Tuesday, May 31, 2011

50 Years Later

Hemingway's life, not suicide, celebrated.

For Spenser Fans

J. Kingston Pierce interviews Ace Atkins.

Present Tense

Alec Cizak was asked an indirect question in the comments section of a recent post and I found the answer too good to end there. The question: "What [is] AC's problem with present tense?”

Mr. Cizak answered:

Austin, everybody has their pet peeves about writing. Mine is present tense fiction. I know it's popular. It's become more and more acceptable over the last twenty years. I just can't read it. When a piece of fiction is in the present tense, I feel a wall between the story and me.

Another way to put it is this: Stories written in the past tense allow for reflection. It's like a nice big body of water inviting me to jump in. Present tense is like jumping in and finding out it's not water but, rather, a piece of glass that won't break.

I put that in the guidelines so people know what my particular pet peeve is. One last comparison-- I first noticed that Playboy was publishing stories written in the present tense in the mid-90s. Right about the time reality television started showing up. I said, at the time (about both), "It's a trend. It will go away." Neither has. Writers, especially younger writers, love to write in the present tense. Reality television is even on Bravo and A&E. People love it. I'm the old bastard who can't stand it. I've heard all the reasons for writing in the present tense and I'm not convinced. It just feels cold to me. Luckily, most editors aren't as picky in that area, so writers of present tense fiction have nothing to worry about!

Speaking of, I put my feelings on the matter into a flash fiction piece that is supposed to appear in a print journal some time soon now. The story is called "Presently Tense" and it's about a character in a present tense story who stops the action and admonishes the author for refusing to give his characters the opportunity for reflection.

Ultimately, we must say, to each his or her own.
I'd like to open this discussion up and see what other folks think. I, for one, find myself agreeing with AC.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Black Hats

Jedidiah Ayres picks his western noir favorites. He didn't pick any of my stories and I ain't a-going to hold it against him. EVEN though I should after all those shenanigans he pulled at BTAP a few weeks ago. Anyway here's the link. He has me interested in reading Scott Phillips' COTTONWOOD.

Quick question: who are some of your favorite western noir writers?


I really like the sounds of this:

Pulp Modern is a fiction journal that publishes exciting, genre fiction. Those genres include crime, mystery, horror, fantasy and westerns. Stories should be between 2000 and 5000 words. Longer stories may be considered for serialization.
For more information check it out here.

Let me know what you think after reading the submission guidelines and payment to the writer. I think this is a killer idea.

Zeltserman and Goldberg

Dave Zeltserman and Lee Goldberg have some intriguing insights over at Ed Gorman's blog.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

To Tweet is the Question

Blogger is still messed up. It duplicates drafts, I can only access my account from the laptop (not the desktop), and I still can't leave comments on certain blogs, such as Ron Scheer, Women of Mystery, Chris Rhatigan, David Barber, TFFO, and a half dozen others.

So, it leads me to wonder, should I Twitter? And if I do, should I go with my name or pick something hip, like BladeMaster or PulpDaddy? And what is Twitter etiquette? Is it ok to wait to tweet back once a day to everyone who tweets my way? Or can I squawk just once a week?

I'm not really interested in having so many social platforms that I can't keep track of where I am. I would prefer to stick with Blogger (once they solve these issues) as my main avenue and then use Twitter to spy on friends like Keith Rawson, Chris Holm, and Frank Bill, and leave sporadic random tweets, like, "I'm eating fried green tomatoes" or "Maple Blondie rules."

Does it work that way? Are you happy with Twitter?

Book Group: Reading King Solomon's Mines

A few of us are reading the H. Rider Haggard classic for the first time and Rich Prosch over at Meridian Bridge has a few thoughts on where we are in the book. We're reading it at a slow pace, just a chapter a day, so there's plenty of time to catch up if you want to join in on the adventure.

Godwin Interviews Gould

Richard Godwin interviews Heywood Gould at The Slaughterhouse.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Spring Fire

Update: The beauty of the internet is when legends stop by and say hello.

