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July 12, 2011


Jonathan Turner

I should have known that you would be One Of Us. We have all of the thus-far-released Columbo episodes on DVD. There's a recent small-press short-story collection by William Link, too--_The Columbo Collection_. It's amusing enough, but its chief pleasure is really in imagining Peter Falk acting out the stories. _Ave atque vale_, Peter.

You're spot-on as regards the show's pleasures and virtues. Part of the implication of all that "thinking and thinking and thinking", it seems to me, is that thinking *matters*. It matters, in the end, more than power or privilege. It's a message certain to appeal to those of us who are of the nerdly persuasion.

Jonathan Turner

Just one more thing ...

One of the marks of a truly great character, I think, is that you can instantly picture that character in situations that you never actually saw on-screen. Falk's Columbo has that quality for me. Pick a random circumstance--Columbo at a TSA checkpoint! Columbo's first encounter with an iPhone!--and I can practically see it happening in real time. The dialog practically writes itself.

J. Steven York

It's not among the best, but hey, I've got to mention "Mind Over Mayhem," because, well, it's got Robbie the Robot in it.


So true about Columbo as a plug-and-play character, Jonathan. He's so idiosyncratic, it's easy to picture how he'd react in all kinds of situations. Which could have meant the character was predictable and boring, actually, but Falk always managed to keep him fresh.

Ahhh, yes -- the robot episode. It's always nice to see Robbie get some work. Unfortunately (IMHO) he's completely out of place in the world of Columbo, and as a result that episode ended up feeling really, really silly.

Brian Thornton

Nice tribute you've got here, Steve. Falk will be recalled mostly for Columbo (my favorite episode is "The Bye-Bye Sky High I.Q. Murder Case" from 1977, where he catches a killer (Theodore Bickel) with one of the highest I.Q.s in the world- who in fact is leader of a Mensa-like group that celebrates intelligence- and at the end Columbo "unoffically" takes a test that reveals what the viewer already knows: that's he's definitely the smartest guy in the room.

I also fondly recall Falk's work in movies such as "The Great Race," where he played Professor Fate's (Jack Lemmon) numbskull side-kick and comic foil, and of course, as the grandfather in "The Princess Bride." Heck, I even liked him in the forgettable "Corky Romano"- his on-screen moments were literally the only reasons to watch that one!

Again, thanks for posting this one, Steve!

Jeff Q.

Ok, maybe you don't want to say anything because it hurts your bottom line, but your two P&P&Zombies books are only $.99 on Amazon's Kindle for a limited time! I've already picked up my copies!


You're right, Jeff -- when you do the math on those discounted Amazon sales, I'm making about a penny a pop. I still think it's a good thing Amazon slashed the price, though. Both PPZ books rocketed into the Kindle top 100 over the weekend, which means we've sold hundreds of downloads in the past few days. By the time the sale's over at the end of the week, I'm guessing we'll have reached a few thousand new readers. Yeah, I'll make pizza money on it (because of how my royalties are calculated for those particular books). But I'm thrilled to welcome so many new folks to the wonderful world of Hockensmith.

BTW, gang, here's where to go if you want to get in on the deal:


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