I've seen a bunch of stuff on the blogs lately but can't even decide if I want to repost them or link to them. Of course the sad passing of Robert B. Parker, at his desk no less. Then the story of Harlequin re-releasing several of their pulp crime novels. Yes, the kings of romance used to do crime in the 50s. Now I see the pitfalls of waiting and I can't find the original article I read on this but it was great because it ran down in detail the ways that Harlequin had bowdlerized the books to make them less "offensive" to today's readers. What the...? Much of what they changed was for racial sensitive reasons and some, quite a lot it seems, was to excise bits of violence towards women. While it is hard to defend slapping punching or near-raping a woman even in print these actions are plot devices and character moments that, when changed or cut out, alter the work that was, for a brief moment, deemed re-release worthy. Seems odd to me. I guess I'm not really shocked and it's their imprint so they can do what they want. I'm glad I heard about it because the chance to pick up a good old fashioned pulp novel I usually jump at but I know now to avoid these watered down versions. I'm in the midst of another Victor Gischler book. Nothing is shocking anymore.
A less detailed rundown of Harlequin's plans can be seen Here and Here.
Also, since I'm on a roll with what seems like an actual blog spot now, I just finished my first SJ Rozan book, Stone Quarry. I found it at the last Mystery Bookstore blowout sale. I picked it up and knew I was going to buy it because of the discount by then discovered it was signed too. Not bad. What a damn fine writer. I wrote to her a note that said:
"You have a way of constructing sentences that read as if there was only one way they could have possibly gone together, and you captured it. I am humbled and a little jealous."
She was nice enough to write a note back which was sweet. I don't normally read series but I might have to check out more of her stuff.
My TBR pile is getting only marginally smaller and I have a large wish list started already. Must...read...more...