Wednesday, July 31, 2013

THE BOOK CAVE PRESENTS: PANEL FEST EPISODE 17- PULPFEST 2013 ED HULSE

The Book Cave’s Art Sippo recorded Ed Hulse’s panel on Pulps in Hollywood at the 2013 PulpFest Convention.

You can listen to Panel Fest Episode 17: PulpFest 2013 Ed Hulse here.

About From Pulp Page to Silver Screen:
Blood ‘n’ Thunder editor Ed Hulse explores the pulp-to-movie connection in his PulpFest presentation Hollywood and the Hero Pulps, one of several pre-convention programs scheduled for Thursday, July 25th, at 9 PM.

Motion-picture incarnations of pulp magazine protagonists date back to the medium’s earliest days. Moviegoers of the nickelodeon era—the pre-World War I years—were treated to
cinematic adaptations of Short Stories’ Hamilton Cleek and The Popular Magazine’s Terrence O’Rourke, among others. Tom Mix became the industry’s top Western star on the strength of his 1920 portrayal of Max Brand’s Whistlin’ Dan Barry. And master detective Nick Carter, who successfully made the transition from dime novel to pulp magazine, appeared on screens both in the U.S. and overseas in several sets of short subjects produced between 1908 and 1927.

With the coming of talkies and the emergence of Hollywood as the world’s filmmaking capital, pulp fiction became an even more frequent source of story material. Hundreds of movies released during the Thirties, Forties and Fifties—feature films and short subjects alike—were made from yarns originally printed in rough-paper periodicals.

As Blood ‘n’ Thunder readers know, Ed is the leading authority on pulp-related movies, having researched and written about them for decades. His PulpFest presentation will touch on many, but concentrate on those adapted from hero pulps, with special emphasis on such serials as The Spider’s Web (1938), The Shadow (1940), and The Spider Returns (1941). He’ll present little-known, behind-the-scenes info gleaned in part from his own interviews with people who worked on these episodic epics, including Victor Jory (who played the serial Shadow) and Iris Meredith (who played Nita in The Spider’s Web). Ed will address the rumor that Columbia Pictures planned a G-8 and His Battle Aces serial for 1939 release, and he’ll also report what little is known about the proposed Republic chapter plays that would have featured Doc Savage and Nick Carter.

This program, leading into the screening of Chapters One through Five of The Spider’s Web, promises to get PulpFest’s 2013 hero-pulp tribute off to a fascinating start.

Kenneth Duncan as Ram Singh reads an issue of The Spider in this publicity photo for the 1938 Columbia Pictures movie serial, The Spider’s Web.

You can listen to Panel Fest Episode 17: PulpFest 2013 Ed Hulse here.

ALTUS INVITES YOU TO KNEEL AT THE ALTAR OF SANGROO

Pulp Publisher Altus Press has released The Collected Tales of Sangroo the Sun-God by J. Irving Crump. This collection is now available in paperback and hardcover or from Mike Chomko Books.

About The Collected Tales of Sangroo the Sun-God:
The Lost Series Returns to Print! Appearing for only two stories in Clatyon Publication’s ultra-rare Jungle Stories and written by J. Irving Crump (writter of the Og series), Sangroo was among the most interesting of the Tarzan clones.

Never before reprinted, these stories have now returned to print after 80 years.

218 pages, approx. 6"x9"

Printed Books:
Order the paperback from Amazon: $14.95
Order the limited edition hardcover: $29.95 (only 100 made)

Also available here.

BLACK COAT PRESS SEEKS RETRIBUTION

Cover Art: Amar Djouad
New Pulp Publisher Black Coat Press has released SHADOWS OF THE OPERA: RETRIBUTION IN BLOOD by Rick Lai.

"We are the Acolytes of the Shadows! We are the dispensers of justice! We are the punishers of the guilty! We are the executioners of the sinful!"

About Shadows of The Opera: Retribution In Blood:
"The Revenant's bounty shall be paid by me personally. The Revenant's killer must present her head to me." Such was the decree of Colonel Bozzo-Corona, all-powerful master of the Black Coats. For years, the female vigilante had used the methods of her late mentor, the mysterious Phantom of the Opera, to foil the schemes of that sinister criminal conspiracy. Now they, in turn, marshal their forces in a vast venture to strike back at their enemy and gain mastery of Europe.

They create their ultimate assassin, a true Lord of Terror. They forge an alliance with the diabolical, green-eyed mandarin who dominates the Asian underworld. And, finally, a new Countess Cagliostro emerges from their midst as a seductive siren who shall control the destinies of all the great men of France.

As the Revenant and her Acolytes of the Shadows combat these threats, an even more dangerous force interferes in the form of an ageless witch from Martinique!

"Rick Lai's most obvious gift lies in his ability not only to envision obscure connections between diverse works of fiction, but to embellish those connections and weave a tapestry that proves enthralling as a literary work able to stand independent of the celebrated originals." -- William Patrick Maynard (author of The Terror of Fu Manchu).

Contents:
Introduction by William Patrick Maynard
Legacy of the Phantom
The Fire Eater
The Heir of Pistolet
The Face of Fu Hsi
A Bullet for the Colonel
Ruination
The Brigand Princess
The Werewolf's Daughter
Dance on My Grave
Afterword
Cast of Characters

US$22.95/GBP 14.99
6x9 tpb, 276 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-61227-188-0

Learn more about Rick Lai’s Shadows of The Opera: Retribution In Blood here.

