Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Implosion at Ramble House

I am Fender Tucker and it feels like my world is imploding.

I publish books in a small way and thanks to it I’ve met some very interesting people. In the past three years I’ve met Bill Pronzini, Richard A. Lupoff, Ed Hoch, Cedric and Jan Clute, Francis M. Nevins and through them have heard about Michael Kurland and John Lutz. Yesterday in the mail I received a small package from Cedric Clute containing the January 1976 issue of Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine.

I met Bill Pronzini because his article on Harry Stephen Keeler in Son of Gun in Cheek introduced me to Keeler, whom I now publish. I’ll be publishing a collection of short fiction by Bill later this year. At a visit to his house Bill introduced me to Dick Lupoff, and last year Ramble House published three books by him and will soon release THE TRIUNE MAN, a 1976 SF novel about multiple personality. When it came out, John Lutz and Dick had an extended correspondence about it because the plot was so similar to a story that Lutz had written. It was a case of independent inspiration. Dick is working on a book with Michael Kurland. Pronzini and Lutz co-wrote a book called THE EYE in 1984.

Cedric and Jan Clute I met because of the Keeler books and the fact that I was intrigued by the name of the town where they live, Volcano.

I met Ed Hoch at the 2002 BoucherCon in Austin TX where he and Francis M. Nevins and I paneled a discussion on the History of Mysteries. Ed and Mike were the experts. I was just along for the grand ride.

This morning I read the first story in the AHMM called “Vanishing Act” by Bill Pronzini and Michael Kurland. It takes place in The Magic Cellar, a night club in San Francisco catering to magicians, and some main characters in it are Jan and Cedric Clute, who run the club, and Inspector Lupoff of the SFPD. The second story in the magazine is “The Basilisk Hunt” by Ed Hoch (not much of a coincidence since Ed has a story in every issue) and the sixth is “Wonder World” by John Lutz.

I have yet to read the Hoch and Lutz stories and I’m a little worried what I’ll find when I do. What sort of a labyrinthine mess have I gotten myself into?

Ed Hoch died last week and I sincerely regret that he will not be complicating my life — as he has millions of others’ — as much as he has in the past.


Bill Crider said...

Check out Steve Hockensmith's movie column, and you'll find a little something by yours truly.

Graham Powell said...

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Lutz story was "The Real Shape of the Coast".