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.

Saturday, June 17, 2023

Derrick Ferguson Bibliography

Below is what I believe to be a complete bibliography of Derrick Ferguson. I know he posted some fan fiction, as well as blog posts, etc, that aren't included. Much of this is already out of print.

Adventures of Fortune McCall

Black Pulp - Dillon and the Alchemist's Morning Coffee

Peculiar Adventures, Vol 1 - The Secret Whispers of Each Other’s Watch

Pro Se Presents Masked Gun Mystery 2 - The Scarlet Courtesan of Sovereign City

Pro Se Presents Fantasy and Fear 3 - The Day of the Silent Death-a SOVEREIGN CITY tale

The New Adventures of Foster Fade - The Cider King Murder

Baby Daddy in Hollis PI; Will Write for Food

Tales of Fortune: For Violent Fires that Soon Burn Out

Search for the Beast

Dillon Annual 2019

    Dillon and the Night Before Christmas

    Dillon and the Night of Krampus

    Dillon and the Prophecy of Fire

A Town Named Affliction - Bass Reeves Frontier Marshal Volume 1; Will Write for Food

The Bixbee Breakout - Bass Reeves Frontier Marshal Volume 2; Will Write For Food

Derrick Ferguson's Dillon: The Odd Jobs

    Dillon and the City of Stone

    Dire Learning

    Dillon and the Sisters of the Machine

    Dillon and the Devil's Mercy

Will Write for Food: The Freelance Stories of Derrick Ferguson

The Madness of Frankenstein

Diamondback: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

The Vril Agenda

The Undercover Puzzle - Dan Fowler: G-Man Volume Two; Will Write For Food

Dillon Annual Collection 2018

    Dillon and the Bad Ass Belt Buckle

    Dillon and the Judas Chalice

    Dillon and the Pirates of Xonira

    Dillon and the Alchemist's Morning Coffee; Black Pulp

    Dillon and the Last Rail to Khusra

Mystery Men (& Women) Volume 3 - A Man Called Mongrel pt 2

Mystery Men (& Women) Volume 2 - A Man Called Mongrel pt 1

Young Dillon in the Halls of Shamballah

Sinbad and the Voyage to the Land of the Frozen Sun - Sinbad - The New Voyages; Will Write for Food

The Knobloch Collection Assignment - Tales from the Hanging Monkey Volume 1; Will Write For Food

Fight Card: Brooklyn Beatdown

Dillon and the Legend of the Golden Bell

Dillon and The Voice of Odin

Straight Outta Deadwood - The Relay Station at Wrigley's Pass

Four Bullets for Dillon

    Dillon and the Bad-Ass Belt Buckle

    Dead Beat in La Esca

    Dillon and the Escape from Tosegio

    Dillon and the Judas Chalice


The Specialists (The Gantlet Brothers #4)


Derrick Ferguson's Movie Review Notebook

All-American Sports, Volume 2 - Brooklyn Breakdown

The Return of Derrick Ferguson's Movie Review Notebook

How The West Was Weird: Campfire Tales - The Tale of the Baron's Tribute

How the West Was Weird - Of All the Plagues a Lover Bears

Legends of New Pulp Fiction - Voodah of Thunder Mountain

How the West Was Weird: Vol. 3: One Last Bunch of Tales from the Weird, Wild West - Sorrowful are the Souls that Sleep with Gold

PulpWork Christmas Special 2014 - Dillon and the Night of Krampus

Pulpwork Christmas Special 2012 - Dillon and the Night Before Christmas

Black Power: The Superhero Anthology - In Need of a Friend

The Ruckerville Arrangement - Will Write for Food

Fenris the Dreaded One in: And I Say That Unto You is Born…Rayge! - Will Write For Food

Dark Worlds, Spring 2009 - The Tale of the Baron's Tribute

Genesis Science Fiction Magazine #3, Summer 2012 - Another Day on the River

All-Star Pulp Comics Volume Two

Friday, June 16, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 17

Ronald Kelly came in at the tail end of the Zebra era and is back with a vengeance.

