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Valancourt Books

Valancourt Books

Valancourt Books is an independent small press specializing in the rediscovery of rare, neglected and out-of-print fiction. 

 

In the Eyes of Mr Fury (1989) by Philip Ridley

New release! IN THE EYES OF MR FURY by Philip Ridley, acclaimed playwright and the visionary director of The Reflecting Skin, is the world's first LGBT magical realist epic. A rewritten and expanded new edition of the original 1989 cult classic, it has been hailed by critics as 'a dark tale of death, sex, devils and fantasy', 'hauntingly original', and 'brave and ingenious'. Trust us, you don't want to miss this one! Available in paperback, ebook, or an exclusive hardcover edition accompanied by an original signed art card.

 

 

Book Description

On the day Concord Webster turned eighteen, the Devil died. The Devil’s real name was Judge Martin, but Concord’s mother called him the Devil. She said he boiled babies for dinner and made lampshades out of human skin. So why did she, who hated him so venomously, have a key to his house? 

The key will unlock more than just Judge’s front door. It will also unlock a multitude of stories - where magic children talk to crows, men disappear in piles of leaves, and James Dean lookalikes kiss in dark alleys - and reveal a secret history that will change Concord’s life forever.

Philip Ridley’s second novel (following the sexually charged tour de force Crocodilia) was an instant cult classic when originally published in 1989. Now, for this new edition, Ridley has reimagined the story, expanding the original short novel into the world’s first LGBT magical realist epic. A vast, labyrinthine, hall-of-mirrors saga, its breathtaking imagery and stunning plot twists – covering over a hundred years – reveal Ridley to be one of the most distinctive and innovative voices in contemporary fiction.

Reviews

‘Philip Ridley’s stories compel attention.’ - The Times (London)

'The small-town drama is shot through with a tangible sense of the supernatural, conveyed in a prose style that takes enormous risks.' - Time Out

‘Ridley is the master of modern myth.’ - The Guardian

'Hauntingly original.' - Mail on Sunday

‘Ridley is a visionary.’ - Rolling Stone

'Brave and ingenious' - Sunday Telegraph

'A dark tale of death, sex, devils and fantasy.' - Evening Standard

'What really sets this book apart are the fantastical and dream-like aspects of the story, qualities that may owe more to Latin American and Continental influences than any native tradition ... And the story itself is baroque and highly coloured. It's a bold and interesting departure ... well paced and told in an elegantly spare style.' - Adam Lively, Punch

Available worldwide:

Exclusive Hardcover Edition with signed card
Website

Paperback
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eBook
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The Valancourt Book of Victorian Christmas Ghost Stories

New Release

 

The first-ever collection of Victorian Christmas ghost stories, culled from rare 19th-century periodicals

 

 

Book Description

 

During the Victorian era, it became traditional for publishers of newspapers and magazines to print ghost stories during the Christmas season for chilling winter reading by the fireside or candlelight. Now for the first time thirteen of these tales are collected here, including a wide range of stories from a diverse group of authors, some well-known, others anonymous or forgotten. Readers whose only previous experience with Victorian Christmas ghost stories has been Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” will be surprised and delighted at the astonishing variety of ghostly tales in this volume. 

“In the sickly light I saw it lying on the bed, with its grim head on the pillow. A man? Or a corpse arisen from its unhallowed grave, and awaiting the demon that animated it?” - John Berwick Harwood, “Horror: A True Tale”

“Suddenly I aroused with a start and as ghostly a thrill of horror as ever I remember to have felt in my life. Something—what, I knew not—seemed near, something nameless, but unutterably awful.” - Ada Buisson, “The Ghost’s Summons”

“There was no longer any question what she was, or any thought of her being a living being. Upon a face which wore the fixed features of a corpse were imprinted the traces of the vilest and most hideous passions which had animated her while she lived.” - Walter Scott, “The Tapestried Chamber”

 

Available worldwide:

 

Hardback
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Paperback
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eBook
Amazon US | Amazon UK 
 
 

 

 

The Affirmation by Christopher Priest

Though he's won numerous awards and has a large following internationally, Christopher Priest is best known in the U.S. as the author of THE PRESTIGE (1995), which was adapted by Christopher Nolan for a hit Hollywood film. But all his books are worth reading, especially THE AFFIRMATION (1981), a genre-defying literary mindgame that we both loved.

 

 

Book Description

 

Peter Sinclair, a 29-year-old Londoner, is reeling after losing his father, his girlfriend, his job and his flat. Taking refuge in a friend’s rural cottage, he tries to make sense of things and figure out where his life began to go wrong by writing an autobiography. But it is possible that none of this is true . . . 

