The Alliance of Literary Societies (ALS) is an active umbrella organisation that encompasses the hundreds of small non-profit literary societies active in the British Isles. These societies are usually historical in nature, and are devoted to the works of a particular writer or a small group of writers. The ALS website maintains a comprehensive and detailed A-Z listing of all member societies, which at June 2007 stood at over 100 members. The ALS website also lists forthcoming conferences, talks and courses held by ALS member societies. There is a noticeboard of requests and queries from members.
The Arthur Morrison Society, founded in 2009, aims to promote interest in the 19th and 20th-century author and his works. Morrison is best known for writing the novel 'A Child of the Jago', highlighting the poverty of working-class people in London's East End, but was also the author of a number of detective novels featuring the character Martin Hewitt as well as an avid collector of Japanese prints. The website of the society provides some biographical information on the author, mainly focused on Loughton in Essex, where the society is based and where Morrison lived for some time. The site also gives details of how to join the society, as well as information on Morrison-related events in the area and related publications. The society would be interest those studying Morrison and his life, as well as general readers of his works.
'The Association for Research in Popular Fictions' is a joint venture by Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Liverpool, and it aims to "offer a forum for research in popular fiction and to support the teaching and understanding of popular fiction in an interdisciplinary context". The website contains a long and detailed introduction to the Association, written by Nickianne Moody. There are details of the Association's newsletter and the peer-reviewed journal 'Diegesis'. The website has tables-of-contents for Diegesis, and details of how to obtain copies. A full-text copy of Diegesis No.7 (Special Horror Edition) is available from an external website. There are details of Association conferences, such as the 2007 "Popular Politics and Vampire stories: the appropriation of vampires in 21st century narratives" held in Liverpool. The Association also hosts several Web pages that offer details of the new Cultural Disability Studies Research Network (DSRN) and the DSRN journal 'Journal of Literary Disability'.
'BookScans' is a free online image bank of over 21,000 scans of pulp fiction artwork, mostly the front and back covers of these cheap mass-market paperbacks. The website has been created by the collector Bruce Black with the aid of a network of other collectors and dealers, and the focus is on pulp fiction from the U.S., published from 1939 until 1959. The aim is to create a complete database of all published cover art. Images are presented at a uniform size throughout, 350 x 400 pixels. Most pulp artists worked anonymously, so the database is organised by publisher. Details of the publisher and its products are given on each index page. There are also galleries of publisher brand logos, and other themed selections created by the website author. The bulk of the website is devoted to the database of thousands of images, but there are also two short full-text articles, 'Censorship in the Paperback Age' and 'Things That Are Wrong with Vintage Paperback Books' (an overview of some conservation issues). The page titled 'Reference Books' is also very useful, containing a very comprehensive selection of bibliographic books and magazines published to aid collectors and dealers. Histories of the form are also listed here. As of July 2007, the website is being actively and regularly updated. The website appears to be funded by the sales of a $10 DVD containing all the images.
'Classic crime fiction' is a website aimed at readers and book collectors, with a useful range of information for English researchers. It is divided into sections including: a 'Mystery Books Wanted' feature, of interest primarily to book collectors. Of more use to researchers are other features of the site. These include Detective Fiction Bibliographies, a detailed list of works sorted by author or title and a Dust Jacket Artists database, which attempts not only to catalogue the work of known artists but piece together information on artwork currently not attributed to any artist. Also available are a large collection of articles on subjects ranging from the major publishing houses associated with crime fiction, to authors known only for one significant work, to translation of underworld slang. Biographies and articles on the writers of crime fiction may be found on the site, alongside details of the recipients of various awards for writing and publishing in the genre. A search engine is a useful feature for locating specific requirements, although the site is easy to navigate as a whole and is regularly updated. The site contains advertising.
'Crime Fiction' is an online database which sets out to be a plain and accessible resource for early research in the genre at all levels. It focuses primarily on well-known crime writers and is organised into 'Authors', 'Detectives' and 'Links'. The 'Authors' list includes a short biography, a full list of publications and links to further sites relating specifically to the author under consideration. Authors in the database include: Margery Allingham; Edgar Box; Agatha Christie; Gore Vidal; Dorothy L. Sayers; and Leslie Charteris. Writers better known in other genres are also included, such as A. A. Milne. The 'Detectives' section links back to the named characters within the author's work overall. While this database is a personal, rather than academic, project, the simple collection criteria is explained, making it very straightforward and useful for introductory work on locating full publications lists and basic biographical material.
