Thursday, July 8, 2010
Weird Al's Shorts
Can we all agree that Allan Guthrie's short stories deserve to be collected in a convenient purchase format like a single book? The only drawback to such a volume that I can foresee is you'd miss their impeccable placement. The arrangement that frames the reading experience when you come across one in an anthology. Take, for instance, Haermund Hardaxe Was Here from Sex, Thugs & Rock and Roll. I love a good viking story (and this is a good one - I keep reading it in preparation for Nicolas Winding Refn's Valhalla Rising this summer), plus toss in a little brotherly love and it's a curveball you'll remember. But put that whole crusading, bi-sexual badass bit into the middle of a crime collection and you've made a name for yourself.
Likewise The Killer Beside Me from Damn Near Dead. The title is clever before you read it, genius afterward. Does it gain anything from being placed within an anthology of geezer noir? I think so. And The Turnip Farm from Uncage Me has not a single word that a family television program would object to - this is in the sequel to Expletive Deleted whose original title you'll recall was Fuck Noir - but not a single idea that could be described in the vaguest, broadest terms anywhere near those same families.
So, yeah, placement counts for something, but I want my Guthrie collection. And apparently, it's not an idea he objects to either, but he says the title must convey two concepts: Absurdity and Noir...
We've been thinking on it a bit. It's gone something like this -
AG: The Noir and the Absurd, Catchy!
JA: Tip-Toe Through the Turnips... Metanoirphosis... Big Al's Book O'Short Noir
AG: ... (crickets) ... I quite like Fat Al's Shorts
JA: or Weird Al's Shorts
Anyhow, you can check out the profile I did of weird Al over at Ransom Notes and feel free to leave suggestions for a title for a Guthrie collection here or there. Or edumacate yourself on Al with this interview we did last year.
And speaking of collections, I've got good news... Oh, but I can't. It's not officially out yet... It's really good news, though. And if you think you know what I'm talking about, you probably don't... Soon... ish.