I stated when we started The Hard Word that it would occasionally veer from crime fiction and westerns. I should have predicted it would be Joe Lansdale who would be the first person to lead me astray. The man is practically his own genre and here he gives us an action-adventure, sci-fi-horror, comedy, musical-if-it-could, Bubba and The Cosmic Blood-Suckers. The book serves as a prequel to his loved short story, Bubba Ho-Tep, where a geriatric Elvis fought a mummy in a rest
Stark House Books has done us a great service by bringing back a lot of genre work, particularly in crime fiction. Author Rick Ollerman has been their go to guy for many of the introductions to these books. Entertaining and informative, they serve as essays on the writers and their work to themselves. Recently Stark House put them together in a collection with new work as well, Hardboiled, Noir and Gold Medals. We talked to Rick about the art of the intro, favorite writers, i
A McGuffin, as popularized by Alfred Hitchcock with his film The 39 Steps, is a device used to trigger the plot. Think of the suitcase in Pulp Fiction, or most famously, The Maltese Falcon. Often in crime fiction, drugs are used as a McGuffin. In lesser-told tales, one drug could be substituted for another in order to tell the story. Or, in others, drugs could be substituted for anything else at all. A bag of money. A rare automobile. A gold-plated yo-yo, for Christ's sake. Y
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