'Crime Time' is the website of the printed magazine of the same name. The site is a very useful resource for creative writers and students interested in crime fiction, providing details of recent publications in the crime genre and a comprehensive collection of reviews, which may be searched by the name of the book's author. Among the very many authors whose work is reviewed are: Jane Adams; Nicholas Blake; Jonathan Carroll; Michael Kimball; and Ed McBain. There are also feature articles, including Natasha Cooper discussing the problems of writing crime fiction in translation and Jason Starr discussing his novel 'Hard Feelings', as well as author interviews and profiles, featuring: Stephen Amidon; Gwendoline Butler; Lee Child; James Ellroy; and Jonathan Kellerman among others. There is also a section of links to other crime fiction-related sites and details on how to subscribe to the printed magazine. This site is full of fascinating insights into the researching and writing of crime fiction, featuring high profile names as well as new work. It is straightforward to navigate and while linked to a commercial magazine, has a large amount of open access material.
The Crime Writers' Association is the official website of a professional organisation which was founded in 1953 to represent the interests of British crime and detective fiction writers. This online resource provides information on the aims, history and current activities of the organisation. It includes details of the CWA literary awards called Daggers, a complete list of their nominees and winners, as well as a bibliography of recently published crime fiction. The section 'Events' informs of the upcoming festivals of crime writing and public appearances of crime fiction authors. Links are provided to the websites of a large number of contemporary crime fiction authors. The section 'Crimesheet' hosts a blog whose contributors are authors, critics and scholars associated with crime writing. The Crime Writers' Association website is reliable, user-friendly and updated on a regular basis. It is highly commendable as an exceptionally comprehensive and ample resource. This website will be of interest to students, scholars and all the enthusiasts of crime fiction.
Crimeculture is an impressive website dedicated to the academic study of crime in literature, film and popular culture. The Crime Fiction section offers excellent appraisals of distinct periods within the genre, notably Victorian and classic detective fiction, American crime fiction from the hard-boiled era to the present day, and British crime writing, which went against the grain of the more conventional classic detective tradition. Amongst the crime film genres that are explored are gangster and detective films, film noir and neo-noir, and cop action films. There is also a section devoted to exploring the origin and enduring popularity of true crime writing. Articles dealing with crime in books and on film by postgraduates and undergraduates can be both accessed, and submitted for online publication. Finally, in keeping with the site's aim to publicise reading material of use in the teaching of crime literature or film courses, the editors have compiled an exhaustive bibliography of relevant books and articles. A section reviewing other crime-related websites is also provided.
Digital Comic Museum is a very large website archive of U.S. comic books known to be in the public domain. As such, it includes a wealth of high-quality scans of vintage ("Golden Age", in the terminology of comic book collectors) comics, freely available for reading. Most comics are from the 1940s and 1950s. Some newspaper comic strips are also included. Files are in the standard CBR (Comic Book Reader) format, for which Comical is possibly the best free viewer. Free registration is required to download the comics, but not to search the website. The Digital Comic Museum will be a valuable resource for those researching the history of comics in the U.S., as well as for those interested in the dynamic hand-made typography of the medium, the depiction of stereotypes during the 20th century, and the ways that the standards and politics of the time were presented to children. Adverts in the comics may also be of interest to those researching the history of advertising or the history of toys.
Fantastic, Mysterious, and Adventurous Victoriana is an encyclopaedia created by Jess Nevins. This website contains the first draft of the encyclopaedia, which was completed online in 2004. The work was later published in an expanded and academic form as the 1,200-page print volume titled 'The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Victoriana' (MonkeyBrain, 2005), which is described on the website as "the first comprehensive encyclopedia of fantastic literature of the nineteenth century". However, this original "draft" encyclopaedia remains online and public, and offers a substantial A-Z listing of notable characters and beings who appear in fantastic and 'mysterious' Victorian literature. Since all the characters listed can now be assumed to be in the public domain, this website may be a source of inspiration for creative university students creating historical/steampunk comics, animation or literature, as well as a resource for scholars.
The webpage for the First Annual Conference on the Rhetoric of the Monstrous (Stanford University, 2005) contains the conference programme and full-text conference proceedings. The Conference papers examine a variety of monsters from history, literature, popular culture, and contemporary media representations (such as cults, paedophiles, GM 'frankenfoods', and plastic surgery). This will be a useful resource for those seeking a wide introduction to current thinking and research on the topic of monsters.
