I'm a big fan of short stories, so here's a quick rundown of a few short story-related bits and bobs that have come my way lately.
Nigel Bird and Chris Rhatigan are editing a pulp/noir anthology which I'm very peased to have been invited to be part of. There's more info, including the impressive lineup of contributors over at Paul D Brazill's blog.
The Mammoth Book of Best British Crime 8 is out later this month. As ever, a comprehensive selection by editor Maxim Jakubowski, including stories by Ian Rankin, Kate Atkinson, Christopher Brookmyre, Stuart MacBride, and a host of other household names, as well as newer talents such as the aforementioned Nigel Bird and Paul Brazill, plus Gerard Brennan, Jay Stringer and Nick Quantrill and many others. Check out Declan Burke's Crime Always Pays for the chance to win a paperback copy.
If you enjoy reading and/or writing flash fiction, then it's very good news to hear about Shotgun Honey, a new site dedicated to crime/noir/hardboiled flash fiction.
The Short Mystery Fiction Society announced the winners of the annual Derringer Awards. Great to see Sean Doolittle score a win. I haven't read the story, but it's a particularly fine title ('Care Of The Circumcised Penis'). His novels Safer and The Cleanup are two of my favourites of recent years.
And speaking of awards, the Spinetinglers are open for public vote. The Best Anthology nominees include Gerard Brennan for Requiems For The Departed and Criminal-E interviewee Bill Crider for Damn Near Dead 2: Live Noir or Die Trying. There's also a Best Short Story Collection category, which is brimful of talent, as is the Best Short Story on the Web, with Mr Bird making another well-deserved appearance.
The excellent Crime Factory has assembled a bevvy of talent to put together a martial-arts themed pulp anthology Kung Fu Factory. You can download a free pdf from the main site.
And there's also a superb line-up in Top Suspense, a "sizzling collaboration of twelve master storytellers at the peak of their powers in thirteen unforgettable tales." Vicki Hendricks, Dave Zeltserman, Ed Gorman, Harry Shannon, Max Allan Collins, Bill Crider et al.
And finally, if you're easily offended, then look away now. Because John Rickard's Hardboiled Jesus: Vengeance is Mine is a short story (around 4,000 words) which "contains violence, swearing, more swearing, violence, a handful of sexual references, more swearing and, finally, more violence" and Jesus as a pulp hardboiled detective. You've been warned!