The above illustration, "Blowing Bubbles," has been adapted for use here by generous permission from the artist, Cyril Rolando.

January 25, 2010

Who wears short shorts?

If you're a fan of the short form of crime fiction, today was a banner day.

As many of you already know, CRIMEFACTORY, the brainchild/webzine produced by the mad triumvirate of Keith Rawson, Cameron Ashley, and Liam Jose, made its debut today. No pitiful piecemeal work is this, CRIMEFACTORY has everything from reviews of books and movies to in-depth articles on the severely under-read work of Charles Willeford as well as Dash Hammett's classic Red Harvest. And there's an interesting feature, Return to the Scene, that promises to become required reading. In CRIMEFACTORY's own words:
"RETURN TO THE SCENE functions as a “commentary track” for books, where various creative types choose one of their works and take us behind the scenes in its construction
in any manner they see fit."
In this issue, Adrian McKinty takes readers of his outstanding novel, Fifty Grand, behind the scenes.

Those are all nice accoutrements, but the real reason we read webzines is for the fiction, right? Well, CRIMEFACTORY has done a stellar job there. Well, come on, they've got an excerpt from Ken Bruen's not-yet-released Killer. (Shades of a Dave Zeltserman title!) You know right there that the editors of this webzine have both pull and taste.

And don't think that the good fiction starts and ends with Saint Ken. Oh, no. There are four more stories, and my advice is that you shouldn't skip any of them. Frank Bill opens the Temp Work fiction section of the 'zine, with Trespassing Between Heaven and Hell, about a deputy searching for the truth in an eerie hit-and-run case. Steve Weddle relates how a few friends got together to try to kill one of them. But it was just business, Nothing Personal.

Then along comes Dave White, who packed The Suitcase for a guy named Eddie. Now it's not clear to Eddie just what's in the suitcase. All he knows is there's a dead state trooper lying in the road, and Eddie's holding a recently fired pistol. And to top off all this great reading in one issue of CRIMEFACTORY, Hilary Davidson -- whose excellent short stories have already got me anticipating her debut novel, due later this year -- uncovers some Good Bones, a story that might make readers reconsider investing in one of those Victorian fixer-uppers.


  1. I'd heard about its debut via Twitter today and looked forward to checking this out. I just hadn't got there, as yet. But, when you wrote that it included Adrian McKinty's behind the scenes look at Fifty Grand, one of Corey's and my favorites of 2009, I had to go there... like NOW. The file is sitting on my desktop, just waiting for me to finish this comment. Thanks for this, Naomi.

  2. You're very welcome. Huge file, isn't it?

    I'll be very interested in seeing where McKinty goes from Fifty Grand. He's very talented, no doubt about it.

  3. Lovin' Crimefactory!! I agree whole-heartedly with ya Naomi!

  4. From what I'm reading on Facebook, they're getting a lot of love. Sounds like they're on to a good thing, and I hope they can maintain it.

  5. Thanks for the heads-up, Naomi! I'm especially interested in their RETURN TO THE SCENE section!