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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 03:13 am:   

I thought it might be nice to start a new thread concerned with Engelbrecht, the "dwarf surrealist boxer" created by the forgotten fantasist Maurice Richardson in the 1940s.

This is appropriate here because (with luck) Night Shade are going to publish my sequel to Richardson's original 'novel' (actually a collection of linked stories).

Richardson, in my view, is one of the most neglected writers in the entire field of literary fantasy. THE EXPLOITS OF ENGELBRECHT was first published by Phoenix House in 1950, though the individual 'chapters' had appeared in the magazine LILLIPUT in the previous decade.

The first edition of this book remains extremely rare, though it was republished recently by Savoy. It is one of my favourite works of imaginative fiction and I recommend purchasing a copy from Savoy if they have any left!
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Des
Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2003 - 11:17 am:   

Any threads about a 'dwarf surrealist boxer' are hard to exchange punches with, especially if you've not yet found the slipped stitch that started the ladder. Des
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C McP
Posted on Friday, February 14, 2003 - 08:58 am:   

It's hard to exchange punches with a dwarf boxer full stop, surrealist or not. You have to sort of duck before you swing, you see.
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Rhys
Posted on Saturday, February 15, 2003 - 07:56 am:   

By Crom, Doctor Watson! It's Co McPhee!

I guess you'd just hit him with one of your Hyborian Age weapons?
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2003 - 03:49 am:   

Here is a link to Savoy's reprint of Richardson's book:

http://www.abel.net.uk/~savoy/HTML/engelb.html

Savoy's books are expensive but beautifully produced and I definitely recommend spending a bit extra to obtain this. It's a work of genius. I'll go so far as to say it's the most original and witty work of literary fantasy ever written in English! However, I fear it might have sold out and I doubt there will be another reprinting.

Fortunately, the first of my new 'Engelbrecht' stories is due to be published in the forthcoming FANTASTIC METROPOLIS anthology. :-)
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steve r
Posted on Sunday, February 23, 2003 - 04:20 pm:   

It'll be good to meet that plucky little fella again! The readers of FM will be like astronomers who first spot a comet coming in this general direction, suspecting, but not fully realising, what is shortly going to burst upon them! Sport will never be the same.
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Montmorency
Posted on Monday, February 24, 2003 - 05:57 am:   

Hello Mr Hughes,

I love Engelbrecht. Glad I can read his further misadventures.
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Rhys
Posted on Friday, February 28, 2003 - 03:27 am:   

I'm a big fan of the artists associated with the Engelbrecht phenomenon. These artists include the astounding James Boswell, Gerard Hoffnung and Ronald Searle.

The Savoy reprint also features the work of more modern artists, such as James Cawthorn, John Coulthart and Kris Guidio.

The following link displays a typical Guidio piece:

http://www.classicfantasyart.com/images/mainpicOPT.jpg

Other links to other pictures by these artists will follow!
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Rhys
Posted on Saturday, March 22, 2003 - 05:05 am:   

And here's a nice creepy image by the excellent John Coulthart:

http://www.graphicclassics.com/pics/coulth2.jpg

Talk about atmospheric (and bookish)...!
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steve r
Posted on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 03:02 pm:   

Rhys,

is 'Gauntlet of Gorgons' in Fan Met Sampler what I think it is - i.e. a certain dwarf??
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 03:02 am:   

It is indeed, good Sir Steve! The first of my Engelbrecht stories.

I wrote it just over three years ago. I remember the night I began it. I was so unsure of my ability to match the style and wit of Maurice Richardson that I had to get drunk before daring to make a start!

As it turns out, I'm really pleased with the result, but it wasn't feasible to parody Richardson completely. I think the result is a blend of my own distinctive style with Richardson elements, rather than a true parody. But hey, that's cool!
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Rhys
Posted on Friday, May 30, 2003 - 06:22 am:   

John Coulthart has just said that he might consider doing the cover for my Engelbrecht novel!

