Tuesday, May 28, 2013


What the? Where the? How the? Riiiight. Still in New York, still a wee bit hungover. Still being spoilt by my hosts and still not sure it was all real. Buuuut, here're my recollections of Sunday's N@B-NYC.

Pre-event chats and libations are a blur, but I recall Justin Porter kicking things off with aplomb and possibly a plum stuffed into the sleeves of his t-shirt - the muscles, kids, would be intimidating enough without the writing chops. His veteran-themed story from Thuglit Issue 5 was Memorial Day weekend appropriate. Nothing else was.

Take Josh Bazell, for instance, whose not-yet-published short story with the title that escapes me featured a disgraced doctor only employable as an assistant to the executioner for lethal-injections being threatened by skinheads to pull off an impossible con-job on the state. His motive: infatuation with the wife of a douche-bag who shares his name.

Or, if memory serves - which, come to think of it, it never does, does it? - Dana C. Kabel was up next and gave us a cautionary tale of armed robbery that ended with a 'BANG'.

Attendees at the event were the first to hear a piece from the final Moe Prager novel (to be released in 2014?) by Reed Farrel Coleman. It'll be number nine and all sunshine and roses for Moe if the previous eight are indicative of the series' direction.

Rob W. Hart followed with the second selection from the forthcoming Otto Penzler edited antho Kwik Krimes I'd heard in a week, (Christa Faust read her story from the book at N@B-Denver Thursday night), and if those two samples are any indication, it's gonna be a strong, bite-sized, sampling of today's hardboiled crime scene.

Co-host, Todd Robinson stepped up to the mic next for an animated rendition of an interrogation chapter from The Hard Bounce - you read it, right? you sure as shit should. No, not the one where they beat up the skinny artiste - which, hey, was a cathartic read, no? - but the one where Boo & Junior dance around their qualms with laying a hand on a woman, even one as morbidly rubenesque as the bruiser from the video store.

And who, who do you think had to, the shit, follow that? I went for yucks rather than yuks with a particularly pulpy (or fragmenty, or brain-mattery) scene from Fierce Bitches. Kinda killed the mood.

But, Kieran Shea came through like a champ with his story Anne Gets a Ride from D*CKED - the one that puts Dick Cheney on the bus from Speed with slightly different results than Jan de Bont delivered. This performance restored the buzz everybody had been building before I pissed in the punch bowl.

Next, Dennis Tafoya read from his upcoming novel about a federal marshall pitted against her own father in what I'm sure will be another heart-wrencher, bone-breaker of a tragic crime novel. Can't wait to get to the bottom of that one.

Scott Adlerberg read a chapter from his novel Spiders and Flies that took a nasty-ass turn at the end. Good thing I picked up a copy of the book at the bar, I'm gonna have to find out what happens next.

J.I. Baker has me rooting for World War Z. to be a monster hit film, only to make Marc Forster's adaptation of Baker's fantastic debut novel The Empty Glass a sure-thing. It was one of my favorite books of last year and after Jim read from it Sunday night, I think a lot more folks are going to be compelled to check it out. (What the hell you waiting for, it's in paperback, now!)

Keith Gilman put this beast down with a flash piece like an executioner's finishing bullet and the crowd looked around dazed, confused, and not nearly drunk enough. So, more drinking followed.

And what follows drinking? Pizza - duh. So after a few words with attendees including Jason Starr, Megan Abbott, Richie Narvaez, Seamus Scanlon, Robert Lee and Albert Tucher, I joined Co-host and sugar-daddy Glenn Gray, Shea, Adlerbert, Tafoya, Robinson and Gilman for a slice or two or six and more talky talky.

Thanks so much to Glenn & Todd, and Laurie and Skeen and Alison and the whole Gray clan for making it all possible. Man, I need a drink.

Austin, you're next.


Al Tucher said...

Thanks for the memory assist, Jed. It's an alcoholic blur. And great meeting you!

jedidiah ayres said...

you too, Al!