My Rarest Books
My backlist is now in the middle of appearing as low-priced e-books, with volumes grouped under different headings. Already available are ‘Classics’ (Roofworld; Spanky) and ‘Dark Urban Novels’ (Rune; Red Bride; Disturbia; Psychoville; Soho Black) They’re being followed by ‘Fantasy’ (The Curse of Snakes; Calabash), ‘Early Collections’ (City Jitters; The Bureau of Lost Souls; Sharper Knives; Flesh Wounds), ‘The Devil Collections’ (Personal Demons; The Devil in Me; Old Devil Moon; Demonised) and ‘The Unseen Collections’ (Red Gloves Volumes 1 and 2; Frightening).
‘Red Gloves’ was published by PS Publishing, a small press house, and is my longest (and I think one of my best), divided into two volumes – British tales of unease and international tales of unease. ‘Frightening features more recent unseen work.
There are three volumes missing from the line-up. ‘More City Jitters’ was published in the US. It’s a nice mass-market format matching the cover of its predecessor, and some of its stories went into ‘The Bureau of Lost Souls’, but not all. As there was an overlap, though, it was decided not to publish this volume.
‘Mens Insana’ was the graphic novel I wrote for artist John Bolton (and a thoroughly enjoyable experience it was too). So perhaps that’s understandably missing – besides, it’s the property of DC’s Vertigo. It got nice critical notices, but no release in the UK.
There were plenty of short stories published here and there, not all of which I got around to gathering together, although this one, which I wrote for the late Independent paper, did make it into ‘Red Gloves’.
Finally, though, there’s the problem of ‘Uncut’. After my publishing house said they wouldn’t publish any more volumes of short stories (the market for them had started to dry up) I switched to an indie publisher, who had a healthy success with their first volume. So my old publishing house republished the best of my tales as a competition spoiler (all’s fair etc).
Thing was, I ended up being persuaded to add some new tales to it. Among them was my first SF tale, ‘The Trafalgar Lockdown’, and a few others. I’ll check to ee if I have the rights to those missing stories. If I can’t get them added into another collection, what I’ll do for anyone seeking to have a complete set of tales is try and publish them here. As a collector myself, I know how annoying it is not to have a full set of books. (I’m still missing one volume of Bill Tidy’s epic Northern parody ‘The Fosdyke Saga’ (Volume 11),currently commanding an asking price of over 200 pounds.)
With most of the rest appearing over Christmas and the final volume due on next March, all with new forewords and covers, I can feel I’ve then done justice to readers who have asked me over the years about missing volumes.
If any prove particularly successful in digital format, we may get a couple produced in limited edition paper versions. The e-volumes will hopefully soon become available in the USA too.