Sad news from the writing world last week as we bade farewell to several luminaries, among them Scottish author Ian Banks, who wrote in a wide variety of genres including crime fiction; thriller author Vince Flynn (who penned the counterterrorism operative Mitch Rapp series); and Joan Parker, the widow of author Robert B. Parker, who served as co-author of scripts with her husband and was involved with many philantropic programs.
Congratulations to the nominees for the 2013 Shamus Award. The annual prize is handed out by the Private Eye Writers of America to the best books and stories in the private eye genre. Janet Rudolph has a listing of all the finalists over at her Mystery Fanfare blog.
The theme for this year's Bloody Scotland Short Story Competition is "Bad Luck and Trouble." The contest is geared toward previously unpublished writers who have a story in English of 3,000 words or under. But hurry—you only have until midnight July 28 to enter. The winner will receive £1,000, a weekend pass to Bloody Scotland 2013 and a bottle of whisky. Two runners up will win a selection of tickets for events at the conference.
International Crime Month continues with author events at bookstores around the country including R.J. Julia in Connecticut; Politics & Prose in Washington, D.C.; Centuries and Sleuths in Forest Park, Illionois; and 57th Street Books and the American Library Association convention, both in Chicago.
The poem of the week at the 5-2, edited by Gerald So, is "Public Access" by Stephen D. Rogers. Noirboiled Notes also posted its Pulp Poem of the Week by Warren Moore from Broken Glass Waltzes.
John Kenyon, editor of Grift Magazine, said that the publication of the second issue "is imminent." The issue includes an interview of Les Edgerton, another with Stuart Neville, and a look a the film noir woodcuts of Loren Kantor. There's also new short fiction from Erik Arneson, Jack Bates, Matthew Brozik, Lawrence Buentello, Holly Day, Salvatore Falco, Andy Henion, Davin Ireland, David Keaton, Jon McGoran, Chad Rohrbacher, Helen Maryles Shankman, and Martin Zeigler. While you're waiting, Grift #1 is still available for purchase.
Fans of Icelandic crime fiction should take note that Iceland will host its first crime fiction festival, Iceland Noir, at the Nordic Cultural Centre in Reykjavik on November 23-24. Special guest authors include Anne Cleeves, Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, John Curran and Quentin Bates. (Hat tip to Ayo Onatade at Shots Magazine.)
Speaking of Iceland, Reykjavik City Library announced Húsið (The House) by Stefán Máni is the winner of the 2013 Blóðdropinn — Blood Drop Award — for best crime novel of the year. The book will represent Iceland in the annual Glass Key Award competition for best crime novel written by a Nordic author. (Hat tip to Omnimystery News.)