Friday, December 29, 2023

RPC TV Title Match: Forgotten Realms vs Final Destination


Final Destination is disqualified by a countout, and Forgotten Realms continues it's inexplicably lengthy title reign.

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Final Destination: Dead Reckoning by Natasha Rhodes

Final Destination: Dead Reckoning
by Natasha Rhodes
2005, Black Flame

A rock singer in LA has a premonition of a collapsing basement rock venue. After her and a handful of others escape the tragedy, they begin to die off one by one in gory spectacles from convoluted, Rube Goldberg like what would have happened in a proper Final Destination novel.

Instead we get 406 pages of the author doing her darndest to not deliver on the formula. I only made it two thirds of the way, in which we get three deaths. First dies of an explosion off page. The second has a brief Rube Goldberg set up, only to get a swerve and someone else dies from mundane failing brakes. Unpredictable enough, except the third death does exactly the same thing.

The death traps work in the movies by building suspense from each step being laid out, the inevitability of the execution, and the gory aftermath. Here we get none of that. The setups are constantly interrupted by cutting away to small talk, to the point I forgot someone was supposed to die. For the third death, a full 17% of the book went by between the set up and the execution, almost all of which was teenage idiots repeating things back and forth to each other.

I appreciate the challenge the franchise has with how to fill time between death scenes, which would be even worse in print, but this has some of the worse padding I've ever seen outside of a Fanthrorpe novel, down to the narration adding "really, really" to adjectives several times. 

Currently not available anywhere on the internet, and you couldn't afford it if it was. Try the fan audiobook from The 80s Slasher Librarian.

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Shadows of Doom by Ed Greenwood

Shadows of Doom
by Ed Greenwood
1995, TSR

There's a wizard Elminster who can't use magic except for his magic wands accompanied by  ranger Sharantyr, joined later by two Harpers, all of whom murder several hundred soldiers and wizards in the High Dale. I think we're supposed to already know who these people are and what they're up to. Read reviews that decried the basically 300 pages of murder hoboing in the middle, but this is honestly the minimum acceptable level of action.

Available from Amazon

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

RPC TV Title Match: Forgotten Realms vs Final Destination

Rage on the Page in a Cage Television Title Match

Champion Forgotten Realms steps in a puddle next to the frayed extension cord of Final Destination in this Television Title defense.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Rage on the Page in a Cage


Our new Cruiserweight Champion Ron Kelly defends the belt against the combined forces of Death.

TV Title holder Forgotten Realms face the Final Destination

Derrick Ferguson's Dillon defends against R. J. Calder'a Frenzi for the Young Guns title

Unstoppable Tag Team Champion Startling Detective meets Tan Confessions in the squared circle

European champ Joseph Rosenberger's COBRA defends against Paul Dale Anderson's Claw Hammer

New Intercontinental Champion Ray Garton squares off against William McGivern's Rogue Cop

Two rising stars fight for the vacant US Title - Derrick Ferguson vs Startling Detective

Can Ray Garton's Lot Lizards defeat Donald Westlake's Hot Rock for the World Title and become Trash Fiction Championship's first double crown winner?

And in our main event Rage in a Cage: four teams face off for four rounds, one title at a time. The losers are handcuffed to the cage and the winner goes on to the next round. The teams include:

Stranger Than Truth: True crime and more than true unexplained phenomena from Max Haines, Bernhardt J. Hurwood, From the Files of True Detective, and Warren Smith

Private Eyes: Larry Kent, Carter Brown, Matthew Scudder, and Shell Scott

Karate Kids: Mace, Black Samurai, K'ing Kung-Fu, and Jason Striker

Road Warriors: Post-Apocalyptic bikes and tanks with Last Ranger, The Zone, Outrider, and Afrika

3 magazines

28 short stories

At least 30 novels

Brought to you by our own A Fist For Your Face: The Collected Bleeding Skull

Dean Mason is the Bleeding Skull, a masked vigilante fighting a city that finds new ways to hurt.

