Posts Tagged ‘Saving Private Ryan’

Physical Media Therapy

Tuesday, August 1st, 2023

Let’s talk movies a bit, and physical media as well.

Barbenheimer as a phenomenon is interesting but will probably cause a lot of trouble for us as Hollywood decides to contrive future “double features” like this. Apparently Barbenheimer was a meme that went viral (as they say) and grew like Topsy or maybe cancer cells. But overall it continues to get people back into theaters in a summer where movies bringing in hundreds of millions at the worldwide box-office are deemed flops (Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny) or disappointments (Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part One).

Barbenheimer worked for two reasons: first, it was organic; second, the two movies were good. (I saw this without having yet seen Barbie, but it’s apparent the movie is well-liked.) Had either movie stunk up the place, we’d be viewing the Barbenheimer thing a whole different way. Movies can’t be good, apparently, unless they do big box-office.

Barb Collins celebrates Barbenheimer with a Barbie sundae at Lagomarcino’s in the Village of East Davenport
Barb Collins celebrates Barbenheimer with a Barbie sundae at Lagomarcino’s in the Village of East Davenport

Oppenheimer has received a lot of well-deserved praise, but this you-must-see-it-in-70mm-IMAX thing is either hype got out of hand or movie buffs being snooty (or both). Only nineteen theaters in America (tickets being scalped at $100 up) are showing it in IMAX, but the more standard 2:40:1 aspect ratio presentation is available all over the place. Nolan’s film, well-acted particularly by Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey, Jr., is in many ways a standard bio-pic. It is talky in the best sense, skewing away from the science and concentrating on the politics, and a film that is mostly dialogue in rooms. Yes, the atomic bomb test probably benefits from IMAX; but most of the three hours does not. Not at all.

I continue to believe that Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, despite its genuinely shitty title, will be reevaluated in years to come. Mission Impossible, too, though this great action-fest is hampered by a shallow, trendy use of A.I. as the nebulous bad guy.

So watch for Hollywood to misjudge this phenomenon and try to turn it into a trend. I can see it now – the next James Bond movie and a Christopher Nolan movie about Ike sold as Bondenhower. A Power Pups movie opening with a Tarrantino film becomes Pupantino. Maybe Star Wars and a new Leprechaun movie can be Star Warrick.

Yes, pathetic madness lies ahead.

Where does physical media fit into this? Well, even as they promise us more, streamers deliver less – yanking new films after a few weeks when not enough eyes have been attracted, disappearing short-run series, dropping (in the old sense) episodes from classic TV. Perry Mason seasons have vanished before my very eyes, individual episodes of that great series also.

So people like me – longtime movie fanatics, already addicted to buying Blu-rays and 4K discs (having traveled the road to Perdition by way of Beta prerecords, VHS tapes, laserdiscs, and the forgotten HDTV format that was Blu-ray’s competition) – are tempted to buy even more physical media. An over-reaction? Of course, because all I know how to do is over-react.

But am I? Disney – a corporation seemingly devoted to making a schlemiel like Ron DeSantis look good – has announced they will soon be dropping (in the old sense!) physical media in Australia with plans for world-wide domination, no, I mean capitulation. After all, they are only projected to make around four-hundred million on DVDs and Blu-rays this year, when last year it was close to six million. So Disney has decided to drop (in the old sense) the trap door under their customers who like to buy the stuff.

The positive aspect of this is that boutique distributors/packagers of movies and TV are popping up all around the world. More releases are projected this year than ever before; but they are primarily targeted to hardcore collectors. These are companies like Arrow, Severin, Vinegar Syndrome, Kino Lorber, Shout!, Eureka (UK), Indicator, 88 Films, Imprint (from the beleaguered Australia) and two longtime labels, Warner Archive and of course Criterion. These are not the only ones and more are coming. The one-stop shopping site, Diabolik, has about thirty such labels, including MVD who distribute some of my stuff, produced by VCI (this is where the Spillane documentary/Encore for Murder combo will likely be available on Blu-ray before year’s end). Third Window Films is my son Nate’s distributor of choice for oddball Asian fare, although just about all of the labels Diabolik carries are snapping up Chinese and Japanese film licenses right and left, too.

