|I know, I know. As the governor of North Carolina said to the governor of South Carolina, it’s a long time between newsletters. (That doesn’t sound right. I quote from memory, and memory’s an artful Ananias.) But never mind. It’s been a while.
So let me get to it. Much to report, and I’ll number the items, to provide the illusion of order and design.
1. LB’s eBay Bookstore is no more. In an era when the average retail bookstore has the lifespan of the average Drosophila melanogaster, this shouldn’t shock anyone. But I can’t blame the store’s demise on online competition, trends in the marketplace, or the political situation. I’d set up my eBay store to sell autographed copies of my own work, and it succeeded well enough in that respect, but it was always more trouble than it was worth. I closed it over a year ago for vacation, and never got around to re-opening it, and that’s no way to run a railroad.
(Come to think of it, isn’t that what the governor of North Carolina said to the governor of South Carolina? “Sir, this is no way to run a railroad.” No, that doesn’t sound right either.)
Never mind. The point is the store’s a thing of the past. But the books—signed first editions, special printings, small-press rarities, all the goodies from the eBay store plus many others I never got around to listing—are now in the capable hands of The Mysterious Bookshop. Its proprietor, the amiable Otto Penzler, bought me out lock, stock, and Dumpster, and the van load that went to 58 Warren Street included half a dozen cartons of original manuscripts, along with signed hardcover firsts of my scarcest books.
To find out what’s available, I’d suggest a phone call to 212-587-1011. Eventually they’ll have the books listed on their website, but by then the choicest rarities will probably be gone.
2. Keller’s Fedora is out—and sold out! This novella, a hit Kindle Single and a strong seller in audio, has just come out in a gorgeous hardcover edition from Subterranean Press—and it seems to have been fully subscribed by the time it came off press. You can find it at bookstores, online and off, but Subterranean reports the trade edition as sold out. (They may still have a few copies of the Limited Edition.)
It’s a short book, and not cheap at $25, but it’s beautifully designed and printed. The ebook’s just $2.99, the author-narrated audio just $5.95—but if you want the physical book, this is it, and Subterranean doesn’t reprint titles once they sell out, so it won’t be around for long.
(Maybe I got the states wrong. “As the governor of North Dakota said to the governor of South Dakota…” No, that’s not right either.)
3. TCOOL’s in the 2017 Write Stuff StoryBundle. Now there’s a sentence I’ve never written before, although some governor might have said it to another governor. (Maybe they were senators. No, I’m positive they were governors.) What it means is that my book, The Crime of Our Lives, has been bundled with 11 hugely useful books for writers, on sale for a short time for the giveaway price of $15. That’s what, $1.25 a book? Click here to see what’s in the bundle and how it works; click here for more information on TCOOL.
4. AISAC’s on the way, right behind ISOIS! Oh dear, there’s another sentence that requires explanation. ISOIS is In Sunlight or in Shadow, the anthology of stories inspired by works of Edward Hopper, and superbly illustrated with reproductions of the paintings themselves. Pegasus Books brought it out in December, and no book of mine has ever generated as much media attention. It’s available now in hardcover, ebook, and audio.
And, hot on its heels, is Alive in Shape and Color, wherein the contributors have selected paintings by the artists of their choice. As you can see, the cover painting is by the enigmatic René Magritte, whose work inspired a stunning effort by Jonathan Santlofer. Many of the writers from ISOIS have re-upped for AISAC, and they’re joined by David Morrell, Sarah Weinman, Thomas Pluck, and SJ Rozan. Pegasus will bring it out in December, on the anniversary of the publication of ISOIS, and they’re taking pre-orders. A couple of mouse clicks and you can cross no end of names off your Christmas list, and guarantee first edition copies in the process.
5. Matthew Scudder speaks German. Which is to say that my partnerships with translators are starting to show results. Newest German edition is Ein Ticket für den Friedhof, #8 in the series and A Ticket to the Boneyard in English. Sepp Leeb has updated his original translation, my Goddess of Design and Production has come through with a nice boozy cover, and the book’s available in paperback and ebook form on all Amazon sites worldwide; here are links for the United States and Germany.
That brings our German Scudder titles to 11—7 novels and 4 short stories. Stefan Mommertz has translated the first three novels and the short stories; the translations for novels 5—8 are Sepp Leeb’s. The gap in the sequence is #4, A Stab in the Dark, and Stefan’s translation is in the proofreading process and should be ready soon, along with Sepp’s A Dance at the Slaughterhouse. (There’ll be a German-language newsletter soon, with more details; if you’d like to be on the German list, just email email@example.com with Newsletter: DE in the subject line.)
6. Bernie Rhodenbarr speaks Italian. After translating the Matthew Scudder short stories (La Notte e la Musica)and The Burglar in the Library (Il Ladro nella Biblioteca), Luigi Garlaschelli has moved on to Bernie Rhodenbarr #10, The Burglar on Prowl. Il Ladro in Caccia is available on all Amazon sites in ebook and paperback. Luigi’s at work on another Burglar title, and—yes? Do I see a hand?
I have trouble finding your foreign editions. The ebooks and paperbacks don’t always show up on the same page, and sometimes I leave out an umlaut and Amazon shows me Harry Potter in Swedish instead. Am I doing something wrong?
Probably, but you’re not alone. I have the same problem, and I’m the one who wrote the damn books. Here’s a trick—in the Amazon search box, pair the names of the author and the translator. For German titles, say, try first Lawrence Block Stefan Mommertz and then Lawrence Block Sepp Leeb. For Italian, Lawrence Block Luigi Garlaschelli. For Spanish Scudder titles, translated by Ana and Enriqueta Carrington: Lawrence Block Carrington. For other Spanish titles, try pairing my name with Mª Carmen de Bernardo Martínez, Jordi García, and Eduardo Hojman.
Harry Potter in Swedish? Really?
7. Evan Tanner speaks English. And many other languages, including Basque, as you may recall. But you can listen to him in his native tongue, voiced superbly by Theo Holland, in our new audio of The Thief Who Couldn’t Sleep. Theo, who’s at work now on Tanner’s Twelve Swingers, has also narrated Resume Speed, Four Lives at the Crossroads, and The Adulterers.
8. Lawrence Block can read. Not without moving my lips however, at least when I’m reading out loud. As I’ll be doing from 5 to 7pm on Saturday, April 29, under the auspices of Enclave. The venue is Lovecraft, on Avenue B and East 4th Street, and I’ll be sharing the stage with Bradley Spinelli and Jim Freed.
I’ve been avoiding public appearances of late, and especially those where I have to perform, but I guess the Enclave folks caught me at the right moment (or maybe the wrong one) and I find I’m actually looking forward to the gig. Not sure what I’ll be reading—possibly my Edgar-nominated story from In Sunlight or in Shadow, possibly a portion of Keller’s Fedora.
Or something else. But I’m pretty sure it won’t be this.
You know what? That’s enough from me this month. As the governor of East Timor said to the governor of Western Samoa, I’m out of here.
PS: As always, please feel free to forward this to anyone you think might find it of interest. And, if you yourself have received the newsletter from a friend and would like your own subscription, that’s easily arranged; a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org with Newsletter in the subject line will get the job done.
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