TALES FROM THE MISKATONIC UNIVERSITY LIBRARY is going to print on Monday so Nicky has given her royal seal of approval allowing us to put up an order page.

It’s a belter, folks. As I’m sure you know—hey, you’re here, right?!—Miskatonic University, in fabled Arkham, MA, has long been described in the fiction of H.P. Lovecraft and his successors.

Here in the library, under lock and key, are some of the world’s most dangerous books, most famously the dreaded Necronomicon of the mad Arab, Abdul Alhazred. There was a notably unpleasant incident in the late 1920s, when a certain Wilbur Whateley tried to steal that particular volume, and met a hideous fate. Fortunately, that time at least, the head librarian and his colleagues were able to save the Earth from the dreadful danger of the Dunwich Horror.

  • How safe are Miskatonic’s security precautions and what has perhaps disappeared from, or appeared in, the collection since?
  • What other creepy, maddening, extra-dimensional, or even sentient tomes reside on those forbidden shelves?
  • What strange events have taken place among the stacks?
  • Is there an inter-library loan system?
  • Who, or what, comes after miscreants who fail to return books on time?
  • In the modern, digital age, what would happen if some of the content escaped over the Internet?
  • Are some of the books, or all of them, little more than slowly ticking time bombs?
  • And what, dare we ask, can be found in the Cooking Section?

A feast of bibliographical horrors by Don Webb, Adrian Cole, Dirk Flinthart, Harry Turtledove, P.D. Cacek, Will Murray, A.C. Wise, Marilyn Mattie Brahen, Douglas Wynne, Alex Shvartsman, James Van Pelt, Robert M. Price, and Darrell Schweitzer.

If you learn all the secrets of the Miskatonic University Library, will you go mad—or just wish you had? Well, now’s your chance to find out.

SOLAR PONS nearing completion . . .

Volumes 1 and 2 of THE COMPLETE ADVENTURES OF SOLAR PONS have now been printed and are in the process of having the signing sheets tipped in.  We’ve been deliberating about the cover for the large slipcase to hold these two wonderful looking books and today we have decided so the manufacture of these will start next week and Nicky has been told by James at MacCarthy’s that they should take about three weeks to complete.

Signing sheets down under . . .

We’re still waiting for the signed copies of CONCENTRATION (a great collection by Jack Dann) to arrive after having their signing sheets tipped in. Should be later this month.

Talking of signing sheets and, indeed, of Jack—who’s heading up our PS Australia project—he and Nicky have been working out the next titles under that imprint.

He and Nicky have been working out the next titles under that imprint. The inimitable Mr. Dann is working on getting the sheets completed for the first PS OZ anthology, DREAMING IN THE DARK, which many of you have bought in the unsigned edition. They’re still doing the rounds of the authors (and it’s a big country, folks!) so bear with us a little longer while Jack goes walkabout.

And finally, Stephen Baxter’s XEELEE: ENDURANCE nears the end of its long drawn-out preparation (no fault of Steve’s, I hasten to add) but the wait is surely worth it, as Starburst magazine pointed out in their review.

Spanning across eons, Stephen Baxter’s Xeelee Sequence is very unique take on a galactic war. It’s a universe where the humans were effectively a bit player, a minor faction at best. Oblivious to the greater war around them, as humanity’s power waxed and waned, two other species fought in a greater clash, slowly leading the galaxy to its heat death. Noted for its grand scale, mind expanding ideas and fascinating use of scientific concepts, it has become one of the essential hard science fiction series all should read alongside 2001. This latest release, ENDURANCE serves to combine a multitude of tales throughout the timeline, further expanding upon humanity’s plight in this setting.

The real strength of the collection stems from the broad scale, with its stories covering everything from the life and death of a man in a unique world to one of disaster and survival. While still retaining a keen cerebral edge, there’s solid variety on offer here to keep any reader interested, with the gaps filled in via brief outlines of the decades passing. Much like DUNE, it manages to accomplish a true sense of gradual progression and development over time. Rather than merely advancing or altering technology, each era feels gradually more alien than the last, and the themes on hand become truly fascinating. STARFALL (one of PS’s early novellas) in particular stands out exceptionally well, and depicts Baxter’s ability to utilise more human and likable characters than novels often do when handling such massive concepts.

And the PS limited edition—just 100 signed copies—contains Baxter’s original Interzone-story version of RAFT, the seed for the novel. It’s never been anthologised but has appeared on a couple of websites and it’s super-relevant as the collection contains a sequel to RAFT. Now tell me—do we loves ya?!

Seems to me everybody loves Stephen Volk . . .

Take a look at Mario Guslandi’s review his mega-collection, THE PARTS WE PLAY  in Hell Notes:

Widely known as a successful screenwriter (Ghostwatch, Gothic, The Awakening) Stephen Volk is also a very fine author of horror/dark fiction, whose stories have been appearing, during the years, in various anthologies and genre magazines. One of his two previous collections, MONSTERS IN THE HEART, won the British Fantasy Award in 2014.

