Sunday, July 31, 2005

We're back

We just came back from our trip. I don't know how much I'll be able to write about our trip, since my daughter Ottilia is coming over for a short holiday and we are going on another trip next Wednesday. I sure won't be able to post pictures, since I forgot our camera to my dad's place and will be getting it back only some time next week. The trip was wonderful, though, and I hauled many books (and some new jackets!) from the flea markets. My dad's and Airi's birthday party was a success, partly due to my kid brother, but I'll be writing about that later.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Chase's Shock Treatment, the Finnish edition in 1971. The cover is by Matti Louhi, one of the most prolific cover illustrators in the seventies.

Couple more British thrillers

I finished two British thrillers last weekend. The better one was The Sad and Tender Flesh (1966) by Stephen Frances, whom I mentioned earlier when I was talking about the Hank Janson/Jason series. This is a spy novel about one John Gail who does services for the conspiracy that the rich of the world have against all others. It's a very grim, very violent, but almost absurd novel and very taboo-breaking. They are blackmailing a British embassador with a 15-year old girl, who confesses that she likes men very much and had sex already when she was 11. There's also a shocking scene in which the French police opens up a totally innocent nun thinking that she has the blackmail photos in her belly. I don't know how the above sounds, but I liked the book very much. One of the best British paperbacks I've read so far. The Finnish title is misleading - it means "Motif for a Murder", while there's no single actual killing in the whole book!

I also read another James Hadley Chase, Shock Treatment from 1959. It was more sane than some other Chases I've read, but still nothing memorable - just another James M. Cain imitation with a surprisingly flat ending. What is it with this guy, how come he has been so popular and shadowed many better British authors? (The Chase cover in the next post.)

We are leaving for a six-day trip tomorrow, so I won't be blogging for a while. We are going to my friend Jari's parents' cabin in Hankasalmi, a small town north of Jyväskylä. Then we might visit some of my relatives in Mänttä and maybe drop by an art festival they are having there. It would be nice to be for a longer time in Mänttä, since we used to go there with my big brother and mom, when our grandfathers still lived there. It would be good to see some of the old haunts. Then, finally, on Saturday we are heading for the 110th birthday of my dad and his wife, Airi, in Nokia. It's gonna be a long trip, we'll se how Kauto manages. He's been sleeping rather on and off again and we are wondering what to do with the guy. During the day, he's an angel (well, not really, but you know what I mean), but in the night time he drives us nuts.

Friday, July 22, 2005

W. Howard Baker

Here's the Finnish cover for Strike North (1965) by W. Howard Baker. It's a competent paperback novel of war at sea, with the theme ripped out from Alistair MacLean and strictly cardboard characters and some extra padding.

Baker was an editor at Amalgamated Press that was one of the most important pulp and story paper publishers in the Great Britain from the 1920's on. Baker wrote many Sexton Blake yarns and some other novels on the side. In the sixties he did horror paperbacks as by Peter Saxon.

The Finnish title of the book means "Destination North".

Jack Higgins as Martin Fallon

The Finnish cover of the Martin Fallon/Jack Higgins book I wrote about earlier. It's probably Spanish in origin, since there's the signature Noiguet (or some such) that I've seen in many Finnish paperbacks. (Thanks again to Bill for wiping out all my lame explanations for not liking the book!)

My surprising success with women

I was at the gym yesterday. There was this quite nice-looking young girl, maybe 20-22. When I was already finishing my workout she came to me and asked with a hesitation in her voice: "Are you, I mean, you look like a real sportsman, are you a sportsman?"

A sportsman! Hell, no! As everyone who's spent ten minutes with me knows that I don't even watch any sports. When the girl said "are you", I thought she was going to ask if I'm the same guy who's written those books on pulp fiction, but that does sound a bit implausible. Girls don't come running after a guy who's written Pulpografia and Six Guns. (Maybe White Heat will change all that.)

I said to her that no, this is just a hobby. She goes: "Wow! I mean, you look real good!" or something to that effect (exaggerated now of course, just to get you male readers jealous of my success). I said "thanks" and it's nice to hear that since I've been going to gym for over ten years (and should really have bigger muscles by now, but I think I'm too lazy for real workouts and protein diets). In the end I got embarrassed and mumbled something about having to go now and went to take a shower.

