Friday, October 3, 2014

Forthcoming titles for 2015 (updated 10-28-14)

Previously posted a couple months ago, but updated with new info on some great folks who've kindly offered to contribute introductions, as well as new literary classic titles we're taking on by Nevil Shute and H.E. Bates and a great gay-interest title by Robin Maugham (nephew of W. Somerset Maugham).  And we'll be updating periodically to add more exciting stuff that we're currently in negotiations for....



The Intruder (1959) 
A Touch of the Creature (2000)


The Brains of Rats (1989) (World Fantasy Award nominee), intro by Michael McDowell


Among the Wolves and other Werewolf Stories, edited by Stephen Jones
Fengriffen and other Storiesedited by Stephen Jones


The Woodwitch (1988), introduction by Paul Tremblay
The Blood of Angels (1994), introduction by Mark Morris


The Black Cloud (1957) (US only), introduction by Geoffrey Hoyle


Neither Man Nor Dog (1946), introduction by Robert Webb
Clock Without Hands (1949), introduction by Thomas Pluck
The Great Wash (aka The Secret Masters) (1953)
On an Odd Note (1957), introduction by Nick Mamatas

HARRY KRESSING (pseud. of Harry Adam Ruber)

The Cook (1965)


Burnt Offerings (1973)

I Am Your Brother (1935), introduction by Phil Baker


Cold Moon Over Babylon (1980), introduction by Douglas E. Winter, cover by Mike Mignola


House on Fire (1969), introduction by Christopher Conlon


The Affirmation (1981) (US only), introduction by the author


Gog (1967), introduction by John Clute


The Bog (1986)
Night Things (1988)

The Godsend (1976) (US only)
Sweetheart, Sweetheart (1977) (US only), introduction by Michael Rowe
The Moorstone Sickness (1982) (US only), introduction by Mark Morris

Antique Dust (1989)



Life at the Top (1962) (US only); introduction by Ben Clarke

Fair Stood the Wind for France (1944) (US only); introduction by Alice Ferrebe


The Tin Men (1965) (Somerset Maugham Award); introduction by the author
The Russian Interpreter (1966) (Hawthornden Prize); introduction by the author
Towards the End of the Morning (1967); introduction by the author
A Very Private Life (1968); introduction by the author
Sweet Dreams (1973); introduction by the author


Odd Man Out (1945); introduction by Adrian McKinty

A Hair Divides (1930)
Chaos Is Come Again (1932)
Julian Grant Loses His Way (1933)

Harriet (1934)

The Devil's Own Work (1991) (Guardian Fiction Prize); introduction by Owen King, afterword by the author (US only)

Behind the Mirror (1955); introduction by Doug Armato (US only)

Landfall (1940); introduction by Rob Spence (US/Canada only)
An Old Captivity (1940); introduction by Rob Spence (US/Canada only)


Jubb (1962); introduction by Alice Ferrebe (US only)
Billy Liar on the Moon (1976); introduction by Alice Ferrebe (US only)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Announcing our new Valancourt eClassics series!

Each month, we've been offering one or two of our recent 20th century releases as a $2.99 e-book, and the response has been tremendous.  So we've been looking at ways to make more great books available at ultra low prices, which has resulted in the creation of a new series, Valancourt eClassics, which will parallel our print series of Valancourt Classics, focusing mainly on rare and hard-to-find Victorian and Edwardian literature at prices as low as $2.99 each. 

In order to keep costs extremely low and allow us to price these at less than a cup of coffee (not exaggerating: I was formatting one of them the other day at a coffee shop and was charged $3.17+tip for a small iced coffee), these editions will generally not feature introductions and annotations; they will be carefully proofread texts, formatted and linked for optimal reading on the Kindle and other e-readers.

We've already published the first six titles in the series, including texts by Baron Corvo, Forrest Reid, and Richard Marsh.  At first, we plan to focus primarily on current Valancourt authors, so expect to see more of Corvo, Reid, and Marsh, along with John Trevena/Ernest G. Henham, Bertram Mitford, Florence Marryat, Beverley Nichols, Gabriele D'Annunzio, Sheridan Le Fanu, and many others.