The Dark Matter Rises

John Mattick is a Professor and research scientist at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research at the University of New South Wales (Australia).

John Mattick publishes lots of papers. Most of them are directed toward proving that almost all of the human genome is functional. I want to remind you of some of the things that John Mattick has said in the past so you'll be prepared to appreciate my next post [The Junk DNA Controversy: John Mattick Defends Design].

Mattick believes that the Central Dogma means DNA makes RNA makes protein. He believes that scientists in the past took this very literally and discounted the importance of RNA. According to Mattick, scientists in the past believed that genes were the only functional part of the genome and that all genes encoded proteins.

If that sounds familiar it's because there are many IDiots who make the same false claim. Like Mattick, they don't understand the Central Dogma of Molecular Biology and they don't understand the history that they are distorting.

Mattick believes that there is a correlation between the amount of noncoding DNA in a genome and the complexity of the organism. He thinks that the noncoding DNA is responsible for making tons of regulatory RNAs and for regulating expression of the genes. This belief led him to publish a famous figure (left) in Scientific American.

Mattick has many followers. So many, in fact, that the Human Genome Organization (HUGO) recently gave him an award for his contributions to the study of the human genome. Here's the citation.
Theme
Genomes
& Junk DNA
The Award Reviewing Committee commented that Professor Mattick’s “work on long non-coding RNA has dramatically changed our concept of 95% of our genome”, and that he has been a “true visionary in his field; he has demonstrated an extraordinary degree of perseverance and ingenuity in gradually proving his hypothesis over the course of 18 years.”
Let's see what this "true visionary" is saying this year. The first paper is "The dark matter rises: the expanding world of regulatory RNAs" (Clark et al., 2013). Here's the abstract ...
The ability to sequence genomes and characterize their products has begun to reveal the central role for regulatory RNAs in biology, especially in complex organisms. It is now evident that the human genome contains not only protein-coding genes, but also tens of thousands of non–protein coding genes that express small and long ncRNAs (non-coding RNAs). Rapid progress in characterizing these ncRNAs has identified a diverse range of subclasses, which vary widely in size, sequence and mechanism-of-action, but share a common functional theme of regulating gene expression. ncRNAs play a crucial role in many cellular pathways, including the differentiation and development of cells and organs and, when mis-regulated, in a number of diseases. Increasing evidence suggests that these RNAs are a major area of evolutionary innovation and play an important role in determining phenotypic diversity in animals.
This is his main theme. Mattick believes that a large percentage of the human genome is devoted to making regulatory RNAs that control development. He believes that the evolution of this complex regulatory network is responsible for the creation of complex organisms like humans, which, incidentally, are the pinnicle of evolution according to the figure shown above.

The second paper I want to highlight focuses on a slightly different theme. It's title is "Understanding the regulatory and transcriptional complexity of the genome through structure." (Mercer and Mattick, 2013). In this paper he emphasizes the role of noncoding DNA in creating a complicated three-dimensional chromatin structure within the nucleus. This structure is important in regulating gene expression in complex organisms. Here's the abstract ...
An expansive functionality and complexity has been ascribed to the majority of the human genome that was unanticipated at the outset of the draft sequence and assembly a decade ago. We are now faced with the challenge of integrating and interpreting this complexity in order to achieve a coherent view of genome biology. We argue that the linear representation of the genome exacerbates this complexity and an understanding of its three-dimensional structure is central to interpreting the regulatory and transcriptional architecture of the genome. Chromatin conformation capture techniques and high-resolution microscopy have afforded an emergent global view of genome structure within the nucleus. Chromosomes fold into complex, territorialized three-dimensional domains in concert with specialized subnuclear bodies that harbor concentrations of transcription and splicing machinery. The signature of these folds is retained within the layered regulatory landscapes annotated by chromatin immunoprecipitation, and we propose that genome contacts are reflected in the organization and expression of interweaved networks of overlapping coding and noncoding transcripts. This pervasive impact of genome structure favors a preeminent role for the nucleoskeleton and RNA in regulating gene expression by organizing these folds and contacts. Accordingly, we propose that the local and global three-dimensional structure of the genome provides a consistent, integrated, and intuitive framework for interpreting and understanding the regulatory and transcriptional complexity of the human genome.
Other posts about John Mattick.

How Not to Do Science
John Mattick on the Importance of Non-coding RNA
John Mattick Wins Chen Award for Distinguished Academic Achievement in Human Genetic and Genomic Research
International team cracks mammalian gene control code
Greg Laden Gets Suckered by John Mattick
How Much Junk in the Human Genome?
Genome Size, Complexity, and the C-Value Paradox


Clark, M.B., Choudhary, A., Smith, M.A., Taft, R.J. and Mattick, J.S. (2013) The dark matter rises: the expanding world of regulatory RNAs. Essays in Biochemistry 54:1-16. [doi:10.1042/bse0540001]

Mercer, T.R. and Mattick, J.S. (2013) Understanding the regulatory and transcriptional complexity of the genome through structure. Genome research 23:1081-1088 [doi: 10.1101/gr.156612.113]

PULP FICTION REVIEWS AND THE SCARLET JAGUAR

Cover Art: Mark Sparacio
New Pulp Author/Publisher Ron Fortier returns with another Pulp Fiction Review. This time out Ron takes a look at The Scarlett Jaguar by New Pulp Author Win Scott Eckert.