Good news, right?

For everything but the pocketbook. Arrow, Indicator and Imprint (among others) specialize in rather fabulous boxed sets – Blu-rays and 4Ks plus bells and whistles like books, lobby card reproductions, bonus features (like the commentaries I’ve done for the two Spillane titles at Classic Flix), on-camera interviews…heaven.

And hell when you try to decide what to buy and deal with what you can afford. How pricey is this stuff? How about an Emanuelle box set for four 4K discs for over a hundred bucks? Imprint has wonderful boxes of directors Walter Hill (around $170!) and Sidney J. Furie (I bought the latter to finally get The Lawyer with Barry Newman on Blu-ray – over a hundred bucks), and actor Gene Hackman (around $90). These tend to be runs of 2000 or even less, so they sell out, and on e-bay you might as well bid on a new car.

These boxed sets are designed to make the thirteen year-old collector in you go slightly mad. Strike “slightly.” The only ways around this problem are shrugging and saying you can’t afford it, or starting to rob liquor stores. Is there no help in sight?

Actually, there are some excellent programs on You Tube “channels” (whatever those are) that review and showcase the new and upcoming releases, particularly boxed set stuff and oddities and cultish material.

Among the very best is Robert Meyer Burnett’s Let’s Get Physical Media (with a German buff named Dieter). Here’s the latest episode.

Also first-rate is Cereal at Midnight with the very knowledgeable Heath Holland. Like Burnett, Heath is very much ready for prime time, whereas many of these home video experts on You Tube are barely ready for prime chuck. You can try Heath out here.

I also really enjoy Brandon Chowen and his Cinefessions posts. Brandon’s approach to the hobby is closer to my level. He is a bottom feeder who checks out Dollar Tree and pawnshops, and who does “unboxing” episodes (opening blind-buy boxes, where he’s purchased fifty DVDS and Blu-rays in a surprise package and opens it up and makes discoveries). He is knowledgeable (though he didn’t know who Bobby Darin was when he got a copy of Beyond the Sea in a blind box!) and has a theater background, and his manner is friendly and unpretentious.

Still, keep in mind all of these reviewers – at least the ones like those above, who have substantial followings – are getting a good share of what they’re showcasing free. They get review copies, and you pay hard cash. Thus has it always been. When was the last time my pal Leonard Maltin paid to see a movie, do you suppose?

What’s the answer? For me, it’s controlling my worst impulses. I have to be able to look at that incredible Bruce Lee box from Arrow and remember that I already have the Criterion box, and those movies made in Hong Kong were ragged productions in the first place. How much better do I need to see them? Do I really need to flip through lobby card reproductions like a losing poker hand?

I am at stage in my life where I need to be selling stuff to Half-Price Books (home of getting raped without a cigarette offer after) and not buying anything there. But I am weak. And even in the biggest year for home video EVER, all of these YouTube experts are convinced that Physical Media is dying. The sky really is falling and that’s a Blu-ray you’re about to be clunked by.

The Davenport Barnes & Noble shows some M.A.C. support.
The Davenport Barnes & Noble shows some M.A.C. support.
The Davenport Barnes & Noble shows some M.A.C. support.
* * *

Here is something very strange – a book supposedly written by me (and my name is mentioned several times in the review) has popped up.

But I did not write it. Hell, I have not even read it.

This may be some A.I. stunt or just a mistake, but it does seem like we have to be wary these days on every front.

In a world where overpopulation has reached critical levels, governments are forced to implement drastic measures to control the population. In the midst of this chaos, a gripping novel titled “What Happened to Monday” by Max Allan Collins takes readers on a thrilling journey through a dystopian future.

