Current and forthcoming titles from RUDOS AND RUBES


A Loud Humming Sound Came From Above

by Johnny Strike

($12.95, free shipping)

"The fast-paced, gonzo stories exhibit the forthright bluntness of a Spillaine or Cain, the creepy involutedness of a Lovecraft or C.A. Smith, and sometimes the quirky skewed perceptions of a H.S. Keeler. I suppose you might dub them “postmodern,” but they possess none of the winking irony or distancing of that mode.... These stories affirm the potency of pure storytelling."

- Paul Di Filippo, Asimov's Science Fiction

"I practically guarantee that you will like this book."

- Thera Webb, MaximumRocknRoll 

A Loud Humming Sound Came From Above is a collection of twelve stories by Johnny Strike, six of them never before published. All of them feature the genre-bending, hallucinatory style that distinguished his novel, Ports of Hell (Headpress/Diagonal), of which William Burroughs said, “These are real maps of real places. That is what marks the artist, he has been there and brought it back.”

Johnny Strike is a lifelong inhabitant of the underworld. Evading prosecution for parole violation as a teenager in Pennsylvania, he moved to San Francisco and eventually cofounded the legendary punk band Crime.

Among A Loud Humming Sound Came From Above’s settings are a hellish prison workshop, a profiteering methadone clinic and a hotel where the suicidal find a terrible reason to live; among the characters are the unlucky, the sociopathic, the absurdly delusional and those who see reality with crippling clarity. It features twelve interior illustrations and a full color cover by Richard Sala, creator of such graphic novels as Evil Eye.


“I sometimes despair of finding good new writers, then along comes someone like Johnny Strike.”

- Geoff Nicholson, Ambit

“In the tradition of the finest of pulp writers, Johnny Strike (founding member of SF’s notorious punk band, Crime) spins out a yarn that explores a dreamlike world inhabited by uber-criminals and agents of control. Borrowing from genres as diverse as sci-fi, crime fiction and horror, he delivers an allegory that, all at once, operates as satire and expose of the darker side of modern life.”

- Peter Maravelis, City Lights Bookstore Recommended List

“A weird, trashy and wonderful journey. This is a must-read for any fans of out there cult fiction . . . . The nearest comparison would have to be the Burroughs of Naked Lunch, but various other disparate elements are woven together recalling variously the writings of Philip K. Dick, Michael Moorcock, Edgar Allan Poe and Raymond Chandler, sometimes within the space of one page.”

- Artrocker


Rock Stardom For Dumbshits

by The Phantom Surfers

($12.95, free shipping)

Rock Stardom For Dumbshits

"Deeply erudite and highly entertaining, sometimes malicious, occasionally replulsive."

- New York Review of Books - Damn it, that's from their review of Gershon Legman's The Guilt of the Templars. Oh well, we published that as well (see below).


Rock Stardom For Dumbshits is, to the best of our knowledge, THE VERY FIRST WORK IN THE HISTORY OF LITERATURE to be produced collaboratively by the members of a rock group. This might not seem particularly significant: it isn't. But when one considers the literacy of most rock musicians, it is at least somewhat remarkable.

Even more remarkable is that this piece of edutainment manages to be uproariously funny while containing more genuinely useful and practical advice than any other book published for the benefit of rock tyros.

This book is recommended for aspiring rock and rollers, disillusioned rock and rollers, fans of social critique in the style of Thorstein Veblen and the Three Stooges, and anyone who can use a good laugh.

Charged with heresy, sacrilege, blasphemy, and sexual perversion as well...wait, that's from another review of The Guilt of the Templars. Sorry.


The Guilt of the Templars

by Gershon Legman

($15.95, free shipping)

"Deeply erudite and highly entertaining, sometimes malicious, occasionally replulsive."

- New York Review of Books


The Guilt of the Templars is one of the less known works of Gershon Legman (1917-1999), author of Rationale of the Dirty Joke (name-checked in the documentary The Aristocrats) and "the person, more than any other, who made research into erotic folklore and erotic verbal behavior academically respectable" (as noted by Professor Bruce Jackson). Since so much nonsense concerning the Order of Knights Templars has been promulgated in recent fiction (some of it unfortunately passed off as fact), it seems proper to make available this long out of print interpretation of the Templars´ guilt.

