us a wonderfully written novel of a mother and daughter relationship not exactly normal. She knows how to develop her characters, over one hundred short stories, a number award winners, that are just a hair off, but seem almost normal.

Eve Moran is a charming woman, has been since she was young, but what she is is a thief. Nothing expensive, mostly junk, but she hoards it all like some glorious treasure.

Christine grows up abetting mom in her endeavors until that moment at twelve when Eve murders a man that catches her rifling his wallet. No spoiler, it happens on page one of our story.

The men, the swag, Christine finally rebels when her little brother is born and as he grows she realizes mom is beginning to use him as well. She can’t let that happen.

Well done Patricia Abbott. Order it here.

The Last Days of Frank and Jesse James(1986)

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imageFrankJesseMovieBig1Watched this film on Grit TV Sunday and enjoyed it tremendously. As I started doing a little research in preparatio for this post, I was surprised to fi d it was a TV movie. Cdrtainly didn’t have the look, but was gritty and involving all the way through.

Our heroes were played by Johnny Cash (Frank) and Kris Kristofferson (Jesse). Williw Nelson played General Jo Shelby and another country singer, David Allan Coe, has the role of a fellow outlaw named Whiskeyhead. Johny Cash’s wife, June Carter, played MotherMV5BMTM4NzI3OTUyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDc1OTMyMQ@@._V1_SY317_CR5,0,214,317_AL_ James. Other members of the cast were those faces one sees often, but just can’t put a name to.

The title is somewhat of a misnomer. The “days” were actually a period of years, extending to a decade past the murder of Jesse James by Bob Ford, ending with his death at the hand of a drunk cowboy in his saloon. Don’t think in reality it happened, but Frank James was there to witness that shot and say bye to Ford as life was leaving his body.

Liked this one a lot.

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New In The House

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1: The Fourth Domain (review copy) – Ed Baldwin: the fourth Major Boyd Chailland novel. The Major goes undercover to find a mole and finds much more going on.

2: Amos Flagg: High Gun – Clay Randall: four gunmen drift into Sangaree county hoping for refuge. But Flagg doesn’t make deals with killers.

3: Hell’s Half Acre – William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone: first in a new series.

4, 5, & 6: James Reasoner posted recently on the first book in this series, one he wrote. I got the notion to pick up the series.

And the ebooks:

7: Waiting For The Machines To Fall Asleep(review copy)- a collection of Swedish science fiction tales.

8: Scorched Noir(review copy) – Garnett Elliott: a collection of crime short stories.

9: Devil You Know (review copy) – Richard Prosch: a new Peregrine novella and a short story.

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