Saturday, August 31, 2013


Pro Se Productions, a leader in New Pulp and Genre Fiction, announces digital advanced reader copies of an upcoming title are now available for Reviewers!

Pro Se Productions gladly commits THE FIRST SYNN: THE BLOODSTONE CONFIDENTIAL, the first of a new series of supernatural pulp thrillers by noted award winning author Teel James Glenn.  Complete with chills and thrills harkening back to the classic Pulps, THE FIRST SYNN introduces the first sibling duo in Pulp history, ready to take on whatever horror flies their way! From Teel James Glenn and Pro Se Productions- THE FIRST SYNN: THE BLOODSTONE CONFIDENTIAL!

About the Book:

The Bloody Curse of the Vampire!

Years ago Gideon Synn tried to save Faith Bloodstone from a deadly family curse in upstate New York. He failed and Faith died at the hands of a mysterious blood drinking fiend.  Synn ran from his failure and became a world traveler, joining the French Foreign Legion and eventually becoming a mercenary in China.

Now, years later he has opened a security firm with his sister Kathy. Charity Bloodstone, Faith’s younger sister, comes to him for help against the same curse—the supposed vampire ghost of her ancestor, Justice Bloodstone! According to legend, Charity has only one week to live!

Several people have been killed by what appears to be the undead Justice in ways that suggest a supernatural cause. The Synn siblings are drawn into a whirlwind of terror and evil as the mystery of the vampire murders comes closer and closer to fulfilling the curse.

Has Gideon found love with Charity only to lose her to dark forces? Who are the armed thugs that have attacked the siblings? Can Kathy Synn keep her brother out of trouble long enough to solve the mystery of the Bloodstone Confidential?

Reviewers established with websites, print media, or other formats may request a review copy of this volume. Also, reviewers who consistently post reviews on their own personal sites may also request a copy.  To get your review copy of THE FIRST SYNN: THE BLOODSTONE CONFIDENTIAL, email Pro Se's Director of Corporate Operations Morgan Minor at  

For more information on Pro Se Productions, go to

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Richard Lenski's Classic Papers: Luria and Delbrück, 1943

Richard Lenski has joined a number of other biologists and blogged about classic "must-read" papers. His first example is Luria and Delbrück (1943)—the Fluctuation Test. It's an excellent description and there's a personal touch.

John Dennehy [The Fluctuation Test and Jonathan Eisen [Luria and Delbrück] also picked the same paper. That means it must really be a "must-read"! (I agree.)

Given that the early history of molecular biology is no longer being taught, I imagine that there are quite a few of you who have never heard of Max Delbrück (1906-1981) or Salvador Luria (1912-1991) in spite of the fact they are Nobel prize winners. Here's some of my posts on them ....

The Velvet Underground of Molecular Biology
Nobel Laureates Max Delbrück, Alfred D. Hershey, Salvador E. Luria

Core Misconcept: Epigenetics

Sarah C.P. Williams is a science writer. She published an article in PNAS last February: Epigenetics. Here's the opening paragraphs ...
Despite the fact that every cell in a human body contains the same genetic material, not every cell looks or behaves the same. Long nerve cells stretch out the entire length of an arm or a leg; cells in the retina of the eye can sense light; immune cells patrol the body for invaders to destroy. How does each cell retain its unique properties when, in its DNA-containing nucleus, it has the same master set of genes as every other cell? The answer is in the epigenetic regulation of the genes: the control system that dictates which of many genes a cell uses and which it ignores. The same mechanism could also explain why identical twins—who have identical genes—can develop different diseases, traits, or personalities.

Epigenetic regulation consists of chemical flags, or markers, on genes that are copied along with the genes when the DNA is replicated. Without altering the sequence of DNA’s molecular building blocks, epigenetic changes can alter the way a cell interacts with DNA. These changes can block a cell’s access to a gene, turning it off for good.
Statements like that make me cringe. No only is she ignoring decades of work on the real explanation of differential gene expression, she is also proposing an explanation that can't possibly live up to the claim she is making.

PNAS should be embarrassed.

Fortunately, I'm not the only one who was upset. Mark Ptashne had the same reaction as several hundred other scientists but he took the time to write up his objections and get them published in the April issue of PNAS [Epigenetics: Core Misconcept]. I'll quote his opening paragraph and then let you follow the link and get educated about real science.
Indeed understanding this problem has been an overarching goal of research in molecular, developmental, and, increasingly, evolutionary biology. And over the past 50 years a compelling answer has emerged from studies in a wide array of organisms. Curiously, the article ignores this body of knowledge, and substitutes for it misguided musings presented as facts.
There was a time when every molecular biology student knew how gene expression was controlled. They knew about the pioneering work in bacteria and 'phage and the exquisite details that were worked out in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. That information has been lost in recent generations. Our current crop of graduate students couldn't tell you how gene expression is controlled in bacteriophage λ.

