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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

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Culling

The Culling (Bio-Thriller)
By Robert Johnson
The Permanent Press
ISBN #978-1579623517
Price $29.00
326 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Just two kids, two billion, we can live with that”

Five scientists have recovered a super bug, H7N7, a subtype of the Swine flu that killed so many people in 1918, discovered in an Eskimo grave in Alaska. Concerned with the world’s over population as we press towards seven billion people, they wish to curtail the growing numbers by introducing the flu bug to an un-prepared public, perhaps killing sixty percent of those infected, or more. After creating a Hot Zone in Laos, one of the members brings a doctor from the CDC to investigate, then switches vials with him containing a less virulent bug, which is sent to CDC. This causes a rush to produce the wrong vaccine.

Considering the overpopulation of the world, the scientists believe they are doing the right thing. Allowed to continue, the planet cannot support the growing population and unless there is a great dying off, the world will soon collapse. They plan to save the world by eliminating the masses through an unstoppable strain of flu.

Told as a mystery, I would say this bio-thriller is a great fictional story of a scenario that only Hollywood could come up with, but it is not. This is so real, it is frightening, and the possibility of a super bug really being out of control among us is just around the corner. Although the characters are fictional, the story is possible – and very likely. The book will keep you awake nights, thinking about our vulnerability, and worried that we’ve already gone too far for the planet to survive without a culling.

Tom Johnson
Detective Mystery Stories

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Pulp Research Books

Pulp Research Books
Many research books were written in the early days of pulp fandom. There are too many books on science fiction to attempt to list, so I’ve limited this one to the lesser-covered pulps. I know I am overlooking many fine books. Nor does this list cover the area of comic books! If you see something that I should have listed, please contact me at Following is a short list:
The Secret Agent “X” Companion by Tom Johnson & Will Murray (Altus Press)
Operator #5: The History of the Purple Wars by Harrison Stievers (Tom Johnson) from Altus Press
The Phantom Detective Companion by Tom Johnson (Altus Press)
G-Man Companion by Tom Johnson (Altus Press)
The Black Bat Companion by Tom Johnson (Altus Press)
From Shadow to Superman (The Belmont Shadows of the 1960s) by Tom Johnson (Fading Shadows, Inc.)
“The Green Ghost” (And Other Articles) by Tom Johnson (Fading Shadows, Inc.)
Twenty Years of Murder by Don Hutchison
Dime Detective Companion by James L. Traylor (Altus Press)
The Pulp Hero by Nick Carr (Wild Cat Books)
Master of the Pulps by Nick Carr (Wild Cat Books)
America’s Secret Service Ace (Operator #5) by Nick Carr (Weinberg’s Pulp Classics)
The Flying Spy (G-8) by Nick Carr (Weinberg’s Pulp Classics)
The Other Detective Pulp Heroes by Nick Carr
The Western Pulp Hero by Nick Carr
The Amazing Pulp Heroes by Frank Hamilton & Link Hullar
Daring Adventurers by Rick Lai (Altus Press)
Criminal Masterminds by Rick Lai (Altus Press)
Chronology of Shadows (The Shadow) by Rick Lai
Chronology of Bronze (Doc Savage) by Rick Lai (Altus Press)
Gangland’s Doom by Frank Eisgruber, Jr. (Altus Press)
The Spider by Robert Sampson
Deadly Excitements by Robert Sampson
Yesterday’s Faces (set of volumes) by Robert Sampson
The Western Pulps by John Dinan
Sports in the Pulp Magazines by John Dinan
Adventure by Robert Kenneth Jones
The Gray Nemesis (The Avenger) by Howard Hopkins (Golden Perils)
Pulp Man’s Odyssey (On Hugh Cave) by Audrey Parente
Horrors and Unpleasantries (The Horror Genre) by Sheldon Jaffery
Lester Dent: The Man, His Craft and His Market by Martin Laird
Danger Is My Business: An Illustrated History of the Pulp Magazines by Lee Server
The Shadow Scarpbook by Walter Gibson
Duende: The History of the Shadow by Will Murray
Writings in Bronze by Will Murray
Wordslinger: An Epitaph For The Western by Will Murray
Doc Savage: Arch Enemy of Evil: Pulp & Reprint History by Larry Widen & Chris Miracle
Captain Future Handbook by Chuck Juzek (Wild Cat Books)
Pulp Magazines: An Informal History by Ron Goulart (Ace Paperbacks)
Detective and Mystery Fiction: An International Bibliography of Secondary Sources by Walter Albert (Brownstone Books)
Mystery, Detective and Espionage Magazines by Michael L. Cook (Greenwood Press)
Monthly Murders Complied By Michael L. Cook (Greenwood Press)
Hero Pulp Reprint Index by Bill Thom (Fading Shadows)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

