Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

The following story has been reprinted many times. it's a whimsical take on Halloween.


by David B. Riley

He couldn't tell for certain no one had seen him, but there weren't any sirens screeching through the night and there was no sign of any military aircraft approaching.  Kal opened the hatch and climbed down.  So far, so good.  He hurried across the park, then stopped by the statue of some guy on a horse.  The house he’d selected was just across the street.  He looked right, then left, then scurried across the open area and slid underneath a tall bush.  So far, so good.

Kal hoped the commander wouldn't find out what he was doing.  He doubted he could explain why he was 100 light years off course.  If all went well, he wouldn't have to. Kal looked around.  Surely, this was too easy.  He switched on his voice translator and readied his ray gun.  It was time.

He climbed out from the bushes and strutted boldly up to the front door.  A slight sense of dread was trying to overcome him.  He fought it off.  If only humans weren't so darn big.  He reached the porch.  His antennae were vibrating from the music inside.  At least they were home.  He readied his ray gun and pressed on the door bell button.  He liked the pleasant chiming sound it made and rang again.

Slowly, the big door opened and he peered up at a human female.  He raised the weapon.  “Give me Earth food now,” he ordered in his most forceful manner.

“Oh, George, come quick,” she yelled.

It's summoning its mate, Kal thought.  He prepared to fire.  Then, a human male arrived holding a tray of candied apples.

“He's so cute.  Just like a little space man,” the female said.

“Less talk, more food,” Kal ordered.

“Of course.  You've got a long way to get back to your planet,” the male said.  A very sensible individual.

“I just made them,” the female stated.

He placed one in his loot sack.  The candied apple was so big he decided not to ask for more of them. He didn’t want humans to think his kind were greedy.

“Good night.”  The male closed the door.

Kal scurried back across the street.  A small human female wearing a mask ran towards him.  He readied his ray gun, though she looked young and harmless..

“They got candy apples?” she was asking.

“Yes.  They look good.”  He held tightly to his sack in case she tried to grab it.

“I'll go get me one.”  She trotted across the street.   Kal holstered his weapon and watched in amazement.  Without any weapon, the young female obtained a candy apple from the elderly couple.  Kal reasoned the mask must be frightening to humans.  The young female stood at the edge of the sidewalk and waived at him.  “Happy Halloween,” she yelled.

“Yes, happy.”  He felt oddly pleased the young child called Halloween had gotten an apple as well.  Earth food was so addictive.  He headed for the ship.  This had worked so well he would try it again, tomorrow.
                        THE END

Monday, October 30, 2017

Random Thoughts From New Mexico

Driving home from Mile Hi Con, random thoughts:

It seems like the only place to eat alongside the  I-25 are McDonald;s and Denny's.
Must be hunting season, I hope it's hunting season, there sure are a lot of men with rifles.
Why do they have such crappy restrooms at highway rest area?
Gas is higher than in Tucson
Drinking fluids makes me appreciate the crappy bathrooms in New Mexico rest areas and wish they had more
Really cute redhead driving that police car ;[near Albuquerque].Should I blow a red light and see if she pulls me over? Then I could talk to her.  (What guys won't do to meet women).
Is it national Truck Driving Day--They're everywhere.
Damn I wish I'd gotten to talk to that female officer.
Amazing how cold it was in Colorado, then I go into New Mexico and it's warm.
They don't seem to have many houses decorated--must be a Tucson thing. [It's almost Halloween].
Damn, I sure wish I'd have gotten that redhead to pull me over. Would've even been better if she'd handcuffed me and searched me.
Petro Truck stops have better bathrooms than roadside rest areas.
Going through Border Patrol checkpoint. What would they do, after they asked if I was a U.S. citizen and I said I couldn't remember?

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Postcard from Denver

Having a good time at Mile Hi Con.  A few random thoughts:

People who wear Star Trek uniforms always wear a rank of lieutenant.  If it was me, I'd be an admiral or at least a captain.

It seems there are actually fewer people running around in costumes these days. Don't know why.

Damn it's hard to get people to buy books. 

Con suite food is disgusting.

