Saturday, June 04, 2011
Gold was best known for his 1977 hit ‘Lonely Boy’ and 1978’s ‘Thank You For Being A Friend’, the later became the theme for the hit TV series The Golden Girls that ran from 1985-1992."
Our year's hiatus was due to the exit from the book publishing business of the publisher we'd worked with since launching the line, Dorchester Publishing. We're now working with a new publisher, the terrific UK-based Titan Books, who in turn works with Random House in the States, and it feels like our books couldn't be in better hands.
To kick things off we'll be publishing our first ever hardcover title, a brand new novel by Lawrence Block called GETTING OFF. It's the first original novel Block has ever written for us (all our previous Block titles were reprints of his early work), and honest to god, this thing is going to startle people. For it, Block is resurrecting a female pseudonym he last used almost 40 years ago (we're publishing it as by "Lawrence Block writing as Jill Emerson"), under which he wrote six frankly erotic novels in the 60s and 70s. GETTING OFF is a Jill Emerson book all right, in terms of its rather explicit content -- but it's a Lawrence Block book, too, in terms of its compelling crime story plot and its disturbingly appealing main character, who may have the highest body count on her hands of any woman ever to headline a mystery novel, but whom you find yourself quite liking despite that.
It's hard, these days, to call a book shocking and really mean it, but I would bet money on readers genuinely being shocked by some of this book's content.
In a good way, of course.
Also coming in late September is a new story about Max Allan Collins' popular hit man character, Quarry, in QUARRY'S EX, and then in October we have two titles people have been waiting for for a long time: CHOKE HOLD, Christa Faust's follow-up to her Edgar Award-nominated Hard Case Crime novel MONEY SHOT; and THE CONSUMMATA, a novel Mickey Spillane started writing in the 1960s (and that Signet announced in its catalogue at the time), but that he set aside unfinished until shortly before his death, at which time he asked old friend Max Allan Collins to complete it for him. It's taken 44 years, but THE CONSUMMATA is finally finished and we're very excited to be the ones bringing it to readers at last. Set in Miami's Cuban-American community and starring the main character of Spillane's bestselling THE DELTA FACTOR, it's a great read, Spillane at his irrepressible Spillaniest.
If you'd be interested in writing anything about the relaunch of Hard Case Crime or about any of these four books, please drop me a note. In some cases, I know Titan Books has already shipped advance copies to people on our mailing list, so you might have ARCs already -- but if you don't and would like to read these titles, just let me know. (I can get them to you as pdfs immediately if you like reading ARCs that way, and Titan has some printed ARCs left as well. And of course we should have finished books from the printer in a month or so.)
Spillane's not around anymore, alas, but the other three authors are (and I am), so if you wanted to interview any of them, I can set that up, too. And I can supply copies of the cover art, or anything else you need.
For a quick peek at the four books (as well as our first 2012 title, a never-before-published novel by Donald E. Westlake!), visit http://www.hardcasecrime.com/books_bios.cgi.
Editor, Hard Case Crime
Friday, June 03, 2011
A long time ago I read a book called I'm Cannon -- For Hire. It was a Gold Medal edition by "Curt Cannon," who was also the novel's main character. Cannon, as you probably know, was a pen name used by Evan Hunter.
Now Hard Case Crime has reissued the novel under what I suppose is Hunter's original title, and the main character's name has been changed to Matt Cordell, who (if memory serves, and it rarely does) was the name of the character in a series of short stories that appeared in Manhunt. (I'm sure someone will correct me if I have the facts wrong.) Some of these stories were reprinted in a Gold Medal book called I Like 'em Tough by Curt Cannon, with the main character's name again being Curt Cannon.
At any rate, The Gutter and the Grave is a highly entertaining novel. You have to believe that Lawrence Block must have read it or the short stories because, like Matthew Scudder, Cordell/Cannon is a former p.i. who has no license now nad spends his time drinking. He can, however, be talked into "doing a favor for a friend." The favor sounds simple enough, but it leads to murder in short order, and then it becomes a lot more complicated. Hunter writes a good bit about musicians in the course of the book, and he seems to have particularly enjoyed it. Some of the "hip" talk will seem a little dated to you whippersnappers, but I remember it well. And when it comes to driving a story a long, McBain is hard to beat. He had the narrative gift. Pick this one up and see what you think.
Driven mad by the noise, the angry pensioner stormed into the church and climbed up to the belfry, swearing at the team of astonished bellringers and threatening to damage their cars.
Then the unknown man, believed to be in his 70s or 80s, took even more drastic action to stop the racket."
Let's be clear about one thing from the outset: there's no connection between this book and the TV series Deadwood. And let's be clear about something else: the publishers would love for you to think there's a connection between this book and the TV seriesDeadwood.
Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about the book, which is by that hot new writer Mike Jameson, who looks a lot like that hot, slightly older writer James Reasoner. Even though it's clearly a set-up for more books to follow, it's a dandy historical novel and damned fine entertainment. It mixes the expected historical characters (Wild Bill Hickok, Colorado Charley Utter, Al Swearengen, Calamity Jane, etc.) with some fictional ones (Dan Ryan, Bellamy Bridges), and you can bet their lives with intertwine in the forthcoming books in the series. What I liked best about Tales from Deadwoodwas the surprising ways the characters developed: Dan Ryan's unlikely romance, Bellamy Bridges' changing from an innocent farm boy to something else, Fletch Parkhurst's apparent rejection of a certain way of doing things, and so on. There's plenty of interesting material here for further stories.
One thing I like a lot about the TV series (to which this book is not connected in any way) is the way some of the episodes conclude. The book's epilogue captures a certain mood as well as the pictures on my screen do, and maybe even better. Some top-notch writing here by Mr. Jameson. I'm really looking forward to reading more in this series.
I just have one question for Mr. Jameson. Where the heck did that cover come from? It certainly doesn't depict a scene in the novel, or anything resembling a scene in the novel. That was a shabby trick by the publisher because with a classier cover and better packaging (which it certainly deserves), Tales from Deadwood could have been a best-seller. Maybe it will be, anyway. We can always hope.
Thursday, June 02, 2011
The Fort Worth Transportation Authority said drivers will start asking customers to pull up their sagging pants, or they won't be let on the bus."
Treadwell began managing the Drifters after the band's manager, her husband George Treadwell, died in 1967. She then took up the reins for the 'This Magic Moment' singers, even winning them a long-running lawsuit that stopped promoters from infringing upon the group's trademark name."
Rick Sheridan was working in his garage when he heard gunshots. He went around the back of his house to a pond, where he saw three police officers.� The three officers had spotted the gator and were lined up on the bank, shooting at the large reptile.� �"
I won this issue of If on eBay the other day. If was probably never thought of as one of the major SF magazines of the '50s, but it was a favorite of mine. After reading this issue, I can't see why it wasn't more highly regarded. The lead "short novel" is "Malice in Wonderland" by Evan Hunter, and it's a dilly. It's almost as if Hunter had been been reading Alfred Bester. The ending is weak, but maybe Hunter fixed that when he expanded the story into a novel called Tomorrow and Tomorrow, published under the Hunt Collins name. I have two or three copies of the novel, but I've never read it. The narrator of the story is a literary agent, which made it interesting right off the bat. His society is divided between the Vikes and the Rees, and the Vikes are required to shoot up with dope on a regular schedule, wear as little clothing as possible, and avoid marriage and having children. The Rees are opposed to the Vike way of life. It's a fast-moving, interesting story, and I guess I'll have to read the novel.
The issue also contains Damon Knight's "Anachron," which has become something of a classic time-travel story. I'd almost be willing to bet that no SF magazine that appeared in January 1954 had two stories of equal quality.
Admittedly, however, the Mack Reynolds story, "Off Course," is minor. Very minor. It's one of those stories that you read and say, "I could write a better story than that." Maybe you couldn't, but you'd like to think you could. It's supposed to be humorous, but it's only trite.
James E. Gunn's "A Word for Freedom" is a little preachy, and it has a basic idea very similar to "Malice in Wonderland." It suffers a little by comparison, but it's still not bad.
Harry Harrison contributed a very short story called "Navy Day," which is not much more than a shaggy dog story. The best thing about it is that it's funnier and better written that the one by Reynolds.
Richard Wilson's "Double Take" is another story that reminded me a little of "Malice in Wonderland." Maybe it's just me. It also reminded me of a far superior story, "Spectator Sport," by John D. MacDonald. It has a twist ending that you might not see coming if you've never read an SF story before.
Alan E. Nourse has the third-best story, "Letter of the Law," which reads like a story written for, and rejected by, John W. Campbell. It's about a trader on an alien world where all the natives are accomplished liars. The trader has violated their laws and is on trial for his life. He can survive only by astounding them with a bigger lie than they've ever heard before. He does, of course, but there are consequences.
The cover is by Ken Fagg (I'm not making that up).
All in all, this issue of If was a lot of fun to read. I miss the days when I could go to the Corner Bookstore in Mexia, Texas, and find a new batch of SF digests every month. Those were the days.
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
Matt Cahill thought he was alone with his torment, that he was the only one who could see the evil in people’s souls as rotting flesh. But in a small town in Tennessee, terrorized by a vicious serial killer, Matt meets a woman who may see what he does…and together they must confront a horrific and immortal terror that thrives on death."
Western Fictioneers (WF) is pleased to announce the WINNERs for the first annual (2010) Peacemaker Awards.
