Save the Adventure! Quick!
October 30, 2013
Only 10 days left, before it’s too late!
Because they like what I’ve done with HiLoBooks’s Radium Age Science Fiction Series (paperback reissues of forgotten sci-fi novels from 1904–33), the folks at Singularity & Co. have asked me to be Save the Adventure’s founding editor.
The goal of Save the Adventure is to rescue out-of-print adventure stories from copyright limbo. Each month (assuming we raise sufficient funding), I’ll choose an out-of-print but amazing adventure novel — at which point Singularity & Co. will track down the rights-holder, clear the electronic publishing rights, scan and proof the text, and make the novel available as an e-book.
The campaign deadline is November 9th. Rewards ship in December — a subscription to the Save the Adventure book club will make a perfect holiday gift.
By “adventure,” I’m talking about this sort of thing: H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, Anthony Hope’s The Prisoner of Zenda, John Buchan’s The Thirty-Nine Steps, P.C. Wren’s Beau Geste, James Hilton’s Lost Horizon, Geoffrey Household’s Rogue Male, Helen MacInnes’s Assignment in Brittany, Lionel Davidson’s The Rose of Tibet, and Trevanian’s The Eiger Sanction. PS: I’m not saying these books would be reissued by Save the Adventure; I’m just listing some favorites.
Note that — except for a handful of exceptions — we won’t be reissuing works that are in the public domain. The goal is to rescue books that have never before been made available in digital form. And when we do reissue public domain works, our emphasis will be on obscure, forgotten titles. And we’ll clean them up — carefully proofing the book’s digital version against the original.
I’m thrilled by this prospect. In preparation, at my website HiLobrow this month, I’ve made a couple of lists-in-progress: (a) the greatest adventure novels of the 19th and 20th Centuries (e.g., Best Thirties Adventure and Best Sixties Adventure); and (b) prime examples of the Adventure genre’s 20 enduring memes and themes — including everything from DIY to cozy catastrophe, to secret identities and reluctant badasses, to conspiracy theories and atavistic epics.
I’ve got a huge stack of out-of-print adventure novels, which I’ve been collecting for 30 years; many of them I inherited from my grandfather, who in the 1940s and ’50s adored pulp fiction. I want to share this stuff with the world. So please help us raise enough money to start this club. Singularity & Co. has raised just over $5,000.00 of the $12,000.00 required to make this book club happen — for covering costs associated with clearing electronic publishing rights, covering costs for legal and research work, buying adventure novels and scanning them, and so forth.
Singularity & Co. is offering a bunch of rewards to Kickstarter backers, at various levels, including: vintage print adventure novels mailed to you, a vintage adventure cover art poster and t-shirt, a subscription to their Save the Sci Fi book club, and more. But the most important reward of all is, of course: a year-long (12-book) subscription to the Save the Adventure book club.
Adventure fans, please support this cause. Contribute to the Save the Adventure Kickstarter campaign, and spread the word about this project far and wide!