Wednesday, September 22, 2010

word from Tartarus

Email rec'd:
Dear Chris,
We have now received, and are shipping, our Guide to First Edition Prices. 50,000 titles are listed, including many authors from the supernatural/weird fiction genre (classic authors like Machen and Lovecraft, through Aickman, to Thomas Ligotti.)
800 page paperback, retail price £19.95
At the printers, and due for publication 15th October, is the promotional paperback "The Inner Room" by Robert Aickman. This will be published in association with the Halifax Ghost Story Festival in a limited eidtion of only 200 copies. As with the recent "N" by Arthur Machen, we do not expect it to stay in print for long.
Paperback, retail price £4.95
And last, but not least,
We now have permission to reprint all of Robert Aickman's short story collections, starting with Sub Rosa:
This will be a sewn hardback of 288+ ix pages, printed lithographically, with silk ribbon marker, head and tailbands, and d/w. Publication 31st October 2010. Limited to 350 copies.
Retail price £32.50
Please let me know how many of each of the above you might like...
All best wishes,
---Anyone wanting any of these, let me know. (Discount: 15%)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

word from Earthling

Email rec'd:
Earthling Publications Newsletter
September 20, 2010

Now available for preorder, the latest unclassifiable explosion of storytelling from award-winning author and Earthling favorite:


An original novel by Glen Hirshberg


Paul Dent, penniless and recently orphaned, hops a train in deepest Dust Bowl Oklahoma in the Spring of 1936, and winds up attached to the Federal Writers' Project, one of the least understood, shortest-lived, and most impossibly ambitious government undertakings in the history of the country. He is assigned to capture the essence of the mountain towns of eastern North Carolina for a series of travel books no one believes will ever be published. There, among writers and cheats, arsonists and Reconstructionists, blind and deaf children and disease-ridden Senators, Paul will meet the love of his life and her lover, witness the awakening of one great novelist and the possible resurrection of another, discover more than one America that could have been, and confront the truth about his relationship with his unpredictable, brilliant, and Machiavellian older brother.

There are echoes here of Laurel and Hardy, Bonnie and Clyde, Powell and Loy, Cane and Abel. It's a book of bunk, in other words. A collection of lies. A creation myth about a vanished country that may or may not have existed, and the very real, conflicted nation that has sprung from it.

Lucius Shepherd calls The Book Of Bunk "a miracle of narrative diversity and drive." Jeff Vandermeer said "it is anything but, by turns powerful, sad, ecstatic, and, above all, a clear sign that the uniquely American novel is alive and well. I loved it." From an author who Peter Straub called "a writer to watch and to treasure," Hirshberg's latest novel is a joy to read and to savor and is further proof that he is a masterful storyteller.

Please click the below link to read more and to reserve your copy:



Now available for preorder, this year's Halloween Series book:


An original novel by Peter Crowther

It's just a book that the folks of the small town of Magellan Bend recall reading. A little gruesome, perhaps ... and, in more than one instance, not the reader's usual fare. But it's just a book. Nothing more.

But when the town's resident sleeper awakes from an eight-year nap, his memories are much more than mere words and phrases in a cheap and gaudy horror novel. And as he becomes more and more aware of the shocking truth, the knowledge spreads like graveyard mist sending a clarion call far and wide ... but not only to the townsfolk. No, indeed. There are other things out there, things that ride the night winds on All Hallows Eve ... and they know a lot more about the events recorded in the fabled By Wizard Oak And Fairy Stream.

Clearly, there is unfinished business in Magellan Bend this October and, as the night turns smoky and the world settles down for the onset of winter, the visitors arrive. Again.

And no, it's not just a book.

No way.

BY WIZARD OAK is the 6th book in Earthling's Halloween Series, and features an Introduction by Rick Hautala and art by Glenn Chadborne.

Sarah Pinborough says this about Pete's novel: "In Magellan Bend, Pete Crowther has created a deliciously dark and magical Halloween tale. Beautifully crafted, this rich delight takes the myths and motifs of a Halloween witching story and twists them into something all together the author's own -- something earthy and raw and haunting."

And Rick Hautala says this: "BY WIZARD OAK is the real deal....Scary? You bet'cha. Well-written? Ditto. Peter Crowther takes the 'typical' Hallowe'en story in amazingly new directions that are anything but typical. I guarantee you'll read it in one delicious gulp and wish there were lots more."
Please click the below link to read more and to reserve your copy:




Earthling is also currently working on The Rolling Darkness Revue 2010 (due out around November) and finishing content for Clive Barker's The Painter, The Creature, And The Father Of Lies (targeting publication by Spring 2011). The Very Best of Best New Horror is also back on track after an issue with the printer, and is set for publication by the end of this year; the deluxe edition is sold out, but a small pile of signed & numbered copies remain.


