Tag Archives: mystery

Stumbling into print

Working on Garry Kilworth’s fabulous new novel, The Iron Wire (due later this month – watch this space), I was struck by how many excellent books I’ve worked on at infinity plus, and in particular, how many of them now have print editions. I thought I’d write a blog post to highlight some of them, and explain how we kind of sidestepped into print editions, having initially set out as an ebook-only publisher.

But then, I thought… it’s not fair to pick out individual titles to highlight like this, particularly when it’s the range of titles that had struck me. So instead, here’s the complete listing of print titles.

Note: while I hope that you’ll enjoy these books wherever you buy them (and I’m delighted that independent bookstores are stocking our books), authors get the most financial benefit if you buy from Createspace.

infinity plus: titles by format: print

Ordered by release date

See also: books from our infinite press imprint

An old era is drawing to a close, a new era about to begin, and the great mage Donn has passed on his Talents to a new generation. When a rogue church leader threatens to set loose wild powers, Donn’s children must oppose him but, also, they must contend with Donn himself: the old mage has not finished with his children yet. A fantasy epic of revolution, jealousy and earth-shattering magic. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwordsWeightless Books
Print (ISBN: 1500976466): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
Rites of PassageRites of Passage by Eric Brown
Rites of Passage gathers four long stories from a British Science-Fiction Award-winning author. Stories of a Victorian London facing the threat of alien invasion, a strange world where the sun is fixed eternally overhead, the struggle to survive in a near-future post-apocalypse, and a far-future Earth where giant crabs and a swollen sun threaten humanity’s very existence. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwords
Print (ISBN: 1499500319): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
Hairy LondonHairy London by Stephen Palmer
What is love? One evening at the Suicide Club three gentlemen discuss this age-old problem, and thus a wager is made. Dissolute fop Sheremy Pantomile, veteran philosopher Kornukope Wetherbee and down-on-his-luck Velvene Orchardtide all bet their fortunes on finding the answer amidst the dark alleys of a phantasmagorical Edwardian London. But then, overnight, London Town is covered in hair… (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwords
Print (ISBN: 1495995224): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
Nocturnes and Other NocturnesNocturnes and Other Nocturnes by Claude Lalumière
Nocturnes and Other Nocturnes: Twenty-five dark stories that span a daring breadth of genres. In these noir tales that unfold at the edge of realism, mythic nocturnes from impossible pasts, and disquietingly intimate stories of speculative fiction, Claude Lalumière explores our collective and intertwined obsessions with sex and death. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwords
Print (ISBN: 1494461978): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
Strange MammalsStrange Mammals by Jason Erik Lundberg
Strange superheroes and the magic of the quotidian; stories of piercing darkness and quirky, surreal humor; writing from the heart and soul; phantasmagorical journeys into what it means to be human. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwords
Print (ISBN: 1492363685): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
The Fabulous BeastThe Fabulous Beast by Garry Kilworth
A set of beautifully crafted tales of the imagination from “the best short story writer in any genre” (New Scientist). (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwordsRobot Trading CompanySpacewitch
Print (ISBN: 1490339604): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
Falling OverFalling Over by James Everington
Sometimes when you fall over you don’t get up again. And sometimes, you get up to find everything has changed. Ten stories of unease, fear and the weird from James Everington. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwordsRobot Trading CompanySpacewitch
Print (ISBN: 1490339132): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
SalvageSalvage by Eric Brown
The Salvageman Ed series of linked stories – four of which appear here for the first time – combine action, humour and pathos, from the master of character-based adventure science fiction. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwordsRobot Trading CompanySpacewitch
Print (ISBN: 1490339051): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
Parallax ViewParallax View by Keith Brooke and Eric Brown
Stories that examine the interface between human and alien – a parallax view from two of Britain’s top science fiction writers, both shortlisted for the 2013 Philip K Dick Award. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboApple
Print (ISBN: 1481009052): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
On my way to Samarkand: memoirs of a travelling writerOn my way to Samarkand: memoirs of a travelling writer by Garry Kilworth (writing as Garry Douglas Kilworth)
Garry Kilworth’s books include SF and fantasy, historical novels, literary novels, story collections, children’s books and film novelisations. This autobiography covers family history, travels and his experiences in publishing. ‘A master of his trade’ (Punch) (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwordsRobot Trading Company
Print (ISBN: 1480208299): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
Red Dot IrrealRed Dot Irreal by Jason Erik Lundberg
Once you enter the surreal worlds of Lundberg’s equatorial fantastika, a part of you will never leave. “A fine meal for the mind awaits you in Lundberg’s collection” (Jonathan Carroll) (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwordsRobot Trading Company
Print (ISBN: 1492364894): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
The Alchemy of HappinessThe Alchemy of Happiness by Jason Erik Lundberg
A triptych of stories rooted in Asian myth and legend, literary fantasy at its very best from the author of Red Dot Irreal, plus a hybrid essay on the transformative power of speculative fiction. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwordsRobot Trading Company
Print (ISBN: 1492379212): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
GenetopiaGenetopia by Keith Brooke
The wilds: a world where genes mutate and migrate between species through plague and fever, but that’s where Flint must go… “A minor masterpiece that should usher Brooke at last into the recognized front ranks of SF writers” (Locus) (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwordsRobot Trading Company
Print (ISBN: 1480192406): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
What happens when every wish you make is immediately granted by God? If you could use the power of music to travel through time? If your body was the battleground for a strange, alien invasion? In turns humorous, lyrical, profound – but always entertaining – these are the haunting tales of an author at the height of his power. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleSmashwordsRobot Trading Company
Print (ISBN: 1480298131): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
One of UsOne of Us by Iain Rowan
Anna fled her own country when the police murdered her brother and her father, but now, in a world of people trafficking, prostitution and murder, she must decide how much she is prepared to give up to be one of us? Shortlisted for the UK Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger award. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleAppleSmashwordsRobot Trading Company
Print (ISBN: 1470075768): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
GhostwritingGhostwriting by Eric Brown
Over the course of a career spanning twenty five years, Eric Brown has written just a handful of horror and ghost stories – and all of them are collected here. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboSmashwordsRobot Trading Company
Print (ISBN: 147010086X): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
From cyberpunk visions of post-human futures to traditional tales of alien encounter and time travel, ten science fiction stories from the two times winner of the BSFA short story award. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleKoboAppleSmashwordsRobot Trading Company
Print (ISBN: 1479242047): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
Nowhere To GoNowhere To Go by Iain Rowan
Eleven stories of murder, obsession, fear and – sometimes – redemption, from a writer shortlisted for the UK Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger award. (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleAppleSmashwordsRobot Trading Company
Print (ISBN: 1475127863): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers
One More UnfortunateOne More Unfortunate by Kaitlin Queen
Relentlessly drawn back to a circle of old friends and enemies, Nick Redpath has all kinds of issues to deal with. But first he must prove that he didn’t murder his old flame, Geraldine Wyse… (…more)
Ebook: Amazon USAmazon UKBarnes and NobleSmashwordsRobot Trading Company
Print (ISBN: 1470068273): Amazon USAmazon UKCreateSpace – and other booksellers

