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Showing posts from June, 2016

The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: “The Birds and the Bees Affair”

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In Switzerland, Illya and Napoleon visit the local U.N.C.L.E. branch, which is located inside a watch repair shop, because there’s no country this show can’t boil down to one salient characteristic. Upon entering the offices (via a secret passageway behind a grandfather clock, naturally), they find all the Swiss agents sprawled on the floor, dead from unknown causes. While they’re reporting the deaths to Mr. Waverly, a THRUSH goon breaks into their tiny, adorable car and drizzles honey everywhere. Napoleon climbs into the car, realizes his seat is sticky, and immediately licks it, which is a totally rational and hygienic thing to do after discovering some kind of mysterious fluid smeared inside your rental vehicle. “Honey,” he solemnly informs Ilya.
The THRUSH goon releases a swarm of bees in their general direction. Attracted by the honey, the bees surround the car and bombard the windshield. To evade the bees, Illya is forced to drive the car straight into a lake. Their adorable ca…

Friday Roundup

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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…

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

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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 Roundup

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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.

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

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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…

Friday Roundup

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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 a…

Happy birthday, Nick Rhodes.

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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.

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

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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…

Friday Roundup

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It's been a while, eh? Since the last roundup, I’ve published another couple of books. Well, one new book and one extensive facelift of an old and unpopular book. Preppies of the Apocalypse (that'd be the young-adult contemporary fantasy book based upon my old screenplay, not the website named after my old screenplay) is now The Changeling, complete with a flashy new cover intended to play up the horror-genre aspects of the book. It’s available wherever ebooks are sold, priced at $2.99 or less (Kindle link here, Smashwords link here). A paperback edition will follow sometime this summer. I’m hoping the title change will spur more people to take a chance on it, because it’s been my biggest dud by a huge margin. Something about this book sparks terrible disinterest and/or antipathy in readers! Historically, I’ve had difficulties giving it away for free, much less selling it. Under the old title, I once gave away ten paperback copies to specially-selected Goodreads members in ex…