If you are one of those students then I urge you to read Ptashne's book A Genetic Switch before it goes out of print. If the current trends continue, that information is soon going to pass out of the collective memory of molecular biologists just as it has been forgotten (or never learned) by science writers.

Julia Stegner - Vogue Italia - September 2013

Photography: Steven Meisel
Stylist: Marie-Amélie Sauvé
Hair: Guido
Makeup: Pat McGrath

What Happens When a Creationist Argument Is Refuted?

A few days ago, Jonathan McLatchie published an article on evolution News & Views (sic) where he claimed that humans embryos synthesize the enzyme that makes vitamin C [A Simple Proposed Model For Function of the Human Vitamin C GULO Pseudogene]. This is important for creationists because the gene for that enzyme is a classic pseudogene—a formerly active gene that has lost it's function.

Intelligent Design Creationists don't like pseudogenes because they are junk and their intelligent designer would not fill up the human genome with junk. Hence, pseudogenes must have some function that has yet to be discovered.

Read more »

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


You can now Free Sample Strips of each of our All New Comic Strips Series - written and drawn by well known artists/writers.  Strips include THE WAR CHIEF™, CARSON OF VENUS™, TARZAN™, ETERNAL SAVAGE™ and CAVE GIRL™ all for FREE! Check 'em out HERE and see what you're missing if you're not yet a subscriber!

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An Example of a Very Bad Press Release

Cornelius Hunter is gloating over another study that disputes the notion of junk DNA [More Functions For “Junk” DNA, and More Functions For “Junk” DNA]. His article sounded interesting so I followed the link to the press release.

There was something about the press release that sounded suspicious and that prompted me to seek out the original published paper. Here it is with the abstract ...
Wong, J.J.-L., Ritchie, W., Ebner, O.A., Selbach, M., Wong, J.W., Huang, Y., Gao, D., Pinello, N., Gonzalez, M. and Baidya, K. (2013) Orchestrated Intron Retention Regulates Normal Granulocyte Differentiation. Cell 154:583-595. [PDF] [doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.06.052]

Intron retention (IR) is widely recognized as a consequence of mis-splicing that leads to failed excision of intronic sequences from pre-messenger RNAs. Our bioinformatic analyses of transcriptomic and proteomic data of normal white blood cell differentiation reveal IR as a physiological mechanism of gene expression control. IR regulates the expression of 86 functionally related genes, including those that determine the nuclear shape that is unique to granulocytes. Retention of introns in specific genes is associated with downregulation of splicing factors and higher GC content. IR, conserved between human and mouse, led to reduced mRNA and protein levels by triggering the nonsense-mediated decay (NMD) pathway. In contrast to the prevalent view that NMD is limited to mRNAs encoding aberrant proteins, our data establish that IR coupled with NMD is a conserved mechanism in normal granulopoiesis. Physiological IR may provide an energetically favorable level of dynamic gene expression control prior to sustained gene translation.
The authors found 86 genes expressed in mouse granulocytes where there were at least some transcripts that retained an intron. This could be due to mistakes in splicing but the authors prefer to think that intron retention is part of a regulatory step. The transcripts that retain an intron are degraded and this reduces the level of protein that would have been made if a properly spliced transcript had produced a functional mRNA.

It's an example of down-regulation, according to the authors. In most cases the intron-retaining transcripts make up only a few percent of the total transcripts but this is presumably enough to make a difference. In 25 of the genes, the aberrant transcripts are more that 25% of the total cytoplasmic transcripts.

There's nothing in the paper that mentions junk DNA.

Contrast this with the press release from Centenary Institute, Sydney Australia. I reproduce it below ...
How 'Junk DNA' Can Control Cell Development

Aug. 2, 2013 — Researchers from the Gene and Stem Cell Therapy Program at Sydney's Centenary Institute have confirmed that, far from being "junk," the 97 per cent of human DNA that does not encode instructions for making proteins can play a significant role in controlling cell development.

And in doing so, the researchers have unravelled a previously unknown mechanism for regulating the activity of genes, increasing our understanding of the way cells develop and opening the way to new possibilities for therapy.

Using the latest gene sequencing techniques and sophisticated computer analysis, a research group led by Professor John Rasko AO and including Centenary's Head of Bioinformatics, Dr William Ritchie, has shown how particular white blood cells use non-coding DNA to regulate the activity of a group of genes that determines their shape and function. The work is published today in the scientific journal Cell.

