Widow of the Amputation & Other Weird Crimes is a collection of four novellas that explore the madness of murder through the warped lenses of urban noir, science fiction, horror, and experimental fantasy.
In Decay in Amber, a convicted rapist and murderer wakes up one morning to discover he is only six inches tall and floating down the middle of the L.A. River in a beer bottle. In Rocket City Murder, a police lieutenant has only twenty-four hours to solve a brutal triple-murder committed within the secretive confines of the bio-warfare research lab known as Micropolis. In Widow of the Amputation, the mythologies of various cultures collide as Charles Manson succeeds in busting out of Corcoran Penitentiary. And in You Might As Well Die, a crime noir writer is led into a clever cat-and-mouse game intended to frame him for a murder he himself unknowingly devised.
“Guffey is my kind of crazy. He understands that the universe is preposterous, life is improbable, and chaos rules: get used to it.”-Pat Cadigan, author of Mindplayers
An excerpt from You Might As Well Die
She pulled up outside the Hotel Roosevelt at 7000 W. Hollywood Blvd. The building looked as if it had been built as far back as the 1920s, complete with iron fire escapes zigzagging up the walls, a romantic alcove where illicit lovers meet and dirty deals are perpetrated between corrupt politicians, like the scene of a murder in a Chandler noel. It was across the street from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and a massive, gaudy-looking Virgin Megastore, the perfect visual metaphor for the clash of the old and the new in post-postmodern Tinsel Town.
Adrienne slid the car into a parking space behind the hotel. “You know, just recently,” she said in a casual, offhand manner, “a guy with an AK-47 took the elevator to the top floor of the hotel down the street and blew away a room full of producers for no particular reason. The guy had no connection to them at all. It was totally random.”
I didn’t know what to say to that. So I said, “What does a single sperm cell and a Hollywood producer have in common?” Adrienne glanced at her watch again, then shrugged. “Each of them has a one in a million chance at becoming a human being.”
She didn’t laugh. I figured it was time I get out of the car. “I’ll be back in a few hours to pick you up for the meeting,” she said. “We have to be there on the dot. Fred keeps a tight schedule. This is your first trip to L.A., isn’t it?”
I slipped my bag onto my shoulder, “‘Fraid so.”
“Enjoying it so far?”
Every cliche I’d ever heard about L.A. was true. My eyes were burning from the smog, and I felt like coughing up toxic waste.
She pulled away from the curb slowly. “Don’t worry. It gets a lot less boring from here.” And she was gone.
This post may contain affiliate links. Further details, including how this supports the bizarro community, may be found on our disclosure page.