I’m pleased to announce that Anatomy of Innocence: Testimonies of the Wrongfully Convicted will be released March 28 and is now available for preorder. http://amzn.to/2mqogxE
Well, In the Shadow of Agatha Christie: Classic Tales by Women Crime Writers, 1850-1917
is done and on its way to Pegasus Books. I thought I’d share the table of contents:
Sara Paretsky was our Distinguished Speaker this year for the Baker Street Irregulars at the Sherlock Holmes Birthday Weekend. She gave a powerful and moving talk about women crime writers who have been forgotten today, despite their achievements and popularity in the 19th and early 20th century. I was inspired by her talk to decide to add another volume to my “In the Shadow of…” series of anthologies, and I was delighted that Pegasus Books wants to bring it out later this year.
Tentatively titled In the Shadow of Agatha Christie, it includes 11 stories by Mrs. Henry Wood, Mary Fortune, Harriet Spofford, Elizabeth Gaskell, Catherine Crowe, M. E. Braddon, C. L. Pirkis, Susan Glaspell, Carolyn Wells, Baroness Orczy, and Augusta Gruner, all very talented crime writers who published before 1920. As in the other books in the series (In the Shadow of Sherlock Holmes, ITS of Dracula, ITS of Edgar Allan Poe), the stories will be lightly annotated, and the volume will include mini-bios of the writers and an introduction that surveys the often-overlooked women of the genre. I’m already deep into it!
Meanwhile, I’m waiting on edits of Annotated Watchmen, still on target for July publication, and New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft: Beyond the Mythos, due out in 2018! Just trying to keep busy!
I swore to myself when I started this website that I wouldn’t post about personal things, because, well, it didn’t seem right. But my wife and I have lost two good friends in the last three weeks, our beloved cat Xander (age at least twenty) and the imp of the perverse, our youngest cat Spike, age 12. We still are blessed with the middle cat, Buffy, who’s about 16 or so, and of course, our devil dog, our Rottweiler baby Jenny, age 5. My wife is in tears as I type this, heartbroken over the sudden death of Spike from cancer and hyperthyroid only three weeks after his big brother, whose passing was slow and dignified as befits an old man. She swears, “No more pets. I can’t do this again.”
The brazenness of the Conan Doyle Estate Limited continues to know no bounds. A glossy new website, www.conandoyleestate.com, falsely claims “ownership” of U.S. trademarks in the character of Sherlock Holmes (it has applied for a broad range of trademarks but does not own them yet–and will not if the public speaks up). The CDEL’s website also ironically thanks the “donors and supporters” of the Estate, including Warner Bros., PBS, and CBS-TV, who paid license fees extorted from them (not my characterization–see the 7th Circuit’s opinion in Klinger v. CDEL, at www.free-sherlock.com) by means of baseless threat of suits for copyright infringement.
Has the CDEL no shame? We love Arthur Conan Doyle and honor his memory–but this continued cynical exploitation of expired rights is shameful. By 2023, none of the Sherlock Holmes stories written by ACD will be protected by copyright anywhere in the world. Will the CDEL stop its “corrupt business practices” (in the words of Judge Posner) then? Don’t hold your breath.
The fight for “Free Sherlock” is far from over!
I’m thrilled to share the cover for New Annotated Frankenstein, to be published by W. W. Norton/Liveright Publishing on July 25, 2017. Guillermo del Toro is writing an introduction, and there’s a fine afterword by Professor Anne Mellor of UCLA, one of the world’s great Frankenstein scholar. There are over 200 illustrations and photographs, and as usual, Norton has made a beautiful, beautiful book. I can’t wait for you all to see it! It’s up for preorder on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/New-Annotated-Frankenstein-Mary-Shelley/dp/0871409496), Books-a-Million (http://www.booksamillion.com/p/New-Annotated-Frankenstein/Mary-Shelley/9780871409492?id=6767413741256), and Indiebound http://www.indiebound.org/book/9780871409492!
Three events are set for Echoes of Sherlock Holmes:
Don Cannon, a long-time mystery buff, Sherlockian, and friend died last week. I thought I’d share this memory of Don: Back in late 2009, I was slated to attend the 2010 Left Coast Crime, in Los Angeles. Don was in charge of programming (or at least in charge of programming me), and it was no surprise that he asked me to do a Sherlock Holmes panel. After looking at who was attending, I agreed—but suggested that the panel include not only Laurie King (she and I had already done many appearances together) but Jan Burke, Lee Child, and Michael Connelly. Don objected at first—“Those are our guests of honor!” he protested. “Well,” I said, “that may be, but they’re all secretly Sherlockians. It’ll be a great panel.”
I’ve announced this elsewhere, but I’m still so chuffed that it’s worth repeating: I’m busy working on Annotated Watchmen for DC Entertainment. This came about because, when we were wrapping Annotated Sandman, I happened to say that my other dream project would be to take a similar approach to Watchmen, one of the great works of art of the 20th century. My editor said, “Well, send us a proposal,” and to my great shock and delight, after six months of hearing nothing, I was told, “Let’s go ahead!”
I’m very pleased to hear from my publisher Liveright/Norton that New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft is doing very well—so well that they’d like me to do a second volume, tentatively titled New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft: Beyond the Mythos! Although the first volume contained 22 stories, we omitted a number of great tales simply to avoid making the book too expensive. As a result, terrific stories like “The Outsider,” “The Rats in the Walls,” “The Music of Erich Zann,” “The Shunned House,” and the novel Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath had to be left out of volume 1. The second volume will have another 23 stories, including some little-known gems like “Ex Oblivione” as well as all of his other famous tales. The list of stories I plan to include is below. Of course, there will be dozens and dozens of photos and illustrations again, with a little help from my friends (again). I’ll also be working with my friend S. T. Joshi to use the most accurate text possible, based on his brilliant Variorum edition. I hope that eventually Liveright/Norton will put out the two volumes as a boxed set. I’ll let you all know the release date when it’s set, but it surely won’t be before 2017. We’re just finishing up assembling the illustrations and photos for New Annotated Frankenstein for Norton, due out in August 2017.