While I am waiting for that blast of either energy or inspiration to do my backlog of book reviews, I thought I would post a link to this excellent article about Dashiell Hammett from the San Francisco Gate. As you can probably tell from my choice of reading, I love detective stories, mysteries and crime writing. I am unusual in a way in that I almost equally like the sub-genres of the genre, called rather disparagingly "tea cosy" and "hard-boiled". Noir is another sub-genre that sits to the left of hard-boiled, and yet paradoxically can have a bit of tea cosy about it as well. I think Dashiell Hammett is the godfather of noir. And one of the things I really like, both in crime/mystery/detective fiction and in SF (my second great favourite genre) is a political subtext. Dashiell Hammett's first of only five novels, Red Harvest, is also a classic in this sub-sub-genre.