Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Leviathan Five" (1964).

In Kraft Suspense Theatre's "Leviathan Five" (1964), scientists face a desperate choice when they are unable to escape from their underground facility. Featuring Andrew Duggan, Arthur Kennedy, Frank Maxwell, Frank Overton, Harold Stone, and Robert Webber, the episode was scripted by Berne Giler, David Giler, and The Big Heat's William McGivern.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nominating mystery authors for halls of fame.

Consider nominating distinguished mystery authors for halls of fame that exist throughout the country. Quite often, genre writers are overlooked for these honors or are nominated for some other achievement (e.g., Celestine Sibley was inducted into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame for her journalism rather than her mysteries; Mildred Wirt Benson is a member of the U Iowa School of Journalism Hall of Fame for her reporting credentials, although her Nancy Drew novels are mentioned).

To be considered for nomination, writers usually need some connection to the particular state (e.g., birth or a minimum term of residence) and a body of work.

Anna Katharine Green.
Links to halls of fame appear below. I have nominated police procedural pioneer Ed McBain/Evan Hunter and important early mystery author Anna Katharine Green for the New York State Writers Hall of Fame and, for New Jersey's hall of fame, Ho-ho-kus's Metta Fuller Victor (author of The Dead Letter [1866], the first American detective novel).

State Halls of Fame Devoted to Writers

East Tennessee. It appears the next nominations process will open in June 2013.

Georgia. Current nominees include Mignon Ballard and Virginia Lanier.

Minnesota. Nominated writers must have links to Minnesota, either through birth or residence in the state while producing a body of work. A good candidate for nomination would be Haycraft-Queen lister Mabel Seeley.

Missouri. 2012 Quill Award inductee is Ridley Pearson.


New York. In addition to my nominations of Hunter and Green (mentioned above), another appropriate nominee would be Brewster's Rex Stout—something that the Wolfe Pack should back.

North Carolina. Elizabeth Daniels Squire was inducted in 2006 and Manly Wade Wellman in 1996.

Oklahoma. Jean Hager was inducted in 1992, Carolyn Hart in 1993, and William Bernhardt in 1997.

South Carolina. Does not appear to have a nominations process open to the public. Mickey Spillane was inducted in 2012.

Texas. Established by the Friends of the Fort Worth Public Library to recognize authors who have contributed to the literary heritage of Texas. Bill Crider was inducted in 2010.

Wisconsin Writers Wall of Fame. Sponsored by the Friends of the Milwaukee Public Library. August Derleth was inducted in 1997.

Alabama Men's Hall of Fame.

Alabama Women's Hall of Fame.

Alaska Women's Hall of Fame. Deadline for nominations: November 1, 2012.

Arizona Women's Hall of Fame.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Evan Hunter on Hitchcock this week on
BBC Radio 4 Extra.

Evan Hunter, NYPL.
This week, BBC Radio 4 features Me and Hitch, the memoir by Evan Hunter (aka Ed McBain) on his sometimes fraught working relationship with Alfred Hitchcock on projects such as The Birds and Marnie. Episodes usually may be heard online for up to week after broadcast.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fri Forgotten Bks: Murder of the Man Next Door by Peter Malloch (1966).

He settled down with his newspaper unaware that life was ebbing away in the silent darkness, so close at hand.
—Peter Malloch, Murder of the Man Next Door 53
Philandering salesman Henry Clayter has been shot dead at his door, and there is no shortage of suspects for Inspector Donald Grant. Was it Clayter's long-suffering wife, who had just informed him that she was leaving him? Was it a local tough, angry at Clayter's attempt to pick up his girlfriend? Was it a colleague obsessing over Clayter's past relationship with his wife? Or was it someone else?

Malloch's brisk, workmanlike prose provides deft portraits of people who are leading lives of quiet desperation in a seemingly sleepy British neighborhood.

Malloch was just one pseudonym of Glaswegian author (and former Canadian resident) William Murdoch Duncan (1909–75). He published more than 200 novels and more than 20 novellas/short stories over the course of his career, beginning with Doctor Deals with Murder (1944); an Evening Times article of August 6, 1970, stated that he could produce a thriller in a fortnight. His series characters include Inspector (later Superintendent) Flagg, Sugar Kane (pause for groan at pun), Solo Malcolm, and Mr. Sandyman.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate (1971).

