A Cancellation, a Nomination & an Anniversary

June 6th, 2017 by Max Allan Collins

HBO/Cinemax has finally officially cancelled the Quarry series, but this comes as no surprise. A shake-up at the network, as well as a conflict between the star (who is committed to another series pilot) and the director of all eight episodes, spelled it out long ago.

What’s most disappointing to me is that my script for season two will not be produced, and I was really happy with it. We had thought some other network might pick the show up, but that now seems unlikely.

I am happy to have had a quality show that gave my Quarry books a higher profile. My hitman has now generated an award-winning short film, a festival-winning feature, and now a first-rate series, and my writing was a part of all three. Maybe we’ll see more of him on screen yet.

More pleasant news came by way of a Shamus nomination for the Spillane/Collins short story, “A Dangerous Cat,” which appeared in The Strand magazine and is also in the collection A Long Time Dead: A Mike Hammer Casebook from Mysterious Press.

Barb and Al, early 1970s
Barb and Al, early 1970s

But the biggest event of the past week was our 49th wedding anniversary, on June 1, which we celebrated with an overnight stay at Galena, Illinois, where always have a wonderful time. For me, it was especially gratifying because – after the various operations and the stroke and all – I was able to spend a long day walking and enjoying myself, feeling very much back to normal (or as close to normal as I ever get). Galena is a quaint, pretty little town of 3500, with lots of boutique shopping and some 65 restaurants. I will be doing a thriller next year set in this scenic community.

On the trip to and from Galena, we finished listening to the audio book of Antiques Frame, so beautifully read by Amy McFadden. It was a reminder to me about how much Barb has grown and flourished as a writer, a profession she never dreamed of entering. Having such a beautiful, talented, smart, funny, patient wife for all these years is the best award/reward I could ever hope for.

The week leading up to the two-way getaway was a busy one, as was the weekend following. I did final edits on the Spillane volume, The Last Stand, which includes the previously unpublished novel of that name, as well as an early ‘50s novella, also previously unpublished, A Bullet for Satisfaction. The latter is a Spillane/Collins collaboration, the former the last solo effort by Mickey. There’s also an introduction explaining the history of both novels. Hard Case Crime will be publishing in both hardcover and soft.

In addition, I wrote the introduction for the collected Dick Tracy Volume 23, for IDW, and dealt with the copy-edited versions of two short stories written by Matt Clemens and me for a pair of horror anthologies. Finally, I wrote the introduction to Scarface & the Untouchable, the joint Capone/Ness bio.

That book now focuses on the Chicago years, with a second volume projected to deal with the rest of Ness’s life. This week I’ll start work on my polish/tweak of the nearly 900-page manuscript. Co-author A. Brad Schwartz and our research associate are working on the bibliography and end notes.

* * *

The complete list of Shamus nominations can be seen at the great site, The Rap Sheet.

Here’s a good current interview with me.

A ton of articles on the cancellation of the QUARRY series are out there, many quoting Michael D. Fuller’s blog post about it. Here’s a good example.


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8 Responses to “A Cancellation, a Nomination & an Anniversary”

  1. Paul.Griffith says:

    Happy Anniversary guys!! Hope it is a great one for two wonderful people! Bummer about Quarry…loved the first season on Blu-Ray. I will be able to watch it again, but I was sooo looking forward to another season (as was my wife)! Congratulations on the Shamus nomination as well. Loved the short story compilation and hope you win yet another Shamus for your work.

  2. Thomas Zappe says:

    Congratulations on 49 years. We may have grown up looking at the same TV programs, but you were obviously looking at the right lady long before I was.

    What Sights, Restaurants and Antique/Junque Stores do you recommend when visiting the above mentioned Galena?

  3. Bill Crider says:

    Happy anniversary! One of you still looks the same. I’ll refrain from saying which one. And congrats on the Shamus nom, as well.

    Really sorry to hear about the QUARRY cancellation. That sucks. But I’m really looking forward to the new Spillane books, and whatever else you come up with.

  4. Mike Doran says:

    To the Anniversary Kids:

    Been a while, I know. Funny how things get away from you when you have nothing to do all day …

    So anyway: Happy 49th, happy grandkid, happy recovery (recovfefe?), fie on Cinemoox, more and even better books in the future, more and even better future in the future, and like that there.

    On the other hand …

    On the way in this AM, I read of the passing of Roger Smith, at 84 (and having just marked 50 years married to Ann-Margret).
    MeTV has been running 77 Sunset Strip at 3 in the blessed AM for a while now (thanx for DVR), and I’ve been watching whenever I can.
    Warners (or somebody) has done a bang-up job on the digital restoration, so I’m guessing/hoping that there may be an official DVD in the offing.
    I wrote on another blog just the other night, that 77 Sunset Strip is FUN – every episode is different, the cast is engaging, the Warner/Wm. T. Orr “schtick” style is curiously endearing after all these years.
    I mentioned the DVR: I usually pile up about a week’s worth of 77SS and make a late-night binge of them (and I generally don’t like bingeing). They play like a period piece, and it’s FUN.
    And now I’m wondering if MeTV (or someone) is going to bring back the Clones (you know, Hawaiian Surfside Beat et al.).
    Might be kinda fun …

    Anyhoo, what I said before – merry merry, happy happy, joy joy, whatever whatever!

  5. Hal says:

    Happy Anniversary, Max, and congratulations!

  6. Max Allan Collins says:

    Thank you, gents, for the nice anniversary wishes.

    Mike, thanks for making me laugh out loud at the recovfefe bit.

  7. Mike Doran says:

    Any old time, MAC – This is what I live for.

    In re the just announced passing of Glenne Headley, who long ago almost single-handedly saved that Great Big Movie …

    … in the immortal words of Bill Crider : Damn and Double Damn.

  8. Mike Doran says:

    And the dreaded Rule Of Three strikes again!

    Farewell to Adam West.

    Max & Barb (Marb? … or maybe Bax?):

    Remember to look both ways before crossing the road (I know, you do that anyway, but why take chances?).