By J. H. Bográn Short stories, some people love them, some people hate them, and some people love to hate them. Me, I love them. I think they are the essence of storytelling. I love them even more when seemingly independent stories get combined into an anthology, joined by a unifying theme. Most people would associate crime fiction with guns—often a weapon of choice for bad guys, and good guys. Well, they may be proven wrong by the new anthology, UNLOADED. For the first time, more than two dozen crime and mystery authors have joined together to use the strongest weapon at their disposal—words—in a call for reasonable gun control in the United States. In this collection you get all the thrills and excitement you more »
Revelatory Stories from a Master of Crime Fiction By Nancy Bilyeau In spring 1959 the California newspapers were full of stories about a young woman’s disappearance. Linda Millar, a 19-year-old honor student, vanished from the University of California Davis campus. For more than a week, her distraught Santa Barbara parents, Kenneth and Margaret, tried to find her, hiring a private detective and asking the media to publish stories on the search. Linda read a written appeal from her father in one newspaper and telephoned home. She had been wandering through Northern California and Reno, Nevada. “She just wasn’t herself,” said a private detective. The problems of Linda Millar ran deep. Three years earlier, driving drunk, she hit three pedestrians and killed one, a 13-year-old boy; more »
By Derek Gunn THE GODS OF H. P. LOVECRAFT is a dream of an anthology. For anyone who loves Lovecraft, August Derleth, Robert E. Howard, and any of the others who have kept this mythos alive, make some room on your bookshelf. The anthology collects the twelve principal deities of the Lovecraftian Mythos, hands them over to some of the world’s best writers and stands back. There isn’t one name I did not know and many already on my own bookshelves, so this really is a treat. As if that wasn’t enough we also get some great artwork and individual commentary on each of the deities by Donald Tyson. I could really stop the article here, as anyone who has read, and loved Lovecraft, has more »
By Nancy Bilyeau The 1944 film Laura is a noir classic, cherished not only for its haunting score and performances–alluring Gene Tierney, acerbic Clifton Webb, and relentless Dana Andrews–but also for the chills of the brutal murder at its core. Less well known is the 1942 detective story the film was based on, written by Vera Caspary. It’s a tense read, more nuanced than the film, with daring point of view switches and well developed characters, set in a world of newspaper-columnist divas, impoverished fashion models, striving ad executives, and ice-cold heiresses. This may change, now that Caspary’s novel has been brought to light as part of the stunning collection Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s and 1950s, published by the Library of America and edited more »
An Anthology of Thrilling Fiction for Teens By Mark Alpert Austin S. Camacho is one of those daring writers who have made the leap into the publishing business. He’s a longtime author of suspense fiction–he’s written five novels about Washington D.C. private eye Hannibal Jones and four in the Stark and O’Brien international adventure-thriller series, as well as the new detective novel Beyond Blue–but he’s also the editorial director of a Maryland-based small press called Intrigue Publishing. Founded three years ago by Camacho and two partners, Intrigue has a growing list of mysteries, thrillers, and Young Adult novels penned by up-and-coming authors. And now Intrigue is publishing a collection of short stories for teenagers, an anthology edited by Camacho and titled Young Adventurers: Heroes, Explorers & Swashbucklers. Although other presses have published YA anthologies, Young Adventurers offers a uniquely wide sampling of genres, from spy stories to horror to science fiction and more »
By Gary Phillips In H. G. Wells’ classic book The War of the Worlds, the Earth, invaded by Martians, is on the brink of annihilation, only to be saved at the last moment by pesky germs that we human had long gotten used to. Wells’ story has fascinated the public since its first publication in 1898 and over the decades variations of this tale have been told via radio, feature films, comics books, and television. In the 1950s, fueled by Cold War paranoia, books like the Puppet Masters, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and the short story Who Goes There, portend the invaders invading our bodies and taking us over from within or replacing us by mimicking our form. Philip K. Dick’s various scenarios had us questioned our very identities, perhaps even tampered with them in such short stories as “We Can Remember It for You Wholesale.” Or maybe, unknown to us, we were the pretend humans we chased, the replicants in Do Androids Dream of more »
