Scampering down the worn flagstones of the Towers’ east wing barely pausing for breath . . .

Electric Dreamhouse editor-in-chief Neil Snowdon breathlessly greeted me this morning with the main item for this week’s Newsletter, a no-holds-barred 700-page epic on David Cronenberg’s THE BROOD—seven hundred pages? Are you kiddin’ me, Pete?—Nope, it’s the truth Morton. And you know what? There could even be a few more!

Let’s hand over to Neil and get the full lowdown.

Thanks, Pete.

A Midnight Movie Monograph on THE BROOD was a no-brainer. When comics artist and film critic Stephen R. Bissette said he wanted to write it, I think I almost bit his hand off.

I still think that it's Cronenberg's most powerful film, the first film he made where everything came together in perfect synthesis. And Steve . . . well Steve's writing was part of my formative development as a film lover, in the pages of GOREZONE and DEEP RED.

I don't remember how we got to know each other, but that's social media for you. I think it may have been reminiscing about DEEP RED editor Chas. Balun that broke the ice. And somewhere a friendship began to grow so that, when I came to edit WE ARE THE MARTIANS, I invited Steve to come aboard. And really, given the way his contribution to that collection grew beyond his and my expectation . . . I wasn't entirely surprised when this one did as well.

But still, what Steve handed in to me was like nothing I have ever read before . . . and like everyone here at PS Towers, I've read quite a lot.

Seriously: It's huge, and all encompassing. It ranges across the history and lineage of the genre in film and literature, what came before THE BROOD and what came after; it opens doors on Cronenberg's biography and Stephen's too. It looks at how ideas in natural history, science, mythology and metaphysics influenced the times and culture in which THE BROOD was conceived, and into which it was then born. It explores disturbing elements of Canadian cultural and political history involving the systemic abuse and experimentation on orphan children in the name of science; looks at cults and deprogramming; and takes a bold and heartfelt look at how trauma and abuse affects not only the victims, but also the people who love them. Not to mention the unique production and distribution history of this most unusual family drama.

There are precedents of course: Raymond Durgnat's A LONG HARD LOOK AT PSYCHO comes to mind, but that's a forensic book, picking apart the film in question shot by shot; it puts the movie under a microscope and as a result the focus is sharp, but necessarily narrow. I've never read anything that takes quite such a holistic approach as Stephen has done here. Not about a single film. The nature and history of an idea. He approaches the film like psychogeography, exploring the ripples both backward and forward in time, climbing the vertical and horizontal axes of its influence to see what went in to the film, and what came out.

The breadth of topics that Steve covers in this book is breathtaking. The number of threads that he finds woven into the intricate tapestry of this single 90 min film is dizzying, and he picks at them all. This book breaks new ground for Electric Dreamhouse, and at an entirely new length—six times longer than a standard monograph volume! We’re in the final stages before this enormous book goes to press. The signing cards that we did for the HORROR EXPRESS book went down well, so we're doing more (and backtracking to do signature cards for some earlier entries in the series too). This time out, were looking at something extra exciting. Not only will Stephen Bissette be signing but we should be adding signatures from stars Art Hindle and Cindy Hinds as well.

I can't wait for you to read this.

Sheesh! Us, too, chum. We’re all of us here at the Towers getting twitchy to re-watch this movie. Thanks, Neil—nice piece.

And here’s a triptych of super-cool stuff from those funky folks across at CD books

Let's start  with THIS DARK CHEST OF WONDERS: 40 YEARS OF STEPHEN KING’S THE STAND by Andy Burns. With an introduction by Chris Ryall, Editor-in-Chief at Skybound Entertainment and the co-founder and Editorial Director of Syzygy Publishing.

In September 1978, Stephen King published THE STAND, a massive, post-apocalyptic story that captured the imagination of his growing legion of Constant Readers, introducing them to his ultimate villain, Randall Flagg. Over the course of time, the tale of good and evil only gained in popularity, leading to the 1990 publication of THE STAND: COMPLETE AND UNCUT, which gave audiences the author's original vision for his novel.

In THIS DARK CHEST OF WONDERS, Andy Burns (Wrapped In Plastic: Twin Peaks, tells the story behind the story of King's enduring opus and delves deep into its various incarnations — the unfilmed George A. Romero adaptation; the 1994 ABC mini-series; the audiobook; and Marvel Comics' adaptation.

Included are exclusive interviews with Stephen King experts Bev Vincent, Robin Furth, Mick Garris, Jamey Sheridan, WG Snuffy Walden, Grover Gardner, Ralph Macchio, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa and Mike Perkins delivering a complete and uncut look into one of Stephen King's most enduring achievements.

We've a handful of copies left—the book is sold out at the publisher’s site—so you’ve been warned. Priced at just £39 plus postage, this is just too good to pass by.

And here’s another golden goodie

A GAME IN THE SUN AND OTHER STORIES by John Coyne, the author of 25 books of fiction and non-fiction, including the bestselling THE LEGACY which was also a successful film starring Sam Elliott. His short stories have been included in several "best of" anthologies, such as MODERN MASTERS OF HORROR and THE YEAR’S BEST FANTASY AND HORROR.

