Sep 30, 2007

Bouchercon Awards

Here's the list of Anthony Awards:
BEST NOVEL: Laura Lippman, NO GOOD DEEDS (William Morrow)
BEST FIRST NOVEL: Louise Penny, STILL LIFE (St. Martin's Minotaur)
BEST SHORT STORY: Simon Wood, "My Father's Secret" (Crimespree Magazine, B'con Special Issue 2006)
BEST CRITICAL NONFICTION: Jim Huang & Austin Lugar, ed. MYSTERY MUSES (Crum Creek Press)

We are especially proud of Simon Wood winning with a short story we ran in Crimespree. Simon is an amazing writer and it's great to see people noticing!
Also, Congrats to Jim Huang, he one the award we were up for, but let me assure you losing to Jim Huang is just fine by us. Jim rocks!

Shamus Awards:
BEST NOVEL: Ken Bruen, The Dramatist (St. Martin's Minotaur)
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL: P.J. Parrish, An Unquiet Grave (Pinnacle)
BEST FIRST NOVEL: Declan Hughes, The Wrong Kind of Blood (William Morrow)
BEST SHORT STORY: O'Neil DeNoux, "The Heart Has Reasons" (AHMM, September 2006)
THE HAMMER FOR BEST PI SERIES CHARACTER: Shell Scott (created by Richard Prather)

The MacCavity Awards:
Best Novel: THE VIRGIN OF SMALL PLAINS, Nancy Pickard (Ballantine)
Best First Novel: MR. CLARINET, Nick Stone (Penguin/Michael Joseph)
Best Nonfiction: Mystery Muses: 100 Classics That Inspire Today's Mystery Writers edited by Jim Huang and Austin Lugar (Crum Creek)
Best Short Story: "Til Death Do Us Part" by Tim Maleeny (MWA Presents Death Do Us Part: New Stories about Love, Lust, and Murder, edited by Harlan Coben; Little, Brown)
Sue Feder Historical Mystery: Oh Danny Boy by Rhys Bowen (Minotaur)

And The Barry Awards:
Best Novel - The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos
Best First Novel - Still Life by Louise Penny
Best British Mystery Novel - Priest by Ken Bruen
Best Thriller - The Messenger by Daniel Silva
Best Paperback Original - The Cleanup by Sean Doolittle
Best Short Story - "The Right Call" by Brendan DuBois
The Don Sandstrom Memorial Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mystery Fandom was presented to Beth Fedyn

Everbody who won is truly great at what they do and congrats to them all.

Sep 9, 2007

Graphic Novel - Sentences by Percy Carey

SENTENCES: The Life of M.F. Grimm
Percy Carey
Vertigo/DC Comics

Percy Carey (aka MF Grimm, aka Jet Jaguar) begins the story of his life in the middle of its most intense moment: the day a bullet left him paralyzed from the waist down. It's a scene of incredible violence and chaos that leaves our narrator lying on the snow, bleeding out. And from there we naturally cut to... Sesame Street, where young Percy has an
acting gig.

The jump from bloody murder to such innocent surroundings creates a nice bit of cognitive dissonance that sets the tone for the rest of the book. Throughout the rest of Carey's childhood, we see him constantly pulled between "good kid" and
"bad kid". It seems like he could fall either way at any time, and he often does.

It's here I should mention the art by Ronald Wimberly. The stark black/white/grey color scheme perfectly highlights Wimberly's fluid drawings. His people are full of life, whether sitting having a conversation or in the middle of a fist fight.

At the same time we see him growing up, Carey provides snapshots of the growth of hip-hop. One of the finest bits of writing comes when he describes the genre's early days, evoking a sense of time and place where something new and wild was being born.

But he also acknowledges the serpent in the garden, the seed of violence which would become entwined with hip-hop culture. And there are occasional flashes of sadness over that. The fact that something that had started out devoted to unity, celebration and joyous human expression had become so dark.

And other times, he revels in it. He's not always a nice person, or even a sympathetic character. But there's also the part that wants to see a better world. It's the hope that ends up resonating most strongly, tempered by the knowledge
that anyone can do the wrong thing.

Carey ends the book on a cautionary note, but the most powerful moment comes when he uses his fictional counterpart to do something he can't in real life. It's at that point where it changes from "this is what I've been through" to "this is what I've been through, AND I'M STILL HERE!"

Neal Bohl for Crimespree Magazine