I am preparing to start the new Nathan Heller book, ASK NOT, which is a sequel to the forthcoming TARGET LANCER. In the weeks between novels (as you may recall I completed COMPLEX 90 shortly before leaving for San Diego Con), I tend to take care of smaller projects that have piled up. This week I’m dealing with a Dick Tracy intro, a serial novel chapter, and a radio script, among other things. Also, I’ve cleaned my office, reorganized the basement “book room” (the repository of my authors’ copies), and removed ten boxes of books from my basement library, culling and thinning, seeking room for new purchases. I also took a trip with Matt Clemens to Chicago on the Mike North project (which has stalled) and welcomed my friend Brad Schwartz and his parents into the Collins manse for a fun Sunday afternoon.
Additionally, Barb and I went into Chicago last week and saw the great British invasion band The Zombies (with key original members, singer Colin Blunstone and keyboardist Rod Argent) at the same fun nightclub, Viper’s Alley, in suburban Chicago where we saw the Vanilla Fudge a while back. The band was great, although a much more laidback act than the Fudge. Blunstone is a brilliant singer who conveys a sense of joy, even bliss, wrapped up in the songs he sings; his constant smile and his manner are sweet in the best sense. Argent as a keyboard player is clearly the best rock has to offer, and he both inspired and intimidated me. The only downside – and this happened to some degree at the Fudge concert – is the behavior of some of the Baby Boomer crowd. They get drunk and behave as if they are at a Poison concert, trying to insert themselves into the performance, whooping and standing up and making devil horns with their arthritic fingers. God save me from the inebriated, particularly the Baby Boomer inebriated.
Photo by Daniel Veintimilla of Creative Loafing
Barb and I have also gone to a number of movies, and of course last week I commented on the Batman movie, which the critics love and I don’t. We saw the TOTAL RECALL remake, from the director of the entertaining UNDERWORLD series, and the critics mostly hate it. Yet it’s an extremely entertaining, well-made, twisty yet largely coherent action film with some BLADE RUNNER trappings, befitting the Phillip K. Dick source material. Not a great film, TOTAL RECALL nonetheless does everything the BATMAN film tries to but actually accomplishes it. Naturally, the nerds and the critics hate TOTAL RECALL even while extolling THE DARK KNIGHT RISES as one of the greatest films of all time.
My lapse into film reviewing (a habit I have tried to kick) got Ed Gorman’s attention in this nice write-up at his great blog.