Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Stacking the Blochs

Charles Ardai, my absolute favorite editor, says of his latest Hard Case Crime release that “no one has published a classic 'double' edition like this in many, many years.” Begging your pardon, Charles, but my own very first novel, The Mozart Code, was published by another hard case – Mary Z. Wolf of Hard Shell Word Factory, who has a line of double paperbacks confusing to many readers because of their upside-down format.

That being said, this is certainly a classic – and classy – coupling: two terrific books by Robert Bloch which have been endangered species since their original publication in the 1950s. And both have those terrific Hard Case covers which scream “Pulp!” in a loud, sexy voice. (My favorite is Arthur Suydam's art for Shooting Star, but then I've always had this thing for women in panties and garter belts.)

Bloch, of course, is the genius who wrote Psycho, which Hitchcock liked so much that he hired Bloch to write many episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Stephen King, Peter Straub and Harlan Ellison still speak highly of Bloch, who died in 1994. Thanks to Hard Case for helping to keep his memory alive.

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