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Hurt People by Cote Smith

Among the ominous landscapes drawn by FSG authors such as Frank Bill and Amelia Gray, Smith’s hometown of Leavenworth, Kansas fits right in, with its prisons looming over the novel like watchful guards. Opportunity, here in the center of a prison industrial complex, is a chance at catching an escaped convict, while seemingly the only entertainments on offer are rented movies, darts, and boxed wine.
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Fiction

Review of a Serial Ejaculator: Subway Line 7 and the Antonin Drake Method



Fiction

Review of a Serial Ejaculator: Subway Line 7 and the Antonin Drake Method Winter usually presents the most desperate moments for an exhibitionist. The cold air turns us into exclusive affairs. We linger alone, rush up the stairs apart from our friends, and because it’s always too chilly to stop and talk, we cover our eyes and ears and lips…
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Gone Alaska



Fiction

Chapter Two of “Gone Alaska” Arrival Elfin Cove, Alaska. The Southeast Coast. One month past my eighteenth birthday and I was standing at the forepeak, poised to leap, when the skipper of the purse seiner I’d hitched a ride on from Juneau motioned me back down. “Adam!” the old fisherman yelled, leaving his position at the wheel and coming out…
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Beside Gravity



Fiction

Oh yeah, and I have acid reflux about four times a day, he says. The shrink doesn't note this down, which he finds disrespectful. The acrobats are doing something choreographed now, swinging in tandem and making shapes with their bodies. The clowns are gone. The illusionist stands underneath, though, waving his arms, as if he is controlling the airborne tumblers. Maybe he is.
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I’m Into Leather



Fiction

“I know this one guy. He brought a bowie knife to one of those workshops once,” Felix said. “He didn’t say anything, just plopped the knife down, wham, like that on the table and gave it a little twirl, like he was spinning a bottle, like he was waiting to be kissed. Nobody said anything to him after that.”
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Larb, Land-Eating



Fiction

And maybe this will be enough for Vern to expel me. I won’t graduate. I can stay little longer. How pleased Moms will be by this! She’ll never lose me and I’ll never lose her. Because she’s all I got left of him. She’s all I got left of her.
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Columns

No Way Out: Jason Starr’s “Fake I.D.”



Columns

By now, fans of Hard Case Crime’s brand of pulp crime fiction already know Jason Starr.  Along with the delightfully cynical crime writer Ken Bruen of Ireland, Starr co-authored Bust, Slide, and The Max—a wicked trilogy reveling in dark humor, gratuitous sex & violence, and…
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Christa Faust’s Money Shot Cashes In



Columns

Hard Case Crime recently turned 50. The independent publishing house dedicated to all things pulp has published over 50 titles since it opened for business in 2005. And what a business for lovers of crime fiction: HCC not only reissues out of print classics by…
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Doing It Right: Interview with Gregg Hurwitz



Columns

Los Angeles. The city of (fallen) angels has lured many crime fiction writers over the years, its truths often stranger than fiction. From Hollywood to Echo Park, L.A. is a siren song of corruption, racial tension, drugs, and silicone implants. Perfect grist for a writer’s…
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Easyreeder



Columns

WEEK 1 UNRELIABLE NARRATOR Do you want a reliable narrator?  An unreliable narrator?  If there is any first-person element to your narration, there’s one answer: all people lie to themselves, all people are unreliable.  The question is of degree.  While extremely unreliable narrators are fascinating…
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[CRIME CORNER] Lawrence Block: Romance of the Ordinary Life



Columns

Lawrence Block, Hit and Run 304 pages, $24.95 Published by William Morrow Keller is back. This spring, Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Lawrence Block rolled out the latest exploits of Keller, full-time assassin and amateur philatelist.  Block’s newest novel in 3 years, Hit and…
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Interviews

KGB Interview: Tim Bridwell



Interviews

An argument can be made that many of the greatest works of American fiction were forged on the hot end of a harpoon, the weapon that made possible the once nation-shaping, but now extinct, whaling industry on New England’s formidable coast.  In Sophronia L. (Folded…
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KGB Interview - Marc Olmsted



Interviews

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with poet/filmmaker Marc Olmsted (photo left). In our interview we spoke about Marc’s influences, his films, “The Count” and others, as well as filmmaker Kenneth Anger and H.P.Lovecraft. Marc frequently spoke with cohorts William S. Burroughs and Allen…
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KGB Interview:  Iris Smyles



Interviews

One of my favorite recent reads was Iris Has Free Time, by Iris Smyles. Eclectic, funny, fast-paced and also reflective, there was something on every page I liked and found memorable.  I am not alone in my excitement, as many reviewers have chimed in with…
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The Last of the Good Men: Ben H. Winters’s Last Policeman Trilogy



Interviews

It’s the end of the world and Ben H. Winters feels fine. The best-selling author has just released World of Trouble, the final book in his critically-acclaimed Last Policeman trilogy, which documents a young detective’s final days before a giant world-destroying asteroid hits Earth.  The…
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Telling Tales - David Unger



Interviews

One writer + One focus = One story An occasional look into pivotal moments in writers’ lives. Writing is, in many ways, translating. Author and translator David Unger sees the connection in that both acts require “[t]he transformation of possibly anarchic coded sources to something…
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Book Reviews

THE LOSS OF ALL LOST THINGS by Amina Gautier



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Book Reviews

The fifteen stories in The Loss of All Lost Things (Elixir Press) force us to dismantle our understanding of loss, to question what can and cannot be misplaced, to examine failures in fidelity, absences in emotion, lapses in judgment and leaps in behavior all in pursuit of human connection.
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Revisits: Don DeLillo’s AMERICANA



Book Reviews

There is blood on the hands of the American soul. If we are born American citizens, we inherit this stain; but if we begin our lives elsewhere and then choose our American citizenship, we must absorb the stain as a necessary burden. We must prove or disprove through work, destruction, or enlightenment—through choice and action—that, to a point, we are well-suited to our national identity.
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SUBMISSION by Michel Houellebecq



Book Reviews

More than a scare-mongering screed warning of a coming Muslim invasion of Europe, Houellebecq's thorny, hard-to-decipher novel warns of the dangers of modernism, untethered as it is to a larger belief system.
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HALF AN INCH OF WATER by Percival Everett



Book Reviews

"The majority of the characters in these nine stories are dealing with traumas of some sort, whether it be one that occurred long ago or one that happens over the course of their individual story."
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UPRIGHT BEASTS by Lincoln Michel



Book Reviews

While Michel’s style is perhaps more closely aligned with the likes of Raymond Carver, his short-shorts call to mind the genius of Lydia Davis, the ability to drop the reader into an unfamiliar environment and wound her before she has time to construct a defense.
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