Murder by the Book by Eric Brown: a review

Murder by the Book by Eric Brown

I was lucky enough to be given a free copy of this lovely hardback, and still it cost me twenty quid. That Eric Brown can be a bastard like that.

Murder by the Book, a debut crime novel from a writer who has been publishing book-length fiction for nearly 25 years, winner and shortlistee of many awards, his books and short stories have mainly stuck to his science-fiction roots, straying occasionally into fantasy and horror (of the gentle, psychological variety), and a wide variety of fiction for teenagers and younger.

Murder by the Book is the first Langham and Dupre mystery. Don Langham is a middlingly successful 1950s crime novelist, Maria Dupre is the assistant to Langham’s delightfully over the top literary agent Charles Elder. The two are drawn together when Elder becomes the subject of a blackmail plot, with an extortionist demanding payment for some dodgy photos of Elder’s dalliance with a young man at a local swimming pool.

Before long blackmail turns to something far more sinister as it becomes clear that a recent flurry of deaths among London’s crime-writing fraternity are not the accidents they had first appeared. Murder by the Book is a cracking crime novel, with satisfying twists and turns along the way, but what is most striking – and engaging – about the book is the affectionate portrayal of 1950s London and the crime-writing community of the time. Much like Midsomer Murders, Brown has turned in a highly enjoyable crime romp that never takes itself too seriously, but always with a straight face; and also much like Midsomer Murders victims are soon dropping like flies.

Occasionally rushed, where a little more delay might have heightened the tension, Murder by the Book is the most fun I’ve had within the pages of a book in a long time, and I’m eagerly looking forward to the next in the series.

