Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bullet Points: California Dreamin’ Edition

This year’s Bouchercon begins on Thursday in San Francisco, and I have plenty to do before hopping on a plane. Fortunately, I’ve already stocked up on cat food and filled the fridge for the guests who’ll be staying in my house during my brief absence. But I am still working on a couple of posts that I’d like to put up in The Rap Sheet either today or tomorrow. Meanwhile, here are a few newsy tidbits worth mentioning.

• Gutter Books, the book-publishing affiliate of Out of the Gutter magazine, has released a new paperback edition of John D. MacDonald’s On the Make, a standalone story that was published originally in 1955 as A Bullet for Cinderella. While I’m happy to see this book back in print, with its two bonus “scholarly essays discussing John D. MacDonald’s life and times,” it’s too bad that Gutter Books didn’t stick with the cover illustration Mitchell Hooks created for the 1960 Dell paperback release.

• When I noted Elmore Leonard’s 85th birthday yesterday, I forgot to also mention the very complimentary piece author Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) wrote for Omnivoracious, the Amazon blog. It’s title gives you the gist: “Joe Hill’s 10 Rules for Why Elmore Leonard Rules.”

• I’ve never seen the 1948 movie I Love Trouble, based on Roy Huggins’ 1946 private-eye novel, The Double Take, but I sure would like to sit through it sometime.

• This week’s short-story in Beat to a Pulp comes from Arizona writer Keith Rawson. His “unsettling” tale is called “Life on the Mesa.”

R.I.P., Solomon Burke, who I saw perform several years ago at Seattle’s annual fall music and arts festival, Bumbershoot. His death deals a sad loss to the music world.

The perfect accessory for every crime fictionist’s desktop. (Hat tip to Bill Crider’s Pop Culture Magazine.)

• Three interviews you ought to read: Vince Keenan talks with Ed Gorman about the latter’s new novel, Stranglehold, his second to star political consultant Dev Conrad; Jared Case chats up Stephen J. Schwartz, whose new thriller, Beat, is the sequel to his previous and much-lauded novel, Boulevard; and J. Sydney Jones discusses World War II-era mysteries with James R. Benn, author of the Billy Boyle series.

• A new crime-fiction site worth checking out: The Crime of It All.

• Much to my wife’s dismay, I’m afraid, the DVD release of Mannix’s fourth season episodes is scheduled for early January of next year.

• MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow offered a good wrap-up last night of the nutty right-wingers running for high office as Republicans this year.

• Author Duane Swierczynski offers a fine recommendation of the new British non-fiction book Following the Detectives: Real Locations in Crime Fiction, to which I contributed an essay about Dashiell Hammett.

• Gary Phillips’ recent piece about writing graphic novels won The Rap Sheet attention from Los Angeles Times books blogger Carolyn Kellogg.

Scottish crime writer Tony Black (Long Time Dead) answers some questions about his TV-watching tastes in Crime Time Preview.

• There are still many details to be worked out, but South Africa is preparing for its first-ever crime fest next month in Johannesburg.

• Novelist Timothy Hallinan (The Queen of Patpong) has decided to enter the enervating and mostly unrewarding world of blogging. At least for 365 days. You will find his work in The Blog Cabin.

• Planning is well underway for PulpFest 2011 in Columbus, Ohio.

• For list lovers:10 Infamous Police Scandals.”

• In The Venetian Vase, Chris Routledge writes about “The Unhappy Life of Cornell Woolrich,” observing that “Woolrich’s own life, and in particular his relationship with his mother, was in many ways at least as strange as the plots of his stories.”

There’s more Iceland-set crime fiction on its way.

• Max Allan Collins has begun highlighting the new Terry Beatty-illustrated covers for Perfect Crime’s re-releases of his first five Quarry novels. Very nice.

Will you attend the Men of Mystery convention, scheduled for October 30 in Irvine, California? Gregg Hurwitz, Don Winslow, Thomas Perry, and Brett Battles are among the 50 male writers slated to appear there.

• Patti Abbott’s La Ronde writing challenge has produced its second chapter, this one composed by Dana King.

• And here’s some more music for the Bouchercon-bound. By the way, if you’re in San Francisco later this week and happen to notice me behind my name badge, wandering about the Hyatt Regency meeting rooms (perhaps with flowers in my hair), don’t hesitate to say hello.


pattinase (abbott) said...

So weird that I was reading a Pelecanos novel (HARD REVOLUTION) last night and there was the name Solomon Burke. I had never heard it before yesterday and there it was.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And I wish I was going to be at Bouchercon. Wear those flowers.

Kiwicraig said...

have a blast at Bouchercon. Was very tempted to hop on a plane this year - San Fran is one of my fave US cities (and a direct flight from NZ). Sigh. I'm so jealous of everyone going - looks like it's going to be a fantastic few days. Have a great time