Cute females are in really short supply

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Mile Hi Con

I'll be at Mile Hi Con this weekend. It's held every year in Denver.  They have me moderating a panel on cover art for books; I'm on a panel on weird westerns & steampunk and doing a themed weird western reading. Should be fun.  I'm hosting a small celebration of the release of my new book and whatever else I can get into.

If  anything noteworthy happens, I'll update when I get back from Denver. Maybe from the con if the wi fi gods cooperate.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Clean hands

One of the things I like about Costco is their restrooms actually have hot water. So many places cheap out and all they have is cold water. It's nice to be able to properly wash your hands after using the restroom. And they keep their restrooms clean, too. Damn I love Costco. I wish I could live there. I wouldn't take up much room, just a little tent somewhere. Somehow, I don't think Costco would go for that. 

I have Kirkland glasses[Costco's own brand for you Sam's Club readers.] They're really good. In fact, I liked them so much I went back and bought another pair of prescription driving glasses that are tinted darker and don't have the bifocal part. The gas in my car is from Costco. The slice of pizza I had for lunch is from Costco. And my hands are nice and clean, too. Few stores have happier customers.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fair enough

I was in the doctor's office waiting room yesterday.  This couple seemed to be making plans for the State Fair, which is apparently running now. That caused me to wax nostalgic. About five years ago I went to the fair in Colorado.  I even had a date, a lovely red-haired woman named Daphne.  And we were strolling around the place and this one booth caught her attention.  They printed your name on t-shirts in Chinese characters.  Well, she bought one and stopped by the ladies room and changed into her new shirt.  A few minutes later some guy went by and said"cock sucker."  I thought that was rather crude. A few minutes later a woman said the same thing. And it appeared to be directed at Daphne. 

"What'd you call me?" she asked.

"Your shirt said cock  sucker in Chinese," the woman insisted.

Daphne tuned bright red, almost as red as her hair. She flagged down another passerby, who looked Chinese. "What does it say on my shirt?"

He stared at her, reluctant to answer.

"What does it say?"

"Cock sucker," he reluctantly answered.  

I started laughing so hard I damn near injured myself. I couldn't stop. She was getting madder and madder, turning her rage from the people in the booth toward me. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, they say. But I could not stop laughing. Things like laughter are involuntary responses, but no telling that to her.  And the booth was closed when we got back over there. It was a very long ride home. She never went out with me again. I actually rather liked her, but I could not stop laughing. And she was not very forgiving. 

I still think it was damn funny, but rather mean that those people did that. 

Sunday, October 22, 2017


Well, the book signing yesterday was a bit of a dud.  They often are.  They take up a lot of time and you rarely sell very many books at these things.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Mostly Books

Today I'll be at Mostly Books in Tucson  from 3-5 pm.  If you're in the neighborhood, stop by and say hello. The store is just down from Bookmans at  6208 E. Speedway.  By the way, they have Halloween cards if you haven't gotten yours yet.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Spooky Stories, part 2

Here are some more books for Halloween.  Let's start with one that's in many reprints, Edgar Allen Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart." A classic.

Ghost Hunting Critters. This is an unusual anthology edited by J. A. Campbell.  It's about ghosts but told from the viewpoint of animals--really.  She's a master at this type of story. I found it to be kind of a mixed bag with some good and some not-so-good. If you like stories with animals in them, this is for you.

Similar to the previous one. The difference here is it's all J. A. Campbell. Remember, I said she's very good at this type of story. Brown: Ghost Hunting Dog is set in the Old West era. She goes around with her person and exorcises ghosts from saloons and such. It's actually a lot of fun. Very good one to read if you have kids [but not really young ones].

The Brotherhood is my vampire novel. It's about a group of monks who happen to be vampires. And it's got good vampires and bad vampires and some really nasty alchemists. It's kind of an epic story, spanning 2000 years from biblical times to the modern era.

Ronald Dahl's Book of Ghost Stories.  Ghost stories just seem right for Halloween and this is a nice collection of them.

If you like Zombies, this is the place.  A large collection of all kinds of zombie stories.  A funny thing about this book. The editor actually wrote me to get reprint permission for a story. Thing is, it's a story by the other David Riley--the one who lives in England. I wrote back and explained there are two of us and that's why I always use the middle initial of B. They sent me a free copy. It's a good book.

