Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Bullet Points: Post-Labor Day Edition

• The Drowning Machine’s Corey Wilde has chosen the 10 writers who will move on to stage two of his Watery Grave Short Story Invitational competition. Among the finalists are Patricia Abbott, Frank Bill, Cormac Brown, and Sophie Littlefield. The full list is here. As Wilde explains, “These lucky ten will have until noon EST, September 23, 2009, to submit their original stories. Same restriction as for the entry stories: Not more than 2,500 words.” Best of luck to all the invitees.

• The second-to-last issue of Mystery News came winging through my mail slot today, offering a cover story about Louise Penny (The Brutal Telling), an Out of the Past column about the long-forgotten Marjorie Carleton (Vanished, 1955), Stephen Miller’s profile of Robert Rotenberg (Old City Hall), myriad book reviews, and more.

The Guardian reports that Scottish author Philip Kerr has won “the world’s most lucrative crime fiction prize, the RBA international prize for crime writing, for his novel If the Dead Rise Not. Kerr’s book beat more than 160 others to land the €125,000 (£109,000) prize. The book is the last in his series of ‘Berlin noir’ novels featuring detective Bernie Gunther, and covering a period that includes Hitler’s rise to power and postwar Germany’s struggle to come to terms with its past. The author said he was surprised at the size of the prize: ‘I recently got a prize in France which was a few bottles of wine.’” The mention of If the Dead Rise Not being Kerr’s “last” Gunther adventure might well be incorrect, as I haven’t heard that news before; the paper might have meant to say it is his “latest” Gunther mystery, instead. But that doesn’t take away from the importance of this item. Congratulations to Mr. Kerr, whose new novel I recently ordered sent from Britain, as I just couldn’t wait until next year to read the U.S. edition. More on Kerr’s prize here.

• UK novelist Laura Wilson (An Empty Death) has decided to move from publisher Orion to Quercus for the next two books in her Detective Inspector Ted Stratton series.

• Another title to add to my rental list: Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die, a 1966 spy-fi adventure starring Mike Connors (later of Mannix fame) as a CIA agent who’s “in Rio de Janerio, investigating a millionaire named Ardonian (played by Italian actor Raf Vallone), who seems to collect girlfriends--several at a time. These young women (all beautiful, of course) all seem to go missing eventually.”

• How many of you remember television’s short-lived, 1972 Sebastian Cabot-hosted horror anthology series, Ghost Story?

• Only months ago editor Tony Burton announced that the Webzine Crime and Suspense was closing. Now, though, it seems the ’zine is being relaunched, this time with Fred Synder at the helm. C&S reports it is currently “accepting submissions for November. ... Mystery, detective, noir, horror, action/adventure, and thrillers are all acceptable. Our preferred story length is between 2,000 and 6,000 words, but we will consider flash fiction as short as 500 words and longer stories up to 10,000 words.” Additional submissions info can be found here. (Hat tip to Sandra Seamans.)

More proof that right-wingers haven’t been taking their medications for a while now.

• Edgar Award-winning Washington author Aaron Elkins (Skull Duggery) sounds somewhat bitter about how his series of novels featuring anthropologist-detective Gideon Oliver was translated for television. Read more about that here. By the way, Elkins is wrong when he writes that the ABC Mystery Movie, which featured a revival of Columbo, Burt Reynolds’ B.L. Stryker, and Gideon Oliver (starring Louis Gossett Jr.) “all flopped, deservedly, and never returned for a second season.” In fact, that “wheel series,” which debuted in February 1989, did come back for a sophomore season the next fall--but without Gideon Oliver. Substituted, instead, were a few more episodes of Kojak, with Telly Salvalas, and a new show called Christine Cromwell, which starred former “Angel” Jaclyn Smith as a mystery-solving attorney.

• Can dumb book covers really hurt sales? You betcha.

• Whoops. I’ve fallen behind in mentioning what’s new over at Beat to a Pulp. The latest bit of short crime fiction, “Insatiable,” comes from Hilary Davidson. Last week’s installment was “Midnight Showdown,” by Sandra Seamans. OK, now I’m all caught up.

• Two interviews worth reading: Canadian novelist Vicki Delany (who wrote recently in The Rap Sheet about Peter O’Donnell’s Modesty Blaise) talks with Mystery Fanfare’s David Cole; and Matt Hilton (Dead Man’s Dust) chats with Sarah Tribble about the definition of “thriller,” his incredible persistence as a writer, and his inspirations, including Don Pendleton’s Mac Bolan/Executioner series.

• And why should anybody be surprised by this?

1 comment:

Katie Schwartz said...

Congratulations to all the candidates, what a talented list of writers. MAZEL TOV.

Being a HUGE FAN of Cormac Brown's work and having read his entry, I am rooting for him.

Good luck everyone.