He's really busy and it may not happen, but I'm utterly delighted by the possibility!

He's a genius!
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Mastadge
Posted on Saturday, June 28, 2003 - 12:14 pm:   

Hmm. Well, I've finally ordered a copy of Exploits of Engelbrecht, mostly because I figure I should probably read it before Engelbrecht Again comes out.

How many Engelbrecht stories have you written?
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Rhys
Posted on Monday, June 30, 2003 - 05:30 am:   

Thanks Mastadge!

I feel confident you'll enjoy the Richardson book. It's one of the strangest and funniest works of fantasy I've ever read and the illustrations are quite simply superb...

Maurice Richardson's THE EXPLOITS OF ENGELBRECHT contains 15 stories (or 'chapters')... Therefore my sequel, ENGELBRECHT AGAIN, contains 15 chapters (or 'stories)...

However, the great Jorge Luis Borges pointed out that "perfect symmetries" are abominable but "imperfect symmetries" are delightful. Bearing this in mind, my sequel is considerably longer than the original book, three or even four times as long! It is, in fact, just over 111,000 words in total. So less like a sequel and more like a... (suggestions welcome here).
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Bill B.
Posted on Monday, July 28, 2003 - 09:16 am:   

Hello again Rhys,

I just read Richardson's Engelbrecht stories last week (the Savoy edition), what fun! And you are a natural to write more Engelbrecht adventures, so I'm looking forward to them.

Any news on THE PERCOLATED STARS?
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Rhys
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 05:01 am:   

Cool, Bill!

I'm delighted that Savoy reprinted the original Richardson book and I keep recommending it to everyone (probably to the point where everyone is getting fed up!)

As for THE PERCOLATED STARS, I had an e-mail from the publisher yesterday saying that it will be out in one week... but I don't trust him. He has been making promises like this since last November. If it DOES happen I'll certainly announce the news here!
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Mastadge
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 12:49 pm:   

My copy of the Savoy edition came in, but I'm waiting to read it for a few months so it's fresh in my mind when I read Englebrecht, Again!
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steve r
Posted on Wednesday, July 30, 2003 - 09:57 am:   

Hmm, was thinking of trying out my Bertie novel on Razorblade, but maybe not such a good idea.... they make Prime seem like FTL. Still, at this stage, it HAS to come out, so as that person in whose effigy you are sticking pins says, chin chin!
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steve r
Posted on Monday, October 20, 2003 - 01:25 pm:   

Hi Rhys, there's some feeble 'review' of Breaking Windows at www.ookami.co.uk (see under 'News')but the only good thing I can find to say about it is that the 'reviewer' seemed to appreciate your Engelbrecht adventure.
There's also a Rhys Hughes story there I've never come across, a treat I'm saving for a rainy day.
Are you Duskcon-ning?
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Co McPhee
Posted on Thursday, July 08, 2004 - 03:36 pm:   

And there it appears to end!
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Rhys
Posted on Friday, July 09, 2004 - 05:38 am:   

By Crom, Dr Watson!

(How nice to see you again!)
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Mastadge
Posted on Saturday, September 18, 2004 - 08:18 am:   

Beating a dead horse here, but anyone have any idea what's up with ENGELBRECHT AGAIN? It's not even listed on NSB's site anymore?
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 06:34 am:   

Thanks Mastadge!

As you've asked me a direct question, I guess there can be no harm in giving a direct answer... Night Shade have dropped ENGELBRECHT AGAIN! The reason for this is that they have decided not to publish any more limited edition hardbacks for collectors but move wholly into the field of mass market books.

I had a good talk with Jason Williams about this decision. Naturally I'm bitterly disappointed... In my opinion ENGELBRECHT AGAIN! is my best work. I'm currently looking for another publisher.

