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This Raygun FRONT high rez (3)



This collection of short stories includes five sci-fi noir tales featuring 22nd Century troubleshooter Frank Carson. You got a job so dirty and dangerous nobody else will touch it? Get Carson.

In “Forever Eden,” Carson is hired to stop a mad scientist who has taken over a space lab so he can clone human slaves.

“Tuqamari” tells the story of a dying oil magnate who hires Carson to negotiate an amnesty with the leader of indigents who’ve been fighting to get their lands back.

A wealthy industrialist hires Carson to deliver a ransom in an extremely unusual way in “Alexander the Great.”

Also included are four other tales set in the Tulon Universe, the same setting Whalen used in his full-length novel, THE BIG SHUTDOWN.

The stories in this collection take place about 100 years before the events in the novel,” according to the author. “In a way, this book is a prequel to THE BIG SHUTDOWN.”

Exciting Sci-fi action and noir intrigue! “JOHN M. WHALEN’S THIS RAY GUN FOR HIRE . . . and Other Tales.”

Available in paperback and Kindle from Amazon.


220px-donald_trump_august_19_2015_croppedIf you think things don’t look so good for Donald Trump now, you haven’t seen anything yet. As I predicted back in November Trump’s troubles, both legal and political, will not really get serious until this summer. As explained previously, Saturn the truth planet, the planet that represents the lesson of what you reap so you shall sow, was conjunct his Moon and opposite his Sun back in January just prior to his inauguration. Inklings of trouble reared their ugly heads then only to dissipate somewhat in February as Saturn, the reaper, moved on.

Despite yesterday’s hearings on the Russia connection and the alleged wire taps, most of Trump’s supporters remain in his corner, although Republicans in the House and Senate are starting to create some distance from him. But come early April, Saturn turns retrograde and makes a return visit from July through October to that sensitive area that it traversed in December. Once again the Moon and Sun will be subjected to Saturn’s withering attack. More revelations, possibly resulting from the FBI investigation of Trump and his gang’s association with powerful Russian oligarchs and power brokers, including Putin, may come to light.

The transit to Trump’s moon is ominous. The moon rules the area of his chart that the old time astrologers used to call the house of self-undoing. Most of his current difficulties are all self perpetuated. His “twitter impulse” opened up this can of worms. He himself called for a congressional investigation. Be careful what you wish for. The area of his chart ruled by the Moon also rules the danger of imprisonment. That will never happen. If he’s found guilty of anything he’ll cop a plea and just resign. But the Sun in Trump’s horoscope rules his Ascendant, the health center. It will be extremely stressed during that period as Saturn opposes. His health could suffer as a result of the stresses and pressures. It will take a great deal of strength and will power to get through it.

And don’t count him out yet. If there’s one thing we know about the Donald is that he is full of surprises. His sun was conjunct Uranus, the planet of rebellion, and shocking surprises, when he was born. Uranus is the Joker in the deck. The wildest things imaginable are possible. It’s going to be an interesting summer.

Stay tuned.

Here’s a link to my earlier blog and the November


People ask why do you write pulp fiction? Why don’t you write something with real literary merit? Real quality. Something more like real life instead of all that violence and horror and all that fantastic stuff.

To that I say, So you think real life doesn’t have violence and horror and all kinds of fantastic stuff? Ever read a newspaper? Or watch cable news? Take a look at what’s going on all around you.

Beyond that, there’s and implication in what you’re saying that you think your own life resembles life the way its shown in a literary work, rather than a pulp story. “Of course, it is,” you say. “If I could choose someone to write my life story, I’d want someone like Fitzgerald, of Hemingway, or maybe even Shakespeare to write it. My life is worthy of no less. I’d want somebody who could write an uplifting bibliography that would serve as an inspiration to others. Not some cheap, penny a word hack.”

Well, I doubt that very much. I’d bet, if you were honest about it, you’d admit your life more resembles something out of a cheap, tawdry pulp novel than anything else. Because that’s how life is, for the most part. A few significant moments in a lifetime of banality and regret. As the man said, “A tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing.” But that’s alright. Keep up the pretenses. Keep on reading the “uplifters,” if it makes you feel good.

You may look down your nose at the pulpsters. But I’d argue that amidst the violence, horror and that fantastic stuff, you’ll find a kind of truth most writers don’t want to risk setting down in words. It’s a harrowing occupation.

Saw KONG: SKULL ISLAND. Meh. Terrific first hour. Second hour loses focus with too many characters and not enough real characterization.

Ending lacked the resonance of the classic original. Since this, like so many big-budget flicks today, is not a stand-alone film, but part of a bigger series, there is no real ending. Only a brief cessation of spectacle until the next installment begins. As a result there is no satisfying conclusion at the end, as when Robert Armstrong says: “It was beauty killed the beast.” As my son, J. Michael, said, every movie made today is a two-hour commercial for the next one.”

I think another problem was too many writers. Four I think. It was Kong meets Apocalypse Now. Throw in a World War II surviver still alive on Skull Island after 28 years. He was originally stuck there with a Japanese soldier, and in the film’s prologue they try to kill each other until a giant ape suddenly appears. Twenty eight years pass and the American vet (John C. Reilly) is still alive. The Japanese guy is dead. Big mistake. They should have kept him alive and every so often have him come out of the bushes to attack Reilly. You know, like Inspector Clouseau and Kato. Just a thought.