THE SCARLET JAGUAR
By Win Scott Eckert
Meteor House
136 pages

Graced by a sensational, totally pulpish cover by Mark Sparacio, this little novella chronicles the second action packed adventure of Doc Savage’s daughter, Pat.  Well, not exactly Doc as created by pulp master Lester Dent, but rather his Wold Newton clone as envisioned by the late sci-fi author, Philip Jose Farmer.

For the uninitiated, Farmer postulated this fantastic idea that all the famous heroes and villains of the 19th and 20th Centuries for related by blood tracing their common ancestry to a dozen English men and women who had become exposed to a strange meteor’s radiation when it crashed by their carriages in a place called Wold Newton.  From that beginning these men and women became the originators of incredible heroes to include Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, the Shadow and the Spider, Captain Nemo, the Avenger, Phineas Fogg and the list goes on and on and on.  Well, you get the idea.

Whereas most of these fictional personages were licensed properties, Farmer could not use them in his fiction.  He solved this problem by giving them different names while clearly describing them so as to be recognized by readers.  Thus Doc Savage in the Wold Newton universe became Doc Wildman; he married and had a daughter named Pat.  Farmer had begun to write a Pat Wildman novel, “The Evil of Pemberley House,” but passed away before completing it.  That task was left to his loyal and talented protégé, Win Scott Eckert.  That book met with both public and critical success.  Now Eckert takes over the reins with this new tale and Pat Wildman couldn’t be in more capable hands.

Looking like a very alluring female version of her famous father, complete with a near perfect physique of a bronze hue and gold-flecked eyes, Pat and her British partner, Peter Parker own and manage Empire State Investigations using her inherited Pemberley Mansion as their headquarters. Soon after a very distraught young woman arrives on their doorstep asking their aid in finding her missing father, a British envoy to a small South American country, they are attacked by a bizarre menace that turns people into red glass and then shatters them.  Soon Pat, Peter and their client are winging their way to upstate New York where she plans on arming herself with some of her father’s powerful weapons before moving on to their final destination, the country known as Xibum.

No sooner do they land in the states then they are set upon by mercenary killers working for a twisted villain known as the Scarlett Jaguar.  Pat soon discovers this fiend has threatened to destroy the Panama Canal with his mysterious ray unless the entire country of Xibum is ceded to him by the British government.  Now their quest to find the missing dignitary becomes a deadly race against time.  Once in Xibum, Pat begins to learn long lost secrets of her renowned sire’s past adventures.  But can she take on his heroic legacy and save the day?

Eckert skillfully whips up a truly fun tale that blends both the sensibilities of classic pulp fare with some wonderful seventies James Bond touches that the savvy reader will recognize instantly.  It’s a heady mash-up that works extremely well.  “The Scarlett Jaguar” is a terrific new pulp actioner you do not want to miss.


Teach the Controversy

I favor a strategy called "Teach the Controversy."1 I think high school teachers should directly address issues that are controversial in society. In science classes they should address and debunk common misconceptions about science.

There doesn't seem to be much of a problem with this idea in Canada but in the United States there is a lot of opposition to the idea. Check out Jerry Coyne's recent post to see what I mean: Once again Larry Moran decries legal battles against creationism.

Let's focus on a specific example. First, we need some background. Many state legislatures in the USA have seriously considered, or passed, so-called Academic Freedom bills. On the surface, these bill look innocuous. They are designed to promote critical thinking in state schools. Part of that process involves challenging and debating controversial science topics. We all know, however, that the real propose is to allow teachers to challenge evolution by teaching alternative "theories" (i.e. creationism).

The state of Louisiana passed the Louisiana Science Education Act in 2008. You can follow the link to a detailed summary of why the legislation is opposed by many scientists and by many scientific and education organizations. So far, attempts to repeal it have failed and no group has been able to mount a successful legal challenge. If this ever gets to court it will soak up thousands of hours of time and effort and it's not clear what the result will be. It would be a disaster if the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued the state and lost.

Why not try a different strategy? Here's the text of the Louisiana Science Education Act
Section 1. R.S. 17:285.1 is hereby enacted to read as follows:

§285.1. Science education; development of critical thinking skills

A. This Section shall be known and may be cited as the "Louisiana Science Education Act."

B.(1) The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, upon request of a city, parish, or other local public school board, shall allow and assist teachers, principals, and other school administrators to create and foster an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that promotes critical thinking skills, logical analysis, and open and objective discussion of scientific theories being studied including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.

(2) Such assistance shall include support and guidance for teachers regarding effective ways to help students understand, analyze, critique, and objectively review scientific theories being studied, including those enumerated in Paragraph (1) of this Subsection.

C. A teacher shall teach the material presented in the standard textbook supplied by the school system and thereafter may use supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories in an objective manner, as permitted by the city, parish, or other local public school board unless otherwise prohibited by the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.

D. This Section shall not be construed to promote any religious doctrine, promote discrimination for or against a particular set of religious beliefs, or promote discrimination for or against religion or nonreligion.

