Monday, September 06, 2010

Bullet Points: Labor Day Edition

• Elizabeth Bissette has set up a Web page devoted to the work of her great uncle, journalist-editor Norvell Page, who of course wrote most of the pulp adventures of that vigilante hero, The Spider. You’ll find Bissette’s The Spider Strikes here. (Hat tip to Not the Baseball Pitcher.)

• September marks the 120th anniversary of Agatha Christie’s birth. To celebrate, there’s a month-long blog carnival tour going on across the Web. You’ll find a list of its daily contributors here.

• And click here to find the schedule for this year’s Agatha Christie Festival in Torquay, England, September 12-19.

Salon critic Heather Havrilesky names the CW’s remake of the assassin drama Nikita as one of her favorite new fall TV shows.

• Rae Helmsworth’s official blog associated with October’s Bouchercon in San Francisco reports that this year’s Private Eye Writers of America banquet--during which the latest Shamus Awards will be given out--has been scheduled for Friday night, October 15, from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Empress of China in Chinatown (838 Grant Avenue). She adds that “Robert Crais and Marcia Muller are being honored, and tickets are $50. For more info, contact Christine Matthews.”

• Bill Crider submits his new Sheriff Dan Rhodes novel, Murder in the Air (Minotaur), to the infamous Page 69 Test. The results are here.

• The Huffington Post presents its list of “13 Books Nobody’s Read But Say They Have.” That’s not exactly an accurate headline, because I, for one, have read and enjoyed half of the books mentioned (including Infinite Jest, which I was only able to finish as a test of my capacity for self-punishment). How about you?

R.I. P., editorial cartoonist Paul Conrad.

• Congratulations to Patti Abbott and Steve Weddle on their forthcoming short-fiction collection, the e-book Discount Noir--“42 stories set in a Big Box store.”

• A tip of the hat as well to the pseudonymous Mercurie, whose fine movie/television/whatever blog, A Shroud of Thoughts, racked up its 1,500th post last Friday.

• This week’s new short story in Beat to a Pulp, “A Rip through Time: The Dame, the Doctor, and the Device,” by Chris Holm, is apparently the opening installment of a “healthy novella” that will be released in e-book form, probably at the start of 2011. Beat to a Pulp editor David Cranmer explains more about that project here.

• This note comes from Kansas City, Missouri, writer, photographer, and blogger Patrick Balestar:
Some of our Kansas City writers (Nancy Pickard, Joel Goldman, and Michelle Black) were recently featured on KCUR 89.3 FM. The topic was how the Internet has changed the mystery genre and why Kansas City is a great setting for crime fiction. We don’t get much attention here in the middle of the Midwest, so I thought you could share it with your readers. I’ve posted a link to the archived broadcast on my mystery blog here.

It’s about 48 minutes long ... a great way to kill an hour (or at least gravely wound it).
• The Drowning Machine is asking readers to name “five [crime-fiction] authors who you believe are an unfairly guarded secret. The ones that if you could, you would make everyone read at least once.” All those who share their top-5 selections will be entered into a random drawing to win a free book valued at up to $25. (The victor evidently gets to choose which one.) Click here to participate.

Some enticing Modesty Blaise book-cover speculation, presented here especially for my good friend, the infamous Monica Bellucci gawker, Charlie Smyth.

• The HMSS Weblog celebrates “the 45th anniversary of TV spy mania.” To learn more, just click here, here, here, and here.

• For reasons beyond my comprehension (obviously, somebody failed to send me the memo explaining this change), the blog Mystery Book News has suddenly become Omnimystery News. Fortunately, the site’s old URL ( still seems to work, so there’s no reason for concern. It’s just happened. End of story.

Republicans continue to threaten Social Security’s future. Read more on that same subject here.

President Obama speaking today in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, about Republican plans to eliminate Social Security as we know it: “To those who may still run for office planning to privatize Social Security, let me be clear: as long as I’m President, I’ll fight every effort to take the retirement savings of a generation of Americans and hand it over to Wall Street. Not on my watch.”

• Britain’s Independent newspaper puts some questions to Don Winslow (Savages), while Jean Henry Mead asks Karen E. Olson about her tattoo shop mysteries.

Here are two British spy-fi TV series that I’ve never seen.

Andrew Taylor, author of the new novel The Anatomy of Ghosts and the the Lydmouth and Dougal crime series, tells the blog Writers Read what book he has had his nose in most recently.

• In The Venetian Vase, Steve Powell examines “the flaws in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy.”

• Rebecca Cantrell imagines the ideal casting for a movie version of her first Hannah Vogel historical thriller, A Trace of Smoke.

• And in the blog Commander Bond, Wesley Britton, a “leading international authority on espionage in films, television, literature, and history,” reviews the forthcoming anthology of essays, James Bond in World and Popular Culture: The Films Are Not Enough. That critique can be found here. (Hat tip to Spy Vibe.)


Naomi Johnson said...

Thanks for plugging the contest at The Drowning Machine. Yes, the winner gets to choose the book he wins, any book at all, up to $25.

Snidely Whiplash said...

Books better unread
This list is me spot on; I possibly finished "The Satanic Verses" just to see what the fuss was all about (a book so awful and tedious that I think it should be on everyone's not to do list)I think "Something Happened" by Joseph Heller was the worst book I ever finished. It was awful from start to finish but I kept reading hoping it was leading up to some enormous Catch-22 punchline