A (Black) Gat in the Hand Returns!

A (Black) Gat in the Hand Returns!

Gat_HardboiledPronziniEDITEDWith only three stories remaining, Hither Came Conan is taking a Monday off. We began trodding jeweled thrones beneath our feet back on January 7th. The series started the week after A (Black) Gat in the Hand, a hardboiled/pulp column, wrapped up its 34-week run on December 3st, 2018.

Well, after we talk about our last Conan story next month, A (Black) Gat in the Hand is making another summer appearance! With an attempt to cover a broader pulp range this time around, I’ve lined up another excellent bunch of guest posters. Of course, we’ll still be talking hardboiled, but there was a lot of good reading in other genres back in the pulp heyday.

“Sure, Bob. Who are these ‘guest posters’ you allegedly have lined up?” I’m glad you asked. Actually, I’m not, but I’ll answer anyways.

William Patrick Murray is going to tell us about my favorite pulp hero, Doc Savage. James Reasoner, who has forgotten more western pulp stuff than I’ve ever learned about, has a couple of contributions. Author Duane Spurlock will also be talking about westerns. It was a more popular genre than even hardboiled, you know!

Steve Scott, who knows more about John D. MacDonald than I do (and I can hold my own regarding John MacD!) has an essay on one of JDM’s few attempts at a series character, pre-Travis McGee.

I’ve long soaked up pulp knowledge from the writings of Evan Lewis and Stephen Mertz. Evan is going to be a guest poster, and Stephen agreed to let me use his excellent essay on the hardboiled pioneer, Carroll John Daly. And I got permission to reprint an essay from one of my favorite people, the late Bill Crider!!!

Paul Bishop, my go-to guy for Robert E. Howard boxing info, will be writing about a cool South African post-pulp series. And my new Windy City Pulp And Paper buddy, Joshua Dinges, will be writing on a very unique pulp topic.

I’m going to incorporate a couple Q&As this time around, with folks like Doug Ellis and Ed Hulse lined up.

I’ve got several others thinking about contributing – or on board but deciding on topics, like Frank Schildiner. And I’m not done recruiting. You might be hearing from me yet.

I may have missed a few names – I’m scrambling to get this series ready while still wrapping up Hither Came Conan. My full-time job really gets in the way of my blogging…

I think this second go-round is going to be even better than last year’s. And I think we kicked some serious pulp butt last year!

Of course, you’ll be subjected to some stuff from me, since it’s my column. The one thing I most regret missing in the series’ first run, is talking about Norbert Davis’ Max Latin. So, that’s gonna happen this time around. And possibly a little more Davis. Along with Hammett and Frederick Nebel, he’s on my Pulp Mt. Rushmore (not sure who the fourth person would be).

Speaking of Nebel, Gales and McGill, MacBride and Kennedy, Cardigan, and some northern adventure stories are all on the ‘To Do’ list. Carroll John Daly’s Race Williams and Three Gun Terry, and Raoul Whitfield’s Jo Gar are to be addressed as well. I’d like to hit some more authors, like T. A. Tinsley, Stewart Sterling, T. T. Flynn (somebody else will cover that better, fortunately), the pulp of Robert E. Howard (his lesser-known stuff), John D. MacDonald and a whole lot more.

Here are the posts from last year’s first run:

A (Black) Gat in the Hand – 2018

With a (Black) Gat: George Harmon Coxe
With a (Black) Gat: Raoul Whitfield
With a (Black) Gat: Some Hard Boiled Anthologies
With a (Black) Gat: Frederick Nebel’s Donahue
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Thomas Walsh
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – January, 1935
A (Black) Gat in the hand: Norbert Davis’ Ben Shaley
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: D.L. Champion’s Rex Sackler
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Dime Detective – August, 1939
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #1
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: W.T. Ballard’s Bill Lennox
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Day Keene
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – October, 1933
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #2
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Black Mask – Spring, 2017
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Frank Schildiner’s ‘Max Allen Collins & The Hard Boiled Hero’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: William Campbell Gault
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: More Cool & Lam From Hard Case Crime
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: MORE Cool & Lam!!!!
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Thomas Parker’s ‘They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe Bonadonna’s ‘Hardboiled Film Noir’ (Part One)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe Bonadonna’s ‘Hardboiled Film Noir’ (Part Two)
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: William Patrick Maynard’s ‘The Yellow Peril’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Andrew P Salmon’s ‘Frederick C. Davis’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Rory Gallagher’s ‘Continental Op’
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #3
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #4
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Back Deck Pulp #5
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: Joe ‘Cap’ Shaw on Writing
A (Black) Gat in Hand: Back Deck Pulp #6
A (Black) Gat in the Hand: The Black Mask Dinner


Bob_Houston_HatCroppedBob Byrne organized and edits Black Gate’s current ‘Hither Came Conan’ series.  He also organized Black Gate’s award-nominated ‘Discovering Robert E. Howard’ series.

His ‘A (Black) Gat in the Hand’ was a regular Monday morning hardboiled pulp column from May through December, 2018.

His ‘The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes’ column ran every Monday morning at Black Gate  from March, 2014 through March, 2017 (still making an occasional return appearance!).


He is a member of the Praed Street Irregulars, founded www.SolarPons.com (the only website dedicated to the ‘Sherlock Holmes of Praed Street’) and blogs about Holmes and other mystery matters at Almost Holmes.

He has contributed stories to The MX Book of New Sherlock Holmes Stories – Parts III, IVV and VI.

And he is in a new anthology of new Solar Pons stories, out now.

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Joe Bonadonna

Thanks for the shout-out, Bob! Great article. That Hard Boiled anthology is excellent!

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