Gaslight is a long-running Internet site that was initially established as a discussion list and book club. The site looks at mystery and adventure stories written between 1800 and 1919, and originally aimed to review one such story per week. Unlike other book clubs, Gaslight tended to choose works that are not readily available in print, and so published the etexts of these works online. Discussion archives from 1997 to 2000 are publicly available from the site, although new books continued to be added to the 'current reading schedule' until September 2004. Probably of more interest to researchers are the etexts themselves. The site has compiled a large number of texts that may be browsed by date, author, or searched by keyword. Many of the texts are short stories, with longer works being divided by chapter. Many of the site's featured authors are not especially well-known outside of the particular genres that the site concentrates on, but it does host some lesser-known stories by the following: Oscar Wilde; H. G. Wells; Edith Wharton; Jules Verne; William Makepeace Thackeray; Bram Stoker; Robert Louis Stevenson; Walter Scott; Theodore Roosevelt; Alexander Pushkin; Edgar Allen Poe; Herman Melville; Guy de Maupassant; H.P. Lovecraft; Jack London; Abraham Lincoln; Rudyard Kipling; Jerome K. Jerome; Henry James; Victor Hugo; William Hope Hodgson; Thomas Hardy; Arthur Conan Doyle; Charles Dickens; Joseph Conrad; Wilkie Collins; Kate Chopin; Edward George Bulwer-Lytton; John Buchan; Ambrose Bierce; Honoré de Balzac; Grant Allen; and Louisa May Alcott. The texts are in the public domain in Canada, but as the site warns, this may not be the case in all other countries.
Chester Himes, the American novelist and writer of detective stories, who was a contemporary of other writers including Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison, was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, in 1909 and died in Spain in 1984. This site has a brief biography of Himes with links to pages on his works. These include a substantial section on his Coffin and Grave Digger mysteries, with summaries of the individual works, while similar treatment is given to Himes's other publications. There is a short bibliography of works about Himes and a page of links to other Internet sources. This site provides a useful introduction to an important writer.
The website, A guide to Classic Mystery and Detection, is exactly what it claims to be: a guide. With a short introduction into 100 years (approximately) of mystery fiction, as well as an introduction into trends of the genre, the site informs its user of the genre, as well as serves as a starting point for research. The information is divided into five major headings: 19th century mystery fiction; turn of the century mystery fiction; the golden age (subheads: intuitionist school; Van Dine school; realist school; the Bailey school); pulp fiction, and contemporary mystery fiction. Each section contains information as well as lists of writings from the major figures within the genre. An index of authors with recommended sites is included. The website is self–published, and not linked to an educational institution or society.
This online exhibit, based on a physical exhibition held in the library of the University of Maryland, deals with four writers of hard-boiled detective fiction who had connections with the state of Maryland: James M. Cain (1892-1977), Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961), William Lindsay Gresham (1909-1962), and George Pelecanos (b. 1957). There is a introductory page, followed by a section devoted to each writer which consists of a brief biographical introduction and a series of short pieces which offer information on individual books and their publication history. The sections are well illustrated by images of dust jackets or book covers. This site offers a useful introduction to some important writers in this genre.
This is the official website of Ian Rankin (1960- ), the Scottish crime fiction author and creator of the Inspector Rebus and Jack Harvey novels, run by his publisher Orion Books. It contains a biography of the author, listing of his publications and news about his current work and appearances. Summaries and reviews of his books are provided. Video and audio clips of Rankin are included. The site also has a discussion forum for fans. Users may sign up to receive email updates about Rankin's activities. Fans of the Rebus novels can test their knowledge with a series of quizzes.
The Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies is a full-text peer-reviewed ejournal published by the University of Iowa. As of June 2007, the website contains seven substantial themed back issues, on topics such as 'comics', 'extreme mainstream' and 'suburbia'. Back issues are freely available online in full-text form. There are also details and a sample essay from the current issue, which is available only in print form. The website has details of the editors, staff and Advisory Boards. There are details of subscription costs for the print version of the journal, which is published twice a year.
LibriVox is the website of an open volunteer-run project that aims to "make all public domain books available as free audio books". As of May 2007, there appears to be over 600 audio books available, for download as either standard MP3 or OGG audio files. Complete audio books can be downloaded in a standard Windows ZIP file, or individual chapters can be downloaded via a direct link to the relevant audio file. Some books are read by different people for different chapters. All recordings are placed in the public domain, and may be used for any use including commercial uses.
Part of the MusicWeb site, this database by music and literature critic Philip Scowcroft has a large number of articles arranged as an untitled list. Each article opens on a new scroll-down page and titles include 'British Composers in Literature', 'Crime Fiction and Music', 'Music inspired by Sherlock Holmes', 'Music and the Brontes', 'The Cafe Orchestra in Fact and Fiction', 'Jane Austen and Music' and 'Elgar in Crime Fiction'. The articles vary in length and detail but are all fully referenced and offer an excellent starting point for research on the broad subject of music in literature, as well as more focused analysis of particular genres and authors. The garlands almost reach 380 (May 2003) with many still in manuscript awaiting transcribing. There is a search facility.
