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Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dime Detective Companion

Dime Detective Companion
By James L. Traylor
ISBN #9781453824269
226 Pages
Price: $24.95 Paperback; $34.95 Hardback
Rating: 5-Stars

In this beautifully produced book, all 274 issues are indexed, with black & white cover reproductions of each issue included. There is an alphabetical author listing, plus author profiles and pictures. There is also an author-character cross reference list, plus appearances of characters. The author includes an Interview and articles, plus is joined by Monte Herridge, Marvin Lachman, and Will Murray with more material. Finally, the round-robin story, “The Tongueless Man” by William E. Barrett, Carroll John Daly, Frederick C. Dacis, T.T. Flynn, and John Lawrence is reprinted.

As a pulp collector, I am thrilled to see these Companion books being published by Altus Press, and the author of this huge volume has done his research well. This is a must for my generation as well as future generations interested in the history of the pulp magazines.

Tom Johnson
Echoes Magazine

Friday, March 25, 2011

Starship Invasions

Coming soon from NTD, the second in the science fiction anthology series that began with ALIEN WORLDS, this new issue is titled STARSHIP INVASIONS. The issue contains four stories by Tom Johnson and five stories by Barbara Custer, each with an invasion theme.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Book Review Cold War Heroes

By Tom Johnson
ISBN #978-0-9826795-6-2
164 Pages
Price: $13.50 Paperback; $4.99 e-book
Rating: 5-Stars

In the 1960s, a squad of U.S. Army MPs in France goes through a number of hi-jinks during a boxing tournament on Post. Danny Donovan is fighting for the unit, but a tough cook is beating everyone that goes up against him. To make things worse, no one likes the cooks because of the food they serve. Now, the unit of misfits get tangled up with black marketers and spies to make their jobs even harder. Could the Cold War in Europe be about to heat up?

I never served in the military, and barely remember M*A*S*H* on television, but I was fascinated by the promo of this book, and requested a Review copy from the author. As the publisher wrote on the back cover, “We are treated to an inside look at Army life with a touch of humor by a soldier who actually experienced it.” The old adage of “if something can go wrong, it probably will,” we find quite true in this tale about a bunch of soldiers forgotten by their Headquarters command, and left to their own devices. That they get into a little trouble is to be expected, but they manage to survive for a new day and another problem. Somehow, we know they will win the Cold War despite the stumbling blocks. Though the story is fiction, the MP unit, and the base actually existed. There are pictures of the base and several of the author’s award certificates in the back of the book to give authenticity to the story. There is some language in the book, but it is used as humor instead of shock value, not something today’s writers can easily accomplish.

I highly recommend this book for everyone who served during the Cold War, and their families. Even someone who never wore a uniform will find this story a light-hearted look at military life in the 1960s. If you’ve forgotten the Cold War, here is your chance to get an inside peek once again.

Terry Roberts
Reviewer (SF/Etc At A Glance)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Scorpion Returns

The Scorpion Returns…
“The Sting of the Scorpion is fun neo-pulp action and violence with a great new hero in a wild alternate America.” — Hardboiled Magazine

Imagine a world where the Allies lost the war to Nazi Germany and America has spent sixty years under duress by Axis powers. Now imagine an America newly freed from oppression and trying to find its way—through crime and punishment. Welcome to the new America.

Post-War profits have helped Steeltown grow into a thriving industrial metropolis. But the criminal element is growing along with it. Never before has evil of such a depraved and monstrous nature terrorized the rainwashed streets of the city. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and now only the darkest and bloodiest of messiahs can prevent every man, woman and child from becoming hapless victims. Out of the shadows comes The Scorpion.

Kurt Reinhardt is a powerful and debonair newspaper publisher by day—but by night he becomes a crime-busting vigilante feared by the criminal underground and relentlessly pursued by the police. He is neither entirely good nor is he evil—and as The Scorpion his agenda is his own. To fight the criminal element he utilizes the awesome .50 caliber Sting, a garrote of piano wire, and secrets best left buried forever in the past. Aiding him in his ruthless quest for “death for death and blood for blood” are hard-boiled Police Captain Dick Barracks, Spike Malone, a cynical young hooligan out of the river district known as “Shit Town”, and Suzaku, his loyal Japanese retainer. At night in Steeltown the shadows are alive and The Scorpion crawls…

The City of the Living Dead
What begins as an innocent carnival outing turns into a bloodbath overnight as the city of Steeltown is infiltrated by a deadly new viral plague whose origins are unknown. Civilization quickly breaks down and men turn into raging animals as they begin to fight their way through an ever-increasing army of the walking, flesh-hungry dead. The Scorpion thinks he can help those desperate souls trying to survive, he thinks he can hold back the forces eating through the beating heart of his beloved city, but a chance encounter with one of the infected leaves him with a body full of plague and a clock ticking down to zero hour. Now the Scorpion’s only hope is to ally himself with the very men who would hunt him down and destroy him…
Coming Soon…

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sting of The Scorpion Review

Sting of The Scorpion
By Warren Stockholm
ISBN #978-0-97679143-0
103 Pages
Price $9.99
September 2006
Rating: 4-Stars

Steeltown, Penssylvania. In this alternate universe, the Germans won WWII, but after forty years of occupation, they’ve been driven from America. Five years later, we are living in a world of Internet, email, fax machines and speakeasies and mob rule. Out of the chaos rises a paladin to battle the criminal element that the underworld knew only as The Scorpion. But the past has come back to challenge this defender of the city. As a child he had been German born, and raised as a superman. One of many clones. And the evil that he must face is one of his own, a brother, a superman just like him. But pure evil.

This was actually conceived as a possible series, as a new pulp magazine, titled SCORPION. This first story was powerful, the concept fantastic, and the action moved at a wonderful pace. The writing was intelligent, but the syntax was awkward. It switched from 3rd person narrative to 1st person narrative constantly, sometimes even in the same paragraph. Plus, there were many typos, which a proofreader should have caught. A second novel was advertised, The City of The Living Dead, but as far as I know it did not appear. The author pays homage to the old pulps. There is an intersection named Robeson & Gibson Streets, another street is named Stockbridge. A Fortress of Solitude is mentioned, etc.