This is the second time I've seen someone trying to pick up someone at the gym (of course it was a pick up! I mean, what else, just a compliment?). The first time was when some guy - really, I'm not making this up - went to a girl who was stretching and asked: "Do you come here often?"

This reminds me that I've had plans about writing a crime novel situating in gyms and the world of bodybuilders. I don't know if there's been one - should be. All that illegal hormone stuff and brainless morons killing each other with lifts. Could be fun to read.

(My success didn't stop here. On the way home I dropped by the store to buy some wheat protein.. nah, only yoghurt.. and the girl at the cashier flirted with me. This must have something to do with my new jeans.)

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Uh All Night

I've used the word here before, but Kauto was a real pain-in-the-ass last night. He woke up at 00:00 and Elina tried to sooth him back to sleep. It seemed to work, but then he said "Uh" and got up and said "Uh" again (and lots of other sounds - this guy has a large vocabulary for a ten-month) and after several attempts Elina got mad and rushed out of the bedroom. I tried to walk Kauto back to sleep and sang him bed-time songs and it seemed to work when at 1:20 I put him back to his bed and went to the living room to say to Elina that we can go back to sleep now.

But no. Something - just a tiny little sound somewhere, maybe a squeak when Elina sat on the bed - woke him up and nothing could make him to back to sleep again. After attempts for half an hour or so I went to the living room to sleep (luckily there were still some mattresses lying on the floor after our friends Manu and Tuula and their five-months old son Otso dropped by and I got to bed immediately). I tried to wake up at 8:00 as usual, but couldn't and got up only at nine. Elina and Kauto woke up 9:30 - Kauto had to shit, which is pretty usual reason for him to wake up.

I've been quite exhausted today, but somehow I managed to gather rage to write my novel. I got over the 200th page! This is the longest piece I've ever written* and I'm a bit afraid what it will turn out to be. I mentioned that I was also afraid of some unconscious misogyny and now I tried to make the lady more likeable and more human.

* With the exception of White Heat, of course, but it's more a collection of dozen essays than a single continuing story.


Before Kauto started to uh his uh's, I finished The Keys of Hell by Jack Higgins. It was originally published in 1965 as by Martin Fallon, but the paperback reprint was under his real name. Now, I know Higgins is a popular author and a guy like Bill Crider likes his books, but I didn't actually see why. The style was a bit stilted and there was no life to Paul Chavasse, who was the hero of the Martin Fallon books, even though you could see Higgins try very hard. But then again, the concept of economical storytelling is an intriguing one and that's just what Higgins does.

In the spy genre, though, you would like to see some flesh. In the other hardboiled genres (I don't know if one could actually call Higgins's books hardboiled), for example in stories about love and betrayal (check out Day Keene or Gil Brewer or Scott Phillips) the flesh comes out of the storyline itself, in spy novels this ain't necessarily so. It's no wonder the spy bestsellers are now so padded and full of flesh and boring. This is quite paradoxical. Maybe it's just that I don't really care for spy genre (or Jack Higgins, which might be a simplest explanation). I've liked books by Eric Ambler and John leCarre (they have much of flesh by way of comments of the political intrigue and social order) and am mildly enthusiastic about Donald Hamilton's Matt Helm series (and a bit about Edward Aarons's Sam Durell of Stephen Marlowe's Chet Drum series), but as a whole genre I'm left a bit cold.

Let's say it's just Higgins. Or then it's just Higgins on a bad day. (I'll put the cover of the Finnish edition here soon.)


I just heard that Edward Bunker has died. Sorry to hear that. He was a good writer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Sin City

I noticed scrolling down my earlier posts that I promised to say something about Sin City. The film has had some mixed reviews - no wonder! It is so extravagant that you know from the word go that half of the people hate it and other love it just for the extravagance itself. I'm somewhere between, but at the moment I notice that already week away from the actual viewing I'm forgetting half of it and can't get enough speed to my writing. I should've written the review at once (and I did, but it was for a magazine, Sarjainfo - check it out, if you know your Finnish).

