Switchblade No. 13 The world’s only no-limit outlaw noir magazine is back for a thirteenth round. The one you thought you’d never see. With Fiction, Flash and Poetry from Robert Ragan, David Harry Moss, Gene Breaznell, Serena Jayne, Jay Rohr, Brian Beatty, Elliot F. Sweeney, Stanton McCaffery, Danny Sophabmisay, Andrew Bourelle, George Garnet, David Rachels, and Alec Cizak. Featured interview with author Serena Jayne. 5” x 8” digest, 183 pages Editor: Scotch Rutherford Print $7.99 Kindle $2.99
New from Hard Case Crime is Shills Can’t Cash Chips, first published in 1961 by William Morrow. It’s book No. 22 in the Cool and Lam series.
From the world-famous creator of PERRY MASON, Erle Stanley Gardner—at his death the best-selling American writer of all time—comes another baffling case for the Cool & Lam detective agency. Return to the 1960s as a simple insurance investigation into a car accident puts Bertha Cool and Donald Lam on the trail of murder – and Donald hip-deep in danger when he poses as an ex-con to infiltrate a criminal gang. It’s Gardner’s twistiest caper ever, and a fitting conclusion to Hard Case Crime’s revival of this classic (and long unavailable) detective series. 5” x 8” 240 pages Print $10.99 Kindle $7.99
“A high-spirited romp you’ll be sorry to see end.” -Kirkus Reviews
“Just the ticket for fans of retro crime fiction.” -Publishers Weekly
“For those who like their crime fiction to be high-octane, this novel is a stunner.” -Daily Mail
Project Updates Editor Marc Myers has ordered a proof copy of the new hardcover collection of comix and zines by the late Roman Scott: Oddities and Other Grotesques. With a little luck the 168-page volume will be available from Lulu.com in December.
The Digest Enthusiast No. 13 is about 99% complete and I hope to upload the files to Lulu.com early next week and get a print proof underway. I’m hoping the release date will be Dec. 18.
Our current issue: The Digest Enthusiast No. 12 is available in print at Lulu.com and Amazon, and in digital formats at Kindle Books and Magzter.
New Release The Digest Enthusiast No. 12 June 2020 Contents: • Interviews with Tony Gleeson (Fantastic, Amazing Science Fiction, Mike Shayne, Personal Crimes) and John Shirley (Weirdbook, Fantastic, The Crow, Constantine, Wetbones). • Lester del Rey’s Five Ages of Science Fiction by Vince Nowell, Sr. • Born of Other Worlds, it’s Science Stories, the digest Ray Palmer “tossed in your lap with little or no ceremony.” • News and dozens of cover previews from around the world of digests, direct from the magazines’ editors, publishers, and writers. • Mike Chomko and William Lampkin untangle the fate of PulpFest 2020 and The Pulpster. • Richard Krauss exhumes the true crime sensation: Fotocrime. • Steve Carper rediscovers the remarkable Photoplay Editions. • Ward Smith spotlights Digest Science Fiction Novels. • New fiction by Michael Bracken, Rick Ollerman, and Joe Wehrle, Jr. with artwork by Rick McCollum, Marc Myers, and Michael Neno. • Reviews of Amazing Selects, bare•bones No. 1, EconoClash Review No. 5, Guns + Tacos Season One, Lake County Incidents, and Paperback Fanatic No. 43. • Plus over 100 digest magazine cover images, first issue factoids, cartoons by Bob Vojtko, and more. • Cover by Tony Gleeson, 160 pages, published in full color by Larque Press. Print $18.99 Kindle $4.99 Magzter $4.99
Digest Magazine Reviews Robert Lopresti reviews Luke Foster’s “Seat 9B” from Mystery Weekly Magazine June 2020 at Little Big Crimes.
James Reasoner reviews Commando: Mask of Death at Rough Edges.
Storytime Victoria Dalpe’s “The Girl” on JD Graves’s Podcast No. 4 at EconoClash Review.
William Boyle’s “Unsatisfied” at Rusty Barnes’ Tough Crime.
Alec Cizak reads his story “The Space Between” at ACTV.
Kevin Mims compares and contrasts The Black Death by Gwyneth Cravens and John S. Marr with the current pandemic on EQMM’s Something is Going to Happen.
