I just finished listening to the actor Rex Linn read ‘Blackjack’, a western by Robert Knott based on characters created by Robert Parker. Virgil Cole, US Marshall and his deputy Everett Hitch ride the range, chase the bad guys and live the life imagined about the American west circa the 1870’s. These books are deceptively simple in that there are a lot of laconic ‘yep’ and ‘nope’ responses to questions posed by one man to the other. But there are also false identities, lost loves and deep psychological roots to the actions of both lawman and criminal. And hearing an actor born in Texas voicing these characters is a real treat.
In Appaloosa, a movie based on the first book of the series written by Robert Parker before his untimely death, Ed Harris played Cole and Viggo Mortensen played Hitch. It was very good, and I wish they would do another one. But I am a sucker for westerns.
The US is pulling their troops out of Syria. Trump campaigned on doing this, using almost isolationist language, but could it be more related to the fact that due to the fracking revolution in the west, gas is cheap, and the US is energy independent for the first time in a long time? That part of the world is a hornet’s nest. Why bother if they don’t need the oil?
Flying cars again anyone? This time its Uber promising them by 2020. That seems a bit soon, but if the technology exists and it does, it will be hard to stop it as our highways become more and more calcified. Or we could just ride in Elon Musk’s tunnels.
As I get closer to publishing the new books, I keep getting the same advice: grow your mailing list. Stay tuned to see how I attempt to make that happen. It involves a contest and possibly free giveaways.
Here is a passage from one of the short stories in The Fire:
The men followed one by one until it was Rosh's turn. He saw two men gliding across the dark, slick grass in front of him, so he waited the usual interval and then followed a few paces behind. They had slept all day the day before, eyes covered in black cloth, so they could see in the cool, moonless night as well as any man. And Rosh was D’ael. He smiled to himself and said, ‘We see better.’ They ran on.
Merry Christmas Everyone!