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Pelgrane Press Week and Contest at

Posted on May 2, 2011 by Flames

Pelgrane Press Logo is pleased to announce a new type of theme week for our readers. From Monday, May 2nd 2011 through Friday, May 6th 2011 we will highlight a specific publisher.

    To launch our new theme week, we have chosen Pelgrane Press as our featured publisher. If you’ve been following our site, you may recall we have provided you with popular previews, interviews, reviews and articles in the past. Based on this publisher’s popularity in the hobby games industry and with horror fans like you, we felt Pelgrane Press was a worthy choice.

    Not familiar with Pelgrane Press, its Gumshoe System and its recently announced Stone Skin Press fiction imprint? For starters, why not check out our Cthulhu Apocalypse: The Dead White World Preview, which is the first part of the highly anticipated Cthulhu Apocalypse series by Graham Walmsley. From there, we recommend reading our recent interview with Robin D. Laws, our interview with Ken Hite and our interview with composer James Semple.

    For Trail of Cthulhu RPG fans, don’t forget to check out our exclusive. Robin Laws provided us with Inmates: A Campaign Frame.

    Curious about the Gumshoe System? Want to play games like Trail of Cthulhu and Esoterrorists but haven’t had the cash? To celebrate our first-ever publisher theme week, Pelgrane Press is sponsoring a contest here on!

    Pelgrane Press Week Contest!

      As part of Pelgrane Press Week here at Flames Rising we are giving away several gift certificates to the Pelgrane Press Online Store. You can use these gift certificates to get your favorite Gumshoe, Dying Earth and other goodies directly from the folks at Pelgrane Press!

      Since the Gumshoe RPG system is all about investigation scenarios, we want to hear about your favorite fictional detective. Who is it and why are they your favorite? Want to win? Read the rules below and comment on this post to enter. How easy is that?

      Contest runs through midnight on Friday May 6, 2011 so be sure to enter today! We have several prizes we can give away, so don’t be afraid to tell a friend, too!

      Contest Details

      Pelgrane Press will be giving away one $30 and two $10 gift certificates. Please read the fine print below to find out how you can win!

      1. One Entry Per Person – We ask that you post one entry per person, so that your fellow horror fans can have an equal chance of winning a prize.
      2. Entries That Will/Won’t Be Considered – By keeping these simple guidelines in mind, you will increase your chance of winning.

      What Will Be Considered – Tell us who is your favorite fiction detective (and why) in a comment below this article. Only entries posted by midnight CST on Friday, May 6th 2011 will be eligible to win.
      What Won’t Be Considered – Entries that are full of harsh or foul language, overly graphic/sexual depictions or discriminatory/slang comments will not be posted.

      3. Valid Email Address Required – When you post your comment, there’s a field to enter your email address. In order for us to notify winners, we ask that you please include a valid email address. This email address will not be posted publicly and will be provided to Pelgrane Press. We will not use your email address for any other reason other than to notify you if you’ve won.
      4. Prizes and Notification – Pelgrane Press will provide one $30.00 gift certificate and two $10.00 gift certificates to three, separate contest winners. The value of the gift certificates is listed in U.S. currency. Contest winners will be notified via email within one week after the contest ends.

      Good luck!

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        18 Responses to “Pelgrane Press Week and Contest at”

        1. John Taber says:

          Hi Flames Rising: I know this is “generic” but my favorite fictional detective is Sherlock Holmes. I have read every Doyle story…all 1200 pages…and am a huge fan of the character is lots of different media. Jeremy Brett’s depiction is a particular favorite of mine. 🙂 I like Sherlock because he is a flawed genius. He takes drugs, is rude to even his closest friends, and is very lonely. Love the way he connect things he observes to solve crimes.
          John T>

        2. Brian Curley says:

          My favorite fictional detective is Martin Cruz Smith’s Akardy Renko (Gorky Park, Red Square, Polar Star) principally because he strikes me as the most human. I think almost anyone can relate to Renko. He makes mistakes, he falls in love with exactly the wrong woman, and he pursues his quarry with a relentless passion. That he maintains this dogged determination in spite of the fact that he knows he is often being used as a pawn by the higher powers of the Soviet, and post-Soviet Russian government makes his struggle all the more admirable, and heroic. In short, I think Renko is as close to a real person as I’ve yet found in any genre of fiction.