Spring Fire, is a 1952 paperback novel written by Marijane Meaker, under the pseudonym "Vin Packer". It is often considered to be the first lesbian pulp novel, although it also addresses issues of conformity in 1950s American society. The novel tells the story of Susan "Mitch" Mitchell, an awkward, lonely freshman at a Midwestern college who falls in love with Leda, her popular but troubled sorority sister. Published by Gold Medal Books, Spring Fire sold 1.5 million copies through at least three printings. Wikipedia

Happy Birthday wishes today to Ms. Meaker.

Mason and Gallagher on Vin Packer

As I mentioned in an earlier post, it's Vin Packer's b-day. Both Todd Mason and Cullen Gallagher have reviewed the work of this distinguished icon. I recommend taking a moment and checking them out.

Brazill on LoVINg the Alien

Paul Brazill talks about "LoVINg the Alien" at You Would Say That, Wouldn't You?

BEAT to a PULP #128: LoVINg the Alien by Paul Brazill

The same weekend I had finished reading Edmund Hamilton’s THE SUN SMASHER, marveling at the way his character went from being an innocent man thrown in jail on earth to him being whisked away among the stars, I also read about James Stacy, the LANCER star who became a multiple amputee after a motorcycle accident. Ideas converged and I jotted down some plot points and characters, putting my protagonist in Poland. Of course, ace writer Paul Brazill lives there and I approached him about penning the first installment of what I've planned to be a five or six story arc.

"LoVINg" sets up the adventure which means there will be questions that I hope you will want to find the answers to in our next installment by Garnett Elliott waiting in the wings.

I hope you like what we've cooked up and we're looking forward to your comments on "LoVINg the Alien."

Next: Mike Phillips and "A Peril in Trophies."

Soon: Thomas Pluck is "A Glutton for Punishment."

The Thing About Nick...

Robert J. Randisi talks about his latest Nick Delvecchio novel over at Ed Gorman's blog.

Friday, May 27, 2011

On Dangerous Ground

I could tell that the wound in the youngster’s arm was several hours old and knew that he suffered it during the initial encounter earlier that morning. To ride for hours at a furious gallop while in what must have been great pain speaks volumes about the strength and determination of these people. I have long regretted that fate cast us as enemies, as there was much to admire about the Comanches.
-- "The Conversion of Carne Muerto" by James Reasoner from On Dangerous Ground: Stories of Western Noir.

James Reasoner's gifted storytelling is on display with several others in this impressive line-up that includes Dave Zeltserman, Bill Crider, Ed Gorman, Harry Shannon, Jon L. Breen, Gary Lovisi, and Robert J. Randisi to name a few.

Neil Smith's HOGDOGGIN'

Mark your calendars, folks. The 2009 smash novel HOGDOGGIN' by Anthony Neil Smith will be ready to hit e-readers on June 6th for 99 cents.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Blogger Issues

I'm still having trouble leaving comments on certain blogs. So if I regularly stop by your site but you haven't seen anything from me lately, I apologize but something is still amiss with Blogger.

Is it time for me to Tweet?

Retro versus Neo-Noir

Jake Hinkson talks noir at Criminal Element.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Right after I had posted that I was working on "Miles in Between" for the Watery Grave Invitational, Denise, earning the big money I pay her (she just chuckled) said, "You won't be able to finish that by June 5th." My Charmer, of course, was very right. That Marshal Gideon Miles story is in the 4k range and it would take me months to bring it to a satisfactory completion. “Have anything else?” she asked.

I went to my laptop for a file called "Fragments" where I jot down all kinds of snippets whenever something pops in the rusty noodle with the thought I can expand on it in the future. One of these named "Reflections in a Glass of Maryland Rye" had one sentence after it that read, Cash Laramie brooding in a Cheyenne saloon. Simple but that’s all I needed and fingers started dancing. Three hours later, I had a very rough draft completed of a 1,100 word story. For the past week I've been polishing it and will continue to do so up to the moment when I send it off. It's very rewarding to have created something out of next to nothing.

Anybody else have fragments laying around?

A Master at Criminal Element

An exclusive excerpt of Chapters 1-2 from Camouflage by Bill Pronzini is now available on Criminal Element for members.