"This discovery, involving what was previously referred to as "junk," opens up a new level of gene expression control that could also play a role in the development of many other tissue types," Rasko says. "Our observations were quite surprising and they open entirely new avenues for potential treatments in diverse diseases including cancers and leukemias."

The researchers reached their conclusions through studying introns -- non-coding sequences which are located inside genes.

As part of the normal process of generating proteins from DNA, the code for constructing a particular protein is printed off as a strip of genetic material known as messenger RNA (mRNA). It is this strip of mRNA which carries the instructions for making the protein from the gene in the nucleus to the protein factories or ribosomes in the body of the cell.

But these mRNA strips need to be processed before they can be used as protein blueprints. Typically, any non-coding introns must be cut out to produce the final sequence for a functional protein. Many of the introns also include a short sequence -- known as the stop codon -- which, if left in, stops protein construction altogether. Retention of the intron can also stimulate a cellular mechanism which breaks up the mRNA containing it.

Dr Ritchie was able to develop a computer program to sort out mRNA strips retaining introns from those which did not. Using this technique the lead molecular biologist of the team, Dr Justin Wong, found that mRNA strips from many dozens of genes involved in white blood cell function were prone to intron retention and consequent break down. This was related to the levels of the enzymes needed to chop out the intron. Unless the intron is excised, functional protein products are never produced from these genes. Dr Jeff Holst in the team went a step further to show how this mechanism works in living bone marrow.

So the researchers propose intron retention as an efficient means of controlling the activity of many genes. "In fact, it takes less energy to break up strips of mRNA, than to control gene activity in other ways," says Rasko. "This may well be a previously-overlooked general mechanism for gene regulation with implications for disease causation and possible therapies in the future."
The published paper has nothing to do with junk DNA. Even if intron retention were a common mechanism of gene regulation (it is not), that would only account for about 100 base pairs per gene of additional sequence-dependant information. That's less than 0.1% of the genome.

This is a bad press release because it highlights information that is not in the published paper. The authors bear responsibility for press releases from their own institute that distort their published work. While they may not have written the press release, they presumably are quoted correctly and they should be aware of what's in the press release.

I wonder if they are willing to defend this press release as an accurate representation of their published work?

Sam Rollinson - Vogue Italia - September 2013

Photography: Craig McDean
Styled: Karl Templer

Fei Fei Sun - Americana Manhasset - Fall 2013

Photography: Rocco Laspata and Charles DeCaro
Hair: Bob Recine
Makeup: Polly Osmond

Tuesday, August 27, 2013



This week Host Tommy Hancock welcomes Publisher and Author Milton Davis, the man behind MVMedia.  Leading the charge for Sword and Soul as well as Steamfunk, Davis is the vanguard for African American Genre and Pulp Fiction.  Listen in as he talks about how he became a writer, why MVMedia exists, the myriad worlds that he and others have woven, future plans, and gives his own insights into the state of Black Speculative Fiction!  Hang on to your hats as Milton Davis Gets PULPED!


The Shadow Fan podcast returns for his 46th episode! This week Barry Reese takes a look at a classic novel ("The Crystal Buddha" from January 1, 1938) and the newest issue of The Shadow/Green Hornet: Dark Nights! It's an action-packed episode, made all the more so by the announcement of just who will be appearing on our landmark 50th episode in a few weeks! That's right - at the end of the episode, you'll find out if your guesses have been correct.

If you love pulp's greatest crimefighter, this is the podcast for you!

Listen to The Shadow Fan Podcast Episode 46 now at


Starting September 1, AudioComics will begin taking pre-orders for the audio drama adaptation of Moonstone Entertainment's "Battle for LA," starring the Phantom Detective, the Black Bat, the Domino Lady, Secret Agent X, and Airboy.

"Battle" will be released as a digital download October 1, available exclusively through the AudioComics website at!

Between September 1 and October 1, you can preorder the "Battle" MP3 for $6.45 ($1.50 off the retail
price of $7.95).

Plus you will receive a FREE episode from AudioComics' "Horrorscopes" series!

Learn more about Battle for LA here and here.

Monday, August 26, 2013


audio cover

New Pulp Publisher, Fight Card Books has released their first audio tale with Fight Card: Tomato Can Comeback. Now available at



The first Fight Card novel to be made available on unabridged audio via is Tomato Can Comeback with Henry Brown writing as Jack Tunney and narrated by John Podulka.

