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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Christmas Came Early!

Prologue Books Brings Classic Pulp Fiction to the E-book Market

The recent announcement of the new line of classic pulp mystery/crime titles available as e-books from Prologue Books has me as giddy with excitement as I was as a 9 year old kid on Christmas morning looking at the 20 Hot Wheel shaped packages under the tree.  There are so many out of print books from the classic era of pulp that are not easily available, and Prologue has stepped in to start filling in the gaps.  Up to now I had to hope that either Hard Case Crime would pick up a title or that Stark House Press would publish one of their lovely double or triple volumes of a favorite author.  Other than that, the only options were finding a decent copy of a book on the secondary market, or to got really lucky at a library book sale (and what a thrill when that happens!).

As of now there are well over 100 titles available and the initial roster of authors includes Peter Rabe, Richard Deming, Wade Miller/Whit Masterson, Fletcher Flora, Frank Kane, Henry Kane, Orrie Hitt, Ed Lacy, Vin Packer/Marijane Meaker, Robert Colby, William Campbell Gault, M.E. Kerr, Kin Platt, Talmage Powell, and Charles Runyon.  Reports are that Harry Whittington, Gil Brewer, Dan Marlowe and others are still to come (dare I hope for some Day Keene also?), as well as westerns and science fiction.  They are priced to sell too, with a list price of $3.99 and a current sale price of $3.19.


My initial urge is to buy everything, even the titles I have already read.  After all, I still had fun with those Hot Wheels that I already knew about before Christmas morning (from sneaking up in the attic and snooping with my brother...sorry, mom!).  But with my digital TBR pile already at well over 100 books, I am going to start with the Wade Miller and Whit Masterson titles.  Both are written by the terrific writing team of Bob Wade and Bill Miller (later Masterson titles are Wade alone, but the initial 7 published by Prologue are combined efforts), whose collaborations I have always found to be deftly plotted, tautly written, populated with complex characters, compulsively readable, and devoid of the bloat that afflicts so many novels today.  After that I will work my way through the rest of them, though it will be far more pleasure than "work".


There are still a bunch of out of print mystery titles that I would love to see in e-book format.  Primary among these for me are John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee books and the books Erle Stanley Gardner wrote as A.A. Fair.  I would also love to see Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe titles at a reasonable price.  These new releases from Prologue give me hope for what the future might hold.

What out of print books and authors do you hope get published in e-book form?

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