That irrepressible rascal Stephen Jones gave the thumbs up to a veritable a monster in the PS schedule this week when he signed off on THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF SOLAR PONS by Basil Copper.

At over half a million words spanning 1400 pages, this two volume slipcased set—limited to just 100 copies, signed by Basil, Steve and the artists—is the definitive, must have collection of Solar Pons material, bar none.

Truth be told, Steve has done a phenomenal job on this project, one which has kept him occupied for several months (years even!). As he says in his extensive introduction:

Basil never had the pleasure of seeing all his Pons stories collected in a definitive omnibus edition. However, before his death in April 2013 at the age of 89, he and I started working on these two volumes. I also wanted to collect all his macabre fiction together and, with the help of PS Publishing, we did just that in 2010. Two years later we collaborated again to publish Basil’s Gothic novel The Curse of the Fleers in a version that the author originally intended.
Although it saddens me that he never lived to see this handsome presentation of his entire Solar Pons Canon from the same imprint, I’m also heartened to know he was aware that we were working on it.
"It has taken forty years but here, finally, are The Complete Adventures of Solar Pons by Basil Copper. Once again prepare to be plunged into an idyllic English countryside or the chill and foggy streets of London, as that great city’s second most famous consulting detective—ably supported by the reliable Dr. Lyndon Parker—uses his “ratiocinative” powers of logical deduction to solve murders both mysterious and macabre . . .

Volume One contents

With illustrations by Randy Broecker, Bob Eggleton, Gary Gianni, Thomas Gianni and Allen Koszowski, here’s the line-up for Volume One:

  • Editor’s Note
  • Introduction: Once A Pons a Time . . . Stephen Jones

The Dossier of Solar Pons

  • Explanation by Dr. Lyndon Parker
  • The Adventure of the Perplexed Photographer
  • The Sealed Spiral Mystery
  • The Adventure of the Six Gold Doubloons
  • The Adventure of the Ipi Idol
  • The Adventure of Buffington Old Grange
  • The Adventure of the Hammer of Hate

The Further Adventures of Solar Pons

  • The Adventure of the Shaft of Death
  • The Adventure of the Baffled Baron
  • The Adventure of the Surrey Sadist
  • The Adventure of the Missing Student

The Secret Files of Solar Pons

  • The Adventure of the Crawling Horror
  • The Adventure of the Anguished Actor
  • The Adventure of the Ignored Idols
  • The Adventure of the Horrified Heiress

Some Uncollected Cases of Solar Pons

  • The Adventure of the Haunted Rectory
  • The Adventure of the Singular Sandwich
  • Murder at the Zoo
  • The Adventure of the Frightened Governess

Volume II contents

And with more illustrations by Les Edwards and Gary Gianni, here’s the line-up for Volume Two:

The Exploits of Solar Pons

  • The Adventure of the Verger’s Thumb
  • The Adventure of the Phantom Face
  • Death at the Metropole
  • The Adventure of the Callous Colonel

The Recollections of Solar Pons

  • The Adventure of the Cursed Curator
  • The Adventure of the Hound of Hell
  • The Adventure of the Mad Millionaire
  • The Adventure of the Devil’s Claw

The Solar Pons Companion

  • Foreword
  • In the Footsteps of Sherlock Holmes
  • Plots of the Stories
  • Characters in the Stories
  • The Sayings of Solar Pons
  • Solar Pons Plot and Dialogue Notes (Stephen Jones)
  • The Adventure of the Northleach Stocks (Stephen Jones)
  • Painting Pons: Artist Ben Stahl (Stephen Jones)

The Final Cases

  • The Adventure of the Defeated Doctor
  • The Adventure of the Agonised Actor
  • The Adventure of the Persecuted Painter

The order page is up, so grab a copy while you can. With a mere 100 available—priced at £175 plus postage (£3.99 for UK customers, £6.99 for the US and Canada, and £10.99 for the ROW)—we are expecting this eagerly anticipated edition to create quite a stir.


So, there you have it, SOLAR PONS is at the printers, and boy are we are looking forward to seeing the finished product sometime late February, or early March, depending on how quickly we can get the handmade slipcases ready.

Meanwhile, we're just doing final checks on the files for NIGHT SHIFT and are looking to get them to the printers in the coming week.

THE FIREMAN is in at the warehouse and the staff are very busy mailing out copies, so don't worry, if you haven't got yours just yet, it should be along shortly.

Angela Slatter's WINTER CHILDREN AND OTHER CHILLING TALES arrived just yesterday and we're hoping to send out pre-orders this coming week. If you remember, we've just done the one edition of 200 signed and numbered copies. They're selling fast, understandably so, given the praise it's been receiving from some of the genre's heavy hitters.

‘Angela Slatter is a powerful and eloquent voice in horror fiction. Every story in this collection is a dark and polished gem.’ ~ Stephen Jones

‘Angela Slatter’s stories are enviably original, and told in prose as stylish as it’s precise. Not just disturbing but often touching, her work enriches and revives the tale of terror.’ ~ Ramsey Campbell

‘Angela Slatter is an international treasure. She blends horror, fantasy and fairy tale to create something entirely fresh, but which feels too like the nightmares half-forgotten when you were a child.‘ ~ Robert Shearman

One more thing . . .

Tamsin has asked me to remind you all that voting closes for This Is Horror Awards on Monday 23rd January. As you know, we are all rooting for Steve Volks' fabulous collection THE PARTS WE PLAY.  

More copies of HEX

Well, this one really grabbed your interest. After last week's announcement that we had just 19 signed copies of Thomas Olde Heuvelt's much lauded HEX—it was sold out almost before some of you had had chance to read the newsletter—we pleaded with those funky folk at Hodder to let us have more copies. The good news is we've managed to squeeze the very last 26.

Don't hang about this time!

And finally . . .

Alas, we’ve dropped a clanger with Lavie’s wonderful CENTRAL STATION. Page 31 fails to carry the full ending of that particular piece. The page as published ends thus:

His finger on her cheek, hot, metallic, his smell of machine oil and gasoline and human sweat. She held him close, there against the wall of Central Station, in the shadows, as a plane high overhead, adorned in light, came

Instead of:

His finger on her cheek, hot, metallic, his smell of machineoil and gasoline and human sweat. She held him close, there against the wall of Central Station, in the shadows, as a plane high overhead, adorned in light, came in to land from some other and faraway place.

So we’re short by nine words. Mike has prepared an Erratum sheet which will go into the book alongside the ‘offending’ page. As Lavie said philosophically (bless him), “These things happen.” And so they do, so they do. But we do our level best to keep such occurrences to a minimum and you folks deserve better when we drop the ball. Onwards.

Okay, that really is it for this week. Enjoy your weekend and happy reading.



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