Just received the awesome cover to Bigfoot Blues, the next book in the Elvis Sightings Mystery series, due out in May from Carina Press. 

In this story, Floyd heads to the Pacific Northwest in search of the only man more elusive than Elvis, the mysterious Bigfoot, and finds himself confronting a menagerie of mythical beasts, some of which have developed a taste for people.  

 

The Cover for Bigfoot Blues

Announcing Bigfoot Blues

Thrilled to officially announce the sequel to Elvis Sightings – Bigfoot Blues, due out in May.

From the back cover:

She eloped with Bigfoot. Or maybe Bigfoot kidnapped her. Either way, I’ve been hired to uncover the truth behind Cindy Funk’s disappearance. Me? I’m Floyd, and I’m a PI living my life as Elvis would have wanted. Not just in sequined jumpsuits. With character.

Cindy’s trail leads me to River City, Oregon—aka the Mythical Creature Capital of the World—where I catch Case #2. This one from an eccentric billionaire who’s lost a priceless piece of “art.” Enter one dead body and I end up deputized to solve Case #3, tracking down a man-eating mountain lion. Or maybe it’s a chupacabra. Or just an ordinary murderer. Hard to say.

I’ve handled my fair share of crazy, but River City’s secrets have me spooked. With an influx of tourists arriving for the town’s annual Elvis tribute contest—what are the chances?—I’ve got to save the girl, solve the rich guy’s problem and leash that chupacabra before a second body is discovered. It might just be mine.

The Night Shapers by James Blish

The Night ShapersMy latest airplane reading was a relatively short book by James Blish. Most of his work is straight up sci-fi, but Night Shapers is quite a different work altogether. The book takes place in 1900-ish Africa, and posits what would things have been like if many of the primitive beliefs and powers of African witch-doctors were real?

It’s a great premise, and not something I’ve run across elsewhere (as opposed to the dystopian future meme) so if you’re interested in something short and off the beaten track, give the book a whirl.

 

Nopalgarth by Jack Vance

NopalgarthJack Vance is one of my favorite writers. The man could come up with the most outlandish ideas and turn them into great stories. Nopalgarth, which is basically a novella, is a prime example.

What if there were invisible creatures squatting on your head that fundamentally altered your perception of the world? And what if there were a war raging from star to star, to exterminate these invisible creatures, and it was discovered that Earth was their home planet?

It sounds dumb, but Vance makes it terrifying. One of his better and more accessible short stories, and the lead in to this collection of his work.

Shockwave Rider by John Brunner

The Shockwave Rider by John BrunnerJohn Brunner is always good for an interesting read. As a writer, he stewed up plots that, to my mind, are rarely matched in originality by other more celebrated writers. As much as I admire Brunner and his work, reading The Shockwave Rider was a real struggle despite the fact that I suspect the novel was fairly influential on what would become cyberpunk.

The core concepts behind the book lie in Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock. The basic premise is that the culture of early 21st century America moves at hyper speed, too quickly for most normal peopleto cope with. The protagonist, Nick Haflinger is no ordinary person though. He’s a computer genius who can also create new personalities, not just new identities, but new personalities, to keep himself one step ahead of a secret government/military school, called Tarnover, that he’s escaped from.

Future ShockMost vintage sci-fi, whether it is from the 40’s or 70’s, has artifacts like memory tapes or everyone smoking cigarettes, but it rarely makes the story difficult to get through. But the paranoia, fears, and sense of a radically changing world in Shockwave Rider are all very rooted in the 1970’s. So much so, that it is often difficult to get past the 70’s zeitgeist that is threaded throughout the story. Much of what Brunner wrote was fairly prescient, like computer worms on a global internet (the book is actually credited with being the originator of the term computer worm,) or light speed interpersonal communications, but culturally, we’ve moved past so much of what made the so called dangers identified in Future Shock that it’s too hard to understand or empathize with some of the various characters’ goals.

If you’re a huge fan of Brunner, read it. If not, he has a lot of other, better, books.