Diary by Ronald Kelly
Cemetery Dance, Winter 1990

Quick entries of a serial killer's diary

Reprinted in Sick Stuff

The Plotters by Richard Shaver (as Alexander Blade)
Amazing Stories, December 1948

A Venusian secret agent seduces a scientists daughter at a "coke date" and protects them from other agents seeking atomic formulas.

Almost Human by Robert Bloch (as Tarleton Fiske)
Fantastic Adventures, June 1943

A scientist raises a robot Junior as he would a child. Junior is corrupted and stolen by a gangster, who uses it for crimes, only for Junior to fall in love with the gangster's moll. Heard the radio version first, either X Minus One or Dimension X, which had an even creepy feel to the end.

The Fat Man by Joe R. Lansdale
The Horror Show, January 1987

Two kids peek on the neighborhood weirdo who never leaves the house and does nothing but accept food deliveries. Equal parts cartoonish and horrifying.

Shaver goes over the ropes, climbs under the ring, and vanishes into the depths of the Earth.

Thursday, June 8, 2023

Reading Rumble Round 16

The Future of Horror Clive Barker manifests in the ring.

Love Comes From the Grave by Wyatt Blassingame
Horror Stories, Feb/Mar 1936

The scorned lovers of an Alabama couple kill themselves in a suicide pact, then return to the couple in dreams, turning them into bestial killers. 

The Life of Death by Clive Barker

Books of Blood IV, 1985. Available from Amazon

A woman sneaks into an uncovered plague pit and becomes an immune carrier. She recently had an hysterectomy and there's some kind of thematic connection. Can't tell if the prose is old fashioned or just very British.

Room 502 by Paul Ernst
Clues Detective Stories, May 1936

Detective solves the case of a long dead woman falling to her death. Needlessly convoluted, especially given that the copper overhears the murderers confess.

Meet Mr. Murder by Robert Bloch as Tarleton Fiske
Mammoth Detective, November 1943

The villains from an author's work in progress come to life.

Fish Night by Joe Lansdale
Specter!, 1982

The deserts of the southwest were once the ocean bottom, and some nights the ghosts of long dead fish swim above the sand.

The Monster from Mars by Richard Shaver as Alexander Blade
Amazing Stories, April 1948

Giant spiders from outer space attack in the South American jungle, concluding with the aliens blowing up all evidence, Predator style. Ray Palmer's introduction says that they had proof of the Shaver Mystery, but since a "respectable citizen" has offered proof in a different venue (?), Amazing Stories will revert back to 100% fiction, including some written by Shaver.

Barker gets tangled in the ropes trying to enter the ring. Blassingame goes to the well too many times and is knocked over the ropes, taking Ernst with him.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Dillon And The Pirates of Xonira by Derrick Ferguson

Dillon And The Pirates of Xonira
by Derrick Ferguson
2012 Pulpwork Press

Dillion is hired to investigate his old friend Lord Chancellor C'jai of Xonira, accused of piracy. We get submarine battles and swordfights, but not near as over-the-top as other entries. 

Available from Amazon

Monday, June 5, 2023

Rogue by Greg Gifune

by Greg Gifune
2014 DarkFuse

A civil servant who monitors sex offenders is losing his mind. He's suspended for actions he doesn't remember, prone to fits of anger, has horrifying hallucinations, and is visited by a stranger in his backyard warning him to not use the phone.

Is it a government conspiracy? Demon possession? Time travel and alternate universes? Is it all a dream? Is he dead and being tormented in the afterlife?

Good prose, but the story reaches a level early on and doesn't move from there, aside from a quick scene of violence that felt out of place. Without things ramping up I was just left to guess what the resolution would be. I didn't guess completely right, but given that the story felt four parts Jacob's Ladder and one part Angel Heart, it wasn't a surprise either.

Some loose threads are wrapped up at the end, but like Jacob's Ladder a lot is dropped. The audiobook's narration was a good artistic choice, whispery and lethargic, but didn't help with the pacing.

Available from Amazon

Sunday, June 4, 2023