Dark and, at times, amusing fiction from award-winning author Dave Zeltserman

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Hard-boiled or Noir?


Hard-boiled or noir, or both? 

Given this definition of hard-boiled from Encyclopedia Britannica: Hard-boiled fiction, a tough, unsentimental style of American crime writing that brought a new tone of earthy realism or naturalism to the field of detective fiction. Hard-boiled fiction used graphic sex and violence, vivid but often sordid urban backgrounds, and fast-paced, slangy dialogue.

And this definition of noir fiction from Wikipedia: Noir fiction (or roman noir) is a subgenre of crime fiction. In this subgenre, right and wrong are not clearly defined, while the protagonists are seriously and often tragically flawed.

I'd say it fits squarely in both. But I'll let the reader decide.

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Looking for reviewers


I've some review copies to give out for my hardboiled noirish crime novella: formats Kindle, PDF, or EPUB. It's 16,000 words (an hour and a half reading time), and if you ask for it by sending me a message through this blog with your email and format I'm going to expect a short review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. If I don't get one, I'll be sending Lance after you! Trust me, you don't want Lance coming after you, which you'll know all about once you read the novella!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

A new hardboiled novella


Trey Barker, a good guy and a good writer, helped me out a lot when I was running my Hardluck Stories webzine, so when Trey asked if I'd write a novella for the Guns + Tacos series he edits with Michael Bracken, I wasn't going to turn him down. The inspiration for my entry was Paul Cain's Fast One, and it's ultra-hardboiled, action-packed, and fast-paced. I hope folks check it out.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Now 25 Tales!


The cover hasn't changed, and neither has the title, but I've updated the kindle version of 21 Tales, adding 4 recently written and previously unpublished stories. 20 of the 21 stories in the original publication were crime stories, these new stories are either sci-fi or speculative fiction and are in the Weird section. 

The new stories:

Baseball during the Hundred-Year Pandemic: introduces a solution for playing baseball games in empty ballparks during a longstanding pandemic.

Killing Time until the Next Eon: a vision of what might exist after the world ends.

The Nightly Show at the Zan Chinese Theatre: would you spend $25 grand on a ticket for an extraordinary, life-altering theatre experience? What if you knew one theatregoer dies during each show?

An Examination and Analysis of the Brain Sapper Problem: This story is a matter-of-fact examination of the brain sapper problem, until it becomes something entirely different.

To celebrate this edition, I've put 21 Tales on sale for $0.99 for the next two days, which makes the cost each story less than $0.04! What a bargain!!

Friday, April 30, 2021

A new collection of Julius Katz stories!

More Julius Katz and Archie continues with eight additional stories!

Julius Katz and the Case of Exploding Wine
Julius Katz and the Giftwrapped Murder
Archie on Loan
Cramer in Trouble
Julius Katz and the Terminated Agent
Archie for Hire
Julius Katz and the Belvedere Club
Like a Lightning Bolt

Paperback and kindle editions are available now!

Monday, December 21, 2020

Noir collection free for next two days


I've made UNLUCKY SEVEN free on Amazon for the net two day. Grab a copy now!

Sunday, December 6, 2020

From Unlucky Seven


In my story Something's Not Right, the following letter which my protagonist writer can't let go drives the story:

After your earlier letter I was expecting at the least a diverting read, and not the excruciatingly hackneyed and clich├ęd disaster that you sent me. Your inane plot plodded along at a pace that made me want to drive sharpened spikes through my eyes, your characters barely qualified as cardboard cutouts, and your dialog was what I’d expect from a failing eighth grade creative writing student. The only thing that kept me reading your ‘masterpiece’ to the bitter end was my fascination over how shockingly bad it is.

I know you must be disappointed that I cannot offer even a single word of encouragement, but I can offer advice. Please, for the love of God, never put pen to paper again unless it is to compose a suicide note. Even that, I’m afraid, would end up as an unreadable mess.

Best of luck in your future career as a busboy or other such endeavor which I’m sure you’ll be eminently qualified for.

I invite other writers to share their worst rejection letters.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

New noir collection!

I've put up as a kindle book on Amazon a 7-story noir collection. Stories in this collection:

Brother's Keeper (Edgar and Macavity nominee)
The Last Santa
Emma Sue (honorable mention in Best American Mystery Stories)
The Caretaker of Lorne Green
Some People Deserve to Die
A Guilty Conscience
Something's Not Right

The Last Santa and A Guilty Conscience are original stories for this collection.


Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Two new noir stories out!


I have two very different noir stories out now. A David Goodis-like story PAST DUE in the Sept/Oct issue of Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and a Cornell Woolrich-like story THE LONG ROAD in Coast to Coast Noir. So what's a David Goodis-like noir story? A story where the past catches up to the noir protagonist. How about a Cornell Woolrich-like noir? A missing memory, and the attempt to discover it leads to the noir journey. At least that's my take!

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Latest Noir Story

I have a new noir story in the current issue of Alfred Hitchcock. An excerpt has been posted.

Also, my Edgar and Macavity nominated story Brother's Keeper can be read here.