Archive for the ‘Nonfiction’ Category

The Questions that Haunt Us

I remember the first time a piece of fiction left me haunted. It was one of the stories in William Hope Hodgson’s collection Carnacki the Ghost-Finder. I won’t say which story, so as not to spoil it for you, and you should read the entire, wonderful book. All the stories have as their protagonist Thomas […]

September Editorial

On July 11, we lost Tom Piccirilli, a brilliant writer who was also the first person to support The Big Click. His column was the high point of every issue in which it appeared, and it is nearly impossible to imagine contemporary noir fiction without him. Before turning to crime fiction, Pic was a well-known […]

Capsule Reviews

Rob Hart New Yorked (Polis Books, 2015). Ash McKenna is writer Rob Hart’s crime-wise “fixer”: a freelance troubleshooter for the underclass in modern day NYC. Waking from a bender, he finds a message from his semi-girlfriend, the razor beauty Chell, saying a stranger’s followed her and she needs help. As we and Ash listen, both […]

Why Crime Writers Must Learn to Sing

The subject of this column forces me to brag. This is hard, nay, painful, for me, because I am a man of impressive humility. Indeed, my literary genius is exceeded only by my modesty. But needs must… Though some might pretend otherwise, it’s safe to say that all authors like it when their books are […]

July Editorial

The American vision is Europe is that of the slightly run-down social democracy: cobblestones and good food, free healthcare and high taxes, underpowered cars and low crime. The European vision of America? Basically, what they see in movies. This time around, we have the dark truth about Europe in Axel Taiari’s “Fatima”—it’s a Paris you […]

Capsule Reviews

So you say you want to find out something about Scottish crime writing? Are you sure? Well, you know, there’s quite a lot of it about for a small, miserable country with a population of around 5 million sados wandering about in the dark for seven months of the year. With a rich history of […]

The Crime of Being Scottish

He was undoubtedly a man of original genius, but of coarse manners and low and offensive opinions.”—William Wordsworth, on James Hogg If you grow up working class in Scotland, you have a split personality. You speak in Scots, but you write in English. Almost everything you read in school is in English. The class in […]

May Editorial

The Big Click is my favorite literary magazine. I’ve loved writing my column here for two years now, so I was very happy to step in as guest editor for this issue, devoted to Scottish noir. Really, it was high time this issue happened, because, as I explain in my column for this one, the […]

Capsule Reviews

Tom Pitts, Hustle (Snubnose Press, 2014). In the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, Donny and Big Rich, two down-and-out street hustlers and career addicts, are tired of turning tricks for a meal and a fix. The singular focus of life is scoring, as the degradation of being straight sex-trade workers warps their minds, especially Donny. […]

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