Curtain up! Light the lights!

 anthologies, Newsletter, The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons  Comments Off on Curtain up! Light the lights!
Mar 222015
DarkCityLights-COVER-600px 2The Dark City Lights, that is to say. That’s the title of my new anthology, coming April 28 from Three Rooms Press, and it’s already getting a heartening amount of buzz. I could tell you that the book contains 23 terrific stories by 23 sensational writers, but wouldn’t you rather get a sneak preview yourself? Just click here to see a Pinterest page with a pop-out quote from each of the stories. Go ahead, have a look. I’ll be right here when you get back.See what I mean?

And how did I get such a fine mix of stories from such exceptional writers? Okay, here’s my secret. First, I picked the right people. Then I asked them to write any kind of story they wanted, just so it was set within the five boroughs of New York City. They did the rest. I cheated a wee bit—I’ve reprinted a wonderful and rarely seen story of SF Grand Master Robert Silverberg (“Hannibal’s Elephants,” in which extraterrestrials invade Central Park). And my own contribution, “Keller the Dogkiller,” has been published before, but I wanted to include one of the wistful assassin’s rare New York assignments.

Some of the writers have names you’ll recognize, and a shelf of books and awards to show for their efforts. Others are new to the game, with those awards very much in their future. I should emphasize that this is not a collection of crime stories, although many of them do fit comfortably beneath the genre’s broad canopy.

A bit of human interest: A distinguished actress and novelist, my great friend Elaine Kagan had never tried short fiction until I persuaded her to write me a story. She was justifiably delighted with her effort, and showed it to her daughter, Eve, who wrote a story of her own in response. Elaine sent it to me, and I read it, and while I’d thought the book was full up, I’d have had to be a fool not to take it. So Dark City Lights contains the first published short stories of a mother and daughter.

And I know how proud Elaine must feel. Oh? And how can I presume to know this? Well, have a look at “The Lady Upstairs,” the second published work of its author; her very first story, “Like It Never Happened,” appears in the current issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Her name, coincidentally enough, is Jill D. Block.

Believe me, I know just how Elaine feels…

And in fact I’m uncommonly proud of the whole book. You may lock in a low price by pre-ordering either the trade paperback or the ebook from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I have a feeling you’ll be happy with the book. It’s my tenth anthology, and I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it. I’m hoping for the chance to do it again.


As the poet has assured us, April is the coolest month. On April 30, a mere two days after Dark City Lights goes on sale, Subterranean Press will release their hardcover trade edition of The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons. You can pre-order the book now from Amazon or B&N.

While this is the book’s first hardcover trade edition, I self-published Spoons on Christmas Day in 2013, as an ebook and trade paperback… and in a deluxe signed-and-numbered leatherbound limited edition. I still have copies of the limited edition for sale at LB’s eBay Bookstore, and for the next week or two all orders will include a FREE copy of the trade paperback.

Sometime the first week in May I’ll be on Leonard Lopate’s radio program on WNYC, along with Brian Koppelman, S. J. Rozan, and Jonathan Santlofer, to let the world know about Dark City Lights. And on Thursday, May 7, I’ll be at the Mysterious Bookshop (58 Warren Street, New York NY 10007) with several of the book’s contributors, to sign copies. Barring a shipping delay at Subterranean Press—I think it’s done snowing for now, but I’ve been wrong before—I’ll be signing copies of their hardcover Spoons that evening as well. You can call Ian at (800) 352-2840 to order Dark City Lights or The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons—or, ideally, both.

Is that enough for now? I think it’s gonna have to be. As the governor of North Carolina probably never said to the governor of South Carolina, it’s been a long time between newsletters. And it’s also been the longest and deepest winter I can recall. It seems to be spring now. I’d say it might as well be.



PS: As always, please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might find it of interest. And, if you’ve received the newsletter in that fashion from a friend and would like your own subscription, that’s easily arranged; a blank email to with Newsletter in the subject line will get the job done.
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Twitter:  @LawrenceBlock


 Posted by at 9:45 pm

Forgotten Books: The Traditional West – Western Fictioneers

 anthologies, Forgotten Books, Western Fictioneers, Westerns  Comments Off on Forgotten Books: The Traditional West – Western Fictioneers
Mar 062015

I don’t know if this massive anthology is actually forgotten, but it’s been out for almost four years now and I haven’t mentioned it lately. Not only that, but it’s on sale for a limited time for only 99 cents, and you can’t beat that price. At approximately 120,000 words, I’m pretty sure THE TRADITIONAL WEST is the biggest anthology of original Western fiction ever published. Several stories

Weird Menace Anthology Now Open for Submissions

 anthologies, Rough Edges Press, submissions, Weird Menace  Comments Off on Weird Menace Anthology Now Open for Submissions
Jan 132015