Peter Sinclair is a 31-year-old native of the city of Jethra in Faiandland who has just won the grand prize in a lottery: a trip to the Dream Archipelago, a neverending series of idyllic islands, where he will undergo a medical procedure that gives him immortality. Because the process also results in total amnesia, Peter must first set down all the details of his life in a manuscript in order to recover the memories afterwards. But it is also possible that none of this is true . . .

As the two narratives intersect and intertwine, the reader must decide what is real and what is not in this brilliant literary mindgame from Christopher Priest, the award-winning author of The Prestige and The Separation.

 

Reviews

 

“Priest writes extraordinarily well . . . his best novel to date . . . an atmosphere of increasingly oppressive menace.” – Francis King, The Spectator

“There is a compulsive, dreamlike quality about The Affirmation that defies definition.” – Daily Telegraph

“An original and haunting novel.” – London Times

“A brilliant and sustained novel of imaginative power.” – Vector

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$2.99 Halloween eBook Sale

From now until Halloween we have these five titles marked down to $2.99 on Amazon!

 

 

The Monster Club (1976) by R. Chetwynd-Hayes, with an introduction by Stephen Jones

First published in 1976, R. Chetwynd-Hayes’s The Monster Club was adapted for a 1981 film starring Vincent Price, John Carradine, and Donald Pleasence, and both book and film have gone on to become cult classics. Told in a wry, tongue-in-cheek style, the tales in The Monster Club are simultaneously horrific, comical, and curiously moving. This edition is the first in more than twenty years and features a new introduction by Stephen Jones and a reproduction of John Bolton’s painting from the rare comic book adaptation of the film.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

The Great White Space (1974) by Basil Copper, with an introduction by Stephen Jones

One of the great British horror writers of the 20th century, Basil Copper (1924-2013) was best known for his macabre short fiction, which earned him the World Horror Convention’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2010. The Great White Space (1974) is a tale in the mode of H. P. Lovecraft and is recognized as one of the best Lovecraftian horror novels ever written. This edition, the first in more than 30 years, includes a new introduction by Stephen Jones.

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The Moorstone Sickness (1982) by Bernard Taylor, with an introduction by Mark Morris

When it comes to spine-chilling tales of quiet horror, no one surpasses Bernard Taylor, the bestselling author of the classic novels The Godsend and Sweetheart, Sweetheart. This edition of The Moorstone Sickness (1982) features a new introduction by Mark Morris.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

Fengriffen & Other Gothic Tales by David Case, with an introduction by Stephen Jones and an afterword by Kim Newman

Taking its title from the classic 1971 novella, Fengriffen & Other Gothic Tales also includes such memorable stories as ‘Anachrona’, ‘The Foreign Bride’ and his Frankenstein-inspired short novel ‘The Dead End’. With a personal Introduction from award-winning editor Stephen Jones and an exclusive Afterword by acclaimed film writer Kim Newman, in which he discusses how the title story was adapted into the crawling-hand horror movie—And Now the Screaming Starts!, this volume showcases the work of one of the genre’s finest exponents of the macabre.

Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

The Cell & Other Transmorphic Tales by David Case, with an introduction by Stephen Jones an an afterword by Kim Newman

Beginning with the powerful novella that gave its title to that inaugural collection, The Cell & Other Transmorphic Tales also includes such memorable stories as ‘Strange Roots’, ‘Among the Wolves’, ‘A Cross to Bear’ and ‘The Hunter’. With a personal Introduction from award-winning editor Stephen Jones and an exclusive Afterword by acclaimed film writer Kim Newman, in which he discusses how ‘The Hunter’ was adapted into the 1970s TV movie Scream of the Wolf, this volume showcases the work of one of the genre’s finest exponents of the macabre.

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October Horror Releases!

New releases:

 

It's finally here! At Valancourt Books, every year October is Horror Month, and this year we have four great new titles available.

Scroll down for details on our first Valancourt Book of Horror Stories, containing rare and unpublished tales by Valancourt authors; an omnibus volume by the master of weird fiction, Robert Aickman; and vintage classics about monster babies and haunted houses from Alexander Laing and Archie Roy!

 

 

 

The Valancourt Book of Horror Stories: Volume One edited by James D. Jenkins and Ryan Cagle

Book Description

Spanning two hundred years of horror, this new collection features seventeen macabre gems, including two original tales and many others that have never or seldom been reprinted, by:

Charles Birkin - John Blackburn - Michael Blumlein - Mary Cholmondeley - Hugh Fleetwood - Stephen Gregory - Gerald Kersh - Francis King - M. G. Lewis - Florence Marryat - Richard Marsh - Michael McDowell - Christopher Priest - Forrest Reid - Bernard Taylor - Hugh Walpole

Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

 

The Late Breakfasters and Other Strange Stories by Robert Aickman, introduced by Philip Challinor

Book Description

One of the preeminent writers of weird fiction, Robert Aickman is celebrated for his unsettling and often ambiguous "strange stories," but he once wrote that “those, if any, who wish to know more about me, should plunge beneath the frivolous surface of The Late Breakfasters,” his only novel, originally published in 1964. 

