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"Write something here that'll make your reader excited!"

And that folks, is what greets us each and every time we start to compose our weekly newsletter. And I can tell you from painful personal experience, I can stare at the blank white box underneath that imposing strapline for some considerable time before the first click and tentative steps to forming the words you are now—hopefully—reading.

What torture! I'm asking myself why!—in a rush of enthusiastic bravado at last week's production meeting—I volunteered my services on this particular newsletter?

Perhaps, because Terry Dowling's coulrophobic classic; CLOWNS AT MIDNIGHT was/is still one of my most cherished PS projects, or maybe, that after the best part of a year's work putting together his masterful epic collation of the adventures of Captain Tom Tyson and his crew aboard the kite-drawn sand-ship Rynosseros in a post-apocolyptic Australia, I finally have my Desert Island Discs reading choice nailed.

THE COMPLETE RYNOSSEROS in all it's three-volume splendor is the latest and most ambitious publication yet for our PS Australia imprint

And as for words to make you excited, let's hear from Terry himself. First from his introduction in Volume III, "Songs from the Inland Sea" followed by a brief overview of each of the three books.

Sail us away Terry.

There are forty-five stories in the Tom Rynosseros saga . . .

". . . all of them featured here in THE COMPLETE RYNOSSEROS at last. Forty-four were written across twenty years (1983-2003) and published across twenty-four (1985-2009), while a commemorative forty-fifth story was written in May-June 2018 for this special edition. It’s a story cycle that means so much to me and, while I’ve had opportunities to comment on it over the years and have been honoured to have had others do so, it gives me great pleasure to describe in detail how it came to be.

"As for so much else in my creative life, it’s tempting to think that the seeds of the Tom stories were planted in the watershed year of 1962 when I was 15 years old. The Space Age was still brand new then; the Beatles were just beginning to change the face of the music scene forever, and anything seemed possible."

Terry (centre) in high school, 1962.

That was the year I seriously started reading science fiction and fantasy and collecting SF magazines . . .

". . . when I first discovered the work of Jack Vance, J.G. Ballard, Ray Bradbury, Cordwainer Smith and Philip K. Dick, among so many other wonderful writers, along with the accompanying illustrations of talents like Emsh, Jack Gaughan, John Schoenherr, Josh Kirby and Joseph Mugnaini, and the comic book artwork of Jack Kirby, Russ Manning, Steve Ditko and Stan Pitt. Against this heady mix was set the vivid artwork of such leading Surrealist imagiers as Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte, Giorgio De Chirico, Paul Delvaux and Max Ernst. Surrealist art was far from brand new in 1962, but hadn’t yet lost its gloss to advertising excess and post-War/postmodern analysis.

"That was the year Galaxy magazine published Jack Vance’s “The Dragon Masters,” so vividly and unforgettably illustrated by Jack Gaughan, and Cordwainer Smith’s “The Ballad of Lost C’mell” with its cover by Virgil Finlay. Among the rush of visual and conceptual content that would later feed into Tom Tyson’s future Australia, it’s easy now to look at Emsh’s cover illustrations for Ben Bova’s “The Towers of Titan” in Amazing for January 1962 and for Ballard’s “The Singing Statues” in Fantastic for that July (both resonating with Leo Summers’ March Amazing cover for James Blish’s “A Dusk of Idols” from the year before) and find ample antecedents for Tom’s belltrees; so easy to see Lloyd Birmingham’s cover for Mark Clifton’s “Hang Head Vandal” in Amazing for April 1962 with its Martian landscape showing a “discarded spacesuit, suspended from the desensitised prongs of a Come-to-me tower” and find ready conceptual and tonal echoes for what would later become integral parts of Tom’s world."

"That’s how the creative process is for any of us, I’m sure: so many remembered, half-remembered, barely traceable and often untraceable elements thrown together in a thrilling rush of ideas, images, mood and feel."

