Saturday, March 27, 2010
Crime Factory #2
The new revamped Crime Factory has their second issue, and from the looks of it Keith Rawson, Cameron Ashely and Liam Jose are doing everything right with a solid mix of articles, interviews, fiction and reviews. The physical layout looks great, kind of a gritty retro look. But the biggest thing they're doing with this is not only putting out a PDF version, but also making an ebook version available for Kindle and all other ebook readers by going through Smashwords. I ran Hardluck Stories for five years, and I know how hard it is putting out a crime fiction webzine. There's an excitement every time you put out an issue that you're proud of, but it also wears on you over time knowing that only a few hundred people are ever going to read it, and I think more than anything that's what eventually kills all online crime fiction webzines. This is where I think Crime Factory now has a chance of bucking this trend---by making their issues available as ebooks for popular readers, they have a chance of greatly expanding this typical readership for crime fiction webzines. It's a smart move, and given the attractive look of the magazine, I think it's going to pay off.
I haven't read the complete issue yet, but what I've read is good stuff. This issue's got the first chapter for my upcoming book Killer (May, Serpent's Tail), and now for the good stuff that I've read: a really nicely done essay on William Greshem's Nightmare Alley by Jimmy Callaway that's making me want to track down this book, a good writer and friend Charlie Stella interviewing and being interviewed by Craig McDonald on their latest books, the Nerd of Noir's (Peter Dragovich) look at the films The Baader Meinhof Complex and Flame and Citron, and several short crime stories that I would've gladly put in Hardluck if I were still running it. My hat's off (if I wore one) to Rawson, Ashley and Jose for jumping into the fray like this and putting out such a quality product.