Hurray for Thuglit’s Return

I can’t remember how I stumbled onto Thuglit. I’m happy I did though. I think it was the first paperback anthology… I do remember finding the website and going back through the archives, reading every single story they contained. These stories were like no crime fiction I could remember reading before. Stories of violence/sex/drugs/blood/insanity/depravity/death/murder/money…the list goes on. To me it was literary meth. Reading these short stories was like doing a line and feeling like I jammed a rusty coat hanger into my sinus cavity and scraped it around. They were that fucking good. There were three anthologies total. I turned my brother Mark onto them and he was hooked as well. He was the only other twisted fuck like me who I knew would enjoy them.
You can therefore imagine that a couple years back, I was more than a little sad to hear Thuglit was ending. Reading Thuglit was the first time I ever read something and felt like I could write as well. Thuglit made me want to write. Hell, anybody who has ever read James Ellroy or Joe Lansdale has wished they could write. Thuglit made me want to write. Big fucking difference.

I digress… So yeah, word comes down that the end is fucking nigh. If I remember correctly the message was pretty much along the lines of, “Fuck you, we’re out.” I could be wrong though because my brain isn’t what it used to be. It didn’t matter though because, well shit, to quote the almighty Motorhead, it was too late too late. I was already off on my own journey. Thuglit smashed the bottle off my bow and set me to sea.

Here we are a couple years later. Mr. Robinson had a baby and wrote a book. Two huge milestones right there. But there was something else he had planned. The way Thuglit ended was like one of the stories it showcased. You killed the motherfucker and cleaned up the mess only to discover the body was missing.

For the past few months for reasons I will not share, I’ve been out of the loop. Late one night not too long ago, I was looking for new shit to read on Amazon when I caught a glimpse of a familiar word. Guess what it was? You got it…THUGLIT. It was back. Right then I decided on a ballsy move. Using my status as Northeast American hatchet man for Crimespree magazine, I dropped Mr. Robinson himself an email and asked him if I could review the first couple issues. Him being the gracious sort, he obliged me.

In Issue 1 Jordan Harper’s tale of dogfights in Detroit broke my heart. It’s called “Lucy in the Pit” and it struck me deep. “A Clean White Sun” by Mike Wilkerson is the tale of a broken cop’s search for redemption and revenge. Wilkerson is somebody I’ll be looking out for in the future. Army vet Jason Duke’s story “Bastards of Apathy” left me breathless. The youth of today are not to be fucked with

In Issue 2 “Pipe” by Jen Conley is a story about a high school outcast who is tired of being bullied and decides to stand up for himself. That could have been me. “Monster” by Mike Fitch is a creepy tale of mental institutions and pedophiles. “Participatory Democracy” by Kathleen Tomlinson is a tale of politics and economics that could have been ripped from today’s headlines.

I must admit it’s hard to review short stories. This being Thuglit, I am scared shitless of giving too much away. I can think of many people I wouldn’t mind being pissed off at me before anybody in this crew. Like many of Thuglit’s tales, I didn’t want them to end, I wanted full length works. They are that good.

I don’t care, I’m just happy Thuglit is back.