LoVINg the Alien

His last memories as a whole man?

Running. A strip of sun-bright sand that could've been a beach. Bullets whizzing left and right, passing within inches of his ear.

His feet splashed water. Cold. Without thought, he turned and plunged into the surf. Dove down. Hunted cover. Bullets splashed next to him.

Muffled by the water: an engine's roar.

"LoVINg the Alien" by Paul D. Brazill with David Cranmer coming to BEAT to a PULP on May 28th.

Amos Walker Review

Loren D. Estleman’s "Retro:" The Sincerest Form of Hard-Boiled.

I'm younger than that now

Bob Dylan at 70: Still alive.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Fox

This fox shows up in our backyard each evening looking for dinner which he usually finds. He moves so fast I haven't been able to get a clear photo.

Badass Women

Badass Women of the Pulp Era.


HYCIDE is a new online journal featuring
innovative images, essays and articles by
Akintola Hanif, Michael A. Gonzales, Fayemi Shakur and others

please visit and share this intriguing site when you can
hopefully, you will find their vision as exciting as I did
thank you...michael a. gonzales

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Book Group: King Solomon's Mines

A few of us are reading KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1885) for the first time. We're taking it one chapter a day and just starting Chapter X: The Witch Hunt.

I have to admit my enthusiasm dipped for MINES during the eighth and ninth chapters. I try not to judge a book by 21st century sensibilities but the constant looking down their noses at the “savages” and killing animals for the hell of it doesn’t make for the most enjoyable reading.

However, some fun was had when Allan Quatermain and his troop entered a cave and discovered the corpse of a man who just so happened to be the man whose map they were following. Highly improbable but a nice touch just the same.

My interest has peaked again toward the end of chapter nine with the introduction of "a bald vulture-head witch doctress" who warns King Twala and his people that the white man is no good and shouldn’t be trusted.

What stood out to everyone else? And was I overly critical of these last chapters?

The above drawing by Thure de Thulstrup is of another Quatermain adventure called Maiwa's Revenge: or, The War of the Little Hand.

Katy Too Review

Chris Rhatigan's take on Alec Cizak's "Katy Too."

Foy, Chaplin, and Earp

I was doing some research on 19th century actor Eddie Foy when I ran across a tidbit about Foy, Charlie Chaplin, and Wyatt Earp in Wikipedia. This was new to me:

In later years, Foy told of an altercation over a girl with fellow actor Charles Chaplin, who was drunkenly taking pot-shots at Foy. The gunfire awakened Wyatt Earp, who disarmed the actor and sent both the players home to sleep it off. Foy is also rumored to have been in Tombstone, Arizona in October 1881 appearing at the local theatre when the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral occurred on the 26th of that month.
Amusing and I'm thinking this would make a fun short story--the annoyed lawman, the drunken Tramp, and the outcome.

Seen the game? Read the book

See how writers are entering cyberspace.

Why Read Agatha Christie Today?

James Polchin at the Criminal Element.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Ghost Town

I'm asked frequently by crime fiction aficionados what westerns they should try. GHOST TOWN by Ed Gorman is a western noir for them.

Simply one of the best Western writers of our time. -- Rocky Mountain News
Somebody Dies reviews GHOST TOWN.

Ed Gorman's Blog.


BEAT to a PULP #127: Katy Too by Alec Cizak

I've had the privilege to publish Alec Cizak twice before with "Diseases from Loving" in 2009 and "The Gimme" the following year. Mr. Cizak is a no bullshit kind of writer who counts Jim Thompson and Chester Himes among his literary heroes. He's learned his lessons well from these masters and his stories uncompromisingly explore the underbelly of our society. Mr. Cizak has also created one of my favorite webzines, All Due Respect, which won Spinetingler's Best Short Story on the Web for 2010.

Alec Cizak returns to BEAT to a PULP with "Katy Too."

Next: Paul D. Brazill (with Yours Truly) is "LoVINg the Alien."