Tom Garrick had a heart of gold, a jaw of iron, and heavy artillery in both fists. This orphan from the Windy City returned from the Korean War, determined to battle his way up the welterweight ranks, inspiring
speculation about a title bid. Then he slugged it out with a top contender, who humiliated him over eleven rounds, cutting short his victory march.

ebook cover
Popular opinion was that he had been exposed as a lucky pretender. The newspapers dubbed him ‘Tomato Can’ after watching the blood splatter around the ring like tomato juice from a tin can being battered by a
tire iron.

Now, for some mysterious reason, ‘Tomato Can’ Garrick is lacing up his gloves again, hoping for a shot at redemption. He has no promoter, no manager, and not even a sparring partner. The only one in his corner is a buddy from the war, who has never been inside a boxing ring before.

There’s a punch-drunk pantheon of bums, brawlers, and cutthroat contenders just waiting to pound him into Palookaville…a lonely war widow with her claws in his heart…and a regimen of dubious training methods which may do more harm than good to his chances at success. But Garrick isn’t going to go down in history as “the Tomato Can” – at least, not without a fight.

The Fight Card: Tomato Can Comeback audio is 2 hours and 45 minutes in length.

For more information on The Fight Card: Tomato Can Comeback audio, click here.
For more information on The Fight Card: Tomato Can Comeback ebook, click here.


Illustrator, Nik Poliwko shared a new rough sketch for an upcoming illustration for the upcoming The Ruby Files Vol. 2, a companion to the illustration at left.

The award-winning The Ruby Files returns for a second volume of pulpy detective yarns in 2013 from Airship 27 Productions. The Ruby Files Vol. 2 features stories by Ruby Files creators Sean Taylor and Bobby Nash and authors Alan J. Porter and Ron Fortier. Interior illustrations provided by Nik Poliwko under a cover by Mark Wheatley. Rob Davis returns as book designer.

Keep watching for more The Ruby Files vol. 2 news as soon as it becomes available.


Bobby on the Talk of The Town couch
New Pulp Author Bobby Nash was interviewed on Talk of The Town, a local interview show filmed in his community. Over the course of the twelve and a half minute interview, the show's host, Karen Allen talked with Bobby about writing, pulp, Evil Ways, Lance Star: Sky Ranger, The Ruby Files, and his latest release, Fight Card: Barefoot Bones.

The video has now been posted to the internet. You can watch it above or here. Bobby is the second interview, following author Creston Mapes, starting around the 12 minute mark.

Host Karen Allen with Bobby Nash's novel, Evil Ways

Sasha Luss - Vogue Japan - October 2013

Photography: Luigi & Daniele + Iango
Stylist: George Cortina
Hair: Luigi Murenu
Makeup: Francelle


New Pulp Publisher Airship 27 Productions has released New Pulp Author B.C. Bell's The Bagman vs. The World's Fair.


Airship 27 Productions is delighted to announce the release of its latest pulp title, THE BAGMAN vs THE WORLD’S FAIR by B.C. Bell.

It is the summer of 1933 and the Windy City is hosting the fabulous World’s Fair. The famous Navy Pier along the shores of Lake Michigan is invaded by thousands of tourists from around the nation and the world; all there to marvel at the newest scientific advancements on display.

But within this glittering pleasure park of wonder lurks a devilish fiend set upon causing mass destruction and ruining the Fair; a scientist turned mad employing a bizarre sonic cannon to commit murder and chaos amongst the innocent throngs.  Now it will be up to the unlikeliest hero of them all, the odd, notorious Bagman, to save the day.

Writer B.C. Bell sends his one time petty crook, Frank “Mac” McCullough back into action in this, the Bagman’s first full length adventure.  Along with his loyal buddy, the ace mechanic, Crankshaft, Chicago’s most unusual mystery man must find the lunatic inventor and put an end to his heinous attacks before more people will die.

“The first time I read a Chris Bell Bagman story, I actually chuckled aloud,” says Airship 27 Productions Managing Editor Ron Fortier.  “Bell’s ability to combine both fast paced, pure pulp action with slapstick humor is sheer genius. The Bagman is one of the most original of the new pulp heroes we have today.  His fans will not be disappointed with this new, longer adventure.”
The book features nine interiors illustrations by Andy Fish and sports a truly colorful painting by Laura Givens with book designs by Rob Davis.  As an added bonus, the story also features a very special cameo by Canadian writer Calvin Daniels’ own new pulp hero, the Black Wolf.

So slap another clip in your .45, straighten your tie and put that bag over your head, pulp fans; here comes the Bagman, delivering justice in his own peculiar way. 

AIRSHIP 27 PRODUCTIONS – Pulp Fiction for a New Generation!