Never before published in the United States and long unobtainable, Aickman's odd and whimsical novel is joined in this omnibus volume by six of his finest weird tales (two of them making their first-ever American appearance): “My Poor Friend”, “The Visiting Star”, “Larger Than Oneself”, “A Roman Question”, “Mark Ingestre: The Customer's Tale”, and “Rosamund's Bower”, as well as a new introduction by Philip Challinor. 

Website | Amazon US | Amazon CA

 

 

 

 

The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck (1934) by Alexander Laing

Book Description

The Cadaver of Gideon Wyck, Alexander Laing's odd hybrid of horror, crime and science fiction, was an unlikely bestseller and critical success when first published in 1934, and it was later selected by Karl Edward Wagner as one of the top horror novels of all time. This new edition reprints the unabridged text of the first edition along with a reproduction of its dust jacket art and frontispiece by Lynd Ward.

Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

 

Available October 11th:

 

 

 

Devil in the Darkness (1978) by Archie Roy

 

Book Description

 

En route to their honeymoon in the Scottish Highlands, Paul and Carol Wilson lose their way in an unseasonable blizzard and are forced to take shelter in remote Ardvreck House.

But this sprawling, dilapidated Victorian mansion, with its reputation as the scene of violent unsolved mysteries, is also playing host to an eclectic and mysterious group of people who are engaged in a bizarre experiment. It soon becomes clear that even more threatening than the worsening storm outside are the dangers within: The Wilsons and the rest of the assembled company may not survive their stay, as Ardvreck House, home to a century-old evil, refuses to give up its long-buried secret - the devil in the darkness.

Renowned professor of astronomy Archie Roy was also a prominent researcher in the field of the paranormal. Drawing heavily on his own experience and investigations, Devil in the Darkness (1978) is a chilling haunted house story in the tradition of Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House and Richard Matheson's Hell House. This new edition makes Roy's sixth novel available in America for the first time and includes a new introduction by Greg Gbur.

The Children of the Abbey (1796) by Regina Maria Roche

New Release

 

Irish author Regina Maria Roche's THE CHILDREN OF THE ABBEY (1796) was not only one of the best-selling novels of its time but also one of the most popular novels of the 19th century, running through 80 or so editions. A classic Gothic novel and an influence on Jane Austen, it has inexplicably remained out of print for the last 100 years but returns now in a new scholarly edition with an introduction and notes by Prof. William D. Brewer.

 

 

Book Description

 

One of the best-selling novels of the 19th century and one of the greatest Gothic novels of all time returns to print in this first-ever scholarly edition

Running through at least eighty editions in the 18th and 19th centuries, Regina Maria Roche's The Children of the Abbey (1796) was one of the biggest successes of its time, rivalling and perhaps even outselling Ann Radcliffe's seminal Gothic The Mysteries of Udolpho (1794).

The heroine of Roche's novel, Amanda Fitzalan, and her brother Oscar, are unfortunate siblings defrauded of their rightful inheritance, Dunreath Abbey, by a will forged by a wicked relative. Beset on all sides by danger, including the schemes of the haughty Marquis and Marchioness of Rosline and the sinister intentions of the villainous libertine Belgrave, can Amanda reclaim what is rightfully hers and win the love of the dashing Lord Mortimer?

With a sprawling cast of characters and an intricate plot that moves from Wales to Ireland to England to Scotland, Roche's classic novel is reprinted here for the first time in over a century. This new edition includes the unabridged text of the four-volume 1797 second edition and an introduction and notes by Prof. William D. Brewer, who discusses its influence on Jane Austen and calls for reconsideration of Roche as an important early Irish novelist.

Available worldwide in paperback and ebook

Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Pre-Order Now: The Late Breakfasters and Other Strange Stories by Robert Aickman

Now available for pre-order!

 

One of our most exciting October Horror Month releases, an omnibus collection of the master of weird fiction, Robert Aickman, is now up for preorder! This hefty 430-page volume contains the complete text of the novel THE LATE BREAKFASTERS, as well as six of Aickman's rarest 'strange stories', plus a new intro by Philip Challinor.

 

Pre-order available in the US and CA only. Visit our website for links.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Fall of Valor (1946) by Charles Jackson

New Release

 

One we're extremely excited about! Charles Jackson's first novel, The Lost Weekend (1944), a harrowing story about alcoholism, was a bestseller and became an Oscar-winning film. But his next novel, THE FALL OF VALOR (1946), was even more daring, the story of an ordinary husband and wife whose marriage may be destroyed when the husband falls in love with a handsome Marine captain while on holiday. Critics praised the writing but were disgusted by the frank treatment of homosexuality (it was 1946, after all!) Features a new introduction by Michael Bronski and cover design inspired by the original pulp cover.

