Rapping About Banging

May 18th, 2010 by Max Allan Collins
The Big Bang
In Stores Now!

First off, Thursday night (May 20) at 7 pm, I will be reading from THE BIG BANG and speaking afterward at one of the really great indie bookstores, Prairie Lights in Iowa City. Here is the store’s own write-up on the event.

I don’t need to say much this week, because I said so much elsewhere. I am honored to have been asked to do a lengthy interview on THE BIG BANG and my relationship with Mickey Spillane (and Mike Hammer), appearing right now at one of the really, really great mystery sites, JANUARY MAGAZINE’S RAP SHEET.

Topping that off, the RAP SHEET will celebrate its fourth anniversary with a giveaway of four copies of THE BIG BANG and four copies of THE NEW ADVENTURES OF MIKE HAMMER: VOL. 2 – THE LITTLE DEATH. These will all be signed and sent out by me, personally.

My thanks to J. Kingston Pierce for giving THE BIG BANG and me such a lavish platform to display our wares. Mystery fiction has few finer advocates than Jeff Pierce.

In addition, there have been some other terrific write-ups on the net lately.

That other great internet site, Bookgasm, gave THE BIG BANG a flat-out rave. You gotta check this one out.

The Noir Journal site has a terrific write-up on THE BIG BANG, with some great graphics plus bonus reviews of two Spillane classics, VENGEANCE IS MINE! and THE DEEP. Very smart stuff on the latter two books by a female Spillane fan.

You have to scroll down for it, but there’s a nice bit about THE BIG BANG courtesy of Bob Wade in the San Diego Union’s mystery column.

The one and only Paul Bishop – real cop, real writer – also said nice things about THE BIG BANG (and kindly provided a link to the Rap Sheet interview).

We’ve been hitting the internet jackpot lately, where some of the top mystery sites are concerned. That fine, funny writer Bill Crider has one of the very best sites, the kind worth checking three or four times daily. He likes the ANTIQUES series and did a splendid write-up of the current ANTIQUES BIZARRE.

And here’s some love for THE LAST LULLABY.

The last few updates have been on the brief side, I admit – I am burrowed in working on the second J.C. Harrow novel, and it’s a bear. I’m on page 410 and still have five chapters left.

Barb and I have plotted the next ANTIQUES mystery (the one after next year’s ANTIQUES KNOCK-OFF!). She has already written her first draft of the first chapter. The series is building in popularity and the Barbara half of Barbara Allan deserves the lion’s share of credit.

For many, many months, I’ve been going from one novel to the next, or at least from one project to the next, and I am frankly frazzled. I’m preparing to slow down some. Most of the rest of this year will be spent writing the JFK assassination Nate Heller novel. Well, about half of it will be reading research material, and half writing.

Also, I’ll be plugging away at RETURN TO PERDITION, which is at about the half-way point of its around 200 pages. This is the graphic novel finale to the PERDITION saga, although not necessarily the last PERDITION book. This is the first major Terry Beatty/M.A.C. project in some time.

Finally, let me assure those who care that we are in serious talks about both Ms. Tree and Quarry for reprint editions – the complete run of the former, and the first four (and now very expensive) novels about the latter.

More definite info soon….


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6 Responses to “Rapping About Banging”

  1. PatrickHerman says:

    Hi Max,

    What a masochist you are. As a long term reader of yours, I’ve always thought that a Heller novel in which he investigates the conspiracy surrounding the J.F.K. assassination was a great idea, but much too difficult to execute in light of all the research you will need to gather. Then you’ll need to find a unique angle, which I trust you to do. Please keep us appraised as to your progress on the book. Any ideas for titles as yet?

    If you don’t mind, I have a couple questions for you.

    1) By any chance, has a publisher expressed interest in a rewritten version of the Perdition novel? It’s something I hope will come about as the editing done to the last few pages of the original did the story no favors.

    2) Taking a peak at your bibliography, I noticed that there are a few Nate Heller short stories that I have never had the chance to read. Any chance some enterprising publisher will consider an Omnibus Edition of all of the Nate Heller shorts thus far? Maybe it would have to be done in multiple volumes, but I would definitely buy it.

    3) J.F.K. book questions: Do you plan to cover any of the mystery surrounding the assassination of R.F.K.? How large is your research pile, Max? Think the Tip of the Hat section of your book will end up being pretty long?

    Thanks for doing this, Max. Despite the teasing tone of some of my questions, I hope you know that I really, really appreciate the work you’ve done these past forty years or so.


    Patrick Herman

  2. No ideas on JFK titles yet. George and I are dibbying up the research. I’ve been reading it and gathering it for years, but unlike some other subjects I’ve attempted, I can’t read everything — we will thin the pile, and focus on the mob-related material. All I know right now is that Heller will be in Dallas at the time of the hit.

    RFK may follow as a third book in a Kennedy trilogy, if readers respond to BYE BYE, BABY and the JFK assassination book.

    A novel version of PERDITION may happen, either the novelization (if I can get the rights — it obviously uses the screenplay as well as my graphic novel) or a fresh one eschewing the movie stuff. Several publishers have expressed interest.

    An omnibus of Heller stories might happen. Right now we’re negotiating to get the first four Quarry novels out there. If that works, a Heller collection could follow.

    Thanks for your interest over the years! And your loyalty.

  3. Brian_Drake says:


    I must echo all the comments here and elsewhere that the ending of “The Big Bang” is one of the best in the series; however, since we saw nothing related to it in the other Hammer novels that followed, will any of the new books you’re doing mention the aftermath of the poisoned shipment? I, of course, wonder if Hammer wanted the villains to take the shipment back to their base so he could raid the place and force feed the drugs to them, but your comments lead me to believe that will not be the case.


  4. Brian, there is a reference to THE BIG BANG’s ending in KISS HER GOODBYE, but more a glancing blow than a direct hit. This is private eye fantasy, but fantasy nonetheless, so we’ll cut Mickey, Mike and even me some slack….

    Funny that no one has commented on THE BIG BANG being a fairly direct sequel to KISS ME, DEADLY.

  5. Brian_Drake says:

    Max, I caught the KISS connections, but the book was so mind-blowing I guess I forgot! Was that intended by Spillane or was that your idea?

  6. My idea. Mickey in THE BIG BANG used the Ponti family, if I’m remember right, who show up later in BLACK ALLEY. Using them would have created continuity problems, so I re-named them Evello, created Junior Evello and used the illegal narcotics aspect of KISS ME, DEADLY to create, at least minorly, a sequel.