The story is set in the year 2073, where families are only allowed to have one child due to limited resources. Any additional children are taken away by the Child Allocation Bureau (CAB) and put into cryosleep until the world can sustain them. The protagonist, Karen Settman, gives birth to identical septuplets and decides to keep them hidden from the authorities.

To ensure their survival, Karen names each child after a day of the week and teaches them to impersonate a single person named Karen Settman. Each sibling is allowed to go outside only on their designated day, assuming the identity of Karen. They must follow strict rules to maintain their secret, including sharing information about their daily experiences with each other.


The novel also raises important questions about the role of government in controlling population growth. While the concept of limiting family size may seem extreme, it serves as a cautionary tale about the potential consequences of unchecked population growth. The story forces readers to consider the ethical implications of such measures and the impact they have on individual freedoms.

Collins’ writing style is fast-paced and engaging, keeping readers on the edge of their seats throughout the book. The narrative is filled with suspenseful twists and turns, making it difficult to put down. The author expertly balances action-packed scenes with moments of introspection, allowing readers to connect with the characters on a deeper level.

The character development in “What Happened to Monday” is exceptional. Each sister is distinct and well-rounded, with their own strengths and weaknesses. The bond between the siblings is palpable, and readers can’t help but root for their survival. The author also explores the complexities of their relationships with each other, adding depth to the story.

The novel’s setting is vividly described, painting a bleak picture of a future world grappling with overpopulation. The author’s attention to detail creates a sense of realism, making it easy for readers to immerse themselves in the story. From the cramped apartment where the sisters live to the bustling streets of the city, every aspect of the world feels authentic.

“What Happened to Monday” is a thought-provoking and thrilling read that will leave readers questioning the limits of government control and the lengths one would go to protect their family. Collins’ masterful storytelling and well-developed characters make this novel a must-read for fans of dystopian fiction. As the sisters fight for their survival and search for the truth, readers will be captivated by their journey and left eagerly awaiting the next twist in the plot.

In conclusion, “What Happened to Monday” is a gripping dystopian novel that explores themes of identity, sacrifice, and the consequences of government control. With its fast-paced narrative, well-developed characters, and thought-provoking storyline, this book is a must-read for fans of the genre. Max Allan Collins has crafted a compelling tale that will keep readers hooked from beginning to end.

[The article is indeed not written by a human being, and mostly plagiarizes summaries of a movie by a similar name (“Whatever Happened to Monday”). I copied this excerpt here rather than linking directly to the site, which generates a deluge of dubiously-accurate computer-generated pages designed to enshittify everyone’s Google results. –Nate]

* * *

Here is an interesting site that gives you the opportunity to vote if you think the book (usually a novelization) is better than the movie. The movie almost always wins. I invite you vote otherwise (when you agree that my book is better than the movie).

This individual seems (wisely) to think my BATMAN run is better than it’s cracked up to be.

Denny O’Neil himself seems to agree.

Finally, this is an interesting piece on Saving Private Ryan, with a reference to my novel of the screenplay.


No Time to Spy

Tuesday, December 7th, 2021
No Time to Spy: The John Sand Box Set cover
E-Book: Amazon

Next week – Wednesday December 15, to be exact – No Time to Spy will go on sale at Amazon (it’s up for pre-sale now). It will likely be labeled The John Sand Box, although there’s a possibility it might say The John Sand Trilogy (this has been under discussion at Wolfpack, our publisher…although we will soon be moving to Wolfpack’s Rough Edges Press imprint under the auspices of the great James Reasoner).

At the moment, No Time to Spy is listed only as a Kindle title, but a print edition will be available soon. We’ll announce that here. The Kindle price is $5.99, which for all three Sand novels is less than two bucks a book. Such a deal. (Don’t know the print edition price yet.)

