New Releases (June 2017)

 Arrival in the Stars 

by Jean Rameau - adapted  by Brian Stableford - cover by Jean-Félix Lyon. READ AN EXCERPT - 256 p. - US$ 20.95

Arrival in the Stars is a product of the aftermath of the Great War, and it deals directly with one of the widespread psychological effects of the war: a resurgence of interest in spiritualism. It is an extended conte philosophique seriously addressing the question of life after death as it was conceived at the time by scientifically-enthused psychic researchers, and as it bears upon human psychology under stress. Also included in this volume are eleven stories from Rameau’s collection Fantasmagories, which represent one of the more exaggerated developments of the conte cruel genre. These tales are extreme both stylistically and thematically, combining the cynicism and irony definitive of the subgenre with grotesque black comedy.

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 The Naiads * The Beauty and the Beast

by Mme Barbot de Villeneuve - adapted by Brian Stableford - cover by Nathalie Lial. READ AN EXCERPT - 392 p. - US$ 29.95

The Beauty and the Beast by Madame Barbot de Villeneuve was first published in 1740 and later abridged and rewritten by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in a better-known version in 1743. The main interests of Mme de Villeneuve’s story are two sections, one in which the Beast explains how he came to be transformed and why it was forced to act as he did in regard to the Beauty; and the other in which the fay who contrived his liberation from his curse explains how and for what motives an evil rival placed her in that elaborate necessity. This original account of the organization and politics of the world of Faerie is of considerable interest, as well as completing the explanatory schema of the enigmatic fundamental tale. The Naiads, published 100 years after Mme de Villeneuve’s death, is one of the earliest fantasy novels. It is set in a distant past in a fictitious realm with a religion based on elemental spirits. While it uses the stock motifs of the fairy tale, featuring a Prince Perfect who falls in love with a shepherdess, unaware that she is really a Princess, as well as a wicked stepmother and an ugly sister bent on persecuting the beleaguered heroine, it also looks behind those motifs and provide them with elaborate explanatory schemas. 

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 The Death of fantômas

by Pierre Souvestre & Marcel Allain - adapted by Sheryl Curtis - cover by Mike Shoyket. READ AN EXCERPT - 476 p. - US$ 35.95

From the deadly streets of St. Petersburg to the Palaces of India, from the back alleys of Paris to the deck of the Titanic, this prodigious saga tells the story of the death of Fantômas, and of his arch-nemesis, Detective Juve. Defying the Tsar’s secret police, Russian anarchists, Thuggee from India and Parasian Apaches, Juve, ably assisted by the intrepid journalist Jerôme Fandor, his beloved fiancée, Hélène, the alleged daughter of Fantômas, crisscross the world to finally meet their fate aboard a doomed ship in the North Atlantic. The Death of Fantômas collects the final two volumes of the saga of the Lord of Terror, initially released in 1913 and never translated before. The book also includes an introduction, a timeline and a bibliography by Jean-Marc Lofficier.

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