Re: RARA-AVIS: Short stuff...

From: pabergin (
Date: 23 Mar 2000

Kevin, my old pal from the frozen north, writes:

>Neil asked:
>>How about this: essential hardboiled short stories?
>Hey, that's almost what I've been polling (well, trying to poll)
>folks on my site about! (I'm actually focussing on P.I. short
>stories). Alas, so far, the results have been pretty skimpy. However,
>if you guys wanna take a whack at it, by all means....
>One problem with short stories --if you think some of the old books
>are hard to find, wait'll you try finding some of the old pulp
>stories! A lot of them are almost non-existent at this point.

Kev, m'lad, you come very close to explaining why you're not getting the response to that poll that you wanted. There are just SO MANY great tec shorts (& even short shorts) that to answer some of the questions (best tec ss ever? c'mon!) require the respondent to (A) admit that he hasn't read nearly enough -- what I call the "Who am I to say? I'm new in town." syndrome -- or (B) stick with the safe, and easily found, options (Dead Yellow Women, Fly Paper, etc.) or (C) pick a few and try to let an arrogant swagger pass as wisdom.

A is cowardly. B is merely timid. C is bullshit..

You can start knife fights just by asking people to name the best tec NOVEL or SERIES OF NOVELS ever! Asking for the best ss strikes me as an attempt to recreate Bosnia closer to home. I got no problem with that, as long as you keep it close to YOUR home. We're about theme-parked out down here anyway. I'll take door A, Monty. I know when to keep my head down.

Kev's site is worth more than a casual look, by the way. Just watch out for that short story poll. That way lies ruin. PB

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