Soon: "Junkie Geek" by Jocheem Steen

H. Beam Piper

H. Beam Piper (March 23, 1904 – c. November 6, 1964) was an American science fiction author. He wrote many short stories and several novels. He is best known for his extensive Terro-Human Future History series of stories and a shorter series of "Paratime" alternate history tales. Wikipedia

Friday, May 20, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Book Group: Allan Quatermain

A few of us are reading KING SOLOMON'S MINES for the first time. We're taking it slow and just starting Chapter V: Our March Into The Desert.

I can see why this was such a hit in 1885 with the exploration of Africa, exotic animals, and mankind's never-ending thirst for tales of untapped riches. But what jumps out as me is how this plot has been mimicked so many times since. It starts with a back story of other adventurers lost or missing, a reluctant hero, and a trail laced with hidden dangers. Originality points (remarkable after 126 years) go to a fifty-year-old protagonist and no busty bimbo in tow. As a matter of fact, one of Quatermain's sidekicks has a glass eye, false teeth, and is a bad shot. The story is taking longer to build than say a RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK or Doc Savage adventure but it's far from boring.

The above illustration of Allan Quatermain is by Thure de Thulstrup from "Maiwa's Revenge" (1888). (Source: Wikipedia)

Mark Your Calendar for the Cougar

Here's the cover for The Cougar's Prey, #4 in the Josiah Wolfe, Texas Ranger series, set for release October 4th, 2011.

All the details here.

IGN's Top 25 Crime Films

The list which I mostly agree with can be found here. (Thanks, Jay.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back in the Saddle

Having just been at FFO with "The Outlaw Marshal" and coming up at Crimefactory with "Cash Laramie and the Painted Ladies," I was going to lay low until my eBook is released in June. But I couldn’t turn down a request from Naomi Johnson to join the Watery Grave Invitational that she’s hosting at The Drowning Machine. But two and a half weeks to complete a story?! Whew, I normally take that long on the first paragraph. The competition includes Patti Abbott, Brian S. Roe, Chad Eagleton, Chris LaTray, Eric Beetner, Ian Ayris, Jane Hammons, Joe Hartlaub, John Kenyon, Liam Jose, Matthew C. Funk, Nigel Bird, Paul D. Brazill, Rosemarie Keenan, Sandra Seamans, Sean Patrick Reardon, Sigmund Werndorf, and Todd Mason.

Yeah, I know, I’m toast, but beginning today I started work on a story titled "Miles in Between." This is going to be fun. Wish me luck.

Bay Area Man 'Cured' of Aids

Very interesting article: Apparent Immunity Gene 'Cures' Bay Area Man Of AIDS.

Frank Bill

Publishers Weekly review of Crimes in Southern Indiana: Stories.


Marlowe DVD review here. Great film worth buying for Bruce Lee's scenes and Rita Moreno's sexy dance number. I always felt Marlowe was a little misplaced in the 1960s but overall I liked the film.

1969 trailer

Sunday, May 15, 2011


'Doc': Mary Doria Russell's intoxicating novel of Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and Dodge City.

My Current Waterloo

The picture didn't come out as well as I hoped but I assure you the strawberries covered with white chocolate that Little d made tasted sinfully delicious. And I can fool myself these are somewhat healthy as I down them left and right. What is your current guilty pleasure in the food department?

Jedidiah Ayres Interviews Lawrence Block

Ayres and Block at Ransom Notes.

A Link to a Link 2

Mr. Cizak says there's nasty stuff this week at BTAP.

Lucky Water Grave Invitational Recipients

From Naomi Johnson:

The ten invitations go to:

Rosemarie Keenan
John Kenyon
Matthew C. Funk
Chris LaTray
Brian S. Roe
Sigmund Werndorf
Eric Beetner
Sandra Seamans
Sean Patrick Reardon
Patricia Abbott

A Link to a Link

Charles Gramlich at Razored Zen.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Book Group: SOLOMON’S Chapter One

Maybe because I’m close to that half century mark, I find it refreshing the KING SOLOMON’S MINES protagonist—Allan Quatermain—is fifty years of age, not the current hero standard of twenty to thirty something.