Fans of our print editions: don't panic!  These are intended to supplement our print editions, not replace them. In most cases, these are out-of-copyright works for which dozens and dozens of low-quality print-on-demand paperbacks stolen from Google Books or Project Gutenberg exist, making it unlikely we'd be able to offer them as paperbacks. (To understand why, just go to Amazon and try to find the print editions we published of Richard Marsh's The Beetle, Bram Stoker's The Mystery of the Sea, Walter Pater's Marius the Epicurean, or, in fact, any of our Victorian paperbacks.  You can wade through pages and pages of crap and you'll never find them unless you know the ISBN. Thanks, Amazon.)

Are there any 19th or early 20th century authors whose books you'd love to see as $2.99 e-books? We look forward to hearing from readers what they think about this new project of ours and as always we welcome your input!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Spotlight on Dennis Parry's THE SURVIVOR (1940)

If you've never heard of Dennis Arthur Parry (1912-1955) or his 1940 novel of the supernatural, The Survivor, you're hardly alone. As far as I know, Parry doesn't receive so much as a mention in any survey or study of English literature of that period, and even among scholars of occult and fantastic literature, only E. F. Bleiler gives even the briefest of mentions of Parry's book. Even during his lifetime, despite the fact that he published ten novels, most or all of them well received by critics, Parry seems to have been little known. Reviewing his tenth (and final) novel, Sea of Glass (1955), for The Observer, the prolific book critic John Davenport confessed that he was 'ashamed to confess having known nothing of his work before, as he is an uncommonly good writer, with the classic novelist's virtues and other gifts besides'.  

The few of us around the world who have had the good fortune to discover Parry's works owe the discovery to the macabre illustrator Edward Gorey, who in a 1975 interview named Sea of Glass the most undeservedly neglected novel he knew. Coincidentally, Parry shares a number of things in common with his almost exact contemporary, fellow Valancourt author John Lodwick (1916-1959): both were fairly prolific authors of clever, urbane, slightly cynical novels characterized by their incisive, witty prose, and both suffered the same fate: death in an auto accident at age 43, followed by instantaneous and total literary oblivion.

The Survivor (NY: Holt, 1940)

Parry seems to have come from an upper-middle-class background and was well educated, earning a degree in law and qualifying as a barrister, though he ultimately wound up in the civil service after he was rejected for active duty in WWII because of his poor eyesight. His first novel, Attic Meteor (1936), was published when he was 24, and over the next twenty years, nine others would follow (one of them, The Bishop's Move [1938], was co-authored with H.W. Champness).  It would seem Parry dabbled in fiction as a sort of hobby, devoting most of his attention to his career and family.

Parry's penultimate novel (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1954); d/w by Val Biro

The publication history of his third novel, The Survivor, is an interesting one. It was first published in London by Robert Hale in 1940, but it seems to have been dead on arrival. I could locate no reviews in the usual sources (TLS, Guardian, Observer, Spectator), and copies of the edition are almost nonexistent: OCLC/Worldcat locates only two copies in world libraries, and I've only ever seen one copy come up for sale on Abebooks (it sold instantly, before I could buy it). One wonders whether the publisher, Hale, simply didn't market the book correctly, or whether Britain was too preoccupied with WWII to notice it, or if it was just too odd to catch on at the time (quick: name some great British supernatural horror novels published in the early 1940s!)

By contrast, when the book was released in the U.S. in a curiously undated (c. 1940/41) edition from Henry Holt & Co., it was a surprise hit.  It sold well enough that I came across an article indicating Holt was going to budget another $5,000 (quite a lot back then, no doubt) for advertising and was going to issue a second printing. Virginia Kirkus's influential reviews service gave it a starred notice, and other positive reviews appeared from major review outlets in the U.S., comparing Parry's novel favorably with classics like Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, The Turn of the Screw, and Dracula. (It'd be interesting to know if Hugh Walpole read Parry's book, as Walpole's The Killer and the Slain was a bestseller the following year and also dealt with the theme of possession by a wicked, dead man.)

