Saturday, November 20, 2010
Know who I'm kinda fond of? Jon Bassoff over at New Pulp Press. Livin' the dream, I tell ya. He just participated in Nigel Bird's Sea Minor interview series. Here's a sample:
What makes New Pulp Press a unique publisher?
Well for one thing, we offer some of the smallest advances on the market. Jonathan Woods spent his entire advance one afternoon at a zoo carousel. We are also unique in the type of books we put out—each one of our books has been banned in Amsterdam. When I read submissions, I skim through the first five pages. If no character has been dismembered or skinned alive, I use the manuscript as cage liner for my parakeets Chi Chi and Evander.
You can read the rest of that one right about here. I'll admit, not all the books have landed for me, but they've got vision, guts and just the right lack of good sense to publish actual books in these dark days.
You want a taste of NPP? Alright, I'm gonna give away an autographed copy of Jonathan Woods's Bad Juju. Mr. Woods inscribed this one with a cryptically nasty statement about yours truly when he came through St. Louis for Noir at the Bar a month ago. You already have one? Well, you can make this one a gift for some one. I just saved you money, cheapskate. Just leave a comment on this post by the day after Thanksgiving and I'll draw a name.
And you know what you should do after that? Go purchase another one of their fine titles. Can I recommend 21 Tales, the short story collection by Dave Zeltserman? How could I not. DZ is a chameleonic writer, switching gears in these stories from darkly comic to "a black steer's tuchus on a moonless night," to something resembling a black hole. I'm still a fairly new member of the cult of Zeltserman, but I'm digging in big time. That guy's style keeps me so off-balance as a reader, probably because I'm a writer and he's always zigging where I'd zag, that I cannot guess where a story is headed. Far from frustrating me, I think it's challenging and pretty friggin great. By the way, there's a particular story in this collection that has got to be the inspiration for Ken Bruen's The Devil. Has to be. Can't not be. Can it?
Dave's also one of those guys experimenting with electronic publishing with The Top Suspense Group. Other members include Max Allan Collins, Vicki Hendricks, Bill Crider, Ed Gorman and Harry Shannon. He talked some about it when I interviewed him a few months back. He's somebody whose career I'm watching with great interest.
And if you wanna know where his particular brand of noir comes from, he's participated in Heath Lowrance's survey of writers' top 20 noirs, over at Psycho Noir. Other participants, so far, have included Patti Abbott, Nigel Bird and Keith Rawson. Heath's novel, The Bastard Hand is coming soon from NPP and it sounds like a good 'un.
Meanwhile, at Ransom Notes I'm talking up Stuart Neville's Fegan books, The Ghosts of Belfast and Collusion.
Couple months ago, I responded to an innocent little e-mail from Brian Lindenmuth at Spinetingler about doing him a favor by writing a review for a single story from that awesome tome The Best America Noir of the Century edited by Otto Penzler and James Ellroy. His idea is to have each of the nearly forty stories contained within reviewed individually by different writers. Sure. Why not? How could it possibly be a chore? I mean, have you looked at that book’s line-up? I’m not going to list the stories because, well there’s almost forty, but how could I lose? So, I agreed and several days later got another email from him with my assignment, Controlled Burn by Scott Wolven. You kidding me? I’d already read that one a couple times. So, I got to write up a little piece about something I already knew I loved. But you know what I wasn’t prepared for? The awesome level of participation here. For the past couple days, Brian has been posting the pieces every hour on the hour and like big ol’ nerd, I’m checking in every hour to see who’s up next. I mean, not only is it cool to read appreciations and analysis of the authors included, but dang – the collection of writers doing it is impressive. So head on over to Spinetingler and checkerout if you haven’t already, and read stuff by authors like Sean Doolittle, Gary Phillips, Adrien McKinty, Paul Tremblay, Benjamin Whitmer, Charlie Stella and David Corbett, plus top critical writers and bloggers a plenty.
And speaking of Brian and the whole Spinetingler crew, here's the response published to my Ransom Notes post about Dennis Lehane and the return of Pat & Angie.