What's New Ninth Year Archive

September 10th:
For the first time since January we're a day late with the monthly update. No excuses other than it being Labor Day weekend and then, holy cow, it's the 9th, how did that happen? Anyway...last month's big news was that the discount on all items in the estate sale was going from 10% to 15%. Would you believe it is now 20%? And just like last month, the volume discounts still apply, so you could easily save anywhere from 30% to 40% off your order. As you can tell we are trying to move these books. We're also going to be putting them on ebay, so act fast before those books you've been wanting disappear.

Meteor House, publisher of, THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER 1: Protean Dimensions, has started posting online the First 200 Words from stories and essays in the book. Excerpts posted so far are, "Newly Born, Newly Dead" and "Comment on 'Sail On! Sail On!'" both by Farmer, and "The Pollinators" by Rhys Hughes. There should be a new one every week so keep checking back. Or better yet, Meteor House has a Facebook page. If you are on Facebook, go "like" them and you will be notified every time their website is updated, with new excerpts and other news.

Our good friends over at Black Coat Press (publishers of the TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN series, and CROSSOVERS: A SECRET CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD) have put together a seven volume collection of The Scientific Romances of J.-H. Rosny Aîné. Two of these volumes are of particular interest to Farmer fans. The Mysterious Force contains the novel HARETON IRONCASTLE'S AMAZING ADVENTURE, and it is fun to compare and contrast this straight translation with Farmer's translation and "retelling," of the same novel, published as IRONCASTLE. Also, the concluding volume of the series, HELGVOR OF THE BLUE RIVER contains a long afterword by Paul Wessels & Jean-Marc Lofficier which talks quite a bit about Farmer.

Wold Newton scholar and Farmerphile contributor Rick Lai has a new book out: THE REVISED COMPLETE CHRONOLOGY OF BRONZE. We could tell you just how impressive this book is, but Win Scott Eckert has already done it for us. Yup, this book is on our Christmas list.

Entries for the previous two items have been added to the bottom of the articles about page. Other additions to the site this month include entries on the books page for the new Tor editions of THE DARK DESIGN and THE MAGIC LABYRINTH and a link to online reviews of THE CACHE FROM OUTER SPACE and THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE.

First reported on the International Bibliography, here is an item we're sure Philip José Farmer would have found very interesting and useful (and not just because he is in it): Ed's Checklist. This is the ultimate checklist of all the editions and printings worldwide of the works by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Printings from over thirty nations in Newspapers, Magazines, Fanzines and Books. Listed also are Pastiches, Art Books and Reference Books. Compiled by Lee J. Barrie, this volume is nearly 600 pages! There are only two actually printed copies of the book. One copy will be going to the Edgar Rice Burroughs Memorial Collection at the University of Louisville. The second copy was auctioned off at the Annual DUM-DUM, August 21, 2010 in Chicago, with the proceeds going to support the Memorial Collection. Ed´s Checklist is not for sale as a book, but you can buy a pdf copy of the checklist, which includes many cover scans, on CD-Rom for $30 plus shipping. Order your copy from Lee J. Barrie at leejb10003(at)comcast.net.

One final note, Win Scott Eckert alerted us to this very interesting article about the Wold Newton Meteorite. As much as we are aware of the importance its radioactivity had on many significant historical personages, it is often forgotten that:

What is more remarkable about the so-called Wold Meteorite, is that landing where it did it was seen not by one, but several independent observers. Subsequently, and for this very reason, it became the most detailed recording of such an event. A singular phenomenon of this nature was of course bound to draw a great deal of attention from academic circles.

One does wonder though, why none of the fourteen carriage passengers traveling past when it fell came forward as eye witnesses. Perhaps they had reasons for keeping their presence there a secret...

The hit counter as of September 10th says 275,050 which is 1,939 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on August 9th.

August 9th:
Last month's big news about the estate sale just got even BIGGER. Everything is now 10% 15% off the listed price. This 10% 15% discount is in addition to the volume discounts already listed; and your previous purchases count towards your current volume discount. For example, if you ordered five books in the past, and you order three more now, that brings your total to eight books which gives you a 15% discount on your current order. But, you also get the new 10% 15% discount, so you get 30% total off of your order! Or if this is your first purchase, order three to six books and you will save 25%, seven to ten and you will save 30%, eleven or more books will save you 35% off your order. While a good number of books were snatched up last month, we're expecting a feeding frenzy with this deal.

