Saturday, June 15, 2013

Gerald Kersh Again, John D. MacDonald Again, and Charles Beaumont

In February, I noted that this fall Faber Finds will be reissuing a number of Gerald Kersh's books; among the releases will be THE THOUSAND DEATHS OF MR SMALL, THE BEST OF GERALD KERSH, THE SONG OF THE FLEA, and others.  Since then, Valancourt Books has also reissued two of Kersh's books, his novel FOWLERS END (described by Anthony Burgess as one of the great comic novels of its century) and NIGHTSHADE AND DAMNATIONS (an excellent selection of Kersh's short stories edited and with an introduction by Harlan Ellison); even better, Valancourt will release new printings of Kersh's novel NIGHT AND THE CITY and the short story collection ON AN ODD NOTE.

John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series was released in ebook form earlier this year; last week, more than thirty of MacDonald's non-McGee books were released as ebooks.  Among the titles were his short story collection END OF THE TIGER, and the excellent suspense novels THE DAMNED, APRIL EVIL, and CRY HARD, CRY FAST.  Wonderful stuff.  And it looks like more MacDonald may be coming as ebooks.  There are no additional Kindle releases listed at Amazon yet, but in February there will be new trade paperbacks of SLAM THE BIG DOOR, A KEY TO THE SUITE, and the brilliant thriller CAPE FEAR; all three list as having an introduction by Dean Koontz, and the titles released last week all have Koontz introductions.  I'm guessing the rest of MacDonald's backlist is in the works, both as print and ebooks, and just not announced yet.

And finally: Charles Beaumont.  If you ever watched the original TWILIGHT ZONE, you know Beaumont's work.  "The Howling Man."  "The Jungle," with its protagonist stalked through the deserted late-night city streets by an African curse.  "Long Live Walter Jameson," the history professor with too much first-hand knowledge of his subject.  And more.  His books are too seldom reprinted (if memory serves the last time you could find a Beaumont collection on the mass-market paperback racks was in the mid-80s).  In late July, Valancourt Books (the above-mentioned publisher of several Gerald Kersh re-issues) will release a handsome trade paperback edition of Beaumont's first short story collection, THE HUNGER AND OTHER STORIES.  If you enjoyed TWILIGHT ZONE, if you enjoyed the work of Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, and William F. Nolan, you don't want to miss this collection.  It's a keeper, and its return to print after nearly 50 years is cause for celebration.

(Another note re: Beaumont.  You serious Beaumont collectors out there should be aware, if you aren't already, of the three hardcover titles available from Centipede Press -- RUN FROM THE HUNTER, THE INTRUDER, and MASS FOR MIXED VOICES: SELECTED SHORT FICTION.  Pricey, but for the collector well worth it; I've never seen a book from Centipede Press that wasn't beautifully done.  If you've got the $$$, you'll want these too.)

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