Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Quote of the Week

"The place where you made your stand never mattered. Only that you were there... and still on your feet."

--- Stephen King

Monday, January 28, 2008

The classics never die


That's right, those colorful little interlocking bricks have been around for fifty years now. That's half a century of creative building fun.

Despite all the new high tech "toys", Lego continues to hold onto it's spot in popular culture around the world. There are very few who haven't owned at least a basic Lego set at some point in their life. Over the years, a myriad of different sets have been manufactured, from Star Wars to Ancient Egypt. But it's the heart of the toy that continues to endure.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to my attic to dig out my own set of Legos.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Quote of the Week

"Don't think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You cannot try to do things. You simply must do things."

--- Ray Bradbury

Monday, January 21, 2008

R.I.P. Edward D. Hoch

On January 17, the mystery genre lost one of it's true greats. Edward D. Hoch died at the age of 77.

Anyone who has picked up a copy of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine is no doubt familiar with his stories. One has appeared in every issue since 1973.

Even to the end, Hoch was writing. He was truly the master of the short story. Probably one of the most versatile writers, Hoch penned over 900 stories; everything from cozies and police procedurals to hardboiled tales. Hoch was also a former president of The Mystery Writers of America as well as a Grand Master.

The writing community has lost a great writer (and from what I understand a fine man as well). I know it's going to take a little getting used to opening up a copy of EQMM and not see one of his stories.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

And the Edgar goes to...

That's right, it's that time of year again. The Mystery Writers of America have officially announced the nominees for this year's Edgar Awards. The nominations were actually announced yesterday, but I thought it would be fitting that I list them on Edgar Allan Poe's birthday. Below is the complete list of nominees. Read more about the Edgar Award (the MWA's equivalent to the Oscar) here.

Best Novel
  • Christine Falls by Benjamin Black (Henry Holt and Company)
  • Priest by Ken Bruen (St. Martin's Minotaur)
  • The Yiddish Policemen's Union by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins)
  • Soul Patch by Reed Farrel Coleman (Bleak House Books)
  • Down River by John Hart (St. Martin's Minotaur)

Best First Novel by an American Author

  • Missing Witness by Gordon Campbell (HarperCollins - William Morrow)
  • In the Woods by Tana French (Penguin Group - Viking)
  • Snitch Jacket by Christopher Goffard (The Rookery Press)
  • Head Games by Craig McDonald (Bleak House Books)
  • Pyres by Derek Nikitas (St. Martin's Minotaur)

Best Paperback Original

  • Queenpin by Megan Abbott (Simon & Schuster)
  • Blood of Paradise by David Corbett (Random House - Mortalis)
  • Cruel Poetry by Vicki Hendricks (Serpent's Tail)
  • Robbie's Wife by Russell Hill (Hard Case Crime)
  • Who is Conrad Hirst? by Kevin Wignall (Simon & Schuster)

Best Critical/Biographical

  • The Triumph of the Thriller: How Cops, Crooks and Cannibals Captured Popular Fiction by Patrick Anderson (Random House)
  • A Counter-History of Crime Fiction: Supernatural, Gothic, Sensational by Maurizio Ascari (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Deviance in Contemporary Crime Fiction by Christiana Gregoriou (Palgrave Macmillan)
  • Arthur Conan Doyle: A Life in Letters by Jon Lellenberg, Daniel Stashower and Charles Foley (The Penguin Press)
  • Chester Gould: A Daughter's Biography of the Creator of Dick Tracy by Jean Gould O'Connell (McFarland & Company)

Best Fact Crime

  • The Birthday Party by Stanley Alpert (Penguin Group - G.P. Putnam's Sons)
  • Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi (W.W. Norton and Company)
  • Chasing Justice: My Story of Freeing Myself After Two Decades on Death Row for a Crime I Didn't Commit by Kerry Max Cook (HarperCollins - William Morrow)
  • Relentless Pursuit: A True Story of Family, Murder, and the Prosecutor Who Wouldn't Quit by Kevin Flynn (Penguin Group - G.P. Putnam's Sons)
  • Sacco & Vanzetti: The Men, The Murders and the Judgment of Mankind by Bruce Watson (Penguin Group - Viking)

Best Short Story

  • "The Catch" - Still Waters by Mark Ammons (Level Best Books)
  • "Blue Note" - Chicago Blues by Stuart M. Kaminsky (Bleak House Books)
  • "Hardly Knew Her" - Dead Man's Hand by Laura Lippman (Harcourt Trade Publishers)
  • "The Golden Gopher" - Los Angeles Noir by Susan Straight (Akashic Books
  • "Uncle" - A Hell of a Woman by Daniel Woodrell (Busted Flush Press)

