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Monday, July 29, 2013

Bye-Bye to My Virtual Piece of the Pie

Thanks to a series of events, some of which I will be hard-pressed to forgive GoDaddy and HostGator for, Virtual Pulp Press has been wounded in action. I don't know how long it will be until I can perform the major surgery required. Maybe I never will, which would mean it is not just wounded but in fact dead.

Considering my schedule and all the irons I'm trying to juggle through the fire, my plans for VPP were probably too ambitious--especially given that I've been dealing with third parties who don't deliver on what they promise, after taking my money for that delivery. I think I'll get some of that money back, but certainly not the time or effort that's been converted to waste. Nor will I even get my domain back probably, since some parasite in the Ukraine took it when the ball was dropped. Not that the parasite likely has any similarly-named business--they just know it's important to someone else and therefore want to get paid for having it. Don't hold your breath, Sasha.

I still intend to use VPP as a defacto imprint. Whatever adventure stuff I publish will still bear the logo. And the 2-Fisted Blog will continue as normal, rather than being incorporated into the site. I'll continue to post links for books, movies, etc., here on the blog. Also, the clunky old outdated store is still active on, thanks to James Kayser, an all-around stand-up guy (and vice-prez of the company).

Who knows what the future holds. But for now, the cool online store I envisioned is an uphill battle I'll no longer be fighting.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

420 Friendly Adventure--Spurlock: Sheriff of Purgatory

I'm becoming quite well-acquainted with Jim Morris's work. That's how I know that this novel is off the beaten path for him. At least the beaten path so far. Like Bob Dylan, it is so free-wheeling that I'm inspired to wax poetic:

Spurlock is a shrewd dude who meditates in the nude, to put him in the mood to deal with the rude and the crude, who need adjustment of attitude. He lives in a time when the US is screwed. And he likes wacky tobaccy better than food. Though Morris is hardly a prude, his prose is a far cry from lewd.

I should have been a beatnik. Or a hip-hop gangsta.

Okay, let me expound a bit without putting it into rap lyrics. (Don't worry--there is no infantile rhyming in this book.)

Morris has set this tale in an alternate reality. I'm a bit fuzzy on the historic details that led to the scenario, but the gist of it is: 1. The Ruskies won a war with the USA, and now occupy the continent. 2. The occupational army runs the economy by proxy; and that proxy is the Mafia. And you get the idea that of the two organizations, the Mafia is the more powerful. 3. There was an armed resistance to the invasion. Most of them were assimilated back into the culture, like Spurlock. The "guerrillas" remain in rural areas, operating like a minor-league (and redneck) Mafia. They are murderers, rapists and borderline psychopaths who don't even understand what it is they think they're fighting for. 4. Purgatory is such a backwater that it has been left alone since the war was lost.

Sheriff Spurlock runs his county (and his personal life) with a mixture of streetwise savvy and a Zen-like quest for balance and harmony. He has an agreement with the local guerrilla leader which maintains the status quo, such as it is, with minimal conflict. That status quo is upset when a stuttering Mafia don comes to town with plans to absorb Purgatory into his fiefdom.

Shrewd dude that he is, Spurlock proposes a compromise with the Mafia that should keep everyone happy. But the don loses face during his visit, so Spurlock is screwed, clever compromises notwithstanding.

What follows is a road trip to the Big Apple by Spurlock and a practicing witch. There are some interesting misadventures along the way, then Spurlock locates and attempts to evacuate his estranged children from a New York very much like the one Snake Pliskin had to escape from.

This is an eccentric adventure tale laced with colorful characters, Eastern philosophy and social satire. There are some nice twists and detours along the way.

Personally, I've never experimented with marijuana, drugs or Eastern mysticism. Never had an interest in doing so even though I was born in the heyday of all that flower-power Summer of Love go-go stuff. But those who have lived a far less "straight edge" life than I have will probably feel right at home accompanying Sheriff Spurlock on this quest which is, at its core, pretty dang fun.