Monday, 2 December 2013

Change in Heck plans: Nice Guys to return

Two big items of news on the Heck front this week. First of all, check out the picture on the left. This is the cover the first Heck novel, STALKERS, will be released under in Germany, having been translated by Johannes Sabinski.

Its German title is MADCHENJAGER, and it will be published by PIPER VERLAG on April 14, next year, a date I now can't wait for. (Watch this space for news on other foreign language releases. STALKERS has also sold to Poland, Hungary and Turkey. More info on those as soon as I get it).

Now for the second item of news, and this one really is a MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT with regard to the Heck novels here in the UK. The Heck title scheduled to be published third in the series over here was HUNTED. Originally this was slated for launch in February next year. However, those who follow the link will notice, and possibly be confused to see, that the publication date for HUNTED has now been delayed until 2015.

First of all, if you've already pre-ordered this book, don't fret. All pre-orders will still be fulfilled - but in 2015, not next year as was originally planned. If you think that's a long time to wait for the next in the series, don't worry on that score either. Two more Heck novels will still be published next year. The first of these, THE KILLING CLUB will be released next May.

The reason for this is simple. THE KILLING CLUB, originally scheduled to be fifth in the series, features round two between Heck and the Nice Guys. There was such demand for this among readers of the first two novels that a decision was recently reached on the top floor at HarperCollins to fast-track the next Nice Guys installment to the front of the queue.

So there you are. There is nothing more sinister in it than that. But just for clarity:

HUNTED will still be published, but in May 2015, and all pre-orders will be honoured then. In the meantime, the next book in the series, THE KILLING CLUB - in which the mass kidnappers/rapists/murderers known as the Nice Guys return to torment Mark Heckenburg all over again - will be published in its place, in May 2014.


On a much sadder note now, I'd like to pay my respects to the very fine writer and editor, JOEL LANE, who died last week at the tragically young age of 50.

Joel was a personal friend of mine, but also a valued colleague, and without doubt one of the finest authors of his generation. He specialised in telling bleakly poetic urban horror stories, yet his fiction was most noteworthy for its warm heart and social conscience. Only this year he won the World Fantasy Award for his incredible collection of tales, WHERE FURNACES BURN. Joel taught me much about the business of writing. As an editor, he chose several of my earlier stories for inclusion in his anthologies, while as an editor myself, I had the honour to feature Joel's masterful chiller, The Silent Dance, in my 2012 anthology, TERROR TALES OF THE COTSWOLDS.

Joel's untimely death has shocked an awful lot of people and torn a huge hole in Britain's dark fiction community, which, if I'm honest, may never be repaired. Though I don't think he'd want us to view it that way.

Thanks for all your help and friendship over the years, Joel, and for your own wonderful, disturbing and yet ultimately uplifting contributions to the genre. Thankfully they are many, so we'll always have those to remember you by. But we will miss you, mate ... in a big, big way. 

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