Haunted Nights is a brand new anthology of 16 stories about Halloween by my fellow HWA members.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Spooky Stories, part 1

Hey, I'm an active voting member of the Horror Writers Association, as hard as that may be to believe.  I know a thing or two about horror literature. I really do.  Halloween is coming up fast. Want some stories to sit around and read with the lights down low? Try these. More book suggestion tomorrow.

The Dead Ride Fast, an Ebook from Jackson Kuhl.  Buy it for "Realgar." It's a really creepy story.

I'm the editor of Heat of the Midday Sun.. There's some good stuff here. The story that will keep you up is J.A.Campbell;s "Serpent's Rest."

Gunslingers and Ghost Stories,  I'm the editor. This is the best selling book I've edited.  All ghost stories set in the Old West.

The Astronomer's Crypt by David Lee Summers.  A very unusual location with a creepy story set at an observatory.

Mine again. Don't buy it for my story. Buy it for my co-author Laura Givens' story. "Chin Song Ping and the Long, Long Night" has some good first rate dark fantasy including some hungry ghosts.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

E Books

Like Ebooks? Some of my books are on Kobo and Kindle.  Actually, a lot of my stuff is on Kindle and some of my stuff is on Kobo.  There's all sorts of digital platforms that have come and gone. These two seem to be all that really matter. I've hardly ever had a sale on any other venue.  I used to sell a few things on Nook, but those sales are a distant memory.  

Monday, October 16, 2017


Ever wake up in the middle of the night wanting pancakes?  I did yesterday.  It's nearly a half hour drive to IHOP and or Denny's.  I ordered some blueberry pancakes.  And ate them at IHOP. I didn't go to Denny's. Then I drove home. If I'd had pancakes mix I could've fixed some and not had to drive across town.

Then I went to the store later in the day. They don't have frozen blueberry pancakes. They just have regular pancakes. I hadn't noticed this change in the cosmic order. The store guy confirmed they don't make blueberry pancakes anymore. Further proof the world is coming to an end. At least IHOP still sells them.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


I was at the store yesterday. I needed some envelopes--the regular business envelope.  I started to put a box in my cart, then noticed they wanted two bucks for them. I put them back. On my way home I stopped by the dollar store. The same envelopes were available for a dollar.  I was so pleased I saved a dollar on my box of envelopes.  Counting the extra time of going to the dollar store, it was not really that great a  bargain. Still, I'd saved a dollar and I was happy.  

Orville Who?

I rarely do reviews.  There's this show called The Orville.  The concept of some bumbling commander flying around the cosmos with his ex wife and the dumbest moron in the galaxy for a helmsman seemed like a looser out the gate.  Add to that some very tired story lines that have been done to death. And, strangely, I like it.  It seems like everything is wrong with this show. Nonetheless, I find it oddly entertaining.  And I can't really explain why. 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Halloween Tree

I sure wish minions pf people would order copies of Legends of the Dragon Cowboys to put under their Halloween tree?  You do have a Halloween tree to exchange presents don't you?  Where does the Great Pumpkin put them if you don't have a Halloween tree?  

They say Halloween is now the second biggest holiday in terms of money spent, second only to Christmas. I believe it. Around Tucson people really decorate their homes and have all levels of parties and merrymaking. Now order the books so you can place them in the Halloween stockings. Get to it.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Halloween Haunts

As I've previously mentioned, my listing for the HWA's Halloween Haunts is today.  Just click on the link.  Each entry requires you to click on the title to get the full text. Or are you afraid? Haunted hotels your thing then click below for a true ghost story that happened to me on Halloween.


Monday, October 9, 2017

The Trump of His Day

When I was in the fifth grade or so, our teacher gave us some sort of assignment about Columbus.Day.  Well, I'd read about this guy--and not just in the sanitized textbooks full of questionable facts provided by the school.  And I turned in my little paper about the accomplishments of Christo Columbo. She marked that up even though that was his name. It was not COLUMBUS and his first name was not CHRISTOPHER.  A man who was such an inept mariner that he thought he was in India--wrong continent pal.

I went on to point out his own men mutinied and locked him up on his third voyage because he was such an inept commander.  Oh, and I also pointed out he never set foot on the mainland of America, North or South.  So, how on earth could he be credited with discovering it?

