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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 04:45 am:   

I just heard the best news. Mike Walsh's Old Earth Books will publish Avram Davidson's LIMEKILLER stories in October (to coincide with World Fantasy Convention).

I know it sounds like hyperbole, but this is hands down, no contest THE book event of the year. Yeah, Bill Gibson just wrote his best book yet. Sure the new Neal Stephenson is a staggering achievement, and the new Stross, Doctorow and too many other to mention specifically by name novels are exciting, interesting etc etc. But this is SPECIAL. I've wanted to see this book published for over a decade. I was led to it by Gardner Dozois constantly referring to the Jack Limekiller stories (as yet uncollected alas). I hunted them down and was enchanted. Short of mortgaging the house, I would have published them myself. This is like Christmas. I know what I'll be giving as gifts this year.

Jonathan
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ben peek
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 04:20 pm:   

i've never heard of old earth books. is there a link to it?
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Jason
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 04:32 pm:   

http://www.oldearthbooks.com/

And pick up the Edward Whittemore books they did, you won't be sorry.

Jason
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JeffV
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 05:40 pm:   

I've read many of the Limekiller stories, and I agree with you, Jonathan--this is a special event. They are my favorites of all of Davidson's work. This is excellent news.

However, I would hasten to add, the average Old Earth book appears about 18 months after it's projected release date. Michael Walsh is great, but sometimes it takes awhile.

JeffV.
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jv
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 05:41 pm:   

er, "its" not "it's" above.

jv
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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 07:23 pm:   

I'd strongly support Jason's suggestion that everyone check out the Whittemore books. They're the missing link that precedes Tim Powers. As to LIMEKILLER - I know OEB sometimes have delays, but I'm just going to be stupidly optimistic about it. Mike Walsh has said he's going to do it (somehow in addition to helping run the World Fantasy con itself), and I'm prepared to turn up with money ready to buy books.

Jonathan
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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 07:25 pm:   

I should probably have added that the announcement about Limekiller was in the latest issue of The Nutmeg Point District Mail, which you can read at http://www.avramdavidson.org/nutmeg36.htm.

Jonathan
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JeffV
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 07:28 pm:   

Jonathan:

Re Tim Powers and the Whittemore books. Um, I'm not sure they're so much the missing link as books that are better than the Powers books. Alternatively, I think they have little to do with the Powers books. The two writers are so different in many ways. I don't think the Powers of Anubis Gates, for example, is in any way related to Whittemore.


Jeff V.
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Ellen
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 07:50 pm:   

I suspect he means the type of "secret history of the world" and I can certainly see that in Powers' most recent novel DECLARE.
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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Tuesday, April 01, 2003 - 10:01 pm:   

Jeff & Ellen -

I do indeed mean the evolution of the "secret history" when I refer to Whittemore as being the missing link that precedes DECLARE. I think Powers in DECLARE, and to a lesser extent in LAST CALL, is working very much in that tradition.

As to better than Powers's books - I'll leave that one to the individual reader <g>

Best
Jonathan
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GabrielM
Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 06:42 am:   

I love Davidson but have never read the Limekiller stories, so I'm quite excited about the news.

We like Mike!
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Russell B. Farr
Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 06:48 am:   

Hey Jon!

Hope I'm on your xmas list this year!

But seriously, this is great news. At long last I'll be able to read all of these wonderful stories you've been telling me about for years (and even almost dragged me into publishing with you).

Russ
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lucius
Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 09:21 am:   

I don't know if this a dealbreaker for you, Johnathan, but I'll be doing the intro for Avram's book. I got a few stories I can tell about the man. One that's pertinent...he was one of my teachers at Clarion, and after I started writing Latin American stories, I wrote him a letter and naively said something on the order of, Uh, is it okay, I mean, are you or anybody else gonna think I'm ripping you off? He wrote back and said, Shepard, I absolutely forbid you to write such stories. I claim literary rights to the entire Caribbean littoral and will abide no poaching.

Being an idiot, it took me a while to figure out he was kidding.

Lucius


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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Wednesday, April 02, 2003 - 02:30 pm:   

Hey Lucius

It's definitely not a dealbreaker. Actually, in a perfect world, the OEB edition would include AD's autobiographical account of his time living in Belize (sort of like some kind of wonderful DVD extra). The one rumour that has proven to be false, which also makes me happy about the book, is that no-one is attempting to finish the cycle or write more stories. It would have been wonderful if Avram had written more "Limekiller", but I think the book should be restricted to his work.

Jonathan
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Michael Walsh
Posted on Friday, June 13, 2003 - 02:58 pm:   

Gee, I know the stories are good (thay are Davidson after all) but . . . well, I'm rather speechless.

To try to reassure JeffV about getting the books out on time . . . a few years ago I fired my shipping department: Me. I now have a professional fullfilment company doing all that lifting, and billing, and collecting money. Life is better.

