Category Archives: books

Sci Fi, by William Marshall

William Marshall’s Yellowthread Street series of detective novels are known for their humor, violence and nearly frenetic pace. Besides the debut Yellowthread Street, I thought The Hatchet Man delivered strongly on all three elements, while Skulduggery benefitted from a more … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime fiction | Tagged , | Leave a comment

When Gravity Fails, by George Alec Effinger

Science fiction and crime fiction are two genres with largely different traditional audiences, although there are many of examples of writers that have crossed the boundary between them. Asimov, Vance, Silverberg and Moorcock are all giants of SF who have … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime fiction, science fiction | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Crime at Black Dudley, by Margery Allingham

The rustic country mansion is a popular setting for murder mysteries – although I can only vaguely recall episodes of Murder She Wrote, the movie Clue, etc. Being naïve to this sub-genre of crime literature, I decided to pick up … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime fiction | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Handle, by Donald Westlake (as Richard Stark)

Donald Westlake’s Parker series, featuring the stoic and violent thief Parker, is a celebrated franchise of paperback crime fiction. The books are renowned for being fast-moving, unsentimental and flavored with irony and dark humor. The University of Chicago Press has … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime fiction | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Freedom Beach, by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel

Science fiction in the 1980’s and 1990’s developed a large preoccupation with “inner space” topics like mind-reading and dream travel. Obviously, these tropes began long before 1980, but as the size of novels ballooned in these later decades – perhaps … Continue reading

Posted in books, science fiction | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Skulduggery, by William Marshall

Skeletons washing ashore make for intriguing mysteries: they have a story to tell, but the truth of their origins are a cloudy mixture of time, culture and circumstance. The bodies of fishermen found in Japan indicate desperate searches for food … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime fiction | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Thin Air, by William Marshall

The 1970s were a big decade for airline-disaster dramas, from the movie Airport in 1970 to its ultimate parody Airplane in 1980. The 1977 William Marshall book Thin Air looks like an attempt to tap the healthy audience for airborne suspense, … Continue reading

Posted in books, crime fiction | Tagged , , | 2 Comments