Monday, December 16, 2013

2014 Preview (part 1)

We're still waiting to hear back from agents or estates on a couple dozen extremely exciting titles, including by some quite prominent authors, so expect a second post in the next couple weeks, but in the meantime, here's a sneak peek at some of what's in store at Valancourt for 2014.

Michael McDowell, the great neglected Southern Gothic novelist and screenwriter of films such as Beetlejuice and The Nightmare Before Christmas whose novel The Amulet we published earlier this year, returns with The Elementals (1981), a different kind of haunted house story that many fans think is one of the scariest horror novels ever written.  

New to Valancourt Books is Michael Talbot (1953-1992), best known for his book The Holographic Universe, and whose first novel, The Delicate Dependency (1982) will be reprinted for the first time ever.  Talbot's novel originally appeared as a paperback original from Avon Books and has gone on to acquire a legendary cult status as one of the best vampire novels ever written.  Secondhand copies are hard to come by and ridiculously expensive, and so strongly has the book stayed with its readers that even 30 years on, the book has 4.34/5.0 on and eighteen 5-star reviews on 

Frank De Felitta is best known for his bestseller Audrey Rose (1975), which was also a major feature film; his other big bestseller, The Entity (1978), was also a major film starring Barbara Hershey, and returns to print in a new edition with an introduction by author Gemma Files.  

Another newcomer to Valancourt is Jack Cady (1932-2004), whose works have won the Nebula, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy Awards; Cady's The Well (1980) returns to print with an introduction by Tom Piccirilli.  

John Blackburn, ten of whose horror novels and thrillers we've published in 2013, returns with four of his best: Children of the Night, A Ring of Roses, Devil Daddy, and Our Lady of Pain.

A number of new authors will be making their Valancourt debuts in 2014.  One of these is George Sims (1923-1999), who, like John Blackburn, was a rare bookseller and the author of critically acclaimed thrillers. Sims's Sleep No More (1966) and The Last Best Friend (1967), the latter of which was chosen by H.R.F. Keating as one of the best 100 crime and mystery novels ever written, will be out next year.

Gerald Kersh has been one of our most popular authors this year, and his novel Fowlers End has been called one of the great comic novels of the 20th century.  But did you know that he had a brother, also a writer, and also a great comic novelist?  Cyril Kersh joins the Valancourt lineup with his first novel, the hilarious and very scarce The Aggravations of Minnie Ashe (1970), which will feature an introduction by Séamas Duffy.

Colin Spencer (b. 1933) is perhaps best known as one of Britain's great writers on food and for his book on the history of homosexuality, but in the 1960s and 70s he was the author of a number of interesting and unusual novels, one of which, Panic (1972), about the psychology of a child murderer, will be joining our list.  

Michael Campbell's novel Lord Dismiss Us (1967) received rave reviews from Iris Murdoch, Anthony Burgess, Christopher Isherwood, and others on its initial appearance. It was revived in 1984 by the University of Chicago Press but has long been out of print and will return with a new introduction by Washington Post critic Dennis Drabelle.

Some of our favorites from 2013 will be returning with new titles in the new year, including Forrest Reid's final novel, Denis Bracknel (1947), four by the great J.B. Priestley (The Doomsday Men, The Shapes of Sleep, The Thirty-First of June, and Salt Is Leaving), two more by Stephen Gilbert (Bombardier, Monkeyface), and two fine novels by John Wain (Strike the Father Dead, A Winter in the Hills).

Fans of our editions of rare 18th and 19th century literature will have several great new titles to look forward to.  Neglected Gothic novelist Henry Summersett returns with Aberford (1798) and The Worst of Stains (1804).  Other Gothics include the anonymous Lusignan; or, The Abbaye of La Trappe (1801) and The Orphans of Llangloed (1802).  Victorian penny dreadfuls in the works include James Malcolm Rymer's The Black Monk (1844) and the second volume of our phenomenally popular The Mysteries of London by George W. M. Reynolds. The excellent Ernest G. Henham, alias John Trevena, returns with another weird Gothic tale, The Feast of Bacchus (1907), while Mary Elizabeth Braddon is back with one of her last novels, Dead Love Has Chains (1907). A. W. Clarke's Jaspar Tristram (1899) gets its first ever republication, and Prof. Jack Voller has put together an excellent anthology of graveyard poetry.  More titles are likely to be added as we receive additional manuscripts from the professors editing them.

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