          Brian C

        3. Viktor Haag says:

          My favourite fictional detective varies with my mood, and the medium in which I encounter them. In books, my favourite is probably Kurt Wallander (the grumpy, middle-aged detective written by Henning Mankell, desperately trying to keep himself together as he observes the Swedish nation state around hum suffering from a similar kind of disintegration). In movies, my favourite is probably Humphrey Bogart’s Phillip Marlowe, from “The Big Sleep”: the scene of him pretending to be a prissy book-dealer to stake out a shop across the street is still one of my favourite Bogart movie scenes, helping to show his range and his humour (not traits typically associated with him). In television, my favourite detective is almost certainly Maury Chaykin’s depiction of Nero Wolfe in two seasons of mysteries produced by A&E in America; like few other actors, Chaykin brought something undeniably fresh and new to the role, but still managed to perfectly capture the character to the extent that I can’t really read Rex Stout’s books any more without seeing and hearing Chaykin (now sadly passed on) inhabiting the character.

        4. Randy says:

          Currently my favorite is Alexia Tarabotti. I have found that the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger has been a wonderful mix of action, investigation, story, and great characters all headed up by by Alexia.

        5. Niclas Matikainen says:

          I’m gonna go with Anita Blake. Though she is far from the best investigator out there, her strong personality makes her a very interesting character. She has her principles that she sticks to no matter what. Even when it’s stupid and gets her into trouble. Which happens alot. Also, she is probably the best quote machine in the world.

        6. Stuart Bonham says:

          My favourite for a long time has been Thomas Carnacki, the supernatural detective in William Hope Hodgson’s collection Carnacki the Ghost Finder. He may only appaer in 9 short stories, but I just love those stories. Not every case turns out to have a supernatural explanation, but those that do are suitably weird, and those that don’t are equally fun. Carnacki uses photography in his investigations, as well as weird science inventions of his own, such as the Electric Pentacle (although this latter is scant protection against the terrifying Saiitii manifestations he sometimes faces). All good clean fun from start to finish.

        7. Eric Nail says:

          My favorite fictional investigator is Marid Audran, from George Alec Effinger’s Marid Audran series. The Marid Audran series consists of Gravity Fails, A Fire in the Sun, and The Exile Kiss. It would have also included a fourth book, Word of Night, but Effinger finished only a few chapters before his death in 2002.

          Marid Audran is a fascinating detective not because he is clever and has a bitingly sarcastic wit, although both these things are true, but because he is a deeply flawed character. He is forced to overcome, or at least mitigate, his own weaknesses and shortcomings in order to win the day.

          The Marid Audran novels are especially fun to read because of Effinger’s vibrant characters, clever dialogue, and lovingly detailed setting – the Budayeen. The Budayeen is the red light district of an anonymous Muslim city in the late 22nd century, making this series something of a cross between hard-broiled detective novels and cyberpunk.

          I cannot recommend them highly enough.

        8. Joe Powers says:

          Dirk Gently is the worlds only holistic detective and that is just one of the reasons he is my favorite fictional detective. Sure, his introductory case was a rehashing of a Doctor Who episode his author had written, but I loved him, none the less. It’s Dirks offbeat way of looking at and interacting with the world that makes him unique. Lost? Find someone who looks like they know where they’re going and follow them. Question? Ask the I-Ching calculator. Sure. Mr. Gently is a kook, but he’s my kind of kook.

        9. Sean "Nix" McConkey says:

          One of the most influential detectives for me was Carl Kolchak from the short lived series Kolchak: the Night Stalker. I felt he was a cross between Peter Falk’s exquisite portrayal of Columbo and the darker, grittier detectives of the 1930’s such as Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe. Even though he was technically an investigative journalist, it’s a fine line between private investigator and free-lance journalist. He still sought to dig into buried truths and facts, thus dragging them into the light.

          Kolchak was a rumbled hustler poking into corners no one wanted to know about. When I first read through and played the Gumshoe system, it instantly made me think of Kolchak. He wasn’t the smartest, the most charismatic, his contacts were almost all street level, and his resources were limited, yet through sheer perseverance Kolchak cracked case after case.

          I’ll admit that he had his more than his fair share of dumb luck as well.. but that made him all the more endearing.

        10. Michael Bentley says:

          My favorite Detective is Jim Rockford of Rockford Files fame. He may not face down horrors of the unknown or deal with serial killing psychos, but he can take a beating and keep on ticking. He fights for the little guy and keeps on fighting until he wins.