I’m going ahead with that Weird Menace anthology idea I mentioned on the blog a couple of days ago. If you’re interested in possibly writing a story for it, here are the submission guidelines.

looking for the sort of stories that would have been submitted to pulp
magazines such as DIME MYSTERY, TERROR TALES, and SPICY MYSTERY during the
heyday of the Weird Menace pulps in the 1930s. If

Zombies From the Pulps!: Salt is Not for Slaves – G.W. Hutter (Garnett Wilson)

 anthologies, Jeffrey Shanks, zombies, Zombies From the Pulps  Comments Off on Zombies From the Pulps!: Salt is Not for Slaves – G.W. Hutter (Garnett Wilson)
May 082014

G.W. Hutter’s “Salt is Not for Slaves”, which was published originally in the August/September 1931 issue of the pulp GHOST STORIES, also takes the form of one character spinning a yarn for another character, as several of the previous stories in ZOMBIES FROM THE PULPS! have done. In this case it’s an old, old woman, a native of Haiti, who tells a tale of an ill-fated love affair doomed by

Now Available: Hearts and Spurs

 anthologies, Prairie Rose Publications, Western romance, Westerns  Comments Off on Now Available: Hearts and Spurs
Jan 162014

HEARTS AND SPURS, the second anthology of Western romance stories from Prairie Rose Publications, is now available.

How do you capture a cowboy’s heart? HEARTS AND SPURS is a collection of nine stories by some of western romance’s best—just in time for Valentine’s Day! Following up their Christmas collection WISHING FOR A COWBOY, these ladies have done it again with new stories of handsome cowboys and the women who captivate them in HEARTS AND SPURS.

HEARTS AND SPURS features nine sensual Valentine’s Day love stories of the old west that will leave no doubt–Cupid is a cowboy, and he’s playing for keeps!

THE WIDOW’S HEART by Linda Broday
Desperate and alone, Skye O’Rourke finds courage and a love she thought she’d lost when a man from her past emerges from the shimmering desert heat.

GUARDING HER HEART by Livia J. Washburn
Outlaws threaten a Valentine’s Day wedding!

FOUND HEARTS by Cheryl Pierson
An enemy from the past threatens Alex Cameron’s future on the day he’s set to wed mail-order bride Evie Fremont. Can they survive their wedding day?

OPEN HEARTS by Tanya Hanson
A woman living as a man to practice the law she loves must guard her identity–and her heart–from a handsome sheriff, who discovers her secret and must decide whether to turn her in or fall in love.

HOLLOW HEART by Sarah J. McNeal
Lost love and the hope for possibilities…

A FLARE OF THE HEART by Jacquie Rogers
Celia Yancey heads west to marry a preacher her father picked for her. Bounty hunter Ross Flaherty has traded his guns for a pitchfork and is content to be a farmer, but Celia brings his nemesis right to his door. Can Celia and Ross shed the past and forge a new beginning?

COMING HOME by Tracy Garrett
Sometimes it takes two to make dreams come true. When a man who believes he’ll never have a home and family finds a woman who has lost everything…It takes a lot of forgiveness and a few fireworks to realize that together, their dreams can come true.

The wildness of a tumbleweed and the sweetness of chocolate bring Amanda Love the love of a lifetime.

A washed-up Texas Ranger. A failed nun with a violent past. A love that will redeem them both.

I’ve read all these stories and enjoyed them. For readers like me whose interests run more toward the Western part of the genre rather than the romance, there’s a considerable amount of gunplay in some of them, and some stuff even blows up pretty good. Plus a scene in one story that could have come right out of a Republic Pictures B Western. That one had me grinning when I came to it. The book is available in both Kindle and print editions, and you can find the e-book version at Barnes & Noble and Smashwords as well.

Now Available — Six-Guns and Slay Bells: A Creepy Cowboy Christmas

 anthologies, new releases, Western Fictioneers  Comments Off on Now Available — Six-Guns and Slay Bells: A Creepy Cowboy Christmas
Oct 252012

The new Western Fictioneers anthology, SIX-GUNS AND SLAY BELLS: A CREEPY COWBOY CHRISTMAS, is now available in both print and e-book editions from Amazon, as well as an e-book edition for the Nook. It’s a Christmas anthology, but with its supernatural theme it’s perfect for Halloween as well. As usual with WF publishing projects, it’s a little out of the ordinary. I’m not sure anybody has ever done a supernatural Western Christmas anthology before. But it worked out really well, and I’m not just saying that. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY and LIBRARY JOURNAL agree and have published very positive reviews of the book. My story features Cobb, my Texas Ranger character who always seems to get involved in offbeat yarns, and Livia’s story brings back Buffalo Newcomb, who starred in a couple of her novels and several short stories. If you’re a fan of Weird Westerns or know someone who is, be sure to check out SIX-GUNS AND SLAY BELLS.

