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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