There are good moments in the film and the one with Mickey Rourke as Marv is the best episode in the film - as it is in the original graphic novel. The one with the megababes is easily the worst - it seems like a psycho teenager's wet dream. I mean, hookers with lots of guns? Isn't this a bit adolescent? (The episode is weakest also plot-wise. It starts from nowhere and ends only with a huge bang.)

The whole movie is like a wet dream itself: there are the bad guys who get a hard-on from violence and hurting (and slicing and even eating) innocent ones and then there are the good guys, who will kick the bad guys' asses. You can get the excitement of the Big Fat Kill, but then you dont' have to feel guilty for your hard-on, because the good guys kill the baddies and enjoy every f***ing minute of it. Their babes love it, too. There's also lots of technology of killing, which bothers me a bit, because it makes the killing seem so funny and innocent somehow.

What interests me most, though, is that the real bad guy, the Senator, gets away. In front of the real power, Miller's and Rodriguez's men withdraw.

Disney tie-in novel

A novelization of the Disney movie Davy Crockett with Fess Parker. There's no author mentioned, but I believe it's Ardis Edwards Burton. He has a book called Walt Disney Legends of Davy Crockett (Whitman 1955) and it's the only one I can find that fits the Finnish book. Other tie-ins of the movie are Little Golden Books or similar stuff.

Ugly James Hadley Chase cover

James Hadley Chase's second novel was called "The Dead Stay Dumb" and it was published in 1939. For some reason, the first Finnish edition came only in 1994 - with this cover. Pretty striking, huh?

The Finnish title means "The Dead Don't Speak". It's an ugly novel, but I don't really know if it's any good. It's obvious Chase couldn't plot at all, but he makes his people down-right nasty. Even without any sensible reason, though.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Spanish pulp covers

Roberto who had a comment on my previous post (or one of them, I can't keep track of them anymore) keeps a great blog here. I don't know what the heck he's really talking about, but the sight of Spanish-speaking fotonovels that seem to deal with crime and erotics catch my eye every time. Check it out.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Pulp Fiction, African style

I got these from an e-mail list I'm on. They are about African, mainly Nigerian, pulp literature that has traditionally been called "Onitsha" in there. The first two links are about the stuff, the last one is the actual merchandise. (Beware, though: the PDF's are huge and open pretty slow. Not at all, if you're at a modem.) This ain't no Mike Hammer or even Rocky Steele.

Writing binge

I'm on a writing binge, which is quite rare to me. Once I started working on my mainstream novel about the comic artist I've been at it for hours every day (except for the weekend). It's suddenly bursting with drama and action and larger-than-life feelings and I'm thinking I could get it to end pretty quickly - at least before the end of the summer.

There's just one thing - the main man is turning out more unpleasant than I first imagined. The same with one of the leading women. I can't stop it - they just go that way. I read from Nick Hornsby's interview that there's no way you can say that your characters just are that way - Hornsby said that everything comes from the author's head. But for some reason it just happens. I'm a bit afraid that someone might say that the woman character I'm talking about shows misogyny or male chauvinism, and I think I must do something about it. But maybe I'll just write the stuff and see about it later.


Listening to Big Star's 1# Record/Radio City which is great harmonic, yet brittle pop from the seventies.

Reading The Dead Stay Dumb by James Hadley Chase. The Finnish translation has one of the most awful covers I've ever seen - I'll post it here later. It's an early Chase, from 1939, and while it's pretty wild, it's also somewhat moronic. There's no real plot, no real characters - all the killings and counterfeits just happen almost out of nowhere. Maybe it's surrealism. (I know that the French are enthusiastic for Chase.)

Susanna wins a photograph contest

I've forgotten to mention that my friend Susanna Majuri has won a big photograph contest in France - it was during a show called Work in Progress held in Arles, France, and it's for young European photographers.

Susanna (and her boyfriend Tero Kartastenpää) took pictures for our talkkuna book and they will be taking pictures also for our book on flea markets (and hopefully other future books, too). Check out some of Susanna's photos here and here. Take a look at this, too.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Negro enjoy banana! Yummy!