Available from Amazon, currently free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Terrortome by Garth Marenghi

by Garth Marenghi (Matthew Holness)
Coronet, 2022

Matthew Holness created Garth Matenghi's Darkplace in 2004, which was presented as an 80s TV series starring author Garth Marenghi and based on his books. Garth is somewhat based on Guy N. Smith and Steven King, with Holness' stock pedantic wanna be tough guy character.

Terrortome is a short story collection as written by Marenghi. To add another meta layer, the main character is author Nick Steen, a stand in for Garth. The first story is a Hellraiser riff, with Steen getting erotically involved with a demonic typewriter. This ends with all the stories in Steen's imagination being unleashed into the world, which he has to stop. We get two more stories - a mad podiatrist and a riff on the Dark Half.

Holness keeps a lot of plates spinning to keep up the conceit. He stays in character with the writing style throughout, keeps the story engaging, writing as if he's dead serious while keeping it funny throughout. Marenghi writes Steen as a cool stand in at the same time Holness presents him as a comic loser.

The audiobook is highly recommended, narrated by Holness in character as Marnghi, and it sounded like the text was changed in places to fit the format.

Available from Amazon

Saturday, December 2, 2023

My Sh-t Life So Far by Frankie Boyle

My Sh-t Life So Far 
by Frankie Boyle
2009 HarperCollins

Frankie Boyle is a Scottish comedian known for topical comedy panel shows, at the time of this book mainly Mock the Week. Strongest telling stories of growing up in 80s Scotland, less so for stand-up material shoehorned in whether it fits or not, and weakest with entire unused comedy scripts that were unused for a reason. His humor works best in small doses; you can only hear so many pedophile jokes in a day.

Available from Amazon

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Reading Rumble Wrap Up

Forgotten Realms: The Crystal Shard defeats Star Wars: New Jedi Order - Vector Prime to retain the TV Title.

Dillon And The Pirates of Xonira by Derrick Ferguson successfully defends against Greg Gifune's Rogue for the Young Guns Title.

Startling Detective Adventures continues its Tag Team Title reign against Thrilling Detective

Joseph Rosenberger's COBRA 3: The Red Dragon Operation claims the European Title from John Maddox Roberts' Conan the Champion

Ray Garton's Crucifax defeats David Sodegren's Maggie's Grave to claim the Intercontinental title and wins a shot at the World Title.

Eric Helm's Vietnam Ground Zero 5: Soldier's Medal loses the US Title to The Bounty Hunter 4: Blood Mountain by Hank Nuwer, who immediately retires, leaving the title vacant.

Richard Stark's Parker 3: The Outfit snuffs out Roger Blake's Commie Sex Trap, retaining the World Title.

After hundreds of stories and three events, we've finally crowned our first Cruiserweight Champion: Ron Kelly.

Other standouts from our 30 author Reading Rumble include:

Joe R. Lansdale lasted the most rounds

Elford Alley wins best new contender

Best single story: He Asked for Hell by Paul Ernst

Join us soon for our next event: Rage in a Cage! Coming soon!

Sunday, November 12, 2023

Reading Rumble Final Round

Mister Mack is Back in Town by Ron Kelly
The Halloween Store and Other Tales of All Hallows' Eve, 2020

A travelling horror museum bus and kidnapped children who return with their organs in the wrong place.

Ash and Bone by Elford Alley
Ash and Bone: Tales of Terror, 2018

Quickie from an ash-covered, gradual apocalypse.

Alley brought his A game, but there can only be one champion. Ron Kelly brings it home, out It'ing Stephen King, and is crowned our inaugural Cruiserweight Champion.

Saturday, November 11, 2023

Friday, November 10, 2023

Commie Sex Trap by Roger Blake

Commie Sex Trap
by Roger Blake (John Felix Trimble)
1963, Boudoir

Communists blackmail an American GI into photographing coded messages by holding his East German fiancée hostage. He schemes to rescue her, but mainly bangs every woman he meets.

A lot of the smut novels of this era felt like a hardboiled, noir, or espionage novel that got turned down by Gold Medal and was pitched to the sleazier outfits with the sex spiced up a notch. So so story, the highlight being a sadistic, corpulent female torturer.