By Andrew McAleer & Paul D. Marks Andrew McAleer, Sherlock Holmes Revere Bowl Award Winner and author of Fatal Deeds, and Paul D. Marks, author of the Shamus Award-Winning thriller White Heat, are the editors of a new mystery-thriller short story anthology COAST TO COAST: MURDER FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA out this month from Down & Out Books. They join The Big Thrill to give us a sneak preview of the anthology and talk about what inspired the project. How did COAST TO COAST evolve? Is there a unifying theme to all the stories? The concept of the anthology was to gather stories from some of the best short story writers in the country, from the East Coast to the West Coast and the more »
Behind the Scenes of Editing a Crime-Fiction Collection By Art Taylor For the second year in a row, Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, has partnered with Down & Out Books to debut an anthology of short fiction at the convention—taking place this year in Raleigh, North Carolina, from October 8th to 11th. Sales of MURDER UNDER THE OAKS benefit Wake County Public Libraries in the convention’s host city, and as a native North Carolinian myself, I was thrilled to be invited to serve as editor for the collection. MURDER UNDER THE OAKS will include plenty of high-tension, high-stakes drama: a personal protection specialist battling a virtual reality program that’s turning against its owner; a Kansas City schoolteacher traveling in Mexico with a makeshift garrote and more »
By John Raab Author Lucy Snyder returns with an anthology, including the Bram Stoker winning story of 2013 titled “Magdala Amygdala.” Snyder is also the author of an urban fantasy series featuring Jessie Shimmer. Snyder has sold over one-hundred and twenty short stories. Fifteen of those are included in this latest book SOFT APOCALYPSES, in a range of genres. SOFT APOCALYPSES is your latest anthology. What kind of short stories will fans see inside the pages? The book contains a mix of genres. All of the stories are dark, perhaps not all horror, but very dark nonetheless. “Magdala Amygdala,” the opening story in the collection, is my take on the zombie apocalypse. It won the 2012 Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Short Fiction. more »
NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author and highly acclaimed storyteller Jeffery Deaver-the undisputed “grand master of the plot twist” (Booklist)-returns with a dazzling new collection of short stories. In these twelve electrifying tales (including six written just for this anthology) Deaver proves once again his genius for the unexpected-in his world, appearances are always deceiving. A devoted housekeeper embarks on a quest to find the truth behind her employer’s murder. A washed-up Hollywood actor gets one last, high-stakes chance to revive his career. A man makes an impulsive visit to his hometown, and learns more about his past than he bargained for. Two Olympic track hopefuls receive terrorist threats. And Deaver’s beloved series characters Lincoln Rhyme, Kathryn Dance, and John Pellam return in stories now in more »
By Connie (Corcoran) Wilson, M.S. “We need to have eyes, here, there and everywhere,” says a character in Edward Marston’s short story “Here, There and Everywhere,” one of the stories in the new anthology MURDER HERE, MURDER THERE, edited by R. Barri Flowers and Jan Grape. Both co-editors also contribute a story (“Convinced” and “The Confession”) among the 19 short stories represented. The book was released May 25, 2012 with “murder coming at you from here, there, and everywhere,” according to TWILIGHT TIMES publisher Lida E. Quillen.
LOVE IS MURDER says it all. Story after story. Romantic suspense is the theme of the latest International Thriller Writers anthology. With original short stories from Lori Armstrong, Jeff Ayers, Beverly Barton, William Bernhardt, Allison Brennan, Robert Browne, Pamela Callow, Toni McGee Causey, Lee Child, JT Ellison and more!
DANGEROUS WOMEN & DESPERATE MEN is a collection of four gripping stories of people on the brink; a broken-hearted woman in Las Vegas plots to take what she is owed; a haunted street cop finds his life on the line in a way he never expected; a desperate agent in California makes a life-changing choice; a hard-working middle-aged woman whose world is coming apart fights back with shocking vengeance. This collection includes “Lightning Rider,” the winner of Canada’s top literary prize for crime fiction, the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story, presented by the Crime Writers of Canada.