        11. L.J.S. says:

          Hockensmith’s Amlingmeyer brothers, Big Red and Old Red. You see, these two Texas cowboys got to reading Sherlock Holmes stories while on the range, and got to applying his principles to various problems cropping up. The books range from a traditional cozy (set in a cowboy bunk house), to action/detecting (on a train no less), to noir in San Francisco’s Chinatown, to a more madcap comedy of deduction at the Chicago World’s Fair. Very well worth reading!

        12. My favorite fictional detective is one Cardinal Chang of GW Dahlquist’s THE GLASS BOOKS OF THE DREAM EATERS and its sequel. Chang is the epitome of anti-hero cool: a slick nickname, an obligatory yet enhancing disfigurement, a no-nonsense personality that belies a genuine human being and the sort of absurd-yet-believable ability to narrowly escape all sorts of hazards: brainwashed fiends, telepathic monsters and even crashing zeppelins! Of course, Chang isn’t technically a detective: he’s a career criminal and strongarm-for-hire. But that doesn’t stop him from being my favorite literary dispeller-of-mysteries. I like to think of him as as the perfect “anti-detective”.

          If we’re going to be literal about it, my favorite “real” detective is Rick Declare as played by Harrison Ford. Admittedly a blatant amalgam of classic noir gumshoes, it was Ford’s surprisingly strong display of empathy and human melancholy amidst a ruthless future that still holds in my mind as the most memorable of the post-modern anti-heroes, especially considering the secret hinted at in the director’s cut of BLADE RUNNER. To this day, I’ve yet to read or see a similarly striking “detective”.

          But really, Joe should win for Dirk Gently. Can’t wait for the BBC series to air so I can download it illegally for stateside viewing l
          (here’s hoping it’s as good as BBC’s new SHERLOCK). Also, props to Nic for Anita Blake. As a Saint Louis resident, I can testify that she’s badass as she would need to be to do her job here. That she also loves the monsters with a real human heart gives the series that much more depth (unlike another ridiculously obsessed vamp-lover I could name).

        13. Chris Nail says:

          The one detective I never tire of is the Doctor, from the BBC’s long-running Doctor Who television series. Although he may seem to be an unlikely choice at first, at his core, the Doctor is an explorer and detective. Each episode, he investigates mysteries to save people from alien creatures, rips in the time-space continuum, and mankind’s “human nature”. His strong code of ethics and sincere desire to teach others to help themselves leads him to resolve each mystery in a gripping, thoughtful way. Each incarnation of the Doctor has his own personality and companions, so there is a Doctor to suit everyone’s individual tastes. The series started in 1963 and is still in production, so fans are able to delve into the “Whoniverse” with a vast library of exciting adventures.

        14. Zach Weber says:

          “Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean. […] He must be the best man of his world, and a good enough man for any world.” -Raymond Chandler

          My favorite fictional detective is Phillip Marlowe. He’s more human than Holmes, more frustrated and alive. He actually takes notice of the people he’s trying to help, the world he lives in, and the slippery nature of justice applied to the lives of human beings by the instruments of law.

          Chandler’s keen eye for the social costs of rapid economic growth and the corruption of ideals by reality would well serve any speculative fiction writer well, and Marlowe embodies the qualities he saw as the best of humanity–without straining the suspension of disbelief. He cracks wisest, shoots straightest, boils hardest; he is gentle and kind when he feels he can be, nasty when he knows he must be. Good enough for anyone. The best, for me.

        15. Bryan says:

          I am gonna endorse Richard Castle as my favorite fictional detective. He may not be officially on the homicide squad at the twelfth precinct, but hey…I love Nathan Fillion…and I have to have an answer to get into this drawing.


        16. John says:

          Since I first read Storm Front, Harry Dresden has become my favorite fictional detective. Certainly his business card and phone book listing proclaim him as a “Wizard,” but his magical skills are used to supplement his investigative talents. At the end of the day, I find him to be more detective than magician.

          I find Harry a terrific protagonist for two primary reasons. #1 Even though Harry has inhuman talents, Jim Butcher consistently reminds us that the character is very human by clearly exposing his thought process and emotional reactions. #2 Harry is fantastically devoted to his cause of the moment. He lays it all on the line every time, just because it’s the right thing to do.

          In my opinion, this combination of the inhuman and the human is complemented by the characteristic persistence to create a character that is more than just likeable. I think it creates a character with whom the reader can easily identify. Which, in the end, makes the stories much more enjoyable.

        17. Alex says:


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