Not terrible, but falls short of the high bar set by Merrian C. Cooper and company. Oddly I saw this No. 1 at the box office movie at a Sunday 1:30 matinee in a huge Cinemark theater with state of the art 3-D and multi-track sound. Technically one of the best viewing and listening experiences I’ve had. But only 10 people in the theater.


Meanwhile . . .

Have you ever watched a movie and had the funny feeling you might have seen it before but you know absolutely, positively, you never did? Well, you might get that kind of feeling watching BROKEN LANCE, a big, sprawling western extravaganza from the 1950s in Cinemascope from 20th Century Fox. I explain why in my latest movie review up today on Cinema Retro.

Let me add a note here about a new review an anonymous reader from Brooklyn sent in to Amazon for my HUNTING MONSTERS IS MY BUSINESS. Anonymous said: “These short stories featuring Mordecai Slate are worthy of any horror story written.” That’s the kind of review writers want to hear. Makes it all worthwhile. Thanks, Anonymous.

Another reviewer (J H) recently wrote: “Worth the money.” That may be the highest praise of all, because I don’t know how many books I’ve read and wished I could get my money back. So thanks, JH.

If you’ve read any of my books and want to say something about them, good or bad, please feel free to send a quick review in to Amazon. Feedback is appreciated.

It’s been quiet over here for a while. That’s because I’ve been busy on a new project. I’ll have an announcement about it pretty soon. Meanwhile . . .



If you dig movie soundtracks, you’ll want to read my review of GARDEN OF EVIL today on Cinema Retro.This fifties western in Cinemascope and Stereophonic sound comes with an audio commentary by experts who explain why some of these older flicks outperform some movies today, and why so many soundtracks by today’s film composers sound so much alike.


In memory of Debbie Reynolds, here’s a review of one of her seldom-mentioned films from 1960, THE SECOND TIME AROUND an entertaining comedy-western.


Some of you may remember I posted the article below on facebook back on Nov. 29. I identified Saturn as the potential cause of Trump’s possible downfall. Well, obviously he is going to be inaugurated on Jan. 20, But you have to admit in the time period under discussion–Dec. 29 to Jan. 14– the President Elect has faced the most serious challenges to his Presidency yet. Problems regarding conflict of interest, and the recent Russian dossier, claiming the Russians have some dirt on him. Now the Inspector General is opening an investigation of the FBI and the way it handled the Clinton Email situation.The good news for Donald is that period of trial is about to pass. Saturn moves on its orbit and he’ll feel the pressure let up

Saturn, after all is the Truth Planet. He’s the one who hands you your report card and tells you how you’ve been doing. If you been doing good, you get an A. But if you’ve broken the rules, you’re going to get an F. And if you’ve been lying, the truth will come out. There is no escaping it.

So after this weekend and going into the Inauguration, the President Elect is going to feel as though he’s got the situation under control. But guess what? Due to the apparent retrograde motion of Saturn, the Truth Planet will be back, making the same aspects to his Sun and Moon that it is making now. All of his current problems will be back in the spotlight, intensified and probably with a whole lot more added! Starting in July he’ll start to feel the heat again. It will intensify during the summer and reach a peak by October 2017. Stay tuned. 

John Whalen


Astrologically Speaking

I’m starting to wonder if Donald Trump actually will be sworn in as President, and if he is, how long he’ll be in office before being ejected from the White House. The majority of Astrologers were convinced that Clinton had a victory in the bag (along with just about every expert, talking head, and political commentator). Astrologers based their predictions on the fact that while Clinton’s horoscope, presented no sure fire significators of a victory, Trump’s chart was full of negative aspects from Saturn, the planet of reality, set backs and limitations. Under Saturn transiting aspects, a defeat seemed imminent.

Trump’s highly successful campaign, however WAS predicted, because all during late Spring and early Summer he was enjoying highly favorable aspects from Jupiter, the planet of good luck, popularity and success. He rode the Jupiter tide into a surprise win.But the accepted wisdom in the astro community was that that despite a popular campaign by the time the election arrived, Saturn would deny him the oval office.

Theoretically that sounds like a logical conclusion. However, the astrologers didn’t seem to care that the negative Saturn transits would not arrive until the end of December and early January. They were not in effect on Nov. 8. The transits involve aspects to Trump’s natal SUN and MOON. Extremely negative quality to this period time in Trump’s personal lifeclock. Astrologers may have jumped the gun. It is interesting that now a recount is being called for by Stein and Clinton. It would be even more interesting if Trump loses the recount, (or does some other asinine thing around that time) that costs him the election. I wouldn’t go so far as to make a definite prediction that it will happen, in fact, it’s highly unlikely that it will. But it will be interesting to watch what happens between Dec.29 and Jan. 14.



You can read my review of THE GLORY GUYS on Cinema Retro today. The script for this film was written by the legendary Sam Peckinpah. I take exception to some of the comments made on the audio commentary by the “Peckinpah Posse,” who dismissed it as nothing more than a made-for-TV movie.