Updates for the next four to six weeks will be on the brief side, mostly likely, because I am burrowed in on the new Heller, ASK NOT. I will be going to Bouchercon before long, and as much as I look forward to it, I don’t relish the four-day interruption. I really keep my head in a novel while I’m doing it, and don’t like to have the flow disrupted. I tend to be spacey as hell (Barb does most of the driving) and a distracted danger to others. A Heller project is the most intensive of anything I do, because of the combination of character concerns and the voluminous research that I continue reading even during the writing stage. Later this week, for example, I need to write a chapter with a central if obscure historical figure (Texas Ranger Clint Peoples), and the book I ordered about him two weeks ago hasn’t arrived yet. What do I do? Skip that chapter and write it later? These are the kind of obstacles I face, writing a Heller.
And the recent one-day Kindle sale of 10 Heller novels for $1.99 prompted some kind words about the series. This was one is particularly nice.
Nate and Abby visited us over the weekend – they had to: we kidnapped their dog Toaster after the wedding two weeks ago – and we had a great time going to restaurants and watching movies. Specifically, we watched two movies that were very similar. THE RAID: REDEMPTION (2011) and DREDD 3D (2012). The former is an Indonesian production with a British director, and is one of the wildest and most effective action films I’ve ever seen. The latter is (I think) a British/South African production, based on the famous UK comic book series “Judge Dredd.” It is also terrific, and in many respects even better – a sort of urban ROAD WARRIOR (there’s a pun in there, since Karl Urban plays Dredd). DREDD makes use of 3D better than any live-action action film I can think of. The odd thing is that these two films have nearly identical plots and a number of strikingly similar scenes. Set-up is a raid on a gang-controlled slum apartment highrise where a big-shot gangster is manufacturing drugs, keeping the entire building under video surveillance; trapped within, the law-enforcement raiders must fight their way up and back down against crazy odds. DREDD 3D is nominally futuristic, but otherwise it’s the same premise. Numerous scenes appear to have been lifted from one film to the other. But here’s the truly odd thing: they were shot more or less simultaneously (DREDD began a few months prior). Whatever the case, both are highly recommended (RAID on home video, DREDD 3D in the theaters now – hurry for the latter, because its box-office is thus far lack luster).