From: Bill Crider I just finished China Mieville's KING RAT,
which isn't exactly a crime novel, but then it isn't exactly
not a crime novel, either.
--While Bill is reading good new speculative fiction (and
Bill Denton good old SF, Fredric Brown's WHAT MAD UNIVERSE),
I've been delving into a couple of 55yo magazines, issues of
PLANET STORIES and ASTOUNDING SCIENCE FICTION, and thus
coming across Leigh Brackett's past mastery of intelligent
space opera (the first Eric John Stark story I've read--hb,
but definitely not in the lean prose Hammett pioneered and
Brackett could also write), problem stories by WV Athanas and
Raymond F. Jones (the sf equivalent of pure-detection
mysteries), Stanley Mullen's childish idea of tough-guy
action (I wonder if, along with his trailing-off SF career in
the '50s, if he ever attempted to join the throng of CF
Spillane-imitators in that decade or later), among other
items of tangential importance.
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