Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Valiant Valancourt Books

I'm always ready to help publicize the work of any small press that dares to reissue my favorite writers languishing in the Limbo of Out-of-Printdom. Valancourt Books, who have reissued some of the earliest Gothic novels from the 18th and 19th century, has now turned their attention to 20th century weird and supernatural fiction. They are in the process of reissuing many of the books of John Blackburn.

Regular readers with good memories may know that I have reviewed three of Blackburn's wholly original thrillers which blend crime and the supernatural into thrillers with a hip 1960s vibe. Not since Dennis Wheatley gave up writing had anyone really done such an exceptional job as Blackburn at incorporating the supernatural into a modern setting.

I was so excited I sent a letter of thanks to the publisher James Jenkins and learned in his reply that my rave review of Broken Boy "helped persuade" him to reprint that book. What an honor for this humble little blog. I helped bring a forgotten book back into print!

Not only has Valancourt chosen to reprint John Blackburn they have a long list of books they plan to reissue, many of them out of print for decades, that will be of interest to readers of weird, supernatural and fantasy fiction. Some of the titles I am anticipating are Benighted by J. B. Priestley, The Hand of Kornelius Voyt by Oliver Onions, the books of Claude Houghton and The Burnaby Experiment by Stephen Gilbert, best known as the author of Ratman's Notebooks, AKA Willard in its movie adaptation. Valancourt Books' forthcoming list also includes crime novels like He Arrived at Dusk by R. C. Ashby (read my review at Mystery*File),  Ritual in the Dark by Colin Wilson and The Killer and the Slain by Hugh Walpole. Perhaps the most astonishing planned release will be The Birds by Frank Baker (author of Miss Hargreaves), an exceptionally scarce title I've wanted to read for years now. This is just a sample of the genre fiction. Valancourt also has an interest in early 20th century literary fiction and early fiction with gay themes. There is plenty that will appeal to a variety of reader tastes. All of it exceptional in quality and wisely chosen, I think.

Three John Blackburn books are available for purchase via amazon.com where Valancourt Books has chosen to market their titles. Below is a list of links. According to a blog post back in December 2012 Valancourt Books plans to reprint at least five other John Blackburn books including extremely scarce titles like The Beastly Business and The Household Traitors

All current titles published by Valancourt Books are available in either trade paperback or digital format.

Start saving your pennies, gang. I know I am!

John Blackburn's work at Valancourt Books
Broken Boy
Nothing But the Night
Bury Him Darkly

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