Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Friday, July 31, 2015


The Three Palladins by Harold Lamb (1977)

Lamb, noted for his historical novels and biographies, first published this novel about a young Genghis Khan  as three-part serial in Adventure magazine in 1923.  Donald M. Grant did pulp fiction fans a great faor when he rescued the tale from its tattered pulp pages and published this novel in a limited edition in 1977 with full color illustrations by Cathy Hill.

Fifteen-year-old Mingan, a prince of Cathay and nephew of the Emperor, is about to accompany his uncle's court on a hunt to celebrate the feast day of Hao.  This day has a special meaning for Mingan for at last he will be allowed to wear the insignia of manhood and nobility for the first.  Unable to sleep soundly the night before, he is awakened by a shadow moving stealthily across the screen in his room.  It's the executioner known as "The Servant of Mercy" -- so-called because he strangles those nobles whose rank is too high for beheading.  Mingan narrowly escapes this attempt on his life, as well as several other attempts that day.

Who in the Emperor's court would order Mingan's execution, and why?  The answer comes pretty soon:  Chung-hi, the heir to the throne and Mingan's old playmate.  Chung-hi is systematically eliminating any possible claimants to the throne in anticipation of the eventual death of the old emperor, including Mingan who, acccording to prophecy, is destined to  have a great future in his country.

Fleeing past the Great Wall, Mignan finds himself in Mongol territory where he meets and befriends a boy his own age, Temujin, the son of the Mongol Khan.  Riding together, they soon learn that Temjujin's father is dying, the victim of poisoning.  They arrived at the Khan's camp too late.  The old Khan has died and many of the tribes and clans loyal to him refuse pledge their loyalty to his young and unproven son.

Left with only a few loyal followers, Temujin struggles over the next few years as several loyal clan leaders die and as the Mongol herds are attacked by unknown raiders.

Things come to head when Podu, the head of the gypsies arranges for a festival for all the clan leaders.  The leaders plan to strip Temujin of any power and to elect a new Khan.  Podu hopes to arrange the marriage of his daughter Burta to whoever emerges as the new Khan.  Temujin, who was not expected to show up at the festival, arrives with a small force of oldiers and with his three palladins:  Mingan the Cathay, Chepe Noyan (the Tiger) who is a Christian from the court of the mysterious and legendary Prester John, and Subotai (the Buffalo), a giant Tatar.

Things go south pretty fast.  Jamuka, an old enemy of Temujin, has allied himself with Prester John.  He murders Podu and tries to kill Temujin.  Temujin, his palladins, and Burta escape, but not before Mingan is speared through the lung during the battle.  It takes months for Mingan to recuperate under Burta's care.  In the meantine, Temujin as recruited many of the clans and has become the Great Khan -- or Genghis Khan, also known as the Man-Killer.

Jamuka stumbles across the isolated spot where Mingan is healing.  He buries the wounded palladin upto his head in sand to let the desert seal Mingan's fate.  He captures Burta and carries her to the palace of Prester John.  Mingan is discovered, barely alive, by Chepe Noyan, who had been sent ot check on his comrade and Burta.

Now our heroes must travel into the heart of Prester John's Territory to save the gypsy princess and to wreak their vengeance.  The shadowy and powerful Prester John, rumored to be centuries old, awaits them.

A fast-moving, slam-bang adventure tale -- the type the pulps did so well back in the day.

Thursday, July 30, 2015


We signed papers with a real estate agent.  Our house will be going on the market next week.  Home prices in this area are very depressed  --  as a result so are we.  **sigh**  C'est la vie.  Actually, Sigh la vie.

Very slowly going through my books.  Thus far, twenty-one bankers boxes have gone to various charities, as have some pieces of furniture.

Still have no idea where in Pensacola we're going to live.  We really should be working on that soon.

On another note, my Uncle Arthur's widow, Thelma Paignon House, passed away at age 102.  Despite blindness in recent years, she manage to stay at home until the end.  Thelma was always a gracious lady.  She will be missed.  Thelma was the last of the Paignons and the last of that generation of my family.  With her death, a page of my personal history has been closed.

Monday, July 27, 2015


Nope.  Not really.  Fooled ya.  Nothing new this week. Hah!

The reason?  I've been concentrating on Outgoing this week.

We're moving.  So long Southern Maryland.  Hello Florida Panhandle.  And, no, there's not a posse chasing us.

Our son-in-law Walt is headed to Pensacola.  He does some sort of computer work for the government (exactly what, we don't know...that way they won't have to kill us) and Pensacola is apparently the place to be.  All this came up as a very "tentative" two weeks ago and became a sure thing this past week.  Walt and Christina went down to Pensacola a few days ago and bought a house.  If all goes well, they be moving around Labor Day and we'll be going with them.