 

 

Book Description

 

The Fall of Valor is an unflinching portrayal of a marriage that has faded to a mere duty. John and Ethel Grandin take a summer vacation to Nantucket with the hope of recapturing the happiness they felt in the early days of their relationship. But instead the holiday blasts their marriage wider apart than ever when John falls hopelessly in love with a handsome marine captain.

​This edition features a new introduction by Michael Bronski, who argues that Jackson’s novel deserves rediscovery and a place alongside later classics such as Gore Vidal’s The City and the Pillar, Norman Mailer’s The Naked and the Dead, and the works of James Baldwin.

Reviews

“A finer and more skilful work than [The Lost Weekend] . . . a milestone in our literary progress.” – Saturday Review

“A courageous, ruthlessly probing book.” – Thomas Mann

“One of the best books I’ve ever read.” – Book Week

Available in the US and CA:

Website | Amazon US

Spectral Shadows: Three Supernatural Novellas by Robert Westall

New Release

 

Now available! SPECTRAL SHADOWS: Three Supernatural Novellas by Robert Westall, hailed as the finest British author of ghost stories since M.R. James, collected together for the first time.

 

 

Book Description:

 

BLACKHAM’S WIMPEY

Why should three successive crews flying a Second World War bomber – Blackham’s Wimpey – be driven to madness, despair, even death, though the plane returns from each mission without a scratch?

‘A writer of disturbing brilliance’ – Times Educational Supplement

THE WHEATSTONE POND

Too many deaths, too many suicides. It was more than coincidence. The Wheatstone Pond was a killer. When it’s drained, antique dealer Jeff Morgan gets interested, hoping there’ll be a few valuable wrecks of model boats down there. He isn’t prepared for the horror he will 
find instead . . .

‘Gutsy and energetic, grippingly plotted’ – Guardian

YAXLEY’S CAT

Sepp Yaxley vanished seven years ago, and no one has seen him since. Rose and her children Tim and Jane thought his vacant cottage, alone by the marshes, seemed like the perfect place for a holiday adventure. But that was before they decided to find out what happened to old Yaxley. Before they started to find strange things in the garden. Before the neighbors began to act weird. Before Yaxley’s cat came back . . .

‘Calls to mind Hitchcock’s creepiest films’ – Publishers Weekly

Available worldwide in paperback and ebook

Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Also available:

 

 

The Day on Fire: A Novel Suggested by the Life of Arthur Rimbaud

New Release

 

Available at last! James Ramsey Ullman's epic biographical novel The Day on Fire: A Novel Suggested by the Life of Arthur Rimbaud (1958).

 

 

Book Description

 

By the age of fifteen, Arthur Rimbaud was already one of the most brilliant poets of his time. And for the next four years - and four only - Rimbaud (the Claude Morel of this book) was simultaneously a writer of genius, a visionary idealist, and a deliberate wallower in gutters of depravity perhaps unmatched in all of human experience. But at the age of nineteen, he was through forever with both writing and debauchery, and at this point, he all but vanished, spending most of his remaining years as a vagabond wanderer through Europe and Africa. 

In the epic The Day on Fire (1958), a masterwork of biographical fiction, James Ramsey Ullman retraces the steps of Rimbaud's life from his rebellious youth in a dull provincial town to his teenage years as a homosexual, drunkard and drug addict in Paris, and his later years, wandering the desert in search of some elusive beauty or truth. As Ullman writes in his Foreword, “The truth, the inward core, of Rimbaud's life, is a truth for all times, as long as each of us, all of us, have our nights alone and our days on fire, our seasons in hell and our hope of heaven.”

Reviews

“It comes close to being the best book we've ever read.” - Victoria Advocate

“A literary masterpiece ... One of the most forceful novels of our decade.” - Montreal Gazette

“A haunting tale with an obsessive fascination.” - Kirkus Reviews

“Shocking ... Ullman has succeeded in making believable a life whose terms would be considered absolutely unbelievable if we did not know that they were true.” - Chicago Tribune

“Engrossing ... a tragic life dramatically, poetically and compellingly visualized.” - Booklist

Available worldwide in paperback and ebook

Website | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Blood Secrets - Audiobook

New Release

 

Our first audiobook, Robert Marasco's BURNT OFFERINGS, has been such a huge success that we're excited to unveil our second: Craig Jones's masterful modern Gothic chiller BLOOD SECRETS, narrated by Caitlin Davies. Once again we have 10 *FREE* downloads to give away (US only, sorry)! The first 10 people to comment below will receive a copy. Thanks!