Also welcomed is the easy to read narrative from A.Q. that doesn’t seem all that dated. Other books I've read from this period have left me scratching my head as to what was being said. Amusingly, the introduction has Mr. Haggard as A.Q. stating:
And now it only remains for me to offer apologies for my blunt way of writing. I can but say in excuse of it that I am more accustomed to handle a rifle than a pen, and cannot make any pretence to the grand literary flights and flourishes I see in novels...
Of course, there is language and ideas that reflect the times. Of particular note in chapter one is the use of the N-word. From Wikipedia:
Although the book is certainly not devoid of racism, it expresses much less prejudice than some of the later books in this genre. Indeed, Quatermain states that he refuses to use the word "nigger" and that many Africans are more worthy of the title of "gentleman" than the Europeans who settle or adventure in the country.
So, even though Haggard is advanced in his thinking for a 19th century man, he's obviously not perfect. I’m interested to see how later chapters handle descriptions and motivations of the locals.

Your thoughts?

Free Holm

Chris F. Holm has a terrific post titled The Value of Free.

BEAT to a PULP #126: Nobody's Listening by Linda Schenck (Introduction from Charles Gramlich)

From Charles Gramlich:
"I’m in a critique group that calls itself the Inklings, after the British group of which J.R.R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis were members. Linda Schenck joined us about a year ago. She quickly became an integral member of our cast. Linda smiles sweetly when she calls herself an incurable romantic, and most of the work she’s shared has definitely had a strong romantic theme running through it. In fact, some members of the group began to typecast her as our resident romantic. Linda just smiled. Sweetly. Then one day she brought “Nobody’s Listening” to us. People’s mouths dropped open. And Linda just smiled. I think it was sweetly. I guess it shows that you can’t always trust a smile.

I knew this was going to be Linda’s first published story. And today it appears on BEAT to a PULP."

Personal Lessons Learned from The Blogger Outage

Dustin's Software Development Cogitations and Speculations.

Friday, May 13, 2011

New Classic Adventure

I need to read more for fun, not work. And I want to roam outside my usual western and crime arenas. So, I went into Kindle and found many classics are available for $0.00, and I would have gone hogwild, but I opted for just one, Henry Rider Haggard’s KING SOLOMON’S MINES. I’ve never read this 1885 novel but I’ve seen the Stewart Granger and the Richard Chamberlain films though neither left an indelible impression on me. After all, my generation was hooked on Indiana Jones.

Anyway, I downloaded the book and beginning tomorrow will read a chapter a day, savoring each page, until I reach the end and then I'll do a short post about it. I may comment on the book during the middle if something jumps out at me. This'll give me the incentive I need to bolster my classic book diet. Anyone care to join me?

Blogger Update

Google revives Blogger after outage.

Photo-Finish Friday -- Highway to Kribi

Mr. Boh and me goofing around along the highway from Yaounde to KribiI worked in Cameroon from 2004-2005 and aside from learning so much about the culture in this part of Africa, I became good friends with Boh Cyprain. This is a pic of us goofing around on the highway to Kribi.

PFF is the creation of Leah J. Utas.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Message from Criminal Element

For a few Wednesdays at least, and maybe more if people like it, we’re doing audio clips from Western audiobooks. The first one up is Ralph Compton’s The Goodnight Trail.

In the future, we’ll also have Elmer Kelton featured and others, so yippe-kay-yay!


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Charmer on I SO DON'T DO FAMOUS

I’m no writer and I’m certainly no reviewer but when I heard Barrie Summy’s latest book, I SO DON'T DO FAMOUS, is out, I had to give her and her work some well-deserved praise!

The first book in the series, I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES, with its witty engaging characters and clever storyline is just as enjoyable for adults as it is for its target audience of young teens. I’m far behind in reading the others, SPOOKY and MAKEUP, but I definitely plan to makeup for lost time and read them all.

When Ava is older and has become a bookworm just like her father, I'm sure she will love reading these fun Sherry (Sherlock) Holmes Baldwin mysteries. --Denise

Bogart in the News

Here's looking at you, Bogie and DVD Extra: Double Bogie -- at the circus and murdering Stanwyck in a gothic 'thriller.'

