Search

Greg Bardsley

Category

Anthologies

‘REVOLTING’ — Publishers Weekly

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to have a story in the new, critically acclaimed anthology, Crime Factory: The First Shift, featuring fresh fiction by Ken Bruen, Dennis Tafoya, Charlie Stella, Dave Zeltserman, Craig McDonald, Leigh Redhead, Aidrian McKinty, Scott Wolven, Jedidiah AyresKieran Shea and many more.

Hailed by the Library Journal as “a beast of noir,” The First Shift is edited by maestros Cameron Ashley, Keith Rawson and Jimmy Callaway, and I am honored to have my new piece, Microprimus Volatitus, included even if Publishers Weekly calls the story “revolting.”

Warning: As this story features a horny, volatile primate the size of a canary that competes with an equally horny and volatile man, there *is* some ear penetration and hair soiling, and a variety of other unsavory activities, including but not limited to various incidents of blunt trauma, nostril abuse, tequila binging and intraspecial revenge. …. So, this story is not for everyone.

Our depraved litle baby is walking

It’s been a long time coming.

Been talking about this idea, working this idea, executing on this idea (slowly) for more than two years.

The idea? To publish a collection of fiction inspired by Dick Cheney.

Long story deceptively short, co-editors Kieran Shea and Jedidiah Ayres and I recruited 23 wonderfully sick writers and artists to help create something really kind of special: D*CKED: Dark Fiction Inspired by Dick Cheney [be sure to check out Shea’s behind-the-scene’s report on the making of our book].

I’m proud of our depraved little baby; it’s packed with great writing, creative storytelling and inspirational artistry.

Expect coverage from some major outlets in coming days and weeks, but for now I suggest you get yourself D*CKED.

She giveth and she taketh

Life can be that way, sometimes – as soon as it gives in one area, it takes in another.

It happened again these past seven days.

Last week, I received word of some really nice comments made by The Los Angeles Review of Books, which took kindly to my contribution to the anthology, By Hook or Crook: The Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year [Tyrus Books]. The review, which called the anthology “forward-thinking,” also praises pieces by Sandra Seamans, Bill Crider, Laura Lippman and Tom Piccirilli.

Then this week I was saddened to learn that one of the editors of the anthology, Martin H. Greenberg, has passed away after a sustained illness. I never met Greenberg, but all I had to do was look at his body of work to understand what kind of impact he had on the business.

I think Jedidiah Ayres over at Ransom Notes does the best job explaining why Greenberg will be missed so dearly.

Did “that” just happen?

I still can’t believe I am in this thing.

I mean, I’m right after a piece by Mickey Spillane and Max Allen Collins, and right before a story by Dana Cameron. And the name parade by no means ends there. This thing is packed with stories by legends like Dennis Lehane and Mary Higgins Clark. … And Laura Lippman. … And Tom Picirilli and Dave Zeltserman. …. And Luis Alberto Urrea – holy shit, what a story he tells in the 2009 Edgard Award winner, Amapola.

 Is this real? Do I really have a story in the same anthology as these writers?

 Hell yeah.  

 BY HOOK OR BY CROOK: THE BEST CRIME AND MYSTERY STORIES OF THE YEAR.

The book arrived a few months back, but it’s been crazy here at Bardsley Industries — bills to pay, revisions to write, speeches  to complete – and I never got the chance to note the moment, or even thank editors Ed Gorman and Martin H. Greenberg for including my story.

I’m grateful and humbled — and still thrilled.

P.S. – If you’re a collector, be sure to consider the leather-bound, limited-edition version of this book with every story signed by its author.

Cuckoo for Crazy Larry?

Not too long ago my story, Crazy Larry Smells Bacon, had quite the day.

First, in the morning, I received the news that Crazy Larry, which originally appeared in the transgressive-fiction journal Plots with Guns, had been selected to appear in the anthology, By Hook or by Crook: The Best Crime and Mystery Stories of the Year: 2009 [Tyrus Books], edited by Ed Gorman and Martin Greenberg.

Then, that night, I learned that judges for the storySouth 2010 Million Writers Award had named Crazy Larry a “notable story” of the year (along with pieces by many others, most notably Kieran Shea, Kyle Minor and Mike MacLean), and that it’s still elligible for higher praise, however unlikely.

For all the love Larry is now receiving, I can thank PWG editor Anthony Neil Smith. Neil’s push-backs on the piece, and his suggestions for spry ol’ Larry, really made a difference. … I’m also glad to tell you that Larry has a solid role in the novel I have been writing; it’s a relief to see that Larry actually ineterests more people than just Neil and me.  

Not that there would’ve been anything wrong with that.

Five questions at Scrivo

richardsonMark Richardson and I have been comparing notes on fiction-writing for years now. We have had some great talks about it all. Whereas, he’s more likely to tell me about the latest story by nearby peninsula genius Tobias Wolff, I’m more likely to tell him about some amazing stories I’ve read in Plots with Guns or the now-defunct Murdaland.

