Today I signed a contract with Wildside Press to reprint a bunch of my out-of-print novels—the three volumes of The Fall of the First World, both of the David Trevisan books, and the five books of the adventure-fantasy series set in Attluma, the Oron books. I started the process of getting the rights back to these titles earlier this year, and once I’d achieved that, I took Ted C. (Teddy Waffles*) Rypel’s suggestion of querying Wildside about reprinting them. The result? Voila, as they say in France. Also in Cleveland, as well as in Chicago. Voila! they say in all of those places.
This is really good news. Well, for me it is. Wildside Press will publish these titles as print-on-demand (POD) volumes, available in both paperback and hardcover, and soon will offer them as e-books, as well. Wildside Books has been around since 1989. Founded and operated by John Gregory and Kim Betancourt, winner of awards as well as of gratitude and thanks on the part of readers everywhere, Wildside publishes the revived Weird Tales and lots of reprints (Leigh Brackett, Robert E. Howard, Clifford D. Simak, S. Fowler Wright . . . on and on the list goes), as well as original titles under a couple of different imprints.
One of my hopes is that we can publish under their original manuscript titles the books of mine whose titles were changed by the publishers. Most of my manuscript titles were better, or at least more evocative, than the titles under which the novels first saw light of day—Reign, Sorcery! for example, rather than Mosutha’s Magic, and Deathwolf rather than The Valley of Ogrum, and The West Is Dying rather than The Master of Evil. I suppose Magicians is a bit lame compared with The Fair Rules of Evil, but Magicians is how I have always thought of this story, and it’s the title of the screenplay based on the novel, and the book is divided into the stages of a magician’s spiritual and mystical progress. Besides, MAGICIANS as a title can be made into a logo with pentagrams replacing the A’s, which is a look I kind of like.
Anyhow, new editions are coming. I’ll finally be able to clean up the typos that crept into the original Zebra volumes, and I can finally add the division that marks Part III in Oron, and delete the tone-deaf spartan I used as an adjective in one of the books of The Fall of the First World, as well as modify the direct lifts I took from the Christian Gospels. (Lao Tze is closer to my own sensibilities, anyhow.) I’m looking forward to being back in print.
* Ted’s nom de petit déjuner. A couple of years back, when my daughter Lily was about 2 years old (or was “a small Lily kid,” as she would now say), Joe Bonadonna came by for breakfast one Sunday morning. “Uncle Joey’s coming for pancakes,” I told Lily, and she responded, full of delight, “Joey Pancakes!” The name stuck. Joe and Ted then decided that Ted needed to have a breakfast moniker—hence, Teddy Waffles. Fred Adams is Freddy Fritters. I myself am known in our Breakfast Club circle as the estimable Davey Scones, or Sconesy. The Old Fart Fantasy Writers Breakfast Club and Dyspeptic Association of Grouches meets only occasionally to gobble and digest scrambled eggs, scones, Mickey Mouse pancakes, and hot biscuits and to wash down the same with hearty horns of unleaded coffee, but when we do pull our chairs to the table, why, the harrumphing and declarations of “a pox on their house!” and the earth-shattering burps would shame a Cimmerian alehouse. We are still open for sausage patty, bagel, and English muffin members, so feel free to join in the harrumphing and grousing some Sunday morning. Typically we plant ourselves at the Café 14 in Palatine, Illinois, but it’s a movable feast. Only do not forget the Mickey Mouse pancakes, or Lily will call you a name that may not be so delightful…