I don't want to slight anybody here. There are a good number of unsung excellent writers trapped in the mid-list ghetto. I'd need three pages to list them.
But the writer I want to congratulate tonight has been at it for better than a quarter century and has excelled in mystery, western and horror. And at novel length as well as short story form.
In fact it's for one of his short stories "Cranked" – Damn Near Dead by Bill Crider (Busted Flush Press) that I'm singling him out tonight. In case you haven't heard, Bill's story was one of five nominated for an Edgar.
His novel Blood Marks remains one of the freshest takes on the serial killer storyline I've ever read. His Sheriff Dan Rhodes series combines wit and sociology in the way of K.C. Constantine. You get a portrait of Texas noirish bombast mostly misses. The real Texas I like to think.
I don't know how many of Bill's stories I've reprinted in various anthologies. Whatever the number, it's not enough. Once again, he works in many different forms when creating short stories. "Cranked" is just one of twenty or more Crider gems in the shorter form. He needs a collection.
So--congrats, Bill. Well deserved and here's hoping you get some more of that attention you've so long deserved.