Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bullet Points: Quiet Thursday Edition

• Submissions to this year’s big Watery Grave Invitational Short Story Contest are due “no later than 9 p.m. EST” tonight. E-mail your entries to editor Naomi Johnson at

• In Reference to Murder also reminds us that time is “running out to submit your novella of 15,000 to 20,000 words in length for the sixth annual Black Orchid Novella Award. The sponsors are seeking original works of fiction in the tradition of ... Rex Stout’s Nero Wolfe, which (1) emphasize the deductive skills of the sleuth; (2) contain no overt sex or violence; (3) don't include characters from the original series. First prize: $1,000 plus publication in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine.” Entries must be postmarked by May 31.

• If you’re planning to attend next month’s BookExpo America (BEA) conference in New York City, be sure to check out Andrew Shaffer’s “Ultimate BEA Party Guide,” which hopes to list “all the parties planned for the week.” (Hat tip to GalleyCat.)

• Really? Megan Abbott has penned an issue of The Punisher?

• UK critic Mike Ripley, a monthly columnist for Shots and an occasional contributor to The Rap Sheet, has spent the last three years helming Ostara Publishing’s Top Notch Thrillers imprint, bringing “unjustly forgotten British thrillers” back into print. Now he’s taking on further responsibilities for Ostara as series editor for its new Ostara Crime imprint. To quote from a press release:
Said Ripley: “When it comes to mysteries and thrillers, publishing these days is looking for the quick fix and far too many good books go out of print far too quickly. With Ostara Crime we’re trying to keep quality crime writing in front of a new generation of readers both through print and electronically.”

The first authors signed to Ostara Crime, all female, will each have three of their series mysteries republished this year and will appear as Kindle e-books for the first time. The first three “Kate Kinsella Medical Mysteries” by Christine Green--
Deadly Errand, Deadly Admirer and Deadly Practice--are out now and will be followed by three “Georgina Powers Investigations” by Denise Danks and three “‘Rain Morgan” detective novels by Lesley Grant-Adamson.

“I am delighted with our first three signings,” enthuses Mike Ripley. “Christine Green did a marvellous job updating the traditional cosy village murder story to small-town England in the 1990s and mixing in a medical background and some saucy seaside-postcard humour. Lesley Grant-Adamson, a distinguished journalist, gained rave reviews for her psychological thrillers written as superbly crafted detective novels in the classic English form. Denise Danks, one of the ‘Fresh Blood’ generation of writers from the late 1980s, wrote her crime fiction on the cutting edge of technology as technology was undergoing radical change. Her computer-savvy heroine, Georgina Powers, was tough, stubborn and unruly, often drunk and made terrible choices when it came to men.”
• Speaking of Shots, its editor, Mike Stotter, has recently helped launch a venture called Piccadilly Publishing, which hopes to “bring back into ‘e-print’ some of the most popular and best-loved Western and action-adventure series fiction of the last forty years.” The enterprise’s new blog explains that “The first Piccadilly Publishing e-book--Trackdown, by Neil Hunter--is now available for download from Amazon’s platforms in the UK, U.S., Spain, France, Germany and Italy, and more titles are set to follow over the next several months.”

• Here’s some news to send shivers up the backs of America’s (unfortunately numerous) right-wing racists: “After years of speculation, estimates and projections,” The New York Times reports, “the Census Bureau has made it official: White births are no longer a majority in the United States.” Of course, most of us will probably think, Who cares? The quality of a person doesn’t lie in his or her color, after all, but in his or her character.

• With the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises--Christopher Nolan’s third Batman movie--coming up in mid-July, and set to star Anne Hathaway as feline fatale Catwoman, New York’s Daily News provides a handy infographic that looks back at the film and TV history of the Cape Crusader’s most fetching foe.

Good-bye, Donna Summer.

• Omnimystery News brings word that “Nikolaj Arcel--who adapted The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for the Swedish-language version of the film--and Mikkel Nørgaard will write the screenplay” for a big-screen version of Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen’s first Department Q novel, The Keeper of Lost Causes.

Deserved props for the 1998 flick Twilight.

• A behind-the-scenes preview of CBS-TV’s upcoming series Elementary, which stars Jonny Lee Miller as a modern-day Sherlock Holmes operating in New York City, with Lucy Liu as his sidekick, Joan (not John) Watson, can be seen here.

• Sad news, but not unexpected: NBC has cancelled the David E. Kelley legal drama Harry’s Law, starring Kathy Bates. Why? “The show ranked very low among viewers ages 18 to 49, the demographic most advertisers care about.”

Hey, I remember this series! (NBC network promo here.)

• Even if the story wasn’t interesting, the headline of this blog post in Existential Ennui would get draw me in: “Is Ian Fleming’s James Bond Really a Sexist, Misogynist Bastard?

• Hmm. The Day the Sea Rolled Back is not the first book that comes to mind when I think of Mickey Spillane.

• And Ayo Onatade reports that FX-TV “has put in development a drama series adaptation of Chelsea Cain’s best-selling book series ... [Her] thriller novels, Heartsick, Sweetheart and Evil at Heart, center on beautiful therapist-turned-series killer Gretchen Lowell and her relationship with damaged Portland detective Archie Sheridan.”

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