Saturday, May 29, 2010


BLOOD, GUTS & WHISKEY, the third anthology in a series gathering stories from Thuglit, and edited by Thuglit kingpin Todd Robinson hit stores earlier this week.

This one is keynoted by a deft introduction by Max Allan Collins — a kind of mini-history of the crime short story and the way it drove the development of the hardboiled novel. BLACK MASK, Hammett, Chandler and company are all there in Collins' quick primer on dark, violent short fiction.

The contributors include the late great Eddie Bunker, as well as Jordan Harper, Tom Piccirilli, John Kenyon, Colin O'Sullivan, Pearce Hansen, Scott Wolven, fellow 2008 Best First Novel Edgar finalist Derek Nikitas, Justin Porter, Glenn Gray, Dana King, Stuart Neville, Michael Penncavage, Kiernan Shea, Jedidiah Ayres, Brian Murphy, Dave Zeltserman, Stephen Allan, Andy Turner, David Harrison, Lawrence Clayton, Sean Doolittle, and, representing all of womanhood, Hilary Davidson — noir rose in a thicket of thorns.

My contribution is a story called "These Two Guys..." that debuted online on Thuglit, became a finalist for BEST AMERICAN MYSTERIES and lives again in BLOOD, GUTS & WHISKEY.

The story comes out of a cycle of stories that follow the path of two New Jersey thugs who have drifted from New Jersey to Ohio through installments that have cropped up here and there including "The Devil's In the Details," (hear the audio version here), "Broken Promised Land" and a few that have since fallen off the web as some other ezines have folded...a few on my hard-drive awaiting a good home...

Anthologies are nearly always a mixed bag — collections in which you have to take the rough with the smooth. I'm about half-way through this one and it's hitting hard on every cylinder. Do check it out this long holiday weekend.