Mooncalf (London: Hale, 1947) d/w by C.W. Bacon

Without spoiling the plot, The Survivor opens with Dr. James Marshall, a brilliant doctor who has fought and conquered plagues on three continents but who is hated, feared, and despised by all, including his family (with the sole exception of his rather naive niece, Olive).  Marshall is domineering, tyrannical, with a malicious, sharp tongue, and capable of diabolical perversity and inventive methods of sadism.  When he dies -- ironically during a flu outbreak, the one epidemic he is unable to conquer -- everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief. But, Parry suggests, such a larger-than-life character, such a strong, powerful personality, may not be totally destroyed by death, but might somehow live on.  And when Olive begins to show some strange behaviors reminiscent of her uncle, the family begins to wonder whether it's merely her unique way of grieving his loss, or could she actually be possessed by his consciousness? An odd mixture of humorous and rather harrowing scenes ensue, leading up to an unexpectedly sinister conclusion.

In his introduction to the new edition, author, critic, and connoisseur of arcane literature Mark Valentine makes a number of interesting points. One is that Parry's novel is a rarity: a successful novel-length ghost story.  There are plenty of classic short stories featuring ghosts, as well as novellas like James's Turn of the Screw, but a full-length novel concerned with ghosts that manages to maintain the terror and suspense over the course of 250 or 300 pages is uncommon.  Also, Valentine writes:

"[Parry] has written a modern and ironic ghost story. He has the nerve to use his characters to point out the distinction between his approach and those of convention. When they meet to discuss what is happening to them, they rather doubtfully consider, and reject, what they know from 'tales and legends of the supernatural'. One character, evolving a theory, admits it may not be 'any higher than Dracula'. Another 'would greatly have preferred that the supernatural, if it must impinge on her life, should do so in a familiar, old-fashioned style, dressed in a white shroud and accompanied by clanking chains'. This is a knowing, new style of ghost story, blithely acknowledging, but distancing itself from, the stock properties of the past."

Sea of Glass (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1955)

Though it's doubtful that a new edition of The Survivor at this late date will propel it into the canon of classic ghost stories, or that this edition and our forthcoming reissue of the absolutely brilliant Sea of Glass will earn Dennis Parry a spot on the list of major 20th century English novelists, both books are well worth reading and discovering.  If you like intelligent, interesting, out-of-the-way fiction, give Dennis Parry a shot -- you might be very pleasantly surprised.

The Survivor (1940) by Dennis Parry, with a new introduction by Mark Valentine, will be available worldwide in paperback, Kindle, and e-book formats.  Parry's Sea of Glass (1955) is also forthcoming from Valancourt.

Atalanta's Case (London: Hale, 1947) d/w by C.W. Bacon

Going Up, Going Down (1953)

Friday, August 8, 2014

A sneak peek at 2015!

It's only August, and we still have a ton of great books coming out in the remainder of 2014, but we're already planning ahead to 2015 and wanted to share with you some of the titles we plan to offer next year. Because these titles are officially still 'forthcoming', they are subject to change or cancellation.

We've spent a ton of time over the past year or so looking for the very best out-of-print and neglected titles, and we hope you'll be as excited about these as we are.  Over the next few months, look for us to blog about many of these and highlight each one individually, but for now, here's the list (links take you to the Goodreads page for the book).  More title announcements coming soon, as we continue to finalize agreements....



The Intruder (1959) 
A Touch of the Creature (2000)


The Brains of Rats (1989) (World Fantasy Award nominee), intro by Michael McDowell


Among the Wolves and other Werewolf Stories, edited by Stephen Jones
Fengriffen and other Storiesedited by Stephen Jones


The Woodwitch (1988), introduction by Paul Tremblay
The Blood of Angels (1994), introduction by Mark Morris


The Black Cloud (1957) (US only), introduction by Geoffrey Hoyle


Neither Man Nor Dog (1946), introduction by Robert Webb
Clock Without Hands (1949), introduction by Thomas Pluck
The Great Wash (aka The Secret Masters) (1953)
On an Odd Note (1957), introduction by Nick Mamatas

HARRY KRESSING (pseud. of Harry Adam Ruber)

The Cook (1965)


Burnt Offerings (1973)

I Am Your Brother (1935), introduction by Phil Baker


Cold Moon Over Babylon (1980), introduction by Douglas E. Winter


House on Fire (1969), introduction by Christopher Conlon


The Affirmation (1981) (US only)


