Thursday, February 26, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
By the way, do check out the Jory Sherman bibliography I posted here a while back.
And, oh, I forgot to mention that Sherman is mentioned in Neeli Cherkovski's biography of Charles Bukowski. (Sherman started out as a beat poet and he's still writing poetry. He once sent me a handful for translation, but I haven't had much time to do anything to them.)
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Based on my own experiences as a non-fiction writer, though, we are only some steps behind. I've had to put a Facebook group for one of my books and arrange contests (well, I've had one and one member dropped out immediately), and at the launch party one of the editors took a video clip with me and the other writers of the book and we had to say nice things about it for the publisher's website. Based on what comments JD Rhoades got on Murderati, I don't think that clip sells even one book. Let's hope it does.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Sarjan ensimmäiset kirjat ovat Duane Swierczynskin Keikkakuski (The Wheelman, 2005) ja Allan Guthrien Viimeinen suudelma (Kiss Her Goodbye, 2006). Kirjat ilmestyvät lokakuussa.
Keikkakuski kertoo Patrick Lennonista, pankkirosvojen käyttämästä keikkakuskista, jonka paras etu työssään on, että hän on mykkä. Philadelphialaisen Wachovia-pankin ryöstö näyttää aluksi sujuvan ihan kohtuullisesti - mitä nyt pitää ajaa autolla pankin ovi rikki ja pamauttaa lastenvaunuja työntävä nainen pois tieltä -, mutta sitten joku puuttuu peliin ja täräyttää isolla pakulla keikka-auton kylkeen. Patrick Lennonin elämän painajaismaisin viikonloppu alkaa: hän herää, kun häntä ollaan työntämässä mustassa ruumissäkissä rakennustyömaan putkeen...
Viimeinen suudelma kertoo Joe Hopesta, karusta ja hiukan yksinkertaisesta koronkiskurin apurista, jonka tärkein työväline on pesäpallomaila. Joe Hope tulee aamuyöllä keikalta kotiin vain saadakseen kuulla, että joku on tappanut hänen teini-ikäisen tyttärensä. Masennuksesta ja juopotteluputkesta toivuttuaan Joe päättää kostaa.
Duane Swierczynski (s. 1972) iski itsensä läpi amerikkalaisten dekkarinlukijoiten tietoisuuteen toisella romaanillaan Keikkakuski, joka kertoo mykästä luottoajajasta. Tämä joutuu vaikeuksiin, kun huolella valmisteltua pankkikeikkaa onkin seurannut myös venäläisten mafia. Keikkakuski on 24-tv-sarjan ja 1950-luvun kovaksikeitettyjen rikospokkareiden risteytys: reaaliajassa kulkeva trilleri, jossa ei ole tyhjiä hetkiä.
Duane Swierczynski on nuoren polven amerikkalaisdekkaristien ehdotonta kärkeä, joka on kirjoittanut myös Marvel-yhtiön sarjakuvia, kuten X-Meniä ja Cablea. Hänen muihin romaaneihinsa kuuluvat The Blonde (2006) ja Severance Package (2008).
Allan Guthrien (s. 1965) debyyttiromaani Viimeinen suudelma löi dekkaripiirit ällikällä: kertomus pesäpallomailaa aseenaan käyttävästä koronkiskurin apupojasta, jonka tytär kuolee epämääräisissä olosuhteissa, on samaan aikaan inhimillisen lämmin että pirullisen väkivaltainen. Kirjallaan Guthrie oli myös ehdokkaana tunnetussa Edgar-palkintokisassa, joka myönnetään vuosittain parhaalle ilmestyneelle rikosromaanille.
Allan Guthrie on skottilaisen hardboiledin uusi mestari, jota on verrattu Irvine Welshiin ja Denise Minaan, mutta hänen kirjansa ovat rujompia ja rajumpia. Guthrien muuta tuotantoa ovat romaanit Two-Way Split (2006), Hard Man (2007), Kill Clock (2007) ja Savage Night (2008).
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
All the covers are drawn by Ossi Hiekkala. The poster is designed by Tommi Hänninen who has also designed the layouts for the covers.
[I do know one of the words is missing the Ä dots...]
Monday, February 09, 2009
To the Editor:
Regarding David Gates’s review of Joe Gore’s Spade and Archer I am reminded of Louis Armstrong’s observation—There’s some folks, that if they don’t know, you can’t tell ‘em.
