Saturday, September 05, 2009

Back Again

So we came home from our camping trip to the Gorge just long enough to repack and went back out for a few more days. Two nice and sunny days at the coast, down amonst the dunes. Dinner one night at Craves -- possibly the best restaurant on the coast in two or three states.

It started raining about three a.m. this morning Record amounts for the area, and since the holiday traffic madness was about to be upon us, we came home. Just in time. We passed a jam on I-5 going the other way that was bumper-to-bumper stopped for more than ten miles, all the way from the Woodburn outlet stores to Wilsonville. Shoppers and a traffic accident in combo, I think.

Read a couple books while lazing about. Jane Fonda's autobiography. And the book pictured above.

If you are a Lansdale fan, all you need know is that Hap and Leonard are back. Seventh in the series. If you aren't reading Joe, you should be. Man can write. He's also something of a martial arts expert, with his own system. And he can write, did I mention?

Save for one unfortunate gun glitch -- the dreaded .38 automatic pistol, to which I have spoken a time or twelve -- the book scoots along like a Texas tornado. Check it out: Vanilla Ride.


Dan Gambiera said...

You really have to stop at the Sylvia Beach Hotel some time. It's a different sort of place than Craves. But it can hold up its head with the best.

Dan Gambiera said...

Oh yes, and it's MUCH less expensive

Steve Perry said...

Been there several times. Taught a class there, once.
Great place. Food is not as good anywhere in town as it is at Craves, for my money ...

Dave Huss said...

Weird thing the other day. Inherented a Springfield Arms 1911 in .38 Super. A .38 Automatic! Maybe this is where all of the oddball references are coming from.
Cool gun by the way, ammo is a little pricy.

Steve Perry said...

Nah. .38 Super is always called that. I had a writer once put .380 auto and a copy editor dropped the "0," because she thought it was an error.

".38 automatic," when most writers use it, is just wrong. They threw it out and didn't check. Like safeties on revolvers -- there are some, but remarkable enough so that a gun-guy would surely remark on it.

"Thirty-eight auto? Where do you buy the ammo for an antique like that?"

Or "A target pistol? With wadcutters? Why don't you just use a rock -- that'll be more effective ..."

BSmith said...

It's great to get Hap and Leonard back. I enjoyed the hell out of it. When I saw the .38 automatic passage I had a chuckle and thought about your blog post.

My grandfather had a .38 Super semiauto and it was one of the first pistols I ever fired.

Viro said...

You and other authors that you know should all conspire to put a .38 automatic in your next novels as a joke. An Einstein-Rosen .38, so called because they were made in another dimension where .38 automatics actually exist.

Steve Perry said...

Actually, .38 automatics DO exist. Colt made 'em around the turn of the 19th century, mostly hammerless, and underpowered. There was a Webley-Fosbery .38 automatic revolver. S&W made, until a few years ago, a .38 Special target gun that shot only "mid-range" wadcutters. If you rejigger the springs in a Coonan .357 Magnum and fiddle with the magazine, you can make it shoot .38 Specials.

However, all of these are remarkable weapons, in that anybody who is any kind of handgun nut will know this stuff, and certainly remark on it because these are going to be passing unusual guns for your neighborhood shooter to be using.

If the protagonist doesn't know from guns, you can slide past this; but if you are postulating than Your Hero is a gun expert and knows his or her hardware, you can't just throw it out and NOT remark upon it.

Stephen King once had a guy using a .45 Magnum. There was no such critter. But, years later, somebody did develop such a cartridge and now you can't nail him for it the same way.

The .38 Special is a straight-wall cartridge, and as such, not designed to be fired in a semiautomatic pistol, so chances are unlikely we'll see any more coming down the pike. There are a couple of .357 Magnum pistols, but the cartridge is also straight-wall, and if you have your police force carrying such things, you need to address just how unusual this is. (Complicated because there IS a .357 SIG, which is an auto pistol round ...)