The Abysmal Brutes Book Club is our way of championing books that we feell need a broader audience. This episode we shine the spotlight on two intriguing novels. Our first review is a speculative fiction novel we describe as steampunk Bladerunner, “Izanami’s Choice” by Adam Heine. Our second review stars juggernaut protagonist Camaro Espinoza in the ass-kicking thriller “Walk Away” by Sam Hawken. Samurai versus robots! Punches in the throat! Now this is a book club.



Music: Matt Mitchell Project "Glad You're Gone"


Rocko Jerome drops the needle on his latest Ben Venice book with the Abysmal Brutes. He could have gone to Entertainment Tonight, Entertainment Weekly or the forthcoming Entertainment Monthly but we got the exclusive Rocko Jerome scoop first. The Season of the Scorpion delves deeper into the spy fiction you loved in the first Ben Venice book G.H.O.S.T. Agent. So if you dig smooth jazz, dangerous operatives and frosty femme fatales, pick up Ben Venice Book 2: The Season of the Scorpion today.

Rocko Jerome Amazon page

Rocko Jerome


The Abysmal Brutes hold some comic book heroes sacrosanct. Daredevil, Batman, Luke Cage, Moon Knight, Shang-Chi and definitely Iron Fist. Street fightin’ crime fighters that ain’t afraid to get down in the dirt. You won't find them saving the world from alien space invaders. They protect their own crime ridden city or even just a block of Hell’s Kitchen. These are straight up pulp tales of shadows and vengeance. Danny Rand as Iron Fist is a kung-fu saint in our eyes. We get into Netflix’s grill and dive deep into comic lore. Let’s find out how Rob, Bill and Rocko feel about the Netflix depiction of the Roy Thomas and Gil Kane creation.


The automobile is mythic within the realm of pop culture storytelling. Starsky and Hutch’s Gran Torino, the Batmobile, the Mystery Machine, General Lee, Bullitt’s 1968 Mustang GT. Iconic cars that help carry the characters and the plot of many books, TV shows and movies.  Why did the creators choose such a car for their heroes or villains? Why does the iconic car seem more prevalent on celluloid than on the page?  The Abysmal Brutes are not grease monkeys by any stretch of the imagination but we love the roar of the engine of the jet black getaway car. Or the smoke cloud released from an Aston Martin.  Cars can drive story. Find out our favorites in this high octane episode.

“We are whores for power and oil with hate and fear in our hearts." Hunter S. Thompson


When you can’t write. When you can’t create. What do you do? The Abysmal Brutes roll up their sleeves and go back to the lab --The Writing Lab. In these recurring episodes, Bill and Rob experiment with different writing exercises. Our first experiment is “Copy the Masters”. Basically you take an author you enjoy reading and write from their fictional work. The premise is you learn by following in their footsteps or inksteps. We chose three writers each to emulate. Laird Barron, Sara Gran, Joe R. Lansdale, Jack Higgins, R.A.Salvatore. Rob wrote longhand using a Palomino Blackwing pencil and a Lamy Safari fountain pen. Bill wrote on his desktop computer while fumbling to keep the chosen book open with a Tums bottle. Find out the results of the Abysmal Brutes writing alchemy!

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The Abysmal Brutes use their all-seeing Third Eye to peer into the past and gaze into the future of storytelling. We reflect on the loss of influential Pop Culture creators of 2016. Pat Conroy, David Bowie, Harper Lee, Darwyn Cooke, Gary Marshall, Curtis Hanson, Carrie Fisher and countless others that left an imprint on our storytelling DNA. Rob and Bill roll out their plans for their own fiction project release, a couple of novellas in the shared world of SuperMax Terra.  The guys also hip the listeners to what they are excited to read and watch in 2017. Frank Bill, Sam Hawken, Noah Hawley’s “Legion”, Bill’s mystery book that he can’t remember the title or recall the author, James Mangold’s “Logan”.  According to Bill, this is the Year of the Shark. So keep moving or die Pop Culture creators!


Welcome to the 2017 Worthy Awards! The Abysmal Brutes have joined the rest of the Pop Culture industry by creating their own award show. Now we just need a raggedy red carpet and some half ass celebrities to traipse down it. Bill and Rob see the Worthy Awards as a sign of appreciation to the creators for all their hard work spinning tales of wonder in 2016.  These are no staid categories like Best Actor or Best Supporting Actress.  Our categories run the gamut of film, TV, literature and even gaming.  Creators up for awards are Warren Ellis, Stephen Graham Jones, Larry Correia and the Duffer Brothers.  And now without further ado…the 2017 Worthy Awards!


When winter winds come a knocking what respite do we have? If you can’t physically travel to Florida, might we suggest a mind excursion with some sub-tropical crime fiction? Sam Hawken and John C. Cunningham have the prescription to cure you of your cold weather blahs. Cuban intrigue, fast boats, Santeria priests, soaring sea-planes, predatory villains.  Hawken’s Camaro Espinoza and Cunningham’s Buck Reilly are two diametrically opposed lead characters that enthralled us in very different ways in the scorching Florida landscape. The Abysmal Brutes leap into two saltwater thrillers from John C. Cunningham and Sam Hawken.

Check out the authors here:




It’s been a long time coming and it was well worth the wait. Luke Cage erupted onto the Netflix scene and in short order brought the streaming service to its knees as only Power Man could.  Cheo Hodari Coker has spun a tale woven from comic books, hip-hop and Harlem into a modern myth.  Pop, Cottonmouth, Misty Knight, Mariah Dillard, Shades and Diamond back are the gods and goddesses inhabiting Harlem as Olympus. The Chorus are Raphael Saadiq, the Delfonics, Faith Evans and Method Man.  The Abysmal Brutes wax poetic about the demi-god Luke Cage in this episode.


Every creator of stories can benefit from an emissary oftheir work. A mentor that guides them to greater creative success. Someone whonegotiates the maze-like contracts of publishers and studios.  A guiding hand on your shoulder cajoling youto produce innovative novels or scripts. This multi-faceted being is not a Chimera but an agent. They are as difficult to acquire as the mythical beast but if you find your perfect match they are worth a mountain of gold. On this episode Bill and Rob help you fill your quiver with arrows of insight as you prepare for the hunt of your literary agent. 


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