The “Fictioneers project” which has culminated in these two wonderful books has a long history but mainly I just wanted to celebrate a special group of men and women who made indelible marks on our collective and individual consciousness and whose works stand as milestones in the history of fiction in culture. It couldn’t be just my personal lesser known favorites, if it was going to be a history so there were obligatory entries like Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, Ursula LeGuin, Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry and so on.
I put Jack Kirby in and Roy Thomas thought Stan Lee should also be included . . .
. . . and, of course, Stephen King had to be there and so he was . . . along with literally hundreds of others. But I mostly wanted to spotlight people like John Stanley, Mo Gollub, Jay Matternes, Basil Gogos, Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, Basil Wolverton, Bill Watterson, Arthur Machen and others you may not know much about but you should. And after you’ve spent some time in these pages, you will.
We cover weird fiction, comic books, children’s books, cartoons (print and animated), movies, television, paleo art and more.
And the fine men and women who graciously lent their expertise in the form of special created-for-this-book essays are legion and legend. Just scan the list of contributors and you’ll see what I mean. Interesting connections were made; Ramsey Campbell wrote about Hans Christian Andersen, Stuart Gordon wrote on Ray Bradbury, Harlan Ellison on Frank Herbert, Maryelizabeth Hart on Octavia Butler, Roy Thomas on Robert E. Howard, Chris Ryall on Harlan Ellison, S.T. Joshi on Algernon Blackwood, Pete Atkins on Ramsey Campbell and many many many more.
I am so proud of what we have done together here but before I get too excited, I must make mention of the illustrious Ernest Farino who wrote on Ray Harryhausen (of course!) and also laid the book out and brought a wealth of design skills to the table. And of course Pete Crowther, the rascal who nourished and encouraged the whole project and is finally publishing it. There have been frustrating delays but as is often the case, the book is far better for them. I’m so glad to put it out now rather than a couple of years ago—it’s a better book now, plain and simple. I hope you get this book and I am confident that if you do, you will love it. And now back to our sponsor. Much love to one and all. From Pete Von Sholly Early 21st Century.
Oh, thank you so much, PeeVee.
Folks, I just can’t let it go without a few final words. This project—two jam-packed books in full illustrative colour thoughout, cartoons, movie stills yada yada yada—runs to amost 800 pages split into four- or six-page sections each of which concentrates on an individual or collective achievement. Believe me, reading REPEATEDLY though this crazy project is the most fun you’re gonna have for the whole of what’s left of this year and everything else that’s already lining up.
Putting a price on this project has been the true nightmare but we’ve figured it out. Each pair of books—Volume 1 and Volume 2—will cost £50 a piece plus postage but you can have both volumes for £90.