TDE Contributors’ Corner Uncle Jack (Seabrook) and Cousin Peter (Enfantino) review Vampirella No. 16, Eerie No. 39, and Creepy No. 45 at barebones e-zine.
Readin’ and Writin’ John Floyd offers writing Do’s and Don’ts as SleuthSayers.
James W. Ziskin counts words to motivate “butt-in-chair” writing at Criminal Minds.
Read Hard Case Crime HCC-005 this week. Two for the Money works as a title for the story, and even better as the description of this two-fer reprint of the Curtis OPB novels “Bait Money” and “Blood Money.” In his afterword, author Max Allan Collins provides the details on the originals and how they came to be paired under the Hard Case Crime imprint. I kinda wish it had been a Foreword. The redundant recap of key plot points from the first novel in the second are more forgivable when you have the facts. Nonetheless, the two represent Collins’ first published novel: “Bait”—and, “Blood,” if not his second, certainly another early effort. Both are serviceable, but felt padded with over-long descriptions and several fully rendered scenes that could’ve easily been summarized in a paragraph or two instead of a whole chapter.
Also managed to fit in a reading of Paperback Parade No. 107. Designer Richard Greene dominates this edition of PP, sharing his collection of paperbacks set in the South Pacific—the Hawaiian islands, Fiji, Tahiti, and Tiki-inspired pop culture. A refreshing, well-researched read. Even his regular “Matchless Paperbacks” feature follows suit with James Michener’s Hawaii. Paperback Talk by Gary Lovisi is always a fun mix of new releases, LOCs, and collectors’ addendums to previous articles. Gary’s piece on the Spanish space operas Luchadores Del Espacio (Space Fighters) is a rare treat, loaded with background and over 40 cover images from the series! Another terrific issue rounded out with pieces on Denis Hughes, Hard Case Crime, and Robert A. Heinlein.
Alec Cizak’sPulp Modern Vol. 2 No. 5 was finalized this week he’s ordered proof prints ahead of its June 23rd release date.
Vintage Fantasy Digest Sword & Sorcery Annual 1975 Contents Page Robert E. Howard “Queen of the Black Coast” (Conan) art by Steven E. Fabian Sam Moskowitz’s L. Sprague de Camp: Sword and Satire John Jakes “The Pillars of Chambalor” (Brak) art by Gray Morrow Michael Moorcock “Master of Chaos” (Earl Aubec) art by Virgil Finlay Robert Arthur “The Mirror of Caglisastro” art by Dan Adkins Fritz Leiber “The Cloud of Hate” (Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser) art by Leo R. Summers Ursula K. Leguin “The Masters” art by Dan Adkins Roger Zelazny “Horseman” art by Leo R. Summers
Sword & Sorcery Annual 1975 Ultimate Publishing Co. Editor: Sol Cohen Cover: Steven E. Fabian 5.25” x 7.75” 128 pages Cover price 75¢
March Releases Fantasy & Science Fiction Mar/Apr 2020 Contents Pages Dare Segun Falowo “Kikelomo Ultrasheen” SL Huang “The Million-Mile Sniper” Matthew Hughes “The Last Legend” Charles de Lint’s Books to Look For –Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer –A Song for a New Day by Sarah Pinsker –I Know What I Saw by Linda S. Godfrey –In the Heart of the Fire by Dean Koontz –Photographing the Dead by Dean Koontz –The Praying Mantis Bride by Dean Koontz –Red Rain by Dean Koontz –The Mercy of Snake by Dean Koontz –Memories of Tomorrow by Dean Koontz –Women of Science Fiction and Fantasy Television by Karen A. Romanko –Mingus Fingers by Jacob Weisman Elizabeth Hand’s Books –Ormeshadow by Priya Sharma –The Muders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson –The Survival of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson –A Spectral Hue by Craig Laurance Gidney Ian Tregillis “Come the Revolution” John Possidente “Red Sword of the Celiac” Lauren McBride “To My Shipmates at Journey’s End” (verse) Amman Sabet “Say You’re Sorry” Gregor Hartmann “A Solitary Crane Circles Cold Mountain” Deborah L. Davitt “4 Vesta” (verse) Amanda Hollander “A Feast of Butterflies” David J. Skal’s Films: Wet Screams Jerry Oltion’s Science: Natural Disasters in Utopia William Ledbetter “Hungry Is the Earth” Elizabeth Bear “Hacksilver” Brian Trent “Death on the Nefertem Express” James Patrick Kelly “The Man I Love” Coming Attractions F&SF Market Place Graham Andrews’ Curiosities: Public Faces by Harold Nicolson (1932)
Fantasy & Science Fiction Vol. 138 No. 3 and 4, No. 748, Mar/Apr 2020 Publisher: Gordon Van Gelder Editor: C.C. Finlay Assistant Publishers: Barbara J. Norton, Keith Kahla Assistant Editors: Robin O’Connor, Stephen L. Mazur, Lisa Rogers Contests Editor: Carol Pinchefsky Cover: Mondolithic Studios Cartoons: Arthur Masear, Kendra Allenby, Mark Heath, Nick Downes 258 pages, $8.99 on newsstands until May 4, 2020 Fantasy & Science Fiction website
Hard Case Crime released Are Snakes Necessary? by Brian De Palma and Susan Lehman on March 17, 2020. Hardcover $22.99 Kindle $7.99 from amazon.