With the Whittemore's, I turned everything over, regretfully late in the game, to Bob Garcia: design, production, the nine yards so to speak.

So, as long as all of the pieces come together, it should actually appear at WFC this year. I offer ideas to Bob, and write the checks.

RealSoonNow, I'll be talking to the fullfilment folks to see what options I have in offering somesort of Advance Publication Deal. This racket where Ingram pays in 90 days (the industry standard) and the printer wants to be paid in 30 days ( also the industry standard) is a real pain.

Again, thanks for the praise folks!

Michael
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Gardner Dozois
Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 - 07:29 pm:   

"I was lead to it by Gardner Dozois constantly referring to the Jack Limekiller stories (as yet uncollected alas)."

Jonathan, that's WHY I kept referring to them like that. Somebody finally took the bait!

Wonderful news. Michael, if you want a blurb from me, you've got it.

I'd think it would be possible to get blurbs from Peter Beagle as well, and probably even from Ray Bradbury.
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Lucius
Posted on Tuesday, June 17, 2003 - 07:35 pm:   

Lookout! Gardner's snootin' around.

Hey, Michael...is this Avram book on again?
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Jay C
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 07:01 am:   

Oh my god. Dozois is here.
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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 02:42 pm:   

Hey Lucius

I have had email from Michael in the past week confirming the book is going ahead and that it should make the October pub date. I believe they're looking into cover artists etc at the moment.

Best
J
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 03:13 pm:   

Well, maybe doesn't want an intro from me, because the last he told me, it was off...

Whatever.
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Gardner Dozois
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 08:03 pm:   

He OUGHT to want an intro from you. I would, if I were doing it.
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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 08:49 pm:   

Well...I had an email from Mike on 11 June asking for suggestions for possible cover artists, so I'm optimistic. Last I heard, I'm pretty sure he was mentioning an intro by you Lucius.

J
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Lucius
Posted on Wednesday, June 18, 2003 - 09:05 pm:   

Jonathan, he told me to scrub the project, so I wiped it off my schedule. I even tossed the disc of the stories his guy gave me.

Hey, Gardner...be talking to you soon. Armadillocon.
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Michael Walsh
Posted on Sunday, June 22, 2003 - 09:41 am:   

I travel a lot for my job and regretfully I don't get to check things online as much as I would like.

So, to respond to a couple of items:

1. The project was temporarily on hold as Grania Davis let go the Owlswick Agency and took over representing the estate herself. I have received a signed contract from her and so all is back on track.

2. Quotes/blurbs.
Part of the material that I received from Grania was a piece by Beagle on Avram & Limekiller, it's rather droll. But having something from Gardner would be great, as would something from Bradbury - so Gardner, when you get a chance email me a quote and Bradbury contact info, eh?

3. Latest on production.
Bob Garcia has made the first pass in layout, so the file conversions went reasonably well, there is still proofing to to be done. & cover art.

All-in-all it looks good for WFC 2003.

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Jonathan Strahan
Posted on Wednesday, August 27, 2003 - 05:22 pm:   

And a follow-up. I've just recently finished reading Old Earth Books' edition of Avram Davidson's Limekiller in electronic form (I'm actually avoiding writing the review right now by doing this), and from Lucius's intro through to Avram's six stories it's a peach. I don't think Avram ever wrote better, at least during his last 20 years, than this short story cycle, and if you haven't read it you're in for a real treat. I'm guessing if it weren't for the fact that the book is ineligible because Avram is dead, it would be a shoo-in for the World Fantasy for best collection next year. Regardless of that, I've got to have at least a couple copies in the house, and so probably do you.

Jonathan
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Michael Walsh
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 06:32 pm:   

9/15
Review galleys are due this week . . . oh boy.

mjw
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ellen
Posted on Monday, September 15, 2003 - 07:30 pm:   

Great. Michael. I assume the finished book will be ready for WFC?
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Michael Walsh
Posted on Thursday, September 18, 2003 - 08:51 pm:   

Ellen,
That's the aim.
My printer will greatly appreciate vast sales that weekend <g>.

mjw
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Michael Walsh
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 03:23 pm:   

íLimekiller! has arrived.

It's bloody real.

A certain Mr Strahan has reviewed it for the November Locus.

Sez he: "It is a book that has slipped through time, a major book by a writer at the height of his powers that should have been published during his lifetime, but wasn't. It ranks easily amongst the best and most important books of the year . . ."

The accounting department at Thomson-Shore will appreciate all sales over WFC weekend.



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GabrielM
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 10:01 pm:   

Wonderful. Looking forward to picking up a copy at WFC, Mike.
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Night Shade Books
Posted on Wednesday, October 22, 2003 - 11:09 pm:   

Thomson-Shore will appreciate all sales from more than one publisher, methinks. I'd look at my current printer bill, but it'd just make me cry.

Jason

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