EDitorial Comments

Upcoming Murania Press Titles

Posted in Murania Press,Upcoming Books on May 31, 2012 @ 10:45 pm

With two new issues of Blood ‘n’ Thunder shipping and this site finally up and running, I’m now working on future additions to the Murania Press product line. This post is by way of a quick preview: With the exception of the first-named, the books described below will debut at this year’s PulpFest, about which you’ll be hearing more in the weeks ahead.

Next up (finally, he said, after many months) is the several-times-postponed Distressed Damsels and Masked Marauders, my history of cliffhanger serials of the silent-movie era. The delay in getting this book to market is a source of considerable embarrassment to me; only once before in 32 years of professional writing have I had so much trouble with a project. Listing the reasons — which are both myriad and variegated, believe me — would at this late date seem like excuse-making, so I won’t do it. Suffice to say that, upon leaping one last production hurdle, Damsels goes out next month. To those of you who pre-ordered it an apparent eternity ago, I can only offer thanks for your patience. For what it’s worth, you’ll be getting a Damsels that’s measurably superior to the one you would have received had I made the original publication date: During those periods in which the book was sidelined, I added newly discovered information and photos that enhanced the product. As soon as the pre-ordered copies ship I’ll post a notice here to that effect.

As mentioned above, PulpFest will serve as the launching pad for several Murania Press books in addition to the jumbo-sized Tenth Anniversary issue of BnT, the full contents of which I still haven’t locked in. But you can count on seeing at least two more volumes in the Classic Pulp Reprints series: Pirates of the Pines and The Wilderness Trail.

A. M. Chisholm’s Pirates of the Pines originally appeared under another title in the October 20, 1915 issue of Street & Smith’s The Popular Magazine. It was recommended to me by pulp collector Walker Martin while I was researching The Popular for a lengthy BnT survey printed in issues 24 and 25. A rousing yarn set in the Canadian Northwest, Pirates is a vastly entertaining read by pulp-fiction standards, but what makes it really special is the novel conceit that sold Popular editor Charles Agnew MacLean on the tale to begin with: Chisholm designed it to parallel Treasure Island in every particular save locale. Plot, structure, characterization — all track Stevenson’s classic adventure. The narrator is a Jim Hawkins type. There’s a Long John Silver type, a Squire Trelawney type, a Ben Gunn type, and so on. The story progresses at a similar pace with action setpieces appearing at roughly the same intervals. It’s a brilliant tour de force by the prolific Chisholm, totally forgotten today but for many years one of MacLean’s most reliable contributors. What impressed me most about Pirates was the author’s success in putting his own stamp on the story. It can be enjoyed whether one has read Treasure Island or not, but familiarity with Stevenson’s work enhances the experience. For reasons unfathomable, Pirates of the Pines never had book publication…until now. I’m delighted to be bringing it out of the shadows and into the light.

The Wilderness Trail also deals with piracy — piracy along the Ohio River in the early years of the 19th century. This red-blooded yarn by H. Bedford-Jones initially appeared in the February 1915 issue of Blue Book and was the first of some 360 HB-J stories to see print in that prestigious pulp over a 34-year period. It also was his first historical adventure with an American setting and includes such famous figures as Daniel Boone, Zachary Taylor, John Audubon, and the Shawnee Indian chief Tecumseh among the prominent supporting characters. Although many Bedford-Jones pulp novels were published in the US as books, The Wilderness Trail wasn’t one of them. (It did, however, achieve release as a 1925 British hardcover issued by Hurst & Blackett Ltd.) Murania’s trade paperback will be the first American edition of this superb story long coveted by collectors of the astoundingly prolific and popular Bedford-Jones.

Finally, PulpFest will see the introduction of The Best of Blood ‘n’ Thunder: Volume Two, a follow-up to last year’s Volume One, which also debuted at PulpFest. I hadn’t planned on offering a sequel, but with all issues before 22 out of print, recent subscribers and purchasers of Volume One have deluged me with pleas for another compilation from back issues they can’t find. Material from the first ten issues was included in the first book; Volume Two will reprint most articles from numbers 11 to 21 in the same format as its predecessor.

I expect to publish other books in 2012, although not in time for unveiling at PulpFest. But it’s my hope that you’ll be interested in the three titles described above.

16 thoughts on “Upcoming Murania Press Titles

  1. I make it a point to buy every book that Ed publishes, even the THE BEST OF BLOOD N THUNDER volumes, despite having all the issues already.

    DISTRESSED DAMSELS and MASKED MARAUDERS I’m eagerly looking forward to because of my love of the serials. Serials and B-westerns are the closest things to the pulps.

    I still recall the fun I had reading A.M. Chisholm’s PIRATES in the 1915 POPULAR MAGAZINE. Another forgotten author that needs to be rediscovered and I hope to see Murania Press reprint many such novels.

  2. Will we see DDMM this year? I thought that I would have my copy by now as it was to have shipped some time in June, or so it sounded.

  3. Hi Ed,
    We’ve been waiting a long time. Can you please give an update on this? Has it come out? …or still a work in progress? If so, how much longer?
    Also, I believe that I remember that individuals who pre-ordered would get bonus Patria footage. Is that still the case or should we order elsewhere?
    Thanks,
    Steve

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