Then I pointed out the Vikings had been to North America 600 years earlier. If anyone had discovered the place, it was Lief Erikson, not Columbo.  

Well, there was red ink everywhere.  I think I got an F on it. My first F ever.  I always got mostly A's in school back then. And I was right. What I had written was the truth. Yet the Donald Trump of his day got a holiday named after him and I got an F.  Thing is, I knew I'd be blasted and did it anyway.

Needless to say, Columbo Day is still not my favorite holiday. 

I always wondered if he was banging Queen Isabella. I can't think of any other reason why she would have backed this loser. Love is blind, they say.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


My brother made me a few bottles of Martian Red Wine to take to Mile Hi Con later this month.  That was nice enough of him.  We'll toast or curse his winemaking ability in due course. This all started because I wanted Martian Red Ale, which is what Sarah Meadows drinks in Bonded Agent.  I couldn't find anyone who would make any for me and I don't know how to make beer.  Then my brother, who makes wine, offered to make me a little Martian Red Wine.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Legends of the Dragon Cowboys

Authors David B. Riley and Laura Givens have combined two novellas into one book.  “We wanted it to be like the old Ace Doubles that used to double up two stories. We both like the size of novellas, but they’re tough to get published on their own–too big as a short story and two small for a regular novel,” said Riley. The book is published by Hadrosaur Productions of New Mexico.

In “The Venerable Travels of Ling Fung” by David B. Riley, a wandering businessman encounters a Mayan god, crooked enterprises and Yeti, the Abominable Snowman, when all he really wants is to open a gun store.  Ling Fung is not any ordinary Chinese entrepreneur–he’s highly skilled in Kung Fu and he can shoot good, too. While his heart is set on business, providence seems to have other plans for him.

Laura Givens brings wily acrobat Chin Song Ping to the Wild West in search of adventure and fortune. He finds little fortune, but plenty of adventure. Chin Song Ping is a scoundrel, a gambler and a trouble magnet. His heart of gold lands him in schemes to outwit would-be gods, cannibal ghosts, insane robots, Voodoo despots and the ultimate evil--bureaucrats.  But he is a romantic, and the love of his life is the true treasure he seeks. The odds are always against him but if he survives he will become the Western legend he always was in his own mind.

The Wild West just got a lot wilder!

Genre: fantasy, weird western.

The book is available in trade paperback and ebook formats through most booksellers.
Print $ 12.95 Ebook $3.95
:ISBN: 1-885093-83-7

Thursday, October 5, 2017

He's A Moron

He's A Moron. When I say it nobody cares.  When the Secretary of State says it it's a big deal.  And that's okay.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Book Stuff

Putting out a new book really soon now. When you bring out a book certain decisions have to be made.  In consultation with my co-author and the publisher we decided not to bother to get quotes and just go with a description of the book. Quotes can be something of a pain. They can also tie up production sitting around waiting for someone to read the darned book and provide said quote.  

Still, here are some quotes I'd love to see:

Better than most books that I didn't read.

I liked it real good. Where's my Twenty bucks?

If I'd actually read this book I'm sure I would've liked it.

The babe on the cover is hot.  

It would be better if there was a babe on the cover, a really hot one. Otherwise it's okay.

I liked the babe on the cover, then I was informed that's a dude so I don't like it anymore.

It looks like Chinamen on the cover. What kind of commie crap is this?

My dog could write better than this crap. In fact, he says they stole his idea.

This is the sort of thing we publish in hell.   -Nick M., The Devil.

Monday, October 2, 2017


I went with my father to buy books last week.  He likes westerns.  He can trade in the old ones and get more of them at one of the used book stores.  I guess it keeps him off the streets.  What I noticed though, was this bookstore had customers and seemed to be a viable business. Yet, gone are the chain bookstores.  Well, they say they still  exist but I never see them anywhere.  I don't know why.

At the same store, I have a few of my books on their shelves.  They don't sell well.  But they do sell every now and then. I seriously doubt my father realizes I have books that I've written for sale in that same book store. He's never shown much interest in my writing and I'm sure it's never occurred to him that I have books in there.  My books are not westerns.  

Well, people read what hey want.  They had some cute birthday cards, too. My brother has a birthday coming up. I suggested he buy a card. He wouldn't do it. Then we left.