The Story So FarEdit
Way back in 1996 or thereabouts, a man named Mike Loux began a fan site for Robert B. Parker's Spenser series. His goal was to chase down the numerous literary and cultural references with which Parker liberally peppered his books, to identify literature, poetry, and songs either quoted or alluded to, and generally to share thoughts about The World's most Thoughtful Detective with a group of like-minded enthusiasts.
Bullets and Beer (B&B) quickly became a unique and much-appreciated fan site online. But years passed, Mike "got a life", and he eventually lost interest, and Bullets and Beer (Mark I) went offline.
Fast forward to 2001, when another Spenser fan, Bob Ames, decided that B&B was too valuable a resource to disappear. Using cached copies of the original site, Bob painstakingly restored it to life, with Mike Loux's blessing. Bob picked up where Mike had left off (Sudden Mischief, published in 1998), adding his own observations and research to Mike's pages - carefully distinguishing his own contributions in a different font color for the earlier books, and adding new entries for Parker's later Spenser novels, as well as some for the newer Sunny Randall and Jesse Stone series. (Click here for the FAQ Bob Ames posted when he took over B&B.) Bob kept a list of major changes/updates to the site - it runs from 1996 through 2003 and includes mention of many of the original contributors. Click here for the list.
Spenser fans rejoiced, but Bob's interest eventually waned as well, and by 2010 the site (B&B Mark II) had gone dark again. Fans proposed that B&B be moved to Wikia, where the contents of the site could find a more permanent home. The wiki was started in 2010, but the project stalled.
In 2015, an inspired fan made one more effort to restore B&B to the web, beginning the task of moving B&B's content to Wikia. And so by plumbing the depths of the Internet Archive, we've begun the job of bringing back the wonderfully rich, detailed, and enthusiastic work that Mike, Bob, and their many collaborators put into the site.
What Bullets and Beer Is and Is NotEdit
B&B was never an encyclopedia of the books. Today you can find exhaustively detailed synopses of the book plots on Wikipedia - that's not what this is about. B&B, rather, is a reading companion. It is assumed that you know who the characters are and have read at least some of the books, and are curious about the things that come out of Spenser's mouth, the world he lives in, and the writings of Robert B. Parker.
In this third iteration of B&B (Mark III), I've made a few tweaks from the older site. Some links to external sites are no longer viable and I've removed them, replacing them, when possible, with updated information. Some discussions between multiple contributors to the original B&B site - which both Mike and Bob printed in full - have been consolidated a little. I've added separate entries for main characters, which the original site didn't have, largely as a way to organize the various essays and other materials posted related to each of them.
However, make no mistake: Bullets and Beer was the result of a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of its creators and contributors. Both Mike and Bob were careful to credit insights and information to the contributor(s) who provided them, and these attributions are still in place. Special thanks are due to collaborators Iain Campbell, Dennis Tallett, and Hisao Tomihari, whose contributions are particularly prolific.
B&B predates the Wikipedia era, but it was a collaborative effort. I hope that, once the archived contents have been posted, others will continue to expand upon the work that Mike Loux and Bob Ames put in, and help ensure that this newest incarnation of Bullets and Beer will thrive for years to come.