E. The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and each city, parish, or other local public school board shall adopt and promulgate the rules and regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this Section prior to the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year.
Why not find a few high school teachers and support them in an effort to adhere to the law by teaching critical thinking? They could choose a couple of examples of controversial ideas in Louisiana society and address them head-on in their science classes. I suggest two popular ideas that challenge the textbook description of evolution.
  1. The universe was created only 6000 years ago.
  2. Humans were created separately from apes.
The scientific community could support these teachers by preparing "support and guidance for teachers regarding effective ways to help students understand, analyze, critique, and objectively review scientific theories being studied" and by developing lesson planes to cover the material in just a few hours for each topic.

The evidence and lesson plans could be posted online and evolution supporters could publicize the lessons and show how effective it is to teach critical thinking by debunking some popular myths. At first there may be only a few teachers willing to take a stand but hopefully those numbers would grow as more and more teachers realize that they will have solid support from the scientific community.

Even students who aren't in the designated classrooms will become aware of the dangers of teaching the controversy. Maybe state politicians will have second thoughts. They might try and silence the teachers but that would be difficult given that the law specifically encourages teachers to teach the controversy. It would be interesting if they tried to stop the lessons by claiming that those ideas were religious and debunking them was an example of discrimination against religion.

I submit that this might be a far more effective strategy for changing people's minds than fighting another court case.

Please don't argue that those two ideas aren't "science" and should never be discussed in a science classroom. Those ideas are attacks on science and they are certainly part of the controversy about evolution—at least in Louisiana. Moreover, those are exactly the sorts of things that the politicians had in mind when they voted overwhelmingly for this law back in 2008. There's no better way to teach critical thinking than to use specific examples of bad science to show students how to recognize the difference between good science and bad science.

Many people think that teaching the controversy means bringing stupid ideas into the classroom and treating them as if they were respectable alternatives to real science. That's a false assumption. You can just as easily bring stupid ideas into the classroom and teach students why they are stupid ideas. That would be a good thing.


[Image Credit: The images are from Intelligently designed Sarcastic T-shirts. They don't necessarily support my position on this issue but they have cool T-shirts.]

1. I'm perfectly well aware of the fact that Teach the Controversy is a Discovery Institute slogan and ad campaign.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

FIGHT CARD INTRODUCES THE CAN’T MISS CONTENDER

Fight Card Books’ latest, Can’t Miss Contender by Kevin Michaels writing as Jack Tunney is now available as an ebook at Amazon.

Press Release:

AVAILABLE NOW ~ FIGHT CARD: CAN’T MISS CONTENDER

Our latest entry Fight Card: Can’t Miss Contender is now available on Amazon.  Behind our Jack Tunney pseudonym this month is Kevin Michaels.  Fight Card: Can’t Miss Contender is Kevin’s second Fight Card fisticuff.  This puts him in good company with David Foster and Eric Beetner, who have both written two epic punch-ups in the Fight Card series.

While Fight Card: Can’t Miss Contender is not a direct sequel to Kevin’s Fight Card: Hard Road, there is some minor character crossover.

FIGHT CARD: CAN’T MISS CONTENDER

St. Louis, Missouri, 1958

Billy Flood was the kind of boxer who had ‘can’t miss’ written all over him.  He had the tools and talent to make him a middleweight champion.  But a few wrong turns changed everything.  Now, after a hard three year stretch inside the Missouri State Penitentiary, Billy is determined to get back in the ring and punch his way to the top. But, while other fighters his age have risen through the ranks, Billy is back where he started – fighting palookas, catchers, and tomato cans.

With his past on his heels and his future filled with obstacles, Billy finds himself backed into a corner by false friends and an unscrupulous promoter.  He may get his shot at becoming a contender, but will it cost him his future?  Can’t Miss Contender is another hard punching Fight Card tale...

August will see the debut of both Fight Card: Barefoot Bones from Bobby Nash and our first Fight Card Romance from Carol Malone, Fight Card Romance: Ladies Night.  On the horizon are Fight Card: Union Of The Snakes from Anthony Venutolo, Fight Card: Fight River from Tommy Hancock, and Fight Card: Sherlock Holmes from Andrew Salmon.

Learn more about Fight Card Books here.

THE BOOK CAVE PRESENTS: PANEL FEST EPISODE 16- PULPFEST 2013 RICK LAI


The Book Cave’s Art Sippo recorded Rick Lai's Fu Manchu panel at the 2013 PulpFest Convention.

You can listen to Panel Fest Episode 16- PulpFest 2013 Rick Lai here.

About The Pulps After Fu Manchu:
Wu Fang 36-03“Tall, thin with lizard-green eyes, yellow robe and black cap embroidered with coral bead, Fu Manchu was the very picture of warped genius. Such unusual potions as spiders, scorpions and plague-carrying tsetse flies were just part of Fu’s prescription to foreshorten the white race’s actuarial expectations. Master of  super  science and creative  toxicology, he . . . was the Yellow Peril.”

Although it is believed that Kaiser Wilhelm coined the term “Yellow Peril,” it was Sax Rohmer who profited most from the idea, largely through the villainous Dr. Fu Manchu. Little wonder that countless pulp writers, from Walter B. Gibson and Norvell W. Page to Robert E. Howard and George Worts, turned to the devil doctor to find inspiration for their lurid pulp tales.

To begin PulpFest‘s celebration of the 100th anniversary of Sax Rohmer’s infamous creation, Rick Lai looks at “The Pulp Descendents of Fu Manchu,” beginning at 8 PM on Thursday, July 25th in the Fairfield Room located on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency Columbus. Rick will discuss the influence of Sax Rohmer’s devil doctor on the pulps with a look at villains such as Wu Fang, Shiwan Khan, The Blue Scorpion from Peter the Brazen, and Robert E. Howard’s Skullface and Erlik Khan.