Now Available: Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT

 anthologies, Lost Children, new releases, Protectors  Comments Off on Now Available: Protectors: Stories to Benefit PROTECT
Sep 012012

Today marks the release of the second Lost Children anthology, PROTECTORS: STORIES TO BENEFIT PROTECT. I’m very proud to have a story in this anthology, and I think it’s a pretty good one, too. And what a line-up of authors! I’m looking forward to reading all the other stories. Here’s what editor and mastermind Thomas Pluck has to say about the book:

41 stories.
One cause: PROTECT
100% of proceeds go to PROTECT and the National Association to Protect Children – the army fighting what Andrew Vachss calls “the only holy war worthy of the name,” the protection of children.

We’ve rallied a platoon of crime, western, thriller, fantasy, noir, horror and transgressive authors to support PROTECT’s important work: lobbying for legislation that protects children from physical, sexual, and emotional abuse.

Powerful stories from George Pelecanos, Andrew Vachss, Joe R. Lansdale, Charles de Lint, Ken Bruen, Chet Williamson, James Reasoner, Charlie Stella, Michael A. Black, Wayne Dundee, Roxane Gay, Ray Banks, Tony Black, Les Edgerton and 16 more, with 100% of proceeds going to PROTECT.

PROTECTORS includes a foreword by rock critic Dave Marsh, and fiction by Patti Abbott, Ian Ayris, Ray Banks, Nigel Bird, Michael A. Black, Tony Black, R. Thomas Brown, Ken Bruen, Bill Cameron, Jen Conley, Charles de Lint, Wayne D. Dundee, Chad Eagleton, Les Edgerton, Andrew Fader, Matthew C. Funk, Roxane Gay, Edward A. Grainger, Glenn G. Gray, Jane Hammons, Amber Keller, Joe R. Lansdale, Frank Larnerd, Gary Lovisi, Mike Miner, Zak Mucha, Dan O’Shea, George Pelecanos, Thomas Pluck, Richard Prosch, Keith Rawson, James Reasoner, Todd Robinson, Johnny Shaw, Gerald So, Josh Stallings, Charlie Stella, Andrew Vachss, Steve Weddle, Dave White, and Chet Williamson.

Among PROTECT’s victories are the Protect Our Children Act of 2008, which mandated that the Justice Department change course and design a new national nerve center for law enforcement to wage a war on child exploitation, the Hero to Hero program, which employs disabled veterans in the battle against child abuse, and Alicia’s Law.

Join the fight, with 41 stories by top writers. Be a Protector!

You can go here for the links to buy the book, including details on how to buy the book directly through the website and ensure the largest possible donation to PROTECT. Check it out!

Now Available: Crime Square, edited by Robert J. Randisi

 anthologies, mystery fiction, Robert J. Randisi  Comments Off on Now Available: Crime Square, edited by Robert J. Randisi
May 182012

Check out this fine new anthology edited by Robert J. Randisi. Bob’s put together a great line-up of authors including Reed Farrell Coleman, Max Allan Collins, Parnell Hall, John Lutz, Warren Murphy, Mel Odom, Gary Phillips, and Wallace Stroby. Looks like a winner to me!

The Lone Ranger Chronicles

 anthologies, Lone Ranger, Westerns  Comments Off on The Lone Ranger Chronicles
May 172012

The past few days have been so busy that a box from Moonstone Books has been sitting on the table in our living room unopened for a while. Until this morning, when I opened it and found my author copies of the new anthology THE LONE RANGER CHRONICLES. (To be honest, I was pretty sure that was what was in the box.) This is a great collection, with stories by Paul Kupperberg, Matthew Baugh, Johnny D. Boggs, Kent Conwell, Denny O’Neil, Chuck Dixon, Tim Lasiuta, Richard Dean Starr and E.R. Bower, Troy D. Smith, Bill Crider, Joe Gentile, David McDonald, Howard Hopkins, Mel Odom, Thom Brannon, and yours truly. It’s available in both trade paperback and a limited edition hardcover, and while they’re both fine-looking books, I’m especially impressed by the hardcover. You can’t go wrong either way with that line-up of authors and two of the most iconic characters in Western fiction in the Lone Ranger and Tonto. I haven’t read all the stories yet, but the ones I have read are excellent. As a fan of the Lone Ranger for as far back as I can remember, it was a great honor and pleasure to contribute a story, and this book gets the highest recommendation from me. By the way, my entry is called “Hell on the Border” and features Judge Isaac Parker, the famous real-life Hanging Judge, with the Lone Ranger using his legal training to take part in a high-stakes murder trial. It was really fun to write, too.