Friday, January 6, 2017
recent read; Dead on the Bones
Dead on the Bones by Joe R. Lansdale
Dead on the Bones gathers some of Lansdale's pulpier adventure tales (though a murder-mystery and horror find their way into the table of contents, too.)
The tales are all enjoyable and excellent. If you only know Lansdale from his crime noir capers, this will surprise you with its change of pace. If you like pulp, you'll enjoy it. If you like Lansdale, you'll enjoy it.
In the introduction, "Pulp Fury," Lansdale writes about how he came to his crime and pulp sensibilities through early television programs. Many of the shows adapted old pulp stories for material. It's an interesting note that Lansdale points out - pulp didn't really go away. It shifted formats.
"The Gruesome Affair of the Electric Blue Lightning"
Lansdale channels Poe, bringing us a new adventure of C. Auguste Dupin and the unnamed narrator, the dynamic duo from "The Murders in the Rue Morgue."
"The Redheaded Dead"
Lansdale's Weird West hero, Reverend Jebediah Mercer, takes on a vampire in this quick moving, tight story.
"King of the Cheap Romance"
Lansdale's entry from the Old Mars anthology. Angela King must transport vaccine and her father's corpse across the frozen Martian landscape. Oh, and keep one step ahead of the ice shark the entire way.
A murder mystery with a victim found in a block of ice. In an alley. In Los Angeles.
"Dead on the Bones"
A horror story about murder, revenge, boxing, and voodoo.
"Tarzan and the Land That Time Forgot"
ERB sent Tarzan to the Earth's Core but never got around to sending him to Caprona. Lansdale does here, with a story faithful to ERB's Tarzan and worlds. The story first appeared in the Baen anthology, Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs
"Under the Warrior Star"
An early attempt at a sword-&-planet novella, this one is a lot of fun. It hits all the correct sword-&-planet notes along the way.
"Wizard of the Trees"
Lansdale's entry from the Old Venus anthology. More sword-&-planet, featuring an ex-buffalo soldier transported to the jungles of Venus.
If you're reading this post, then you probably have similar reading tastes to mine. If so, you want this book. Lansdale + pulp = gold!