Best known for his articles expanding on Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe concepts, recently collected by Altus Press as Rick Lai’s Secret Histories: Daring Adventurers, Rick Lai’s Secret Histories: Criminal Masterminds, Chronology of Shadows: A Timeline of The Shadow’s Exploits and The Revised Complete Chronology of Bronze, Rick lives in New York. His short fiction has been collected in Shadows of the Opera (Wild Cat Books, 2011) and two upcoming Black Coat Press collections to be printed this year–Shadows of the Opera: Retribution in Blood and Sisters of the Shadows: The Cagliostro Curse.

You can listen to Panel Fest Episode 16- PulpFest 2013 Rick Lai here.
Visit The Book Cave here.


Sam Rollinson - Love Magazine - 5th Anniversary Issue

Photography: Solve Sundsbo
Stylist: Katie Grand
Hair: Syd Hayes
Makeup: Lisa Eldridge


Cara Delevingne - Love Magazine - 5th Anniversary Issue

Photography: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott
Stylist: Katie Grand

CAN THE DEAD MAN SURVIVE THE CRUCIBLE OF FIRE?

Best-selling author, Mel Odom chronicles the latest adventure of The Dead Man as Crucible of Fire ebook adventure is released.

About The Dead Man: Crucible of Fire--
Matt Cahill was an ordinary man leading a simple life until a shocking accident changed everything. Now he can see a nightmarish netherworld that exists within our own. Now he's on a dangerous quest for the answers to who he is and what he has become...and engaged in an epic battle to save us, and his soul, from the clutches of pure evil.
Matt Cahill is part of a team of smokejumpers who are dropped into the heart of a raging forest fire that is fueled by a flamethrower wielding madman under the sway of Mr. Dark. Almost every living thing in this hellacious inferno, including Matt's fellow firefighters, are falling prey to Mr. Dark's evil touch and bowing to his furious command: Kill the Dead Man!

The Dead Man series created by Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin.
Learn more about The Dead Man here and here and is available for purchase here.

THE LEGACY CONTINUES…


Vol. 1 still available
New Pulp Publisher, Warren Murphy Media has announced that volume 2 of the Legacy Book Series will be released this week.

From the Legacy Book Series Facebook page:
It's time to start saving those nickels and dimes, Stone and Freya fans, cause the second book in the Legacy series will be available for purchase July 31st.

That's the Amazon paperback version only. eBooks and other channels will follow a few days afterwards!

Here is the inside front cover teaser scene!

A video appeared on the screen, taken from a surveillance camera in a nightclub. Despite the erratic lighting, a woman in a torn dress instantly stood out to Freya as a threat. She knew that the woman was not there to dance — she was there to kill.
Available July 31

“That woman is dangerous,” Freya said. “She’s looking for someone.”

The screen changed back to a close-up of the killer’s face, taken as she turned her head. Though the image was grainy, Freya could see that she was not smiling, as she had originally thought.

She was yawning.

Learn more about The Destroyer and Legacy here and here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

PULP CRIME AND NOIR! 'A WEEK IN HELL' AVAILABLE FOR REVIEWERS FROM PRO SE PRODUCTIONS!

ADVANCE DIGITAL REVIEW COPIES AVAILABLE OF 
'A WEEK IN HELL'  BY J. WALT LAYNE!

Continuing its tradition of action packed two fisted books featuring the best in New Pulp and Genre Fiction, Pro Se Productions announces the first in a Crime/Noir Series from Author J. Walt Layne!  A WEEK IN HELL will hit the hard bitten streets on August 15th and Pro Se wants established reviewers interested in an advance digital copy to get there first!


Welcome to Champion City. A megatropolis it isn’t. But you couldn’t arrive at that conclusion by looking at the police blotter.  Most everyone in the city would tell you that a day in Champion is like… A WEEK IN HELL!



Pro Se Productions introduces the first volume of theChampion City Series of Novels by author J. Walt Layne!  A WEEK IN HELL

It all starts with a girl and a bag of cash. Candi was the kind of gal who could give a guy indigestion. She was poison, with looks to kill, a reluctant moll looking for a way out. Thurman was a young flatfoot, not necessarily the knight in shining armor. He went to shake out a brawl and nearly fed her his gun, was it any wonder he got a date? They spend an evening on the run, but where does it lead? Just when it looks like its over, BOOM! Is it a dead girl, a bag of somebody else’s dough, or both?

Written in the style of slang ridden, bullet riddled classic crime Pulp and mystery fiction, Layne’s A WEEK IN HELL drops the reader square into all the corruption and corrosion of human spirit that is Champion City.  Dames, gats, gumshoes, and brass cupcakes die, shoot, run and glitter from every page.  Edited by David White and David Brzeski, this book features a beautiful cover by Terry Pavlet with design, logo, and print formatting by Sean Ali and Ebook formatting by Russ Anderson.  A WEEK IN HELL by J. Walt Layne courtesy of Pro Se Productions!

If you are an established reviewer of books either through a site or other venue or you have established yourself as a reviewer with a site of your own, contact Morgan Minor, Director of Corporate Operations at MorganMinorProSe@yahoo.com to request a digital copy for review.   Also anyone interested in interviews with the author or other information concerning the book or Pro Se Productions may contact Morgan at the above address as well as going to the Pro Se website- www.prose-press.com

ePulp Sampler e-Unearthed!



