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The Firm of Nasty, Brutish, and Short

Friday, October 20, 2006
Steven Torres and I have started a new blog called Nasty, Brutish, Short: Short reviews of short stories for those with short attention spans. We were able to con Gerald So and Bill Crider into giving us a hand. A lot of the inspiration came from Bob Tinsley's old blog "The Short Of It"; we can only hope to do as good a job as Bob did. Have a look and let us know what you think.

In Other News: Woody Haut (author of Pulp Culture and Neon Noir, among others) recently posted a lengthy profile of Ross Thomas that I thought was worth linking to. I disagree with about 50% of what Haut says on any subject, but he's a perceptive writer, and it shows. I have become a big fan of Thomas in the past year and a half, and I agree with Sarah Weinman and many others: it's a crime that Thomas isn't more widely known. Be sure to check it out: Part 1, Part 2.

And Finally: The new issue of Crime Scene Scotland is now available. It's the usual mix of reviews and stories from the Caledonian crime crew. Fiction contents:

"Dancing to the Tune of the Longtail", by John Carson
"Dr. Ralph", y James R. Winter
"Rules of Fog", by Robert W, Walker

Have a good week, everyone!

posted by Graham Powell at 10:23 AM

Mug Shots #1

Thursday, October 12, 2006
This is the first in a continuing series, MUG SHOTS, in which we reveal the secret identities of mystery writers.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you author Dave White:

Or is that actor Jonathan Silverman? In either case, if he invites you to a party at his friend Bernie's, just say no.

In other new, the latest Crime Scene Scotland is out. As usual there are stories, reviews, and an abject apology for being so late. The fiction lineup:

"Dancing to the Tune of the Longtail", by John Carson
"Dr Ralph", by James R. Winter
"Rules of Fog", by Robert W. Walker

That is all.

posted by Graham Powell at 7:31 PM

Pulp for a Postmodern World

Monday, October 09, 2006
Geriatric lowbrow pulpster Emerson LaSalle notes that the Mississippi Review has posted their latest issue: Postmodern Pulp, Edited by Anthony Neil Smith, formerly of Plots With Guns. I haven't had a chance to read much of it, and with the exceptions of Ray Banks and Craig McDonaly there are few familiar names among the authors, but what I've seen so far looks... interesting.

A news report from the Associated Press contains good news for fans of genre bookstores - they're doing well. (hat tip: Bill Crider). Better, in fact, than other independent bookstores. According to the article, the keys to success are A) tapping in to highly committed niche markets, and B) expert, individual customer service.

ATTENTION AMAZON AUTHORS. You may not realize, but your blog can be added to CrimeSpot. If you'd like to be included, drop me a line at

posted by Graham Powell at 10:28 AM

The Bitter Bouchercon Post

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
No, I didn't go to Bouchercon this year. Hope all you happy bastards had fun, while I sat around the house yelling at the kids, kicking the dog, and generally acting like O. Grumpy McBigbear. You can find plenty of Bouchercon pictures here, and Bill Crider has a number of video interviews up on his blog. If you're into that sort of thing.

Time out for Hard Case. Hard Case Crime was recently featured in Time Magazine, in an article on innovators, which I find rather amusing, since Hard Case is explicitly a throwback to the days of Gold Medal and other paperback publishers. Which reminds me of an interesting discussion on Jason Pinter's blog.

My own view: most imprints don't really market themselves. They market their authors. Most of the time, you have to look carefully to see what the imprint is, and few imprints have any real common characteristics to their books.

Hard Case is different. You can instantly tell a Hard Case book, and all Hard Case books have a lot in common. People who like their books by Ed McBain or Lawrence Block will probably stick around and read stuff by Richard Powell or David Dodge. Everything about the line emphasizes its homogenous character. Of course, they have an advantage in that they aren't trying to sell eight or ten books by the same author, unlike traditional publishers.

We're proud to announce... Legendary hack Emerson LaSalle is now on CrimeSpot, and we're delighted to have him. In a career spanning more than 50 years he's written dozens of books (maybe hundreds), with titles like Busty Beach Babes from Planet Z and Beneath a Princess of Mars. LaSalle's blog has even gotten some attention from some well known science fiction sites, confirming his iconic status.

LaSalle was a close friend and rival of another legendary pulpster, Kilgore Trout, most famous for his encouragement of a young science fiction writer named Kurt Vonnegut. Vonnegut of course later immortalized Trout in several of his novels.

Trout is still living, actually, in the small North Carolina town of Tralfamadore.

Zine Watch. Too many to list the contents, so just a couple of notes on each:

Hardluck Stories. The Western Noir issue, jammed with excellent writers such as Ed Gorman, Bill Crider, and James Reasoner.

The Thrilling Detective. The Long Awaited issue. A personal remembrance of Mickey Spillane by Max Allan Collins, plus stories by the likes of Sarah Weinman and Russell MacLean.

Spinetingler Magazine. An assload of new stories, by authors including JT Ellison, Ed Lynskey, and the ubiquitous Stephen D. Rogers.

Thug Lit. Todd "Big Daddy Thug" Robinson and crew celebrate their first anniversary by running a story by Bryon Quertermous - I'm assuming it was a joke. Other authors include Tim McLean (not to be confused with Mike McLean or Russell MacLean), Patricia Abbott, and Craig McDonald.

And a new one, called Mouthful of Bullets. It has a bunch of stories, including several by members of the venerable Short Mystery Fiction Society, including Stephen D. Rogers (did I mention he was ubiquitous?), Carol Kilgore, and my fellow Fort Worth resident Earl Staggs.

posted by Graham Powell at 11:01 AM