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Archive for June, 2010

The Last Run (2010)


In the Special Operations Section of the British Secret Intelligence Agency, there are only three ways you leave the job: You’re promoted out, you quit, or you die. Tara Chace has been waiting for the first while avoiding the third. After ten years, though, she’s getting old, and she’s getting slow, and the time has come for her to step aside.

But before she can leave the Section to younger hands, a mysterious message out of the past has Chace embarking on one final run, into the most dangerous field of operations in the world: Iran. Communication from a decades-silent agent brings with it the potential for a devastating blow against a repressive regime. Chace’s instructions are clear: Bring the agent out alive. But nothing in service of Queen and country is ever that simple. With allies and enemies alike all serving their own agendas, Chace finds herself alone, hunted—and racing the clock to complete what is destined to be her last run.

For a preview of the novel, check out a post from Greg sharing the Pre-Operational Briefing.

Release information
THE LAST RUN
Bantam US hardcover October 2010 ISBN 0553804758
Bantam US paperback April 2011 ISBN 0553589016

Walking Dead nominated for Barry Award in Best Thriller category

Walking Dead

Walking Dead, Greg’s latest in a series of thriller novels featuring Atticus Kodiak, has been nominated for a Barry Award, given by the editors of Deadly Pleasures Magazine, in the category of Best Thriller!

Curious about the novel? You can read the first four chapters of Walking Dead at Greg’s blog:

  1. Chapter one
  2. Chapter two
  3. Chapter three
  4. Chapter four

The Grind

Toronto this past weekend, long days of travel, but wonderful, wonderful people – a great show. Small, friendly, got so be parked in a line with Chris Sprouse on my left and Philip Tan and Barry Kitson on the right, which was rather awesome, frankly. Philip I’ve known for a few years, now; Chris I’d met long ago; Barry I’d never had the privilege of meeting before, and am very, very glad I was finally able to rectify that. To everyone who came by to chat and get stuff signed, a sincere thank you.

Not a terrible amount of update information at the moment; still waiting to hear back from numerous people on numerous projects, ranging from the small to the inordinately ambitious. This has made answering the, “so, what are you doing now?” question a little challenging, as you might imagine. And yes, before you ask, I am well-aware that Stumtpown #4 was promised by the start of June, and here we are approaching its chewy center, and there’s no issue in sight. I shall apprise you all of the ETA as soon as I have that information.

And I SWEAR TO GOD this will be the LAST TIME this happens. When we solicit for the next arc, the issues will ship on time each month. I cannot thank all of you enough for your patience. We will get the schedule nailed down soon, I promise.

As to what I am up to? Glad you asked, here’s a sample or three…

GH1 - inks

Start of a sequence, pencils and inks by Rick Burchett

Gowanus Heights 2

Continuing the sequence

Colored panel from GH1

Color Test

By way of example, so’s you know.

The Mister8 voting for the final round ends today. I find it vaguely ironic that it comes to a close two days before the World Cup begins. I’m probably the only person who finds that ironic, but I’ve admitted before to being strange. Last I checked, Chace was getting roundly and savagely beaten by the Men from U.N.C.L.E., which is certainly a beating she can take; she’s suffered far worse at my hands, certainly. That said, if you haven’t voted, get your tail over there and cast a vote – Chace or Solo & Kuryakin, whichever may be your pleasure. As I think I’ve said before, I’m still more than a little amazed she made it this far!

Cheers!

Greg appearing at Toronto Comicon this weekend

Toronto Comicon logo

Greg will be heading north of the border this weekend for the Toronto Comicon, and will be the featured subject of a panel on Saturday:

3PM
Greg Rucka- A NOVEL APPROACH
Before Greg Rucka entered the comics scene and became an in demand scribe, he had already carved out a career as a crime fiction novelist. Find out from the man himself how he balances a career in both areas of writing and how one complements the other. Greg will discuss in detail his approach to writing the comic book –script and give pointers to attendees.

For more details, see our appearances page, where we’ve also just posted that Greg will be attending the London Film and Comic Con and the San Diego Comic Con!

Spy Hard

The Mister8 May Madness has reached its final round, and against all odds – and due in no small part to all of you folks who’ve been reading the blog and following the tweets (@ruckawriter, if you’re interested) – our girl Tara Chace has made it to the last stand, against the Men from U.N.C.L.E..

My dear friend Evan, who’s been posting comments here and at Mister8, wrote up a nice stump speech for Chace. He wrote it as an in-character piece, first-person, her POV; who she is, why she is, what she does, and I thought he did a damn fine job of it. Fun to see her through another’s eyes – it’s a rare treat for a writer, frankly, to create something that another can take hold of so thoroughly as to represent it in their own words. It is, perhaps, a whiff of authorial immortality.

So there’s Tara’s “campaign speech.” And then there’s the one in support of the Boys from U.N.C.L.E., and you can see that it is a very different stripe of cat. Not an in-character piece at all, but rather, an appreciation for what the show was, what it meant to those who followed it, and who still follow it today. No mention of characters, or stories, but rather of style – the word “dash” is used. An appreciation of the show as a product of its ear. It is, frankly, an appeal based on nostalgia and sentiment more than anything else, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

There’s nothing wrong with that at all.

I remember watching U.N.C.L.E., remember the first time I caught an episode. I was fresh from my Bond initiation (which went like this: saw my first Bond film – eyes got wide; saw more films and many more Bond Girls, eyes got MUCH WIDER; saw many more films as quickly as possible; wise uncle (heh, irony) bought me my first handful of the novels; read them and wondered how the movies could have gotten things so wrong) and the show fit right into the mold. But it had so much more that was just…awesome. And it had Illya Kuryakin. ILLYA KURYAKIN!!!

Global amounts of cool.

But, y’know…they also fought THRUSH. And even when I was 12, that wasn’t cool to me; that was silly. And it was confusing, because I’d watched Get Smart, and there was KAOS. And that was comedy, and I got that. Hell, I went to see – God forgive me – the Nude Bomb when it first came out in theaters. So THRUSH…KAOS…confusing.

Like most genres, espionage breaks down into sub-genre. The broad focuses to the narrow. My “espionage education” went from Bond to Le Carré in short order, and in doing so it went from broad entertainment to something that – for me, personally – was a much richer, far more compelling world. And, as I’ve said before, Le Carré lead me to The Sandbaggers, and that’s where I found my home, so to speak.

Bond takes his vodka martini shaken, not stirred. The Men from U.N.C.L.E. always seemed to me to be a mixed drink. And Tara…well, she’s whiskey straight from the bottle, when she can’t find a dirty glass.

So, yes, the final round of voting, and while there seems to have been some *cough* minor acrimony over Chace having made it even this far, to me there’s one wonderful, brilliant fact that is not to be overlooked. No matter how you may vote on this, no matter what you may think. Which is this:

When Mister8 decided hey, May Madness, we’ll have a Spydown, he picked sixteen spies/spy teams for the battle. And of those 16, two were women, and neither – NEITHER – had existed in “mainstream” medium (if we are willing to argue – and in this instance I am, as the Q&C novels haven’t kissed the NYT Bestseller lists even in passing, unlike, say, Deighton or Le Carré). One of them was Chace.

That’s awesome.

To me, that’s fucking brilliant.

We’ll see what y’all think of Elizabeth R. when she shows up….