Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ed Hoch and The New Black Mask

As everyone in the mystery community must know by now, Edward D. Hoch recently passed away at the age of 77.

I didn't know Ed very well, but I recently reread some of his work as a result of my blogging about the New Black Mask for The Rap Sheet. Ed had stories in NBM#4 and NBM#8. Given his record of 35 straight years of publishing a story in every issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, it's appropriate that he tied the record for most contributions to the short-lived NBM with two.

One of the few times I met Ed was at the Denver Bouchercon. I took the opportunity to have him sign my copy of NBM#4.


It's an honor to be labeled a "fellow Black Mask writer" by him.

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Full Set of New Black Masks

I've been blogging about The New Black Mask, the revival of the famous Black Mask pulp magazine over at The Rap Sheet.

I finished the final post last week. You can read about all eight issues by following these links:

I
II
III
IV
V
VI
VII
VIII

Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Stanford Connection

The Stanford Alumni Magazine just ran a nice piece about me and my latest novel, Runoff. You can see it here.

If you do check it out, you'll read about a number of connections between me, my writing and Stanford University, including the fact that I set a scene from Runoff at Stanford--in the Gates Computer Science Building to be specific. I have a little fun with the description of the building when my private eye protagonist August Riordan goes to visit a Professor Ballou there:
Professor Ballou’s office was—appropriately enough—in a building named after Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The outside of the building was a nice blend of modern design and the California Mission-inspired architecture that dominated the campus, but going down a hallway past dozens of minuscule offices with frosted glass doors, I was reminded of the documentary I saw on Japanese capsule hotels. You would have thought Gates could have sprung for an extra floor in his building to give everyone a little more elbow room.

In real life, I interviewed a Stanford Computer Science professor to better understand the election integrity issues associated with electronic voting. His name is David Dill. Given that we are in the midst of presidential primary season and have the November, 2008 presidential election looming, you may want to check out the article he recently wrote about the dangers of relying on computers to tally votes. The money quote is right up front:
The role of computers in voting should be limited, because computers are fundamentally limited machines.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Another Helping of Maltese, Please

If you can stand it, here's yet another video of some talking heads gabbing about The Maltese Falcon. This time it's me and Hailey Lind being interviewed on Pleasanton's local book show, In a Word. The hosts are Jim Ott and Kathy Cordova.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Fisherman's Club


Fisherman's Club
Originally uploaded by macoggins
The Fisherman's Club in Buenos Aires is sort of like the Cliff House in San Francisco.