The Bizarro Across America Tour has featured a rotating assembly of Bizarro authors. It comes to York, PA on Friday, September 5th, and since both Kelli Owen and I have written Bizarro, and since we live in York, we’ll be joining them that night. This is my last public appearance for 2014, so I hope to see you there!
The three books featured in the upcoming 2014 Maelstrom set are APOCRYPHA by Brian Keene, the Conan-esque KING OF THE BASTARDS by Brian Keene and Steven Shrewsbury, and HAG by John Goodrich. Print run of 260, set price $135, and you’ve got about two months to save your money. (Official early warning system will come later)
Today’s post centers on APOCRYPHA. This book of rarities is being produced primarily in a trade paperback edition, a free copy of which will be sent to each and every former paid subscriber to the OF KEENE INTEREST print newsletter. Copies of the paperback will not be offered for sale to the public. If you were not a former subscriber to the newsletter, and you want a copy, then you can purchase the hardcover as part of this year’s Maelstrom set. THESE WILL BE THE ONLY TWO EDITIONS. A limited hardcover run. A limited trade paperback run. No further paperbacks or e-books or whatever new format comes along a decade from now.
The book itself is broken into four parts. The first section contains (mostly) unpublished excerpts from things I’ve written that you probably haven’t seen. For example, there’s a lengthy excerpt from my “lost” novel, LOVE AND WORMS, which fans have been asking me about since the year 2000. There are also things like the original first chapter to CITY OF THE DEAD, which differs greatly from the published version you’ve read, and excerpts from several unpublished “trunk” novels that will probably remain unpublished for the rest of my life (and after that, too, if my heirs respect my wishes).
The second part of the book features a selection of rarities — fiction or articles that I wrote a long time ago, and that, for one reason or another, have never been reprinted or collected anywhere before now. While you may have heard of some of these, I expect this will be the first time the majority of you have actually seen them in print.
The third part of the book is my personal favorite. It contains pitches and treatments I was asked to deliver for novels, comic books, movies, etc. that were never approved. For example, did you know I was asked to write for such properties as BATTLESTAR GALACTICA or TERMINATOR? Or that J.F. Gonzalez and I were going to collaborate as ghost writers for a deceased New York Times bestselling author? This section details those projects, and what I would have done, had they not been cancelled.
The book’s final section features juvenilia — things I wrote as a child and a teenager, long before I became a writer.
I think that covers everything. More information on the rest of the Maelstrom set will be provided once we do the official early warning system, alerting you that pre-orders are imminent. But yes, as I said, you have around two months to set aside your $135. And if you were a former OF KEENE INTEREST newsletter subscriber, and you moved and have not yet updated your address with me, please do so.
In case you’re unaware, I Blog daily over at Tumblr. Think of it as a morning devotional. Every day, I get up and capture my first thoughts over my first cup of coffee. It satisfies the needs of those of you who miss my old social and political commentary and personal slice-of-life essays, and also works for me as a warm up exercise before I start the day’s writing.
First, the official announcement (which appeared in Publisher’s Marketplace and elsewhere today):
PRESSURE by Brian Keene
Brian Keene’s PRESSURE, pitched as JAWS meets ALIEN, the story of a world-class free diver who is called in to investigate a seismological event in the Indian Ocean, when events quickly take a deadly turn and she and her crew must fight the monsters in the depths and those ashore, to Nicole Sohl at Thomas Dunne Books, St. Martin’s Press, Macmillan.
And now, your anticipated frequently asked questions:
Q: You’re going back to a Big 6 mass-market publisher? What gives?
A: I’m writing a new novel for a Big 6 mass-market publisher, yes.
Q: But, after everything that happened with Dorchester…WHY?
A: Here are my Top Five Reasons
1. Because they offered me a big payday and I need the money.
2. Because I’d estimate that 20% of my audience is still unaware of what happened with Dorchester, and are also unaware that there’s a place called Amazon.com where you can buy books from home — books that aren’t carried by bookstores — and every week, those readers wander the aisles of their local BAM or B&N, wondering where all my books went to. Now they will be able to find one there.