The nature of the Sand novels makes an omnibus collection like this ideal, as the books work well as one big novel. Truthfully, they would work even better with a fourth book that Matt and I have in mind, but that’s in the hands of readers like you. For those of you who are interested enough in my work to pay attention to these blog/updates, but haven’t tried John Sand yet, now’s the time. If you read on Kindle, get busy. If you prefer print, stay tuned.

These books – despite what a few knucklehead reviewers on Amazon have said (you know – the “I’m a big fan of Max Allan Collins but his books suck” contingent) – these are not in any way spoofs. They are rather tough and violently actionful in the manner of the Fleming originals and the films (all but certain Roger Moore entries). They are not serious John Le Carre exercises, but take place in that world of ‘60s spies where Bond, Harry Palmer, Napoleon Solo (first season), John Drake and Matt Helm (books only) lived. This is the world Austin Powers made fun of.

I realize a good number of you are Old School readers. You not only like physical media, you like to browse in actual bookstores. But I have to ask your patience and, frankly, your help because my markets today are only partly served by the likes of Barnes & Noble and BAM!, no matter how much money I spend at both and the few independent bookstores I run across as an Iowan in Covidville. Two of my primary markets are e-book driven – Wolfpack and Neo-Text – and both serve the print market only through Amazon. Nothing I can do about that – I go where I’m wanted.

So don’t expect to find John Sand or Fancy Anders or Jimmy Leighton on the shelves of traditional bookstores. Ain’t gonna happen, at least not for a while. Take what’s left of my future in your hot little hands and help Jeff Bezos send William Shanter even further into outer space.

Captain Kirk and I implore you.

* * *

Matt Clemens and I live about thirty miles apart. I’m in Muscatine, Iowa, and he’s in Davenport, Iowa. We have written around 30 novels together, and he worked on all four of my indie features. I talk with him on the phone frequently and did so throughout the Covid lockdown, during which we wrote two of the John Sand books. But today, when he drove to Muscatine to bring me some books, was the first we’ve been in the same room together for almost two years.

It was fun. We talked about mystery writer stuff and explored possibilities for a fourth John Sand novel, while the family dog, Toaster – a demented Blue Heeler (is there any other kind?) – barked and then whimpered and finally rolled submissively on her back for Matt.

No one had been in our house except the others in our lockdown bubble – Nate and his missus and their two young ‘uns – since March 2020. Toaster is crazy as it is, but the presence of Matthew – not a small man – absolutely drove her past the brink and into insanity…a watchdog delirious with joy thanks to a human she knew well but hadn’t seen in ages.

Relationships on the phone and zoom work – they really do. But being in the same room as a friend and talking and interacting and looking at each other…it’s a part of being human that I’d missed more than I realized.

We did something we rarely did at the end of the day, Matt and me – we shook hands.

“Let’s write a book together next year,” he said

“Let’s,” I said.

* * *

Last week and through the weekend – with Jim Traylor’s counsel – I revised Spillane – King of Pulp Fiction for editor Otto Penzler at Mysterious Press. I delivered it today. I have also completed the 14-page synopsis of The Big Bundle, after spending many hours reading research, looking for the story part of the word history.

I think I found it, and I’m excited to be starting what will surely be one of the last few Heller novels, meaning it needs to be a really good one.

My very next project, which I will begin writing on the day this update appears, is my draft – working from Barb’s – of Antiques Foe. The pun, for those of you paying attention, is “faux/foe.” I really enjoy working on these.

* * *

Here is a Dave Thomas interview about our book The Many Lives of Jimmy Leighton.

About half-way through this podcast, the Evil Genius (Dave Slusher) talks about really liking my books but doesn’t think they’re great – they don’t show much “art.” At the beginning of my career, the New York Times mystery critic said: “Collins has an artless style that conceals a great deal of art.” So there, Evil Genius. But thanks.

Finally, we posted a link to this Ron Fortier review of Skim Deep before, but it’s such a lovely one, here it is again in case you missed it (picked up by ESO Network).