Spade and Archer, has at its center the ethos and the professional habits of the private detective, like the masterpiece that precedes it (which is not, to many worthy of an opinion, inferior to The Thin Man—where did Mr. Gates get that idea?). Spade acts according to a strict set of rules necessarily of his own devising—an existential quality that does not obviate a past. He is a careful observer: people’s physical characteristics, their clothes, and the places they frequent are vitally important to him in his work. He inhabits a real world of San Francisco in the 1920s, reliably described.
Mr. Gates misses the point. To question Gores’s common sense because he suggests Sam Spade has a history is simply absurd. To criticize Gores for being overly precise in his descriptions is strangely illogical. To take him to task for using period language in a period story suggests a most unusual critical standard—even in the 21st century. To suggest that Spade lacked the time to read or listen to music defies comment. To express those criticisms in language dripping with vitriol is altogether repugnant.
FM, tietokirjailija Juri Nummelin
Misantropian historian kirjoittaminen.
Ilmoitamme kohteliaimmin, että Teille ei ole myönnetty apurahaa Suomen Kulttuurirahastoon lokakuussa 2008 jättämänne hakemuksen perusteella. Kulttuurirahasto ei perustele päätöksiä.
Hakijoita oli tänä vuonna noin 7.100, joista noin 1.100 sai myönteisen päätöksen. Seuraava keskusrahaston hakuaika on syksyllä 2009.
Tämä on automaattisesti lähetetty viesti, johon ei voi vastata.
No kiitti vaan kohteliaasta viestistä, joka yllätti minut täysin. En todellakaan odottanut saavani ilmoitusta tuosta noin vain. Luulin, että se tulisi kirjeitse ja että avatessani kuorta voisin valmistautua mikä ilmoitus kirjeessä sitten olisikin. Nyt meni varmaan työhalut loppupäiväksi. Että kiitosta vain.
Tuosta, ettei päätöksiä perustella - älkää edes kysykö. Minulla olisi siitä aika paljonkin sanottavaa. Kiitos vain, kulttuurirahasto!
Sunday, February 08, 2009
I've also heard that Roosevelt read pulps, also Ike. But Harry Truman definitely read pulps. I have DEAR BESS, which is a collection of letters from Truman to his wife, 1910-1959. ADVENTURE MAGAZINE is listed in the index ten times. The magazine was evidently a favorite and Truman mentions it for the first time in 1911 and it is still mentioned 30 years later in 1941. In one 1911 letter he says "Adventure is the only magazine printed on cheap paper that I can read." In 1912 he mentions how his mother got scared reading a story in the magazine. In another letter he complains about serials in ADVENTURE and how he hates waiting 30 days for the next installment.
In 1913 he relates "I bought an Adventure last night and entertained myself with bloodcurdling stories on the train so I'd feel nice and comfortable..." More than once he mentions how a story in another magazine was good enough to appear in ADVENTURE.
Truman's love for the magazine only backs up the editors often mentioned fact that ADVENTURE was read by a wide spectrum of professional people including doctors, businessmen, lawyers, and government workers. Not to mention military men and typical tropical tramps (or as Adventure termed them TTT).
Saturday, February 07, 2009
(Hat tip to David Gustafson on the PulpMags group!)
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Thomas B. Costain was one of the most popular of the American mid-20th century historical writers, the others including Kenneth Roberts, Edison Marshall, Frank Yerby, F. Van Wyck Mason... The Black Rose from 1945 has been one of his best-known novels and it was made into film with Tyrone Power and Orson Welles and directed by Henry Hathaway. It's a vast epic tale of two young Britons who travel all the way Cathay (aka China) just after the big Crusades to Jerusalem. They notice Europeans are regarded barbarians, but they also encounter cruelty amongst the Mongols and other nations of the Far East. The novel is not free from racism of its time, but it's also a great tale of adventure. I recommend this highly, if you're into this sort of thing.
(Sorry, a bit too short, but I've been sitting here all day and I'm hungry now.)
1. While I'm doing this, I'm editing an article that's supposed to appear in the next issue of Ruudinsavu (Gunsmoke), the official magazine of the Finnish Western Society. The article is about Alan Ladd's little-known western movies. [Of course I'm not doing this anymore.]
2. I would've loved to be a pulp fictioneer. I believe I would've been a mediocre, but occasionally amusing adventure writer targeting at low and middle markets, maybe for the Spicy magazines or even shudders.
3. At the same time I would've tried to write some serious poetry and failed at that.
4. I also would've loved to write an Ace Double. Or even a Beacon or a Nightstand. Or hundreds of them.
5. I think I've written enough bad pulp imitation to fill an Ace Double. [I think I've actually written at least three Ace Doubles.]
