Dueling Mavericks


Charles I Coombs

Whitman Publishing Co, 1959

mav2The 1959 book is not a bad western story, but not a good Maverick story. There’s no real gambling or con-games being played. Oh but, those wonderful Alex Toth illustrations and cover!


Maverick: Legend of the West

Ed Robertson

Pomegranate Press, 1994


mav1The 1994 book is a very good review of all the episodes of all versions of the Maverick TV show. The volume is full of insights, credits, synopsis and a few other surprises. However, as James Garner was want to say of the Mel Gibson version: “It’s just a western.”

For many, it was THE western.



Gregory Benford

Simon & Schuster, 1980

There’s nothing like hard science fiction unless it’s hard science fiction from 1980 that predicts what life will be like in 1993 and 1998. I absolutely loved this book when I first read it back in 1980, but like many near future science fiction tales it predicts things that never came about; in this case, an ecological catastrophe that his damed the entire world.

There was no way for Greg to know what life would be like prior to and after the millennium, but that didn’t stop him from telling a rousing tale of time travel in order to save mankind. Then, himself a physicist of international repute and the winner of the SFWA 1974 short story award Nebula Award, Benford drops us off in a world that avoided Vietnam and the despair of the 70s.

Still actively writing and traveling today (he just spent more than a week in the High Sierras) he is, in my opinion, the natural air to a combination of Isaac Asimov and Arthur C Clarke.

Mutiny on Outstation Zori

Mutiny on Outstation Zori Hegenberger WebLaunching today.


Who stole the space station? Something’s gone terribly wrong on Outstation Zori. The corporation that owns it sends a team of specialists to get to the bottomline. But a young con-man, a rebel leader and a greedy space pirate are in for a mind-bending shock as they face off against alien races, bizarre religions and an ultimate betrayal by one of their own.

Boy Scout Handbook — FFB

scanboyBoy Scout Handbook, 1959

I know this is a bit of a cheat, yet it still fits the category.

I got this from some old private eye in Los Angeles. He said that it was his back when he was a kid, but I think that he was kidding me. It is a good book however; full of nifty illustrations of everything from swimming to knot tying. The old guy swore by it, claiming that the things described there in and save his life several times over. He wanted me to wade through it all and not stand on ceremony.  I think I know what he was trying to tell me. If you read it, I have only one thing to say: “Be Prepared”.