Girl Most Likely

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Audiobook Sample (MP3)
E-Book: Amazon
MP3 CD: Amazon
Audio CD: Amazon

I am, no fooling, writing this on April 1, which is the pub date of Girl Most Likely. The Galena, Illinois, based mystery/thriller, introducing police chief Krista Larson and her retired homicide cop father, Keith, marks a slight change of pace for me – although nothing so radical that anyone interested in my work will find themselves untethered.

First, if you live in or near Dubuque, Iowa, here’s what might like to spend the evening of Thursday, April 4 – I will be making the only major scheduled appeared for the new book at Carnegie-Stout Public Library, 360 W 11th Street, in Dubuque, starting at 7 p.m. The event will be hosted by River Lights Bookstore, who will sell books, including Girl Most Likely of course, and my appearance will be in the library’s auditorium space. I’ll give a short reading/talk, followed by an audience Q&A and the book signing. Barb will also be at the event and our “Barbara Allan” Antiques mysteries will be available there, too.

Second, those of you who have won advanced reading copies of the novel can now post your Amazon reviews. I have had one reader encounter difficulty getting Amazon to print a review – for reasons neither he nor I can figure out – but he was able to post the review easily at Barnes & Noble. So there’s your Plan B if you need one.

As I’ve said in interviews, Girl Most Likely grew out of my desire to do something reflective of the approach I’ve seen in the Nordic Noir of The Bridge, The Killing, Wallander, Varg Veum and other mystery/thrillers that combine wildly melodramatic bad guys with, generally, detectives who are a little more real than the P.I.s, hitmen and small-town theatrical divas I’ve been writing about in recent years.

Girl Most Likely is also reflective of my wanting to develop something more thriller-oriented for Thomas & Mercer, where such novels have been successful for them – including mine. The Reeder and Rogers political thrillers for T & M by Matt Clemens and me are among my best-selling novels ever. Supreme Justice has in particular racked up strong sales.

I view Girl Most Likely as an opportunity to expand my audience – to bring in more women, and younger readers who aren’t Baby Boomers like a lot of the Heller, Quarry and even Antiques readers are. The novel alternates points of view chapters between 28-year-old Krista (youngest police chief in the nation) and her 58-year-old father Keith, which allows me to court such new readers, as well as have the nice contrast between generations.

I shared here recently some of the odd reviews I got from the UK a while back – Girl was an Amazon Prime “First Read” title over there, last month – though most of the advance notices here have been pretty good to great. GoodReads (where I hope readers of these updates will consider posting reviews) has been somewhat spotty. This week we are likely to see more reviews and get a better general feel of the reaction.

The two complaints – from younger readers and often female ones – seem to be about the clothing description, which I’ve discussed here previously, and that the ending seems abrupt. The latter is because I ended the story without a post-game wrap-up chapter – you know, like on Perry Mason when Paul Drake says, “Perry, why did you have me drop dry ice into the Grand Canyon from a helicopter?” Instead I revert to my Spillane training and end the story when it’s over, in what is (I think) a punchy way.

One recurring compliment from readers posting reviews has been how much fun the book is – that it’s a great “beach read.” That’s at once nice to hear and a little bewildering. The novel has a number of second-person POV chapters, in which you are in the skin of a butcher-knife-wielding maniac. The violence, when it comes, is as rough as anything I have done elsewhere.

For me, as these early notices (like the wonderful review and article in The Big Thrill), have come at a distracting time, as I have been writing the sequel, Girl Can’t Help It. In fact, I finished that yesterday, or at least shipped it to my editor – one never knows if one is really “finished” until the editorial notes come in.

But working on a book in a series while reviews for the previous entry are coming in can be disconcerting – you feel like people are reading over your shoulder. Nonetheless, complaints about too much description, for example, are not going to convince me to send my characters running around naked in empty rooms – I will stubbornly continue to clothe them and put them in specific locations.