Exactly where Kitty and I will be going is unknown at present.  An apartment.  A small house.  A cardboard box under the bridge.  The possibilities are endless.  That's something we'll work out in the next few weeks.  In the meantime, there are things to do.

Like sell our house.  Because of the current state of the economy (thank you,George Bush), we'll be taking a financial bath.  Our house is about thirty years old -- not old enough nor new enough to have us come out of this on the plus side.  It's a comfortable place on a good lot of land and has served us well for the past decade.  I hope we can find something as comfortable within our price range in Florida.  I also hope we can find a place that will take our dog, three cats, and our (soon-to-be) nineteen-year-old granddaughter.  (Christina's new house will be filled with the three kids, three dogs, three cats, the Burmese python, the bearded dragon, the tortoise, the hedgehog, and (I'm sure I'm forgetting some animals, so     [inset animal type here]  . Sadly, the goats won't be coming along.)

And then there's the problem of my books.  I just can't take them all -- especially since I d have to get rid of a lot of them.  So the next few weeks I'll be culling them down to just an umpty-ump thousand or so.  And what to do with the culled books?  Oy.

And Christina and Walt have to sell their house.  And move all their stuff.  And all their soap-making equipment; Cove Lake Soapworks will no longer be at Cove Lake.  And Christina will have to go job-hunting.   And the Kangaroo will have to get a new team of medical experts.  And we'll have to line up doctors for our various, albeit pretty insignificant, problems.  And Ceili will have to find a new job.  And.  And.  And...

And come May, once Amy graduates high school. Jessie will also be be moving to the Pensacola area.  Amy's college plans for Maryland's Eastern Shore have been replaced by any decent Florida school with a Marine Biology focus -- and there are a lot of them on the Gulf.

And for the next few weeks blogging will be light.  I hope to get back to regular blogging soon.

Moving is a pain in the butt.  It'll be worth it.  I'm looking forward to what the next chapter in our lives will bring.