He reads fiction in The New Yoker. I read fiction in Thuglit. And then we trade.

A few years ago, we had a debate about Eat, Pray, Love.

Along the way, he’s turned me on to some great shit in his publications. And I’m happy to report that maybe I’ve turned him on to noir and transgressive fiction. Case in point, Richardson is now weighing in on UNCAGE ME, the anthology of noir that includes my story, Hotshot 52, and has asked me to answer five questions over at his new blog, Scrivo.

Mark is a great writer with an amazing track record in fiction — every story he’s written has been picked up so far. And Scrivo already has made some interesting observations about  the pursuit of fiction-writing.

You can chek out his bog and his five questions of me right here.

I do like your face

It’s funny how things turn out.

When I wrote Hotshot 52, which appears in the new crime anthology, UNCAGE ME [Bleak House Books], I wanted to try something different. I decided to focus not on my usual fare — you know, obese goofballs who upper deck into people’s toilets, or paroled Raiders fans who lounge in kiddie pools all day — but instead on the troubled mind of a Silicon Valley cubicle dweller, drilling in on the inner psychology of his need to transgress, examining the emotional makeup of  a man who hungers to do wrong.

I also kept going back to a certain conversation opener I always thought would be a  great way to start a story — “I don’t like your face.”

I was inspired.

I wrote Hotshot 52.

I sent the piece out.

It got rejected.

Then I read an interview featuring editor Jen Jordan, who was compiling a collection of crime shorts for a new anthology to be published by Bleak House. Looked her up and sent her the piece. Waited a real long time. Then maybe six months later, I learned Hotshot 52 had made it.

That felt great.

But here’s what fascinates me …

Some people like Hotshot 52, like it enough to put it in a book that’s sold in bookstores and on Amazon. Others, however, rejected it — didn’t want it for their ‘zines and journals.

All those reactions were true and fair. I have no beef with any of them. There never was a wrong way to react to the piece. What gets me is the diversity of reaction the story has illicited. What is one reader’s plum is another’s pus bomb.

Hotshot 52 is just one of 22 stories in UNCAGE ME. So far, each story I’ve read has captured me, compellled me, has taken me someplace I never expected. And I think that’s pretty frickin’ cool. As the legendary John Connolly writes in his introduction to the book, “There may be stories in this collection that you find difficult to like, or of which you may actively disapprove. There will be stories that may remind you of your own past acts, and stories dealing with acts that you believe you could never commit. Yet each of them touches upon the basic human urge to transgress, and in this you will find a certain sense of commonality, however uncomfortable it may be.”

UNCAGE ME  has been uncaged. It’s finally out there, and I’m thrilled to be included.

Now let’s go transgress.

UncageMe hardcover_BleakHouse

Sex, thugs and me

Last Friday I took the family to the local bookstore for a triumphant little moment.51hq6hm6vql__ss500_1

I was coming to pick up my copy of Sex, Thugs and Rock & Roll, the new Thuglit anthology that includes my story, “Big Load of Trouble,” alongside those by Changa buddies Anthony Neil Smith, Jed Ayres, Jordan Harper and Patti Abbott. It also includes pieces by some very admired crime authors — Scott Wolven, Joe R. Lansdale, Marcus Sakey and Jason Starr, to name a few.

Of course, I could have ordered my copy via Amazon, and you surely can HERE. But I wanted the experience of seeing it in a bookstore, buying it in a bookstore, fanning through the pages to find my story — in a bookstore.

And I have to say, I felt pretty damn good. I felt like an average Joe getting called up to the majors for a weekend, and having a blast the entire time.

Then, when I started reading the pieces in this anthology, I got an entirely new rush. This, my friends, is a tight collection of compelling storytelling. Case in point: I re-read “Politoburg” by Ayres and was blown away all over again, and was reminded how my first reading of that piece in Thuglit in 2007 led me to praise it on this blog, which is how I got to know the guy.

I’m not the only one impressed by this anthology. One of the stories was nominated for a prestigious Edgar award, and Publisher’s Weekly recently weighed in with this review.

Robinson’s second anthology derived from the online magazine Thuglit is an improvement over 2008’s Hardcore Hardboiled. Jason Starr gets things off on the right foot with “Double Down,” a short but punchy contemporary PI tale, with an unapologetically amoral main character largely indifferent to the consequences of his greed. Joe R. Lansdale offers perhaps the strongest entry with “Bullets and Fire,” in which the narrator gets accepted into a hardcore urban gang by punching out a little girl, for reasons that only become apparent in the denouement. An ex-con’s despair over his estranged grown daughter drives Marcus Sakey’s “The Days When You Were Anything Else,” which ends with a twist that’s no less powerful for being predictable. While not every selection is top-notch, this volume also showcases a number of lesser-known authors who will undoubtedly be heard from more in the future. Sarah Weinman’s introduction extols the virtues of online publication. (June) — Publisher’s Weekly

So …. maybe you’d like to have a little Sex, Thugs and Rock & Roll in your life.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