Sunday, November 05, 2006

Wall-to-Wall Gorman

Only seven months ago, it looked as if prolific author Ed Gorman (Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool, Different Kinds of Dead) was finally having to slow down. “This will be my last post until at least fall. And maybe my last post ever,” he warned in his former blog, Gormania. Diagnosed five years ago with incurable cancer, Gorman explained that he was having to “get ready for my stay at [Minnesota’s] Mayo [Clinic] in June and that, along with finishing my novel, will have to be my primary concerns. Thanks for all your support.” Those words didn’t suggest good news.

But just yesterday, the 65-year-old Gorman launched a new blog. He also has another installment of his popular Sam McCain series, Fools Rush In, due out in bookstores next March, and he’s announced that Britain’s PS Publishing will soon be issuing “seven volumes of my short fiction over the next year and a half. The first two ... are mostly crime stories, including Edgar and Golden Dagger nominees and a Shamus winner.”

In an e-mail note sent to potential reviewers of his PS Publishing collections, Gorman recalls that “six small press publishers contacted me” after they heard he’d been diagnosed with cancer.
They wanted to publish my short fiction in various forms--one huge book; several smaller books, etc.--and their enthusiasm was touching.

But as time went on and it became possible that I might die later than sooner, they one by one withdrew their offers. They’d wanted to publish the Memorial Gorman. If this was just a regular Gorman collection and he was still living ... Dead, I could make them some money. Alive--not so much. I would’ve done the same thing--maybe with a little more grace--because business is business after all. No hard feelings. Small press publishing is perilous indeed. (I thought it was funny enough to use it as a story premise.)

Pete Crowther, the most excellent writer and publisher and [the] man behind PS in London, is hoping to get all my best stuff--there will be volumes of dark suspense/horror and mainstream (my third sale long ago was to
Redbook back when they were doing fiction)-- Pete’s the only one who kept after me to collect my stories. He even went out and got Lawrence Block and Max Collins to write introductions to the volumes one and two respectively.
It’s good to see this old master back in the ring again.

Oh, and in addition to everything else mentioned above, Gorman is also penning a short “What Ed Read” column for the Bookgasm, the latest installment of which celebrates the new trade paperback edition of William Hjortsberg’s Falling Angel (1978) and the reissuing of Grave Descend, by John Lange (a pseudonym of Michael Crichton), among other things.

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