Mystery Ink is an online crime fiction resource, offering reviews, interviews and articles of interest to researchers in contemporary popular fiction. The site is divided into sections headed: Book Reviews; Author Interviews; Reference; Links; and Awards. The book reviews are regularly updated and archived in alphabetical order. Titles reviewed in 2007 include 'Bad Luck and Trouble' by Lee Child, and 'What the Dead Know' by Laura Lippman. Authors interviewed include Barry Eisler and Harley Jane Kozak. The interviews are useful in offering insights into the authors' motivations and technique and cover authors writing in a wide range of styles within the crime fiction genre. The reference section has an article by Elmore Leonard and features on writing and genre, as well lists of titles within genres and locations favoured by particular authors. The site is a useful starting point and straight-forward to navigate.
The Official Website of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Literary Estate provides information on the life and works of the Conan Doyle, as well as licensing information to those who wish to make use of his works. The site includes a specially written illustrated biography of the author, and a comprehensive bibliography, including the author's: pamphlets; plays; and short stories, in addition to his better-known novels. Conan Doyle's more famous characters: Sherlock Holmes; Brigadier Gerard; and Professor Challenger are given outlines on separate pages, with links back to their incarnations in the bibliography. There is also a page detailing the copyright restrictions on Conan Doyle's work and characters, providing contact details for those with enquiries on the subject. This is an interesting introduction to Conan Doyle and his works, with the bibliography making a good reading list for those unfamiliar with anything outside the Sherlock Holmes novels.
'The Oxford Companion to English Literature', is a full text reference source, offered online by eNotes. The version offered appears to be the full version of the 6th Edition edited by Margaret Drabble, dating from 2000 and containing over 8,300 entries presented in a simple A-Z manner. It can also be searched by keyword. The Companion offers short author biographies, summaries of stories, novels and poems, and outline descriptions of various movements and genres in literature. No user registration appears to be required to use this resource, but only part of entries is available free. For full access to the content of the Companion a monthly or annual fee is required; access is in plain HTML format.
Raymond Chandler (1888-1959), the American writer of hard-boiled detective fiction, introduced his famous character Philip Marlowe in The big sleep (1939). This site provides a chronology of Chandler's life and a checklist of his works (based on Matthew J. Bruccoli's Raymond Chandler: a descriptive bibliography (1979). There is a section on Chandler's early poetry and prose which includes full-text versions of some of his poems and early essays, and a well-illustrated page listing films for which Chandler wrote the screenplay as well as films based on his books. A section of criticism and scholarship contains the text of a number of essays and reviews by Robert F. Moss and others. Other features of the site are a page of Chandlerisms, a section on Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles, and links to other related sites. This site is a useful introduction to the work of a major writer in an important genre, although it has not been updated since 2003.
'The Saintly Bible' is the Web presence of an ongoing bibliographic and reference project dedicated to the character of Simon Templar, better known as 'The Saint', and other works by his author, Leslie Charteris. The site is interested in television and film adaptations of 'The Saint' stories, as well as the original novel of 1928, which was followed by a novel series, magazine and even comic strip. The site includes news features on current interest in the character and his author, as well as a bibliography and biography. Also included are features on 'The Saint' magazine, 'The Saint' in film, actors who have played the character, essays, archives and additional resources. This is an enthusiasts' site, but has a thoughtful approach to the phenomena of 'The Saint' as a media success, as well as a great interest in the character and Leslie Charteris as a writer. This adds a depth of content, which makes it a useful resource for serious research into modern fiction, media and culture.
The webpage for the Second Semi-Annual Conference on the Rhetoric of the Monstrous (Stanford University, 2006) contains the full-text conference proceedings. The Conference papers examining a wide variety of monsters from history, literature (e.g.: 'Monsters of the Anglo-Saxon World'), popular culture (e.g.: 'The Evolution of Evil in Buffy the Vampire Slayer'), and contemporary media representations (such as 'the Mushroom Cloud', the 'Killer Virus', 'pollution as monster'). This will be a useful resource for those seeking a wide introduction to current thinking and research on the topic of monsters and monstrosity.
