One of the biggest is Bouchercon, an annual mystery fiction convention that has been running for 40 years. This year this great event is being held in San Francisco, one of my favourite US cities (hmm... and there are reasonably-priced direct flights from Auckland to San Fran, very tempting), from 14-17 October.
Bouchercon (full name the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention) is an annual convention for devotees of mystery and detective fiction, named in honour of writer, reviewer and editor Anthony Boucher. It is held annually, each year being hosted in a different US city by a different group of volunteers (it has also twice been held in the UK, and twice in Canada). The first Bouchercon was held in Santa Monica, California in 1970. Last year's event was in Indianapolis, and the 2011 convention will be held in St Louis.
The full programme for this year's Bouchercon has not yet been announced, but a few highlights have been released, including both author events and details around several prestigious mystery writing prizes that will be announced during the Convention: this year's Distinguished Contributor to the Genre Lee Child will be in conversation with Robert Crais; this year's International Guest of Honor Denise Mina will be in conversation with Val McDermid; the Thursday night Opening Ceremonies will include the presentation of the Barry (run by Deadly Pleasures magazine) and Macavity (run by Mystery Readers International) Awards, followed by a festive reception.
And of course the winners of the Bouchercon festival's own long-running awards will also be announced; the prestigious Anthony Awards (I understand the winners are based on the votes of attendees at the convention itself). Yesterday (NZT), the nominees for the Anthony Awards, the winners of whom will be announced at a brunch on Sunday, 17 October, were released. A quick look at those in the running for Best Novel and Best First Novel:
THE LAST CHILD - John Hart
THE MYSTIC ARTS OF ERASING ALL SIGNS OF DEATH - Charlie Huston
THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE - Stieg Larsson, translated by Reg Keeland
THE BRUTAL TELLING - Louise Penny
THE SHANGHAI MOON - S.J. Rozan
BEST FIRST NOVEL
THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE - Alan Bradley
STARVATION LAKE - Bryan Gruley
A BAD DAY FOR SORRY - Sophie Littlefield
THE TWELVE/THE GHOSTS OF BELFAST - Stuart Neville
IN THE SHADOW OF GOTHAM - Stefanie Pintoff
Looks like some strong contenders there, so it will be very interesting to see who wins. Several novels that have won other prestigious awards are going head-to-head (e.g Hart's Edgar and CWA Dagger-winning THE LAST CHILD up against Louise Penny's Agatha-winning THE BRUTAL TELLING, as well as of course part of Larsson's multi-award winning Millennium trilogy - and Alan Bradley's Agatha and Arthur Ellis Award-winning debut against Stuart Neville's LA Times Book Award winner - I've heard great things about both of these books).
You can see the full list of nominees for all five awards, including Best Paperback Original, Best Short Story, and Best Non-Fiction, here.
Have you read any of the shortlisted books? What do you think? Who would you like to see win? Thoughts and comments welcome.