This afternoon, I'll be on my way to Bouchercon, the annual international mystery convention that few have heard of, though that's slightly more than today have heard of influential critic and author Anthony Boucher who posthumously lent it his name. It's smaller in attendee numbers than the big scifi or comic cons (even though Boucher edited the early Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy, so props, geeks!), but it'll still amount to thousands of mystery fans and authors and associated industry types.
Under pseudonym H.H. Holmes, which some ghouls may recognize as the name of arguably America's first serial killer, Boucher originally published the novel pictured. It's a locked room mystery starring nun Sister Ursula as an amateur detective helping out the cops, and it boasts perhaps the most awesome cross-genre title ever. Scroll down these reader reviews if you want to learn which of Boucher's pals, the golden-era L.A. scifi authors (including L.Ron H.) he lampoons in the book. Crime and the fantastic once frolicked hand in hand. Why now the estrangement? Ah well, I'll keep my bullhorn handy for conversions. For now, luxuriate in the pulpy coolness.
Due to the widespread and scandalous difficulties in finding hotel rooms, I'll only be in Madison, Wisconsin through Saturday afternoon, missing the awards banquet Saturday night and the wraparound panels Sunday morning. Still, during my brief stint, I'll be volunteering a couple places and attending parties both formal and cozy. I'll be gladhanding like a congressman and doing the Agent Rhumba like mad, trying to find someone receptive to and enthusiastic about my most recent complete manuscript. Wish me luck.