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Good(is) News And Other Stories


Tuesday, May 16, 2006
 
So Duane Swierczynski and a few of his mates were sitting around shooting the bull and bitching about the lack of Philly-area mystery conventions. Someone mentioned that the 40th anniversary of Philadelphia native David Goodis' death is coming up in January, and voila! GoodisCon was born.

Goodis is probably best known to the general public as the author of Dark Passage, made into a pretty good Bogart-Bacall flick, but in the mystery community he's remembered as the man who wrote nihilistic paperback classics such as Down There, Cassidy's Girl, and The Moon In The Gutter. Apparently he was also a genuinely odd bird, who after an initial foray into Hollywood spent much of his life living with his parents. As Ed Gorman wrote, Goodis "didn't write novels; he wrote suicide notes."

It seems there's a Goodis revival looming, hopefully as large as the Jim Thompson revival of a few years ago, which saw all of Thompson's novels come back into print. So if you're interested in noir in the City of Brotherly Love, be sure to give GoodisCon a gander.

Other news: There's an article in Slate called "What Are Independent Bookstores Really Good For?" - their answer: not much. The author doesn't really shed much light on the issue, but does highlight the continuing threat to the indie's existence, as well as the snobbery that keeps them going.

Last, when I added Murderati to the Big Blog Index, I exchanged a couple of emails with road* scholar JT Ellison, which included my asking, "So, when's your book out?" Her reply: "Um, I haven't sold it yet."

But there's a fine line between idiocy and prophecy, and the fate I fortold has come to pass: JT has signed a "very nice" three book deal with Mira. No clue whether she buys the next round according to the Scalzi scale.

* See, JT went to college at Randolph Macon in western Virginia, not far from where I went at Washington & Lee. Randy Mac and other women's colleges in the area were referred to as "road schools" by some of my classmates (though never by me), and going there to meet girls was called "going down the road." Which makes her.. oh, never mind.

posted by Graham Powell at 10:15 AM