Thursday, March 18, 2004

It's a banner week for crime fiction zines 

I'm staggered, absolutely staggered by the sheer amount of content that's newly available today.

First, Issue 21 of SHOTS is up, and I have no qualms in telling you that it's the best one yet. Thanks to the efforts of our webmaster, Tony "Grog" Roberts, it looks meaner, sharper, and is bursting with content. There are interviews with Karin Slaughter (editrix of LIKE A CHARM), Chris Brookmyre, Fidelis Morgan, Chris Mooney, Chris Simms, Roger Jon Ellory, Morag Joss, Jeff Abbott, Teddy Hayes, and the capper, a monster feature on David Morrell (creater of John Rambo and the author of many more thrillers). All of Orion's Nine New Blood authors are interviewed as well, and featured in photo galleries from their launch signing and party back in January. And new author Mick Herron talks about the genesis of his debut, ON CEMETERY ROAD.

Think that's all? Not by a longshot. My hands are all over this issue in the form of three stories that I am really excited about: Ray Banks's "Phillie's Last Dance," Gina Gallo's "Higher Education," and Dirk Robertson's "Black, Watch and Tartan." I'm hoping to boost the number of shorts published in Issue #22 to 5-6, and so I'm actively looking for submissions. Spread the word and see the contact information in the masthead for how to submit.

Meanwhile, Neil Smith has let me know that the brand new issue of PLOTS WITH GUNS is live as well and once again, I'm so impressed with what they have. Stories offered up include those by Charlie Stella, Ray Banks (who's on a serious roll of late), budding novelist Scott Wolven, and partner-in-crime Jennifer Jordan. Maviano's Earful column is something to behold, a brutal example of how good creative non-fiction can be. And finally, George Pelecanos and Eddie Muller get the interview treatment by Stacey Cochran and Trevor Maviano, respectively, and Muller's interview offers up a special surprise: his two books, the marvellous THE DISTANCE and SHADOWBOXER, will be reissued in paperback by the folks at Uglytown. Even though I already have hb copies of both, I think I might just spring for the paper editions, which will no doubt look as gorgeous as their offerings have been to date.

Wow, just posting all that was bloody exhausting. But enjoy each magazine's wares. And hats off to everyone for their amazing work.

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