Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Roundup

A new Duranalysis is imminent. It might come this weekend, even! Thank you to everyone who responded to my call for topic suggestions; you’ve given me an abundance to choose from. Next up is going to be the video for “Violence of Summer”, just because I figured it was time Duranalysis acknowledged the existence of the Liberty album. Here’s John looking all doe-eyed and intense paired with Simon’s all-time most sublimely ludicrous lyric. I appreciate the sentiment, Simon, but let’s make sure we’re all on the same page and just call it a one-night stand, okay?

Book news! Wrong City, which has heretofore only been available in paperback and as a Kindle-formatted ebook from Amazon, is now also available in multiple other ebook formats from various non-Amazon retailers. Get it wherever you prefer to purchase your ebooks; if you can’t find it, lemme know and I’ll look into it. Psst: I’m not sure how long this will last, but for the moment, at least, in a lot of places it’s free. Here’s the Smashwords link where you can get it in a slew of formats—.epub, .mobi, .pdf—for free.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: "The It's All Greek To Me Affair"

Illya arrives at the Parthenon, ready to hand over a briefcase containing some top-secret files to a fellow U.N.C.L.E. agent. First, though, he places an emergency call to Napoleon: He’s forgotten the secret code phrase he must recite to his contact to validate his identity. Oh, Illya. We’re maybe thirty seconds into this episode, and you’ve already screwed up your assignment. Even by your increasingly lax standards, that’s pretty bad. Napoleon takes a break from his very important task (i.e. putting the moves on a foxy lady in a ritzy hotel room somewhere in Athens) to look up the correct code phrase.

Illya meets his contact and, following an exchange of the appropriate code words, gives the briefcase to her. They’re immediately ambushed by an escaped convict named Manolakas (George Keymas), who knocks out (or possibly kills) the female agent, sprays Illya in the face with some kind of incapacitating gas, and absconds with the briefcase.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Roundup

No new Duranalysis this week, though I’m getting closer to honing in on a subject. Next week, maybe? Dunno. Until then, I give you Simon looking soulful and vaguely disapproving of all my procrastination.

Book news: Bias Cut (ABNA semi-finalist, IPPY silver medal winner) is free today and tomorrow at Amazon. Download your Kindle copy now. Come for the “(s)nappy dialogue and accomplished descriptions” (to quote the kind Publishers Weekly review I received during ABNA judging), stay for the thinly-veiled Duran Duran references. As always, you can look at my complete book list here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: “The Giuoco Piano Affair”

High up in the Andes, a nameless young U.N.C.L.E. agent hides in an alcove and relays a message to headquarters. He’s been spying on power-mad villainess Gervaise Ravel (the fabulous Anne Francis) and her wealthy-but-useless consort Harold Bufferton (John Van Dreelen). While the agent makes his report, Gervaise and Bufferton zip up in a helicopter and fire a rocket launcher at the hillside, burying him in an avalanche.

Back at U.N.C.L.E. headquarters, Mr. Waverly plays a recording of the agent’s final moments for Napoleon. Gervaise’s yacht hasn’t been spotted on open water near the scene of the attack, which indicates she and Bufferton are hiding nearby. Napoleon has a splendid plan for drawing his old foes out into the open: “If I were to show up in the area, they’d try and kill me. Would that help anyone?” “Only Mr. Kuryakin,” Waverly replies. On Napoleon’s look of hurt confusion at the idea that Illya would want him dead, Waverly elaborates: “He’s next in line for a promotion.” Ha! Mr. Waverly’s most delightful character trait is his ongoing casual cruelty toward Napoleon.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Friday Roundup

The photo shows my home office, which is actually a rather small closet located off of the living room. It’s nice, though. Very cozy and comfortable. The stained-glass lamp and panel were made by two separate friends of our parents; the desk and chair were both scavenged from the curb in our neighborhood in Queens. There’s not a whole heck of a lot of room, but it’s good having a dedicated place to work. All my files are stored on a high shelf in empty boxes that used to contain Mumm and Perrier-Jouet champagne gift sets, which makes me feel very glamorous.

Book news: For the most part, Amazon’s Kindle has had exclusive rights to sell most of my ebooks through their KDP Select program; in an attempt to reach a wider readership, I’ve been gradually pulling them one by one off of KDP Select (they’ll always still be available on Kindle, however) and moving them into other ebook formats, such as Nook and Kobo, etcetera. There are good reasons for sticking just with KDP Select, and there are good reasons for mixing it up; right now, I’m just playing around and seeing what works best for my books. Free stuff: Today through Sunday, you can receive a free ebook of Demon City in whatever ebook format you prefer – .epub, .mobi, .pdf, .txt – or read it right in your browser window, simply by going to Smashwords and entering this coupon code: NM65F 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Happy birthday, Nick Rhodes.

All hail the patron saint of Duranalysis! Love you madly, Nick. I'm looking forward to another fifty-four years of glamorous and stylish weirdness from you.

My fingers are itching to write another Duranalysis. It's been far too long (months!). I'm fresh out of topics, so if anyone has any fun/weird Duran-centric links, send them my way.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: “The Cherry Blossom Affair”

Napoleon skulks around New York Airport, waiting for the arrival of famed geologist Dr. Grayson, who is carrying vital information stolen from THRUSH’s Eastern headquarters. Upon reaching the gate, Dr. Grayson looks about nervously for Napoleon, clutching a film canister to his chest. A young Japanese filmmaker, Cricket Okasada (The Joy Luck Club’s France Nuyen), who is carrying a film canister of her own, approaches him and asks for a light; visibly agitated, Dr. Grayson fumbles with his lighter. It’s a little startling to see Cricket casually puffing away in an airport terminal, but then again, this second-season episode hails from 1965, back when you could light up a cigarette pretty much wherever you damn well wanted. You know what you couldn’t do in 1965, though? You couldn’t meet a flight at New York Airport, because no such place existed: New York International Airport, more commonly known as Idlewild, was rechristened in honor of JFK in December 1963.

While Cricket chats with Dr. Grayson, a pair of THRUSH agents stage an ambush. A man posing as a photographer releases a cloud of smoke from his camera while a matronly Japanese woman in a kimono shoots and kills Dr. Grayson with a gun disguised as a parasol. Mistaking Cricket’s film canister for the one Dr. Grayson was carrying, they snatch it and escape.

And where’s Napoleon during all this? Predictably, he’s flirting with a sexy lady over by the bank of vending machines, blissfully unaware that the poor dude he’d been ordered to escort safely to U.N.C.L.E. headquarters is being brutally murdered five feet away from him. Oh, Napoleon, this isn’t good. You’ve been coasting on your good looks and rakish charm for far too long, and sooner or later, you’re going to have to start doing your job.