Thanks and all best,

---I'd certainly be amenable to carrying more Earthling, if anyone is interested. Or buy from the publisher!

Monday, August 23, 2010

email from Sarob Press

Back from the virtual grave:
Hello Chris

Sarob Press is back! Originally, as you know, I closed completely when we moved to northern France but I have decided (now renovations to the main farmhouse are complete) to re-launch Sarob Press.

In 1998 I published Vengeful Ghosts by C.E. Ward. The collection was very well received, sold out pretty quickly and is long out of print.

And now – scheduled for October 2010 – comes Mr Ward’s long-awaited second “limited and numbered hardcover” collection. Seven Ghosts and One Other presents eight Jamesian tales including two new long and previously unpublished supernatural stories and the authorised completion of M.R. James' unfinished “The Game of Bear”. Cover and interior art by Paul Lowe.

Attached is a PDF of the flyer that I’m sending out which gives lots more details [which I can forward to anyone interested].

I am hoping that all my old bookseller friends will be interested in stocking this new Sarob Press title.


UK: UK £20

Europe: 25 euros

USA and Rest of World: USA $35

Visit our new web presence at:

The print run for this title will be very limited so please order early to avoid any disappointment.

I hope to hear from you very shortly.

Kind regards.

Cheers, Rob.



Thursday, July 29, 2010

word from Ramble House

Emailing from Fender Tucker:
The Ramble House Rambler #76
July 28, 2010

Newsletter of Ramble House, publisher of Harry Stephen Keeler and other loons, produced by Fender Tucker ( ), mailed whenever something happens. To be removed from this list, please respond to this message and ask, or go to the RH website and unsubscribe. Fender Tucker, 10329 Sheephead Drive, Vancleave MS 39565, 318-455-6847 (cell) or 228-826-1783 (better).

The headlines:

~ Bouchercon 2010 in San Francisco

~ Hardcovers and the Death of Ramble House

~ Kindle and e-books

~ New Titles

~ Coming Up

And now, the details:

~ Bouchercon 2010

When I heard that the Bouchercon in 2010 was to be held in San Francisco in mid-October I looked into taking our annual trip to see my daughter and family at that time, instead of in the spring as we usually do. Then I talked Gavin O’Keefe into flying up from Australia for the show. So it’s arranged: Gavin, Dick and Pat Lupoff and I will be at the Bouchercon in the bookroom on October 14, 15 and 16. It’s at the Hyatt Regency at the Embarcadero Center.

What sort of people go to book conventions? Let me tell you a little anecdote about a book show I went to in Austin a few years back. I was sitting in the book room and noticed, in a seizure of abject egotism, that I was probably the most fit male in the room, even though I weigh 200 pounds with little of it being muscle. I was also perhaps the most attractive male in the room, even though I have only a fringe of hair, a gray beard and thick glasses. I decided to throw in the females in the room and still, in my feeble opinion, I rated near the top. My thought: what is it about books that attracts the least attractive people around? Including me?

Then on the last day of the show I spotted a winsome 20-something blonde beauty walking into the room. Before long she was joined by a couple of more babes, with long black hair and come-hither widespread eyes. Then came the redhead, with a body like Buffy’s and a dazzling smile. What the ??? Had the whole universe of bookdom changed?

Well, no. I did a little reconnoitering and found that another convention had just started in the same hotel and the babes were all from that convention. A district attorneys convention.

So when you see a good-looking woman approaching your table at a book convention, she’s probably not going to buy any of your books, and you might want keep your stash well hidden while she’s around.

Kids, if you want to meet good-luckin’ people when you grow up, stop reading and get into law enforcement – or crime. I bet those district attorney babes are suckers for a well-pecced felon.

~ Hardcovers and the Death of Ramble House

Each stage of my working life has followed a pattern: exuberant start, triumphant success, diminishing results, and then a long drawn-out period of hanging on while everything turns to crap. It happened when I was a musician, at every bar I worked at. I worked at the Las Cruces Inn for 6 years and the first 4 were terrific. Then it went bad and instead of getting out at the diminishing results stage, I held on for another 2 years of abysmal music played to five or six drunks who wished we’d turn down the damn music. I learned to dislike music and all that it stood for.

