Publishers Weekly just graced two of our upcoming titles with reviews.
First up is a glowing one for Richard Chizmar's over 500 page collection, A Long December:
They say you can’t go home again, and many of the 35 quietly creepy stories in this career-spanning collection make it clear why one might not want to… Chizmar pays tribute to horror master Richard Matheson of Twilight Zone fame both explicitly (with ‘The Artist’) and implicitly with last-act twists and a firm emphasis on family as the source of both laughter and tears.
Next is Joe R. Lansdale's pulp-infused Dead on the Bones:
Needing to ‘dig directly into that pulp well in my head,’ Lansdale (the Hap and Leonard series) unleashes eight tales of two-fisted action that invoke the spirits of Edgar Rice Burroughs and Robert E. Howard. Heroes (‘determined’) and villains (‘evil-faced’) square off in exotic locales (Venus, Mars, east Texas). One is pursued by an ice shark through a lost Martian city while on a humanitarian mission (‘King of the Cheap Romance’); another reenacts the revenge plot of Hamlet, this time with zombies (‘Dead on the Bone’).
Both collections are right on schedule for release this fall.
We seem to be ahead of ourselves. The trade and limited edition of Tim Powers' new novella, Down and Out In Purgatory, has already shipped. If you haven't picked up your copy, now's the perfect time.
As Publishers Weekly noted:
His comedy of terrors barrages readers with the speed and calculated ridiculousness of a Looney Tunes cartoon. Powers (Medusa’s Web) crafts intimately defined characters who prevent this march through the Inferno from becoming too absurd. Moral, bodily, and spiritual isolation create uneasy friction between mishaps, and minimalist prose whips the plot along.
While Locus had this to say:
Down and Out in Purgatory is something else entirely—a posthumous revenge fantasy with minimal backstory, single-minded characters, and a setting somewhere between that of a medieval dream-vision and that of a Chuck Jones cartoon… Despite its apparent randomness, this world seems to have its own rules, and the explanation for its apparently variable gravity is even science fictional. But we see only what we need of this world for Holbrook's particular story, and in the end it's the almost inevitable irony of revenge that makes this tough little fable work.
Limited: 300 signed numbered copies, bound in leather: $60
Trade: Fully cloth bound hardcover edition: $30
We've just received a healthy number of returned (and dinged) copies of two recent hardcovers, and have priced them at $10 and $15, respectively.
You won't find better reading at greater savings.
File this under reviews we love to see, for Alastair Reynolds' mammoth (nearly 800 pages) Beyond the Aquila Rift.
From Locus Online:
Combining the melancholy fatedness of early George R. R. Martin, as found in Dying of the Light, with the clear-eyed cosmicism of Stephen Baxter, Reynolds gives us a galaxy where the gravity of astronomical phenomena is counterbalanced by the dark energies of the human heart. This collection should stand as a cornerstone of the contemporary SF edifice, showing us exactly how to elegantly fuse those separate but overlapping magisteria.
Limited: 400 signed numbered leatherbound copies, with an excusive dust jacket by the author: $125
Trade: Fully cloth bound hardcover edition: $45
Robert Silverberg's Early Days, his second collection of pulp stories from the nascent days of his legendary career, has just gone to the printer. Readers can look forward to reading these early tales by the SF Grandmaster in six weeks or so.
About the Book:
In 2006, Robert Silverberg published In the Beginning, a generous selection of stories from the early, developmental stages of his distinguished sixty-year career. Fast-paced, energetic, and unabashedly pulp-like in their origins and ambitions, those stories proved to be an unexpected gift to Silverberg’s many readers. That gift continues with Early Days, a second volume of apprentice fiction as wide-ranging and enjoyable as the first.
Early Days collects seventeen impossible to find stories from the years 1956 to 1958, supplemented by a fascinating introduction and extensive notes on the creation and publication history of each story. Together, these non-fiction pieces constitute both an episodic memoir and an affectionate history of an era when pulp magazines still dominated the SF marketplace.