Available in kindle from Amazon

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Parker 3: The Outfit by Richard Stark

Parker 3
The Outfit
by Richard Stark (Donald E. Westlake)
1963 Pocket Books

Picks up after the first installment where Parker threatened to unleash his network of thieves on the outfit's operations. After a failed assassination attempt, Parker does just that, and gambling dens and illegal banks across the county get hit. We get a couple heists in detail, as well as the procedures for how various rackets work.

As with the last installment, for me the weak spot was Parker himself, who disappears for long stretches before assassinating an outfit head.

Available from Amazon

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 31

They Wait Underground by Elford Alley

We Will Find a Place For You, 2023
Excellent reading by Drew Blood

An orphaned child is haunted by mysterious sinkholes.

To Kill a Saturday Night by Ed Wood as Ann Gora
Black and White, 1971 or 1972
Collected in Blood Splatters Quickly

Two dirtbag field workers get drunk and talk about killing sex workers.

The Halloween Store by Ron Kelly
The Halloween Store and Other Tales of All Hallows' Eve, 2020

Kids save up to buy special vintage monster masks.

After a valiant effort, Ed Wood is tossed over the ropes, leaving the last two contenders for the Cruiserweight title.

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Reading Rumble Recap


Thirty authors and over a hundred stories later, three authors will face off for the Cruiserweight Title.

Ron Kelly started at the tail end of the 80s paperback boom and came back for the era of self & small publishing. Visit at, follow him at, and buy his stuff at

Elford Alley is our most recently published author in the Rumble, starting in the last decada. Visit him at, follow him, and buy his tuff at

Ed Wood, Jr. was a visionary auteur and even more unhinged author. He has slipped this mortal coil, but has recently been republished here

Monday, October 16, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 30


Our last entry Ed Wood, Jr. walks down the aisle, hangs his angora sweater on the ring post, and joins the action.

No Atheists in the Grave by Ed Wood, Jr.
Hot Fun, February 1971
Collected in Blood Splatters Quickly

A Vietnam War chaplain has a crisis of faith.

Junkman by Elford Alley
Ash and Bone: Tales of Terror, 2018
Excellent reading by Drew Blood

A rural black marketeer obtains a stitched together reanimated corpse.

The Dark Tribe by Ron Kelly
Midnight Grinding, 2009

Two kids unearth a native burial ground.

All authors stay in the ring.

Sunday, October 15, 2023

Reading Rumble US Title Match - Vietnam Ground Zero vs The Bounty Hunter

The entire US military can't stand up to this mean mountain of a man. Tiny Boyles and Hank Nuwer claim their bounty of the United States title.

And since Nuwer only wrote sports non-fiction other than this, and Boyles didn't even write this series, they both retire, leaving the title vacant!

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Bounty Hunter 4: Blood Mountain by Tiny Boyles and Hank Nuwer

Bounty Hunter 4
Blood Mountain
by Tiny Boyles and Hank Nuwer 
1982 Playboy

Loveable dirtbags Tiny and company chase after a computer genius and his stolen bank money, running into an Italian cult/terrorist group for their troubles. They pick up a lady bounty hunter along the way, and there's more action this time, involving mowing down ultralights with a machine gun.

The series coasts on charm over plot or action, but there's plenty of charisma to keep it going.

Friday, October 13, 2023

Vietnam Ground Zero 5: Soldier's Medal by Eric Helm

Vietnam Ground Zero 5
Soldier's Medal
by Eric Helm
1987 Gold Eagle

A nineteen year old sergeant , wracked with survivor's guilt and denied a medal as the last man to survive an attack, goes rogue and takes a team of Vietnamese strikers into the jungle. Gerber and Fetterman pursue, to talk him down or take him out.

Some introspection, as Gerber is completely aware that the AWOL soldier's actions aren't that much different from what the Army is usually up to. Morrow is mentioned but doesn't appear, which is preferable to being captured and tortured like the last two books.