In 1987 I quit music and became a software magazine editor. I had a wonderful time for about 5 years then the Commodore world became stagnant. Instead of getting into the PC where the money and progress was I kept on with the Commodore for another 6 years, each year worse than the last.

Then in 1999 I gave up computing and started making books and it was great fun for several years. But I have to admit that for the past three years – ever since I moved to the gawdawful state of Mississippi – I haven’t had any fun with books. I can’t enjoy reading a book anymore.

But I’m happy to keep on with Ramble House as long as I don’t run into too many snags. And with trade paperbacks and my handmade editions, there are very few snags. Not so with hardcovers. Lulu does hardcovers fine but they overcharge for them. A 300-page hardcover from Lulu will cost ME $30. I hate selling books for outrageous prices and Lulu forces me to overcharge. Even so, I make maybe $3 for every hardcover I sell. After paying a royalty to the author I end up making $1 for the 15 minutes it takes for me to place a hardcover order.

Along comes Lightning Source, offering hardcovers that are better than Lulu’s and I can get them for $13 or so. You’d think that all I have to do is switch from Lulu to LS. But LS is full of snags. Their art department hates Gavin’s covers and keeps sending them back, telling us we have to redo them. The text department doesn’t like the fact that I don’t have a current copy of Acrobat ($500) and won’t allow the texts that worked quite well at Lulu to pass. I’m having to spend hours every week getting our files to a state where LS will deign to print them.

In other words, with Lightning Source and hardcovers I have reached beyond the diminishing results stage and I’m in the “hanging on while everything turns to crap” stage.

There’s no reason why the books already done can’t be available forever – or as long as Lulu, Create Space and Lightning Source remain in business. But I think the coming years are going to see me move away from the bookmaking business into general decrepitude. And Mississippi is a perfect state for decrepitude. I’m hoping that once my wife’s obligations are deceased we can move to New Mexico where I will try to feel good about myself again. And maybe revive the robustness and good cheer that Ramble House had back when I was making all my books by hand.

~ Kindle and e-books

I can’t get excited about e-books even though they will probably take over one of these days. I’d like to be able to supply everyone with cheap, paperless copies of the RH titles but the industry can’t seem to decide what format to use. My complaint is that they aren’t choosing the same standard that the paper world uses, the PDF.

Gavin and I have spent hundreds of hours getting the 350+ RH titles into a format suitable for printing on paper and I don’t want to spend the rest of my life converting those books into the 5 or 6 different e-book formats. When I finish a book I want to forget about it until I get nostalgic about it 10 years later.

I recently sent someone a PDF of a Keeler book and he thought it looked great on his e-reader. But PDF isn’t what the places like Amazon want. They want me to format my files so they look good on their reader.

I don’t think it’s going to happen. But stay tuned and maybe something will change. Feel free to tell me what you’d like from RH in the way of e-books. If it doesn’t require much of my time, I’ll look into it.

~ New Titles!

TRAIL OF THE CLOVEN HOOF by Arlton Eadie. Written in 1935, this is #7 in the DTP series of supernatural revivals from the past. This is the complete novel, as it was written, not the bowdlerized version that was previously published in the pulps.

ULTRA-BOILED by Gary Lovisi. Over 20 short stories about the underside of crime from our man in Brooklyn. $20 trade paperback; $35 hardcover with jacket.

SAVAGE HIGHWAY by Jack Moskovitz. His latest novel of the road and its denizens. Like his previous book, HELL FIRE, you are subjected to the sights, sounds and, most particularly, smells of modern noir as you follow the anti-heroes from truckstop to barroom to abbatoir, each more disgusting than the last. No one writes like Jack Moskovitz.

SAND’S GAME by Ennis Willie. Back in the 60s and 70s he was one of the most hard-boiled writers going and here’s the first of what we hope will become a complete revival of his epics. It has two novels, three short stories, an interview, and several articles about Ennis by the likes of Max Allan Collins, Ed Gorman, Bill Crider, Bill Pronzini, James Reasoner, Lynn Myers and Steve Mertz. $20 trade paperback; $32 hardcover with jacket.

THE BORDER LINE by Walter S. Masterman. #6 in the Dancing Tuatara Press collection from Ramble House, this is one of Masterman’s almost-supernatural novels. John Pelan’s excellent introduction tells the story of Masterman and his place in the world of supernatural fiction.

BTW, the hardcovers mentioned above have passed Lightning Source’s censors and are actually available to buy.