BEST SHORT STORY
Wayne Dundee, “This Old Star” from the anthology Bad Cop…No Donut (Padwolf Publishing)
Carol Crigger, “Left Behind” from the anthology Roundup! Great Stories of the West (La Frontera Publishing
C. Courtney Joyner , “Two-Bit Kill” from the anthology Law of the Gun (Kensington)
Matthew P. Mayo, “Scourge of Spoils” from the anthology Steampunk’d (DAW Books, Inc.)
Pete Peterson, “Catch a Killer by the Toe” published by Untreed Reads
Lyle Brandt (winner), Manhunt (Berkley)
Lyle Brandt, Avenging Angels (Berkley)
D.H. Eraldi, Settler’s Chase (Berkley)
Dusty Richards, Wulf’s Tracks (Berkley)
Kit Prate, Long Ride to Limbo -- Western Trail Blazer
(an imprint of Publishing by Rebecca J. Vickery)
S. Craig Zahler, Congregation of Jackals (Dorchester Publishing)
Western Fictioneers (WF) was formed in 2010 by Robert J. Randisi, James Reasoner, Frank Roderus, and other professional Western writers, to preserve, honor, and promote traditional Western writing in the 21st century. Entries were accepted in both print and electronic forms. The Peacemaker Awards will be given out annually. Submissions for the 2011 awards will be open in July, 2011. Submission guidelines will be posted on the WF web site. For more information about Western Fictioneers (WF) please visit:
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
What followed wasn’t typical at all: a smack to the head, peacemakers diving about the cabin to intervene and a pair of Air Force F-16 fighter jets scrambling into the night skies over Washington."
Before the purchase a Campendonk expert had confirmed the painting's authenticity and identified the painter's signature on a label attached to the back. But 15 months later Martin, who would later publish a novel about the New York art scene called 'An Object of Beauty,' tried to re-sell the work. Art auction house Christie's finally auctioned it off in February 2006 to a Swiss businesswoman for €500,000 -- a loss of €200,000 from Martin's original purchase price."
And of course it's also about the galaxy of stage and screen stars who perform or work at the canteen. There are far too many of them for me to name here. You need to click the link above, go to the IMDb and see for yourself. One great moment, however, just has to be mentioned. It's the scene where Johnny Weissmuller and Franklin Pangborn are in the kitchen washing dishes. Pangborn remarks about how hot it is, and Weissmuller removes his shirt. Pangborn shrieks, "What chest!" Then he does an imitation of Tarzan's ape call and swoons into Weissmuller's arms. Talk about your subtext!
Stage Door Canteen is truly a relic of another time, a past so distant that to a lot of people reading this it might as well be about the Trojan war as about WWII. It was a time when everyone was a patriot, a time when movie and Broadway stars not only supported a war but went out and mingled with the soldiers (sure the movie's romanticized, but there really was a Stage Door Canteen, and a Hollywood Canteen, too), a time when innocence wasn't just a word. (In fact, I think it would be almost impossible for a teenager today to watch the movie without laughing at a good-looking 18-year-old guy who's never kissed a girl and to whom a first kiss could mean so much.) It was a time when "The Lord's Prayer" could be sung to a group of men and women who would automatically stand at its first words and say "Amen" when it was done. It may not have been a better time, but it was beyond question a different time, and one that I'm old enough to remember. The plots and situations might seem sappy or corny now, and maybe they even seemed that way even 60 years ago, but by golly they're effective.
Some of the highlights for me were the antics of Kay Kyser, the "strip" by Gypsy Rose Lee, Benny Goodman's clarinet playing, Ray Bolger's dancing, and the great bit with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy, which is why I recorded the movie in the first place. Great, great stuff, like opening a time capsule.
Monday, May 30, 2011
The plans have been revealed by Gad's Hill School, which currently occupies the building at Higham, near Rochester."
Now, a new study finds that between 6 percent and 7 percent of young alligators fall victim to the cruel fate of cannibalism. On the other hand, a little gator-on-gator cannibalism may help keep their populations stable."
Sunday, May 29, 2011
Clements, who served two terms as governor, from 1979 to 1983 and from 1987 to 1991, was remembered by current Governor Rick Perry as 'the father of the modern day Republican party' in the state."
As you may or may not know already, issue #6 of Crime Factory is Live!!
It's 200 pages of awesome and the line up is huge, so I hope you check it out right HERE"
The former X Files beauty is in talks to co-star in the three-part BBC1 drama which The Mail on Sunday can reveal will feature Hollywood hardman Ray Winstone as Magwitch and rising star Douglas Booth as Pip.
The BBC is planning what it calls the most ‘visceral’ adaptation of
the novel yet in an effort to win over a generation of viewers unfamiliar with the original.
It will remain faithful to Dickens’s story, but key characters and situations will be redrawn to give them a ‘contemporary buzz’."