We have a few things to mention about FarmerCon V. The first is that the August issue of Locus talks a little about it and even has a couple of pictures. The second is that the Book Cave Podcast 85 is a two hour interview of Win Scott Eckert, Christopher Paul Carey, Paul Spiteri and Michael Croteau. Much of it is about FarmerCon V, but all of it is off interest to Farmer fans. The final bit of news is that we have reduced price of the "FarmerCon Package." This is a copy of THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER 1: Protean Dimensions, signed by contributors Win Scott Eckert, Christopher Paul Carey, Paul Spiteri and Michael Croteau, along with a FarmerCon V button and program (which contains a never before published tribute to Roger Zelazny by Philip José Farmer). All of this is available for only $30 (WORLDS OF PJF costs $20 by itself) plus shipping. Contact mike @ pjfarmer.com for details.

Subterranean Press now has the artwork for UP THE BRIGHT RIVER online, and it's another beautiful cover by Bob Eggleton. We've long maintained that while Phil is best known for the Riverworld and World of Tiers series, and the Wold Newton Universe, much of his best work are his short stories. We'll remind you again what Gary K. Wolfe says in the introduction to this new collection: Farmer always mean to tell a good tale, but he nearly always meant to provoke as well, and readers who pause to consider the ideas implicit in the stories here, and the assumptions Farmer repeatedly questions, will quickly understand what that phrase “daring science fiction writer” really means.

While you're at Subterranean Press' webpage for UP THE BRIGHT RIVER looking at the cover art, page down and look at the other Farmer books they have available. If you follow the links of the books that are not sold out, you will see that THE OTHER IN THE MIRROR is sold out except for the lettered edition, THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE is sold out except for the trade edition, and PEARLS FROM PEORIA is in a rare 2nd printing. If history is any guide, expect two or three of these to be completely sold out by the time UP THE BRIGHT RIVER comes out in December.

Other than the artwork for UP THE BRIGHT RIVER, which was added to the forthcoming books page, the only actual additions to the website this month come courtesy of Zacharias over at the International Bibliography. He sent us scans from the 1982 Dallas Fantasy Fair Program. Besides the cover he also sent along ads for GREATHEART SILVER, STATIONS OF THE NIGHTMARE and a reprint of FLIGHT TO OPAR. Interestingly the ad for FLIGHT states, "DAW Books has contracted for a new OPAR novel." But this book was never published.

Be sure to check out A Chronology of Lord Greystoke adapted from TARZAN ALIVE over at Bill Hillman's ERBzine.com. While you're there, also take a look at PJF Links To ERB I, II, and III for a great compilation of quotes and other data about Farmer's fascination with ERB.

Last month we mentioned two new books, CROSSOVERS: A Secret Chronology of the World: Volume 1 (Dawn of Time-1939), and Volume 2 (1940-The Future). But we failed to mention what a big favor you are doing for both Blackcoat Press and Win Scott Eckert, if you order this book directly from Black Coat Press instead of from amazon.com. The economics of small press publishing, and distributors like amazon mean that the author and publisher actually make some money if you order directly from them, instead of the book distributor getting the lion's share. Just something to think about. We're sure all small press publishers who sell directly from their website and also through amazon.com, will tell you the same thing. You will notice that, at this time anyway, THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER 1: Protean Dimensions is only available directly from the publisher Meteor House.

The hit counter as of August 9th says 273,111 which is 2,001 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on July 9th.

July 9th:
FarmerCon V was held in Seattle, Washington on June 26th alongside the Locus Awards Weekend and the Science Fiction Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. This was the first time FarmerCon was held outside Philip José Farmer's hometown of Peoria and we are grateful to everyone at Locus for letting us tag along.

Friday night the five contributors to THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER 1: Protean Dimensions on hand had a "signing party" and signed well over one hundred copies of the book. Amazingly those sitting around watching seemed to have fun too. Most of these copies have already been mailed to those who pre-ordered them. However, an extra ten copies were signed, which we'll talk about below.

Saturday, FarmerCon V officially began. We had our own room next to where the Locus panels were held. We played an hour of video footage of Phil which was well received, we had a silent auction (of books signed by Philip José Farmer, and others) that was a hit, and we sold a decent number of copies of the new book. Next up was the Locus Awards banquet (MC Connie Willis was kind enough to mention FarmerCon and single out those of us who attended the awards) and then the Hall of Fame Inductions that night at the SF Museum. Octavia E. Butler, Richard Matheson, Douglas Trumbull, and Roger Zelazny were this year's inductees and the ceremony was quite interesting. Check back later this month to see pictures from FarmerCon V and perhaps links to some blogs about it (by then we should also have a description of Farmercon on the Programs page and the contents of WORLDS should be linked throughout the rest of the website).

Sunday was more casual as we (mostly) slept in and then wended our way over to the Space Needle and then the EMP/SFM to visit both the Science Fiction Museum and the Rock and Roll Museum. The display case in the Jimi Hendrix section which used to contain a copy of Phil's Night of Light (Hendrix's inspiration for the song "Purple Haze") has been replaced with a picture of the book cover mounted on a new wall display.

