Sunday, May 27, 2012

Gravetapping; Wilson Tucker

Ed Gorman: Welcome back to posting, Ben Boulden. Today he posted about both Jack Bickham and Bill Pronzini. Bill is of course one of the finest crime fiction writers in the world and is in fact an mwa grandmaster. Ben reviews one of bill's most compelling and darkest novels nightcrawlers.

jack was lesser known but extremely talented. ben discusses the night hunters, my favorite bickham novel.i liked it so much after reading it in pb i bought a hardcover and sent it to jack for an autograph. we started corresponding after that. he fought hard aganst the cancer that kept coming back, writing and teaching (he was one of the best) while battling it. A damned fine man and writer.

bill and jack both wrote for the bobbs-merlll line that ben discusses in the same post. good stuff. Amazing what came out of that line, including the firt Fketch novel. Zilch for a budget unfortunately.

MONDAY, MAY 27, 2012

Jack M. Bickham's Black Bat Mystery Titles

Bobbs-Merrill Edition
In the early- to mid-1970s Bobbs-Merrill, as part of its Black Bat Mystery line, published four early suspense novels written by Jack M. Bickham. The four titles were published as by “John Miles”, a pseudonym Mr Bickham used primarily for his early crime and suspense novels, and later for his whodunits. The publication of the Black Bat Mystery titles was a landmark in his career. It represented the change of Bickham’s writing focus from westerns to mystery and suspense.

The John Miles nom de plume was first used by Bickham on his nifty little 1961 crime novel Dally with a Deadly Doll (Ace, D-489). Over the next decade he used the Miles brand sparingly, choosing instead to write westerns under his own name and as by “Jeff Clinton”. The titles published with the Clinton moniker featured a brawling red-headed series character named Wildcat O’Shea. He later published a handful of non series westerns under the pseudonym, and a single science fiction novel titled Kane’s Odyssey (1976).

for the rest go here:

-----------------------------------------------Wilson Tucker, Rog Ebert, Vic Ryan and me

Ed here: Somebody sent me this paragraph from a piece about the late Wilson Tucker who was both a prominent writer and fan in science fiction circles for many decades. The Long Loud Silence is still one of my all-time favorite sf novels and I enjoyed his mysteries almost as much as his science fiction. The bit here refers to the time Ebert, Ryan and I attended our first sf convention thanks to Tucker, who drove us to Cincinatti from his home in Bloomington, Illinois. He was pure gentleman.

"At Tucker's 88th birthday party held in Bloomington, Illinois, I heard a fan ask Bob why he had stopped writing. Without hesitation, Tucker said, "Because I'm no longer driven." But he was still very much a social person, still seeking human contact and holding out hope of finding one more mind to help in some way. I didn't ask him why he was still doing this...for the answer would have been, "Because there's nothing else for me to do." I attended because I knew it would be the last time I would see him. At one point, we were interrupted by someone wanting him to go elsewhere, Tucker smiled at them politely and said, "No, I want to talk to George." I reminded him of the time, in 1961 I think it was, when he attended the MidWestCon, bringing with him three young men...Ed Gorman, Vic Ryan, and Roger Ebert. Tucker had the most pleased look on his face when he introduced them and turned them loose...sort of like 'Let's see you draw to three of these.'


Bill Pronzini said...

Thanks, Ed, for calling my attention to Ben's NIGHTCRAWLERS review. Very nice and much appreciated.

Agree with Ben's praise of Jack Bickham's Black Bat mysteries, and with your high opinion of Tucker's THE LONG LOUD SILENCE. Tucker's mysteries are also enjoyable; LAST STOP is particularly good, a must for anybody who likes crime stories set on trains.

Anonymous said...

I have an Avon book from 1978, an anthology of suspenseful train stories edited by Bill Pronzini called MIDNIGHT SPECIALS. Authors from Dickens to Woolrich to Charles Beaumont to Mr. Pronzini himself. Every story a treat.