Sunday, March 9, 2014

News from Pemberley House

The trade hardcover edition of The Evil in Pemberley House, my Wold Newton collaboration novel with Grand Master Philip José Farmer, has been out of print for three years. The limited edition hardcover has been sold out for four years. The trade hardcover went for $40, while the limited edition retailed at $60.

Sounds as if it might be time for a new softcover edition at a more accessible price point. Maybe even an eBook!

On a related front, note to anonymous Amazon reviewers: I'm a big boy (Phil was too) and can accept your less than stellar opinions (after all, they are merely opinions, and non-constructive opinions at that). Any author should be prepared for negative reviews.

BUT--you don't own facts, your repeated misstatements don't change the facts. In fact, your failure to do simple fact-checks makes me take your reviews, shall we say, less than seriously. It is not a fact that the Estate of Philip José Farmer "allowed" The Evil in Pemberley House to be published. Phil himself "allowed" it, because he cowrote it. It is not "posthumous PJF."

News flash: just because you discover a work after the coauthor passes away does not make said work a "posthumous" collaboration.

Here's the timeline, all documented in this blog, for anyone who cares to perform an ounce of research before clicking the "post" button on their erroneous reviews:

  • July 2005 - Discovery of Pemberley House partial manuscript, complete outline, and copious notes.
  • 2006 - Authorization from Phil and Bette Farmer to complete the novel, subject to their approval of chapters in progress.
  • Summer 2007 - Frank conversation, in person, with Phil and Bette Farmer regarding the explicit sex scenes in the manuscript. Farmer expert Christopher Paul Carey is present for the conversation. Phil advocates for retaining the sex scenes, as integral to the plot and not gratuitous. Given that our plan called for retaining all of Phil's already-written prose, unaltered, and that this prose included some of the sex scenes, as well as his opinion regarding the necessity of the sex scenes to the plot, the decision is made: retain the sex scenes that he wrote, as well as the ones covered in his outline of the remainder of the novel.
  • 2007-2008 - I write the remainder of the book and share chapters with Phil for feedback and approval, which I receive.
  • May 2008 - Manuscript in agent's hands.
  • Late November 2008 - Novel sells to Subterranean Press. Announcement December 1.
  • February 25, 2009 - Philip José Farmer passes away.
  • September 2009 - The Evil in Pemberley House ships from the publisher.
  • February 2010 - Limited edition sells out.
  • March 2011 - Trade edition sells out.

As I said, if your panties are in a bunch because you think The Evil in Pemberley House is "porn," well, have at it. You likely haven't read Phil's magnificently shocking A Feast Unknown, or his groundbreaking "The Lovers"--you know, Phil's novella which broke new ground in SF by frankly addressing human-alien love and sex, and which reportedly made editor John W. Campbell want to throw up. And which won Phil the 1952 Hugo award for most promising new writer. You also likely missed his wonderfully disturbing novels Image of the Beast, Blown, and Love Song.

Is Pemberley House as fantastic as any of those works? Of course not, because unfortunately the master didn't finish writing it himself. But are the sex and mature themes true to Phil? Absolutely--because they're his.

You don't like the sex and the mature themes? You have an absolute right not to. But why you expected something different from a Philip José Farmer novel is mystery to me and to any thoughtful reader who has passing familiarity with his works. And since you anonymous reviewers claim to be well acquainted with Phil's oeuvre, it should be a mystery to you as well.

You don't like it that the book was authorized by Phil (not his Estate) and that it was not posthumous (it was written and sold before Phil's unfortunate passing)? Too bad. Your opinions are yours, but facts are facts. You might want to look into them, once in a while.

And with that, stay tuned for more Pemberley House news, coming soon!


ঋজু গাঙ্গুলী said...

The recent editions of classic (and lost, unless one is ready to pay unimaginable prices for 2nd hand copies) works of PJF brought out by Titan Books are absolute beauties. Can we expect a similar endeavour with respect to this book as well?

Win Scott Eckert said...

Hi Riju :-)

Yes, but not from Titan. But it will be a beauty. :-) Stay tuned to this site and also my Facebook page:

By the way, do you follow Meteor House, another fine publisher of Farmer's works?