Bouchercon Anthology Stories Selected!

It was one of the great honors and joys of my career to guest edit the 2015 Bouchercon anthology Murder Under the Oaks, and I was thrilled to be invited to take the helm of California Schemin’, the forthcoming Bouchercon anthology, as well—and a special milestone recently in that process: I’ve selected the final stories for the book—a baker’s dozen of great tales from the 44 semi-finalists, out of more than 150 blind submissions overall!

Below is the official release from Bouchercon—and it was such fun to see several writers I know and admire revealed after I selected the stories. Congratulations to all! (And now on to the editing itself….. Stay tuned, authors!)

Bouchercon 2020 celebrates thirteen short story authors whose work was selected for inclusion in this year’s conference anthology, California Schemin’.

These stories will be published alongside short fiction by this year’s Bouchercon Guests of Honor—Scott Turow, Walter Mosley, Anne Perry, Cara Black, Catriona McPherson, and Anthony Horowitz.More than 150 authors submitted stories.

In a two-step blind judging process, first-round readers passed along 44 stories to guest editor Art Taylor for final consideration. Thirteen stories were selected, and we’re glad to reveal their authors here:

  • Jennifer Berg, “Schemes in the Dark”
  • David Boop, “Call Before You Die”
  • Chris Dreith, “Old Soles”
  • Dixon Hill, “No Postman, No Doorbell”
  • Kim Keeline, “California Fold’em”
  • Ellen Clair Lamb, “The Assistant”
  • Richard Koreto, “The Hollywood Gangster”
  • Joyce Krieg, “Last Call at the Zanzibar”
  • Eileen Rendahl, “A Spoonful of Poison”
  • Christopher Ryan, “Hellhounds Hollywood Demons”
  • Linda Townsdin, “Re-entry”
  • Gabriel Valjan, “Elysian Fields”
  • Carrie Voorhis, “The Fandancer’s First Murder”

“I loved the range I saw in all the semi-finalists I read, and especially in these final stories,” said guest editor Art Taylor. “The stories here span a wide range: from hard-boiled and noir, each historically associated with California crime fiction, to Hollywood hijinks to suburban domestic suspense. And the tones range too: from the deadly serious to the delightfully and determinedly irreverent. In short, there’s hopefully a little something for all readers in the mix here.”

Although in-person Bouchercon 2020 in Sacramento, CA has been cancelled, organizers are looking at ways to present some events in a virtual format.The anthology will be published by Wildside Press in October 2020 and will be on sale through major online booksellers.