3. Because they offered me a big payday and I need the money.
4. Because it pleases me to confuse and confound industry watchers.
5. And mostly because they offered me a big payday and I need the money.
Q: What does this mean for you and other publishing partners like Deadite Press, Thunderstorm, etc.?
A: It means I’ll continue to write for Deadite Press, Thunderstorm, etc, because I am very happy with them. But this Big 6 publisher offered me a big payday to write a novel for them and I need the money.
Q: Since this will be available in bookstores, will you do one of those legendary book-signing tours like you used to do?
A: Count on it.
Q: When can I buy it?
A: Slow down. I haven’t even written the damn thing yet. But I’ll let you see it when it’s done.
Q: Can you tell us more about the book?
A: It’s called PRESSURE, and it’s JAWS meets ALIEN, and you’ll want one.
Q: Does Jeff Strand know you stole his title?
A: I didn’t come up with the title. The publisher did. And Strand owes me money for the last time he went on a bender at a convention, and turned a llama loose in my hotel room, so I reckon this makes us even.
UPDATE: Jeff Strand responds via Twitter
— JeffStrand (@JeffStrand) August 20, 2014
For the last year, you’ve seen J.F. Gonzalez and I mention a new collaboration we’ve been working on, code-named “The Bible”. As we are nearly finished and expect to turn it over to pre-readers next week, I figured the time has come to give you more details.
The Bible’s official title is LIBRA NIGRUM SCIENTIA SECRETA (The Black Book of Secret Knowledge). It is being written and produced exclusively for the collectible market, and will most likely appeal to hardcore collectors, rather than the casual reader. LIBRA NIGRUM SCIENTIA SECRETA is part-Necronomicon, part-Scofield Reference Bible, and part-Tolkien’s Silmarillion, and examines the ancient history of my literary mythos, J.F.’s literary mythos, and the places where those individual stories come together. The idea is that scrolls and other ancient writings pertaining to the Thirteen, the Siqqusim, the Clickers, and others have been dug up and translated into this book. It will be extensively and profusely illustrated, and have all the bells and whistles that make collector’s drool. We’ve set out to produce a museum quality piece, and I think we’ve succeeded.
LIBRA NIGRUM SCIENTIA SECRETA will be published by Miskatonic Books. It is not yet available for pre-order (as I said, it needs to be proofread, and the art needs to be finished before production can begin). In the meantime, here’s an exclusive look at the table of contents:
I. INTRODUCTION, INCLUDING A NOTE ON THE TRANSLATIONS
II. THE TESTAMENT OF J.F. GONZALEZ
1. The Testimony of Shaleem Achmed al-Jazir
2. The Book of the Reptilians (Fragment)
3. The Book of Aku-Ynath-Li
4. The Tale of Thurg
5. Concerning Hanpa (Fragment)
6. The Legend of Hanbi and Lilu
7. The Fall of the Watchers
8. The Book of Picts
9. Concerning Nyarlathotep (Fragment)
10. Of the Mazzikim (Fragment)
11. The Book of Thomas (Fragment)
12. The Gospel of Judas (Fragment)
13. The Lost Gospel of Simon (Fragment)
14. The Further Testimony of Shaleem Achmed al-Jazir (Fragment)
III. THE TESTAMENT OF BRIAN KEENE
1. The Telos of the Thirteen
2. The Book of Names
3. The Book of Doors
4. The Book of Faces (Fragment)
5. The Sealing of Eden
6. The Prophecy of the Siqqusim
7. On the Creation of the Void (Fragment)
8. The Testimony of the San People Concerning Meeble
9. The Book of Obadiah (Alternate Translation)
10. The Fourth Book of Chalco (Fragment)
11. Concerning the Daemonolateria (Fragment)
12. First Yee-wa
13. Second Yee-wa
14. On the Summoning of the Seven
We’ll let you see it when it’s finished.
Have been on the road the last five weeks, traveling and doing signings and appearances, and also some family stuff. Home this week but ignoring all email (in truth, pretty much ignoring everything but Twitter) so that I can work on manuscript reviews, Lifetimer shipments, and an introduction for a very patient Bryan Killian. Also finishing up my X-FILES contribution and a new collaboration with J.F. Gonzalez code-named THE BIBLE (should be done this week or next). A few things of note:
*Readers interested in this year’s Maelstrom set should start setting money aside.