If you are not one of those who pre-ordered a copy of WORLDS, you can now visit Meteor House and order it directly from the publisher. But, if you would like to get a copy that is dated at FarmerCon V (the day the book came out), signed by four of the contributors: Christopher Paul Carey, Michael Croteau, Win Scott Eckert, and Paul Spiteri AND includes a copy of the FarmerCon V program, AND includes a FarmerCon V button, then we can hook you up. You can purchase this special "FarmerCon Package" for only $40 plus shipping. Contact mike @ pjfarmer.com for details.

Here is some BIG NEWS about the estate sale. Everything is now 10% off the listed price. This 10% discount is in addition to the volume discounts already listed; and your previous purchases count towards your current volume discount. For example, if you ordered five books in the past, and you order three more now, that brings your total to eight books which gives you a 15% discount on your current order. But, you also get the new 10% discount, so you get 25% total off of your order! Or if this is your first purchase, order three to six books and you will save 20%, seven to ten and you will save 25%, eleven or more books will save you 30% off your order. Don't delay, we're sure some collectors who have been lurking on the sidelines are ready to pounce on this deal.

We added two new reviews to the site this month and both of them were unknown to us. This means we now have 344 of 430 known book reviews online. The first, a review of THE GRAND ADVENTURE was sent to us by Zacharias over at the International Bibliography. The second, a review of VENUS ON THE HALF-SHELL appears to be from a college paper. One interesting thing about it is that the author doesn't seem to know who actually wrote the book, even though the review was published in 1978, long after Phil revealed that he was "Kilgore Trout." This is not surprising, especially since it was published long before the internet made it so easy to look things like this up. Over the years we have heard from many people who were confused about who wrote VENUS. One person even wrote in saying that a book store owner had told them that Kurt Vonnegut Jr. and Philip José Farmer were the same person!

Right on the heels of CROSSOVERS: A Secret Chronology of the World: Volume 1 (Dawn of Time-1939), which came out at the end of April, the second half of this set, Volume 2 (1940-The Future) is already available! As we've reported last month, Volume 1 is a fun book that is impossible to put down. We're sure Volume 2 will be even more so.

Believe it or not, the Riverworld miniseries, which aired on the Syfy channel on April 18th, 2010 is already out on DVD and Blu-ray!

The hit counter as of July 9th says 271,110 which is 1,963 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on June 9th.

June 9th:
We are now only weeks away from FarmerCon V, June 26th in Seattle, Washington. This year's gathering of Farmerphiles is venturing west from Peoria, Illinois as we'll be hanging out at the Locus Awards/Science Fiction Hall of Fame weekend. The highlight of FarmerCon V will be the official release of the anthology THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER 1: Protean Dimensions. We're very excited about this book, and about the idea of a series of such books, and can't wait to see what Phil's fans think of it.

We have two new items available in the estate sale. First we have six copies of the Blackstone Books audio edition of DARK IS THE SUN. This is unabridged on 12 cds, and we're selling them for about half of the publisher's list price. The second item is a Limited Edition signed (PC) copy of THE OTHER IN THE MIRROR. As you can see on Subterranean Press' website they are sold out of the Limited Edition.

Speaking of Subterranean Press—something we're glad to do at every opportunity—back on May 23rd they announced they had found 24 copies of their most popular Farmer collection, PEARLS FROM PEORIA. It's hard to guess how many of them are still left, but if you've been kicking yourself for not getting this massive collection of rarities, here's your chance to rectify that mistake.

A big and enthusiastic CONGRATULATIONS go out to our friends at Black Coat Press. Writer/translator Brian Stableford, editor/translators Jean-Marc & Randy Lofficier, and Black Coat Press have won a Special Award for their outstanding work in bringing French science fiction to the English-speaking public. The award is part of the coveted Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire, the oldest and most prestigious genre award in France. Created in 1974, the “GPI” is given yearly by a jury of twelve professionals. This award recognizes the unprecedented effort made by Black Coat Press, established in 2003 by the Lofficiers, to publish classic French science fiction in the United States. It's great to see that Stableford's efforts to translate classic French writers such as J.-H. Rosny Aîné and Maurice Renard is getting the recognition it deserves. Now, if only more people in the United States would notice.

While on the subject of our favorite publishers, it has been a while since we've talked about Ramble House. We haven't done a very good job of updating this site regarding their edition of LOVE SONG lately, but we're getting that back on track. As you may recall there were 40 signed and 155 unsigned copies available for sale. There are now only 7 signed copies left! One of these will be available at FarmerCon V in a silent auction, along with other signed books and signed copies of Farmerphile. Even though Ramble House hasn't printed any new Farmer titles in a while, they have been growing like crazy. Do yourself a favor and spend a few minutes checking out what they have been up to.