Available from Amazon

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Reading Rumble US Title Match - Vietnam Ground Zero vs The Bounty Hunter


Vietnam Grand Zero faces the one man army of Tiny Boyles, The Bounty Hunter for the United States title

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 29


Indie author Elford Alley enters the ring.

Nature of the Business by Elford Alley
Ash and Bone: Tales of Terror, 2018

Excellent reading by Drew Blood

After the zombie apocalypse is put down, an entrepreneur fills a niche.

I, The Vampire by Henry Kuttner
Weird Tales, February 1937

A vampire in Hollywood.

The Boxcar by Ron Kelly
Midnight Grinding, 2009

Hobos vs vampires

Kuttner goes over the ropes.

Monday, September 25, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 28

Richard Matheson returns to the TFC ring

Buried Talents by Richard Matheson
Masques II, 1987

A guy wins a lot at a carny game. If there was a sinister twist it was too subtle for me to notice.

Dust Devils by Ron Kelly
2 AM, Summer 1989

A girl seeks refuge from her abusive stepfather with desert dust devils.

Outsteppin' Fetchit by Charles Saunders
Masques II, 1987

Peanut Posey, a rival of Stepin' Fetchit, is in a nursing home, haunted by the memory of his revolutionary son. Good premise but ends before it could go anywhere.

Hydra by Henry Kuttner
Weird Tales, April 1939

A mixture of drugs opens a dimensional gateway to release head eating Hydras. Similarities to From Beyond, and feels like the Stuart Gordon film drew from it. I like most other writers' Lovecraft better than Lovecraft's own, though this perhaps explains a titch too much.

Saunders and Matheson go over the ropes

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Reading Rumble Intercontinental Title Match - Sodergren vs Garton


A close match, but Garton comes up on top as our new Intercontinental Champion and earns a shot at the Heavyweight Championship belt. Will he be Trash Fiction Championship's first double crown winner?

This match has been brought to you by Clockwork Assassin. 

Cyborgs Attack!

From Yakuza ninjas and Mafia snipers in the streets of New York to an army of deadly robotic assassins in a hidden volcano base, hitman Nathan Bendell joins forces with others in his trade in a deadly fight for survival. He’s joined by:

Blane Logan: former MI6 agent turned mercenary

Cynthia Rogers: ninja weapon specialist and bodyguard

Roger Beretta: small arms marksman and vigilante

It’s merc versus machine in an all-out battle for the title of Earth’s deadliest killer!

Available from Amazon

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Maggie's Grave by David Sodergren

Maggie's Grave
by David Sodergren

The spirit of a woman wrongfully executed as a witch haunts a dying Scottish town, looking for her murdered baby. And by haunt I meant tear everyone apart from the inside out.

As opposed to the emotional gut punch of Dead Girl Blues, this felt more in the direction of splatter comedies like Dead/Alive and Evil Dead 2 without going full slapstick, fun without without trying to be funny.

Available from Amazon

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Crucifax by Ray Garton

by Ray Garton
1988, Pocket Books

Hair metal pied piper Mace rolls into Socal, attracting teen castoffs to hang out with him in an abandoned building with his supernatural dope and horde of demon rats.

A couple teenagers, a school counselor, and a disgraced, child molesting pastor team up to prevent mass tragedy. Has a reputation as a splatterpunk classic due to an excised scene appearing in the titular anthology, but even that part is fairly tame, gore wise. Weird that an implied oral abortion was one toe over the line but teen incest is jake.

Great depiction of late 80s LA teen dirtbags, and reveals just enough to make sense without pages of exposition overexposing the mystery.

Available from Amazon

Monday, September 18, 2023

Reading Rumble Intercontinental Title Match - Sodergren vs Garton


This one's for all the marbles. The Scottish Scribe vs the California Calligrapher face off for the vacant Intercontinental Title. The winner also gets a shot at the World Title.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 27

From the unnamable, stygian, cyclopean, eldritch, etc - Lovecraft.

Imprisoned With the Pharaohs by Harry Houdini (HP Lovecraft)
Weird Tales, May 1924

Harry Houdini visits Egypt, is captured, walks around under the pyramids, finds a hippo monster and runs away. Missed opportunity for an escape sequence, he's bound once but just gets out.