The Complete Rynosseros - VOLUME I

A Thousand and One Nights of Tomorrow

It’s no surprise that The Adventures of Tom Rynosseros has been called “The best and most ambitious Australian science fiction series ever written, and one of the best, ever, period” or that Locus magazine in the US saw it as placing its author “among the masters of the field.”
Only seven Nationals have won Hero Colours and fine sandships from the rival tribes that rule Australia a thousand years from now. We join the Blue Captain, Tom Tyson, and his crew aboard the magnificent kite-drawn charvolant Rynosseros as he strives to discover his true identity in a world of strange and dangerous desert states, orbiting battle stations, mind war and the most bizarre terraforming and genetic experiments imaginable. We travel with Tom to the islands of the Inland Sea, to the great fighting ground of the Air, to deserted carnivals, haunted artists’ colonies, fire-chess contests and the abandoned arcologies of the interior, all while searching for clues to the meaning of the three signs he carries with him from his time in the Madhouse.

For that is the great mystery here, and Tom’s search to discover who he is, and why he has come to be in this place at this time is one of the most memorable journeys in modern fantastic fiction.

The exciting first volume of THE COMPLETE RYNOSSEROS brings us the first two collections in the momentous saga, Rynosseros and Blue Tyson, together with the unforgettable novella The Library and the never before collected “Marmordesse,” presented in the intended reading order for the very first time.

The Complete Rynosseros - VOLUME II

The Adventure Continues

Events are fast nearing crisis point for the seven Coloured Captains. While Tom strives to learn the meaning of his three signs from the Madhouse, he continues to test the patience and goodwill of the tribes who rule this amazing Australia of the future.

As he roams the dream-ridden streets of Twilight Beach, travels the strange wind river called the Soul, wanders the shores of the Inland Sea and visits the desert wastes of Totem Rule and Pentecost, his very existence cannot help but provoke the tribal Princes and their powerful allies.

Going walkabout doesn’t help either, for Tom cannot be other than the man he is. By aiding outcasts, travellers, fellow captains, even rogue belltrees in his search for his forgotten past, the point is finally reached where something must be done and a deadly plan is put in place that will deal with the Captains once and for all.

The question is: will Tom find answers before it’s too late.

This second landmark volume of THE COMPLETE RYNOSSEROS presents the much-prized third and fourth collections in the adventures of the Blue Captain, Twilight Beach and Rynemonn, adding the previously uncollected story “Down Flowers” to the line-up, and featuring “Calling Down the Sun,” a brand-new Tom adventure written exclusively for this special milestone edition.

The Complete Rynosseros - VOLUME III

Every Great Adventure Begins Somewhere

In this special companion volume to THE COMPLETE RYNOSSEROS, author Terry Dowling discusses the origins and development of every story in the classic saga of the Blue Captain.

There are fascinating insights into the parts played by boyhood movies, picture books, comics and SF magazines, by the work of the Surrealists and Scheherazade’s tales from the Thousand and One Nights, everything from Jacobean song lyrics, modern-day movie soundtracks and a child’s drawing of a robot to the fiction of Cordwainer Smith, Ray Bradbury and J.G. Ballard, as well as that of his long-time writer friends Jack Vance and Harlan Ellison.

Whether through the support and wise counsel of editors like Peter McNamara and Philip Gore, the artwork and design input of friend and colleague Nick Stathopoulos, or the titles, questions and suggestions offered by many interested companions along the way, Songs from the Inland Sea focuses, too, on learning the craft. It highlights the role of hard work, improvisation and—in true Surrealist fashion— serendipity, the part played by chance so prized by Max Ernst and other luminaries in the movement.

For the completist, the die-hard fan or curious newcomer, Songs from the Inland Sea provides an intriguing, heartfelt look at how one writer went about pursuing the dream, and not only added a truly unforgettable character to the canon of modern fantastic literature, but, as often happens in any creative life, came to discover himself in the process.

So there you have it, three handsome volumes housed in a leatherette-covered slipcase with the Rynosseros logo embossed: this much anticipated set is limited to 300 copies signed by Terry and artist Nick Stathopoulos for £150 plus postage.

Along side the super deluxe bells and whistles edition we are also publishing the three volumes individually as trade paperbacks. These are priced at £14.99 for Volumes I & II, and £12.99 for Volume III.

This project has gone to print and we expect to see the trade paperbacks before we go to StokerCon in April with the deluxe edition coming shortly thereafter.

That's all for this week

Pete will be back in the chair next week and Nicky will have her usual round-up of what's happening at PS Towers. Until then, look after each other and happy reading.


PS Publishing

Grosvenor House, 1 New Road, Hornsea
United Kingdom

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