Today I helped launch Prologue Books, a project I've been thinking about for the last two years. I've talked about it, drawn it on napkins, and dreamed what it would be like to put it all together. And now it's done. Kinda.
A quick summary of Prologue would be that we're trying to trace the genealogy of genre.
The driving question behind Prologue Books is – How have the books and authors of other generations influenced today’s new releases?
To help shed light, we’re converting out-of-print novels into ebooks, in an attempt to better trace the genealogical roots of crime, sci-fi, fantasy, romance, western, and young adult fiction.
Greg Shepard of Stark House Press has been instrumental in helping to curate the Prologue Crime collection. We are also deeply indebted to Ed Gorman whose knowledge of and appreciation for the history of the genre is unmatched.
Here is the press release from today:
F+W MEDIA ANNOUNCES THE LAUNCH OF PROLOGUE BOOKS
Hundreds of Out-of-Print Pulp Novels of 1940’s-1970’s Now Available as E-Books
New York, NY –March1, 2012 – F+W Media announced today the acquisition of more than 250 out-of-print novels, spanning 1940-1970, to be reissued as e-books under the imprint, Prologue Books. These hard-boiled crime novels, written by legends like Peter Rabe and William Campbell Gault, served as inspiration for contemporary crime fiction. Before, these old paperbacks could only be found at book fairs and used book stores, but now, they will be available to anyone with an e-reader.
“I envision Prologue Books not simply an e-book publisher for out-of-print titles, but as a living record of the crime, science fiction, and fantasy genres,” said Ben LeRoy, publisher of Tyrus Books who is spearheading the project. “There’s a great opportunity to shine the spotlight on authors who may have been significantly influential on the current state of publishing, but who have never really received their due for one reason or another. With the help of luminaries in the genres—authors, readers, reviewers—we are excited to find and share those stories.”
“I love and collect vintage paperbacks, so you’d think the concept of e-books would have no appeal for someone like me,” said pulp novelist, Christa Faust. “But the way I see it, having reading copies of these classic titles available in digital format is not only a great way to attract new readers, it also helps to preserve existing paper editions that are too fragile to be thumbed through. It’s old-school pulp for a new generation. A brilliant idea that’s long overdue.”