*Look for a major book-related announcement on or around August 18th. Will probably first appear in Publisher’s Lunch.
*Talking to some folks I met in Atlanta about a podcast. More on that in the months to come.
*Jonathan Janz, one of my favorites among this new crop of younger horror writers, wrote this nice essay about me and Jack Ketchum.
*My partner and fellow horror author Mary SanGiovanni recently appeared on Armand Rosmilia’s podcast, and in addition to talking about her new novel CHAOS, she revealed (for what I believe is the first time in public) that we recently completed our first collaboration. Details later on where that story will be appearing.
*Recently finished and turned in to various publishers: new novel THE LOST LEVEL, new Levi novel THE LAST OF THE ALBATWITCHES (which comprises the novellas THE WITCHING TREE and THE LAST OF THE ALBATWITCHES), two new short stories (one of which is a vampire tale and the other of which is the collaboration with Mary mentioned above), and a lengthy essay on the impact of Jack Ketchum’s THE GIRL NEXT DOOR.
And that’s it. Back to work I go. If you miss me, I’ve been Blogging daily here.
The last full-length solo novel I released was 2011′s ENTOMBED (unless you want to count collaborative novels CLICKERS VS. ZOMBIES and THE DAMNED HIGHWAY). I’m happy to report that two new novel-length works are in production at their respective publishers right now.
THE LAST OF THE ALBATWITCHES is a new Levi Stoltzfus novel. It comprises the novellas “The Witching Tree” and “The Last of the Albatwitches”, previously only available as limited edition hardcovers. It will be available in paperback and digital from Deadite Press in another month or two.
The other brand new novel is called THE LOST LEVEL. It has unexpectedly taken me several years to finish it, but my pre-readers all say it was well-worth the wait, and is a “return to form”. It will be available in paperback and digital from Apex Publications later this year.
I am currently working on two more novels: INVISIBLE MONSTERS (which is the second to last Levi novel) and HOLE IN THE WORLD (which acts as a prequel to THE LOST LEVEL), as well as a book-length collaborative work (with J.F. Gonzalez) code-named THE BIBLE. More on those later. In the meantime, watch this space for release info on THE LAST OF THE ALBATWITCHES and THE LOST LEVEL.
I’m a guest this weekend (August 1 to 3) at Monsterama Holiday Inn Perimeter 4386 Chamblee Dunwoody Rd. Atlanta, GA 30341. I’ll have PLENTY of books for sale. You can also bring books from home to be signed. When not sitting behind the table signing your books, here’s my schedule for the rest of the convention. Continue reading
SOMETHING TERRIBLE is a new book by Wrath James White and his son, Sultan White. I wrote the introduction for it.
The book is signed by all three of us and on sale now. Limited to only 90 hardcover copies and sure to go fast.
Click here to purchase.
It contains a new story by me called “The Guardian of Tsalal”. It also contains stories by Christopher Golden, J.F. Gonzalez, Kelli Owen, Robert Swartwood, James A. Moore, Mary SanGiovanni, Geoff Cooper, Robert Ford, Mandy DeGeit, Nate Southard, and many, many more.
100% of the proceeds go to our friend Dave Thomas, who is going through hard times right now. (You readers might best know Dave from the introduction he wrote for BLOOD ON THE PAGE).
Here is the full Table of Contents:
Introduction – Brian Keene
Breathe My Name – Christopher Golden
The Tin Box – Kelli Owen
For Whom We Mourn – Geoff Cooper
Inviolable – Mandy DeGeit
Mouth – Nate Southard
Little King – Nikki McKenzie
Home – J.F. Gonzalez
The Taste of Our Indiscretions – Robert Ford
In the Details – Michele Mixell
The Guardian of Tsalal – Brian Keene
A Family Birthday – Jacob Haddon
Emily’s Kiss – James A. Moore
Pretty, Pretty Shiny – Alyn Day
I’m Dreaming of a White Doomsday – Mike Lombardo
The Mime – Mary SanGiovanni
The Wretched Spawn – Michael H. Antonio
Arrearages – Wesley Southard
Noogle Knock – Robert Swartwood
And on behalf of Dave and myself and all of the contributors, thank you in advance.