That twenty quid? About a third of the way into reading the book I lost my copy, and I was enjoying it so much I had to buy a replacement. It’s very frustrating that such a good book is priced so highly (in both its hardback and ebook editions), but I still blame Eric for writing such a good book that I just had to cough up at Amazon. That Eric Brown: he’s wasted on science fiction.

Murder by the Book is published by Severn House (the price of the hardback has since dropped to £14.99) and is available at Amazon, etc.


Ebook pricing, again; or “Fifteen quid for an ebook?”

So here’s the situation…

I’m partway through Eric Brown’s crime novel Murder by the Book, and loving it. I’ve been encouraging Eric to write crime for years and now he has and it’s a great read, full of fantastic characters and lovely 1950s London period detail.

And then, yesterday, when I was about to return to it… where in hell was that book? We turned the house upside down, but couldn’t find it. It literally is a mystery. I have every confidence that it will turn up again at some point: accidentally picked up with someone else’s books, knocked under the sofa, whatever.

But I want to know what happens next!

Simple, I thought: I popped over to Amazon to get a copy for my Kindle, happy to spend a few quid just so I could keep reading without break.

Two problems with that, though:

  1. Although the hardback came out in March, the ebook won’t be out until July. What reason is there for this? There can’t be a logistical explanation: the ebook hardly needs physically shipping to distributors, and it’s not exactly labour-intensive to produce; I’m sure the file is just sitting there, gathering virtual dust while it awaits publication. I can’t see any way they would gain sales by the delay; if anything they’d lose them, as people like me go looking for the book, find it’s unavailable, and then move on to other things.
  2. It’s priced at £14.90. Come again? Fifteen quid for an ebook? This is where I’m completely baffled by the publishers’ policy. Who do they think is going to buy an ebook at that price? Is there some kind of logic that says “While it looks good to have an ebook version available, we don’t want people to actually buy this format”…?

I get the reasoning for pricing the hardback at £19.99. Presumably the vast majority of sales at this price are to the library market, and the higher price makes sense given that each copy of the book will get multiple readers. But £15 for an ebook at Amazon? I’d love to know which part of the market publishers Severn House are targeting with this strategy.

The only possible explanation I can think of is that they think potential buyers will be horrified at the price and opt to buy the slightly more expensive hardback instead. But that makes no sense: the profit margin on the hardback is so much lower, because of production and distribution costs. They could price the ebook for a fiver and make just about as much as they make from the hardback, and they’d actually, erm, sell copies.

An Eric Brown crime ebook at £5 would sell. If anyone could explain to me how even a novel as good as this is will sell ebooks at £15 I’d love to be enlightened.


New: In Springdale Town by Robert Freeman Wexler

In Springdale Town by Robert Freeman WexlerReconciliation, longing, and ambiguity combine in one astounding locale: Springdale. Is it a mundane New England town on a picturesque river, or the nexus of the paradoxical?

Springdale appears to be a quiet village, unblemished by shopping mall or mega-store. The town sits in a fertile valley, surrounded by countryside rich in natural wonder. Summers, tourists attend the area’s many arts and music festivals, and hikers crowd the trails. In the fall, reds and yellows of turning leaves decorate the landscape, and in winter, mountain resorts fill with avid skiers.

But some say Springdale exists only on the contoured highways of our collective imagination. Others point to references dating back to Colonial Boston, to multiple versions of a ballad telling a story of remorse and disgrace.

Here are three facts:
1. Maps cannot be trusted;
2. All History is awash with fraud and hoax;
3. Springdale is an absence of identity.

For two people, a lawyer named Patrick Travis and a television actor named Richard Shelling, Springdale is home and anti-home, a place of comfort and a distortion of everyday life. They are strangers to each other, yet connected. Their lives will intersect with a force that shatters both.

This edition includes a specially written afterword by the author.

In Springdale Town by Robert Freeman Wexler is available in ebook format from:

Springdale is told in a deceptively muted style and cunningly crafted so that the story appears to assemble itself around the reader like a trap he or she has sprung, yet remains innocent-looking until the end, when a spring-loaded hammer smashes down.” —Lucius Shepard, from the introduction to the original print edition

“For some writers, prose is a means with which to construct an analogue of reality. For Robert Freeman Wexler, fiction is a means with which to de-construct reality. Yet his stories have such a strong sense of linguistic integrity, it’s hard to believe that he isn’t reporting his experiences from a parallel universe.” —Rick Kleffel, from an interview at fantasticmetropolis.com.

