Charles Ardai

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Charles Ardai
Born1969 (age 51–52)
Alma materColumbia University
  • Entrepreneur
  • writer
  • editor
  • television producer
Notable work
Juno Online Services, Hard Case Crime

Charles Ardai (born 1969) is an American writer. He is the founder and C.E.O. of Juno, an internet company, and founder and editor of Hard Case Crime, a line of pulp-style paperback crime novels.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

A New York native and the son of two Holocaust survivors, Ardai told NPR in a May 2008 interview that the stories his parents told him as a child "were the most grim and frightening that you can imagine" and gave him the impression "there was a darker circle around a very small bit of light," something that enabled him to relate to his own characters' sufferings.[3]

Ardai graduated from Hunter College High School in 1987, then attended Columbia University, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1991.[4]


Ardai's writing has appeared in mystery magazines such as Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, gaming magazines such as Computer Gaming World and Electronic Games, and anthologies such as Best Mysteries of the Year and The Year's Best Horror Stories. Ardai has also edited numerous short story collections such as The Return of the Black Widowers, Great Tales of Madness and the Macabre, and Futurecrime.[5] His first novel, Little Girl Lost, was published in 2004 and was nominated for both the Edgar Allan Poe Award by the Mystery Writers of America and the Shamus Award by the Private Eye Writers of America;[6] his second, Songs of Innocence, was called "an instant classic" by The Washington Post,[7] selected as one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly,[8] and won the Shamus Award.[9] Both books were written under the alias Richard Aleas and were optioned for the movies by Universal Pictures.[10] Ardai previously received a Shamus nomination for the short story "Nobody Wins" and he received the Edgar Award in 2007 for the short story "The Home Front".[11] In 2015, he received the Ellery Queen Award for his work on Hard Case Crime.[12] Ardai's third novel, Fifty-to-One, was published in November 2008.[13] It was the fiftieth book in the Hard Case Crime series and the first to be published under Ardai's real name.

His fourth novel, Hunt Through the Cradle of Fear, is part of a pulp adventure series he created in 2009, describing the globetrotting exploits of a modern-day explorer named Gabriel Hunt. Authorship of all the books in this series were originally credited to Gabriel Hunt himself.[14]

In 2010, he began working as a writer and producer on the SyFy television series Haven,[15] inspired by the Hard Case Crime novel The Colorado Kid by Stephen King.[16] The first episode of Haven aired on July 9, 2010[17] and the last aired on December 17, 2015.[18]

In 2016, he wrote a novel based on the Shane Black movie The Nice Guys.[19]

In addition to his writing and publishing activities, Ardai serves as a managing director of the D. E. Shaw group.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Ardai is married to writer Naomi Novik.[21] They live in Manhattan with their daughter.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Grossman, Lev; Stoller, Terry (September 26, 2008). "Single Malts and Double Crosses: Hard-Boiled Books". Time.
  2. ^ Hamilton, Denise (July 2, 2006). "A Crime Line of Passion". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ "Charles Ardai: Hard Case Shows a Soft Spot for Pulp". National Public Radio. May 5, 2008.
  4. ^ "A Hardboiled Passion". Columbia College Today. November 2004. Archived from the original on December 13, 2009. Retrieved June 13, 2009.
  5. ^ " Charles Ardai".
  6. ^ "Hard Case Crime: Little Girl Lost".
  7. ^ Anderson, Patrick (July 16, 2007). "Neo-Noir That Hits Its Target". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ "PW's Best Books of the Year". Publishers Weekly. November 5, 2007.
  9. ^ "The Shamus Awards".
  10. ^ "Crime Novel 'Little Girl Lost' to be feature film for Universal Pictures". Entertainment Weekly. September 28, 2010. Archived from the original on October 1, 2010.
  11. ^ "The Edgar Awards".
  12. ^ "Edgar Award winners announced; Stephen King takes top prize". Los Angeles Times. April 30, 2015. Retrieved March 24, 2020.
  13. ^ Carl Rosen (January 11, 2009). "Criminally Retro: A One-Man Pulp Spree". New York.
  14. ^ "The Adventures of Gabriel Hunt".
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on June 13, 2013. Retrieved 2013-06-16.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) " Interviews Charles Ardai"
  16. ^ "6 ways the new show Haven gives you Stephen King goodness". Sci Fi Wire. July 8, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
  17. ^ "Haven – Syfy's New TV Show – Premiere July 9, 2010". Men's Lifestyle & News Spot. July 10, 2010. Archived from the original on July 13, 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
  18. ^ "Haven Series Finale". TV Insider. December 18, 2015. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  19. ^ "Read an Excerpt From the Nice Guys novelization". Birth. Movies. Death. May 3, 2016. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
  20. ^ "The D. E. Shaw Group".
  21. ^ Bosman, Julie (October 11, 2006). "A New Writer Is Soaring on the Wings of a Dragon". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010.