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Monday, September 22, 2008

His Name Was Remo…

posted by on September 22 at 15:00 PM


…and his Destroyer series of books, which has been published on a semi-regular basis for thirty years, has been cancelled.

right now, everything with the destroyer is basically on hold and i think remo and chiun, series-wise, are going on vacation for a while. tor hasn’t offered us a contract and, frankly, if they did, i don’t think i’d entertain it. they were just not efficient at getting the books out on time and the operative word with a book series is “series.”

Every once in a while, I’ll read a Destroyer novel for the hell of it. The novels, which were the basis for the horrible Remo Williams movie, are about a kung-fu assassin and his master, Chiun. The books were often sci-fi and fantasy tinged, and my favorite part of the books is a conceit with the writing. The series was written by Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir, and one author would begin a book, get Remo and Chiun in a bind, and then hand it off to the other author, who would have to finish the book. It made for good action writing, I think, to have a fresh author conclude the adventure.

Things went downhill when Sapir died in the late eighties, and Murphy took over the writing. The characters became highly conservative-minded, and very few Destroyer books have been written since then that did not include a tribute to Ronald Reagan. But if you like cheap and breezy thrillers that can be read in an hour or two, you should pick up a 70’s or early 80’s Destroyer novel if you come across one in a used bookstore. At its prime, they were wonderful fun. Macmillan recently published a The Best of the Destroyer book that includes three of the best novels of the entire run. It’s a pretty great read to take on vacation and demolish in a half day’s sitting.

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Interesting. Warren Murphy was a friend of mine. He hangs out in a bar in
Virginia Beach. We had a few semi heated discussions as he is a staunch Ann Coulter fan. Haven't spoken to him in over a year. Hope he's doing okay.

Posted by Cat in Chicago | September 22, 2008 4:30 PM

The Remo Williams movie was not horrible.

Posted by Y.F. | September 22, 2008 5:32 PM

HORRIBLE Remo Williams movie?

Fuck You, Constant. LOL

Mack THERE is conservative!

Posted by Fay Jai | September 22, 2008 5:34 PM

What about the great scene on the Statue of Liberty scaffolding where Reno is being pursued by thugs?

Posted by Jameson | September 22, 2008 5:48 PM

Ahh Yes the Destroyer. I remember reading those. Awesome!

Posted by ballard dude | September 22, 2008 6:33 PM

not only not horrible, but genius.
how else to describe Joel Grey in Chinese Sage Drag, channeling the spirit of Splinter a full five years before TMNT is made?

Plus, any movie featuring BOTH Fred Ward and Wilford Brimley cannot, by definition, be bad.

It also was written by Billy Condon, he of "Gods and Monsters", "Chicago", "Dreamgirls", "Kinsey", and yes, "FX2".
I know, he doesnt admit it, but I knew him at the time, and he DID write Remo. For a lot of cash, I hope.

Posted by Rico | September 22, 2008 7:03 PM

Paul, first you dissed Ang Lee's Hulk, and now Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins. I no longer trust your taste in movies.

Posted by Ivan Cockrum | September 22, 2008 8:05 PM

The first Remo Williams book, The Destroyer is a national literary treasure. One of the greatest books ever.

Posted by bubbles | September 22, 2008 10:14 PM

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