By Don Helin In their latest Anthology, Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner compiled stories so scary that Romantic Times Book Review says, “As home repair projects can sometimes take on a hellish nature, 14 authors hit the nail on the head with these truly DIY nightmares.” There’s nothing like home renovation for finding skeletons in the closet or other-worldly portals in the attic. Editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner return with an all new story collection of the paranormal perils of DIY . . . This is the fourth anthology from New York Times best selling pair Toni L.P. Kelner and co-editor Charlaine Harris. Kelner is also the author of the “Where are we Now?” mysteries, the Laura Fleming mystery series, and the more »
Special to the Big Thrill by Andrew F. Gulli It was hot and humid in New York, not many of you will remember the 2005 edition of BEA, but I will for many reasons… For starters it was the first BEA I attended (and so far the last) and also, I was so damned tired from talking non-stop, shaking hands, and being stuck in that sauna of germs the Javitz Center, that on the airplane journey back home, I was struck with a flu which was biblical in its severity. Being on a runway for three hours and for another three hours on a flight that usually took 90 minutes didn’t help. A distant memory from that stifling trip that today shines brightly was welcomed more »
A Between the Lines Interview with First Thrills authors Lee Child, Steve Berry, Michael Palmer, Heather Graham, John Lescroart, and more
by Brett King It began as an alliance. When International Thriller Writers was formed in 2004, its promise rested on bringing together established novelists with emerging writers. As part of its brisk legacy, ITW has championed the work of new authors, a dedication that shines in the breakthrough publication, First Thrills: High-Octane Stories from the Hottest Thriller Authors. Forge Books released the critically acclaimed anthology for the first time in paperback on May 24, 2011. Under the careful editorship of New York Times bestselling author Lee Child, First Thrills brings together original short stories crafted by seasoned authors to help showcase work from debut authors. “The idea was to sprinkle some major attractions in the shop window, to draw your eye,” Child notes about the more »
by Karen Harper PITTSBURGH NOIR is a collection of 14 stories by writers, each either a resident of or with strong links to the city. Each story takes place in a different neighborhood—according to the Akashic model for the series. Pittsburgh is a friendly city—sports crazy, lots of working class sensibility, unpretentious. And Pittsburghers love their city for its ethnic neighborhoods, its spectacular skyline, and the sports teams that keep us entertained (and tense). But lust, revenge, and dark impulses exist here too because those are all too human motives. And those motives make for great stories.
Twenty thriller and horror stories by some of the country’s most imaginative authors. “What do you call three dead lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A good start” . . .”a tanker sails on a voyage of death. Can war veteran Cheryl Wilkins and enigmatic Patrick Boudreaux uncover and stop a true believer?” . . .”There are many kinds of nightmares” . . . and many more
In this brand-new anthology of scary stories, nothing is what it seems. From cannibalistic children, to an unwitting date with a vampire, no scary stone is left unturned.
The New Publishing Age By Pat Mullan In June I flew from Ireland to New York. As usual I stuffed a paperback – a fat one, about 400 pages – into my carry-on bag. I had really wanted to take a hardback I’d been reading at home but that was impractical. As my fellow travelers and I waited at the boarding gate in Shannon, many of us fumbled with our books, newspapers, boarding passes, and passports. Even those of us with a practiced expertise dropped our bookmarks or momentarily panicked when we thought we’d mislaid our boarding pass.
By Jamie Rush Toni Kelner and I had a great chat about the exciting new anthology of (lucky!) thirteen deliciously dark tales, all by different authors. InDeath’s Excellent Vacation, editors Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner bring together a stellar collection of tour guides who offer vacations that are frightening, funny, and touching for the fanged, the furry, the demonic, and the grotesque. Learn why it really can be an endless summer-for immortals.
Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads, edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner, features 100 works–from Beowulf to The Bourne Identity, Dracula to Deliverance, Heart of Darkness toThe Hunt for Red October.
The most riveting reads in history meet today’s biggest thriller writers in Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads. Edited by David Morrell and Hank Wagner, Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads examines 100 seminal works of suspense through essays contributed by such esteemed modern thriller writers as: David Baldacci, Steve Berry, Sandra Brown, Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, Heather Graham, John Lescroart, Gayle Lynds, Katherine Neville, Michael Palmer, James Rollins, R. L. Stine, and many more.
From Jeffery Deaver’s tale of international terrorism to Lisa Jackson’s dysfunctional family in the California wine country to Ridley Pearson’s horrifying serial killer, this collection has something for everyone.