This Thursday October 24th at 6:30 p.m. at Fountain Books 1312 E. Cary in Richmond it will be my pleasure to join Ron Smith and Howard Owen in readings from Remapping Richmond’s Hallowed Ground, an outstanding collection of stories, poems, and art responding to the legacy of the Civil War in our fair city. Â To be clear, this ain’t your mama’s War Between the States. Â The event is free and open to the public. Â Hope to see you there.
I will be at Readercon, one of my favorite conventions, starting this Thursday. I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and discovering new writers. I read Thursday evening at nine from a forthcoming (July 31st) short story on tor.com, “All the Snake Handlers I Know Are Dead.” I’m also on a couple of panels, one about the wonderful fiction of Maureen McHugh, who is also the guest of honor; and another about the reexamination of the Civil War mythos, largely in the clutches of the Lost Cause folks since the war, in fantastic literature. I’ve done a bit of that. Most recently in “Christmas in Hollywood Cemetery” in the anthology Remapping Richmond’s Hallowed Ground. After Readercon I’m off to Norton Island off the coast of Maine for a couple of weeks of intensive writing. I have more publication news I can’t reveal yet. Â Life is very good indeed.
The Richmond Noir crew, myself included, will make an appearance at the James River Film Festival.Â This should be great fun.Â From their website:
Monday, April 11, 7:30 p.m., Gallery 5, Admission $7/5 JRFS Members
A Richmond Noir Detour featuring Edgar Ulmerâ€™s Detour (dir: Edgar Ulmer, 1945, 68 mins., b&w)
Plus readings from Richmond Noir with Dennis Danvers and Tom De Haven
This baroque noir protoype from B-director Edgar Ulmer was often overshadowed by bigger productions from MGM (Postman Always Rings Twice) and Paramount (Double Indemnity) released about the same time. But Detour accelerates the noir cycle to its bitter end and resembles (in structuring and characterizations) latter day noirs like Orson Wellesâ€™ Touch of Evil (â€™58) and Robert Aldrichâ€™s Kiss Me Deadly (â€™55), with an over-the-top Ann Savage as the femmes noire from Hell, and Tom Neal as the romantic, ill-fated pianist who picks her up hitchhiking. All the noir conventions are intact: Fate, confessional voice-over, a love triangle, flashback and a Los Angeles end-game setting.Â Ann Savage makes Barbara Stanwyckâ€™s Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity look like a school marm! Editors Andrew Blossom and Brian Castleberry, writer Dennis Danvers, and writer/editor Tom De Haven will be on hand to read from and sign copies of Richmond Noir, on sale before and after Detour, courtesy of Chop Suey Books.
â€œDark and Wicked Halloween Readingâ€
Sunday, October 24th, 6PM, Free
200 W. Marshall St.
Richmond, Virginia 23220
Phone: 804 644 0005
From the Gallery 5 website:Â This will be the spookiest reading of the season! Authors from the notorious Richmond Noir will team up with Beth Brown, author of Wicked Richmond, to bring you a delightfully eerie evening of true and fictional stories of the underbelly of Richmond! Keep in mind, this reading will happen at Gallery 5, once the location of Richmond’s gallows. Chilling!
If you haven’t already heard about Richmond Noir, check out their publisher’s page: http://www.akashicbooks.com/richmondnoir.htm
Wicked Richmond, which comes out later this month, is a great book of true stories of Richmond’s darker side. Whether it is tales of Civil War espionage, Spanish pirates captured off the Virginia coast and brought to justice in Richmond, rumrunners peddling illegal liquor during Prohibition, or the misadventures of upper-crust colonial families, Wicked Richmond captures the debauchery that runs through the city’s historic past. Check it out here:
Tom De Haven, Andrew Blossom, and I will be doing the honors for Richmond Noir.Â Hope to see you there.
Tomorrow I head for Orlando for my favorite convention, the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, held every spring at the Airport Marriott.Â It’s a scholarly conference that invites several of us writers to attend and generally lower the level of the discussion.Â The poolside conversations are a delightful blend of gossip and literary criticism.Â My reading is the very first time slot, so I can kick back and relax the rest of the time. Nalo Hopkinson is one of the guests of honor, and I’ve always liked her work.Â This year’s topic is Race and the Fantastic. I’ll let you know what we decide.
Â WRIR, 97.3 in Richmond, one of our favorite radio stations, was in attendance at Fountain Bookstore the other night for one of the Richmond Noir readings.Â Check it out:Â “Richmond Gets to Tell its Own Dark Story.”Â Don’t miss the audio clip, and be sure to wait for the end where I give it my best Texas for the first paragraph of “Texas Beach.”Â A big thanks to Kelly Justice of Fountain and Caroline Jackson of WRIR for their support of local writers.
I’ve always wanted to use the word extravaganza in a post, and this is the event for it.Â Richmond Noir Editors Tom De Haven, Brian Castleberry, and Andrew Blossom will all be there, and I’ll be reading, but wait, wait, there’s more.Â X.C. Atkins, Clay McLeod Chapman, David L. Robbins and Howard Owen will also be reading, but wait yet again, there’s even more. Musical Guests, The Scott Burton Trio, will be performing, and Ward from Chop Suey Books will be selling books, and people will be eating and drinking and generally having a great time, and then…Â Well I’m sure there’s more, but that’s up to you how you end the evening, but whatever else you do, come to New York Deli tomorrow night, March 4th, 8:30 pm.Â Later on, I understand, there karaoke for those who totally lose their minds.
Tomorrow at noon I hope to see everyone brave the cold for the first Richmond Noir event at the Library of Virginia, 800 E. Broad Street.Â There’s parking, or if you don’t want to drive, tons of buses stop right out front.Â I’ll be reading with Meagan Saunders, Laura Browder, and Dean King.Â Trust me, folks, this will be a varied and interesting reading.Â Editors Tom De Haven, Andrew Blossom, and Brian Castleberry will also be on hand to answer your many noir questions.Â See you there!