The American Drive-In Theatre

The American Drive-In Movie Theatre (Popular Culture)
By Don & Susan Sanders
ISBN #978-0785829751
Price $8.95 (Hardback)
160 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“Once An American Phenomenon”

The authors collect photographs and history of the American Drive-In theaters that once dotted the American landscape. Every town had one, and they drew families in their automobiles out for a movie in their own living room – the car! Perhaps the height of the drive-in theaters came in the 1950s, with monster films and teenagers on dates. Today they are gone, but their memory remains with those who grew up in that decade of fast cars, invaders from Mars, and a neat place for teenagers to neck without parents watching from over the couch.  In the book also are pictures of the Snack Bars – remember “It’s Intermission Time, Folks” – and the playground up front for little brother to vacate the car while big brother sneaks a kiss from his date.

I came out of the 1950s generation, and remember the drive-in theaters with fond memories. Living in Wichita Falls, Texas, I went to the Seymour Road Drive-In, as well as the Twin Falls Drive-In, and probably several others. I also went to the Brazos Drive-In Theater in Seymour, Texas as well as San Antonia, Texas, but don’t remember the name. I do remember the last time I went to the drive-in, it was to see “Damnation Alley” in Grand Forks, North Dakota in the late 1970s. The San Antonio drive-in had “dollar night”, and my wife would pop popcorn and make cool-aid, and we went quite often. It was cheap entertainment at the time, and we loved it.

This book will bring great memories back to those who remember them, and introduce those who never knew them to an American icon of a bygone day.

Tom Johnson
Echoes Magazine

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Miracle Menace

The Miracle Menace (Doc Savage)
By Kenneth Robeson (Will Murray)
ISBN #978-1618271327
Altus Press
Price $24.95 (paperback)
314 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“The Continuing Sagas of The Adventures of The Man of Bronze!”

Two mysteries transpire in the area of La Plata, Missouri. First, a mysterious old Victorian home tends to disappear and reappear from time to time, causing a bit of curiosity among the citizens. Second, there is the sudden appearance of Christopher Columbus, the man that discovered America. Doc received word of the mysteries from two of his “college” graduates, men who were released from the special hospital where their minds were operated on to remove criminal tendencies.  Gathering his five aides, they depart for Missouri, where they encounter more than they had bargained for!

How’s this for a Halloween special release? Starting off the issue is Joe DiVito’s fantastic cover featuring Doc, Monk, and Ham, plus Doc’s Dirigible. In fact, this cover is now my favorite of the series, with the cover of “Death’s Dark Domain” coming in second. Altus Press has designed and produced another fantastic product. My only complaint is the paperback edition does not contain the beautiful wraparound cover that Joe illustrated. You have to get the hardback for that. In this complicated mystery, we have time travel, mind reading, foreign spies, a religious cult, and a pair of magicians, plus the beautiful girl and … Christopher Columbus!

The Miracle Menace may not top Skull Island, but you can’t criticize it for lack of trying. Skull Island is going to be hard to surpass. But Will Murray gives it a good try with all the elements mixed into this new adventure. It proves once again that Will is the right author for the continuing series of Doc Savage.

Tom Johnson
Echoes Magazine

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Savage Land of Jur Now Available

The hardback edition is also available at $25.72 from Lulu at

Trapped in the Jurassic period of Earth’s predawn, Ron and Odette search for the Ancient Ones and a time portal that will return them to their own time. But even as they encounter an Ancient One, more danger threatens them in the savage world of Jur.

Also wherever eBooks are sold.