Sunday, August 21, 2005

R.I.P. Dennis Lynds, George Fasel

It seems strange to report that mystery novelist Dennis Lynds has died. I just read his novel ACT OF FEAR the other day, with writing so strong and fresh it seemed like the work of an up-and-comer instead of a gem from almost 40 years ago. His last piece of writing appears in the current issue of Thrilling Detective.

Not that it was my first encounter with his work. Lynds also wrote several titles in the Alfred Hitchcock & The Three Investigators series. What sparks your imagination as a child has a huge impact on the person you become, so those books easily rank among the most influential I’ve ever read. Lynds had recently become a fixture on the hardboiled fiction list Rara-Avis, where he was kind enough to offer hard-won wisdom from a long career as a writer. Would that I’d had my act together, I could have told him how much I enjoyed his work.

I also note with sadness the passing of George Fasel, the film blogger behind A Girl and a Gun. He had strongly held opinions and a deep love of cinema, and I always enjoyed reading what he had to say.

I have my share of problems with how the Internet has affected the way we communicate. We spend too much time reading what reinforces our own beliefs, and rely on email to stay in touch with friends. But these two men used the web to share something of themselves, to give back to that which meant a great deal to them. I never had contact with either one directly. But I’ll miss their reports from the world.

Miscellaneous: Links

Once something ends up online, it never goes away. As proof, consider this story of a six-year-old “comic” video by Seattle’s least funny disc jockey, which has only now triggered an international incident.

Screenwriter Josh Friedman (WAR OF THE WORLDS, the upcoming adaptation of James Ellroy’s THE BLACK DAHLIA) launches his blog with tales of movie premieres and unmet collaborators. Via Kung Fu Monkey.