I do suspect – and it’s just a suspicion, and there’s no “boo hoo” in this – that some female readers may not be crazy about a man writing a woman’s point of view. I have of course done this many times before – Ms. Tree, anyone? – but I am occasionally getting that who-do-you-think-you-are vibe, imagined or not. This includes the objection that I sometimes call a female character “attractive,” as if I am imposing a cultural stereotype in so doing. But “attractive” is a subjective word – it’s one of those words that allows readers to plug whatever their idea of attractiveness is.

At any rate, I hope you will judge for yourself. I am very proud of this novel – and its sequel, which finds me dipping into my decades of rock ‘n’ roll in a way no novel of mine has before – and hope you will give them both a try.

Dan John Miller’s reading of the new novel is available now, too (haven’t listened to it yet – but Barb and I will, as Dan always performs in a stellar fashion). And I think Thomas & Mercer did an incredible job on the cover.

* * *

I see that Jordan Peele’s new horror film, Us, has topped $200 million at the box-office. Nonetheless, Barb and I walked out on it yesterday.

Hey, we gave it a good shot. Stayed for an hour. But we found it dreadfully slow in its opening act, rife with over-blown scary music to make up for the lack of scares, pitifully hammy, the dialogue an embarrassment, and the doppelganger menace (and its explanation) downright dopey. During the flashback that begins the picture, I immediately figured out the “big surprise” (confirmed by Wikipedia’s write-up, which I checked when we got home).

This is a 94% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, so your mileage may really vary.

On a happier note, Captain Marvel is an entertaining super-hero flick with a great lead in Brie Larson and (no kidding) a relatively restrained performance from Sam Jackson. Now, any director who achieves the latter is one fine director (although there were two on this one, Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck).

I am also looking forward to the fun, goofy-looking real Captain Marvel movie, Shazam. I am still pissed that DC forced Captain Marvel off the comic book racks when I was five years old.

In other cinematic news, all seven Road movies with Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour are now out on Blu-ray (that talented trio was not available for Road to Perdition, by the way). I have loved these movies since childhood, and saw Road to Bali and the somewhat unfortunate The Road to Hong Kong in the theater. Barb loves them, too, and over the years we’ve watched them on VHS and then on DVD and now on glorious Blu-ray. Lots of fun going through them in order.

The casual, somewhat adlibbed repartee between these two performers remains modern and amazing. Crosby, who cheerfully plays a rat throughout all but the first film, and Hope, who plays a cowardly schlemiel, are magical together. Some say the men were not friends off-screen, but this is doubtful – they were in several businesses together, went golfing, guested on each other’s radio shows frequently, etc. But who cares?

I mention this chiefly because when I was searching Google for articles about the Road series, I came across one that informed me that Hope and Crosby were not funny, because Hope was a womanizer and Crosby beat his kids. Apparently, this means the rest of us shouldn’t watch those movies and laugh.

This is a most unfortunate era we’re living in. As the divide between us increases, like Hope and Crosby straddling a widening icy chasm in Road to Utopia, we are all in danger of falling.

* * *

This is an article I wrote for Crime Reads about the rewards and benefits of a writer like me doing a change-of-pace novel.

Here’s a very nice Girl Most Likely review at Where the Reader Grows.

Girl Most Likely gets the number one slot in twelve good books to read in April, as selected by Cosmopolitan magazine.

The New York Post has chosen Girl Most Likely as one of its five best books of the week.

Finally, Matt Damon considers my novel version of Saving Private Ryan to be one of his five most life-affirming books!


Black Hats & A Book Giveaway!

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

[Note from Nate: The giveaway is over! Thank you for participating!] The book giveaway this week is for the upcoming Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago, which will be published August 14. I have five finished copies and five bound galley proofs (ARC’s). The first five to respond get the finished book, the next five the bound galley. Winners are requested to post a review at Amazon, a blog, Barnes & Noble or any combination thereof.

This week’s update, however, is mostly about Black Hats, a new edition of which has just been published by Brash Books. For the first time, the book has my real byline, and not “Patrick Culhane.”

