After a few weeks where I've hardly had any news I'm pleased to say that things are moving again on the book front. Above you'll see proofs for the Frank Bellamy's World War 1 and Frank Bellamy's Complete Swift Stories which will be coming out from Book Palace Books in November. I've been talking about these all year and--at last!--we're close to signing them off and getting the printing presses rolling.
Both are going to be limited editions: the World War 1 has a print run of 1,250 but the Complete Swift is going to be limited to 220 copies and a real collectors' item, bound in red leather. If all goes to plan (and if 2009 has taught be anything it is that plans can go awry!) copies of the World War 1 book will be signed by both myself (as editor) and Norman Boyd, who has written the introduction.
Next... I've signed on to do three more war books for Carlton that will be published in the spring of 2010, namely Wings of Death (Air Ace #2), No Surrender (War #4) and Hit the Dirt (Battle #3). These will be slimmer than the previous volumes but will be more wallet-friendly in these days of recession and credit crunch.
As usual I have until yesterday to get them turned around, so next week I'm taking a break from writing reviews. Yes, I'm still churning them out... over 90 so far and still quite a stack to do. If you want some idea of why I've been a bit slack updating the news on Bear Alley, here's a quick list of subjects I've had to tackle this week: psychiatry, appropriate technology, classic Greek history, the 9/11 terrorist attacks, 17th century political philosophy, a western, Freud, Jung, Nietzsche, the Holocaust, punk and the Angry Young Men. Throw in a cuddly toy and you'll begin to get some notion of why I've been struggling to get my head around anything else. Trying to condense books that tackle such huge subjects and review them in under 150 words and make sure that review number 90 doesn't read like a retread of reviews 89, 88, 87 or any of the others isn't nearly as easy as it sounds.
But another bit of good news is keeping me cheery. I've got a deal in place to do Eagles Over the Western Front in book form, so I'll begin work on that at the earliest possible moment I get. It will mean re-scanning the whole thing (the scans I've been using here are a rough-and-ready set we had produced for reference and aren't up to scratch as far as printing goes) so it won't be happening instantly but it's a step in the right direction as far as Bear Alley Books goes.
All in all, I have to say it's been a good week as far as news goes. Hope yours was as good.