Sherlockian.net is a website designed for those interested in all aspects of the great Victorian detective Sherlock Holmes, created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930). The site provides a comprehensive gateway to Holmes-related resources, under headings that include: 'The original Sherlock Holmes Stories'; 'Arthur Conan Doyle, the author'; 'England and the Victorian era'; 'Teaching Sherlock Holmes'; and 'Pastiches, parodies, new stories' . There are also links to: pictures; games; Sherlockian items for sale; and societies and events. There is also a certain amount of original material on the site itself, in the form of short essays from contributors, as well as a FAQ which answers questions such as: 'Did Holmes use drugs?'; ''Did Holmes have love interests?'; and various other questions about film versions and adaptations of the stories. This site would interest anyone studying or researching Conan Doyle's works, as well as those studying Victorian English literature.
'Shots' is a free online magazine for enthusiasts of crime and thriller novels, and is also an excellent resource for writers and researchers interested in popular fiction. The site is regularly updated with current news, from recent awards to significant events in the personal lives of famous authors. The ezine provides: details of crime and mystery writing awards; book reviews; author profiles; interviews (which can be browsed alphabetically by author); short fiction; and an archive. Submission guidelines for fiction, reviews and articles are also given. Past interviews have included authors such as: Andrew Pyper; Joan Brady; Ian McDowall; and Carol Ann Davies. A useful links section offers information on author sites, publishers and writing groups. The site is well-presented and serious in its approach to a popular genre, with good visuals and easy navigation.
'Tales from the Vault!' is an online exhibition of visual material from Libraries and Archives Canada, and it is drawn from "one of the very few known pulp magazine holdings in Canada". There are nine sections, eight with a scholarly text and large clear scans of pulp front covers. There is also a discussion of the effects of the pulps on contemporary culture. There is a Flash-based gallery of front covers, which has the ability to zoom in to see a reasonable amount of detail. The website has six full-text 'facsimile' magazines that can be read online. There is a very short bibliography. The website is also available in French.
The webpage for the Third Semi-Annual Conference on the Rhetoric of the Monstrous (Stanford University, 2007) contains the full-text conference proceedings as PDF files. The Conference papers examining a wide variety of monsters from history (e.g.: 'the Framing of the Elephant Man'), literature (e.g.: 'Grotesque Transformation of Sexuality from Ancient Greece to Early Christendom'), popular culture (e.g.: 'The Archetype of the Evil Clown', the fear of dolls, and 'Miyazaki's Monsters'), and contemporary media representations (such as drug abusers). This will be a useful resource for those seeking a wide introduction to current thinking and research on the topic of monsters and monstrosity.
The compiler of this glossary is William Denton, who has previously published the work under the imprint of his Miskatonic University Press in 1993. It is based on the writings of major American writers of detective stories: Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Micky Spillane. It consists of an aphabetical listing of words and phrases with brief definitions, sometimes with quotations to illustrate the context. Some words are linked to pages giving more extensive definitions and explanations. The basic bibliography at the end lists works by the major writers in this genre and also includes some of the major dictionaries of slang. While the scope of this glossary is limited, it provides a useful resouce for those interested specifically in the language of American detective fiction.
The Victorian Detective Fiction pages constitute a section of a much larger academic website, Crimeculture, devoted to the study of literature, film, graphic art and popular culture, which take crime as their subject. Victorian Detective Fiction offers an excellent overview of the genre's origins, and traces its growth during the 19th century, from its official birth at the hands of Edgar Allan Poe to Arthur Conan Doyle's world famous contribution to the genre. The author, Christopher Pittard of the University of Exeter, stresses the genre's debt to the Newgate Calendar and the memoirs of the real life French detective, and former criminal, Eugene-Francois Vidocq. His chief intention however is to foreground the detective novels published between the years of Poe and Doyle's celebrated fictional detectives, and which are now nearly forgotten These are the works of writers such as Mrs Henry Wood, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, Wilkie Collins, Fergus Hume, Grant Allen and L. T. Meade. Pittard also dwells on the affinity between detective fiction and the sensation novel. A useful list of the standard secondary sources dealing with the genre is to be found in his references at the end of the page. Altogether, the resource can be a helpful introduction to the topic. The site also provides links to Pittard's other pages on Classic, French, American, or Graphic Crime Fiction.
Villainy Detected functions as an online guide for those interested in crime and criminality in the 18th and 19th centuries, both in fact and fiction. The information provided includes contemporary reports and statistics, juxtaposed with fictional accounts of crime and punishment. There are short scholarly essays by academics from Lehigh University and various primary texts in facsimile. The site is searchable and searches can be filtered by century or location (British and American). The site also provides links to further resources such as external e-texts of crime literature.