Sunday, August 15, 2010

Bullet Points: Multimedia Edition

• The International Thriller Writers organization has opened the submission period for its 2011 Thriller Awards competition. As a news release explains, “All novels FIRST published in the English language by a commercial ITW-recognized publisher within the 2010 calendar year are eligible for the respective categories ...” The deadline for submissions is December 1. Click here for full details.

• With her new standalone thriller, I’d Know You Anywhere (Morrow), due in U.S. bookstores this week, Baltimore journalist-turned-novelist Laura Lippman sat down with a reporter from her old newspaper, The Baltimore Sun, to talk about Hollywood’s interest in her work, her fascination with “smaller than life” characters, and of course the contents of her latest, soon to be best-selling book. You can read the Sun piece here. (Hat tip to Read Street.)

• How did this fall 2010 TV crime drama escape my attention? Just its casting of Dana Delaney (who I will always think of as Colleen McMurphy in China Beach) and Jeri Ryan (who always appears to me first as Seven of Nine, from Star Trek: Voyager) should have attracted my radar. Sure, the concept sounds a bit like both Quincy, M.E., and Crossing Jordan. But I’m still willing to give it a shot.

Another new TV show I wouldn’t mind trying. Wow, am I getting soft on Hollywood products in my old age?

• One can’t help but be impressed by the NoirCon lineup for November.

• “New Boyfriend” is the title of this week’s new short story in Beat to a Pulp. It’s the work of Bellerose, New York, writer William Blick.

• I think the only film footage I’ve ever seen of Erle Stanley Gardner comes from his single appearance (as a judge) in the final, 1966 episode of the Raymond Burr series Perry Mason. So I was intrigued when Rap Sheet contributor Stephen Miller alerted me to this YouTube video in which author Gardner appears as a mystery guest on What’s My Line? in 1957. As Steve notes, “This clip is a riot. The dig on Bennett Cerf is priceless, and I love the evening gowns and tuxedos. You can almost hear the ice cubes in the old fashioned glasses.” Some of the queries addressed to Gardner are a bit odd, but then that was the nature of the show. Take a look, when you get a chance.

• Really? Robert B. Parker’s last Spenser novel? Is his publisher sure there aren’t any manuscripts from the prolific master squirreled away for “surprise” future release?

Needle Magazine’s Summer 2010 issue is finally out.

• Unfortunate news on the Webzine front:The Back Alley has closed to submissions until further notice,” writes short-story author Sandra Seamans. “Editor Richard Helms says that due to their new standing as an approved market by the Mystery Writers of America, they are overwhelmed with subs and need to work their way through the slush pile. Ah ... the lure of an Edgar nomination! And yes, that was probably uncalled for, but I find it amusing that writers who look down their noses at online ’zines are suddenly jumping on the bandwagon because they’re approved by the MWA. Let’s face it, the pay is the same as when this ’zine launched two years ago. Where were all of these writers then?” She does have a point ...

The ideal bathroom accessory for crime-fiction enthusiasts.

• How in the heck did I miss this news?PI Magazine, the international trade publication for professional investigators, will honor actor James Garner with its first-ever Outstanding Achievement Award as ‘Television’s Most Famous Private Investigator.’” That presentation took place in Garner’s Oklahoma hometown way back in April! (Hat tip to Mysterious Musings.)

• The BBC-TV series Sherlock, which updates the adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle’s most famous creation, Victorian “consulting detective” Sherlock Holmes, and which has already been shown in Britain, finally has a U.S. broadcast date. According to Mystery Books News, the three episodes of that program will begin airing as part of PBS-TV’s Masterpiece Mystery! starting on Sunday, October 24.

• The ABC-TV series 77 Sunset Strip (1958-1964) has come to be thought of as such a classic private-eye drama, set in Los Angeles, that it’s easy to forget about the three spin-offs that weren’t so memorable: Surfside Six (set in Miami), Hawaiian Eye (set in Hawaii), and Bourbon Street Beat (set in New Orleans). Evan Lewis has posted the main title sequences from the first two of those; you can see the opening of Bourbon Street Beat, along with an entire episode of that show, here.

In related news, this year’s Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention (September 23-25 in Hunt Valley, Maryland) will have as one of its celebrity guests, Van Williams, who co-starred in both Surfside Six and Bourbon Street Beat (before becoming more famous for his lead role in The Green Hornet). Joining Williams for some good old-fashioned fan adulation will be Dawn Wells of Gilligan’s Island and Roy Thinnes from The Invaders. To learn more about this convention, click here.

• It’s been a while since I thought about the long-running CBS Late Movie, but Mercurie’s fine remembrance in A Shroud of Thoughts makes me instantly nostalgic.

• For some reason the concept of Leslie Nielsen’s Police Squad! seems funnier now than it did when that parody series was originally shown in 1982. I might just have to pick up the complete DVD set sometime.

• New Zealand’s Sunday Star-Times examines the country’s sudden small boom in crime fiction. (Hat tip to Crime Watch.)

• Meanwhile, the Chicago Tribune surveys its own local crop of mystery makers. Click here to find the resulting article.

• J. Sydney Jones interviews Elizabeth Sims, “the creator of two well-received mystery series: one featuring Detroit-based reporter, Lillian Byrd, and the more recent Rita Farmer books: The Actress, The Extra, and On Location ...”

• Actor Daniel Craig says he’s rested and ready for his next turn playing British super-spy James Bond--whenever movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer gets its act together.

• And here’s something I didn’t know. As Rap Sheet contributor Mark Coggins (The Big Wake-Up) writes in his blog at the San Francisco Chronicle Web site: “Given the close association of [Raymond] Chandler with L.A. and [Dashiell] Hammett with San Francisco, would you be surprised to learn that Chandler lived and worked in our fair city before Hammett? It’s true.” Read the whole piece here.


Tom K Mason said...

re: Dana Delaney. She was very good as a "guest-star chasing a serial killer" in a two-part Castle this past season. It felt like she was being prepped for some kind of cop/mystery/medical series.

Thrills Blog said...

Frankly, it bothers me that ITW does not look at self-published novels for their Thriller Awards.