After quite a while resting on my more or less laurels (past listings) it's time to get a move on and put up some more listings. My goal is five books every day from now on. This should be achievable, but not according to my past performance.

These books get listed in three places: on Amazon, Biblio, and Half. Books without ISBNs (older books) generally will not be listed on half. My prices might vary between these three places. Amazon and Half tell me competing prices, so I peg mine on them. Thus, if the lowest price for Deadly Percheron is $98 on Amazon, I might peg mine at $95. If it weren't my only copy maybe I'd be more reasonable. In fact, I think my Biblio listing is more reasonable.

Going forward (and possibly backward), links to titles of books will send you to the main Amazon listing. My listing will be somewhere amidst the other maybe 237 listings. This is where my photo of the book can be seen, which will probably be a better one than the one Amazon features. Half doesn't let me attach my own photo—at least I don't think it does. Photos are also at biblio. Lots of older listings still don't have photos. Nor updated prices.

I've been lousy at selling direct via email. Sorry about that, if you've tried me. Listing through the major portals keeps me honest—also prompt and reliable.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

11/11/06 SAT:
---Word from Henry Wessells:
Chris Drumm,
The latest from Temporary Culture is now available:

When They Came by Don Webb

Retail price $22.50.

One copy of the deluxe binding available, net $400 incl. postage.

Great review by John Clute appearing in the December Interzone (below).

I hope you'll order a few copies. If you do so now, I can supply copies
signed by the author at WFC.

Henry Wessells

from Scores, John Clute's review column, Interzone, December 2007
And here’s Don Webb. When They Came contains twenty-three stories,
which should not be read together. Some of them are better than the
Lovecraft PLC stuff they take off from, which does not necessarily save
them for posterity. Several of the others are genuinely brilliant. But
most of them are Attempted Rescue stories and, squashed between two
covers, seem sameish, a bit anvil chorusy.

The Attempted Rescues that fill the stories of Don Webb are the
fortysomethings that begin so many of them: men whose adult existences
have been laid down as structures to keep alive within; men whose adult
personalities are spoiled childhoods carried on by other means to no
certain end (except the one certain end), whose lives are bad art. Bad
art does indeed fill when they came: bad god art, bad human art, bad
artifacts, bad covens, bad juju. (The title of Robert Aickman’s 1966
volume of memoirs is Attempted Rescue: I’ve used the term often to
refer to adulthood as we know it: that is, adulthood as a failure to
rescue the Golden Age from self-murder: Attempted Rescue is what we do
to our own lives with our own hands.) The miracle of When They Came is
its exuberance, even in those stories so adherent to the implications
of the Attempted Rescue that you’d think there were no page available
for smiling, like for instance ‘The Agony Man’ (1995 Forbidden Acts),
whose protagonist admits, who through inaction has scummed his world
over, that he cannot deal with the darkness inside, so he sleeps lots.

In many of the stories assembled here, evil can be seen as a succumbing
of the Attempted-Rescue self to a kind of OCD surrender to the mantras
of temptation: sexual, mystical, empowering: all lies in the end. The
three ‘Yellow Flower’ stories – ‘The Yellow Flower’ (new here), ‘Pig’
(2001 Horror Garage) and ‘The Fourth Man’ (new here) – all circle
around the effects of a mysterious (or maybe non-existent) self-help
book, whose effect on those who encounter it is precisely obsession: a
draining out of the world so that nothing remains but the husk of
self-iterations, each repetition of one’s self being simpler, more
deadly to any Golden Age within.

This does get to be a tad oppressive, of course. And when Webb enters
Lovecraft territory, or Clark Ashton Smith country, he tends to snort
fustian a little too readily. But there are some stories – like ‘The
Flower Man’ (new here) or ‘The Collector’ (new here) and ‘When They
Came’ (new here) – which do the reverse of narrowing into one deadly
act of the self utterly thinned. ‘The Flower Man’ carries its female
protagonist, a healer with magic powers, is drained by her family and
others, until she escapes through extraordinary trials into a triune
dance with a male figure who is arousing in every possible sense. In
‘The Collector’, a failed artist, who teaches women how to do
landscapes in semi-rural Texas, falls in love with a woman who turns
out to be an utterly horrid monster: except that she is not a monster
but an enabler, a collector, an alien from another sphere who “will
travel less as time seems to go on, eventually become a statue. I can
only tell people what they need to hear. I don’t know it otherwise.”
And she burns “a little hole in his brain.” And she tells him enough
for him to paint three paintings that would be bought: that would be
treasured in the eyes of the world. And in ‘When They Came’, a story
good enough to justify purchase of the entire book, the world turns
into another story of the world. Griffins haunt the skies, the woman
the protagonist loves and has hunted obsessively is found fucking a
griffin until her cunt steams. Afterwards, the man and the woman
discover that it may be possible for her to share her Golden Age with
him. Tentatively, they see one another: darkly, but light begins to
shine, griffins scream, the world is different. As the story ends they
begin to attempt their rescue.

John Clute


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