Best Young Adult

  • Rat Life by Tedd Arnold (Penguin - Dial Books for Young Readers)
  • Diamonds in the Shadow by Caroline B. Cooney (Random House Children's Books - Delacorte Press)
  • Touching Snow by M. Sindy Felin (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  • Blood Brothers by S.A. Harazin (Random House Children's Books - Delacorte Press)
  • Fragments by Jeffry W. Johnston (Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - Simon Pulse)

Best Juvenile

  • The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
  • Shadows on Society Hill by Evelyn Coleman (American Girl Publications)
  • Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn (Clarion Books)
  • The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh (Hyperion Books for Young Readers)
  • Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things by Wendelin Van Draanen (Random House Children's Books - Alfred A. Knopf)

Best Play

  • If/Then by David Foley (International Mystery Writers' Festival)
  • Panic by Joseph Goodrich (International Mystery Writers' Festival)
  • Books by Stuart M. Kaminsky (International Mystery Writers' Festival)

Best Television Episode Teleplay

  • "It's Alive" - Dexter, Teleplay by Daniel Cerone (Showtime)
  • "Yahrzeit" - Waking the Dead, Teleplay by Declan Croghan & Barbara Machin (BBC America)
  • "Pie-Lette" - Pushing Daisies, Teleplay by Bryan Fuller (ABC/Warner Bros Television
  • "Senseless" - Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Teleplay by Julie Martin & Siobhan Byrne O'Connor (Wolf Films/NBC Universal)
  • "Pilot" - Burn Notice, Teleplay by Matt Nix (USA Network/Fox Television Studios)

Best Motion Picture Screen Play

  • Eastern Promises, Screenplay by Steven Knight (Focus Features)
  • The Lookout, Screenplay by Scott Frank (Miramax)
  • Michael Clayton, Screenplay by Tony Gilroy (Warner Bros. Pictures)
  • No Country for Old Men, Screenplay by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, based on the book by Cormac McCarthy (Miramax)
  • Zodiac, Screenplay by James Vanderbilt, based on the book by Robert Graysmith (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Robert L. Fish Memorial Award
  • "The Catch" - Still Waters by Mark Ammons (Level Best Books)

Mary Higgins Clark Award

  • In Cold Pursuit by Sarah Andrews (St. Martin's Minotaur)
  • Wild Indigo by Sandi Ault (Penguin Group - Berkley Prime Crime)
  • Inferno by Karen Harper (Harlequin - MIRA Books)
  • The First Stone by Judith Kelman (Penguin Group - Berkley Prime Crime)
  • Deadman's Switch by Barbara Seranella (St. Martin's Minotaur)
Congratulations to all who were nominated.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Law & Order: Clue

"In the criminal justice system, things go awry when there are no writers. Fortunately, actors can improv. This is their story."

I posted this because of my support for the WGA. And I just thought it was funny.

For the record, I think Colonel Mustard is the perp.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Quote of the Week

"I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where's the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose."

--- George Carlin

Sunday, January 13, 2008

I'll be back. (again and again and again)

Whoever would have thought that three little words in 1984 would become such a part of pop culture? Even if you haven't seen said movie (although, there probably aren't too many who haven't) you know where it comes from.

This of course brings us to the latest spin-off, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

The series stars British actress Leana Heady as Sarah Connor, Thomas Dekker as a 15 year old John Connor and Summer Glau as Cameron Phillips, a schoolmate of John's who also happens to be his protector from the future.

Here's a quick rundown. It's supposed to take place not long after the events in Terminator 2. So essentially the over all storyline is the same, protect John Connor from robot assassins from the future so he can eventually lead a resistance against those pesky machines.

I sat down to watch the first of the two night premiere. For a spin-off, it wasn't that bad. (I'm a big fan of the Terminator movies. Well, the first two anyway.) In this first episode, Sarah and John are of course on the run again from yet another terminator. However, they decide to take a stand this time. (you have a feeling that SkyNet's unlimited supply of machines may be coming from the same place Wile E. Coyote shops?) So to stop the machines from taking over, John, Sarah and Cameron jump from the 90's to 2007. As a nod to T2, the line "Come with me if you want to live" is thrown in there.

I'm interested to see how this series will progress, especially with the current writers strike going on.

When a movie or show is successful, there's almost surely going to be a spin off. Sometimes they work, other times...not so much. You can check out more about spin-offs here and here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Quote of the Week

"Criminal: A person with predatory instincts who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation."

--- Howard Scott

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Quote of the Week

"Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward."

--- Kurt Vonnegut