~ Coming Up

THE DAY KEENE in the DETECTIVE PULPS Series. We don’t know yet how many volumes in this series we will have, but Day Keene wrote a LOT of short stories and novellas that were published in the pulps like Detective Tales and Dime Mystery Magazine. John Pelan has collected them and will introduce each of the volumes, except for the ones introduced by Ed Gorman and other pulp experts. The first two volumes, LEAGUE OF THE GRATEFUL DEAD And Other Stories, and WE ARE THE DEAD And Other Stories, are soon to be released, followed by DEATH MARCH OF THE DANCING DOLLS And Other Stories.

REUNION IN HELL by Arlton Eadie and THE TONGUELESS HORROR by Wyatt Blassingame are next in line from John Pelan. Each is a collection 6 or 7 of long short stories, taken from the pulps.

THE WHITE OWL by Edmund Snell. There’s always time for an old lost race novel from 1930. They just don’t write ’em anymore. Where are the racist authors of yesteryear? At Ramble House.

And here the Ramble House Rambler mercifully ends.

To subscribe:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

back from vacation

Two hours on runway in Denver midst freak snowstorm on plane that boarded an hour late already. Made it home at midnight instead of scheduled 8pm (or 9 with baggage pickup and ride home). Auto parking checkout machine wouldn't work until after fifteen tries, but that was just part of the day.
My own coffee this morning, pick up mail accumulation and exonerate the kitties, then get on all that stuff that I should have got done before I left, and see what might have come along since. Meanwhile, home alone for a couple days. Can play music, at least.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

email from Sidereal Press

I still have a copy or two of Sidereal's first Ewers book. Here's the latest word from them:
Dear Friend,
this lengthy mail details all that is new in the world of Side Real Press and is split into various sections.

Hanns Ewers 'Alraune' now available.
Side Real Press is very pleased to announce that Alraune is now availble for pre-order with shipping due to begin March 21st. Having now seen all the proofs, we believe this will our most beautiful title to date. Full details below.

World Horror Convention.
Side Real will be selling their titles at The World Horror Convention (25-28 March) in Brighton. We look forward to meeting friends old and new.

Mrs Molesworth - Collected Ghost Stories. 16 copies found.
In digging out boxes of books we found ONE box (ie: 16 copies) of the first Side Real Press book 'Collected ghost Stories' by Mrs Molesworth. These really are the last copies of this (long thought) deleted title. We are offering them up to individual buyers prior to taking them to Brighton. (Cost £30.00 UK; £35.00 elsewhere incl airmail postage). Of course the extra photo will be tipped in.
We will be astonished if we have any copies after March 28th.

Side Real Website.
Visitors to the website will notice it looks somewhat different to the past version. Though it is primarily cosmetic, but you may find the area: 'Side Real Extras', of interest.
This is for material unique to Side Real Press and not available elsewhere online. Its initial contents will be:
  • John Hirschhorn-Smiths introduction to Ewers life and work previously published in 'Nachtmahr' with a few extra illustrations not in the book version. We believe it to be the fullest overview in English.
  • Extracts from Hanns Ewers U.S. secret service files. Ewers was investigated by the U.S. authorities for his propaganda spying activites during WW1, and was ultimately interned. Side Real Press have obtained a copy of this file, which runs to over 80 pages, and post the most interesting portions online.
  • Karin Wikoffs 1995 Masters thesis on Hanns Ewers novel 'Vampire'. 'Vampire' has a very interesting history and this thesis is the fullest account of that to date. We are very grateful to Karin Wikoff for allowing us to reprint it.
  • John Hirschhorn-Smiths introduction to Mrs. Molesworths life and work previously published in 'Collected Ghost Stories'. A useful overview of this Victorian author.

These SHOULD all be uploaded by Mar 21st but some may already be available.

Side Real Press would be very interested to hear from others who may wish to contribute to this section of the website.

Forthcoming titles.
We can announce that our next book will almost certainly be Hanns Heinz Ewers' 'The Sorcerers Apprentice'. Joe E. Bandel informs us that this Ewers volume was not badly mangled in its original translation but there are various small ommisions and errors, which he is painstakingly correcting, to make this volume the definitive edition. The Side Real Press edition, will of course contain extra material. More details to follow.

More importantly he is working towards a new edition of Hanns Ewers 'Vampir'. There are thought to be approximately 100 PAGES MISSING from the only previous translation due to censorship by person(s) unknown. As you might imagine this restoration is some time away. Side Real Press is proud and privilaged to be working in conjunction with this talented and dedicated translator to present this very strange novel in a full, and definitive, edition.

There are also some other (non Ewers) projects in progress.

