Monday, June 21, 2010

Stuff to see and do

By Steve Weddle

Hey, I'm offering a FREE BOOK GIVEAWAY. Tell you about it in a minute.

Are you watching this ARCHER TV show? When the commercials first started appearing for the show -- which is on FX and the Hulus, I knew it was going to be the greatest TV show ever in the world ever. And so it is. No other show has ever mixed with humor with the comedy -- still retaining the hilarity -- that this show has.

From a WSJ article: After selling his interest in his production company to his partner and fleeing to Europe, TV producer Adam Reed (”Sealab 2021;” “Frisky Dingo”)was sitting at a cafe in Salamanca, Spain and dreaming up his next show. But there was something distracting him. Rather, it was someone — a beautiful woman writing quietly in her journal. At a loss for how to approach her, Reed immediately conjured someone who could. “Of course, a spy would have a perfect line,” he said. The woman paid her bill and “took my hopes and dreams with her in an expensive handbag.” But Reed came out on top. He had the inspiration for his new animated show: “Archer.

That's some video action worth taking a look at. Seriously. I wouldn't kid you.

And a book you might have already read. This here GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. Why didn't you people tell me it was this good. I read the prologue, which was about press flowers. Good stuff. I'm only 500 pages in. The first book is about 1,400 pages long and the rest of them are just as big. And there's a rumored fourth book kinda sorta done? Crazy. Anyway, that Hitchens guy wrote an interesting piece on Larsson here. "Just when Stieg Larsson was about to make his fortune with the mega-selling thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the crusading journalist dropped dead. Now some are asking how much of his fiction–which exposes Sweden’s dark currents of Fascism and sexual predation–is fact."
Turns out there can be good stuff on the bestseller lists. Hunh. My bad.

And speaking of good stuff, have you read this Stephen Blackmoore guy? You will. He just inked a deal with DAW (Penguin) for a two-book run. And he's in the summer issue of NEEDLE magazine, along with some other great talent. Keep eyes peeled.

And here's a book I'm looking forward to reading: RUNNING FROM THE DEVIL by Jamie Freveletti. Have you read? Is it as cool as it looks? The new one is out June 29.

So there's what I'm watching and reading?

How about you? Let us know what you're reading and watching and I'll mail you a copy of one of my favorites, DIRTY SWEET:

Oh, and speaking of McFet, he and I -- and many others -- chatted with Richard Godwin over here in some fun crime fiction interviews. Definitely worth checking out.

Anyway, spread the word about the goodness you've been enjoying. Ready? Go.


Unknown said...

Well, you asked for it ...

Having just got through The Long Fall, the first in the newish Leonid McGill mystery series -- whose old-school, ex-boxer detective main character is shaping up to be a worthwhile addition to the ever-growing Mosley canon -- I've followed that up with Mosley's The Right Mistake, the third book (so far) featuring philosophical ex-con Socrates Fortlow. Both have helped restore my faith in Mosley in the wake of his recent disappointing (to me) forays into allegory and erotica.

What's ironic in all this is that I fancy myself the type of reader who steers clear of "series novels" and yet other recent additions to my bookshelf include the omnibus edition of James Sallis's trilogy of Turner novels (all top-notch) and the fourth book in Lawrence Block's Keller series (decidedly different but satisfying). Oh, and I'm hoping to grab Elmore Leonard's latest, Road Dogs - a sequel of sorts to something like three other Leonard books - the first chance I get. Evidently I like recurring characters a bit more than I've led myself to believe ...

And then there are those Vertigo Crime graphic novels that I've read so much about, but have yet to get my hands on ... Hmmm, but now we're veering into "What I'd Like to Read" territory, aren't we?

Truth be told, I'm far less of a TV watcher than a reader, but having recently (somewhat belatedly) caught a few episodes of Breaking Bad and Justified, I have to admit that the networks continue to step up their game. I'd still rather settle into a chair with the latest offering from, say, Jason Starr, Sean Doolittle or Charlie Huston than switch on the tube, but I can see how these shows could become just as addictive as crime lit if I devoted a bit more time to them.

Let's see, still unread on the nightstand is Gregg Hurwitz's The Crime Writer and Josh Bazell's Beat the Reaper among others, but don't let that stop you from earmarking a copy of Dirty Sweet for me -- the stack is in no danger of toppling just yet ...

David Cranmer said...

Just finished the Archer series on Hulu and love it. All the characters are well developed but my favorite has to be Cheryl/Carol/Carina/Cristal.

Steve Weddle said...

ross -- Thanks. Great stuff. Vertigo, especially.

David -- Yeah, I can't wait for more Archer.

Jen Forbus said...

Steve, I'm reading the new Jamie Freveletti right now! But I've also been discovering some new stuff...but only new to me. Everyone told me I needed to read THE MYSTIC ART OF ERASING ALL SIGNS OF DEATH. I finally got to it! My only regret is that I don't have it experience all over the first time again.

New to me also was Gar Anthony Haywood. Holy freakin' crap! Why did I not know about his wonderfulness before this? Finished up CEMETERY ROAD.