6. I've also written a 20,000-word novel in a week. That's the best I could do. But I also wrote some other things at the same time. [This will probably end up self-published.]
7. I love the sound of a typewriter in the morning. Or in the night. Or during the day.
8. I once wrote with a typewriter in a train.
9. I've said once or twice that cooking is one of my hobbies. Nowadays it comes down to putting cinnamon in tomato sauce. Asked "what shall we have for dinner, dear?", I say: "Sausage and pasta."
10. Sometimes I replace tomato sauce with cream.
11. I've tried to diminish my eating of meat. I feel for the animals, but the main reason is that I try to avoid increasing the climate change.
12. My breakfast is usually oats, raisins and almonds in pineapple juice, with lots of pineapple chunks, and yoghurt. Lately I've gone for soy yoghurt.
13. I don't drive a car. I don't know how.
14. My son, who's four years old, always asks me to carry him around. He sure can walk, but I've thought that with this I can help him understand that men also can be helping and caring persons.
15. I also carried my daughter when she was four. Maybe even when she was five.
16. I've been known to carry both of them at the same time. It was one of my rare macho moments.
17. I didn't carry them very far.
18. I didn't go to the army. I think I would've gone crazy in midst of the other men.
19. People think I'm a good organizer and a good worker, but basically I'm lazy and anything but organized. My economy is a mess and I think I've done tax frauds.
20. Even though I learned from Quentin Crisp that one should stick to his or her own style, I think I've developed three or four that I change from time to time. I have different styles for Summer and Winter. Then again, who doesn't?
21. That I don't stick into one style is visible also in my writings: I've written about cinema, western writers, pulp fiction, traditional Finnish food, Mika Waltari, forgotten Finnish authors, fostering children, children's literature, Mickey Mouse handkerchiefs, the ideology of collecting, boardgames, novelizations, comics and graphic novels...
22. I always wanted to be a writer. I told my teacher in the first grade that I'm writing a book. It was about two cats having an adventure.
23. I had two cuddly cat dolls when I was a little boy. Their names were Miisu and Maasu.
24. Lately I've been collecting vintage cuddly toys with my wife, Elina. My favourite is a Pink Panther who looks like he's been in a series of foster homes and is now retired at our place.
25. I've also collected Scandinavian plastic ware, vintage swimming trunks, men's suit jackets, ties, seventies collar shirts and T-shirts, old handkerchiefs, dandy overcoats, and lately lycra biker shorts from the eighties. My favourite garment at the moment is a terrycloth overall which makes everyone else laugh but my wife. She thinks it's cute. My wife has a similar garment and I think it's hot.
Tuesday, February 03, 2009
There has been a lively discussion at the PulpMags e-mail liston animal stories in the pulp magazines, with which the members of the list meant stories in which the animal is the protagonist, a point-of-view character or even a narrator. Gerald W. Page mentioned many authors who specialized in them: Jim Kjelgaard, Paul Annixter, Anthony Rud, Harold Cruikshank. Rud especially wrote lots of animal stories - Page mentions having read one in which the hero was an Octopus!
Page sums up the genre saying:
Animal stories were almost always short, and generally easy to plot. But I enjoy reading them; and in the western pulps when you come across one they're always much more welcome than another short, hastily written story about a cowboy searching for rustlers or a gunman going up against the old sheriff would be.
Page also mentioned stories with elephants: "There are a surprising number of stories about elephants in the pulps as well. I recall one by Anthony Rud and a few others, more vaguely", he said and continued:
One of the Singapore Sammy Shay stories collected in "South of Sulu," is about elephants. "The Pink Elephant" from the October 25, 1930 Short Stories. There's also a fine circus story about Elephants in the August 1948 issue of Blue Book. It's "Elephant Boss" by Robert Barbour Johnson and concerns the efforts of one of an assistant elephant handler trying to protect elephants from the cruelty of a new boss.
I weighed in saying that I've found a western short story by Bertrand Shurtleff in which the main animal is a seal (called Velveena; I don't know where the seal got her name, since she lives wild in nature) and one story by George Cory Franklin with a horse called Rustler. I think it narrates its own stories - I'm not sure, I should check the original story.
But what especially caught my eye was Morgan Holmes's idea for a dinosaur anthology. When asked, he specified the possible contents:
Let's see, as to dinosaur stories. There are the two by Paul L. Anderson in ADVENTURE. One is T. rex vs. Triceratops. Another is Mammoth vs. Sabertooth at tar pit. There are at least two dinosaur stories in Wonder Stories, ("One Prehistoric Night, and I think another called "When Reptiles Ruled"). There is a Paul Annixter story from ADVENTURE around 1931. You could mine some dinosaur stories from THRILLING WONDER STORIES in the late 30s. There are probably some in the Tremaine era ASTOUNDING. I know there is one from WEIRD TALES in 1930 plus another by Edmond Hamilton (can't think of the title right now). Could always throw in "Before the Dawn" by Temple.
