Best Read (Novel) of 2008:
Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse by Victor Gischler - A lived-in, distinctly-Gischler vision of the future that invites you to forget genres and come along for the ride.
Money Shot by Christa Faust - Hard Case Crime's first female author makes her mark with this engaging, fast, fulfilling read reminiscent of Kill Bill.
Trigger City by Sean Chercover - Following the praiseworthy Big City, Bad Blood with a deeper, better-paced read, Chercover is writing a P.I. series all of today's fans should be reading.
Best Read (Story) of 2008:
"The Quick Brown Fox" by Robert S. Levinson - A once-famous mystery writer tries to revive his career by plagiarizing the work of two prison inmates. Any writer can relate to this story, featuring not one but two nasty twists.
"Hungry Enough" by Cornelia Read - An inventive use of viewpoint and homage to one of P.I. fiction's giants. Well deserving of the PWA's Shamus for Best Short Story.
"Slice of Pie" by Bill Cameron - This slice-of-life story, my introduction to Cameron's fiction, is an example of the best effects of character personality, viewpoint limitation, and stark realism.
Best Movie Seen in 2008:
Iron Man - The casting was a gamble, in my opinion, but Robert Downey Jr. stepped up to make this one of the best-executed, bar-raising superhero movies. Batman, Schmatman.
Kung Fu Panda - Another surprise to me, with a script that shines.
The Forbidden Kingdom - Jackie Chan and Jet Li's first movie together delivers on its hype. Excellent modern take on a timeless story.
Best Writing Experience of 2008:
"Paperback Lover" - I was finally able to express my appreciation for softcovers in a poem appropriate to the economy, too. I'm currently shopping this one around.
"Connect the Dots" - My story for Patti Abbott's Love Hurts blog event.
This was the year of my first Bouchercon. It was aces all around and I hope to have the chance to attend more.