The short-lived e-zine from which this anthology takes its title specialized in firearm-fueled crime fiction. Smith has culled 24 of its best, and though a few seem stray shots, most hit their targets as bulls-eyes. Eddie Muller's "Wanda Wilcox Is Trapped" is a steamy slice of period Hollywood sleaze in which a gun factors into a declining starlet's rendezvous with her tawdry fate. In Jim Nisbet's "Brian's Story," a pistol concealed in a car serves as a touchstone for a beautifully narrated memory tale of a white-trash kid's revenge against the pusher who sold his older brother a fatal dose of heroin. The contemplative approach of these stories is counterbalanced by Kevin James Miller's "Stealing Klatzman's Diary," a morbidly amusing caper with a Shakespearean body count in which two small-time thieves play crime kingpins and federal investigators against one another. Deceptively simple tales in which the gunplay is just part of a larger moral drama include Robert Skinner's "Spanish Luck" and Sean Doolittle's "Worth." At their best, these stories demonstrate the breadth and creative reach of the modern hard-boiled tale. (Nov.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.