This is from an ABC book I found in a flea market couple days back. It says: "Negro enjoys a banana." [Due to popular demand, I changed the word from "nigger" to "Negro". - JN]

I couldn't find a year in the book, but it's approximately from the late sixties or early seventies. This is what the Finnish kids were taught quite recently. (It's not an official ABC book, thank God!)

Turun Sanomat, the leader of Finnish journalism

Turun Sanomat (The Turku News) is the leading newspaper in the town we live in - and what a shame that is! It's a boring paper, filled with sports and unimaginatively written short articles about women on pension raising gardenias, you know that stuff, close to people and blah blah.

I wanted to include this ad they sent me (and all the others who don't yet subscribe to TS) here, because it's an intriguing thought that they should give their editor-in-chief, Ari Valjakka, away as a prize. He's the third from the top. It's a contest. I think it goes like this: first gets to to spend one night with the free-wheeling guy on top (check out that facial hair!), second gets all the bicycles and third - oh, poor soul! - has to spend two weeks with Mr. Valjakka.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Beautiful raw sounds of garage rock

Haven't been writing about music for a long time, even though I listen to records all the time I'm writing. Past few days I've been listening mainly to one record only: Instant Garage, compilation of sixties garage rock and acid punk that was delivered with the Mojo magazine. At the moment it's playing "Train Kept A Rollin" by Brave New World. Have you heard of them? You should. They play the ass-kickingest rock'n'roll ever heard on this planet. Man, oh man! Seen Blow-Out where the Yardbirds play the same song? It's a great scene and a great band, but Brave New World wipes the floor with those English snobs. (Must admit though that it's totally ripped off from the Yardbirds.)*

Garage rock, the original acid punk of the sixties, has always been and maybe will be for days to come my favourite music. Other styles and other bands come and go, but garage stays. I don't know why. Maybe it's the perfect combination of raw power and yet harmonious melodies. (Well, Brave New World isn't very harmonic...) The both got separated in the seventies, with some exceptions.

The record kicks off with MC5 playing "Kick Off the Jams". It's the "Kick off the jams, motherfuckers!" version, the normal live LP version says "Kick off the jams, brothers and sisters". Revolution never sounded so good. MC5 hasn't normally been called a garage band, even though its roots are heavily in the acid punk. There are also other anomalies in the compilation, such as the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Your Boy Friend" (very nice song which I recorded into a love cassette for Elina at the beginning of our relationship) and New York Dolls' "Personality Crisis". There's also early Jonathan Richman and very angry, very punky "She Cracked". I don't know why Richman abandoned punk. I mean, he's great, but his punk songs are much better than his naive, sing-a-long children's rock.

There are many classics. The Sonics.. what more can I say. "Psycho". The last drum break gives me the willies. Paul Revere and the Raiders: "Just Like Me". Very nasty. The Count Five: "Psychotic Reaction", The Electric Prunes: "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" etc. etc. And there are also some total unknowns with grrreat tunes. I mean, what could be a better way to start a new life than to listen to the Artesians' "Trick Bag". The Artesians? Huh? Who they? I don't know, but they sure know how to rock the house.

There are also some great tunes that make me think that garage is an equivalent of noir paperbacks of the same era. Gil Bateman's "My Daddy Walked in Darkness" is a perfect example, brooding and nasty noir piece. The Sonics' "The Witch" is a teenage juvie paperback, about the sour relationships between boys and girls and the mean mean babe.

* I have another version on C cassette, by someone called Steve Walker and the Bold. It's wild and almost hysterical version and I would like to find out more about the outfit. I don't know the exact name of the band, but I presume it's the above. Anyone?

PS. I saw "Sin City" today. More about it later.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Missions accomplished

I finished today two jobs: got to the end of the juvenile novel (it's not actually YA, as I said here before, it's about a 14-year old girl) and finished translating Jason Starr's Nothing Personal.

Now, only thing is to find a publisher for these... Elina promised she will go through the juvie and we'll have to make corrections, and I will of course edit the translation, but now I can go on to other matters. I already went after my mainstream novel that tells about the relationships of a comic artist in the present-day Finland. There was a dead moment going on, but I think I could fix it and there will be enough drama to work on.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Mark Preston

I forgot to note last night that the ever reliable Thrilling Detective site has a small entry for Mark Preston, the P.I. hero of Peter Chambers/Philip Daniels/Dennis Phillips I was talking about.

