RARA-AVIS: Admin: list now five years old!

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 10 Jan 2002

On Monday RARA-AVIS celebrated its fifth birthday. I announced it on 7 January 1997, which seems like quite a long time ago. Mr. Duggan (who suggested the name) and Mr. Borgers were two of the first three people to join; the third isn't here any more. Some people have come and gone (a few loudly), but most stay, and we've got 338 people on the list now, 154 on the regular version and 184 on the digest. I see subscribers from Canada, the USA, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Iceland, France, Australia, Austria, Sweden, Finland and Cuba, and there are probably other countries behind generic .com addresses. All here to talk about hardboiled and noir writing, on a list that, thanks to you, is noted for being interesting, friendly, and focused.

The archives of the entire life of the list, except for two or three weeks lost due to a disk crash, are up on the web site, and I think they must form one of the biggest collections anywhere of talk about this kind of writing. If it's hardboiled or noir, and you look for it on the Internet, some of the top hits are bound to be in our archives.

The last year has been a good one for the list, what with people meeting at conventions like Bloody Words here in Toronto and the last Bouchercon in Washington, and the guest thememasters who've wrangled month-long looks at American cities and now Latino hardboiled and noir writing. We've even had guest writers (Jeremiah Healey, Benjamin Schutz, and now Jose Latour), and Jason Starr got his publisher to give us ten free copies of his new book. I hope 2002, and the next five years of the list, will show just as much growth and activity.

Three favourite quotes from Caspar Gutman:

  "I distrust a close-mouthed man. He generally picks the wrong time to
  talk and says the wrong things. Talking's something you can't do
  judiciously, unless you keep in practice. Now, sir, we'll talk if you
  like. I'll tell you right out, I'm a man who likes talking to a man who
  likes to talk."

  "By Gad, sir, you are a character. There's never any telling what you'll
  say or do next, except that it's bound to be something astonishing!"

  "And to you, Miss O'Shaughnessy, adieu. I leave you the rara avis on the
  table as a little memento."

Happy birthday,


P.S. I'll still be after you about trimming quoted text and staying on topic, don't worry.

William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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