Mike Hammer Shoots .500

July 14th, 2015 by Max Allan Collins
Death Sentences

Actually, Mike Hammer probably has shot five-hundred in his career, but I refer not to bad guys but the fact that at the International Association of Media and Tie-in Writers “Scribe” Awards, KING OF THE WEEDS did not win Best Novel, while the Hammer short story, “It’s in the Book,” did win Best Short Story.

No complaints. The Scribes have been great to the Spillane/Collins collaboration – we’ve won once for Best Novel (KISS HER GOODBYE, twice for Best Short Story (“Book” and “So Long Chief”) and once for Best Audio (“Encore for Murder”).

I am particularly pleased to see “It’s in the Book” honored, because it’s my favorite of the Hammer short stories (and it was overlooked by the Edgars and Shamuses, which had both singled out “So Long, Chief”). Right now I have one more Hammer fragment that would work as a short story, and I may save it for an eventual collection.

“It’s in the Book” is available as a small book and has been collected in a book club collection (see Mike Doran’s comment last time) and in the UK in a collection called DEATH SENTENCES.

Here are all the Scribe nominees with winners in bold face:
24: Deadline by James Swallow
Murder She Wrote: Death of a Blue Blood by Don Bain
Mike Hammer: King of the Weeds by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins
Homeland: Saul’s Game by Andrew Kaplan
The Killing: Uncommon Denominator by Karen Dionne

Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution by Keith R. A.
Grimm: Chopping Block by John Passarella
Star Trek: Disavowed by David Mack
Star Trek: Foul Deeds Will Rise by Greg Cox
Grimm: The Killing Time by Tim Waggoner
Pathfinder: The Redemption Engine by James Sutter
Fringe: Sins of the Father by Christa Faust

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes by Alex Irvine
Noah by Mark Morris
War of the Worlds: Goliath by Adam Whitlach

Spirit Animals: Blood Ties by Garth Nix and Sean Williams
Battletech: The Nellus Academy Incident by Jennifer Brozak
Penguins of Madagascar by Tracey West

Pathfinder: Hunter’s Folly by Josh Vogt
Mike Hammer: It’s in the Book by Max Collins and Mickey Spillane
Stargate: Perceptions by Diana Botsford
Pathfinder: Queen Sacrifice by Steven Savile
Tales of Valdemar: Written in the Wind by Jennifer Brozek

Dark Shadows: The Darkest Shadow by Nev Fountain
Dark Shadows: The Devil Cat by Mark Thomas Passmore
Blake’s 7: Fortuitis by George Mann
Doctor Who: Iterations of I by John Dorney
Pathfinder Legends: The Skinsaw Murders by Cavan Scott

* * *

I note with sadness the passing of writer Tom Piccirilli, a very gifted man who reviewed many of my novels, and always favorably. When a writer as fine as Tom likes your work, you figure you’re doing something right.

Many tributes have appeared, but I’ll provide just this link to my friend Jeff Pierce’s write-up at the Rap Sheet.

* * *

Here’s a lovely review of THE LEGEND OF CALEB YORK from James Reasoner, who – like my pal Bill Crider – is a real western writer. When I pass muster with guys like James and Bill, I breathe a sigh of relief.


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8 Responses to “Mike Hammer Shoots .500”

  1. Bill Crider says:

    Congrats on the win. Well deserved by both you and Spillane.

  2. Mike Doran says:

    Looking at the illustration of DEATH SENTENCES:

    Noting that the credited editor is Otto Penzler –
    I believe that this is the same book as BIBLIOMYSTERIES, with Ian Rankin’s introduction added for the British audience.
    If I’m wrong here, correction is welcomed.
    (I do have to say that I like the British cover better, but that’s neither here or there …)

    Echoing Bill Crider’s huzzah above.
    Also echoing my own plaint from a while back:
    All who are in a position to do anything about it :
    He deserves it at least as much as anybody else who’s gotten it recently (more so than a few, in my view – but hey, that’s me …).
    ‘Overdue’ is the word.
    All MWA members who see this – get on it.
    (This is an unsolicited testimonial.)

  3. Max Allan Collins says:

    Bill, thanks so much.

    Mike, from your lips to God’s* ear.

    *the MWA

  4. Gerard says:

    It was a bummer hearing of Piccirilli’s passing. I started reading his novels after a plug by Crider for THE COLD SPOT. I followed Piccirilli on Facebook and was pleased when his first round of treatment had been so successful.

  5. Mike Doran says:

    Yesterday, I picked up BATMAN: SECOND CHANCES at Graham Cracker Comics in the Loop.

    It did seem a bit bare-bones …

    I don’t know if I’ve got God’s ear (or even the MWA’s, comes to that), but if anybody at DC is reading this –
    – if you do decide to do a WILD DOG collection –
    – Max and Terry have to do the intros.
    This should not even be a question.
    (… and better paper, while you’re at it …)

    While I’m here …
    … Am I the only one who thinks that mainstream comics generally – and DC’s superheroes in particular – are really, REALLY ugly to look at these days?
    I also picked up the collection of early HARLEY QUINN (the Alex Ross cover gets me every time) and it just seems to me that HQ was way sexier in the full-body suit then the way they’re drawing her now (am I showing my rapidly-advancing age here?).

    Anyway, hoping to see you and Barb at C&S (or anywhere) in the near future …

  6. Max Allan Collins says:

    Mike, I don’t know why nobody at DC has contacted me about either the BATMAN collection or the upcoming WILD DOG one. I’d be happy to provide an intro to the latter. Terry has, I believe, been kept similarly in the dark.

    Yes, the loss of Tom is a tough one, Gerard. But he left an impressive shelf of books for us.

  7. Mike Doran says:

    If I’m wrong, someone correct me …

    Is DC one of those companies with a revolving door at the executive level?
    In other words, are there any execs there now who were there back in the ’80s or ’90s?
    You know, 20 or 30 years ago?
    (Ye Gods … the 1990s are now “the Good Old Days” …)

    I guess you’ve seen the latest CLASSIC IMAGES, with its list of showbiz personages who are now 80 years old and up –
    – and that list diminishes daily …


    If DC is truly being run by “fetuses in suits” who don’t really know who (or where) you are …
    Maybe you ought to take the initiative: go see the “new 52” guys, and when they ask you what you’ve done in the business –
    – smile benevolently and say “You first.”

    Have a nice weekend (weakened?).

  8. Max Allan Collins says:

    I’m sure a few of my old cronies are still at DC, but I haven’t had any contact with anybody there since I did RETURN TO PERDITION a few years ago. But comics folks, however young, are usually possessed of a sense of history. That the WILD DOG stuff is being reprinted is a sign of that.

    My guess is that I haven’t been approached because they would have to pay me to do an intro. I would do it free, most likely, but there’s probably an established rate and policy about such work.