Be sure to check all the new stories therein, too!


We went out for a picnic in our friend's backyard and had a wonderful time with the kids splashing in the small water pool and playing with the family dog. So, not much in the works. I read the short story I've been talking about. It's not bad, I tell you, rather nasty little piece of noir. To be modest.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Various stuff, pt. 2

Now it's cooled off a little bit, so I decided to some blogging while I'm editing a short story for Isku. It's written by some high school guy and it's a very grim and violent story about kiddie porn. Quite tough. There are some problems with the language, though, and I thought I should send this back to the boy.

I was drinking booze last night. I was quite prepared for it, but then I found out that nobody wanted to go with me. Well, Jussi was at Anjalankoski and Juhis in Budapest, so they had pretty good reasons not to go.

At long last I managed to get hold of one person who said "yes" - an old friend from the university who's spending the summer in Turku. We went out for one or two and then headed for Dynamo, the city's coolest nightclub that is built in the old wooden house. It's generally a great place and I like to hang out in there - provided I have friends. Anssi started quite early to hit on women and vanished and left me with some people he knew, but whose names I'd already forgotten. I can blame myself totally for this - I could've been more social.

I was waiting for my friends, Tero and Susanna, to come out of the rock festival, Ruisrock, but then at 01:30 only Susanna came in. She said that she's lost Tero and wanted to find him. I said that I'm bored here and wanted to go with her. We found Tero and walked him home. I then went home and picked up some kebab on the way. I felt quite sad and alienated from the cheering crowd. After all this it was very nice to come home and find Kauto and Elina sleeping cozily next to each other.

Something else also happened. I met briefly a woman I know by sight and whom I know to be a psychiatrist. Now, all the shrinks need shrinks themselves, but this one needs it bad. I had written a short article for a newspaper supplement about men's underwear. I'm first to admit that it was shallow and all that, but this woman attacked me like I'd done something bad. She said it was ugly and I'm greedy to do this kind of thing for money. I said I don't want to discuss this in her terms and walked out very much pissed off. I never found out what she was up to. Certainly not a good way to pick up a guy.


I didn't have much of a hangover, so we went out for a lunch. Kauto was a pain in the ass, though. He's learned how to get off his chair and tries to get on the table, also in restaurants. We had to eat in turns and follow the boy around. He did this several times at home, too, and at dinner we almost got mad. We have to put him in leashes tomorrow. (Is that a correct word?)

Later on we went out to a park. Kauto was so happy to be able to walk around and dig his hands into sand. It was too hot, though, and we had to leave home pretty early. Kauto felt hot when we got back and was a bit irritated. He needs more company than he did, say, two months ago when he would play by himself when we ate, now he needs company and entertainment. He doesn't yet eat same food with us and usually he nags at a piece of bread while we eat.

Tonight we ate some licorice candy while we watched TV and Kauto got his hand to it and ate one of them! After that he started shouting every time he saw us eating candies.

By the way, we were watching a short documentary on collecting and collectors. We were furious. All the collectors in the show were rich folk who collected old silver and other boring stuff! We would've thought that they would've interviewed at least one person who collects seventies cloths or plastic toy cars or more pop stuff like that. Now collecting seemed like an elitist hobby for the rich and beautiful (well-kept housewives they were). And the talk about collecting - how blabbery can you go? (Is this a word?) All the same tired stuff about ecology and the joy of finding and all that. You'd think someone would come up with something original. (And what ecology is in antique fairs, with dozens and dozens of dealers driving from all over country to some warmed-up hall, and with people driving there in their cars?)

And I swear to God that I'm going to kill the next director who plays goddam dixieland when there's some old stuff in the picture? This is a disease, spread already too far, and I've seen it happen too many times. What the f**k does dixieland have to do with the silver from the 1700's? The whole goddam program was like an ad for the antique dealers. And none of the collectors interviewed was ready to admit that they are just some walking syndromes who have nothing better to do with their lives. Almost all the serious collectors I know are just that.

(Er.. would I be willing to admit that? Hell, here goes: I'm just some walking syndrome who has nothing better to do with his life.)


