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James Crumley (The Last Good Kiss, The Final Country) won't be in attendance at Bouchercon 2002, the 33rd World Mystery Convention, which is taking place in Texas -- Austin, if you're going to insist on specificity -- for the first time, Oct. 17-20, at the Renaissance Hotel. The reason isn't that he doesn't like Texas, though he doesn't; the reason is congestive heart failure. Though Crumley has "turned a corner," according to his friends Tom Zigal and Jesse Sublett, his condition was grave just a week ago. From down here to up there in Montana, we wish him the very best. For official information on the convention, check www.bouchercon2002.com. Otherwise, stick with us in the upcoming weeks... The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (www.hrc.utexas.edu) has announced its acquisition of Julian Barnes' archive, which includes "his typescript drafts, proofs, production material, and many reviews from his novels, as well as travel diaries, journals, unpublished non-fiction writing, correspondence, photographs, and articles by and about Barnes." This trove from the author of Metroland, Flaubert's Parrot, Talking It Over, and Love, Etc. is only the latest in a long line of Ransom Center coups, but still. It's serious stuff, folks... Dave Eggers' follow-up to A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius -- You Shall Know Our Velocity -- is one of the most anticipated releases of this loaded fall books season, and with only 10,000 copies scheduled for print for now (and available only at McSweeney's online or at independent bookstores, in a shrewd little business move), there might end up being some disappointed anticipators out there. Tough luck. The good news for us: BookPeople is the only store in Texas selling it. It could hit the shelves at any minute, if it hasn't already, so keep your eyes peeled, please... The Writers' League of Texas, in conjunction with the Texas Commission on the Arts, is once again offering its Grants and Fellowships in Literature; interested applicants should write the Writers' League of Texas, Attn: Grants in Literature, 1501 W. Fifth Ste. E-2, Austin, TX 78703. Or they can call 499-8914, or e-mail awl@writersleague.org. It's really about personal preference, you know?... Those twins who played two of the precogs in the adaptation of Philip K. Dick's The Minority Report can also write, apparently: Matthew and Michael Dickman will be Michener Fellows next year. Just thought you might be interested... Notable appearances this week: Irvine Welsh (Porno) at BookPeople on Saturday, Oct. 5, 7pm and Jeff Guinn (Our Land Before We Die: The Proud Story of the Seminole Negro Indians) also at BookPeople on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 7pm.

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