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Friday, September 30, 2011

Death Brackets in Crime Fiction


I am busy finishing up an article for the Novemeber/December NoveList RA News (it is due today), but I found this yesterday and couldn't let it go by without passing it on.

My favorite crime fiction blog, Criminal Element, is running an interesting contest here. The idea is they are taking the tough guys from the ranks of detective and spy thriller novels, and ask the question, "Who could kick whose ass?"

The exercise itself is fun, but it is the rules that I love:
Instead, let’s play by their rules. Let’s set up a contest pitting some of the best master detectives against some of the finest heroes of thrillers.  They won’t get thrown into a chain link box with the other man. They’ll get dropped somewhere with no money and no sidekick. Someplace that isn’t home turf. Neutral territory. 
It might be the middle of Paris or the wilds of Alaska—the only thing I guarantee is it’ll be random.
Each hero gets dropped at least five miles from the other. They’ll know who their opponent is and have a photo of them. That’s all.  Let’s say there’s an explosive charge strapped to their ankle with a keypad and a timer.  It’ll go off in three days, or if somebody tries to remove it.
There’s a combination stamped on the metal. But that’s the code to disarm the other man’s device.
If we’re going to have quarter-finals, semi-finals, and finals, we have to start with 16 competitors: Eight master detectives versus eight of the toughest spies, assassins, and anti-heroes will face each other in 4 rounds.  And by Friday, we’ll have a champion.
Each "face-off" reads like its own novel.  I am actually enjoying each as a standalone thriller story.  What a perfect tribute to the wonderful novelists who created these fascinating heroes.

So click on through and read the series.  The winner will be crowned later today.  I won't ruin it by telling you the finalists here.  Read through the entire series for yourself.  I promise, it is a great read.

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