Les Edgerton - The Bitch is back, folks. In case you didn't get to read it off your electro-whirly light-printer a couple years back, New Pulp Press have wrangled the rights for a paperback release which uh... ought to be any day now. That'll make two Edgerton books in as many years from NPP for the indiscriminate hardcore crime readers out there. The Rapist disgraced many a top reads of the year list among the type of degenerates who read this blog and I'm expecting a repeat performance this time next year for The Bitch. I had a great time catching up with Les at N@B-Indianapolis in November. Hope our paths cross again soon, amigo.
C.J. Edwards - Contributed to the overpopulation of the earth and to the now bi-annual, but ever excellent Plots With Guns. Hmmm, what else? Oh yeah, he also started up N@B-Indianapolis, cranked Full Dark City Press into gear with the All Due Respect anthology and the re-print of Alec Cizak's Manifesto Destiny, and remained a semi-respectable figure in the Indianpolis police department despite (or probably because of) the Vic Mackey resemblance.
Jesus Angel Garcia - Here's one you don't see every day: dude writes a religion/sex/southern culture satire and tours the country with a performance art bit, writes songs based on his own novel, forms band around same songs and then goes full steam ahead with the music. Soon you'll hear some kid at a dirty bluegrass festival say "I heard the singer from Three Times Bad wrote a book!" He did, son. Yes he did. Will he write another? Let's hope so.
Kent Gowran - Holding my breath for the world's awesomest hardboiled, heavy metal horror novel. The one I'm sure must be bouncing around the brainpan of Mr. Gowran. Dude knows more about shit that I find interesting than... I do. Please, senor Kent, write me that novel. If you need a little free association to get you started... Next of Kin, Judas Priest, The Changeling and Ross MacDonald - go!
Glenn Gray - Perhaps N@B man of the year. I don't want to embarrass him, so I won't go into the kind of treatment he gives the guests and patrons of N@B-NYC, so I'll focus instead on the killer lineups that he and partner in crime Todd Robinson have enticed to their disreputable gathering... they're y'know, killer lineups. Plus, plus, dude had one of the greatest short story collections I've ever read published this year. The Little Boy Inside and Other Stories will horrify, mystify and giggle-fy your hardboiled mug. You'll be repulsed, exposed, moved of heart and certainly of bowel reading this collection in its entirety.
Kevin Lynn Helmick - Word is Helmick's got a weird-ass western shopping 'round and if you read last year's Driving Alone (which you should) you'll understand why this is exciting news. But hey, you've got plenty of Helmick titles to keep you busy till that wild western sets the nets aflame. Also get to Heartland Gothic, Clovis Point and Sebastian Cross (or check out his contributions to Noir at the Bar vol. 2 and the Booked antho for samples.)
Gordon Highland - Anybody not paying attention to Gordon Highland right now is depriving themselves legitimacy when everybody starts claiming to have been reading him for years when he has a breakout title any year now. I got to hear him read live again this year at the Books & Booze event in St. Louis and it confirmed the impression his N@B performance gave me: dude's a talented motherfucker with style to match his vision(s). Keep having em man. I've been reading him for years.
Jake Hinkson - Anybody who thought Hinkson's debut Hell On Church Street was a fluke - some kind of one-off Jim Thompson/Flannery O'Connor meeting in Sunday school lightning strike of brilliant inspiration - got that misperception wiped the fuck off their mind with his second novel (2013's) The Posthumous Man. And anybody wondering if Jakey maybe had a certain thing he was going to be making his own, namely that Arkansas Baptist Noir thing, had that hunch confuckingfirmed with his brannew novella Saint Homicide - the second in Crime Factory's (dare I say) excellent Single Shot line of one-sitting crime bathroom boner beaters. I wanna spend a weekend talking books, film noir and '80s Christian rock with my bruthafrommanuthamutha.
John Hornor Jacobs - First book was Southern Gods, a Southern-fried PI/Horror novel. Next up was This Dark Earth a novel of civilization and human complexity whose scope is not served by referring to it as a 'zombie book'. Then in 2013 he released The Twelve-Fingered Boy about a youngster with telekinetic abilities on the run from some seriously creepy social workers and stumbling across the path of a killer/pedophile - oh yeah, it's a kid's book too (okay, YA, but still), and it's only the first of a three book series. Look for book two of the Incarcerado trilogy, The Shibboleth in the spring and his fantasy/western The Incorruptibles in 2014 as well, for those of you who won't read the YA stuff.
Liam Jose - I'll let you argue over how the other lads line up in the Crime Factory/Beatles analogy, but I'm gonna call Liam the George Harrison of the bunch. The youngest, okay. The quiet one, maybe. The guy in the background excellently course-correcting amid the turmoil of the Cameron Ashley/Andrew Nette clashes and the Jimmy Callaway tangents (making David Honeybone Pete Best? Oooh, yeah, and then Keith Rawson is Stu Sutcliffe, right?) probably. But really I'm trying to say, he's the most likely of the CF crew to have their wife stolen by Eric Clapton (now, I suppose we've gotta work out Astrid, Yoko and Linda). Hey Jed, don't make it bad... Too late. Let's just say, Liam is a helluva talent and sharp taste-maker providing some strong back-lighting for an amazing constellation of noir czars to shine (darkly). If anybody only knows him as the smaller name on a publisher's credit role, they'd do well to check out his short fiction (especially anything featuring my favorite re-curring character of his Juan Hundred).