Gog (1967), introduction by John Clute


The Godsend (1976) (US only)
Sweetheart, Sweetheart (1977) (US only), introduction by Michael Rowe
The Moorstone Sickness (1982) (US only), introduction by Mark Morris



Life at the Top (1962) (US only); introduction by Ben Clarke

Fair Stood the Wind for France (1944) (US only); introduction by Alice Ferrebe


The Tin Men (1965) (Somerset Maugham Award); introduction by the author
The Russian Interpreter (1966) (Hawthornden Prize); introduction by the author
Towards the End of the Morning (1967); introduction by the author
A Very Private Life (1968); introduction by the author
Sweet Dreams (1973); introduction by the author
Matchbox Theatre (2014) (US only)


Odd Man Out (1945); introduction by Adrian McKinty


The Devil's Own Work (1991) (Guardian Fiction Prize); introduction by Owen King, afterword by the author (US only)

Behind the Mirror (1955); introduction by Doug Armato (US only)

Landfall (1940); introduction by Rob Spence (US/Canada only)
An Old Captivity (1940); introduction by Rob Spence (US/Canada only)


Jubb (1962); introduction by Alice Ferrebe (US only)
Billy Liar on the Moon (1976); introduction by Alice Ferrebe (US only)

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Horror Titles - New, Coming Soon, In the Works - eARCs

New Releases

If you follow us anywhere online, you know how excited we've been recently about two of our biggest releases from the late gay horror authors, Michael McDowell and Michael Talbot.

The Elementals (1981) A haunted house story unlike any other, Michael McDowell’s The Elementals was one of the finest novels to come out of the horror publishing explosion of the 1970s and ’80s. Though best known for his screenplays for Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas, McDowell is now being rediscovered as one of the best modern horror writers and a master of Southern Gothic literature. This edition of McDowell’s masterpiece of terror features a new introduction by award-winning horror author Michael Rowe. McDowell’s first novel, the grisly and darkly comic The Amulet (1979), is also available from Valancourt Books.

The Delicate Dependency (1982) Michael Talbot’s historical vampire novel is often cited as one of the best of its kind ever written. This highly anticipated new edition, the first since the book’s original publication, includes a new foreword by Jillian Venters.

Coming Very Soon

Basil Copper's 1983 Gothic horror, The House of the Wolf. Here's one of the many illustrations in the book by legendary illustrator Stephen Fabian.

In the Works

We're in the process of adding two more novels by the masterful Stephen Gregory to our forthcoming list: The Woodwitch (1988) and The Blood of Angels (1994). If you have not read the brilliant work that is The Cormorant, do yourself a favor and check it out now! Also be sure to check out Stephen Gregory's most recent works: The Waking that Kills and the soon-to-be-released Wakening the Crow, both from Solaris.

In addition to these, we have some extremely exciting news coming up that we can't announce quite yet. Be sure to check back with us on Facebook and our other social media outlets to find out what titles we're working on bringing back into print.

Electronic Review Copies

If you write for a website or blog and would like to be notified which titles we will have available in electronic form for review, send us an email through the contact form on our website. Please include your name, a link to the website that will have the review, and the estimated time-frame the review will take to go live (e.g, one week, one month). Also, let us know if you prefer to receive the book in .mobi or .pdf format.

We will only be able to send out a limited number of the titles available so please understand we won't be able to fulfill every request. But we'll do what we can!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Some forthcoming titles you've never heard of, but won't want to miss!

Every publisher likes to publish bestsellers, award-winners, and big-name authors. What sets us apart from many presses is our willingness to take a chance on little-known authors and even totally forgotten titles if we think they're great books that deserve to be in print. In fact, it's a little secret (Shhhhhh!) but many of the best books in our catalogue aren't necessarily the most famous ones, but instead the unheralded gems, books that neither you nor anyone you know has probably ever heard of.

We're excited to announce the following neglected treasures as forthcoming:

F. L. Green, Odd Man Out (1945)

Probably the best known of the titles on this list, Odd Man Out was a bestseller for Frederick Laurence Green (1902-1953), who published over a dozen novels, many of them well received, but who is remembered chiefly for his 1945 novel, which was adapted for a 1947 film directed by Carol Reed and starring James Mason.  It was last published in the US in 1982 and in the UK in 1991, so we are pleased to be restoring it to print in both paperback and e-book formats.