Film Noir

Masters of Darkness and Light: Film Noir’s Unheralded Geniuses by Jake Hinkson at Criminal Element.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

What Are You Working On?

Today was productive with the completion of two short stories. The first is a Gideon Miles adventure called "New Dog, Old Tricks" that will be part of a western anthology in July. The other is "Clouds in a Bunker" that deals with a dementia addled patient holding the police at bay in a fallout shelter. I had been working on both for months and it was rewarding to bring 'em to a close.

What are you working on?


From Wayne D. Dundee:
I am pleased and excited to be able to announce that the back list of Joe Hannibal novels are now being re-issued as eBooks, starting with first in the series, THE BURNING SEASON, currently available on Amazon Kindle. Up until now, unfortunately, many of these books have been out of print. The older titles will start coming out an on average of two a month and then, in August, an original, never-before-published title --- GOSHEN HOLE --- will be available.
Click here for more information.

And check out Joe Hannibal at BEAT to a PULP with "Massacre Canyon" and "Apache Fog."

Mystery Scene Spring Issue

What a top looking issue! From Kate Stine:

Hi everyone,

If you haven't read Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next bibliomysteries, then you're in for a real treat. Tom Nolan gives an introduction to the whimsical world of Thursday Next, literary detective in this issue. (Here's some advice for newbies, though: start with the first book in the series, The Eyre Affair.)

Have you ever wondered about the loyal wife, silently standing by her disgraced husband, usually a politician, on the evening news? The Good Wife places that enigmatic figure at the center of one of the most enjoyable dramas on TV. It's full-bodied, nuanced storytelling - and possibly features the only time in history that a steamy sex scene has had National Public Radio's evening news as a soundtrack. Find out more in Matt Zoller Seitz's thoughtful article.

Novelist Kelli Stanley is making a splash and her conversation with Oline Cogdill reveals why. It's not every woman who is equally comfortable discussing ancient Roman curse tablets, the second Sino-Japanese War, segregated 1970s Florida, and comics!

Also, Art Taylor talks with Louis Bayard about his acclaimed literary-themed thrillers, the latest of which, The School of Night, focuses on a secret, possibly heretical, society of scientists and artists in Elizabethan England.

Theatrical crime is running rampant across the country and Wm. F. Hirschman has tracked down some of the top perpetrators on Broadway and in regional theater for us. Don't miss his list of classic crime plays - they make good reading!

There's lots more in the new issue. Hope you enjoy!

Kate Stine

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Anthony Nominees

Many fine choices in here and BIG conrats to Chris F. Holm, Hilary Davidson, The Rap Sheet, and Needle: A Magazine of Noir.

The Anthony Nominees

Best Novel:
• Bury Your Dead, by Louise Penny (Minotaur)
• I’d Know You Anywhere, by Laura Lippman (Morrow)
• Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter, by Tom Franklin (Morrow)
• The Lock Artist, by Steve Hamilton (Minotaur)
• Faithful Place, by Tana French (Viking)

Best First Novel:
• Rogue Island, by Bruce DeSilva (Forge)
• The Poacher’s Son, by Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
• Snow Angels, by James Thompson (Putnam)
• Damage Done, by Hilary Davidson (Forge)
• The Sherlockian, by Graham Moore (Twelve)

Best Paperback Original:
• The Hanging Tree, by Brian Gruley (Touchstone)
• Expiration Date, by Duane Swierczynski (Minotaur)
• Drive Time, by Hank Phillipi Ryan (Mira)
• Long Time Coming, by Robert Goddard (Bantam)
• Vienna Secrets, by Frank Tallis (Random House)

Best Short Story:
• “The Frame Maker,” by Simon Wood (The Back Alley)
• “Homeless,” by Pat L. Morin (from Mystery Montage; Top)
• “Scent of Lilacs,” by Doug Allyn (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, September/October 2010
• “Swing Shift,” by Dana Cameron (from Crimes by Moonlight, edited by Charlaine Harris; Berkley)
• “The Hitter,” by Chris Holm (Needle Magazine)
• “So Much in Common,” by Mary Jane Maffini (Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, September/October 2010

