CHRISTA FAUST

This checklist celebrates the paperback books by Christa Faust, notably her achievement as the first woman to be published by Hard Case Crime. One of the coolest writers working today, Christa Faust's body of work can be appreciated on many levels. For starters there is that name, Christa Faust, promising both Heaven and Hell simultaneously. Then there is the visceral experience of reading one of her books. Christa writes like a slumming angel, whispering forbidden secrets while entertaining the hell out of us.

Try MONEY SHOT and see for yourself.

On her website, her biography is short and to the point:

Christa Faust grew up in New York City, in the Bronx and Hell's Kitchen. She's been making stuff up her whole life, and spent most of her teen years on endless subway rides, cutting school and scribbling stories. After High School finally had enough of her, she worked in the Times Square peep booths and later as a fetish model and professional Dominatrix. She sold her first short story when she moved to Los Angeles in the early 90s. After nearly 20 years in her beloved adopted city, she still considers herself an expat rather than a native.

She's an avid reader and collector of vintage paperbacks, a Film Noir enthusiast and a Tattooed Lady. She writes primarily Hardboiled crime fiction, but also does work-for-hire media tie in novels. She doesn't plan to stop any time soon.

There is nothing more to add that cannot be discovered at her website at http://christafaust.com/

Hard Case Crime, the brilliant series of hardboiled mass-market paperback novels started by Charles Ardai and Max Phillips in 2004, has been a refreshingly vibrant collection of tough guy crime classics mixed with new books written in the same genre, all captured under colorful painted covers just like the paperbacks of days gone by. The covers separate Hard Case Crime from all the boring computer-generated covers now coming out from all the other modern publishers.  But it was a “boys' only club”, all male authors, and that is one old-fashioned notion that no longer flies in the 21st Century. There are plenty of hardboiled writers out there who are women: see the anthology A HELL OF A WOMAN on this checklist for a list of some of the best of them. Christa Faust shattered that ceiling with her dynamite 2008 novel MONEY SHOT, published right between Lawrence Block and Michael Crichton, and followed it with the sequel CHOKE HOLD, published right between Mickey Spillane and Donald E. Westlake in 2011. She tells us there will be a third novel in this series, THE GET OFF. Can't hardly wait!

Her first book CONTROL FREAK was published by RhinocEros, a division of Masquerade Books, the purveyors of 90's porn. But there aren't many other Masquerade Books as well-written or as breathtaking as Christa's debut. It was apparent from the first that something special was coming out of this unsuspected place.

CONTROL FREAK fools us by starting like any other hardboiled detective story. There is the tough detective hero Mike, his gorgeous writer girlfriend Caitlin, and the evil and twisted villain Absinthe. And then, hold on, Christa takes us places we never dreamed of, places we have never seen before, and each step feels so frighteningly real. While investigating the S&M world led by Absinthe, Caitlin realizes that she prefers that night life to the boring workaday world defined as Mike's girlfriend. She becomes a dominatrix called Lady Morrigan. And she loves it. This story is not about the typical tough-guy cop hero Mike. It is all about Caitlin, all about Morrigan. Genuinely erotic and hypnotic, CONTROL FREAK was too good to disappear, and in 2002 a new edition was published by Babbage Press.  In the introduction to the reprint, Christa confesses she toned it down for publication. One can only imagine what shocks the original must have held.

CHRISTA FAUST CHECKLIST

I. Books

CONTROL FREAK - RhinoCeros 633-2, PBO (paperback original) 1998.

The cover was graced with this perfect blurb from her friend Quentin Tarantino: “Christa Faust is a Veronica in a world of Betties.” Tarantino was making a joke at a photo shoot full of blondes, but with MONEY SHOT, as the first woman published by Hard Case Crime, Christa became a Veronica in a world of Jugheads. 

A story of S&M culture from the inside that rings true, CONTROL FREAK has scenes of genuine horror and is not recommended for the squeamish or easily offended. But. if you are ready for a dark ride, climb in.

Masquerade” Vol 7, No 3, May – June 1998. With an excerpt from CONTROL FREAK.

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Babbage Press, September 2002. Trade paperback format.

With a new introduction by the author.

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As EXOUSIASTIKI MANIA, Ars Nocturna, Greece 2008. Greek-language edition.

Rotbuch Krimi 316. Germany 2009. .

German-language paperback.

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The 2014 Kindle edition. Also available as an iTunes download>

Christa Faust, Control Freak (Unabridged)

HOODTOWN – From Parts Unknown, June 2004. Cover art and interior illustrations by Rafael Navarro.

TRIADS (with Poppy Z. Brite) – Subterranean Press hardcover, 2004.

The limited edition included the bonus short story “Blood Orange Blues”.