I've been reading crime novels by one Philip Daniels. Anyone know him? Anyone ever read anything by Philip Daniels? He's a British crime and thriller stalwart who started out in the late fifties writing cheap hardbacks for such publishers as Jenkins* and Robert Hale. He has also written as by Peter Chambers and Peter Chester, and he has a P.I. series about Mark Preston. I've read one of those (Jail Bait, 1983) and it's pretty much okay, but too short. At the moment I'm reading Goldmine - London W.1. (1979), a caper novel. It's okay this far, but I'm waiting for a late twist. Earlier I read Cinderella Spy (1984), but its ending was just too abrupt. But clearly Daniels is one of the better second tier British thriller writers.

Okay, enough of this. Time to go to bed. Hope you made it through here.

Oh, by the way, with Mika Lietzen we put a blog about Finnish cover illustrators. It's yet very new, but check it out at

* There seems to be a vanity press called Jenkins nowaday, but I think it's not the same house as the old Jenkins that dealt with genre lit.


It's too damn hot to write anything. We left the curtains up when we went for a walk and now the study is like a sauna! I'm here without my shirt and still dripping sweat...

Numerology and terrorism

pHinn hinted at the technic of numerology that the recent London terrorists have and gave this rather stupendous link to check:

Zombie dogs

Boffins create zombie dogs

By Nick Buchan of 27-06-2005 From:,10119,15739502,00.html

Eerie ... boffins have brought dead dogs back to life, in the name ofscience.

SCIENTISTS have created eerie zombie dogs, reanimating the canines afterseveral hours of clinical death in attempts to develop suspendedanimation for humans. US scientists have succeeded in reviving the dogs after three hours ofclinical death, paving the way for trials on humans within years. Pittsburgh's Safar Centre for Resuscitation Research has developed atechnique in which subject's veins are drained of blood and filled withan ice-cold salt solution. The animals are considered scientifically dead, as they stop breathing and have no heartbeat or brain activity. But three hours later, their blood is replaced and the zombie dogs are brought back to life with an electric shock. Plans to test the technique on humans should be realised within a year, according to the Safar Centre.

However rather than sending people to sleep for years, then bringing them back to life to benefit from medical advances, the boffins would be happy to keep people in this state for just a few hours, But even a this should be enough to save lives such as battlefield casualties and victims of stabbings or gunshot wounds, who have suffered huge blood loss. During the procedure blood is replaced with saline solution at a fewdegrees above zero. The dogs' body temperature drops to only 7C, compared with the usual 37C, inducing a state of hypothermia before death.

Although the animals are clinically dead, their tissues and organs are perfectly preserved.Damaged blood vessels and tissues can then be repaired via surgery. The dogs are brought back to life by returning the blood to theirbodies,giving them 100 per cent oxygen and applying electric shocks to restart their hearts. Tests show they are perfectly normal, with no brain damage." The results are stunning. I think in 10 years we will be able to prevent death in a certain segment of those using this technology," said one US battlefield doctor.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Various stuff

It seems that my blogging consists mainly of pictures and covers nowadays. While I know many are interested, I thought I should blog something personal here as well.


I got today to the end of the short crime story for Tapani's anthology. The ending didn't turn out to be very satisfactory, so I'll have to deal with it later on. Maybe I'll have to rewrite the whole stuff, there's something unconvincing in the whole set-up. Tapani told me to hold my horses, since he heard from the publisher that they might still want some famous writer for the book and that this might drop some newcomers from the crew. Not very far-sighted thinking. Tapani said not to worry.


I also made a breakthrough in the YA book. I changed only one thing and it more plausible later on. Funny that you don't have to do much.


The end of "Nothing Personal" is near. Some ten pages to go. I think I won't do any translating for a while, even though I like it. There are no sure results of the book getting published, so I'll have to cut it down. Even though I'm going to translate a short story by a veteran pulpster D.B. Newton for Ruudinsavu. But hey, it's only a short story! I've been toying with the idea of translating Russell Banks's "The Rule of the Bone" on spec , but the language Banks uses isn't very easy, so I don't know.