  • Betsy was no longer listening. She had closed her eyes and was leaning back in the lawn chair, resting. She knew she must not begin to cry in front of these people. She must not be vulnerable...
  • Michael remembered clearly the first piece of fungus: a thin, irregular patch twelve inches wide, grayish, like the color of candle grease, growing on the new pine wall of the bathroom
  • He was leaning over the top section of the cow barn door, shooting his new pump-gun at tin cans in the barnyard, and watching the sun clear the rows of corn stubs on the horizon, when the first cry of the cow came down to him on the morning breeze
  • It began with Father Sweeney leaning into Matt’s face, with both hands braced against the desk, speaking in his deliberately condescending way, telling Matt once, and then again—never raising his voice, letting his words work like a butcher’s knife across the boy’s sense of self—that he wanted what Matt Garrity was hiding between his legs and he wanted it now:

Once again, only a few copies remain priced at £40 plus postage. G’wan, treat yourself.

And while you’re at it, Doofus, try this baby—I dares ya!

Here are a few pieces of information  about TOMORROW’S JOURNAL by Dominick Cancilla (or perhaps “warning” might be a better desription:


This journal is like absolutely nothing you have ever had before. It looks old because it IS old. It looks valuable because it IS valuable. It's not just something to write in, it's an opportunity.

You only get one shot at this, and if you don't do EXACTLY as I say, you're going to have to live with the failure for the rest of your life... And a lot of lives are riding on you getting this RIGHT, so DO. NOT. MESS. THIS. UP!

Copies are going quick—and please note that it’s a trade paperback so the price is a hugely affordable £15 plus postage. Now (hey, wait a minute, I’m whispering), you know you wanna know more. So do we. So come and put us at ease.

Sad news came to me this week . . .

. . . following the death last month of the great of Carol Emshwiller, whose two-header MASTER OF THE ROAD TO NOWHERE (Intro by Phyllis Eisenstein) and IN THE TIME OF WAR (Intro by Ursula K. LeGuin) we put out back in 2011. She was 97 years old. Happy trails, Carol. And Hal Blaine and Dick Dale, too.

And here’s a lovely letter from one of our most faithful longtime customers

Svend who wants to bring us up to speed on what he’s been reading short-story-wise.

Since you’re asking, I can tell you that over the last three to four weeks I have read Elena Ferrante’s four Neapolitan novels and that I have read several short stories between books, including some of the stories in Bradbury’s THE TOYNBEE CONVECTOR that has been sitting on my bookshelf for several decades waiting for me to read it. As always there are many things to quote in Bradbury’ stories. Here is one that spoke to me from the “One night in your life” story:

“There must be one night in your life that you will remember forever. There must be one night for everyone. And if you know that the night is coming on and that this night will be that particular night, then take it and don’t question it and don’t talk about it to anyone ever after that.”

Anyway, back to science fiction after Ferrante.  At the moment I’m reading “Up Jim River” by Michael Flynn. Another good read where I found a quote that I wish I had been aware of before I retired from teaching statistics or when I had my little feud with the PISA studies a few years ago:

“The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence”.

This makes a lot of sense to a statistician, but perhaps a different kind of sense to the rest of the world. It was therefore fun to find out by looking over Michael Flynn’s shoulder on his blog, that he is also a statistician.

All the best, Svend Kreiner

Some lovely thoughts there, Sven—thanks for sharing them with us. It was particularly gratifying to be reminded of Bradbury’s TOYNBEE CONVECTOR which in turn, of course, took me back to reading DRIVING BLIND and QUICKER OF THE EYE which, between them, clock up 45 stories, some of them only passable but many of them heartwarming and at least one (and I’ll choose the sublime ‘Another Fine Mess’ out of QUICKER) destined to occupy a place in my heart every bit as potent and unforgettable as anything in THE ILLUSTRATED MAN or I SING THE BODY ELECTRIC. Thanks as always for sparing the time to talk to us.

Just a few little things from Nicky to tell you this week.

We now have the signing sheets in from Mark Steensland for AUTUMN PROSE, WINTER VERSE; Paul DiFilippo for AEOTA and Biddles have promised to deliver copies of the signed editions on the 27th March.

Meanwhile, the sheets for LOST AMERICANS by Joseph Burt have just arrived so they will be posted off to Biddles early next week.

Our printers have told us that R IS FOR ROCKET & S IS FOR SPACE is being sent to Biddles on the 27th March ready to have the signings sheets tipped in. They haven’t arrived from their travels abroad yet but hopefully they won’t be too long.

I’ve also seen that Steve Jones editor of the BEST NEW HORROR series has been in correspondence with the final person to sign the sheets for #29 so fingers crossed that they get back here safe and sound.

The final print files have been approved for both the signed slipcased hardcover and trade paperback editions. And don't forget, if you pre-order the signed slipcased edition, you'll get the trade paperback free of charge.

Finally, huge apologies to those people who have been trying to leave messages on our business phone (01964 535555). We’ve recently had a series of power cuts  which I think has caused the message service to go on the blink. I’m hoping that I’ve fixed it now so you should be able to leave a message again.

Thanks Nicky. Okay, that’s about it for this week.

Hurrah it’s Friday and if any of you have got the time to read this then a big thank you to all those copy editors, designers and artists that are working on a whole raft of books that are chugging along the PS conveyer belt.

Yes indeed, folks. We couldn’t do all this stuff without you. So look after yourselves and all those who are special to you. Have a fab-you-luss weekend—see you next week.

Best wishes,


PS Publishing

Grosvenor House, 1 New Road, Hornsea
United Kingdom