Without exception, each of the stories in Early Days offers honest, unpretentious entertainment. The astonishingly prolific Silverberg may have had a bit to learn back then, but he had an innate understanding of narrative that shines through every one of these tales. The stories range in tone from the grimly dystopian future of “The Inquisitor” to the playful “Space Is the Place,” in which a maintenance technician from Crawford IX experiences comic culture shock during a mandatory vacation on Earth. “Rescue Mission” revolves around the telepathic connection between two interplanetary intelligence agents. “Housemaid No. 103” provides a humorous glimpse into the romantic difficulties of a far future matinee idol. “Harwood’s Vortex” combines a mad scientist, alien invaders, and the possible end of life as we know it into a single colorful narrative.
Silverberg, of course, would evolve into one of the genuine masters of the genre, and this retrospective collection of early work offers invaluable insights into his development. Silverberg himself calls Early Days “an affectionate tribute to my hardworking self of more than half a century ago.” It is all of that and more. Anyone with an interest in Silverberg’s career, or in the history and evolution of modern science fiction, needs to read this book. They may not write ‘em like this anymore, but once upon a time they did. And looking back has never been so much fun.
Limited: 1000 signed numbered hardcover copies: $40
From Kirkus Reviews:
“A collection of pulp-style science-fiction stories from the days when men were men and aliens were green, scaly, and up to no good… Reading this collection is akin to watching the B-movies Quentin Tarantino has spent his career riffing off—fun for superfans and students of the genre…”
We're in day two of shipping the signed limited edition of Robert McCammon's epic new novel, Freedom of the Mask.
The limited includes a bonus 22,000 word novella available nowhere else. Pick up a copy while you can.
With their various print releases approaching, three of our upcoming titles are also available for preorder as ebooks.
The Further Adventures of Langdon St. Ives (James P. Blaylock) — This large omnibus contains three classic steampunk adventures, as well as two brand new ones. Kirkus Reviews summed the volume up nicely: “Langdon St. Ives is a scientist, explorer, and cheerfully married family man who continually finds himself embroiled in strange adventures and investigations that transform both Victorian England and more exotic locales into places lavishly beset by all the familiar and beloved trappings of fantastical steampunk. Accompanied by a cast of charming friends and allies, St. Ives faces a series of absurd dangers, often the machinations of a cartoonish nemesis in the mad scientist mold, Ignacio Narbondo.”
Down and Out in Purgatory (Tim Powers) — Tim's latest is a contemporary fantasy that asks how far you'd go to take revenge. Publishers Weekly said, “His comedy of terrors barrages readers with the speed and calculated ridiculousness of a Looney Tunes cartoon. Powers (Medusa’s Web) crafts intimately defined characters who prevent this march through the Inferno from becoming too absurd. Moral, bodily, and spiritual isolation create uneasy friction between mishaps, and minimalist prose whips the plot along.”
Beyond the Aquila Rift (Alastair Reynolds) — Clocking in at over 780 pages, this is one of the largest Best of volumes we've yet published. Publishers Weekly gave it a star: “This collection of 18 long and short stories by Reynolds (the Poseidon’s Children series), one of the most gifted hard SF writers working today, displays his facility for building fascinating settings and integrating romance and mystery plots into space opera… Readers will greatly appreciate the breadth and variety of this deeply enjoyable collection.”
Stephen Gallagher has penned a stellar new novel for us, "a Tragic Romance of Madness and Revenge". Best of all, The Authentic William James is already at the printer.
About the Book:
Sebastian Becker’s position as Special Investigator for the British Crown requires a subtle touch: gathering evidence that determines whether or not someone is a Chancery Lunatic—afflicted with madness making them unfit to manage their fortunes—without tipping the hand of those whose resources often make them above the law.
In the aftermath of a fiery tragedy that leaves dozens dead and England’s leaders maneuvering for an answer to stave off political ramifications, former police detective Becker is called upon to utilize his intimacy with the insane, and familiarity with working in the shadows.
Tasked with evaluating the sanity of the confessed arsonist—Wild West Showman ‘The Authentic William James’—leads Becker from the shores of Sussex to the film studios of Hollywood. Delving into the circus world to unravel the mystery of a man who admits guilt and flees will pit Becker’s appointed role to do his country’s bidding against his compassion to do what is right for a family.
Limited: 1000 signed numbered hardcover copies: $40