Charles Ardai (born 1969) is an American entrepreneur, writer, editor, and television producer. He is best known as founder and CEO of Juno, an Internet company, and founder and editor of Hard Case Crime, a line of pulp-style paperback crime novels. 
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.
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. 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; his second, Songs of Innocence, was called "an instant classic" by the Washington Post, selected as one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, and won the Shamus Award. Both books were written under the alias Richard Aleas and have been optioned for the movies by Universal Pictures. 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". In 2015, he received the Ellery Queen Award for his work on Hard Case Crime.
Ardai's third novel, Fifty-to-One, was published in November 2008. 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 is credited to Gabriel Hunt himself.
In 2010, he began working as a writer and producer on the SyFy television series Haven, inspired by the Hard Case Crime novel The Colorado Kid by Stephen King. The first episode of Haven aired on July 9, 2010.
In addition to his writing and publishing activities, Ardai serves as a managing director of the D. E. Shaw group. Ardai attended Columbia University, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1991. He graduated from Hunter College High School in 1987.
- Charles Ardai on National Public Radio
- Hard Case Crime official site
- Adventures of Gabriel Hunt official site
- mostlyfiction.com interview with Charles Ardai, author of Fifty-To-One
- Charles Ardai at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database
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- Hamilton, Denise (July 2, 2006). "A Crime Line of Passion". Los Angeles Times.
- "Charles Ardai: Hard Case Shows a Soft Spot for Pulp". National Public Radio. May 5, 2008.
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- "Hard Case Crime: Little Girl Lost".
- Anderson, Patrick (July 16, 2007). "Neo-Noir That Hits Its Target". Washington Post.
- "PW's Best Books of the Year". Publishers Weekly. November 5, 2007.
- "The Shamus Awards".
- "Crime Novel 'Little Girl Lost' to be feature film for Universal Pictures". Entertainment Weekly. September 28, 2010.
- "The Edgar Awards".
- "Criminally Retro: A One-Man Pulp Spree". New York Magazine. January 11, 2009.
- "The Adventures of Gabriel Hunt".
- http://www.biogamergirl.com/2013/06/exclusive-editor-charles-ardai.html/ "BioGamerGirl.com Interviews Charles Ardai"
- "6 ways the new show Haven gives you Stephen King goodness". Sci Fi Wire. July 8, 2010. Retrieved July 8, 2010.
- "Haven – Syfy's New TV Show – Premiere July 9, 2010". Men's Lifestyle & News Spot. July 10, 2010. Retrieved July 10, 2010.
- "The D. E. Shaw Group".
- "A Hardboiled Passion". Columbia College Today. November 2004.
- Bosman, Julie (October 11, 2006). "A New Writer Is Soaring on the Wings of a Dragon". New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2010.