The advent of eBooks has brought many changes to publishing, both good and bad, but one of the positive developments is a new wave of terrific short crime fiction anthologies. In case you missed them, here are a few of the latest publications released in September and October (noting that some are eBooks, some print, some both):
Beat to a Pulp: Superhero has gathered some of the best hardboiled and
noir crime stories with a superhero twist. Billy Mitchell, the
six-year-old "Red Avenger" in Kevin Burton Smith's tale, has an
innocence and a special something that draws us to want to don a mask
and tie a towel around our necks. Steve Weddle dissects the reality of a
world in which super-powered "others" walk in the midst of normal
people who tend to quote only parts of the Bible. And James Reasoner's
story is set in a time not usually associated with superheroes -- the
American Revolution -- yet Patrick Mainwaring finds the classic essence
of a superhero. Other top contributors include Jake Hinkson, Garnett
Elliott, Liam Jose, Sandra Seamans, Jerry Bloomfield, Thomas Pluck,
Keith Rawson, Court Merrigan, Benoit Lelievre, and Chad Eagleton
The recent inaugural Bloody Scotland conference sponsored a short-story competition. The 19 winners chosen from 230 entries are collected into an anthology titled Worth the Wait, sponsored by Glengoyne Whisky. You can download a free copy via the conference site. As the sponsor foreword notes, "Scottish crime fiction and malt whisky are both international success stories and two of this nation’s greatest exports. Why? Because here in Scotland we understand that quality cannot be rushed. Crafting a great crime story takes time, care, attention and commitment. It doesn’t happen overnight – but when it does come together, it’s magical."
Crime Factory is launching an all Australian crime fiction anthology, Hard Labour. It includes brand new fiction from Peter Corris, Leigh Redhead, Helen FitzGerald, Angela Savage, David Whish-Wilson, along with Garry Disher's first ever Wyatt story (unpublished in over a decade), JJ DeCeglie, Andrez Bergen, Deborah Sheldon and many more, including CFP’s own widely-published editorial staff. Along with a brand new story by Melbourne-based Irish veteran Adrian McKinty, the story collection is topped off with a foreword by Sisters in Crime National Co-Convenor, Lindy Cameron.
Fifteen Tales of Murder, Mayhem and Malice from the Land of Minnesota Nice, are "perfect for a quiet evening cozied up in front of the fireplace or to share around a flickering campfire. Some of them will scare you. Some may make you cringe. A few might bring a smile to your lips. All of them, we guarantee, will put to rest forever the myth of Minnesota Nice." Contributing authors include William Kent Krueger, Jess Lourey, Rich Thompson, Lois Greiman, Mary Logue, Pat Dennis, David Housewright, Elizabeth Gunn, Judith Borger, Joel Arnold, Lori L. Lake, Michael Allen Mallory, Marilyn Victor, Carl Brookins, and Ellen Hart.
Noir at the Bar 2 is "Back for another round of booze, blood and bad taste...and continues its assault on the literate world." Contributors include: Jedidiah Ayres, Frank Bill, Jane Bradley, Sonia L. Coney, Hilary Davidson, Les Edgerton, Nate Flexer, Matthew C. Funk, Jesus Angel Garcia, Glenn Gray, Kevin Lynn Helmick, Gordon Highland, John Hornor Jacobs, David James Keaton, Tim Lane, Erik Lundy, Jason Makansi, Matthew McBride, Jon McGoran, Cortright McMeel, Aaron Michael Morales, Scott Phillips, Robert J. Randisi & Christine Matthews, John Rector, Caleb J. Ross, Duane Swierczynski, Mark W. Tiedemann, Fred Venturini, Benjamin Whitmer and Nic Young.
Off The Record 2, At The Movies, is an anthology with 47 Short Stories with Classic Film Titles, with proceeds benefitting two child literacy charities. Edited by Paul D Brazill and Luca Veste, authors contributing stories include Will Carver, Steve Mosby, Helen FitzGerald, Adrian McKinty, Matt Hilton, Stav Sherez, Claire McGowan, Sean Cregan, David Jackson, Mel Sherratt, Nick Quantrill, Maxim Jakubowski, and many more.
Psychos: Serial Killers, Depraved Madmen, and the Criminally Insane, edited by John Skipp, is a crime anthology featuring stories by master storytellers including Neil Gaiman, Lawrence Block, and Ray Bradbury. As Skipp writes in the Foreword, the anthology includes "A staggering thirty-eight-course banquet of literary mania and mayhem, served up by some of the most amazingly astute, deeply disturbing, immensely entertaining chronicles of crazy ever to grace the printed page."
The relatively new Shotgun Honey ezine of crime and noir fiction brought together 29 authors from around the world to produce their first anthology, Shotgun Honey Presents: Both Barrels. Featuring stories from: Patti Abbot, Peter Farris, Trey R. Barker, Hector Acosta, Cameron Ashley, Ray Banks, Frank Bill, Nigel Bird, Jen Conley, Paul D. Brazill, Thomas Pluck, Garnett Elliott, Matthew C. Funk, Chris F. Holm, Glenn Gray, Naomi Johnson, Nik Korpon, Kieran Shea, Julia Madeleine, Joe Myers, Andrew Nette, Mike Oliveri, Dan O'Shea, Tom Pits, Keith Rawson, Holley West, Frank Wheeler Jr., Jim Wilsky and Steve Weddle.
True Brit Grit was actually published in April of this year, but proceeds of this anthology go to support the charities Children 1st and the Francesca Bimpson Foundation. Edited by Luca Veste and Paul D. Brazill, the volume contains forty five gritty stories from the likes of Ray Banks, Allan Guthrie, Charlie Williams, Julie Morrigan, Howard Lynskey, Sheila Quigley, Nick Quantrill and Matt Hilton.
Books to Die For is an anthology of essays billed as "the most ambitious anthology of its kind yet attempted, the world's leading mystery writers have come together to champion the greatest mystery novels ever written." In a series of personal essays that often reveal as much about the authors and their own work as they do about the books that they love, 119 authors from 20 countries have created a guide that will be indispensable for generations of readers and writers. From Agatha Christie to Lee Child, from Edgar Allan Poe to P. D. James, from Sherlock Holmes to Hannibal Lecter and Philip Marlowe to Lord Peter Wimsey, Books to Die For brings together the cream of the mystery world for a feast of reading pleasure, a treasure trove for those new to the genre and for those who believe that there is nothing new left to discover.