Thursday, December 23, 2010

Bullet Points: Christmas Eve Eve Edition

In Mystery Fanfare, author Kelli Stanley has posted a crime-fiction-oriented twist on Clement Moore’s famous holiday poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Jolly good fun!

• The husband and wife who write as Michael Gregorio have posted a previously unpublished Christmas crime story on their Web site, “Do You Believe in Father Christmas?” If you want to read it, don’t wait: The tale is scheduled to disappear from the site on Sunday, January 2.

• Meanwhile, the Great Detectives of Old Time Radio Web site offers a Christmas-themed episode of the classic Nero Wolfe program. Originally broadcast in 1950 and starring Sydney Greenstreet, it’s titled “The Case of the Slaughtered Santas.” Listen here.

• The “New Slashers” issue of Plots with Guns is now live.

• Already planning to attend Bouchercon 2011 in St. Louis? Well, maybe you’d like to save some money on getting in. The registration rate will remain at $150 per person through December 31. But after that, it will shoot up to $175. Register here.

• John Kenyon of Things I’d Rather Be Doing is holding a “fairy tale as crime fiction” contest. His explanation of the rules:
Write a crime fiction story of between 1,000 and 3,000 words (with some flexibility on either end) that is based on the premise of an actual children’s fairy tale. For example, a story about a predatory thief based on “Little Red Riding Hood.” Post it to your blog or Web site, or find someone who will do that for you. Put the link in the comments here. Do so by midnight on Jan. 14, Cinderella, or your coach to (the relative) fame and fortune (of modest web-based attention) will turn back into a pumpkin.

You don’t need to reveal which fairy tale you used as source material. While some will probably be obvious, others may not. Guessing can be part of the fun.
Prizes will be given. Full details here.

• Novelist-screenwriter Lee Goldberg’s reports that his independent film, Remaindered, “has been chosen as a finalist at the Beaufort International Film Festival in Beaufort, South Carolina this February ...”

• If you haven’t yet noticed, the group blog Do Some Damage has recently been posting a series of Christmas noir stories.

• And blogger Seb Duper presents us with his own holiday-themed short tale, “The Christmas Three,” in Chalk Outlines in Snow.

• Some are crying “heresy” over the decision by makers of the forthcoming film based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven,” and starring John Cusak, to shoot that picture in Belgrade and Budapest rather than Poe’s hometown of Baltimore.

A little cheesecake cheer for the holidays from illustrator Rob Kelly.

• Two more losses to the crime-fiction community: TV writer Herman Groves, who produced scripts for Have Gun--Will Travel, The F.B.I., Hawaii Five-O, and “Harry O (including the one with Maureen McCormick as a junkie),” died earlier this month at age 83; and Steve Landesberg, “a comic actor known for playing wry, bookish types and most widely recognized as Barney Miller’s Arthur P. Dietrich,” died of cancer on December 20 at age 65. Good-bye also to Fred Foy, “the announcer best known for his passionate lead-in to The Lone Ranger.” Foy died on December 22. He was 89 years old.

• Concluding his fine series of reviews covering all of John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee novels, Pornokitsch contributor Jared Shurin weighs in on The Lonely Silver Rain (1985), “a pretty awful book when taken on its own. ... But, as the capstone to a twenty-one book series, The Lonely Silver Rain is a damn good conclusion.” You’ll find Shurin’s complete series here.

• Also worth following: Cullen Gallagher is spending part of this holiday season reviewing books by the largely forgotten Peter Rabe.

• Interested in joining a reading challenge for 2011? In Reference to Murder’s B.V. Lawson offers a round-up of opportunities for folks who like their reading to cover places and times both foreign and familiar.

• J. Sydney Jones interviews Leighton Gage, author of the Brazil-set Chief Inspector Mario Silva series (Every Bitter Thing).

• Omnimystery News has updated its 2010 mystery events calendar.

• We’ve already seen one trailer for the March 2011 big-screen release, The Lincoln Lawyer, based on Michael Connelly’s 2005 novel of the same name and starring Matthew McConaughey (as well as the ever-lovely Marisa Tomei). But here’s a longer and better one.

• Are these really the 10 Best Legal Shows in TV History?

• Finally, congratulations to the newly concluded 111th U.S. Congress for an amazing series of accomplishments, not only during the recent lame duck session, but throughout the last two years--this despite unprecedented obstructionism from the GOP. The American Enterprise Institute’s Norman Ornstein characterizes the 111th as “one of, at least, the three most productive Congresses” since 1900. Unfortunately, with laissez-faire Republicans assuming majority control of the U.S. House in January, and already signaling their partisan disinterest in passing meaningful legislation, this may have been the last productive Congress we’ll see until after the 2012 presidential election.


Les Blatt said...

One correction: Fred Foy was the announcer, formerly of The Lone Ranger and lots of other shows, who passed away this week. Frances was his wife's name. I had the pleasure of knowing Fred Foy and working with him in the ABC newsroom back in the 1960s when, as a staff announcer, he would read the occasional radio newscast. He was a friendly and generous guy.

J. Kingston Pierce said...

Whoops. It seems those alliterative "F" names are giving me trouble. Thanks for the correction, Les. I have changed the post accordingly.