On The Shoulders Of Giants

       Recently I was talking with a fellow spy series fan about the 2892 series contained in this compendium and how long I had been working on it. He asked me if I had heard of a couple of reference books dealing with spy fiction and I told him I had and that I had used them extensively. But that made me realize that I had never properly given credit and thanks to reference works that provided so much vital information. I had been quite remiss in this omission.

       To paraphrase a quote used by many, often attributed to Sir Isaac Newton but apparently dating even further back, the work on this site, of which I am quite proud, was constructed “on the shoulders of giants”, reference materials containing so much fascinating and captivating data I cannot adequately describe. I would like to present to you those giants.

Giant #1
       The work by the incredible and irreplaceable Allen J. Hubin, Crime Fiction IV, 1749-2000, is an almost unbelievable source of information for anyone who wants to know about any author who so much as thought about writing crime and thriller fiction. Mr. Hubin was the founder of the very popular and great fun to read Armchair Detective and probably knows more about the genre than anyone else alive with the possible exception of Bill Crider or Bill Pronzini. I have never met this gentleman and probably never will but I owe him so much for the work he has done that I will never be able to repay.
       The reference material contained in Crime Fiction IV comes on a CD in html format which means you can use any browser to peruse the information. It is indexed by author and series and has sections on books and stories. He graciously acknowledges the help of a good deal of people who contributed to his data and I extend my thanks to them as well but the biggest thanks goes to Mr. Hubin.
       You can get the Revised Edition, current up to 2009, at LOCUS online for just under $50 and I would recommend it to everyone. Updates beyond that can be viewed at

Giant #2 is a website devoted to the love of crime fiction, correctly billing itself as The Crime Fiction Research Journal. Be prepared to spend many, many hours at this site, reading articles and terrific reviews and columns that keep you coming back for more. The editor/publisher is listed as Steve Lewis with Mr. Hubin from above being an Associate Editor and several other contributing editors.
       The emphasis for this site, obviously, is crime and not spies but since the two so often overlap and co-mingle and get their noses in the other guy''s business that if you are a fan of spy series, you owe it to yourself to come to this site.
Giant #3
       Myron J. Smith, Jr. and Terry White are two giants who together created Clock And Dagger Fiction – An Annotated Guide To Spy Thrillers. Listing a tremendous number of authors with the spy books each has written and comments concerning the plots much as I have tried to do, it was a terrific source of information and just plain fun.
       It is a hefty volume of over 800 pages filled with a ton and a half of book titles as well as appendices about characters in series, pseudonyms, organizations, and a really fun section on the jargon of spies.
       You can find this book online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Giant #4
       Action Series And Sequels – A Bibliography of Espionage, Vigilante, and Soldier-of-Fortune Novels by Bernard A. Drew is another great, great find for people like me. The contents are just what the subtitle indicate – a listing of action heroes from the pulp era onward, presented in hero order. I had heard of this book when I first started my research and found a copy at the local university (NC State) library where I spent so many hours reading it that I knew I had to get my own copy. Mr. Drew also has other great reference books that I hope to some day have such as Western Series and Sequels and Motion Picture Series and Sequels, as well as many more.
       The man has clearly worked his tail off and I am much richer for having learned of him. His books can also be found at Amazon and B&N and such.

Giant #5
       Bradley Mengel produced an absolute hoot of a reference book for anyone who loves vigilante fiction and I cannot recommend this book enough. It is Serial Vigilantes of Paperback Fiction and it has a lot (I mean a lot) of action heroes who would not be walked over without fighting back. Its subtitle is An Encyclopedia from Able Team to Z-Comm and it belongs on the self of any student of action fiction.
       Like my site, he presents a write-up about the series, an interesting section about the author, and a listing of the books, their length, and their copyright year. The articles in the back of the book are worth the price of admission by themselves. I really enjoyed the way Mr. Mengel wrote for he made every series interesting.
       As with the others, you can find his reference book at Amazon, B&N, and so on.

       I am understandably, I believe, proud of my compendium and I have worked very hard to find every spy series that I possibly could. I could not have done it without these giants clearing the way for me.
       My Atlanta Braves ball cap is doffed to you, oh great ones. Thank you for what you have done.