Digest and Book Reviews Repo Shark by Cody Goodfellow reviewed by J.D. Graves at EconoClash Review.
The premise of “single paragraph book reviews” seems apt for this age of browsing. The March 15th review at Mostly Old Books and Rust features Thunder Wagon by James Reasoner and L.J. Washburn.
Worlds of Tomorrow May 1965 reviewed by Victoria Silverwolf at Galactic Journey.
Free Online Fiction “The Man Who Wouldn’t” by Joseph S. Walker on ToughCrime.
Free Newsletter The American Bystander is standing by at home with too much time on their hands, so they’ve created Bystander’s Quarantine Cavalcade. Subscribe here.
Readin’ and Writin’ Alec Cizak added several of the earliest issues of Pulp Modern to Magzter this week. Of course, all of our joint issues from Volume Two are there as well.
And speaking of Pulp Modern, all the stories have been selected for the next issue. I’ll be working on layouts for the final three this weekend.
Finished reading and made notes on the second issue of Fotocrime for my article for the next issue of The Digest Enthusiast. Part of my research included reading True Crime, True North, full review here. Since the book’s focus is Canadian true crime magazines, it’s not directly relevant to Fotocrime, but seeing how the authors approached their topic was useful. Also exchanged a series of emails with John Shirley about Weirdbook No. 42, to provide readers with the backstory on the issue.
Also read Guns + Tacos Volume One, but I write more about that next week.
Vintage Crime Digest Verdict Vol. 1 No. 2 July 1953 Contents Page Cornell Woolrich “All at Once, No Alice” art by Tom O’Sullivan H.H. Holmes “The Stripper” art by R. Cossette Dorothy B. Hughes “Homecoming” Henry Kane “Kudos for the Kid” art by Tom O’Sullivan Francis Lewis “Has Anybody Here Slain Kely?” Samuel Blas “Revenge” Rex Stout “Fer-De-Lance” (Part 2 of 5) Bruno Fischer “The Man Who Lost His Head” Frank Kane “Suicide” Leonard S. Grey “What’s Your Verdict?”
Verdict Vol. 1 No. 1 June 1953 Published monthly by Flying Eagle Publications, Inc. Editor: John McCloud Managing Editor: E.A. Tulman Art Director: Chas. W. Adams Business Magager: R.E. Decker 5.5” x 7.75” 144 pages 35¢
In mid-October Charles Ardai sent out an interesting promotional request to his Hard Case Crime email list: Post a review of one of his books on Amazon.com and he’d send you one of his latest releases. The offer was good for the first 30 people to respond.
I reviewed HCC-058, Stop This Man! by Peter Rabe, and sent a screenshot of the review. Even though I posted it hours after the email arrived, I was too late.
Charles replied: “You’re not one of the first 30 to respond—we were startled by how many people responded, and how quickly!—but we have some extra books, so we’re just going to keep sending out copies to say thank you to as many people as we can, until they run out.”
The promotion gave HCC a slew of new Ratings & Reviews on Amazon.com for minimal cost. How many sales it generated is known only to Ardai, but it appears to have been a successful campaign. It also illustrates how much publishers value reviews on sites like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads. Why not help out your friendly neighborhood publisher and post a review when you finish your latest indie read? A single sentence would be excellent.