Thursday, June 22, 2017

Coming September 2017: Paperbacks from Hell!

For some years I've had TMHF readers asking if I was going to write a book about paperback horror fiction, and I've always shied away from the idea; I feel I write as a fan and amateur, not as any kind of professional critic. One day last spring, I received a message from author Grady Hendrix asking me if I'd be interested in working on a big project with him. I was intrigued; Grady and I had tag-teamed the Summer of Sleaze and Bloody Books of Halloween series in 2014 and then the Evil Eighties in 2015 over at Tor.com, offering up reviews of some terrific lesser-known horror novels and writers on an unsuspecting readership. This time, however, Grady had a bigger idea: what about an entire book, complete with cover art and stepbacks, on the vintage era of horror fiction? How about that? And would I be interested in co-writing it with him and supplying covers from my own library? Would I?!

For the next few months we spoke on the phone discussing all aspects of the genre, the titles and the authors and the cover artists, the publishers, the themes and ideas and fads and how they all spoke to generational concerns of those long ago yet still beloved decades of the 1970s and 1980s. I don't remember how we decided on the title; that may have been the publisher, Quirk Books (one working title was The Books That Screamed). I spent hours scanning the covers of what must have been more than half of my collection. Using my Google-fu skills I scoured all the internets for artists' names, peered at barely-legible artist signatures with a jeweler's eye, ever eager to discover who was responsible for covers like Satan Sleuth, Crooked Tree, Ancient Rage, and Horrorscope.

Social media has shown me that the advanced reading copies available at book expos/conventions have been incredibly well-received, and other folks have posted their anticipation for the book. Quirk Books has produced a lovely coffee-table style book filled to the brim with paperback covers, and Grady has written a funny, thorough, insightful, affectionate tribute/critique of the genre we all love so much. His appetite for this stuff is almost more voracious than mine! I'm honored to be part of Paperbacks from Hell... and I do hope you will buy a copy when it is published in September.

15 comments:

Chris said...

Can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this. Thanks for hard work.

Jack Tripper said...

Seconded. I've been waiting for a book like this to come out for a long time. Already preordered!

Jordan Prejean said...

Very much looking forward to this. Let's face it, those covers are glorious and it will be great to have them in a nice format like this. Thanks to you and Grady for making this happen.

Unknown said...

Waiting anxiously!

Unknown said...

Will definitely buy it. But still love this blog to uncover stuff I never knew about.

Robert Kirby said...

Another copy pre-sold

John said...

Sounds like a great project. You've got another customer!

Luis said...

I'm buying it for sure!

highwayknees said...

This is a great idea whose time has come-finally! Count me in as a buyer!

Tim Mayer said...

I'm looking forward to it!

Zwolf said...

Yes! This looks excellent! I'll be keeping a copy in my Amazon shopping cart 'til the release date. Can't wait!

John Moran said...

Which avenue of purchase will put the most money in you & your co-author's pocket?

Griffin Calhoun said...

That is completely awesome, I mean WOW.

Will Errickson said...

Thanks everyone!!!

John Moran, I've already been paid. Not sure how Grady's end works out, but you can't go wrong with ordering direct from the publisher, or even just Amazon. Thanks for the thought!

665+1 said...

Ordered! I legit squealed with excitement upon hearing about this project, doubly so when I realized your involvement. STOKED