Monday, July 20, 2015


  • John Joseph Adams, editor, The Mad Scientist's Guide to World Dominion.  SF anthology with 22 stories. 
  • Robert Adams, editor, Phantom Regiments.  Fantasy anthology with fifteen stories of military ghosts.  Pamela Crippen Adams and Martin H. Greenberg are included in the copyright notice.
  • "Alan Burt Akers" (Kenneth Bulmer), Transit to Scorpio, The Suns of Scorpio, Warriors of Scorpio, and Prince of Scorpio.  Planetary romance novels a la Edgar Rice Burroughs. These are the first three and the fifth novels in the Delian Cycle of the Dray Prescot series.  There were 52 volumes in the series, comprising of at least nine "cycles."  A number of later books in the series were also printed as by "Dray Prescot," while some later books appeared only under the author's true name.  
  • Poul Anderson, Kinship with the Stars.  Sf collection with eight stories and the short novel "A Bicycle Built for Brew" (previously published in book form as The Makeshift Rocket).
  • Todhunter Ballard, Lost Gold.  Western collection with the title novel and a short story.  Mary Thorne must match wits with a notorious cutthroat if she is to survive and claim her grandfather's treasure. 
  • Kate Bernheimer, editor, XO Orpheus:  Fifty New Myths.  Fantasy anthology with 50 twists on old myths and stories.
  • David Brin, Existence. SF novel.  Gerald Livingston makes his living collecting space debris, then one day he "collects" an alien artifact.
  • Bill Brooks, Dakota Lawman:  Killing Mr. Sunday.  Western novel, the second in a series.  Legendary gunman Billy Sunday is dying and wants to reconcile with his daughter, but there are a lot of people who would rather see him dead.
  • John Carnell, editor, New Writings in SF -- 12.  SF anthology with six stories.
  • Lin Carter, Lost Worlds.  Fantasy collection with nine stories, including posthoumous collabrations with Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith.
  • James P. Coyne, Strike Eagles.  SF.  "A Visual Novel of the War of Tomorrow."  See also Michael A. Palmer, below.
  • John Curran, Agatha Christie's Secret Notebooks.  Compiled and edited by Curran from 73 handwritten volumes of notes, lists, and drafts.  Includes two unpublished Hercule Poirot short stories.
  • Gordon R.Dickson, Invaders! and Survival!  SF collections with eight and twelve stories, respectively.
  • David Drake, The Voyage.  Military SF novel.  Lissea Doorman gathers a crew of mercenaries for a desperate mission to the Lost Colony. 
  • Alan Dean Foster, STAR TREK LOG FIVE.  Television tie-in collection of three stories adapted from the animated Star Trek series.
  • Hal Foster, Prince Valiant, Vol. I:  1937-1938 and Vol. 2:  1939-1940.  The first two volumes of the collected strips.  Evan Lewis featured Vol. 6 on his blog last week so when I serindipitously had a chance to pick up these drool-worthy collections, I jumped at it.
  • Christopher Golden, editor, 21st Century Dead.  Zombie anthology with 19 stories.
  • Heather Graham (a.k.a., Heather Graham Pozzessere), The Keepers.  Paranormal romance novel, the first in a series continued by Alex Sokoloff and Deborah LeBlanc.  Fiona MacDonald is a Keeper, one designated to maintain a delicate balance with the unworldly in New Orleans; she must join vampire detective Jagger DeFarge in a hunt for a killer who could tear the city apart.
  • Joseph Green, Conscience Interplanetary.  Sf fix-up novel from four short stories.  Allen Odegaard is a member of the Practical Philsopher Corps, trained to detect intelligent life-forms on newly colonized planets.
  • Martin H.Greenberg, editor, My Favorite Fantasy Story.  Eighteen fantasy authors present their favorites by other authors.
  • Martin H. Greenberg and Brittiany A. Koren, editors, Fantasy Gone Wrong.  Fantasy anthology with 16 stories..
  • Miriam Gross, editor, The World of Raymond Chandler.  Nonfiction anthology with 14 articles on Chandler.
  • Paula Guran, editor, The Year's Best Dark Fantasy & Horror 2010.  Annual collection with 39 stories from 2009.
  • Steve Hamilton, Blood in the Sky and Ice Run.   Steve McKnight mysteries.
  • M. John Harrison, The Centauri Device.  SF novel.  John Truck is the last of the mysterious Centaurians, and the only one who can operate the bomb they left behind.
  • Carl Hiaasen. Paradise Screwed.  Nonfiction collection of selected columns from the Miami Herald, arranged in 24 sections.  Edited by Diane Stevenson.
  • Alfred H. Holt, Phrase and Word Origins:  A Studyof Familiar Expressions.  Nonfiction.  Who doesn't lovvve words?
  • Jay Hopler, editor, The Killing Spirit.  Crime anthology with seventeen stories and novel exerpts about hired killers.
  • Carla Jablonski, The Books of Magic:  The Invitation.  YA fantasy novel, the first of six based on the graphic novel series created by Neil Gaiman and John Bolton.  Thirteen-year-old Timothy Hunter may be the most powerful magician of his time...if he survives.
  • Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga, The Walking Dead:  Rise of the Governor.  Teleision tie-in novel.  The story of how one of the television show's greatest villians became the Governor.  Kirkman is the creator of The Walking Dead comic books.
  • Andrew Klavan, Dynamite Road.  A Weiss and Bishop crime novel.  The "Shadowman" is the anme tagged on to every heinous crime that goes unsolved.  Corruption at a California airport leads PIs Weiss and Bishop on the trail of Shadowman murders.
  • Louis L'Amour, The Man from Broken Hills, Ride the River,and The Warrior's Path. western novels in the Sacketts saga;  Kiowa Trail, western novel;.  Lonigan, collection of six western stories, and The Outlaws of Mesquite, western collection of eight stories; The Riders of High Rock, Hopalong Cassidy novel first published as by "Jim Mayo; The Haunted Mesa, a "modern" western novel; and The Walking Drum, a historical novel.
  • Keith Laumer, Back to the Time Trap.  SF novel.  Roger Tyson is one a several earthmen bouncing back and forth through time via an alien timegate.  