Best Graphic Novel:
• A Sickness in the Family, by Denise Mina (Vertigo Crime)
• Beasts of Burden, by Jill Thompson and Evan Dorkin (Dark Horse)
• Richard Stark’s Parker, Vol. 2: The Outfit, by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)
• The Chill, by Jason Starr (Vertigo Crime)
• Scalped Vol. 6: The Gnawing, by Jason Aaron (Vertigo)
• Tumor, by Joshua Hale Fialkov and Noel Tuazon (Archaia Studios Press)

Best Critical /Non-Fiction (tie for 5th):
• Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks: 50 Years of Mysteries in the Making, by John Curran (Harper)
• Thrillers: 100 Must Reads, edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner (Oceanview Publishing)
• Sherlock Holmes for Dummies, by Steven Doyle and David A. Crowder (Wiley/For Dummies)
• The Wire: Truth Be Told, by Rafael Alvarez (Grove Press)
• Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous with American History, by Yunte Huang (Norton)

Best Web site/Blog:
• Jen’s Book Thoughts, edited by Jen Forbus
• Stop, You’re Killing Me!, edited by Stan Ulrich and Lucinda Surber
• The Rap Sheet, edited by J. Kingston Pierce
• The Sirens of Suspense
• Spinetingler Magazine, edited by Sandra Ruttan

Hat tip: Bill Crider

My Personal Invitation to a Watery Grave

I was honored to accept my personal invite to the Watery Grave Invitational Short Story Contest. What am I talking about? Well click here to find out and join in the fun.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Daphne's Shorts

I've been a fan of Daphne du Maurier since seeing Hitchcock's REBECCA as a kid. I'm thrilled to read some unpublished short stories have come to light and The Telegraph has a great article on the soon to be released The Doll: Short Stories. And if you think this is stuffy material, think again. "The Doll" centers around "...a femme fatale called Rebecca who drives her suitor mad with jealousy over her love for a mechanical sex doll."

Herman Wouk Is Still Alive

The latest from Stephen King at the Atlantic.

Thanks, Sandra.

Down, Down Review

Mr. Rhatigan on Down, Down, Down, Burns, Burns, Burns.

New Angels

The 2011 Charlie's Angels.

My favorite will always be Jaclyn Smith. What about you?

BEAT to a PULP #125: Down, Down, Down, Burns, Burns, Burns by Jedidiah Ayres

His hard-as-nails fiction has appeared in Thuglit, Plots With Guns, Surreal South, Crimefactory, Out of the Gutter, Needle and BEAT to a PULP: Round One. He posts his thoughts at Harboiled Wonderland and the Barnes & Noble Mystery Blog. And today I’m pleased to say Jedidiah Ayres is at BTAP with "Down, Down, Down, Burns, Burns, Burns."

Next: Linda Schenck’s "Nobody’s Listening."

Soon: "The Man in the Alligator Shoes" by Chris F. Holm.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Return of Nick Delvecchio

Nick Delvecchio, hero of NO EXIT FROM BROOKLYN (1987) and THE DEAD OF BROOKLYN (1992) returns in THE END OF BROOKLYN. I'm very excited to say I have my hands on a copy and I will do a review as soon as I burn through the latest from Robert J. Randisi.

"The final entry in Randisi's Brooklyn trilogy
is dark, brooding, and thoroughly compelling [with] . . . clever
plotting and an engaging narrative voice. Randisi has written
hundreds of crime stories and earned numerous awards.
This is among his finest efforts." -- Wes Lukowsky, Booklist May 2011

And check out RJR at BEAT to a PULP with "Shut Up and Kill Me."

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I'm looking forward to John Cusak playing Edgar Allan Poe. It's a shame they're changing the title because Poe locked that name in long ago. Still I guess the logical next best title would be Nevermore, right?

Country Song

Thanks to Jodi for sending this along. Amusing video and I'm a new convert to their music. Anyone else?