“…In a list comprising some of the biggest names in contemporary genre fiction the appearance of a novella by a virtually unknown author causes a certain interest. In Springdale Town represents its author’s first book publication (after only a handful of short stories) and yet it fits into the PS Publishing list with such subtle skill that its presence on the shelf feels as if an invisible gap in the collection has been suddenly filled.”—Lavie Tidhar, Dusksite

“…no need for Lovecraftian monsters or rampaging serial killers to transform Springdale into a seriously creepy place. An old ballad suggests that one death haunts this village, but Wexler deviously, almost casually, creates a sense of wrongness that goes well beyond some past saga of jealousy and murder. Don’t read this one right before bedtime–or your next road trip.”—Faren Miller, Locus Magazine, October 2003

“The basic idea is familiar, almost banal, but Wexler’s treatment is witty, his writing is excellent, his characters are really well captured—I was very impressed with the story.”—Rich Horton, Locus Magazine, November 2003

“…Other writers, wiry and wry, as lithe as dragonflies, may seem more vulnerable, but their grace, their maneuverability, becomes its own kind of tensile strength. They can travel farther, faster, and in disguise.”—Jeff VanderMeer, Locus Online

“…lovely Americana set-piece turned on its ear.”—Jay Lake, Tangent Online

“…An emotionally scathing yet tender insight into the frailty, ignorance, and misplaced motivations of that most ridiculous of animals, the human being.”—William P. Simmons, Infinity Plus

“…Robert Freeman Wexler dives into the heart of Americana in his chilling and tender novella.”—Rick Kleffel Agony Column


Tom Piccirilli – let’s do good by the man, and read some fine books too!

Tom Piccirilli: award-winning author of mystery, horror and, not to put too fine a point on it, bloody good fiction whatever the category.

Tom Piccirilli: lovely guy, always there to support his fellow authors, always keen to be in touch with his readers.

Tom Piccirilli: went into hospital last week with headaches, stayed there with a brain tumour the size of a tennis ball, having an operation on Monday (1 Oct), followed by radio- and chemotherapy.

Fuck. 

As others have said, there are bound to be fundraisers for so respected and well-liked a writer, but in the meantime, let’s buy his books – it all adds up. Also, much as it’d be cool to see his works from big commercial publishers doing well, income from those tends to get set against advance payments and takes a long time to ever reach the author; if we buy his indie books, there’s a greater likelihood that the money from sales will reach him sooner (and he’d probably get a bigger cut, too).

So… Tom Piccirilli: buy his books, buy his indie books, and let’s all send positive vibes.


The Long and Winding Road – a guest post by Colin Murray

No Hearts, No Roses by Colin MurrayThere are many roads to becoming a published author. This was mine.

A few years ago, I found myself with some time on my hands. This happens quite often when you’re freelance: it seems that it’s either feast or famine. You complain about both but you much prefer feast. On this occasion, I was feeling just a little bruised as a new number-crunching, pie-chart-eating CEO decided that the publishing company where I had been successfully running an imprint for about eight years could no longer afford me and had ended what had been a mutually beneficial arrangement. (They had a vastly experienced editor at a cut-rate and I had some element of stability in my income. For what it’s worth, I had the last laugh: the bookseller who replaced me lasted just five months. I’d told the CEO that it would be six, but I didn’t mind being wrong.) So, while I was looking for replacement work (which came in surprisingly quickly), I, for no good reason, sat down and started to write a novel.

Of course, I should have known better.

I’d worked in publishing for long enough to know that it was rarely the path to fame and fortune, and that, far more often, it ended in tears and recrimination. But I had an idea and time on my hands and I’d also heard that a major publishing house was actively looking for new crime writers.

The writing went surprisingly well but, by the time I’d written the first hundred pages, I had a living to make and work to do and so I sent that chunk of the book off to one of the editors at the publisher and got on with my life, while continuing to write whenever I could.

Some six months passed before I received a very pleasant letter from an assistant editor, apologizing for taking so long and asking if there was any more to be seen as she thought the novel was pretty good and was planning to talk to her boss about it. Which sounded promising. As I had, in fact, more or less finished the book. I duly sent it off.

At that stage, having set things in motion, I thought it might not be a bad idea to contact an agent. I made a tentative enquiry and received a very positive response so I told him of the publisher’s interest and hoped that things might happen.

