Finally it can be revealed: four new covers for four back-in-print books of mine.
Specifically, my novels Rasputin’s Bastards and The ‘Geisters and my short-story collections Monstrous Affections and Knife Fight and Other Struggles, are back in print. They’ve got new covers, designed and applied by their new publisher, Open Road Integrated Media. I’ve been sitting on these images for awhile, waiting for them to come up for pre-order. Now it is very nice indeed to be able to show them off, and express some gratitude.
Each of these books (and Eutopia and Volk) were originally published with ChiZine Publications, their covers beautifully and strikingly designed by Erik Mohr. One of them, the cover to Monstrous Affections, was so striking as to become iconic and a part of a brand for both ChiZine, and for me. It was a high bar.
Each of these covers meet it. So thanks to the art department at Open Road for packaging these up so very nicely.
And here’s a run-down on the rest of them.
When people ask me for the elevator pitch for Rasputin’s Bastards, I usually respond with “It’s like Gravity’s Rainbow, without the literary merit.” It is probably my weirdest and most experimental novel – and in some ways also my most conventional. At least that’s how it started out, as a post-Cold-War thriller about psychic Russian spies making their way in the post-Cold-War world. For awhile – particularly in the early 21st-century, post-9/11 years – ex-Soviet spies covertly interfering in every aspect of North American life and even thought might have seemed dated. But maybe things have come around in the last few years.
The ‘Geisters is my ode to Ira Levin, Shirley Jackson and the cult of the jump scare. I might pitch it as Rule 39 meets Poltergeist. Its opening line is “Was it terror, or was it love?”, and it goes from there.
Knife Fight and Other Struggles
Knife Fight and Other Struggles is my second story collection, and it’s eclectic. There are science fiction stories, fantasy stories and a lot of horror stories. The title story, which was drawn in very, ahem, non-specific ways from my years covering the administration of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford, may be in a category its own.
This is a new edition of my first story collection – the author-illustrated version of Monstrous Affections. The book originally came out in 2009, with a cover by Erik Mohr that was so good and awful and creepy it became iconic. This cover echoes that one – it too is the not-quite-right pale face of a man, with eyes shut. The original cover illustrated the first story in the collection, “The Sloan Men,” which I’ve also published here at the Devil’s Exercise Yard. This edition also features a tag-team foreword/afterword by Laird Barron and John Langan, and illustrations that I did myself.
All of these are available for pre-order now, for an official publication date of November 24, 2020.