Dennis Parry, Sea of Glass (1955)

This book is beyond obscure, and indeed would have been totally lost in oblivion if not for macabre illustrator Edward Gorey, who during the 1970s named it the most neglected book he knew.  Gorey's recommendation was reprinted in a book called Writers' Choice, where we discovered it and were inspired to track down the book.

Parry (1912-1955) was a barrister and civil servant who published a dozen or so novels, but though his books were always published by leading publishing firms and always earned good reviews, somehow their quirky subjects and sardonic wit never caught on with the book-buying public.  Sea of Glass, his last book, was one of his most successful, earning rave reviews and going into a second edition, but unfortunately Parry died shortly after publication in a car crash at age 42.

Sea of Glass is a witty and often laugh-out-loud funny story involving a 20-year-old law student who is staying at the home of the wealthy Ellisons, friends of his aunt.  Old Mrs Ellison is near death, and her rotten son Cedric anticipates inheriting her money, until a bizarre young woman calling herself Varvara Ellison arrives from Chinese Turkestan, claiming to be the daughter of the black sheep of the family, Fulk Ellison, who had moved east to make a fortune as a gun-runner. Varvara's eccentricities are hilarious, and when Cedric ends up dead, she may be the number one suspect....

A. E. Ellis, The Rack (1958)
With a new introduction by Andrew Sinclair

This novel, the only book published by Derek Lindsay, who wrote under the pseudonym A. E. Ellis, is a masterpiece.  And we're not the only ones who think so.  No less a writer than Graham Greene wrote: "There are certain books we call great for want of a better term, that rise like monuments above the cemeteries of literature: Clarissa Harlowe, Great Expectations, Ulysses.  The Rack to my mind is of this company."  Though in print for many years as a Penguin Modern Classic, Ellis's novel fell out of print 25 or 30 years ago and has been unavailable since.

Interesting trivia: Andrew Sinclair, who is contributing the introduction to this edition, is the author of Valancourt titles The Facts in the Case of E.A. Poe and The Raker; the main character in The Raker was modelled on Derek Lindsay/A.E. Ellis, and Sinclair writes in his introduction of a ménage à trois among Sinclair, his wife, and Lindsay.  More interesting trivia: Gillian Freeman, author of three Valancourt reissues, was at one time adapting The Rack as a screenplay, which sadly was never produced.

Ellis's novel is the story of a young Englishman sent to a sanatorium in the Alps in the days before antibiotic treatment for TB infection.  As he continues to hold out hope of his cure and being able to marry Michele, a young Belgian girl also at the hospital, he is subjected to increasingly dehumanizing medical procedures amounting almost to torture.  The genius of Ellis's novel, though, is its tone of fatalistic, gallows humor throughout.  "Book of the year, if ever there was one," said V.S. Pritchett, and we agree!

Alex Hamilton, Beam of Malice (1966)

Ramsey Campbell, the most award-winning and acclaimed British horror novelist today, says "Alex Hamilton is one of the absolute masters of the sunlit nightmare, the tale of insidious disquiet and relentless unease. He's a true original, and it's past time that he took his place in the pantheon of the elegantly macabre." 

Hamilton's first collection of macabre stories, Beam of Malice, was published in the UK in 1966 and the US the following year but has been neglected since.  We agree with Ramsey Campbell that Hamilton's tales of unease are well worth rediscovery, so we're pleased to be reissuing his debut collection, with a new foreword by the author.

Archie Roy, Devil in the Darkness (1978)

Archie Roy (1924-2012) was very well known, but as a professor of astronomy at the University of Glasgow rather than for his novels.  Roy, in addition to being a well-respected scientist (with an asteroid named after him), was also a firm believer in the paranormal and incorporated his interest in both science and the occult in six novels published in the 1960s and '70s.  Sadly, though his books are extremely well-written and genuinely thrilling, they are very little known today, even to connoisseurs of this sort of fiction.

