September is shaping up to be a busy month for me, with three events that Pulp Curry readers might be interested in.
September 2nd to 4th is the inaugural Port Fairy Literary Weekend, which is being organised by the Wonderful Blarney Books and Art. The entire program, which looks great, can be viewed on-line here. I will be taking part in a panel titled ‘Dangerous Visions’ on the Saturday afternoon of the festivities. ABC journalist Matt Neal will be interviewing me about the book I co-edited with Iain McIntyre, Dangerous Visions and New Worlds: Radical Science Fiction, 1950-1985, along with Mykaela Saunders and Jack Latimore, two writers who are part of a new anthology of First Nations science fiction, This All Come Back Now. I have a copy of This All Come Back Now and am looking forward to reading it before the event.
I will also have the remaining stock of my science fiction book, as well as copies of the first two in the series, Girl Gangs, Biker Boys and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture 1950-1980 and Sticking it to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and popular Fiction 1950-1980, for sale at the festival. Tickets for the event can be purchased via the website here.… Read more
Posted in Australian crime fiction, Australian popular culture, Australian pulp fiction, Book cover design, British pulp fiction, Crime fiction, Dangerous Visions and New Worlds Radical Science Fiction 1950 to 1985, Fawcett Gold Medal Books, Girl Gangs, Biker Boys and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction & Youth Culture, 1950-1980, Horwitz Publications, James Hadley Chase, Pan Books, Pulp fiction, Pulp fiction in the 70s and 80s, Pulp fiction set in Asia, Pulp paperback cover art, Science fiction and fantasy, Scripts Publications, Sticking it the the Man Revolution and Counter Culture in Pulp and Popular Fiction 1950 1980, Vintage pulp paperback covers
Tagged Anthem Press, Australian Centre for Literary Cultures, Dangerous Visions and New Worlds Radical Science Fiction 1950 to 1985, Girl Gangs Biker Boys and Real Cool Cats: Pulp Fiction and Youth Culture 1950 to 1980, Horwitz Publications, Port Fairy Literary Weekend, Sticking it to the Man: Revolution and Counterculture in Pulp and Popular Fiction 1950-1980, This All Come Back Now
The domestic blowback of the Vietnam War. The sleaze and corruption of Watergate. The incipient rollback of the counterculture and many gains of the 1960s. Economic recession. The upheaval and uncertainty in the 1970s may have been tough on America’s collective psyche, but it resulted in some incredibly good crime cinema, particularly prior to Jaws in 1975, which helped to usher in the culture of the cinematic blockbuster.
And while I will happily admit to being a due paying member of the First-half-of-the-1970s-was-a-great-period-of-American-crime-cinema-fan-club, it does strike me that we tend to focus on the same handful of films from this period over and over. Yes, The French Connection and Shaft (1971), The Godfather (1972), The Friends of Eddie Coyle and The Long Goodbye (1973), and Chinatown (1974), are all masterful neo noirs that in some way enlarged the culture’s notion of what crime cinema could be.
But the wellspring of American neo noir on the screen in the first half of the decade runs very deep, and it pays major viewing dividends to explore it more widely. My latest piece for the US site CrimeReads looks at ten underappreciated neo noirs from the first half of the seventies that are worth your time. You can read the piece in full on the CrimeReads site via this link.… Read more
Posted in 1960s American crime films, 1970s American crime films, 1980s American crime films, Anthony Zerbe, Blaxsploitation, Cinema culture, Crime film, Heist films, John Frankenheimer, Neo Noir, Noir fiction, Paul Newman, Robert Stone, Stuart Rosenberg, Yaphet Kotto
Tagged 1970s American crime films, Busting (1974), Harry in Your Pocket (1973), Neo Noir, Report to the Commissioner (1975), Save the Tiger (1973), The Day of the Wolves (1971), The Laughing Policeman (1973), The Nickel Ride (1974), Top of the Heap (1972), Wanda (1970), WUSA (1970)
There are a few places remaining in the Writers Victoria online clinic that I am running for emerging crime writers in the second half of 2022, which starts next week.
If you’re keen to start a writing crime novel or short stories but you are unsure where to start, or if you are part-way through a manuscript and need help to finish or polish it, this online clinic will provide deadlines and support as you do so, pushing through blockages and problem passages. Participants will receive individualized feedback, including on structure, setting, pace, character and dialogue. This online course actively encourages sharing of your work with your cohort as well as with the tutor.
This is a completely safe space for you to submit drafts and have commented on by me, and/or to ask those burning questions you may have that you have never been able to get answered.
There is discount for members of Writers Victoria and other state writers organisations in Australia, but because the course is online you do not have to be in Melbourne – indeed, you don’t even have to be in Australia – to take part.
You can find all the information you need by going to this link at the Writers Victoria site here.… Read more
Want to talk about one of the strangest, if not the strangest American crime film to emerge in the first half of the 1970s? Then, let’s talk about Michael Ritchie’s neo-noir Prime Cut, as it turns fifty this year. It would be going too far to describe it as a neglected classic, but it is a fascinating film about a divided America that, as a result, finds obvious echoes today.
You can read my piece on Prime Cut in full at the CrimeReads site here.… Read more
Posted in 1970s American crime films, Crime film, Gene Hackman, Lee Marvin, Neo Noir
Tagged 1970s American crime film, Gene Hackman, Lee Marvin, Michael Ritchie, Neo Noir, Prime Cut (1972), Sissy Spacek
It already half-way through the year, and I thought a quick report on the highlights of my reading so far is in order. This is especially since I have a couple of big writing projects on the go and, as a result, will probably not have the time to do anything of the sort again before the end of the year.
So, let’s get to it.
The Sawdust House, David Whish-Wilson
Regular readers will have seen me talk before on this site about how much I rate David Whish-Wilson. I genuinely believe he is one of the most underrated crime writers working in Australia today and his latest does nothing to disabuse me of this view. The Sawdust House is Whish-Wilson’s second book to explore the lost Australian history of mid-19th century San Francisco. The Coves (2018) told the story of Australian criminals, many of them former convicts, who drifted to the San Francisco in the hopes of making a fortune amidst the gold rush gripping the west coast of the US at the time, and who assumed a major role in the lawless city’s criminal world. The Sawdust House focuses on the life of one of these men, Irish-born James ‘Yankee’ Sullivan, who has been arrested as part of the nativists attempt to root out and crush Australian criminal influence in San Francisco.… Read more
Posted in Book Reviews, Crime fiction, David Whish-Wilson, Derek Raymond, Georges Simenon, Laura Elizabeth Woolett, Neo Noir, Noir fiction, Ted Lewis
Tagged Beautiful Revolutionary, David Whish-Wilson, Derek Raymond, Georges Simenon, He Died with His Eyes Open, How the Dead Live, Laura Elizabeth Woollett, Once Upon a Time In Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Ted Lewis, The Love of a Bad Man, The Newcomer, The Sawdust House, The Snow Was Dirty, The Train, Velvet was the Night