Onetime underground journalist Sandy Blair has traveled far from his radical roots in the '60s--until the bizarre and brutal murder of a millionaire rock promoter draws him back. As Sandy sets out to investigate the crime, he finds himself on a magical mystery tour of the pent-up passions of his generation. For a new messiah has resurrected the once legendary rock band Nazgul--but with an apocalyptic new beat that is a requiem of demonism, mind control, and death only Sandy may be able to change in time. . . .
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
January 29, 2007
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin
Those were the days, my friend/
We thought they'd never end
It was not one of Sandy Blair's all-time great days. His agent had picked up the lunch tab, to be sure, but that only partially made up for the way he'd gotten on Sandy's case about the novel deadline. The subway was full of yahoos and it seemed to take forever to get him back to Brooklyn. The three-block walk to the brownstone he called home seemed longer and colder than usual. He felt in dire need of a beer by the time he got there. He pulled one from the fridge, opened it, and ascended wearily to his third-floor office to face the stack of blank paper he was supposedly turning into a book. Once again, the elves had failed to knock off any chapters in his absence; page thirty-seven was still in his typewriter. You just couldn't get good elves anymore, Sandy thought morosely. He stared at the words with distaste, took a swig from the bottle in his hand, and looked around for a distraction.
That was when he noticed the red light on his message machine, and found that Jared Patterson had phoned.
Actually it had been Jared's secretary who made the call, which Sandy found amusing; even after seven years, and everything that had happened, Patterson was still a bit nervous about him. "Jared Patterson would like Mister Blair to contact him as soon as possible, in connection with an assignment," said the pleasant professional voice. Sandy listened to her twice before erasing the tape. "Jared Patterson," he said to himself, bemused. The name evoked a hell of a lot of memories.
Sandy knew that he really ought to ignore Patterson's message. The sonofabitch deserved no more. That was hopeless, though; he was already too curious. He picked up the phone and dialed, mildly astonished to discover that he still remembered the number, after seven years. A secretary picked up. "Hedgehog," she said. "Mister Patterson's office."
"This is Sander Blair," Sandy said. "Jared phoned me. Tell the poltroon that I'm returning his call."
"Yes, Mister Blair. Mister Patterson left instructions to put you through at once. Please hold."
A moment later, Patterson's familiar mock-hearty voice was ringing in Sandy's ear. "Sandy! It's great to hear ya, really it is. Long time, old man. How's it hanging?"
"Cut the shit, Jared," Sandy said sharply. "You're no happier to hear from me than I was to hear from you. What the hell you want? And keep it short, I'm a busy man."
Patterson chuckled. "Is that any way to talk to an old friend? Still no social graces, I see. All right, then, however you want it. I wantcha to do a story for Hedgehog, how's that for straight?"
"Go suck a lemon," Sandy said. "Why the hell should I write for you? You fired me, you asshole."
"Bitter, bitter," Jared chided. "That was seven years ago, Sandy. I hardly remember it now."
"That's funny. I remember it real well. I'd lost it, you said. I was out of touch with what was happening, you said. I was too old to edit for the youth audience, you said. I was taking the Hog down the tubes, you said. Like shit. I was the one who made that paper, and you damn well know it."
"Never denied it," Jared Patterson said breezily. "But times changed, and you didn't. If I'd kept you on, we'd have gone down with the Freep and the Barb and all the rest. All that counterculture stuff had to go. I mean, who needed it? All that politics, reviewers who hated the hot new trends in music, the drug stories . . . it just didn't cut it, y'know?" He sighed. "Look, I didn't call to hash over ancient history. I was hoping you'd have more perspective by now. Hell, Sandy, firing you hurt me more than it did you."
"Oh, sure," Sandy said. "You sold out to a chain and got a nice cushy salaried job as publisher while you were firing three-quarters of your staff. You must be in such pain." He snorted. "Jared, you're still an asshole. We built that paper together, as a communal sort of thing. It wasn't yours to sell."
"Hey, communes were all well and good back when we were young, but you seem to forget that it was my money kept the whole show afloat."
"Your money and our talent."
"God, you haven't changed a bit, have you?" Jared said. "Well, think what you like, but our circulation is three times what it was when you were editor, and our ad revenues are out of sight. Hedgehog has class now. We get nominated for real journalism awards. Have you seen us lately?"
"Sure," said Sandy. "Great stuff. Restaurant reviews. Profiles of movie stars. Suzanne Somers on the cover, for God's sake. Consumer reports on video games. A dating service for lonely singles. What is it you call yourself now? The Newspaper of Alternative Lifestyles?"
"We changed that, dropped the 'alternative' part. It's just Lifestyles now. Between the two H's in the logo."
"Jesus," Sandy said. "Your music editor has green hair!"
"He's got a real deep understanding of pop music," Jared said defensively