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In Which I Talk About Sex

Monday, March 19, 2007
Back from vacation and ready to rumble. Now for the news...

Over at Bill Crider's I found a link to a nice NY Times obituary for Richard Prather. Prather, like recently deceased Boston Celtics star Dennis Johnson, is probably destined to see his own significant accomplishments overshadowed by those of his more famous contemporaries. But 40 million books sold is nothing to sneeze at, and the Times obit correctly identifies one of the reasons: sex.

Or rather, skin, as Prather rarely has Shell Scott and the gang actually getting it on. As important as the sex itself is Prather's attitude about it: sex is not perverted or obscene, but instead is as natural as breathing. Shell happily ogled acres of sensual female skin without guilt, and the young ladies he consorted with mostly held the same attitudes.

This lighthearted feel carried over to the rest of the books as well, with Scott never taking things too seriously. Maybe I'm just ignorant, but it seems there are few writers today who can pen such happy-go-lucky crime tales.

On the other hand, it's not hard to find a Prather book. As the Times points out, most of Prather's books are out of print, but walk into any used bookstore and you'll find half a dozen different titles on the shelf.

I've got dozens of friends, and the fun never ends... And I don't even have to spring for a beer, because Daniel Hatadi has started a new virtual watering hole for mystery folk, ripping off drawing inspiration from MySpace to create CrimeSpace. This place has absolutely exploded after launching only a couple of weeks ago. It's the best waste of time on the net since... well, modesty forbids.

In keeping with the 'sex' theme, I've noticed a disturbing lack of nude photos on CrimeSpace. Though I hear Victor Gischler is working on that right now.

Ken Bruen is alive and well and living in East Orange, New Jersey. Too bad my vacation interfered with Ken Bruen appreciation day. Sorry, Ken. Ken's fame around the mystery world seems to flow from two sources - and neither of them a bottle of Jameson: 1) His unique writing style, and 2) his generous, gentlemanly personality.

I have never met Mr. Bruen myself, but after a couple of false reports of his death a few years ago I wrote a little story about it. Only after it had attacted some attention did I realize that it didn't show Ken in maybe the best light.

But he took the joke in the spirit in which is was intended, offering some exceedingly kind words. Ken, if we ever do meet, I'll buy you a beer. And I promise not to shoot you through the liver.

Did I mention ThugLit is a monthly? By the time I get around to announcing their latest issue, there's another one just around the corner. I saw cut out the middleman and subscribe to their email notification. You can thank me later. For the old-school folks, the current issue features writers such as Anthony Neil Smith and that Hatadi guy. Click here for full contents.

Curse the luck. Dave Zeltserman's Hardluck Stories has a new issue out. The theme this time is Femme Fatales and the guest editor is O'Neil De Noux. Once again Jean-Pierre Jacquet provides illustrations for each story. Authors include Michael Bracken, Stephen D. Rogers, and Pearce Hanson. Click here for full contents.

Until next time...

Thug Lit Contents

"Cramp", by Anthony Neil Smith
"The Princess And The King", by David C. Daniel
"Buddha Behind Bars", by Daniel Hatadi
"My Undoing", by Alejandro Pena
"Killing Billy Blaine", by D.T. Kelly

Hardluck Stories Contents

"The Big Burn", by Trey Barker
"Breaking Routine", by Michael Bracken
"Paralyzed", by Stephen D. Rogers
"The Kick It Gives", by John J. Wilson
"Useful Instincts", by Matt Spencer
"Two", by Rafe MacGregor
"My Gypsy Girl From Bluefield", by Terry White
"Girl Crazy", by Pearce Hanson
"Lucille's Long Night", by Garnett Elliot
"Last Tear For Laura", by George Wilhite
"Quality Operations", by Patricia Abbott
"Holding A Pair", by T.P. Keating
"Water", by Mary Elizabeth Merrem Shaw

posted by Graham Powell at 10:25 AM