I also edited the manuscript of a book we are doing with my friend Jukka. It's a joke book about famous last words - not real ones, but invented ones. There are some quite absurd ones in there - "But the eyes don't move" is one example. It will be interesting to note what publishers say about this. I see it as a picture book, but not with the usual picture book illos - I see rather something absurd.


We are also doing another book on first names, with our friend Rea who has amassed quite a collection of first names all over the world. This one will be about new names, the ones that haven't been used. We'll see about that one, too. We just know it would sell if done and marketed properly. We did a similar book a year ago, but it was from a very small press, so it didn't get much coverage. And it was very small, only 300 names in it. It seems to be popular in the libraries, though.


There was an interviewer today from Kouvolan Sanomat. The guy drove three and half hours just to chat with me for an hour or so! It was about the movie book, as you can imagine. We talked about the movies based on computer games. While I'm not an expert on computer games, I managed to say that the films based on them are not a new phenomenon in any sense, since there were cartoon-based films already in the first decade of the 20th century. They are just a continuation of adapting popular media on the screen. We only lack the stage adaptation. Just think: Lara Croft, Max Payne, Doom II...


As you can see, my work methods are not very sensible. I try to write everyday at least for three hours. I start with my own prose, then translate some pages and then move on to non-fiction. I wrote today a bit about another Hank Jason I finished last night and dabbled with the last famous words book. Then I read the e-mails and then the interviewer came. After that I've done pretty much nothing. Maybe I should write more or do my stuff in a different way, since sometimes I feel I do to much at the time and can't concentrate properly. There's stress in the air. I shouted both at Ottilia and Kauto yesterday (for which I was later ashamed) and thought that maybe I should relax for a while. At the moment I'm going to lay on bed with Elina and Kauto and maybe take a nap.

Have a nice weekend!

James Reasoner confirmed that the Bradford Scott novel I found is indeed "Frontier Doctor". Here's the rather unimaginative cover of the original hardback. The story was published earlier in a pulp magazine called West. The cover used in the Finnish translation was presumably from there.

Quite tantalizing take at S/M. Is the woman totally without a skirt?! The novel is about crime in shoe fashion business.

Great hardback cover of the previous one.

As Marsten Hunter also did crime and mystery. Here's a paperback original from Permabooks in 1957.

Another early SF by Hunter.

Evan Hunter aka Ed McBain aka Richard Marsten aka Curt Cannon, previously Salvatore Lambino, has passed away at the age of 78. He's much missed. Here are some pictures from the beginning of his career when he hadn't yet developed his most famous series, the 87th Precinct. This is a juvenile SF novel from the mid-fifties. The cover is by Alex Schomburg.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

As I've said couple times before, I've been reading British Hank Jason novels lately. This is a good one, one written presumably by Stephen Frances, who was a Communist (!)and took part in the Spanish Civil War. The original title is "Way Out Wanton" which has nothing to do with the story that focuses around Hank Jason, crime reporter of a Chicago newspaper, in British Guyana trying to find a diamond smuggler. Rather strikingly for a British paperback series this is written in present tense. It's a tough and quite cynical adventure novel, with some reminiscence of Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" when Jason sails up the river in the middle of jungles. Perhaps the best of Hank Jasons I've read. Some have been appallingly bad.

The illustration in the Finnish cover is by Robert McGinnis, snatched from another book. The title means "The Exciting Glitter" or something to that effect. The cover also says: "Diamonds excite everyone - some even to death!"

Here's the original "The Iron Horse". Not quite the same, but not far away.

The cover of the Finnish translation of Edwin C. Hill's "Iron Horse", the novelization of the John Ford silent Western film. I think the Finnish cover is a redrawing of the original illustration.

Very beautiful and striking early Finnish cover for a Zane Grey novel (the title translated back is "The Spirit of Frontier").

Here's a cover of as yet unidentified Bradford Scott translation from 1947. It could be "Frontier Doctor" from 1946. The Finnish title means "The Outlaw's Revenge". I believe the cover is an original one, from a pulp or hardback.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Here's another great noir novel from the fifties and sixties by a female writer: How Like an Angel from Margaret Millar (1961). A true masterpiece. The Finnish cover from the nineties is appalling, although you notice it has origins in this.