A call for submissions.
Finally, we feel that Ewers is an inspirational writer and are planning an anthology of short stories based around his themes and ideas. Submissions are now being accepted. Closing date 31st October 2010. Stories should, of course, be previously unpublished. Please e-mail if you wish further infomation.



A new, fully restored, uncensored translation by Joe E. Bandel

available for Pre-order. Shipping March 21st 2010

350 numbered copies (with Free Extras).
Cost for the U.K. is £30.00 incl. postage.
Cost elsewhere is £35.00 which includes airmail postage and packing.

'Alraune' (first published in 1911) was Ewers' best selling novel, and is a (sort of) melding of the Frankenstein theme & Mandrake legend, injected with Ewers recurring interests in abherrent sexuality, perversity and violence, both physical and moral.

This entirely new translation supercedes the previous edition from the John Day Company (1929), by including passages previously excised (by U.S. censors?) from the Ewers' original German text, as well as a myriad other minor amendments and corrections, which combine to make this new version a far more graphic and intense reading experience.

It also retains the wonderful Mahlon Blaine endpapers, chapter headings, initial letters and illustrations from the John Day edition, which are generally regarded as some of his best work. PLUS illustrations by Ilna Wunderwald Ewers from the original German edition.

There are also three new essays illuminating aspects of this volume by Mark Samuels, Tyler Davis and Joe E. Bandel.

Full contents:
  • An extra presentation 1929 frontispiece drawing by Mahlon Blaine.
  • The Root of Evil; Hanns Heinz Ewers and 'Alraune' by Mark Samuels.
  • 'Alraunes' Allure by Tyler Davis.
  • ‘Translating 'Alraune' by Joe E. Bandel.
  • ‘Galeotto' - a previously untranslated poem by Hanns Ewers - Translated by Joe E. Bandel.
  • ‘Alraune - the fully restored version translated by Joe E. Bandel.
  • Illustrations - from the original 1911 German edition - by Ilna Wunderwald Ewers.

The book is printed in black with red titles and initial letters throughout.
The cover is printed in three colours directly onto the book cloth and is uniform in design with Side Real Press' previous volume 'Nachtmahr'.

In addition to this, individuals who order directly from the Press will receive an additional tipped in bookplate designed for Hanns Ewers for his own library embossed with the Side Real logo.

This bookplate will NOT be available anywhere except for copies via Side Real Press and Joe Bandel - see below!

Those based in the U.S. wishing 'Alraune' may wish to buy their copy via its translator Joe E. Bandel. He will have a limited number of copies available, all of which will include the extra bookplate,and will additionally be signed by him. Please be aware that Side Real Press have to ship his copies to him from the U.K. and thus availability from him will somewhat later.

Best wishes,
and thank you for your support.

Side Real Press.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

FAQ: Do you buy used books?

Email rec'd:
Dear Chris Drumm books. Do you buy used books? I know I've bought a lot of used books from you in the past, and am hoping you still need some more. Please let me know if you're interested, and any necessary information.
My reply:
I'm not that much in the market for picking up used books now that I no longer send out printed-paper catalogs. I still like to acquire good books, but I presently have way more than I can keep up with in cataloging (though not all necessarily so good). I haven't officially ended my consignment scheme. A few people still get rid of their excess by sending it to me, and I try to do the right thing with it, or at least I want to try -- and I do enjoy receiving (most of) them -- but since my sales of particular titles is so hit or miss -- mostly miss -- I can't in good conscience recommend myself as the best repository.
One idea that might be something to try, if you have a list of what you're wanting to get rid of, I could copy it onto my bookselling blog and see if that excites any interest. But I wouldn't harbor much in the way of expectations.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Haffner order sent

Sent order to Haffner for two 2010 titles, hopefully enabling me to also supply the bonus chapbook add-on for pre-orderers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

email maybe of interest

Email rec'd:

Hi Chris,

I haven’t been checking an old Yahoo mailbox for sometime, and I see I’ve been missing your updates.

my reply:
Good to hear from you. I've stopped sending mass emails, so I'm sure you haven't missed anything. Even though I only sent to people who asked to be on the list, it still felt like spamming when I hit the send button -- probably about the same rate of response too.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

discount plan

Email sent that might be of interest to some others:
I've simplified the discount plan: it's 20% off on new small press and 30% on mass-market publishers. New books -- as in recent -- I don't get in much of any more, especially mass-market, but all the items still listed "new" in my listings are susceptible to discount -- with a possible exception or two, like Tartarus (15%). Used or "as new" books are 10% off.