Monday 4 May 2015

Award Season

Last week, Stuart Neville filled me with pride and envy at the same time. Pictured below, you'll find our Stu amongst a murder of Edgar Award shortlisters. All scribes pictured have, of course, earned their place on that list. However, it'd be disingenuous to be less than gobsmacked by the presence of Stephen King in this picture. STEPHEN FECKIN' KING!

L-R: Ian Rankin, Stephen King, Karin Slaughter, Stuart Neville and Wiley Cash

As it turned out, King nabbed the prize for his novel, Mr Mercedes. I'm reading said novel right now. Whether or not I'll enjoy it as much as or more than Neville's The Final Silence remains to be seen. So far, it's pretty good, though. I've looked through the King novels listed at the start of Mr Mercedes. Of the 57 books in the list (includes those written under the Bachman pseudonym, the non-fiction books and the Dark Tower series), I've read 47. I read IT when I was 13 years old and have dipped in and out of his work since then. And enjoyed the vast majority of them. Hence my envy, Mr Neville!

Anyway, I got over that tinge of jealousy and remain proud of the fact that one of the writers that I know and respect has hit this level of recognition. You can consider this the official CSNI message of congratulations to one of the leading lights of the Northern Irish crime fiction scene.

Now, from Stuart Neville to Anthony Quinn.

Anthony Quinn at the launch of The Blood Dimmed Tide earlier this year

I learned today that Quinn has been long-listed for the 2015 Theakstons Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year. You can see the longlist in its entirety over at the Shotsmag Confidential blog. You'll notice that Lee Feckin' Child (along with other top class scribes with the affectionately given middle name of Feckin') is included on this list. However, Anthony Quinn is the only Northern Irish entrant. This makes me sad and happy at the same time. I'd like to see more names from the NI crime fiction set on the longlist, but I also like the fact that I don't have to split my cheerleading attention on this one.

So, here at CSNI, we (by which I mean me, myself and I) are urging you to vote for Anthony Quinn's Disappeared to make it onto that shortlist.

It's a big feckin' deal.

We (and this time I mean everybody reading this)  can't actually vote until the shortlist is announced, but we can show Anthony our support by making a lot of noise about his achievement. So, if you could share this blog post on social media, look for Anthony on Facebook and Twitter so you can congratulate him, or -- most importantly -- READ THE BOOK, that'd be pretty cool of you.

I read Disappeared a few years ago (I got my hands on the US version which was published long before the UK version) but, despite the fact I highly recommend it, I failed to find the time to write a review. Other people have reviewed it, though. Get Googling, people!


seana graham said...

What Stephen King has done to get a lot of kids who were borderline readers into the world of fiction probably can't be overestimated.

As for Mr. Quinn, I have an unread copy of Disappeared on my shelf, and you've decided me to take it along my trip east this week. Good luck to him.

Oh, and Stuart Neville is a class act on top of being a fine writer.

Gerard Brennan said...

I agree, Seana. He was my YA reading when the YA book wasn't a thing.

Delighted to know that I've influenced your holiday reading!

And yes, Stuart is.

seana graham said...

I can't believe that I forgot to mention that I was once Stephen King's bouncer. He rode across the country many years ago on his motorcycle in support of independent bookstores and ours was I think the end of the line. He had a public event that night, but first he went up into our offices and signed copies of his latest book, and I was assigned the role of standing in the archway and preventing people from going up and hassling him. I don't remember having much trouble, except there was one generally nice guy who really wanted to present him with an odd looking medicine stick that he had made for him. I feel like it had odd bits of fur and stuff like that on it. For better or worse, I did not let him give it to him.

Gerard Brennan said...

That's a great story.

Seems like it has all the ingredients King would need to pen a pretty cool short...

Keep an eye on all future collections, Seana!

seana graham said...

I shall. I actually admire him as a short story writer very much.

Gerard Brennan said...

Yeah, he has a lot of fun with his shorts, and for the most part, his shorter works have made his best movies (I'm including novellas in this generalisation).

I've only read 7 of his 11 collections, though! That's more than 50% of his titles that I've not gotten around to...


Gerard Brennan said...

Sorry, my math skills have gone to the dogs. I've missed 10 of his books. Of those, 4 are short story collections. That's less than 50%. D'oh.


seana graham said...

Whatever the math, you have read far more of Mr. King than I have. But maybe I'll see if I can pick up a shorts collection sometime soon.