Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wolven - Sheep's Clothing: a Contest - Nay Donation

"I am Benny and this is my place. For today, eat your food, finish what you have, enjoy your meal. Do not pay for this meal, since I have talked to you so much, you are my guest." He turned to look at me. "But from now on, you always pay. I know sometimes my son, he trusts. He trusts Greg when he has no money, because he knows Greg works, and now he will probably trust you, because you work with Greg." The old man shook his head. "Well, this is Benny talking. You hunt the underdogs and that is your business. But no more trust. Hunting men is not working, in my eyes. " He got up from the stool and walked slowly toward the kitchen. He stopped and talked quietly with his son sweating behind the grill, and I heard the old man's words. No more trust.

Scott Wolven is a writer who says it straight up, direct and without any flair. How then does he pack so much between the lines of his sparse prose? And how is it that the absolutely toughest fiction I've read in... also has the one of the most vulnerable hearts beating beneath its leathery skin?

His short stories have become a regular feature of the Best American Short Stories yearly anthologies and his collection of short stories Controlled Burn places many of those stories into a loosely linked narrative to even greater devastating effect and friends if you haven't read it the time to act is now. If you've found anything on this here blog you liked - this book is for you. Literally.

I'll give you one.

Yeah, I've got a couple extra copies and I will pass those on to somebody in need. Here's all I ask - read the fucker. Now, my throwdown copies aren't collector's editions - these are thoroughly used books, but they will read true. Click on my profile on the right hand side of the screen for my email address and send me an address to ship one to. On the off chance there are more than two of you out there who haven't got their own copies, I'll draw two names next week out of those who respond.

If you don't know who Scott is, you can check out some of his fiction right here on Thuglit or Plots With Guns. Anybody who has a copy of Sex, Thugs & Rock and Roll can find one Scott's pieces in there too.

And for those of you already enthusiastic about Mr. Wolven, check this out.

On to other things.

Over at Ransom Notes I flog the dead horse of genre slumming by "literary" writers.

New Pulp Press has released their reprint of Lynn Kostoff's A Choice of Nightmares. These guys have got serious game. Each book from them is a solid piece of literature and this one's no exception. The blurb from Sara Gran on the back says it well... where is my copy? Shit, it was a nice blurb... where the hell? Anyway it went something like - starts out in Carl Hiassen territory and ends as a Jim Thompson novel. Nice - huh? It was originally published in 1991 and it's a kick to read and be reminded how much things have changed, (and stayed the same). It reminded me a bit of David Corbett's The Devil's Redhead in that both were about relative innocents playing outlaw in the drug game when that was still possible, then they find out that whenever there's that much money trading hands, there's no more room for innocence. Get a chance, check out the documentary Cocaine Cowboys for another example of what I'm talking about. Buncha hippie pilots turned outlaws flying that shit in for fun and crazy amounts of money. Things got ugly fast.

Do Some Damage contributor and fictioneer Steve Weddle announced a brand new ink on paper crime magazine Needle. He's running this monster and it looks from the cover that Patti Abbott and Kieran Shea are already on board. Looks like one of my pieces'll be included if I can slip it by fellow DSD offender and HBW friend Scott D. Parker who's helping out with the editing. I'm excited by this idea kids.

Keith Rawson and Pete Dragovich, The Nerd of Noir have begun supplying content for Sandra Ruttan's Spinetingler Magazine and Keith put up a killer print interview with Wake Up Dead author Roger Smith

Kyle Minor's story The Truth and all it's Ugly which first appeared in Surreal South '07 is online now and worth your damn time. Have a hankie handy. Kyle and Scott W. along with Donald Ray Pollock really bring the pain to crime fiction.

Dope Thief author, Dennis Tafoya is giving away ARCs of his new book Wolves in Fairmount Park to reviewers and bloggers.

And speaking of Dennis, Scott Phillips and I are trying to get some Noir @ the Bar events lined up soon, including one with Mr. T. as well as Tim Lane, Laura Benedict and Pinckney Benedict (who has got a new book of short fiction coming very soon!!!). So stay tuned for news on that front.

Also, I wanted to give Stark House Press a little love, 'cause they're also putting out some great reprints as well as new shit including Charlie Stella's Johnny Porno, but I inadvertently left them out of the Ransom Notes post. My fault.


Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

Scott Wolven's the goods, man. And he's one of the nicest, most sincere guys you'll ever meet.

He has a novel coming out later this year. I'm looking forward to it and the short film "Underdogs."

My fiction writing students were assigned to read "Outside Work Detail" for tonight's class.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

A writer's writer.

jedidiah ayres said...

Patrick - send your students this way for one these copies. Glad to hear somebody's teaching the good shit

Charlieopera said...

Scott is one of the best around, bar none (and I mean none).

Unknown said...

Cool contest.
And I'll ditto what Patrick and Charlie said about Scott, the man is one of the best around. Controlled Burn is an amazing read and if I didn't already have my well worn copies, I'd enter.
Not like I'd win or anything.

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

I told my students about the contest and gave them your blog address. A couple of them said they loved "Outside Work Detail," so I hope you hear from them. Talk about perfect timing.

jedidiah ayres said...

Charlie - right you are sir. Come through St. Louis some time and we'll throw a Noir @ the Bar event for you.

Everybody else - go pick up some Stella titles

Keith - You would post the McDonald interview right AFTER this post wouldn't you?

Patrick - thanks

Patrick Shawn Bagley said...

MAFIYA was a helluva good book. I need to read more of Charlie's stuff.

Unknown said...

With the McDonald interview, that's kind of out my hands....Besides, ya know I like getting me and Pete mentioned over here at HBW.

And read as much Stella as you can get you hands on!

Especially Jimmy Bench Press and Cheapskates!

Gonzalo B said...

Scott Wolven is my favorite literary discovery in the last few years. He's simply outstanding. I'd give a close second to Richard Lange and Pinckney Benedict, whom I believe share a similar sensibility.