 A newly released action packed ePulp anthology unleashes 5 new tales inspired by the pulp magazines of the 1920s - 1940s. They are not for the faint of heart. Things will get intense and stuff on these pages can't be unread.



Get ready to explore strange worlds, visit forgotten pasts, and delve into parallel histories. Prepare to encounter an eclectic mix of heroes walking the line between life and death.

* Duck as Rurik's blade carves demons in the Celtic landscape of dark fantasy.

As a rite of passage young Rurik faced a Demonhound. During his trial the creature's flaming tentacles scarred Rurik leaving a mark coiling up his arm, shoulder and chest. After he triumphed in battle, Rurik carved a bone from the slain creatures body then sharpened it into strange looking sword. Now he patrols the badlands for more monsters and slays them with the very remains of their dead brethren. As the man grew so did his and legend.

* Witness the Dead Reckoner, a battlefield ghost looking for absolution in a weird war tale.

Anaxander Jones enlisted in the British Imperial Army when he was 18. That was in 1876. While assigned to the colonial troops in darkest Africa he found himself embroiled in the Zulu Wars. Armed with superior firepower and roman pride, the British war machine outclassed the savages toting spears and superstitions, but something misfired. Anaxander was infected by a Zulu curse, resurrected as the Dead Reckoner and damned to atone for the sins of empire. Now he’s yanked from battlefield to battlefield throughout history to witness the horrors of war, over and over again.

* Face Nazi occupation of USA with Wild Marjoram in an alternate history.

Wild Marjoram is a blonde haired blue eyed mechanic with a locket that holds the key to her past. This perfect Aryan specimen lives in hiding from the Nazi occupation. If they discovered her, she’s be condemned to the fate of a broodmare. But she's not the type of girl to give up without a fight.

* Race through the Great Depression on an errand of mercy with Pandora Driver, a noir superheroine.

Pandora Driver was the relentless avenger of the common man. She sifts right from wrong in a realm where the villains were the local gentry and the heroes were outlaws. Pandora was a mistress of disguise who used sly audacity and an unstoppable Car-of-Tomorrow to unleash chaos into the halls of wealth and power.

* Fly across the universe with the Skyracos in a retro sci-fi adventure.

Skyracos are winged warriors who struggle to keep their humanity while executing unsavory missions on alien worlds. Though they hail from the planet Centrus, their technology is based in WWII with a hint of alien super-science. They operate on the frontier of the known and unimagined where they are forced to interpret crises and dispense justice on their terms, or so they think.

Whether you're a nostalgian, dieselpunk, pulp fan,  sci-fi and fantasy aficionado, or ebook spelunker, there's something in this collection for you to explore. However, I suggest you sample them all.

They ain't Shakespeare. They’re  pure Pulp!



"ePulp Sampler Vol 1" is currently available on your favorite eBookstores. Download your free copy before it’s too late!


Amazon

Barnes and Noble (*.99)

Drivethrufiction

Google Play

iBookstore

Kobo

Lulu

Omnilit

Smashwords

Archive.org

Feedbooks

Foboko

Free-ebooks.net

Project Gutenberg

Scribd

Monday's Molecule #211

Last week's molecule was the the R stereoisomer of ibuprofen [((R)-2-(4-(2-methylpropyl)phenyl)propanoic acid]. The winner was undergraduate Jacob Toth. [Monday's Molecule #210].

Today's molecule is an easy one. All you have to do is give the common name and a brief explanation of its significance.

Email your answers to me at: Monday's Molecule #211. I'll hold off posting your answers for 24 hours. The first one with the correct answer wins. I will only post the names of people with mostly correct answers to avoid embarrassment. The winner will be treated to a free lunch.

There could be two winners. If the first correct answer isn't from an undergraduate student then I'll select a second winner from those undergraduates who post the correct answer. You will need to identify yourself as an undergraduate in order to win. (Put "undergraduate" at the bottom of your email message.)

Read more »

Sunday, July 28, 2013

RALPH'S RANTS INTERVIEWS WILL MURRAY!

New Pulp author Ralph L. Angelo Jr. interviews Pulp author Will Murray for Ralph’s Rants.
You can read the full interview here.

The 25 Richest People Who Ever Lived

This list is biased toward Americans and Englishmen. I'm sure there are many others who deserve to be in the top 25. There are other problems; for example, property values in the middle ages are probably inflated. Nevertheless, it's an interesting list of men (no women). They are ranked by their estimated net worth in 2012 inflation-adjusted American dollars. You can find out more details at: The 25 Richest People Who Ever Lived – Inflation Adjusted.