Charged with heresy, sacrilege, blasphemy, and sexual perversion as well, the Templars were summarily arrested, tried, burned at the stake, and their Order extinguished in 1312. Whether the suppression of the Order was justified, and whether the Templars were guilty or innocent, are questions that continue to stimulate the minds of those interested in the intellectual development of Western civilization. Drawing on the actual depositions and confessions of the Templars, and probing deeper than the religious, financial, or political issues, Mr. Legman offers a searching analysis of the effects of suppressing normal sexuality. "He tries to establish what happened at Templar ceremonies; by excursions into comparative religion and anthropology, he suggests the sources of their alleged malpractices, or compares them with similar phenomena in more recent times," wrote R.C. Smail in the New York Review of Books.

Also included in this volume is Henry Charles Lea’s oft-imitated work maintaining The Innocence of the Templars; The Templars and the Worship of the Generative Powers by Thomas Wright, George Witt, and Sir James Tennent; and a lengthy section of the proceedings against the Order in 1309 as vividly translated by Sir William Dugdale.



Devil Born Without Horns

by Michael Lucas

($10.95, free shipping)

"Writing this smart is rarely, if ever, this funny; writing this funny is rarely, if ever, this smart. This tome is rife with insights and bellylaughs - more of each per square inch than anything I can remember reading. Ever."

- Boyd Rice 


 "Devil Born Without Horns truly is an outstanding read. Packed with sardonic wit and dark humor, the story is strikingly original, unexpectedly interesting, and brilliantly written....a beguiling read with appealing characters, a surprisingly credible plot, and refreshing effective pacing. If you like dark humor, this one’s definitely for you."

- Lawrence A. Kane, ForeWord Magazine 


Modern day crime fiction generally falls squarely into one of two categories: dull “whodunits” that might more properly be labeled “who cares whodunits” or half-baked exercises in hard-boiled attitude.

In a field so overrun with generic output, we are tempted to call Devil Born Without Horns a breath of fresh air except that it might imply a sweetness and light that author Michael Lucas studiously avoids in this darkly humorous, but at times brutal, tale of crime and consumerism in the high-end furniture industry.

One advance reader called it “A Confederacy of Dunces as it might have been written by Charles Willeford and Jim Thompson,” which we find rather apt as capsule descriptions go.



Raw Rumbles! The Hal Ellson Omnibus: Duke/Tomboy/The Knife

by Hal Ellson

($19.95, free shipping)

Raw Rumbles

We are proud to present this long-overdue collection of three classic, out of print, "juvenile delinquent" novels by the dean of the field, Hal Ellson (1910-1994). Although many self-appointed moral guardians were outraged when his work originally appeared, more experienced authorities knew that Ellson's vivid depictions of urban violence and despair were all too accurate.

As Dr. Frederic Wertham wrote in the American Journal of Psychotherapy: " is a surprise to come across so excellent a book as Duke. . . . Such a book depends of course on one thing, namely truth—the authentic truth of real conditions, the pyschological truth of individual reactions, the artistic truth of presentation, and the moral truth of facing evil that exists right under our noses."

"Hal Ellson rips aside the words 'juvenile delinquency' and shows the horror and tragedy beneath. He takes the whole shocking and brutal story and flings it down as a challenge!"

Christian Science Monitor



Gospel of Dirt

by B.H. Harvey

A Lound Humming Sound Came From Above

We are asked, from time to time, if we have any interest in novels concerning the exploits of some private detective: we don’t. There have already been far too many lazy rehashes of Hammet and Chandler for us to muster up any enthusiasm for further attempts at mining what seems a thoroughly tapped out vein.

And yet we were thoroughly delighted to encounter Gospel of Dirt, probably because the author is a practicing private investigator (writing as B.H. Harvey) whose well-earned contempt for the clichés of private eye fiction is evident in the rather sadistic pleasure he takes in pummeling them.