The Alchemy Press Newsletter: July/August 2014

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It’s already halfway through August and still no Alchemy Press Newsletter? Come to that, what happened to the July Newsletter? Were we asleep on the job? Well, no we were not – we’ve been very busy these past months on Alchemy issues and “doing things around the house” (as one must on occasion). But better late than … and all that jazz. So, without further ado, here’s the July/ August Newsletter.

First of all, and to remind you in case you’ve forgotten: we are thrilled to be in the running for three British Fantasy Awards – in the small press, short story and non-fiction categories. Details can be checked out here.

Since last time we published Touchstones: Essays of the Fantastic by John Howard — twenty-two essays that examine some of the books and writers that helped form our field. Supernatural Tales says: “Touchstones has something for everyone who is interested in the highways and byways of weird fiction.”

In early July The Alchemy Press popped down to Walsall, to a new independent bookshop (Southcart Books) for a “Writers’ Gathering” event, where local writers talked about their books and read an extract or two. This was the first time we visited Walsall since 2007 and like the previous occasion we got lost driving round the city, despite satnav. Leaving the event, we aimed for Junction 10 on the M6 – and instead found ourselves at Junction 9! Weird.

Also last month we travelled to Derby for Edge-Lit 3, once again held in the Quad. We had a table selling our wares. Alchemy Press contributor Rod Rees attended and signed a copy or two of Invent-10n. And Alchemy’s Jan Edwards was a participant on two panels – in fact she chaired one (“Are we entering a new era of fantasy?”).

The ToC have been announced for our three forthcoming anthologies, The Alchemy Press Book of Pulp Heroes 3, The Alchemy Press Book of Urban Mythic 2 and Kneeling in the Silver Light: Stories from the Great War. In fact, by now editors Dean M Drinkel, Mike Chinn, Jan Edwards and Jenny Barber had edited manuscripts in preparation for publication, sent them to Alchemy Towers, then formatted for printing. Preliminary copies have arrived and we are very pleased. All three anthologies are slated to be launched at FantasyCon this September, on the Saturday at 2.00 pm (we will also have a table in the dealers’ room). Many contributors will be on hand to sign your copies.

Also slated for release at FantasyCon is Nick Nightmare Investigates by Adrian Cole – which promises to be an extra-special publication – and a hardcover edition of Bryn Fortey’s well-received Merry-Go-Round and Other Words. Both of these will be signed, numbered editions. Nick Nightmare (200 copies) will be signed by Adrian Cole, Mike Chinn (who collaborated with Adrian to write a Nick Nightmare/Damian Paladin team-up story especially for this book) and Jim Pitts (interior artwork). This edition is co-produced with Airgedlámh Publications.

Merry-Go-Round will have a very limited run of just 60 copies and includes a brand new story just for this edition, “Monster”. These two books will be launched at FantasyCon and then will only be available from The Alchemy Press and selected dealers (not via Amazon). Post-FantasyCon prices will be £25 for Nick Nightmare and £20 for Merry-Go-Round.

Other fun activities at FantasyCon includes three panels (one for Peter, two for Jan) and a reading (Jan again). She has posted the schedule here.

As for the future: we have several exciting projects in the pipeline and, all  being well, further editions in the Pulp Heroes and Urban Mythic series (more details in the next few months).

There have been many deaths this past year, several from our community, some we knew well. It always feels so much worse when a close friend dies – Joel Lane at the end of 2013; and a few weeks ago we learned of the death of Di Reynolds. We were shocked. You may remember her as Di Wathen, when she and Mike co-run the British Fantasy Society and FantasyCon. Lovely people. She will be missed.

On a happier front: we are getting excited about our forthcoming trip to Cyprus for Peter’s daughter’s wedding. Helen marries Neil in a seafront fort, and Peter has to buy a new suit, learn to dance, and write a father-of-the-bride speech. He’s avoiding watching Four Weddings in case he gets the wrong kind of inspiration.

Thanks for reading (if you did), enjoy yourselves and hope to see some of you in York in a few weeks time.

– Peter and Jan


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