Based on the 1970 book by Doris Miles Disney, Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate features Helen Hayes, Myrna Loy, Mildred Natwick, and Sylvia Sidney as elderly women who create an alluring, fictitious dating profile as a joke and reap sinister results. Prescient in terms of today's concerns with online safety, it was the precursor to the Snoop Sisters TV series.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Faulkner tries to obtain his royalties.

William Faulkner.
Library of Congress,
Prints & Photographs Div
As Dale Stinchcomb of Harvard's Houghton Library describes, William Faulkner in 1926 tried to extract royalties due to him from Four Seas, which had published a collection of his poetry. The amount—$81—may seem paltry to modern sensibilities, but it translates to approximately $1000 in today's dollars.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Photographer-director Gordon Parks at 100.

Gordon Parks's
autobiography, available
from MN Hist Soc P
NYC's Howard Greenberg Gallery marks the upcoming centenary of the birth of photographer and Shaft director Gordon Parks with two exhibitions opening today:

•  "Gordon Parks, Ralph Ellison, and 'Invisible Man,'" which runs through October 27. It includes Parks's photographs published in Life at the time of the publication of Ellison's Invisible Man.

• "Gordon Parks: Centennial," which also runs through October 27, features Parks's work over 50 years, including a famous civil rights portrait that invokes Grant Wood's "American Gothic."

Other Parks exhibitions:
• "Gordon Parks: 100 Moments." Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, NYPL. Through December 1.

• "Gordon Parks: Crossroads." Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. Through September 25.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The long-suffering bookseller.

Today Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores by Jen Campbell goes on sale on U.S. shores. Campbell, who worked in Ripping Yards and Edinburgh Books, began collecting deathless patron queries heard on the job; her experiences confirm that booksellers have endured much. One sample:
Customer: I read a book in the eighties. I don't remember the author, or the title. But it was green, and it made me laugh. Do you know which one I mean?
Here is a BBC Open Book piece on the book.

Campbell is now writing a sequel and invites submissions from booksellers and librarians.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vincent Price in Rinehart's The Bat (1959).

Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead star in the third film of the 1920 play by Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood. Moorehead is a mystery writer hosting an array of guests searching for hidden money, as the notorious killer The Bat threatens the residents.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

UCLA showcases the career of Rod Serling.

The UCLA Film and Television Archive continues its look at the career of Rod Serling—with special attention to his work outside of Twilight Zone and Night Gallery—through September 19. Coming up are his celebrated Requiem for a Heavyweight (and "The Man in the Funny Suit," which focuses on the making of Requiem) as well as Planet of the Apes; lesser known is The Yellow Canary (1963), in which Pat Boone plays a musician whose son is kidnapped. In addition, the archive showed Let Us Continue, a U.S. Information Agency short film written by Serling in the wake of the JFK assassination that profiled President Lyndon Johnson and his public policy interests. Also on view was the 1969 pilot for "The New People" (which bears a resemblance to Lost) written by Serling and starring Richard Kiley.

Update. Television Obscurities discusses an alternative version of The New People pilot.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

"The Squeeze" (1953), with Dick Powell.

"The Squeeze" (1953), an episode of Four Star Playhouse, features Dick Powell as a safecracker turned club owner who discovers that his former criminal cohorts want him dead. Directed by a pre-Kiss Me Deadly Robert Aldrich and written by Blake Edwards, it also stars Richard Jaeckel, Regis Toomey, and Herb Vigran.

Monday, September 03, 2012

100 years of Syd Hoff.

There are a few ways to mark tomorrow's centenary of the late author-illustrator Syd Hoff (Danny and the Dinosaur, etc.):

• The exhibition "Syd Hoff: Finding Home" is on display at the Miami Beach Regional Library until October 1. Its curator, Dina Weinstein, wrote the article  "Are Syd Hoff's Books Jewish?".

• Hoff's niece, Carol Edmonston, has been working on an enhanced Web site featuring his life and work. It includes his children's books, advertising, cartoons, murals, and radical works under the pseudonym A. Redfield. Hoff also published short stories in periodicals such as Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine, and Charlie Chan Mystery Magazine.

• Cartoonist Mike Lynch highlights on his blog a rather wonderful book, Collier Collects Its Wits (1941), which features self-portraits by cartoonists such as Hoff ("a citizen of the Bronx [since] 1912") and Charles Addams.