Consumption by Ron Kelly
Thin Ice #5, 1989

Giant carnivorous caterpillar.

Come Dance With Me on My Pony's Grave by Charles R. Grant
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, July 1973

A child adopted from a war zone has a special connection with animals. 

Paper Angels on Fire by John Shirley
Sick Things, 2010,

A conman goes through a series of false afterlifes.

The Transgressor by Henry Kuttner
Weird Tales, February 1939

Time travel quickie, a bit standard now but still haunting.

Mtimu by Charles Saunders
Black Pulp, 2013

Black version of Tarzan, who rescues a pilot from an insane big game hunter. Good set up, though the climax was off page.

Shirley and Lovecraft go over the ropes. Grant is no longer in the ring. Maybe he was never there.

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 26

From Cyberpunk to Splatterpunk, from neo-noir to novelizations, John Shirley is the one to beat in this contest.

Anvil Rock by John Shirley
Weirdbook 42, 2020,

Dark tale of a man using a time machine to relive the moment of his daughter's death.

The House of Evil by Charles L. Grant
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, December 1968

A light comedy piece about satanic rites and the undead. Grant's first published work.

Dead Skin by Ron Kelly
Grue Magazine, Winter 1991

A writer and doctor visit the abandoned lab where underground genetic experiments took place decades before.

The Three-Faced One by Charles R. Saunders
Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology, 2011

Imaro defends a tribe forced to give crippling tribute to their rivals. As with most of Saunders, the moral lines end up being shifted by the end.

The Case of Herbert Thorp by Henry Kuttner
Weird Tales, November 1937

A hack horror writer's story about interdimensional ghouls comes true.

All authors stay in the ring

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

COBRA 3: The Red Dragon Operation by Joseph Rosenberger

The Red Dragon Operation
by Joseph Rosenberger
1987 Critic's Choice

Jonathan Skul and Deborah Miles return, this time with a new crew - three Chinese operatives and a helicopter pilot renowned for having killed hundreds of sex workers in Vietnam. Their mission - disrupt the cooperation between San Francisco Triads and the KGB by killing everyone.

Usual formula, though instead of failed raid, successful raid, being raided, final raid, we get another raid instead of being raided. One highlight is the use of high explosives and vomiting agents, so we get the crew mowing down gangsters as they projectile vomit and crap themselves.

One of the more psychotic of Rosenberger's. His ballistic prose is on fire, with a full paragraph devoted to the anatomical description of a bullet's path from the taint up through the head. More racist than usual, but mostly just referring to people based on foods they might eat. There's a discussion about the ethics of murdering innocent wait staff that hinged on whether they were US born or not. Rosenberger returns to the well of self-loathing Chinese heroes we saw with the Mace series, and we get two this book.

Rosenberger gave as an ounce of character development between one and two of the series, but things stall here with Skul still being a drunk and Skul and Miles still banging and not sure of their feelings, which gives us a Rosenberger sex scene.

Monday, August 28, 2023

Conan the Champion by John Maddox Roberts

Conan the Champion 
by John Maddox Roberts
1987 Tor

Conan joins the service of a Northern Queen. He rescues her from another dimension in time to defend against attacks by two other nations. Equal parts monster fighting and strategic warfare.

Paperback from Amazon

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Reading Rumble European Title: Conan vs Cobra


It's barbarian vs special agents, as Joseph Rosenberger brings his best against John Maddox Roberts.

Friday, August 18, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 25

Pulpster Henry Kuttner worked in horror, fantasy, and science fiction, both alone and with his wife C.L. Moore

Spawn of Dagon by Henry Kuttner
Weird Tales, July 1938

Atlantean barbarian Elak is hired to kill a sorcerer and runs into the cult of the Spawn of Dagon, an ancient race who seek to reclaim the Earth. 

The Gentle Passing of a Hand by Charles L. Grant
Tales from the Nightside, 1981

A lonely child is inspired by a birthday party magician, but learns the wrong kind of magic.