Note: This book is an expansion of the novella “Triads” collected in the anthology REVELATIONS, ed. by Douglas Winter, Harper Prism, 1997.

NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: DREAMSPAWN, Games Workshop, April 2005.

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TWILIGHT ZONE 5: BURNED / ONE NIGHT AT MERCY – Games Workshop, July 2005.

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FINAL DESTINATION 3: THE MOVIE – Games Workshop, January 2006.

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FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE JASON STRAIN –Games Workshop, January 2006

SNAKES ON A PLANE – Black Flame / Games Workshop, July 2006. Winner of the Scribe Award for Fiction – Best Novel (Adapted).

Most screenplay novelizations are thin and listless. The award-winning SNAKES ON A PLANE is 405 pages of Faustian bliss.

MONEY SHOT – Hard Case Crime HCC040, February 2008. Cover art by Glenn Orbik.

Dedicated to Richard Prather. Faust and Prather corresponded just before his death. MONEY SHOT is told in a bold, freewheeling style that pays homage to Prather's Shell Scott, with a little Honey West (the creators of Honey West have said the idea that started the series was “what if Shell Scott was a woman?”), and a dash of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer. But that is only the jumping-off point. The joy of MONEY SHOT is that Christa, as CONTROL FREAK first suggested, has a bewitching style uniquely her own.

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Cover proof for MONEY SHOT ^

MONEY SHOT nabbed an Edgar nomination for Christa. Should have won.

<As HARDCORE ANGEL – Rotbuch Krimi, Germany 2008. German-language Hard Case Crime HCC004

As KOSTON ENKELI, Banaani Pokkari, Finland 2010. Finnish-language edition. Title translation: AVENGING ANGEL.

I asked Christa if this porn star or the writer in CONTROL FREAK was autobiographical:

“All characters, male, female and other, are somewhat autobiographical but also totally unique and unlike me in many other ways. FYI, I have never been a porn star or performed in a traditional sex scene on camera, only fetish scenes like bondage, spanking, foot worship etc.” 

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UK e-book, Audible edition 2010.

Also available as an iTunes download,

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As A LA CARA – Valdemar, Spain 2010. Spanish language edition. Title translation: IN THE FACE.

Covers by Robert Maguire. The front cover re-uses Maguire's art for THE BRASS HALO (Signet 1556).

The back cover re-uses Maguire's art from THE HOT CHARIOT (Ace D447).

The Maguire cover art is re-used with permission. I'm happy to see these great covers being used again for a whole new generation of readers and book collectors.

Puntocero, Uruguay, 2010. Spanish-language South American edition. 

As L'ANGE DU PORNO – Thriller Outside, France 2011. French-language translation with photo cover. -

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HUNT: BEYOND THE FROZEN FIRE by Gabriel Hunt as told to Christa Faust. Leisure Books GH-004, April 2010. Cover art by Glenn Orbik.  Book Four in the Gabriel Hunt series.

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Titan Books, UK PB 2014.

Kindle edition, 2014.

The 2014 reprint credits Christa Faust on the cover. Each of the Hunt series was written by a different writer. Other authors include Charles Ardai, David J. Schow and James Reasoner.

SUPERNATURAL: COYOTE'S KISS – Titan Books, 2011.

TV tie-in.

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CHOKE HOLD – Hard Case Crime HCC104, October 2011. Cover art by the great Glenn Orbik. Continuing the adventures of porn star/private eye Angel Dare.

Excerpted in KUNG FU FACTORY, Crime Factory 2011. Kindle edition 2014

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As DIE RACHE GOTTIN, Rotbuch Krimi 3867891575, Germany 2012. Title translation: THE GODDESS OF VENGEANCE.

Christa Faust, Choke Hold (Unabridged)

Also available as an iTunes download.

THE DEAD MAN: THE DEATH MATCH – 47 North, 2012. Each volume in the Dead Man series collects three new novellas. V5 includes THE DEATH MATCH BY Christa Faust.

Kindle edition, 2012.

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E-book novel:

BUTCH FATALE, DYKE DICK: DOUBLE-D DOUBLE CROSS – Kindle edition, 2012.

Christa says there will be a second BUTCH FATALE book and she hopes to see them published like an Ace Double.

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FRINGE 1: THE ZODIAC PARADOX – Titan Books, May 2013. TV tie-in.

 FRINGE 2: THE BURNING MAN -Titan Books, August 2013.

FRINGE 3: SINS OF THE FATHER – Titan Books, August 2014.

II. Short Stories.

“Saved” (with Poppy Z. Brite) in YOUNG BLOOD, ed. By Mike Baker, Zebra 0-8217-4498-4, 1994.

“Saved” has been reprinted in NOIROTICA, TYPICAL GIRLS and ARE YOU LOATHSOME TONIGHT?

