And how did I get such a fine mix of stories from such exceptional writers? Okay, here’s my secret. First, I picked the right people. Then I asked them to write any kind of story they wanted, just so it was set within the five boroughs of New York City. They did the rest. I cheated a wee bit—I’ve reprinted a wonderful and rarely seen story of SF Grand Master Robert Silverberg (“Hannibal’s Elephants,” in which extraterrestrials invade Central Park). And my own contribution, “Keller the Dogkiller,” has been published before, but I wanted to include one of the wistful assassin’s rare New York assignments.
Some of the writers have names you’ll recognize, and a shelf of books and awards to show for their efforts. Others are new to the game, with those awards very much in their future. I should emphasize that this is not a collection of crime stories, although many of them do fit comfortably beneath the genre’s broad canopy.
A bit of human interest: A distinguished actress and novelist, my great friend Elaine Kagan had never tried short fiction until I persuaded her to write me a story. She was justifiably delighted with her effort, and showed it to her daughter, Eve, who wrote a story of her own in response. Elaine sent it to me, and I read it, and while I’d thought the book was full up, I’d have had to be a fool not to take it. So Dark City Lights contains the first published short stories of a mother and daughter.
And I know how proud Elaine must feel. Oh? And how can I presume to know this? Well, have a look at “The Lady Upstairs,” the second published work of its author; her very first story, “Like It Never Happened,” appears in the current issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. Her name, coincidentally enough, is Jill D. Block.
Believe me, I know just how Elaine feels…
And in fact I’m uncommonly proud of the whole book. You may lock in a low price by pre-ordering either the trade paperback or the ebook from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. I have a feeling you’ll be happy with the book. It’s my tenth anthology, and I think I’m beginning to get the hang of it. I’m hoping for the chance to do it again.
As the poet has assured us, April is the coolest month. On April 30, a mere two days after Dark City Lights goes on sale, Subterranean Press will release their hardcover trade edition of The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons. You can pre-order the book now from Amazon or B&N.
While this is the book’s first hardcover trade edition, I self-published Spoons on Christmas Day in 2013, as an ebook and trade paperback… and in a deluxe signed-and-numbered leatherbound limited edition. I still have copies of the limited edition for sale at LB’s eBay Bookstore, and for the next week or two all orders will include a FREE copy of the trade paperback.
Sometime the first week in May I’ll be on Leonard Lopate’s radio program on WNYC, along with Brian Koppelman, S. J. Rozan, and Jonathan Santlofer, to let the world know about Dark City Lights. And on Thursday, May 7, I’ll be at the Mysterious Bookshop (58 Warren Street, New York NY 10007) with several of the book’s contributors, to sign copies. Barring a shipping delay at Subterranean Press—I think it’s done snowing for now, but I’ve been wrong before—I’ll be signing copies of their hardcover Spoons that evening as well. You can call Ian at (800) 352-2840 to order Dark City Lights or The Burglar Who Counted the Spoons—or, ideally, both.
Is that enough for now? I think it’s gonna have to be. As the governor of North Carolina probably never said to the governor of South Carolina, it’s been a long time between newsletters. And it’s also been the longest and deepest winter I can recall. It seems to be spring now. I’d say it might as well be.
PS: As always, please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might find it of interest. And, if you’ve received the newsletter in that fashion from a friend and would like your own subscription, that’s easily arranged; a blank email to email@example.com with Newsletter in the subject line will get the job done.
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