Priestess of Shame by Arthur J. Burks
Dime Mystery Magazine July 1935

Half formed piece about a native woman getting vengeance on Americans. The second Burk in a row that ends with the hero and his gal simply running away from their torturers. 

The Hatchling by Ron Kelly
Tri-State Fantasist #2, Spring 1989

A farmer and former cockfighting participant hatches a rooster that goes after larger and larger prey.

Amudu's Bargain by Charles R. Saunders
The Mighty Warriors, 2018 Available from Amazon

Imaro seeks out a craftsman who sold his soul, and his daughter's, to be the world's greatest artist.

Burks goes over the ropes

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 24


Author and anthologist Charles R. Grant quietly, oh so quietly, creeps into the ring. 

The Generation Waltz by Charles R. Grant
Fantasy Tales, Winter 1984
Collected here

Grandma offers to give her life for her child murdering grandson.

Papa's Exile by Ron Kelly
Deathrealm, Fall/Winter 1988

A drunk, abusive father is kicked out of the home, but he didn't get far.

Death in Jukun
Heroic Fantasy, 1979

Imaro gets involved with wealthy man's family in fear of a vengeful sorcerer and the beast he controls.

Cathedral of Horror by Arthur J. Burks
Terror Tales, July/August 1938

A hitchhiker leads victims into the clutches of a cult spun off from the Penitentes, a self-flagellation sect.

All authors stay in the ring

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 23


Sword and Soul pioneer Charles Saunders enters the Rumble.

Mai-Kulala by Charles Saunders
Swords of Darkness IV, 1979

Imaro faces a mysterious woman of the forest and fights a dog-bear.

Billie Sue by Joe Lansdale
The Many Faces of Fantasy, 1990

A man bangs his neighbor and is reunited with his true love.

A Bride for Death by Arthur J. Burks
Terror Tales, April 1936

A man runs around aimlessly in a Chinatown office building, getting knocked unconscious every couple pages as he seeks to rescue his love.

The Cistern by Ron Kelly
Cemetery Dance, #4 Spring 1990

What evil was released from a sealed cistern in a small Tennessee town?

Taste by Roald Dahl
New Yorker, 1951

A man bets his daughter on a wine tasting. 

Dahl makes a flying tackle at Lansdale, sending them both spilling to the floor.

Thursday, July 27, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 22


Prolific pulpsmith Arthur J. Burks enters the squared circle.

Satan's Lash by Arthur J. Burks
Horror Stories, September 1935

A young woman is forced into marriage by her uncle to an older man, both of whom are whip wielding religious zealots, and is checked into a perverse mental hospital.

The Man Who Dreamed by Joe Lansdale
The Horror Show, Fall 1984

Light piece of a man warning a family of prophetic visions

The Web of La Sanguinaire by Ron Kelly
Deathrealm, Summer 1988

Rich jerk hunts for swamp spiders.

Nunc Dimittis by Roald Dahl
Colliers, September 1953

A portrait artist of high society women paints his subjects in layers, first nude, then in their underwear, then fully clothed. A prankster takes advantage of this situation. More concept than resolution.

Lansdale is knocked over the ropes and barely clings on to the ring apron.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 21

Shirley Jackson has always been in the ring.

The Possibility of Evil by Shirley Jackson
Come Along With Me, 1968

Small town busybody sends anonymous letters accusing townsfolk of various ills.

Duck Hunt by Joe Lansdale
After Midnight, 1986

A boy enters the rites of manhood at a "duck" hunt.

Pink Elephants by Robert Bloch
Strange Stories, August 1939

A man is driven to drink and haunted by pink elephants after stealing a treasure from the temple of Ganesh. A long way to go to justify pink elephants, and not much more to the story.

Poison by Roald Dahl
Collier's, June 1950

Suspense classic of a man in bed with a poisonous snake under the covers with him. Suffers somewhat for not being as good as Hitchcock's adaptation.

Yea, Though I Drive by Ron Kelly
Dark Dixie: Tales of Southern Horror, 1991

Hitchhiking serial killer tale with more false finishes than a Flair/Steamboat match.