BEAT to a PULP #124: Ghost by Keith Snyder

From Gerald So:
I first read "Ghost" by Keith Snyder as a submission to The Lineup: Poems on Crime. Having talked with Keith at a reading in New York City a few months earlier, I invited him to try poetry, and he came up with a truly haunting narrative poem that makes intriguing use of multiple voices.

"Ghost" went on to be scored by The Lineup's four co-editors and narrowly miss the cut for our fourth issue. However, when David asked me to suggest a third poet to round out BTAP's week of poetry, Keith's poem was still on my mind. David approved, and here you have it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An Interview With...

I have a new 7 Questions over at Gutter Books with David Barber. He talks about his editing job on the FFO, the world ending, and kilts.

State Gun Packs a Bang-Up History

The Arizona Republic has an interesting article on colts, Wyatt Earp, Ned Buntline, and that mythical weapon.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Longarm and the Pulp Master

I was sad to hear that James Reasoner's latest Longarm novel may be his last. This is a series I usually dipped into only when JR released a new one, knowing each slim volume would be packed with pure pulp adventure. My favorite is LONGARM AND THE PINE BOX PAYOFF. I asked Mr. Reasoner for a complete list of his stories and he was kind enough to send me the following:






BEAT to a PULP #123: Two Poems by Gerald So

Mr. So on his wonderful contributions:

Common grammatical wisdom says nouns are more solid than adjectives; however, my poem "Security" comes from my noticing how the suffix "-ity" turns firm adjectives like "real", "sane", and "secure" into the dubious "reality", "sanity," and "security".

My second poem, "Life Sentence", is a more overt riff on language where I try to pack various end punctuation marks--ellipsis, exclamation, period, dash--with metaphorical meaning.
Gerald So is at BEAT to a PULP with Two Poems.

Yvette Vickers

The mummified body of former PLAYBOY playmate, star of 'Attack of the 50 Foot Woman' found in home.

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958) - Trailer


Monday, May 2, 2011

Rex Stout: An American Wit and Propagandist

Robert Hughes article on Stout at the Criminal Element.

Ten Years Later

Ten years ago this September I drove back into DC fifteen minutes after the attack. I will not forget that scene or my co-worker's wife who lost all her fingers from severe burns. He said to me, "My wife loves to crochet." Still chills me to remember.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

If Marilyn Could Find the Time to Read Ulysses...

I was told as a kid, "You make time for what you love." I forgot who told me but I’m betting it was my mom. (Sidebar: she was born on the same day and year as the lady in the picture.) The reason I bring it up is my current pet peeve is folks who say they can’t find the time to read. They usually mention that chestnut after they spot me with a paperback or Kindle in my hand. I’m, of course, polite but inside I’m thinking: I have a day job, baby daughter, writer, run a webzine, and blog a few times a week. Yet I still find the time because I love to read. True, it's harder these days but usually I slip it in by carrying a book with me in the car for idle moments and planning an extra half hour before bedtime for a couple of chapters. Bottom line, I make time. These non-readers watch endless hours of tv, surf the net, gaming, or whatever they truly love which is fine... just don't try to tell me there's no time because that's silly.

Congratulations Are in Order

Congrats to Matthew C. Funk for winning the 2011 Spinetingler Award for Best Short Story on the Web. TIMES PAST was featured at Alec Cizak's top All Due Respect.

Great job, both!

BEAT to a PULP #122: You Keyed My Car by Fred Zackel

Poetry week (dark, of course) at BEAT to a PULP! Our schedule is as follows:

Today: "You Keyed My Car" by Fred Zackel

Tuesday: Two Poems by Gerald So

Thursday: "Ghost" by Keith Snyder


From poet and contributor, Gerald So:

I'm honored to be part of a special week of hard-hitting poetry at BTAP and to accept David's invitation to do a writeup on each poem.

Fred Zackel kicks off the week with "You Keyed My Car." In just its title, I hear metal on metal. I've always stumbled on the aftermath, the cowardly/brazen scrape. The world-weary speaker in Fred's poem doesn't just spot a keyer in the act. Moments before, he sees through to the punk's soul.
Here is Mr. Zackel at BEAT to a PULP with "You Keyed My Car."