Week in Review of Small Press Crime Fiction for August 28 – September 3, 2017
We went to bed with the constant sound of rain. Overnight, my wife and I took alternating shifts. We woke up every two hours and checked outside. Still raining. Hard. Even when your shift was over and it was time to return to sleep, sleep was hard to come by, especially when every cell phone in the house would buzz with tornado warnings.
One of my all-time favorite crime fiction publishers All Due Respect Books is open for submissions right now. Read their Submission guidelines and, for goodness sakes, read some of their books. They are really good, I promise you.
Check out the last few Incident Reports for other publishers that are accepting submissions like Fahrenheit Press and Out of the Gutter.
SHOTS tells us of a Call for Papers: A Study in Sidekicks: The Detective’s Assistant in Crime Fiction.
This collection aims to explore the changing representations and functions of the detective’s sidekick across a range of forms and subgenres of crime fiction from the nineteenth century to the present day. Forms may include: magazine short stories, serial or non-serial novels, ‘penny dreadfuls’, juvenile story papers, dime and half-dime novels, comics and graphic novels, radio drama, stage plays, film and television, video games. Genres may include: sensation fiction, the locked-room mystery, Golden Age detective fiction (including the clue puzzle and the hard-boiled detective novel), the police procedural, historical crime fiction, supernatural crime fiction, the serial killer thriller, the psychothriller.
Joe Clifford, author of the Joe Clifford series, has been on an editing tear, first with Hard Sentences: Crime Fiction Inspired by Alcatraz (Broken River Books) and now with Just To Watch Them Die: Crime Fiction Inspired By the Songs of Johnny Cash (Gutter Books). This anthology features work by James Grady, David Corbett, Rob Hart, Jen Conley, Lynne Barrett and many more. I reviewed Clifford latest book Give Up the Dead (Oceanview Publishing).
Continuing from last week by linking to new releases that are not crime fiction William W. Johnstone’s Warpath of the Mountain Man (Pinnacle). Johnstone is one of the many Western writers hanging around the periphery of my TBR. Maybe one day, maybe one day.
If psychological thrillers are your thing, there are plenty to choose from: Les Zig’s Just Another Week in Suburbia (Pantera Press), Linda Huber’s Death Wish (Bloodhound Books), Liz Mistry’s Untainted Blood (Bloodhound Books), Richard Parker’s Hide and Seek (Bookouture), and S.D. Monaghan’s The Accident (Bookouture).
Can a week go by without a James Patterson release? Highly doubtful. This week’s release is Laugh Out Loud by Patterson and Chris Graberstein.
I have a few weeks of short stories to go through due to my vacation. Matthew Lyons’ The Brothers Brujo at Rusty Barnes’ Tough is nothing short of a masterpiece. Envelope by David Racheis is not a piece of flash fiction you should look past. Good stuff.
At Out of the Gutter they are publishing classic stories because we are not sending the great stories to publish. Let’s get on this. In the meantime read CS DeWildt’s McRib Therapy Alleviates Seasonal Depression and Isaac Kirkman’s Portrait of a Sister with Insects.
You have already read Tom Leins’ Skull Meat? You haven’t. Look, it’s freaking .99¢ and really good — here’s my review. Leins has a new story, Dry Salvage, in Near to the Knuckle. Read both the short story and the book.
I have to be honest, I was unsure of how the serial of Brian Panowich’s Fire on the Mountain would work out on Shotgun Honey. I do not know why I had any doubts. Fire on the Mountain just gets better and better. I’ve just finished Part Four of the six-part series. Absolutely delicious.
In the most recent edition of Yellow Mama is Paul Heatley’s Tickets to Heaven which is quite good.
I finally got off my ass and read Gabino Iglesias’ Zero Saints. In my review I wrote:
Iglesias uses the crime genre to instill a sense of urgency to his story but it his writing — beautiful, powerful and, most importantly, fresh — that makes Zero Saints as much of a crime novel as Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five is a science fiction book. If you haven’t read Iglesias’ Zero Saints yet, don’t be a schmuck like me and wait, read it now.
I have been chatting up Winnie M. Li’s Dark Chapters (Polis Books) for several months now. I know I’ll be mentioning it a lot over the next several weeks and especially in January for my Best of 2017, but it bears repeating, this book is great. Sam Jordison writes in The Guardian:
The writing feels defiant and urgent – but it’s only half of the book. In a move that’s possibly even braver than recreating her personal trauma, Li attempts to get inside the mind of her rapist, explain his thought processes and explore his emotions.
Steve Weddle kind of reviews Yuri Herrera’s The Transmigration of Bodies. Weddle writes, “Brutal. Honest. Short and punchy sentences? OK. This is like when someone is talking about bacon-infused, chocolate stout. I like all those words.”
At Biblbiophile, they interview Ian Patrick and review his book Rubicon. Paul D. Brazill recommends Keith Nixon’s Dig Two Graves and Brazill’s latest book Cold London Blues is reviewed by Nigel Bird. Black Gat Books will be releasing Clifton Adams’ Never Say No to a Killer in November and it is reviewed on the Noir Journal. The New York Times recommends the new Chester Himes biography.
John Ashbery has passed away. Harold Bloom said of Ashbery, “No one now writing poems in the English language is likelier than Ashbery to survive the severe judgment of time. He is joining the American sequence that includes Whitman, Dickinson, Stevens and Hart Crane.” Go over to Poetry to read some of his poems.
Terrance McCauley’s A Conspiracy of Ravens, the latest in his University series, will be out later this month on Polis Books. In his blog One Bite at a Time, Dana King interviews McCauley on the hero/anti-hero mythos.
One Bite at a Time: In your mind, what’s the difference between a hero and an anti-hero?
Terrence McCauley: To me, the anti-hero is the character that does what he or she is going to do anyway to serve their own purposes. They just happen to be for good. A hero, often in my opinion misdiagnosed as the protagonist, seeks to do the right thing for the cause which he or she serves.
Thomas Pluck’s The Lock-Up: Prison Fiction and Reality is a great introduction to the issue of prisons in the United States and fiction, “Our genre has many tropes about prison, and they come from our cultural beliefs, which come from stories, so it is a vicious circle. Many of our beliefs about incarceration are outdated.”
Sofie Kelly, author of The Magical Cat Mysteries, wrote about some great fictional detectives who happen to be women in The Strand Magazine. JJ Hensley’s interview with David McCaleb is a great read in The Thrill Begins. Max Allen Collins’ Quarry is headed over to Hard Case Crimes Comics. Andrew Nette has some thoughts on Point Blank which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. Ben Lelievre looks back on True Detective: Season One.