Monday, May 28, 2018

More New Releases

Some of these debuted at the Medievalist's Congress a few weeks ago, but took a while to wend their ways through other channels.  Ordering and format details are at the bottom of this post.

First up is Fingers of Fear, by J.U. Nicolson, originally published in 1937.  This comes from the original dust-wrapper blurb:

Good horror stories are among the great rarities of the publishing world. We are fortunate in having this thrilling narrative unfolded by J.U. Nicolson, whose rich imagination has produced such volumes of poetry as “The King of the Black Isles” and “Sonnets of a Minnesinger,” and whose already well developed ability to spin a tale was sharpened during the long years he spent on his monumental modern English version of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. It is with good reason, then, that we expect Fingers of Fear to take its place beside such great horror stories as Dracula and The Turn of the Screw.

 I introduced the 2001 Midnight House limited edition reprint of Fingers of Fear, and have updated my Introduction for this new edition. 

J(ohn) U(rban) Nicolson (1885-1944) was a Chicago warehouse manager with literary interests. Fingers of Fear (1937) was his only novel, a precursor to the melodramatic horror of the 1960s like the television show Dark Shadows.

Next up is Monk's Magic, originally published in 1931, a delightful precursor to Mervyn Wall's Fursey books. Monk’s Magic, by Alexander de Comeau,  tells the story of Brother Dismas, who works on behalf of his Abbott, stealthily studying the black arts (he has been absolved in advance for his sins), trying to discover the elixir of life. After many failures, Dismas ventures out into the world to find those previous and successful fellow-seekers who must surely still live. Dismas acquires some marvelous friends and grows up during his quest. The tale is Rabelaisian in the best sense, witty and well-written.

Formats and ordering details: 

Fingers of Fear, by J.U. Nicolson, Introduction by Douglas A. Anderson
Trade paperback edition ($16.00) sold via Amazon (and European affiliates) ISBN 9781987626629. at this link. at this link.
Kindle edition, sold via Amazon and affiliates.

Monk’s Magic, by Alexander de Comeau
Trade paperback edition ($16.00) sold via Amazon (and European affiliates) ISBN 9781987508826. at this link. at this link.
Kindle edition, sold via Amazon and affiliates

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Three new books!

This is the first batch of new announcements, as the run-up to the annual Medievalist's Congress in May in Kalamazoo, Michigan, continues.

First, a compilation of my own Late Reviewsmy review column of older and odder books that I have done in the first thirty issues of Wormwood, plus additional "late reviews" (new and reprinted from other sources).  In many instances these entries have been revised, as I have learned new things since the original version was published.

“Doug Anderson’s regular ‘Late Reviews’ column in Wormwood is a treasury of information and commentary on some of the rarest, most obscure and strangest books in our field.  It is infused by Doug’s shrewd and unflinching assessments; bad books are named as such, overlooked achievements are justly celebrated.”  —Mark Valentine, editor of Wormwood 
“In his wonderful ‘Late Reviews’ Doug Anderson boldly goes where few readers have gone before.  Rather than write about the familiar classics of fantasy and supernatural literature, he explores the genre’s back alleys and waste lands, rediscovering dozens of strange and strangely appealing titles, most of them half forgotten, if remembered at all. Who else has read Guy Ridley’s The Word of Teregor and John William Harding’s A Conjuror of Phantoms and Erica Fay’s The Road to Fairyland or, it would seem, the complete works of Anthony Dyllington, author of The Unseen Thing? When Doug praised the wit of  Alexander de Comeau’s Monk’s Magic—and likened it to Mervyn Wall’s The Unfortunate Fursey—I immediately went searching for a copy.  Far more than just a collection of  essays, Douglas A. Anderson’s Late Reviews is a valuable reference, a guide for the curious reader and, not least, a source of rare literary entertainment.” —Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning critic and author of Classics for Pleasure and On Conan Doyle

Formats and ordering details at bottom.

The second new title is the first reprint in 115 years of Ferelith, by Lord Kilmarnock (1876-1928), with a new introduction by Mark Valentine.  Fans of Ferelith include André Gide and Julian Green.

“This wonderful book made me forget some of my present worries. It is the story of a woman the father of whose child is a phantom—an admirable theme which is artistically treated. . . . It delights me.”  —Julian Green
“This much-needed first reprint offers connoisseurs of the dark fantastic a rare minor masterpiece, too long overlooked. Ferelith should now take its place as one of the strange great visions in the library of the Gothic.” —From the “Introduction” by Mark Valentine

Ordering details at bottom.

And the third title, for now, is Barry Pain's short fantasy novel, with a long subtitle: Going Home: Being the Fantastical Romance of the Girl with Angel Eyes and the Man Who Had Wings. Barry Pain (1864-1928) is remembered today primarily for his excellent short horror stories. Going Home was originally published in 1921. According to Pain himself, writing in 1924, it was well-received by critics but sold poorly (this fact is corroborated by the book’s rarity today). Yet Pain still cited it as his best book. And Pain’s friend and sometime collaborator, James Blythe, noted in his own copy: “In my opinion this is Barry’s best book up to the present.”

Going Home is Nodens Chapbooks No. 4. 

Ordering details:

Late Reviews, by Douglas A. Anderson  

Trade paperback edition ($25.00) sold via Amazon (and European affiliates) ISBN 9781987512564. at this link. at this link

Kindle edition, sold via Amazon and affiliates.

Ferelith, by Lord Kilmarnock. Introduction by Mark Valentine.
Trade paperback edition ($16.00) sold via Amazon (and European affiliates) ISBN 9781987736700. at this link. at this link
Kindle edition, sold via Amazon and affiliates

Going Home, by Barry Pain.

Trade paperback edition ($10.00) sold via Amazon (and European affiliates) ISBN 9781987571288. at this link. at this link.
Kindle edition, sold via Amazon and affiliates.