In the meantime I'm thinking about submitting individual chapters of the book as short stories to anthologies and magazines (as was the case with 'Gauntlet of Gorgons' published in the BREAKING WINDOWS anthology.) If this happens and any of these chapters are published, I'll certainly leave details here.

Night Shade are more interested in the novel I'm working on now, THE CLOWN OF THE NEW ETERNITIES, so that's what I'm concentrating on finishing for them...
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Mastadge
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 07:46 am:   

Hmm. . .I wonder what happens if, perchance, some of us have already payed for ENGELBRECHT AGAIN!. . .

Good luck selling it, though, because I certainly want to read it!
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steve r
Posted on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 10:59 am:   

Bugger! I was beginning to suspect as much. And why couldn't Engelbrecht be a mass market book? Why assume mass market must ONLY mean the tried and tested? For anyone reading this, I can reveal that Mike Moorcock, among many others, was incredibly enthusiastic about the book (as was I, but for some unfathomable reason, my influence is less).

Don't let Nightshade slink out of Clown.

Yes, I've already done same with my second novel. Rewritten three chapters so they're stand-alone, and published them as short stories.
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montmorency
Posted on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 04:35 am:   

Oh my, can't believe it. I thought the original Engelbrecht funnier than Three Men in a Boat, and waited and waited for the sequel since last year. Please do something.
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 05:04 am:   

Thanks folks!

Firstly, my apologies.

Something needs to be done about compensating people who have already paid for ENGELBRECHT AGAIN... I don't just mean returning their money but much more than that.

It's not a situation I'm at all happy with -- quite the opposite. There's nothing much I can do about it, apart from maybe apply some moral pressure on Night Shade to do the right thing with readers such as Mastadge.

As I've said many times, I regard this novel as my best work and I certainly intend to keep trying to get it published...
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ben peek
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2004 - 10:13 pm:   

hey rhys--

that's a shame about ENGELBRECHT AGAIN. i quite like the original richardson short stories, and after seeing your take on the UNIVERSAL HISTORY OF INFAMY, which intertwined with borges' original, i was quite looking forward to it. so, like i said, bit of a shame. but when you land it with another publisher, do let us know.
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Mastadge
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 05:10 am:   

I've noticed that Amazon.com is *again* listing ENGELBRECHT, AGAIN, this time with a Nov. 05 release date. Has NSB picked it up again, or is this one of Amazon's erroneous listings?
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Rhys
Posted on Thursday, February 03, 2005 - 07:22 am:   

Hi Mastadge! As far as I'm aware this is one of Amazon's erroneous listings. The book is still sitting quietly and there is no real chance of publication in the near future.
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Orejitas
New member
Username: Orejitas

Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2008
Posted on Wednesday, September 03, 2008 - 03:58 am:   

engelbrecht
Finally my novel Engelbrecht Again! is about to be published. It has taken a long time: more than 8 years from completed manuscript to actual book!

It's a shame that Night Shade Books dropped it back in 2004 but now Dead Letter Press has picked up the baton and is running with it toward the finish line...

Actually a relay race is one of the very few sports that Engelbrecht and the other members of the Surrealist Sportsman's Club don't take part in... Maybe it's just not weird or dangerous enough for them!

Running the gauntlet with gorgons is more their style; or spending a night in an apocalyptic casino with Goethe's Werther; and surfing the solar wind on ironing boards high in the magnetosphere; or even visiting hell and accidentally proving Zeno's paradoxes of motion on the way.

Engelbrecht was the creation of Maurice Richardson, whose short book The Exploits of Engelbrecht (1950) is one of the strangest and funniest in the English language. But sixty or so years after his first appearance, Engelbrecht has returned for a new set of adventures that are even more extreme than the originals...!

Engelbrecht Again!
Written by Rhys Hughes
Introduction by Jeff VanderMeer
Cover art and frontispiece by Keith Minnion
Limited to 300 copies
ISBN-13: 978-0-9796335-4-6
September 2008
by Dead Letter Press

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