Brash has done a spiffy job on it, and I hope to get some copies from them for another book giveaway like the one above. Brash is also going to be bringing out Red Sky in Morning under my preferred title, and that will have the Max Allan Collins byline for the first time, too.

Black Hats is a good companion piece to Scarface and the Untouchable, because it’s about young Al Capone encountering old Wyatt Earp. Though their meeting is fanciful, the research for the book was on the order of the Heller saga and it is one of my favorite novels, and one that continues to attract very serious Hollywood attention.

Harrison Ford has been interested in playing Earp pretty much ever since the novel first came out, and he is still part of the mix – nothing signed-sealed-delivered, mind you. But that he has maintained this continued interest in the novel is exciting.

That’s all I can say at the moment, but if you’ve never read this one, send for the Brash Books edition, please. You will not find it in many book stores – the e-book will drive this one, though the “real” book that Brash has produced is handsome indeed.

E-Book: Amazon Google Play Nook Kobo iTunes

How did the byline “Patrick Culhane” come to appear on both Black Hats and Red Sky? Forgive me if you’ve heard this one, but I believe it’s one of the truly remarkable fuck-ups of my career, and one of the rare ones that I didn’t cause myself.

Shortly after Road to Perdition was a huge movie and the novelization made the USA Today bestseller list and the graphic novel made the New York Times bestseller list, some guy at Border’s (remember them?) told my then-publisher that he was a huge M.A.C. fan, but could sell more M.A.C. books if only the name M.A.C. wasn’t on the cover. I was too well-known, it seems, as a guy who wrote series novels. He promised huge sales if we did some standalone thrillers under a new byline.

Oddly, my real identity was never hidden. It’s prominently revealed on the jackets of both books.

I did not want to do this. My editor stopped short of insisting that I go along with it, and my agent suggested alienating my editor was a really bad idea. And Border’s was really, really powerful, right? So I came up with “Patrick Culhane,” the “Patrick” after my mother Patricia and “Culhane” as a Collins variant.

Understand that I hate pseudonyms. I fought to have my name go on my movie and TV tie-ins, figuring (correctly) that having my byline on things like Saving Private Ryan, Air Force One, American Gangster, CSI and so on would only building my audience. All of those titles either made the New York Times list or USA Today’s or both.

The only time I used a pseudonym was on the novelization I Love Trouble, because it was going to be out at the same time as another novelization, plus the movie stunk. I used Patrick again, but also my mother’s maiden name, Rushing, which seemed apt for a book written on a crazy deadline.

I use my name on all but the above exceptions because I am proud of my work, and I want to keep myself honest. I don’t want to hide. I want to acquire readers, not run away from them.

Anyway, I am very pleased that Brash Books – the people who brought you the complete Road to Perdition prose novel, something I thought I would never see – are restoring my name to two of my favorite books. They will also soon be publishing Red Sky under my preferred title, USS Powderkeg.

Now the only thing still unpublished is my original, very loose adaptation of the Dick Tracy movie, in which I fixed all its problems and sins. Getting that in print, however, is a real long shot….

* * *

The advance buzz on Scarface and the Untouchable keeps building.

The Strand’s blog has published a list by my co-author and me looking at ten surprising facts about Al Capone and Eliot Ness.

We are one of the Saturday Evening Post’s top ten late summer reads, for example.

And the History News Network has published an article that Brad and I wrote about the Trump/Manafort/Mueller parallels.

Mystery People showcases us, too.

Out of the blue, here’s an interesting look at Quarry’s List, the second Quarry novel, with lots of comments from readers.

The graphic novel, Quarry’s War, gets a boost here, in a somewhat surprising context. [Note from Nate: This is so bizarre.]

On the Mike Hammer/Spillane front, here’s an interview I did at San Diego Comic Con a few weeks ago.

And another.

Finally, here is a terrific, smart review from the smart, terrific J. Kingston Pierce about Killing Town.