  • Stan Lee, editor, The Ultimate Silver Surfer.  Comic book tie-in anthology with 15 stories.
  • Donna Leon, Friends in High Places.  A Commissario Brunetti mystery.  Bureaucratic red tape leads to murder in Venice.
  • The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction,   November-December, 2012.
  • Richard Matheson, Other Kingdoms.  Fantasy.  An injured American soldier recuperates in a small English village in 1918; the neighboring woods are said to harbor malevolent spirits.
  • David McDaniel, The Arsenal Out of Time.  SF novel.  A spy, an archeologist, and a lady try to find some super-race's hidden weapons cache.
  • Vonda N. McIntyre, Star Trek III:  The Search for Spock.  Movie tie-in novel.
  • Merril, Judith, The Best of Judith Merril and Out of Bounds.  SF collections with seven and eleven stories, respectively, with some overlap.
  • Michael Moorcock, The Nomad of Time.  Sf omnibus containing three Oswald Bastable novels:  The Warlord of the Air. The Land Leviathan, and The Steel Czar.
  • Andre Norton, The Magic Books.  YA fantasy omnibus containing Fur Magic, Steel Magic, and Octagon Magic.
  • Norvell Page, Robot Titans of Gotham.  Pulp hero omnibus containing Satan's Murder Machine, Death Reign of the Vampire King, and The Octopus.  The first two feature The Spider and were originally published as by "Grant Stockbridge;" the last features  Dr. Skull and was originally published as The City Condemned to Hell under the name "Randolph Craig."
  • Michael A. Palmer,  Arctic Strike!  SF.  "A Visual novel of the War of Tomorrow."  See also James P. Coyne, above.
  • [Perry Rhodan], #11 The Planet of the Dying Sun by Kurt Mahr, #12 The Rebels of Tuglan by Clark Darlton, #21 The Cosmic Decoy by K. H. Scheer. #22 The Fleet of the Springers by Kurt Mahr, #24 Infinity Flight by Clark Darlton, #26 Cosmic Traitor by Kurt Brand (title page credits Clark Darlton), #27 Planet of the Gods by Kurt Mahr, #28 The Plague of Oblivion by Clark Darlton, and #34 SOS:  Spaceship Titan! by Kurt Brand.  Bottom-level SF series about the "Peacelord of the Universe" comes Germany and was created by Karl-Herbert Scheer and Walter Ernsting.  The series began in 1961 and is still going strong with #2815 (!) due out at the end of this month.  The American translations (by Wendayne Ackerman) were edited by Forrest J. Ackerman and published by Ace Books; later books were published in digest form by Master Publications.  145 books in the series were translated into English.  Many of the Ace books have additional material.
  • Samuel H. Post, anonymous editor, The 6 Fingers of Time.  Sf anthology with six stories from If (the cover erroneously state the stories are from Galaxy).
  • Byron Preiss, editor, Weird Heroes, Volume Eight.  SF/fantasy anthology with five stories.
  • Steve Ramey andd Jamie Lackey, editors, Triangulation:  Last Contact. 2011 edition of this annual speculative fiction anthology; 28 stories in this one.  Signed and inscribed to previous owner by Ramey.
  • Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens, Star Trek:  Prime Directive.  Television franchise tie-in novel taking place in the last year of the Enterprise's original five-year mission
  • Mike Resnick, The Soul Eater.  Sf novel.  Nicobar Lane is a hunter for hire.  The Soul Eater is a myth of the spaceways.  They meet up in the depths of space, but who will be hunting who?
  • Mike Resnick and Robert T. Garcia, editor, Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs.  Homage SF/fantasy anthology with eleven stories
  • David B. Riley, editor, Six-Guns Straight from Hell 2.  Weird western anthology with nine stories.
  • David Robbins, Nowhere, TX.  Western novel, one of those labeled "a Ralph Compton novel,"  and supposedly one written with the flavor of that dead writer.  Nowhere, Texas, was a border town overrun with outlaws, then the citizens decided to change that.  There are probably more Ralph Compton novels written by other hands than by Compton himself.
  • Arthur W. Saha, editor, The Year's Best Fantasy Stories:  13.  Fantasy anthology with eleven stories from 1986.
  • "Jon Sharpe" (house name), The Trailsman #249:  Silver City Slayer and #287:  The California Camel Corps.  Adult westerns.  I'll let you guess the real authors.
  • Dennis Sanders & Len Lovallo, The Agatha Christie Companion:  The Complete Guide to Agatha Christie's Life & Work.  Nonfiction.  A 1984 edition.
  • Geroge Scithers, editor, Asimov's Choice:  Extraterrestials & Eclipses.  SF anthology with twelve stories from IASFM.
  • Bob Shaw, Orbitsville Departure.  SF novel.  Orbitsille is an artificial world  -- a shell enclosing its own sun -- with a mass of fivve billion earths.  Gary Dallen tries to discover who built it, and why.
  • D. L. Snell & Elijah Hall, editors,  The Undead:  Zombie Anthology.  Horror anthology with two dozen storie
  • Tim Somheil, The Destroyer #143:  Bad Dog.  Men's action adventure novel in the series created by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir.
  • Michael Stadther, 100 Puzzles, Clues, Maps, Tantalizing Tales, and Stories of Real Treasure.  Half puzzle book and half stories of arious lost treasures and historical puzzlers.  Many of the puzzles seem simplistic and a number of them involve famliar optical illusions.
  • Brian M. Thomsen, editor, The American Fantasy Tradition.  Fantasy anthology with 43 stories.
  • Jay Williams & Raymond Abrashkin, Danny Dunn and the Swamp Monster.  Juvenile SF novel in the once-popular series.
  • Donald A. Wollheim and Terry Carr, editors, World's Best Science Fiction 1971.  The seventh annual edition of this SF series with 15 stories from 1970.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Here's Harlan Ellison being interviewed by audiobook producer Stefan Rudnicki.  On writing, his career, "The City on the Edge of Forever", audiobooks, the Rolling Stones, and much more.


Dock Walsh -- Going Back to Jericho -- bluegrass gospel from 1926.

Saturday, July 18, 2015