The present volume collects another bunch of previously published tales plus the British Fantasy Award-winning novella “Newspaper Heart,” a disturbing piece of fiction with a grim ending depicting the unwholesome attachment of a little boy for his Guy Fawkes puppet and the tragic consequences for himself and his parents. The material assembled in the book is consistently good. I will focus on the stories which to me appear the more accomplished.

“Bless” is the lucid,detached portrait of a mother whose little daughter has unexpectedly returned from the dead, while “A Whisper to a Grey” is a fascinating story about horses and gipsy power served with a touch of supernatural and a little grain of horror.

In the dark, cruel quickie “With All My Love Always Always XXX,” a couple of thieves face an unpredictable side effect of their Christmas burglary.

“Wrong,” not quite a horror story but a story of horror, sad and poignant, effectively addresses the power of long-lasting love and the desperation brought about by loneliness.

By far my favorite piece in the volume, “The Magician Kelso Dennett,” is an engrossing, splendid tale where Volk, at the top of his game, describes the exceptionally daring venture of a famous TV magician, back to his home town. A great story with a clever twist in the tale

A very enjoyable collection by a writer who knows how to entertain and entice his audience, on the written page as well as on the screen.

Hey, come on—I mean like, COME ON: you need to buy this book, right?

And here’s another one . . .

. . . well, two in fact—worthy of your consideration. Our friend Robert Guffey of SPIES AND SAUCERS fame explains:

The Tenth Anniversary Issue of THE MAILER REVIEW (Vol. 10 No. 1 Fall 2016) is now available. (see photo) The latest issue includes my short story, ‘Destroy All Monsters’ (5,900 words). Though it can be read as a standalone story, "Destroy All Monsters" is also an excerpt from my forthcoming novel, UNTIL THE LAST DOG DIES, which will be released by Night Shade/Skyhorse in November.

This issue of THE MAILER REVIEW includes "The Collision," the first story written by Norman Mailer when he was only ten years old. In his introduction to this story, biographer and archivist J. Michael Lennon (author of NORMAN MAILER: A DOUBLE LIFE) mentions the following fascinating tidbit about another work of fiction written by Mailer at around that same time:

"Working in his second-floor bedroom at 555 Crown Street during the winter of 1933-34, Mailer wrote his most important juvenile work, THE MARTIAN INVASION, a 35,000-word science fiction novel which had one root in the Buck Rogers radio show, and a second in THE PRINCESS OF MARS by Edgar Rice Burroughs." THE MARTIAN INVASION by Norman Mailer?!? Throw in a painted pulp cover by Ed Valigursky and the mind truly boggles. (Some eccentric publisher should definitely release this early work in a lavish hardcover edition, with end pages illustrated by Mark Schultz of XENOZOIC TALES fame.)

Sounds like fun, Robert. Let’s do it.

Anyway, If you wish to purchase a copy of THE MAILER REVIEW Tenth Anniversary Issue—and you really should, you know—then just go here:

mailerreview.org

Gee whiz, I do so lurv this job.

And next up we just heard that . . .

Nick Mamatas's THE LAST WEEKEND has been shortlisted for the Theaker's Quarterly Awards. What’s that? You missed it? Oh . . . just read on!

Vasilis “Billy” Kostopolos is a Bay Area Rust Belt refugee, failed sci-fi writer, successful barfly and, since the exceptionally American zombie apocalypse, an accomplished “driller” of reanimated corpses. There aren’t many sane, well-adjusted human beings left in San Francisco, but facing the end of the world, Billy’s found his vocation trepanning the undead, peddling his one and only published short story, and drinking himself to death.

Things don’t stay static for long. Billy discovers that both his girlfriends turn out to be homicidal revolutionaries. He collides with a gang of Berkeley scientists gone berserker. Finally, the long-awaited “Big One” shakes the foundation of San Francisco to its core, and the crumbled remains of City Hall can no longer hide the awful secret lurking deep in the basement. Can Billy unearth the truth behind America’s demise and San Francisco’s survival—and will he destroy what little’s left of it in the process? Is he legend, the last man, or just another sucker on the vine?

Nick Mamatas takes a high-powered drill to the lurching, groaning conventions of zombie dystopias and conspiracy thrillers, sparing no cliché about tortured artists, alcoholic “genius,” noir action heroes, survivalist dogma, or starry-eyed California dreaming. Starting in booze-soaked but very clear-eyed cynicism and ending in gloriously uncozy catastrophe, THE LAST WEEKEND is merciless, uncomfortably perceptive, and bleakly hilarious.

Okay, once again . . .

Time and space—both of which wait for no man—have conspired to cut us short. If we manage to get the contracts done this weekend then we can start giving you an occasional tease. But don’t y’all be feeling guilty cos you think we seem to be working every minute of the day. You reward us constantly. So you all go ahead and have a blast of a weekend. Look after each other, stay safe and read books.

Pete

PS Publishing

Grosvenor House, 1 New Road

Hornsea, HU18 1HG

Contact Phone 01964 537575

Website www.pspublishing.co.uk

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