Holmes also continued developing new anthologies:
There are probably enough cave man stories to fill a companion volume. Howard Devore told me at pulp con once about his idea for a cave man anthology. It had the usual suspects as de Camp's "The Gnarly Man" and del Rey's "The Day is Done." I would not be in favor of those two because they are over-known. Go for the more obscure stuff. There is enough cave man fiction in Ray Palmer era AMAZING STORIES to fill a book alone. You could use Paul L. Anderson's Cro-Magnon stories, Robert E. Howard's "Spear and Fang," P. Schuyler Miller's "People of the Arrow." There are some cave man stories by Clifford M. Eddy, Jr., a buddy of Lovecraft's in WEIRD TALES from around 1924. I think there is at least one by Charles Willard Diffin in TOP-NOTCH in the mid-30s. Might be a fun book.
So we have in theory: PULP DOG STORIES, PULP HORSE STORIES, PULP ELEPHANT STORIES, PULP ANIMAL STORIES, PULP DINOSAUR STORIES, PULP CAVE MAN STORIES, and for the hell of it do PULP TARZAN IMITATION STORIES, PULP BARBARIAN STORIES, PULP LOST RACE STORIES.
Monday, February 02, 2009
Grove was born as Frederick Herridge in 1913 (he must've been one of the oldest pulp-related writers alive!) and his mother was part Osage, part Sioux. His father had been a cowboy and a rancher and his grand-grand-father from his mother's side had been Francis Parkman's guide when Parkman was travelling across the Nothern America (and later on wrote The Oregon Trail, 1849).
Grove was the winner of five Spur Awards from Western Writers of America, three for novels and two for short stories. He started out in the pulps in the early fifties - his first short story (that I know of) was titled "The Hangrope Ghost" and it came out in .44 Western Magazine. His other publishing venues included Dime Western and Max Brand's Western.
Best-known as a western writer, Grove wrote at least four crime novels, all set in the 1920's, that grew out of a traumatic experience he had in childhood, says Doherty, and continues at length:
"On 9 March 1923, at the age of 9, while visiting relatives in Fairfax, OK, he was awakened by an explosion a few blocks away. It turned out to be a bomb planted in the home of William Smith and his Osage wife, Rita. The explosion killed both of the Smiths along with their live-in maid, Nettie Brookshire. This was the latest in a string of confirmed murders, along with a suspiciously high number of unexplained deaths, that were plaguing the Osage Tribe, whose oil wealth had made them the single wealthiest population group on the planet. Due to a group of unscrupulous men intent on obtaining their oil rights, they had, in a few short years, also become the population group suffering the highest murder rate on the planet. The case was ultimately solved by a team of FBI agents. It was the first really high-profile case ever investigated by the Bureau.
"Mr. Grove never forgot the experience. Years later, while working as a reporter, he met the former FBI agent who had been the lead investigator on the case, and collaborated with him on a non-fiction book about the Osage investigation. The book never sold, but Grove would put the material to use in his fiction."
Doherty describes some of Grove's novels:
"Grove's first novel, Flame of the Osage (1957; paperback original from Pyramid), was also his first fictionalization of the Osage Indian Murder Case. Nearly two decades later, he returned to the case for two more novels, Warrior Road (1974), about a an Osage Indian who takes it on himself to catch the murderers as a matter of family honor, and Drums Without Warriors (1976), about an FBI agent masquerading a a race horse trainer (horse racing was another big interest of Grove's) in order to investigate the murders under cover. His last novel, The Years of Fear (2002), essentially a rewrite of the unsold non-fiction book so that it read more like a novel, was his final fictional treatment of the Osage case, this time with the actual names of the characters used. When the book was published, Grove said it was his favorite and most personal novel."
I've read only one book by Grove, namely Buffalo Spring (Doubleday 1967), which is a pity, since I liked it a great deal. It was published as a cheap and poorly produced (and abridged) paperback in Finland, even though it's a serious novel, not some slapdash shoot-em-up. Grove pictured American Indians very sympathetically. (The Finnish paperback's title is Buffalolaakso and it came out in 1976, as Montana No. 107.)
There's an earlier film based on another book of Grey's, called Portrait of a Mobster (1958). The film was directed by Joseph Pevney and scripted by Howard Browne.