Wednesday, November 28, 2012


ENCOUNTER GROUP is amongst my favorite entries in this series. So much so that I’ve just completed reading it for either the 3rd or 4th time.

It starts out with a VERY unlikeable feminist antagonist, Amanda Bull. Even her father dislikes her – he feels paternal love for her, of course - though she is quite impossible to live with. She ditches him because he won’t fund her like she thinks he should and upon his death he only leaves her the princely sum of one buck (couldn’t happen to a nicer gal, I’d say), along with an itemized statement of money he’d given her all her life up to that point. Don’t say he never gave you anything, Amanda.

After Amanda is (briefly) married to John Schutz, she wants her name to be Amanda Bull-Schutz. John tries to talk her out of this name change because of the way it sounds when people mispronounce it, but Amanda will have none of that. After 106 days of marriage, John files for divorce (for a myriad of reasons, I’m sure). I’m surprised it actually took him even that long to leave her at the curb.

So now Amanda has nothing and on her journey to find her own version of truth and equality, she meets up with a group of flying saucer chasers (called FOES) and has a so-called “close encounter” with what they all believe to be an alien being.

This being, Hopak Kay, is here to teach the ways of peace and tranquility that he claims can be found on his Betelgeuse-ian planet. However, he does this by having the group go out and attack military installations which house nuclear weapons and such. Peace through bloodshed - a tactic as old as the hills themselves.

Anyway, enter Remo Williams, The Destroyer and his mentor, Master of Sinanju Chiun. Mix in a rogue Russian agent with an inordinate fondness for tacos and you have one of the wilder Destroyer stories at your fingertips.

One of the things I’ve always admired about THE DESTROYER series is its penchant for satirical humor. In this book, it’s the UFO kooks who get their time over the Warren Murphy BBQ grill.

For some reason I was reminded of spoofs of the California lifestyles here even though FOES is based out of Little Rock, Arkansas. Just has that kind of feel to it.

Chuin comes face to face with Hopak Kay in a couple of scenes and the Master of Sinanju has some telling, meaningful exchanges of dialogue with the alien which come into play later in the book’s climax.

Remo is, of course, Remo and with that said you KNOW there’s going to be some serious mayhem aside from the humorous mayhem.

Highly recommended.


The end of THE DESTROYER/Pinnacle Books era would come after the 58th book in the series, TOTAL RECALL, was published. Series creators Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir took THE DESTROYER over to New American Library/Signet Books and sometime after that Pinnacle folded its tents – at least for a little while.

After the years at Signet, THE DESTROYER went to Gold Eagle books and then briefly to Tor Books. Currently the series is seeing some new volumes written for Kindle Readers and such. For dinosaurs like me, actual books will once again be published and I look forward to that day.

In the interim, the vintage books (except ones that were not canon) will keep me entertained and still a part of the wonderful world of Remo Williams and Chiun, Master of Sinanju.

For further info:

Yahoo groups chat:

Warren and his sons, Brian and Devin, are active on all sites. And they’re great guys, too.

Before I posted this, I wanted to be sure that my fact-findings were correct, so I contacted Warren and asked him if he wanted to change or add anything. He wrote what follows and I wanted to include it here word for word so that you could see for yourselves the shining example of his wonderful sense of humor. Warren is a very sweet man, more talented than anyone has a right to be and is much loved and respected by fans and fellow writers.

But let’s hear from the man himself:

“Murphy was planning to retire from the Destroyer and from writing. But he has learned that all the time he ordinarily spent writing, he was now spending being ill and drunk So he is now returning to the lists, and with a vengeance. First of all, he is working now on new Destroyers but they will be set in the recent past featuring stories as coming from the archives of Sinanju. The first of them should be out before year's end.

He has also begun a series of current day Remo and Chiun novellas, with Donna Courtois as his co-writer. The first was a Murphy solo on a Lady Gaga spoof called "Savage Song" and he and Courtois just finished and published an entry titled Number Two. (No, not that Number Two. This is one about the vice president. Murphy denies that there's any difference. )

And for hardcore fans, here's even more news. With Jerry Welch, Murphy has begun a new series, full length, to be both in paper copies and available online. The series is called "Legacy" and the first title is "Forgotten Son" and instead of featuring Remo and Chiun as the stars, this series will feature Remo's two kids -- Stone and Freya. Murphy says for long time readers, this new series will "knock their socks off."

And as if that's not enough activity from this veteran writer who claims to be older than running water, Murphy has now started a series of lessons on "How to Write Your Novel Right" and they are all free at and anyone who someday wants to do his own book is advised to get there right away.

Write Your Novel Right -- free online lessons at:

Warren presented the above far, far better than I could have done and who am I to tamper with the words of a Master? Besides, Warren is the best editor in the biz; of his own work in addition to others. I could not have said it any better than he did, so why try?

Here’s looking to many more years of the Destroyer – and his offspring – to come.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I don't know much about so-called "stoner" comics, but it seems to me that "The Elvis Mandible" - by its very nature - just HAS to be considered one of these type comics.