Jed Ayres was right a few weeks ago when he noted that we were entering Anthony Neil Smith (ANS) season. Hell, the author of Hogdoggin’ is all over the place. Several weeks into ANS season, we’ve already had a virtual bike rally for his new novel as well as the far-reaching Hogdoggin’ Monday. Since then, he’s been all over the place – in the virtual, and the flesh. There have been Noir at the Bar events, book signings and interviews galore.

To mention but a few. … Hardboiled Wonderland gets deep into ANS’s skull and doesn’t leave, in an interview here. In the U.K., Pulp Pusher hands the mic over to ANS and Victor Gischler for a quickie here. And at Frank Bill’s House of Grit, ANS drops in here.

So, with all the work ANS is doing these days, you might be surprised to learn that he also put out another edition of Plots with Guns – this one a special edition Plots with (Ray) Guns, with each story set in the year 2509. The first two stories I have read so far – “Koko Takes a Holiday,” by Kieran Shea, and “Ill Nature,” by Kyle Minor – knocked my socks off, each leaving a mark in my mind that I have yet to shake off. Shea also has an equally strong piece in Pulp Pusher right now, so if you’re in the mood for a jolt, check it out here.

Speaking of The Pusher, some more news in that arena in a few weeks.

KIERAN SHEA UPDATE: Adding to the growing evidence that he and ANS secretly plan to take over the world, I’ve now learned that our man Kieran also has a piece coming out in Ellery Queen. Who’s the third party in this Axis of Noir?