Now, thanks to Michael Koryta's recommendation, I'll be checking into Stewart O'Nan. Lots of good, good stuff. And I mention it ad nausium, but you asked, so Koryta is pretty stinkin' fantastic as well.

And I could go on another hour or so, but I'll just say that Marcus Sakey's thriller writing abilities have been put to the test by me. I loaded THE AMATEURS onto my iTouch in audio. Forgot to put the last disc on...blasted that Sakey guy for being so good at his craft. Was stuck in the middle of a 5-hour car ride and couldn't get to the end of the book! :-)

Steve Weddle said...

Jen -- Oh, wow. That stinks being stuck near the end like that.

I lost JT Ellison's THE COLD ROOM in paperback with only 20 pages to go. We were on the way home and had hours and hours to go. We got home to our wifi and I bought the kindle version on my ipod touch and finished before bed. So great to have something that you're so involved in.

And those are great recs, some I didn't know. Will definitely check out. Thanks

Ron Earl Phillips said...

Oh Steve, I think you jest about the length of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. I read that in paperback last year. I bought GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE when it released in paperback this Spring. Haven't dug into it yet. Hoping the second is as good as the first. I assume I'll pick up the third next year in paperback, too.

I kept missing ARCHER on FX. I'll have to check it out. What I am watching (again) thanks for Father's Day is the first season of BREAKING BAD. Also watching BURN NOTICE on USA.

I picked up some classics over the weekend. Ace Atkin's CROSSROAD BLUES and the first Hap and Leonard book from Joe R. Lansdale, SAVAGE SEASON. I had never read anything from either author. Shame on me.

Unknown said...

ARCHER=the best show on TV! Period.
(It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia runs a close second though.)
Couldn't get into the Girl with The Dragon Tattoo at all (I can say this of most Icelandic crime fiction though)

As far as what I'm reading:

THE DRAGON FACTORY by Johnathan Maberry. I can't get enough of this guy. Very fast paced crime/horror/thriller hybrid. Cinematic as hell.

the new THUGLIT anthology: BLOOD, GUTS, & WHISKEY. I'm a sucker for anthologies and this one is delivering the goods. (TRAUMA DYKE by Derek Nikitas is worth the price of admission alone.)

TONIGHT I SAID GOODBYE by Michael Koryta. His first Lincoln Perry novel. I've been reading these out of order, but I've been enjoying the hell out of them all the same.

The Passage by Justin Cronin. It's big, it's bad, it's extremely well written and has creepy vampires in it as opposed to the pretty kind all the cougars go for. I can't put it down.

Steve Weddle said...

REP -- I'm reading the Larsson novel on my Blackberry, so maybe it seems longer. And I've got to find time for that Lansdale.

Keith -- Yes, have heard great stuff about about the THUGLIT antho. Definitely on the list.

Ron Earl Phillips said...

@Keith ABC has a Joe Ledger series fast-tracked. Hope it stays on course. At least I know we'll have KING OF PLAGUES to look forward to next year. I need to go back and read his GHOST ROAD BLUES series.

I've got Cronin's book in the mail. I'll hit that sometime later this year.

Forgot to mention I'm currently reading UNDER THE DOME. Only 50 pages in, but it's been a bloody 50 pages.

@Steve Ah, on the Blackberry. That does explain it being a billion pages long. It's just over 600 in print.

I've been meaning to read Lansdale for a while. So I've put SAVAGE SEASON on the top of my list.

I'll probably read a handful of books by the time I finish UNDER THE DOME. Heh.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Reading NEXT by James Hynes. Supposedly nothing happens for 200 pages and then the bottom drops out of the world. I am still on that first 200 pages and if he mentions one more place in Ann Arbor, I am gonna scream. Also reading THE THINGS THEY CARRIED (O'Brien) for the third time for my book group. Next up OUT (Kirino) for the Global Reading Challenge.

Jerry House said...

Recently read: The Killing of the Tinkers by Ken Bruen, Tarzan: The Lost Adventure by ERB and Joe Lansdale, and Jack: Secret Circles by F. Paul Wilson.

About fifty pages left in Frankenstein: Lost Souls by Dean Koontz.

Coming up: Black Medicine by Arthur J. Burks, The Big O by Declan Burke, Yellow Medicine by Neil Anthony Smith, Priest by Ken Bruen, The Big Bang by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins, and Nightshadows by William F. Nolan.

Hoping soon to crack into The Milwaukee Road by August Derleth and Essential Solitude: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and August Derleth (Volume 2 only; I'm still waiting to get ahold of Volume 1).

Sometime over the next month, I'll be getting back to Lilith by
George MacDonald and The Old English Baron by Clara Reeve. I had put these aside for the moment when so many other goodies came in.

Movies? I usually catch some really bad ones when they come out on DVD, but nothing in particular.

TV: Looking forward to some of the summer series, especially Eureka. I've just taped The Phantom, the pilot of The Gates, and the last two Dr. Whos. Will catch the finale of Saving Grace tonight.


Steve Weddle said...

Ah, thanks for the cool ideas.

And congrats to REP who won the McFet book.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Oh, hey. Wow. I just saw this. Thanks for the shout out.

Me, I just finished The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I'm a little late to this one. Christ was it good. About to grab the next one.