Re: RARA-AVIS: blown away

Mark Sullivan (
Thu, 30 Dec 1999 10:04:56 -0500 (EST)

Well Teri, I think Rara-Avis's taste is anything but narrow. Every one of the names you list has been discussed here. I think there's just a lot of agreement about the few authors that are the very best. I don't find it at all surprising that certain names have clumped or that most lists are drawn from a pool of 10-15. I think that would probably happen in any genre of popular culture, not just popular fiction -- afficionados would largely agree on a relatively small list of who the "big names" are. That doesn't mean most of us don't go far deeper into the genre and don't have major disagreements over authors who almost make the cut (for instance, Derek Raymond almost made my list, but some list members can't stand him), or fun trash that we consume regularly, but would never put on a "best of" list (see the recent discussion on men's adventure novels; although there are clearly numerous fans on the list, I doubt m/any would list them with Chandler or Hammett).

On another note, Elmore Leonard is an author I assiduously tracked down once I found him, which wasn't easy as it was during a period when most of his books were out of print, but luckily not too expensive yet. He, Charles Willeford, Crumley and the aforementioned Derek Raymond would have all been on my list had it been a top-ten, not five.


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