There don't appear to be any scientists (or philosophers) on the list. Three of my ancestors are on the list (#6, #15, and #16) but I didn't inherit a penny.
  1. Mansa Musa I of Mali (1280-1337): $400 billion
  2. The Rothschild family: $350 billion
  3. John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937): $340 billion
  4. Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919): $310 billion
  5. Tsar Nicholas II of Russia (1868-1918): $300 billion
  6. Mir Osman Ali Khan (1886-1967): $230 billion
  7. William The Conqueror (1028-1087): $229.5 billion
  8. Muammar Gaddafi (1942-2011): $200 billion
  9. Henry Ford (1863-1947): $199 billion
  10. Cornelius Vanderbilt (1794-1877): $185 billion
  11. Alan Rufus (1040-1093): $178.65 billion
  12. Bill Gates (1955 - ): $136 billion
  13. William de Warenne ( -1088) $147.13 billion
  14. John Jacob Astor (176-1848): $121 billion
  15. Richard FitzAlan (1306-1376): $118.6 billion
  16. John of Gaunt (1340-1399): $110 billion
  17. Stephen Girard (1750-1831): $105 billion
  18. Alexander Turney ("A.T.") Stewart (1803-1876): $90 billion
  19. Henry of Grosmont (Duke of Lancaster) (1310-1361): $85.5 billion
  20. Friedrich Weyerhauser (1834-1914): $80 billion
  21. Jay Gould (1836-1892): $71 billion
  22. Carlos Slim Helu (1940- ): $68 billion
  23. Stephen Van Rensselaer (1764-1839): $68 billion
  24. Marshall Field (1834-1906): $66 billion
  25. Samuel ("Sam") Moore Walton (1918-1992): $65 billion
  26. Warren Buffett (1930 - ): $64 billion

My Connection to Geoffrey Chaucer and Medieval Science

One of my ancestors is Katherine de Roet (1349-1403) better known as Katherine Swynford since she married Hugh Swynford. Katherine was the mistress (later wife) of John of Gaunt (1340-1399) and they had several children. I descend from one of them, John Beaufort (1373-1410).1

Katherine's father was Paon de Roet better known as Sir Gilles. He comes from Hainault in Belgium and he served Philippa of Hainault who became the wife of King Edward III of England.

Katherine's sister, also called Philippa (1346-1387) [Philippa Roet] was a prominent member of Queen Philippa's court in England. At first, she was a child companion of the children of Elizabeth of Ulster and the Queen but later on she was a lady-in-waiting. Geoffrey Chaucer became a page in the household of Elizabeth of Ulster in 1357 when he was 14 and Phillipa was 11.

Queen Philippa encouraged them to marry in September 1366. Chaucer and Philippa Roet had two sons and two daughters. The youngest son, Lewis, was born in 1381 and attended Oxford beginning in 1391. Chaucer noticed that his son was interested in science and he wrote A Treatise on the Astrolabe to explain the workings of an astrolabe that he gave him when he was about 10 years old.

A Treatise on the Astrolabe
Geoffrey Chaucer

Lyte Lowys my sone, I aperceyve wel by certeyne evydences thyn abilite to lerne sciences touching nombres and proporciouns; and as wel considre I thy besy praier in special to lerne the tretys of the Astrelabie. Than for as moche as a philosofre saith, "he wrappith him in his frend, that condescendith to the rightfulle praiers of his frend," therfore have I yeven the a suffisant Astrolabie as for oure orizonte, compowned after the latitude of Oxenforde; upon which, by mediacioun of this litel tretys, I purpose to teche the a certein nombre of conclusions aperteynyng to the same instrument.

[Little Lewis my son, I perceive well by certain evidences thine ability to learn sciences touching numbers and proportions; and as well consider I thy constant prayer in special to learn the treatise of the Astrolabe. Than for as much as a philosopher saith, "He wrappth him in his friend, that condescendth to the rightful prayers of his friend", therefore have I given thee a suffisant Astrolabe as for our horizons, compounded after the latitude of Oxford; upon which, by means of this little treatise, I purpose to teach thee a certain number of conclusions pertaining to the same instrument.


[Image credits: Wikipedia: Geoffrey Chaucer, Wikipedia: Chaucer Astrolobe]

1. Almost everyone who has European ancestors will eventually connect to European nobility so there are millions of people who descend from John of Gaunt [see Are You a Descendant of Charlemagne?]. If you know the names of all sixteen of your great-great-grandparents and their dates and places of birth, then chances are high that you can make the connection with only a little effort.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

GARYN G. ROBERTS AWARDED 2013 MUNSEY AWARD AT PULPFEST


All Pulp congratulates Garyn G. Roberts on winning the 2013 Munsey Award, presented at the 2013 PulpFest convention.

Press Release:

Garyn G. Roberts has been named the winner of the 2013 Munsey Award. Nominated by the general pulp community, Garyn was selected through a vote by all the living Lamont, Munsey, and Rusty Award winners. The award is a fine art print by Dan Zimmer of a painting by David Saunders and is presented annually to a person who has worked for the betterment of the pulp community.

Garyn has worked in the field of higher education for many years, teaching English and popular culture studies. He is also an unabashed fan of the pulps. Garyn has written extensively about the pulps, both professionally and as a fan. He has edited or co-edited some of the best collections from the pulps including A Cent a Story: The Best from Ten Detective Aces, More Tales of the Defective Detective in the Pulps, The Compleat Adventures of the Moon Man, The Magical Mysteries of Don Diavolo, and The Compleat Great Merlini Saga. His insightful essays in these books and elsewhere have led to a greater understanding of the pulps both inside and outside of the pulp community. His collection, The Prentice Hall Anthology of Science Fiction and Fantasy, a college level textbook, is notable for the attention paid to the pulp magazines. Additionally, Garyn has helped other researchers with various pulp-related projects and is a regular attendee of pulp conventions where he often serves as a presenter and panelist. Last year's Munsey Award winner, Matt Moring, publisher of Altus Press, recently said about Garyn: "He's been nothing but helpful and outgoing with anything I've ever asked of him." That pretty much describes how Professor Roberts reacts to all the requests made of him by the pulp community.