I also had this in black and white, so here goes. It's a Permabook reprint from the early sixties. (The book was a hardback originally.)

Sorry - this was black and white! But I don't feel like scanning it again. It was meant for Ruumiin Kulttuuri's piece on femme noir (which hasn't been published yet) and their mag is b&w.

Dolores Hitchens

Ed Gorman wrote about Dolores Hitchens in his blog the other day. I've read two books by Hitchens and they are both very good. The only translation is Askelet yössä/Footsteps in the Night (1961), which is a very grim tale of a suburban neighbourhood and its secrets. Very highly recommended. I think I have the scan of the Finnish cover somewhere, will put it here sooner or later. I've also read Sleep with Slander (1960) that Gorman recommends as her best work - I have no doubts about that. Very realistic, very grim, very touching private eye novel that deals with incest and child kidnapping. As Gorman says, the themes were very taboo in the time of the publication.

If I were a publisher, I'd bring out the translation of Sleep with Slander. (Gorman says, though, that when he tried to get publishers interested in reprinting Hitchens, her agent turned out to be too greedy and the plans failed.)

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

I bought some old Jerry Cottons by my friend Tapani. Here's a good example: Tappava tippa, AKA The Deadly Drop. Some of the Jerry Cottons had stills from movies, in my batch today there are Nick Nolte and Morgan Freeman and some other fellows whose names escape me at the moment.

Here's a Swedish paperback translation of a mystery novel by Paul Kruger (whose real name was Elizabeth Linington). The cover is by Spanish artist Noguet.

Monday, July 04, 2005

I'm putting here also some Tarsa novels from the early fourties, from the era of the Winter War. Tarsa was a boy raised by bears, and he fought the Russians. These are only black and white, unfortunately. This is "The Sixth Column of Tarsa: The Adventure Novel of the Winter War".

Tarsa, the Bear Man.

This is another Tarsa (Tarsa in the Hyrsyla Curve). The next one is called "Tarsa and the Secret of the Hide-away Cave".

I'm putting some pictures from my father's birthday book. Here's my father in 1977 or 1978. I think the photo is taken by my brother Aki or me.

Still something funny. That's me riding a three-wheel bike.

That's me at the well in the backyard of our grandparents' place. The year is most likely 1973.

That's me suddenly attacking the photographer, i.e. my dad. He never knew what happened, but took a great photo.

Me and my brother riding our uncle's bike in Mantta. The year is approximately 1974.

Me and my brother (in the back) at the balcony of our fifth store apartment. Nice use of a distortive objective.

A young writer at work.

That's me after a breakfast my father had arranged - which was extremely rare - and you can see chips of food on my face. Afterwards we went to a sports contest and dad took some photos for a newspaper he was working in at the time and I believe the photo was taken at the same time. This is a very soulful photo.

That's my big brother Aki (left) and me at an old railway station near Pori where we lived.

That's me at the age of roughly six to eight, playing a flute (not really a flute, what's that darn thing?) in Mantta, where we used to visit our grandmother. I think the flute was a Christmas gift.

Back from the trip

We got back from the trip to Vammala, where there's the largest book-selling [tapahtuma] in Finland. We had our own tables with my father and sold quite many books. I can't say any exact numbers, but I think it was quite big. I didn't have time to check any books to buy, but I snatched something from my father's piles. From a box that seemed to be doomed to oblivion in the remotest corner of some closet I took a sports paperback by Roe Richmond and "Redbeard" by Michael Resnick (a Lancer PBO from 1969).


I promised to reveal what the mystery item was that had something to do with an old photograph about me and my mother.

My father had his 60th birthday Wednesday week ago. As a present I made him a birthday book, with some 20-30 photographs he took of me and my big brother. I printed 50 copies of it (and got it the ISBN code, so it's an official publication and my dad's first!) and gave him 25 copies last Friday when there was a city welcome party in Vammala. He was pretty glad and amused, even though I'd been a bit afraid he might get angry: "Did it ever occur to you to ask for a permission?" Nothing like that.

I'll post some of pictures here in a short while. Am trying to get back to the rhythm of ordinary work, so have to cut down the blogging for a couple of days now.