Bloch goes flying out of the ring, taking Jackson with him.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Reading Rumble Tag Team Title Match Round 3 - Startling Detective Adventures vs Thrilling Detective

Startling Detective Adventures - Trapped by the Bandit Terror by A.M. Thompson

Blow by blow car chase of robbers carjacking a woman and child and driving around Milwaukee.

Thrilling Detective - Killer Cure by Victor K. Ray

A cop follows an old flame to find a killer on the lam. Starts moody but turns saccharine.

Startling Detective takes the third fall and retains the championship.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Reading Rumble Tag Team Title Match Round 2 - Startling Detective Adventures vs Thrilling Detective

Startling Detective Adventures - Kansas City's Wildcat by Wayne Sprague

20s bandit uses appeals to delay the inevitable.

Thrilling Detective - Crepe for Suzette by C.S. Montayne

Journalist deduces the only suspect did a murder.

Second fall goes to Startling Detective

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Reading Rumble Tag Team Title Match Round 1 - Startling Detective Adventures vs Thrilling Detective

Startling Detective Adventures - The Masked Bomber by Edith Salt

A masked man brings a bomb into the LA police station demanding that the Pacific Electric Railway raises wages. The bomb gets defused the old fashioned way - by punching it out.

Thrilling Detective - Don't Tell Anyone by J. Lane Linklater

A PI is hired to place a bet on a losing horse.

First fall to Startling Detective

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Reading Rumble Tag Team Title Match - Startling Detective Adventures vs Thrilling Detective


Defending champion Startling Detective Adventures (Vol 5 No 26, July 1930) faces off with Thrilling Detective (Vol 5 No ,1 September 1949, British Edition), three falls to a finish!

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 20

Roald Dahl returns to the TFC ring.

Mrs. Bixby and the Colonel’s Coat by Roald Dahl
Nugget, 1959

A cheating spouse plots to explain an expensive gift from her lover.

Forever Angels by Ron Kelly
Cemetery Dance, December 1988

A girl moves in next to a child cemetery.

The Beasts of Barsac by Robert Bloch
Weird Tales, July 1944

Postmodernish tale of a mad scientist and his unholy experiments.

Walks by Joe Lansdale
Cemetery Dance, #27, Fall 1997

A man follows his estranged son on his mysterious nightly walk.

All authors stay in the ring.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 19

Will the bestseller Stephen King find gold in the Trash Fiction Championship ring? 

The Reploids by Stephen King
Night Visions 5, 1988

Johnny Carson is swapped out with his counterpart from another dimension. That premise, evident from the title on, is the whole story. Bloated, indulgent, and in places fails the basic function of placing words in an order which conveys meaning.

The Job by Joe R. Lansdale
Razored Saddles, 1989

Flash nastiness about a racist Elvis impersonator turned East Texas enforcer.

Tunnel of Love by Robert Bloch
Such Stuff as Screams Are Made Of, 1979

Tormented amusement operator.

Miss Abigail's Delicate Condition by Ron Kelly
Nøctulpa #3, 1988

A sensitive southern gal is tormented by cottonmouths.

The Fourth Seal by Karl Edward Wagner
Whispers #6-7, June 1975

A secret society of doctors can cure all illness but choose not to.

Wagner goes over the ropes. King tucks his tail between his legs and crawls back to the NYT Bestsellers List.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 18

Horror and Sword & Sorcery author and editor Karl Edward Wagner slides under the ropes and into the ring.

In the Pines by Karl Edward Wagner
The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, August 1973

A man becomes obsessed with traces of a long dead woman in a remote cabin.

The Secret in the Tomb by Robert Bloch
Weird Tales, May 1935

An exercise in Lovecraftian adjectives. Guy goes to an ancient tomb, finds a lich, punches it out.

Black Harvest by Ron Kelly
After Hours, Spring 1989

In Mister Glow-Bones and Other Halloween Tales

The boy who shucks the red corn gets to kiss the prettiest girl.

Steel Valentine by Joe R. Lansdale
By Bizarre Hands, 1989

An abusive husband, a cheating spouse, her young lover, and several hungry dogs.

All authors stay in the ring.