Other nominees for this year's award included Charles Ardai, J. Randolph Cox, Stephen T. Miller, Laurie Powers, J. Barry Traylor, George Vanderburgh, Dan Zimmer, William G. Contento, Chris Kalb, Phil Stephensen-Payne, Celina Summers, and Howard Wright. John DeWalt also received votes.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2014 Munsey and/or Rusty Awards. If you have someone in mind that you feel worthy of either award, please send the person’s name and a brief paragraph describing why you feel that person should be honored to Mike Chomko, 2217 W. Fairview Street, Allentown, PA 18104-6542 or to mike@pulpfest.com. Previous winners of the Lamont, Munsey, or Rusty Award are not eligible for the award. The deadline for nominations is May 31, 2014. Please visit the Awards page of the PulpFest website for additional details. Thanks for your help.

Friday, July 26, 2013

PRO SE PRESENTS: THE PODCAST EPISODE THREE-PRO SE'S ROOTS IN AUDIO!


This week on PRO SE PRESENTS: THE PODCAST, the beginning of Pro Se as both a company and then as the first in the New Pulp Field to produce Audiobooks is front and center!  First, Tommy explains how Pro Se ventured briefly into a different field before becoming a leading Publisher of Genre Fiction and shares the first and only episode of a Pro Se Productions full cast audio drama, THE VARIED ADVENTURES OF PECULIAR ODDFELLOW! Then a story from one of Pro Se's original line of magazines, MASKED GUN MYSTERY #1, is featured. The debut story of Aloha McCoy by Ken Janssens as performed by H. Keith Lyons rounds out this week's episode and peek into Pro Se's Past on PRO SE PRESENTS: THE PODCAST!

On Beating Dead Horses

I've mentioned this before but it bears repeating. One of my Ph.D. students (Sharon Shtang) wrote her thesis on sequence comparisons and phylogenetic trees. She found a quotation from Emil Zuckerkandl and Linus Pauling in their 1965 review. They were commenting on using amino acid sequences to prove evolution. This seemed at the time to be an example of overkill since evolution was then, and is now, a fact. They said ...
Some beating of dead horses may be ethical, where here and there they display unexpected twitches that look like life.
I was reminded of this while reading Salvador Corova's latest post on Uncommon Descent because he refers to beating dead horses [If not Rupe and Sanford’s presentation (8/6/13), would you believe Wiki? In this case, yes]. I'm not going to make any comments. Read it and weep for the IDiots.
Theme

Mutation
Evolutionists reluctantly admit most evolution is free of selection and therefore non-Darwinian (neutral evolution). When pressed, they’ll say neutral drift is real, but they don’t like it when the dots are connected in a way that demonstrates neutral evolution refutes Darwinism, that there is a contradiction between Dawkins’ vision and neutral evolution! The way Darwinists deal with this violation of the law of non-contradiction is to pretend no contradiction exists. They’ll obfuscate and fog the issue with myriad technical terms and irrelevancies so that the illusion of non-contradiction is protected from public view. Confusion and the illusion of some higher knowledge are their friends, clarity and education of the public are their enemies.

If Dawkins had been faithful to the facts, he wouldn’t have even written The Blind Watchmaker because population genetics precludes his vision of evolution from being reality in anything but his silly Weasel simulations.

There is a simple formula from Wiki that says the rate of new mutations is the rate at which new mutations become features of every member of the population (a process called fixation).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fixation_(population_genetics)


The population size is N and the Greek symbol μ (mu) is the mutation rate.

It stands to reason a slightly deleterious mutation is almost neutral, hence, approximately speaking the rate that slightly deleterious mutations become part of every member of the population is on the same order of the slightly deleterious mutation rate. That means if every human is getting 100 dysfunctional mutation per generation, about 100 dysfunctional mutations are getting irreversibly infused into humans every generation (a ratchet so to speak).

But as bad as that is, it’s actually worse in reality. Remember broken bacterial parts in anti-biotic resistance, or blindness in cave fish, or sickle cell anemia? Those are “beneficial” (in the Darwinian sense) mutations, but destructive in the functional sense. So it is actually generous the creationists are modeling the dysfunctional mutations as slightly deleterious (whereas a fair argument might actually model some of the dysfunctional mutations as “beneficial”). So the creationists are cutting Darwinists a lot of slack, and yet, even then the dysfunctional mutations will get fixed (become members of all individuals) in a population! Not to mention, lots of bad may get purged from a population only to get replaced with new generations of bad....

But obvious math is something Darwinism hates dealing with! The above equation should be painful evidence against evolution being some process of increasing complexity from a primordial virus to incredible minds like Newton or Einstein. Darwinist won’t come to terms with it, they won’t come to terms with even a computer simulation based on population genetic models. Oh well! But anyway, Christopher Rupe and John Sanford will be presenting the results of a computer simulation that illustrates the above equation. It’s sort of like beating a dead horse or beating living puppies. It’s not very sporting, but Darwinists keep propping up that dead horse for creationists to keep beating.


Zuckerkandl, E. and Pauling, L. (1965) in EVOLVING GENES AND PROTEINS, V. Bryson and H.J. Vogel eds. Academic Press, New York NY USA