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Celebrating 20 Years of Dennis McMillan Publications

I wanted to do a "special book" to commemorate 20 years of publishing authors who are, for MY taste, the best I've run across in the hard-boiled and noir genres during the past two decades, and I thought that an anthology of original stories written in 1930s-pulp style by most of the scribes I've been fortunate enough to publish would be just the ticket.

As it turned out, it's even more than just the ticket, as the stories these guys (most of whom are very good friends as well) did for me are, frankly, superb, and I can't think of another collection done in the recent past of original work that even comes close to this one. So, I'm very proud to announce Measures of Poison, with a publication date of Oct. 18, 2002, on which day I'll be interviewed by Michael Connelly at the Bouchercon in Austin, Texas, right after which there'll be a mass-signing of Measures of Poison by all the contributors who're present at the convention (and most of them will be).

I'm doing two states of the book: 400 copies will be bound in quarter-morocco with hand-made paper covered boards, and signed by all the living contributors (the late Charles Willeford and late Howard Browne have wonderful pieces in the anthology but obviously can't sign the limitation sheets), which will sell for $300 (if you balk at the price, just think if there'll ever be another book like this, signed by so many luminaries of the hard-boiled and noir genres, and I think you'll agree that $50 more than I usually charge for my morocco limited edition novels [by one author, of course] isn't that much more to pay for 20 more signatures, especially of the particular authors concerned.

1,000 copies will be bound in Brillianta cloth as well, selling for $35, and will first be available Oct. 18 at the Bouchercon in Austin. The contributors are: Michael Connelly, James Crumley, George P. Pelecanos, Scott Phillips, James Sallis, Janwillem Van de Wetering, Christopher Cook, Jesse Sublett, Bill Pronzini, Don Herron, Bob Truluck, Purnell Christian, James Durham, Charles Fischer, Gary Phillips, Craig Miles Miller, Kent Anderson, Kent Harrington, Jon A. Jackson, Rick DeMarinis, Doug Levin, and Jim Nisbet;

The late Charles Willeford (with the short story version of his masterpiece--The Burnt Orange Heresy--"Heathscapes") and the late Howard Browne (with his original [1968] screenplay "The Violent World of Jake Lingle").

It don't get much better than this, folks, if you'll allow me a little backyard braggin' on mah own propers. You can reserve a copy to be picked up at the Bouchercon, if you'll be in attendance, or shipped to you if not, by emailing me at dennismcmillan@aol.com.

James Crumley, Rick DeMarinis, Dennis McMillan, and Jon A. Jackson

James Crumley, et. al., reposing in individualized states of semi-stupor, anticipating a fun afternoon lodged at Rick DeMarinis' dining room table, engaged in signing the limitation sheets for Measures of Poison, my 20th anniversary celebratory anthology, to which they (now regretfully, and far too late to renege on) slavishly contributed wonderfully original short stories, rants, and tirades.

James Crumley, Rick DeMarinis, Ernie Bulow, and Jon A. Jackson

The sheets having been signed, J. Crumley celebrates by "throwing" pseudo-gang signs at an errant beer bottle and this reporter (the while being mimicked unmercifully by his pal, DeMarinis, just out of his peripheral vision), while Jon A. Jackson maintains a beatific and enigmatic smile (does he know something we don't? The Secret of Life Itself, perhaps? Further investigation is in order. . . .) while friend Ernie Bulow of Buffalo Medicine Books dreams wistfully wishing he were back in Gallup, where he sort-of belongs. . . .

And here we have Joe Servello, Artist, pretending to work on an illustration for A.A. Attanasio's "Death's Head Moon" (a marvelous story whose scope moves from the Ardennes Wood in WWI to the jazz clubs of 1938 Honolulu, where the genius of Sol Ho'opi'i's lap steel guitar lends a lyrical and liltingly lush background to a brutal tale of murder and mayhem amongst the tropic breezes, big kahunas and scantily-clad wahines); Joe is also pretending he doesn't wear glasses, and that he smokes one of his two daily cigars whilst working on fine art (the latter statement may actually be true, but does not apply to the studio [one of at least three known to this reporter] where these photos were taken, which he keeps smoke-free). GREAT WORK, JOE!!!

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