Someday some smart publisher will issue THE COLLECTED SHORT STORIES OF CHRISTA FAUST. Until that happens, here is a key to hunting down her stories in anthologies, magazines and online.

In NOIROTICA, ed. by Thomas S. Roche, RhinocEros 1-56333-390-2, 1996.

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In TYPICAL GIRLS, ed. by Susan Corrigan, Hodder & Stoughton, UK paperback 1997.

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In TYPICAL GIRLS, St. Martin's Griffin, 1999

In ARE YOU LOATHSOME TONIGHT? - Poppy Z. Brite, Gauntlet Press, 1998 hardcover. Paperback edition, 2000.>

“Cherry” in LOVE IN VEIN ed. by Poppy Z. Brite, Harper Prism 0061053120, 1994.

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“Epiphany” in SPLATTERPUNKS II, ed. by Paul M. Sammon, Tor 1995.

Reprinted in FLOWERS IN THE RAZORWIRE, Boneyard PRESS, 1995.

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“Skin Deep” in HOT BLOOD: STRANGER BY NIGHT, ed. by Jeff Gelb & Michael Garrett, Pocket 53754, 1995.

Adapted for the Showtime TV series THE HUNGER.

“The Girl Who Loved the Wind” in ONCE UPON A TIME: EROTIC FAIRY TALES FOR WOMEN, ed. by Michael Ford, Richard Kasak Books / Masquerade, 1996.

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“Envy” in DARKSIDE: HORROR FOR THE NEXT MILLENIUM, ed. by John Pelan,

Darkside Press, 1996.

Paperback edition: Roc 45662, 1998. 

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“Found Angels” (with Caitlin R. Kiernan) in IN THE SHADOW OF THE GARGOYLE, ed. by Nancy Kilpatrick & Thomas S. Roche, Ace, 1998.

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In FROM WEIRD AND DISTANT SHORES by Caitlin R. Kiernan, Subterranean Press, 2002.

“Head” in SUBTERRANEAN GALLERY, ed. by Richard Chizmer & William Shafer, Subterranean Press 1999.

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“Bodywork” in AFTER SHOCKS, ed. by Jeremy Lassen, Freak Press, 2000.

Reprinted in Nightmare Magazine, Kindle edition, 2014.

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Cemetery Dance #34: Shirley, Laymon, Etchison, Matheson

“Sticks” in Cemetery Dance magazine #34, 2001.

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“Bootleg” in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF VAMPIRE STORIES BY WOMEN – ed. by Stephen Jones, Running Press, 2001.

“Switchblade” in HOT BLOOD XI: FATAL ATTRACTIONS – ed. by Jeff Gelb & Michael Garrett, Kensington, 2003.

Also available in Kindle, e-book, Nook etc.

“Candy” in SEX CRIMES – ed. by Monks & Fisher, Chanting Monks / Boneyard Press, 2003.

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“Roadkill” on Gothic.net (online magazine), 2002.

First book appearance in ROADKILLS, ed. by Joseph M. Monks, Chanting Monks Press, 2003. Cover art by Bernie Wrightson.

Reprinted in INTO THE DREAMLANDS, 2007.

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In INTO THE DREAMLANDS – ed. by Andrews & Dyer, Simian 2007.

“Love, La Llorona” in City Slab Magazine, Vol 2, No 1, 2004.

This very rare magazine also includes a photo-illustrated interview with Christa Faust.

Reprinted in SINS OF THE SIRENS, Dark Arts 2008.

“Tighter” in STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: THE HOT BLOOD SERIES, ed. by Jeff Gelb & Michael Garrett, Kensington 0758206925, 2004. The 12th book in the HOT BLOOD series of erotic fiction anthologies.

Reprinted in the UK in THE MAMMOTH BOOK OF NEW HORROR 16, 2005. And in SINS OF THE SIRENS, Dark Arts 2008

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“Cutman” in A HELL OF A WOMAN: An Anthology of Female Noir, ed. by Megan Abbott, Busted Flush, 2007. Trade paperback.

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Kindle edition, 2011.

“Firebird” in SINS OF THE SIRENS, ed. by John Everson, Dark Arts, 2008. 14 stories by four authors. There are three stories by Christa Faust in this version of SINS OF THE SIRENS.

“Firebird” is a new story, the other two, “Love, La Llorona” & “Tighter”, are reprints.

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“Footjob” in UNCAGE ME, ed. by Jen Jordan, Bleak House, 2009.

Also published in a 2011 Kindle edition.

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“All About Eden” Kindle edition, 2011.

With much more to come…

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Christa Faust Interview:

“L.A. Angel” by Rachel Kramer Bussel, in Penthouse, March 2008

fLynn Munroe Books