Kent Gowran - Over the last few years as N@B has risen like a rash upon the virginal flesh of the national literary scene, Chicago has remained stubbornly immune to the virus. Gowran's been working for the infection for a while now and with Chicago's recent injection of the Hinkson strain, they've succeeded in what looks like Chicago's ongoing N@B event. Fuckin-A. Kent's got his own projects on the way I've heard, and as somebody who takes a loooooong time to birth them myself, I'm inclined to be understanding, but golly, I've got my limits.
Glenn Gray - As Chicago's N@B chapter opens, NYC's gracelessly enters it's awkward second phase. Knockaround hosts Gray and Todd Robinson have passed on the mantle and one can only hope that it means more output from the guys. If you haven't read The Little Boy Inside & Other Stories, you have a New Year's resolution that's also a cure for what ails you.
Kevin Lynn Helmick - Kevin's 2014 novel The Rain King left me feeling like a horse's ass, or a horse's voice. Weird westerns are a thing I like. If you do too, give this one a go. Kevin was among the debauched launching N@B-Chicago and I hope he's left something over for the next event, 'cause I wanna be there.
Gordon Highland - I caught up with Gordon twice last year - he put in an appearance at N@B and was a featured reader at the Books & Booze reading in St. Louis where he held forth with wit and worth in a lineup wizened word wranglers. Jukebox hero or out of the box weirdo, Highland's got chops - ask anybody on his block.
Jake Hinkson - This dude had two books released in the last year - his novel The Big Ugly from Beat to a Pulp and a collection of short stories The Deepening Shade is out on January 5th from All Due Respect and he's not done. In March Broken River Books will release a collection of Hinkson's essays on film noir which will be - quite a treat. Oh yeah, he did that N@B-Chicago thing, I've mentioned a couple of times already in this piece. Dude had a good year.
John Hornor Jacobs - 2014 saw The Shibboleth, the middle chapter of his YA-horror Incarcerado trilogy plus the UK edition of The Incorruptibles (which, kids is sumpin special if you dig alternate history, weird westerns and demon punk). 2015 will see the US release of that one, and the terminus of Icarcerado.
Liam Jose - Grew a dozen different mustaches in 2014. I think he's finally found the right one. He's also done his part to keep it sleazy down there. You can follow the earth's happy trail to his back door and find him waiting for you with new and compelling content for Crime Factory. They do it so we don't have to. Bless you, Liam. Keep it pink.