Devil in the Darkness (1978) starts out in classic British haunted house style.  A young couple, just married, is driving to their honeymoon through a blizzard when they are forced to take refuge for the night in a creepy old mansion.  It turns out, of course, that the house is haunted, but the twist is that there are two groups of people already at the house when they arrive: one is there to study the psychic phenomena while the other is there to destroy it.  Some sleepless nights and eerie happenings occur, and the atmosphere is pitch-perfect.

We will also be reissuing Roy's The Curtained Sleep, a genuinely mind-bending novel involving drug-induced altered states of consciousness that is guaranteed to freak you out when you finally figure out what's going on.

More new title announcements coming soon!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Back for more!

We're excited to announce that some of your favorite Valancourt authors will be returning with new editions in 2014-15!

Gerald Kersh

Gerald Kersh was the only Valancourt author to have two books in our list of the top 10 best-selling titles from 2013 (Nightshade and Damnations and Fowlers End), so we're thrilled to be publishing four more Kersh titles!

Neither Man Nor Dog (1946) 

A rare volume of short stories by a master of the genre.  "Mr Kersh’s new volume contains thirty-seven stories of the kind the author made made so distinctly his own; the short piece, explosive with violence . . . The best of them are very good. The unfailing fertility of his imagination is indeed to be wondered at, and so, too, his unwinking eye for the hard, the horrible, the grotesque. . . . For entertainment of a strong kind Mr Kersh would be hard to beat." -- Times Literary Supplement.

Clock Without Hands (1949)

A collection of three long short stories (or short novellas). "Mr Kersh tells a story; as such, rather better than anybody else." -- Pamela Hansford Johnson, Daily Telegraph

The Great Wash (1953) (US title: The Secret Masters)

"Gerald Kersh is a literary spieler of abundant energy, who sees the world as a vast circus cramful of entertaining oddities, glittering sideshows, burlesques of blood and sawdust . . . Mr Kersh’s many admirers will undoubtedly devour this highly flavoured hotch-potch with avidity." -- Julian Maclaren-Ross, Sunday Times

On an Odd Note (1958) 

Published only as a paperback original in the United States and never published in Great Britain, this collection features some of Kersh's best, including "The Brighton Monster", "The Queen of Pig Island", and "The Extraordinarily Horrible Dummy", along with some lesser-known stories and one written specially for this collection.  This new edition will feature an introduction by Nick Mamatas.

Basil Copper

Basil Copper's Lovecraftian horror novel The Great White Space and his Victorian-style Sherlock Holmes pastiche Necropolis were both extremely popular with our readers last year, so we're thrilled to be offering a new Copper title:

The House of the Wolf (1983)

Copper's classic werewolf novel, originally published as a limited edition by Arkham House and reprinted as a limited hardcover by Sarob Press in the UK, finally gets its first edition in paperback and e-book formats.  We're excited about this one!

R. Chetwynd-Hayes

Even though it wasn't published until Halloween, R. Chetwynd-Hayes's brilliant cult classic The Monster Club (1976) was still our 13th bestselling title for 2013.  So we're pleased to be offering another volume of Chetwynd-Hayes's stories which we hope you'll also enjoy:

Looking for Something to Suck and other Vampire Stories (1997)

Edited by Stephen Jones, this collection of the complete vampire-themed stories by R. Chetwynd Hayes, originally published in various collections between 1971 and 1997, appeared as a limited hardcover in 1997 but makes its first paperback and e-book appearance with Valancourt Books, featuring an afterword by Stephen Jones and the original illustrations by Jim Pitts.  This nearly 300 page collection includes 15 of the author's best, in which he blends horror and dark humour in his own unique way.

Claude Houghton

Claude Houghton's bestseller I Am Jonathan Scrivener (1930) was one of our most popular releases in 2013 and one of my personal favorites among all the books we've ever published. So we're particularly delighted to be republishing his very scarce first novel, Neighbours (1926), with a new introduction by Mark Valentine and featuring a new cover by M.S. Corley.  Houghton's novel centers on a young writer living in the attic of a lodging house, who becomes progressively more obsessed with a new neighbour, whose every word he hears through the thin partition separating the rooms, and whose obsession leads to a shocking climax.