Fare Thee Well, Plots With Guns

By the end of the day, Plots With Guns will cease to exist in any format. Although Anthony Neil Smith and his trusty crew of Crimedogs shut the joint down back in ’04, the archives remained, presumably forever. But at the end of last month, Smith explained why he’s setting PWG’s history loose:

I wish I could contact each and every writer to let them know we’re

officially going dark, and to thank them for supporting PWG through the

years.  But there are far too many, some of whom I’ve lost touch with

(but would love to hear from), and I don’t have the time.  So let this

be the big public Hugs & Kisses: We will never forget our

Crimedogs, our readers, and even our critics (we know how to hold a

grudge…until we get bored with it).  Many thanks.

Some say you should live fast, die young, and leave a good looking

corpse.  And aside from the scars picked up in knife fights, PWG is one

hot son of a bitch.  Time to shove it into the crematory.

One of PWG’s contributors and devoted fans was Mike Maclean, who describes his experiences with the mag over at Murderati:

WG published the first crime fiction story I’d ever written (“Luck

and a Gun”) in January of 2001. Seeing my work on screen, I was

immediately hooked. I submitted a few more stories to them, which were

promptly and politely… rejected.

My first reaction was to say “Screw you pals.” Then I had a moment

of clarity. PWG rejected my work for one simple reason–it wasn’t good

enough. It didn’t matter that they were a website and not a print

publication. It didn’t matter that they weren’t a paying market. If I

wanted to be included on their site, I had to send my best.

Eventually, PWG accepted “The Revenge of Carlo Pulaski.” Since then,

I’ve been able to sell a few stories, hear a few congratulations, but

those two PWG shorts are still among my most satisfying accomplishments.

Hear, hear. PWG holds a deep, dear place in my heart. I was a fan first, then a reviewer/event documenter, and then in early 2003 I wrote down the continuation of a line I couldn’t get out of my head and sent it over the transom. Trev Maviano’s clear-eyed, no-bullshit editing taught me much, but most importantly it showed that no matter what the subject matter, who the story’s eyes are, it must ring true. And editing the UK issue was the most fun, most rewarding work I’d done to date, and it’s still something I look back with excitement and fondness.

So thanks from me to Neil, Trev Victor and fine company for setting the gold standard of noir zines.