Available now from Amazon in paperback.

Learn more about B.C. Bell's The Bagman here.

Iris Strubegger - Bergdorf Goodman - Fall 2013

Creative Director: Aidan Kemp
Photography: Benjamin Lennox
Stylist: Emma Sanchez
Hair: Romina Manenti
Makeup: Rie Omoto

Eliza Cummings - Coach - Pre-Fall 2013 Ad Campaign

Photography: Glen Luchford
Stylist: Marie Chaix
Hair: Shay Ashual
Makeup: Lisa Butler

Sunday, August 25, 2013


New Pulp Publisher Airship 27 Productions has a way for loyal airmen to show their pulp support with the new Airship 27 patches.


For the first time ever, we offered all our Loyal Airmen a premium quality Airship 27 Crew Patch.  These we debut at the Windy City Pulp & Paper Con to a truly wonderful response.  Then we took them to PulpFest with the same results, our readers truly enjoyed them and remarked at the quality of the item.

Now, with the cons behind us, we are offering them to all you Loyal Airmen via mail.  Each quality 4" x 4" crew patch is only $3 plus a small shipping and handling fee.  They look great on shirts, jacket shoulders or even baseball caps.

If you would like to join the ever growing ranks of Airship 27 Productions' Loyal Airmen by sporting one of these super cook patches, simply write Rob Davis at ( for further information.  


Captain Ron


Final production has wrapped on the first Legacy audio book based on the Legacy Book Series by Warren Murphy and Gerald Welch. Advanced Acoustic Solutions pulled out all the stops to bring Forgotten Son to life.

Legacy: Forgotten Son audio will be available on,, and iTunes any day now.


The New Issue of Murania PressBLOOD ‘N’ THUNDER issue #38 will be available Labor Day Weekend. A few highlights from the upcoming issue:

This issue’s outstanding feature is a lengthy excerpt from Nathan Madison’s recently published book, Anti-Foreign Imagery in American Pulps and Comic Books, 1920-1960. In this richly detailed, extensively illustrated piece Nathan explores “Yellow Peril” fiction from the pulps. His exhaustive study complements Bill Maynard’s celebration of Fu Manchu’s centennial from our last issue.

Another book published earlier this year, Will Murray’s Skull Island, pitted Doc Savage against King Kong and aroused much interest not only among the Bronze Man’s fans in general but devotees of Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Universe in particular. BnT contributor and Wold Newton adherent Rick Lai examines Skull Island and catalogs its deviations from the Universe in an unusually absorbing work of scholarship. In a separate piece Will responds to critics of his approach. Let it never be said that BnT refuses to present both sides of a story!

Will’s second contribution to BnT #38 is an 80th Anniversary hat-tip to the long-running hero pulp G-8 and His Battle Aces, adventures from which are now being offered in audiobook form by Radio Archives. He covers a hitherto overlooked attempt by Popular Publications editors to gauge reader interest in a proposed shift of emphasis for the magazine.

This summer marked another important anniversary in American pop culture: Superman debuted 75 years ago in the first issue of Action Comics. Mike Bifulco, author of The Original Superman on Television (a definitive guide now in its third edition), weighs in on the recent theatrical release Man of Steel and reflects on the enduring popularity of the TV series starring George Reeves.

This time around our “Tricks of the Trade” department boasts a particularly comprehensive installment by long-time pulp editor and science-fiction specialist Robert A. W. “Doc” Lowndes. Originally written for a 1949 writers’ magazine, this 6400-word treatise is perhaps the most informative piece of its type we’ve published to date. It provides the clearest look yet at how pulp editors appraised the manuscripts they received by the thousands every year.

BnT #38 also reprints two fascinating short stories culled from vintage pulp magazines. James B. Connelly’s “The Last Passenger,” from an early 1913 issue of The Popular Magazine, may well have been the first work of mass-market fiction inspired by the Titanic tragedy. “The Tenth Man,” from a 1922 issue of Adventure, is a taut tale of African intrigue by the unjustly forgotten Robert Simpson.

Learn more about Blood ‘n’ Thunder #38, along with ordering information, here.
Learn more about Blood 'N' Thunder here.


Mike Chomko has announced that copies of the latest issue of THE PULPSTER, the program book for the 2013 PulpFest convention, are now available from Mike Chomko Books. The 22nd issue of the award-winning program book, its biggest number yet, is the work of William Lampkin, administrator of the popular ThePulp.Net. Although Bill has designed THE PULPSTER since 2008, this is his first year as editor of the fanzine.

You'll find more details on the new issue of the long-running fanzine by visiting this link as well as instructions on how to order your copy.