Re: RARA-AVIS: Mr. Lynds, Mr. Lynds...

From: Dennis Lynds (
Date: 29 May 2005

> First Slot-Machine, then Dan. What is it with you and one-winged eyes?
> As a gimp myself, I'm curious....

    There is really only one one-armed detective. Kelly simply evolved into Fortune, inevitable considering who I am and what I wanted to do with my writing. Where the one-armed character came from in the first place I've explained many times. It's all laid out in the SLOT-MACHINE KELLY collection from Crippen and Landru, and I don't want to spoil that book for you!!
> The Playboy Press paperback editions of the Dan Fortune books featured
> some very attractive women in some pretty beat up positions.
> Considering the fuss even just the cover of Stansberry's THE CONFESSION
> received from some members of SinC, I was wondering: Were you the first
> male member to rise from the ranks of Sisters-in-Crime, and did they
> see those covers before they let you in?

    Hey, I loved those covers, and always wondered how they were going to handle the one book that doesn't have ANY dead woman in it. They did it neatly, by putting a dead man on that cover---and then doing another with a dead man so they could deny they were exploiting women.
    I never heard any complaints from Sisters in Crime, or women in general, since I'm not sure SinC existed at that time. There are usually a lot more dead men in any hardboiled novel. And, let's face it, sexual conflict has always been a prime motive for murder by both sexes.
> I was a charter member of SinC, one of the few men who were, until,
frankly, I realized I was cutting my own throat. SinC has not been good for male authors.

> I think one of the reasons you're a mystery to younger readers is that
> your later books are not widely available in paperback. And you persist
> in writing intelligent books that demand your readers meet you at least
> halfway and accept the currently unfashionable theory that everything
> is not black and white.

    Only the last four were not in paperback, but I suppose the four BIG paperbacks from Worldwide and Leisure were not as widely distributed as my earlier books. The last four are still not published in paper, mass or trade. Maybe PointBlank will correct this and get me out there more.

> John Shannon, a writer who shares many of your political sensibilities,
> is currently in much the same position as you. Are publishers perhaps
> shying away from any fiction with a political edge that isn't
> dumbed-down enough to be pigeon-holed?

    I'll have to read Shannon, and thanks for letting me know about him. (I have a feeling you and maybe others hjave mentioned him to me before.) As for publishers and fiction with a political, social, or philosphical edge, I think they avoid it or dumb it down as much as they can. From their point of view even one offended potential reader is to be avoided, and they will allow it through only when the book is so good in every other way they have to let it past. In general I they seem to prefer mildly right wing politics, particularly nationalistic American, but even then, dumbing down is the goal. They are after a happy medium, that is somewhere between the so-called liberal elite who read for understanding of the human condition, and those who never read at all.
They are after the mass of all those who CAN read, not just those who do read.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 May 2005 EDT