Edgar Award-winning author Charles Ardai is founder of Hard Case Crime, a pulp-fiction publishing group that reprints classic crime stories as well as publishing new pulp. All Hard Case novels are published in mass-market paperback editions, much like the classic crime novels from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, with cover art inspired by images from the genre’s heyday. Under the pseudonym Richard Aleas — an anagram of his own name — Ardai writes crime fiction, too: His novels Little Girl Lost and Songs of Innocence detail the exploits of private investigator John Blake. Blake is no hard-boiled, flint-eyed detective. He’s haunted, damaged, often a little off-balance. Ardai, a onetime literature major who studied the English Romantic poets in his undergraduate career, tells Terry Gross that he’s drawn to pulp fiction’s tradition of wounded heroes. He wasn’t sure everyone would be, though. When Ardai and Hard Case co-founder Max Phillips were planning the imprint’s launch, “we figured there was a reason [pulp publishers] had gone out of business,” he tells Terry Gross. And they assumed that part of that reason was limited audience. Fifty books later, Hard Case is at the forefront of a pulp revival — a comeback for what the Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger called “an American art form as authentic as jazz.”
After six years, enemy combatants being held at Guantanamo Bay are still awaiting trial. We talk with Slate columnist DAHLIA LITHWICK about the politics and legal issues involved. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
More and more companies are popping up offering to test your genes for diseases. It is what they call “personalized medicine.” But where does all this information leave consumers with so few treatment options currently available? And what are some of the bioethical issues raised by genetic profiling? We talk with medical journalist JEANNE LENZER, MICHAEL CHRISTMAN, President and CEO of Coriell Institute for Medical Research and KATHY HUDSON, director of the Genetics and Public Policy Center at The Johns Hopkins University. Listen to this show via Real Audio | mp3
The Black Crowes
When The Black Crowes came howling out of Atlanta with 1990’s Shake Your Money Maker, few were taking on the boogie-rock of the Rolling Stones and Faces. This was the awkward period between Guns N’ Roses and Nirvana, but somehow The Black Crowes succeeded. The band has continued to record classic-rock-inspired songs with a Southern twang. On Warpaint — The Black Crowes’ first studio album since 2001’s Lions — the group reunites after solo efforts and concert tours on the jam-band circuit. This time around, North Mississippi Allstars member Luther Dickinson replaces Marc Ford on guitar. The material remains the same — swaggering rock with a bit of Southern-fried soul — but now the band sounds like professionals who have honed an otherwise ramshackle style of music. The Black Crowes give and acoustic set and interview on WXPN.
BLACK CROWES: She Talks To Angels