I guess I should have been even more wary than I was because in the publishing world, as in most areas of human activity, little is simple and straightforward. When my often elusive agent peered through the cloud cover on Olympus long enough to say, ‘Nothing would please me more than selling this for a hundred thousand pounds but that’s not going to happen,’ I understood him to be making a realistic judgement on the book’s worth. But I was wrong. What I didn’t hear was the suppressed clause, ‘and I don’t bother with anything that sells for less than that.’ My fault, of course, for not being cynical enough.

I knuckled down to some revisions and, after a while, my agent did arrange a meeting with an editor from the publishing house I had sent the novel to. He told me that my book was one of the most accomplished first novels he’d come across and I left the meeting with a warm glow, expecting my agent to hammer out a deal.

However, it turned out that the meeting was the one and only thing he did for me.

I rewrote again, sent the new draft off to him and the editor and then waited. And waited.  After five months of hearing nothing, I tried to contact the great man on the phone. I failed. I tried again. And failed again. In fact, I kept on trying for a month. And kept on failing. Eventually, I decided that maybe I wasn’t the client for him and that, ipso facto, made him not the agent for me. I wrote accordingly and, eventually, I received a gracious reply, admitting that he had not served me well.

Meanwhile, times had changed and the publishing house that had been interested in new crime novels was no longer looking for them.

However, this where the long story becomes a short one. I decided to represent myself and looked at lists I liked and sent the book off to Constable & Robinson. I received a very favourable reaction in weeks, an offer soon after and then a contract. Of course, I didn’t get a hundred thousand pounds but I was consulted on the cover and the blurb, the copy-editing was superb, everyone was enthusiastic and the rights people even placed the book with an American publisher.

And, no matter, how jaded and cynical one pretends to be, there is nothing like holding a copy of your first book.

What had I learned, apart from that? Not a lot that I didn’t know already. Agents and publishers can be very dilatory and can’t always be relied on, but there are some good guys out there.

Oh, and I now know that first-time novelists have long memories and nurture and cherish grudges. There’s one agent who won’t be getting any referrals from me, and British crime reviewers (who, for the most part, simply ignored the book) probably shouldn’t look to me for any favours for a decade or two.

But there are things that make it all worthwhile: a reviewer describing my book as ‘riveting and suspenseful’ and then exclaiming ‘What a terrific first novel!’; another saying that it was ‘brilliant’; and another talking about its ‘pounding suspense’. The fame and fortune are probably never going to happen, but I’d made a little money, I was a member of the Crime Writers’ Association, some people had read my novel and they hadn’t been disappointed. What more could I realistically have hoped for?

Summer Song by Colin MurrayColin Murray’s first novel, After a Dead Dog, a contemporary crime novel set in rural Scotland, was published in 2007. No Hearts, No Roses (‘quirky, engaging, Chandleresque’ Booklist), appeared in 2011, and September Song in 2012. Both are set in London in 1955 and feature the same main character.

September Song:

No Hearts, No Roses:

After a Dead Dog:


Iain Rowan’s Nowhere to Go shortlisted for a Spinetingler award

Great to see Iain Rowan’s rather good collection of crime and suspense fiction, Nowhere to Go, shortlisted for Best Short Story Collection over at Spinetingler magazine.

Nowhere to Go by Iain RowanIt’s very easy for good books to get lost in all the noise of e-publishing, and it’s common – and, to be fair, quite reasonable, based on the statistics – for reviewers and award-givers to assume the worst and overlook ebooks. It’s very much to the Spinetingler team’s credit that they considered and shortlisted Iain’s book, and yet another significant achievement in the career of a writer who deserves far more attention (it sounds silly to say that of a writer who has won a Derringer award for a story included in Nowhere to Go, and been shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger for his novel One of Us, but he should certainly be getting commercial attention to match the critical success).

To coincide with publication of One of Us in March 2012 we’ve given Nowhere to Go a new cover; you’ll also notice that it’s a wraparound cover – the collection will be getting a much-deserved first print edition very soon, which we’re very excited about.

On a personal note, it’s been a delight to work with Iain. Editing and producing Nowhere to Go was that rare experience where I found myself prolonging a piece of work because I was enjoying the fiction so much; similarly, when working on One of Us I found exactly the same thing happening.

Here’s hoping that what we’ve done at infinity plus is just one step in the process of Iain becoming a hugely successful and award-winning (again) writer!

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