Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

On Mammoths And Woolly Thinking

I was thinking of writing a post full of mock-bluster and bravado about the inclusion of a story of mine in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST BRITISH CRIME 8 (ed. Maxim Jakubowski), claiming that, all things considered (other than the fact that I’m not actually British, unless you’re talking about how the UK and Ireland together make up the British Isles), I’m perfectly entitled to consider myself on a par with very fine writers like Ian Rankin, Colin Bateman, Kate Atkinson, Simon Kernick, Louise Welsh, Andrew Taylor, et al.
  I’m not, of course. I’m long way off par with those writers, and many others in the compilation, and all false modesty aside, I’m not entitled to delude myself that I am either.
  That said, it’s a massive shot in the arm. Not a shot of confidence, but the far more dangerous speedball-style blend of hope and conviction. Because the story wasn’t written as a conventional crime story, and remains, to me at least, something of an oddity - and right now, I have a novel out on spec that wasn’t written as a conventional crime novel, and is something of an oddity. And not only that, but I’m currently in the early stages of rewriting a novel that wasn’t written as a crime novel, which looks as if it too will become - my best intentions of lashing it into genre straitjacket notwithstanding - something a little off-kilter.
  And while it’s a massive leap of faith to believe that the publication of one story will necessarily lead to the publication of a novel, or novels, the inclusion of my story in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST BRITISH CRIME 8 offers just enough hope to give me the courage of my convictions.
  They do say, of course, that it’s the hope that kills you in the end …
  Anyway, I’m off back to the writing. In the meantime, here’s the full rundown on THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF BEST BRITISH CRIME 8 - and congrats, by the way, to fellow Irish Brits Gerard Brennan and The Artist Formerly Known as Colin Bateman on their inclusion:
The must-have annual anthology for every crime fiction fan – the year’s top new British short stories selected by leading crime critic Maxim Jakubowski. This great annual covers the full range of mystery fiction, from noir and hardboiled crime to ingenious puzzles and amateur sleuthing. Packed with top names such as: Ian Rankin (including a new Rebus), Alexander McCall Smith, David Hewson, Christopher Brookmyre, Simon Kernick, A.L. Kennedy, Louise Walsh, Kate Atkinson, Colin Bateman, Stuart McBride and Andrew Taylor. The full list of contributors is as follows: Sheila Quigley, Nigel Bird, Jay Stringer, Paul D. Brazill, Adrian Magson, Colin Bateman, Gerard Brennan, Matthew J. Elliott, Andrew Taylor, Lin Anderson, Christopher Brookmyre, Ray Banks, Declan Burke, Liza Cody, Simon Kernick, Stuart MacBride, Allan Guthrie, Ian Rankin (two stories, including a new Rebus), Nick Quantrill, Edward Marston, Nicholas Royle, Zoe Sharp, Robert Barnard, Simon Brett, Peter Lovesey, A.L. Kennedy, Roz Southey, Phil Lovesey, David Hewson, Amy Myers, Marilyn Todd, Peter Turnbull, Keith McCarthy, Alexander McCall Smith, Stephen Booth, Denise Mina, Mick Herron, Kate Atkinson and Louise Welsh.


Alan Griffiths said...

Hey, many congrats Dec.

Maxim's anthologies are always top notch and it's great to see you included along with all the other top writers.

The cover artwork looks super as well - really looking forward to this one.

Kind regards.

Dana King said...

Congratulations. Seconding Alan's comment, Maxim's anthologies are always first rate. No one sneaks into them; everyone earns their spot. Try to remember, you wrote THE BIG O, not THE BIG ZERO. Chops isn't the issue for you; it's the market.

Fiona said...

Yay! You always know you're *hugely* talented when you suddenly get Britished. Well DONE Dec.

And it's not an oddity, it's just original and thought-provoking.

Mike Cane said...

>>>Anyway, I’m off back to the writing.

Snort. And you really thought you could ever leave it. Forget that!

And congrats.

Now back to that writing!

John said...

Jolly good show old bean

Paul D. Brazill said...

Congrats. More than fitting.