Valancourt Books, previously dedicated to new editions of forgotten 18th and 19th century works, is moving into 20th century stuff and looking for suggestions of books that need to be rediscovered. We focus primarily on British, but do some American as well.
We've recently taken on Hilda Lewis's The Witch and the Priest (1956), Oliver Onions's The Hand of Kornelius Voyt (1939), and several of John Blackburn's macabre thrillers of the 1950s-1970s, and are looking for more great overlooked works in this vein.
Just been giving your site a browse and the catalogue to date is extraordinary!
Will give this some serious thought over the weekend and get back to you. There is certainly an increasing demand for the novels of R. R. Ryan! I note you also reprint collections of short fiction, in which case we are often asked about the horror & supernatural fiction of A. M. Burrage/ 'Ex-Private X', H. Russell Wakefield, L. P. Hartley and Sir Charles Birkin.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty. - Christine Campbell Thomson
Thanks! Yes, we wrote to the copyright holder for Charles Birkin a couple weeks ago but have not yet heard back. Some of the others we tried for included Simon Raven's Doctors Wear Scarlet and the works of Dennis Wheatley, but those were already spoken for.
At the moment, we're considering a volume of Gerald Kersh's stuff, and we've written to Frank Baker's estate about The Birds (1936) and Stephen Gilbert's estate about Ratman's Notebooks (1968). We're trying to trace the copyright holders for Peter van Greenaway, L. P. Davies, and Russell Thorndike.
So we would certainly appreciate any recommendations along similar lines. Thanks!
I've been in touch with the estate for a year now. Things were put on hold due to wife giving birth earlier on this year and stuff that the Birkin's had going on, but now back on track. Good to see that I'm not the only one wanting to keep his works in print.
Thanks for letting me know about Birkin; I had wondered. Hopefully my letter was even directed to the correct person; I got a woman's name from Otto Penzler, who had included one of Birkin's stories in a recent zombie anthology.
I'd like to see the whole of the Creeps series reprinted with colour reproductions of the covers. Also related Philip Allan books like all of the Vivian Meik, Barrington Beverley & Gordon Casserly books, and the one-offs like Vampires Overhead, The Death Mask, Tales of the Grotesque, The Undying Monster etc etc. It would make a great series!
Novels I'd particularly like to see:
Frank Walford, Twisted Clay (1933, psychopathic lesbian Jill-the-Ripper novel) Dulcie Deamer, The Devil's Saint (1924, saucy witchcraft novel set in the Middle Ages) Werewolf novels are always good - I don't think Layland-Barratt, Lycanthia (1935) and Harper Williams, The Thing in the Woods (1924) have been reprinted.
Thanks, that's several votes for R.R. Ryan now. I'm trying to figure out who controls his literary estate and have emailed the organizer of the RR Ryan website to find out if he or she knows anything. I have not read his stuff, but the summaries sound too good to be true. Are there one or two you'd recommend newcomers to his fiction to begin with?