Tuesday, July 18, 2006

To assuage your fears...

I've developed another obsession.

I'm cataloging my limited-edition horror fiction in a database.

So far, I have 42 hardbacks, including preorders.

It's quite fun. I spent the whole afternoon doing it on Sunday.

I haven't even read most of the books yet. But I sure do love collecting them. It seems like all I ever buy anymore are grotesquely overpriced LEs (sorry, but $40 for a hardback is overpriced, even if it rocks the house and they only printed 250 of them). I pay, I'm allowed to complain.

Where was I?

Oh yeah, all I ever buy anymore are LEs and Civil War books. At least, that's the way it feels. I'm kind of picky about my fiction, generally, but my history reading runs the gamut, though it mostly is military or aquatic in nature.

But these LEs are just fun to get. There are only a few made, they're mostly numbered, and I've run out of room on my coffee table for them.

That's right, my monkey bookends ("Big monkey sit. Little monkeys puuuuuuuuull!") are hanging off the edge of the table. That's how many books I bought.

I don't buy the "traycased, lettered" editions, which are usually limited to 26 (letters instead of numbers, you know, "A" instead of "#27 out of 250") and cost 10 times as much. You think $40-$100 is too much to pay, you're not going to pay $325.

I mean, I could, but I'd own like four books instead of 42. Where's the fun in that?

The problem is, even though I'm somewhat picky about my horror fiction, these little indie presses keep coming up with new and tantalizing books to lure me with.

For crying out loud, I'm on a first-name basis with the lady who handles Cemetery Dance's orders. Really.

Two examples of how bad this addiction can be:

A) I read a great story by a guy named Gary A. Braunbeck in an anthology called "Taverns of the Dead" (Cemetery Dance). So I looked him up online. And discovered his "Cedar Hill" stories (of which the one I read was one) are being collected in volumes by Earthling Press. $90 later, I've got both volumes, with matching numbers.

B) At Stewie's recommendation, I bought the Cemetery Dance coupon book, which features discounts from many small presses. Thousands of dollars in savings for a mere $79! Of course, it's not like you get nothing but free books. They're discounts. Meaning I may have saved like $75, but I spent $75 I might not have otherwise. Of course, now I have Caitlin R. Kiernan's "lost" first novel, from Subterranean Press...

See what I mean? I'm on about six small press mailing lists, and almost every month I see something I really, really, really want.

Normally, I wait for things like a CD special sale (i.e. get $200 of credit for $80!, which is how I managed to buy "Taverns of the Dead" and the recently arrived "Mondo Zombie" for much less than their lists). But sometimes, a sale just ain't coming. And that's why I'm pretty sure by Thursday (payday!) I'll cave on the one from Subterranean I'm staring at now, despite its $100 price tag. It's right up my alley, it involves a great author's work, and work inspired by same. And there's even a Vietnam connection.

(If the phrase "samurai zombies" doesn't sell you on "Mondo Zombie," well, how'd you manage to read this far into the post? Hee!)

So this is what now occupies the front corner of my mind, instead of all the things that should.

Cemetery Dance Publications, for my money the bestest small press out there
Borderlands Press, publishers of the fine "Adversary Cycle" from F. Paul Wilson
Shocklines, with its own imprint and inventory from others
Bloodletting Press, also with its own imprint and inventory from others
Delirium Books
Earthling Publications
Necessary Evil Press
Subterranean Press
I'm sure there are others I've missed. But hey, one of the joys for me is finding a new imprint and seeing what they've got. Poke around. You'll find some linked off some of these sites, and find more by Googling authors.

Sports "Charley Foxtrot" of the day: The New York Islanders fired their general manager, the former Stanley Cup winner Neil Smith, after ONE FREAKIN' MONTH today, and replaced him with... their backup goalie, Garth Snow. No lie.



jin said...

HA! I totally quit reading when I started blogging. I'm still on the fence whether this is good or bad! ;-)

Freak Magnet said...

Stewie got me into buying used books to read. I have about 200 sitting, waiting for me. It's quite daunting.