Last month we mentioned that Win Scott Eckert's CROSSOVERS: A Secret Chronology of the World, Volume 1—published by the award winning Black Coat Press—was available. We reported this news but we didn't actually have a copy of the book yet. Well, we now have a copy of the book and we're writing to the publisher to suggest they put a label on the cover: "WARNING: Opening this book will cause tempus fugit!" Seriously, just try thumbing through its 450+ pages and not see a book cover you recognize (including lots of Farmer titles) and have to read about. For example, did you know that Sherlock Holmes once worked for Sir Richard Francis Burton, or that Edgar Rice Burroughs met Dr. John Watson, or that Jeeves and Wooster were once rescued by Allan Quatermain, or that Dracula acted in a Gilbert & Sullivan play? And as you learned those facts, and many others, two hours just flew by! It's like reading a history book that tells you all really cool, and important things your school books left out.

And this just in: Win Eckert, the prolific pulpster, has a story titled "Captain Midnight at Ultima Thule," which just came out in the Captain Midnight Chronicles from Moonstone Books.

Here is one final interesting thing to leave you with. Science fiction reviewer and expert Johnathan Strahan is podcasting his Notes from Coode Street website. Of particular interest is the nice long conversation he has with fellow science fiction reviewer and expert Gary K. Wolfe, where Philip José Farmer's name comes up a few times. How great would it be to sit around drinking beer and chatting with these two all night?

The hit counter as of June 9th says 269,147 which is 1,864 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on May 9th.

May 9th:
The Riverworld miniseries has come and gone. Just like in 2003, a report has come out stating the ratings were strong, but will it be enough to garner a regular series? The feeling we get is that this second attempt, despite being an improvement over the first, didn't have the same buzz the first one did. Potential viewers were not nearly as excited the second time around, even though they knew there was no chance for a series the first time because the pilot had sat on the shelf so long. Click here to read our take on the miniseries, but be warned, it does contain spoilers.

If you missed the miniseries, or if you liked it so much you want it on dvd, it looks like it will be available June 22nd.

Let's see what else happened over the last month. Rias, webmaster of the always interesting, and frequently updated, International Bibliography, sent us three reviews from the 1970s: DARE, TWO HAWKS FROM EARTH, and JESUS ON MARS. All come from Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Review. Other than links to online reviews, these are the first we've added in quite a while. There are now 342 reviews, written between 1957 and 2009, available to read on this website.

We have another interesting addition to the site to report. Long time fan and serious collector, Mitch West, sent in scans of some inscribed items he has. If you haven't visited the signature page before, it not only gives examples of Phil's signature, but also samples of many humorous inscriptions.

There are a few new books out that you should be interested in. The first we reported last year, before it was available, so we're mentioning it again. Rhys Hughes' new novel TWISTHORN BELLOW, is an homage to Philip José Farmer. Phil is not only mentioned throughout (characters seem to always be reading his books) but Phil is also appears as a character. Note to the squeamish: no book could truly pay homage to Phil if it didn't contain some horrific, utterly non-erotic, sex scenes; TWISTHORN does. We're sure Phil, despite having never expressed any animosity towards the French, would have enjoyed this book. We would have mentioned this in the last monthly update, but we dedicated the whole update to our Ten Things You Need to Know about Philip José Farmer feature.

Fans of Farmer's Wold Newton Universe have been waiting a few years for Win Scott Eckert's new non-fiction book, CROSSOVERS: A Secret Chronology of the World, Volume 1. This book is a massive timeline of crossover stories in which characters, situations, or universes are linked together in order to build the Crossover Universe. CROSSOVERS lists upwards of 2000 crossover stories, with innumerable additional timeline entries which outline the secret history of the land of fiction. This first volume has an introduction by Kim Newman and contains pictures of over 200 book and magazine covers. At 460 pages, this is only half the book! Volume 2 is currently in the works.

We expect to see a lot of people at FarmerCon V with copies of this book for Win to sign. Speaking of which, if you happen to be anywhere near Seattle, Washington, the weekend of June 26th, you can go to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame Ceremony, Locus Awards Banquet, and FarmerCon, all in the same place on the same weekend. Of course the other big thing happening that weekend is the official release of THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER. As you can see if you follow that link, this book will be a numbered limited edition, so if you want a copy be sure to write in and reserve your number now. You can even request that the book be signed by those contributors present at FarmerCon.

Here's something to think about. Most of the books from the Estate Sale that have sold in the last few months, have gone to people buying them through ABE Books. This means that Phil's books, his personal copies of books by Mark Twain, A Conan Doyle, Richard Burton, H. Rider Haggard, etc., are ending up in the hands of people who might not even be fans of his. That is just not right.

Ok, that's it for this update, but don't forget, May 25th is Towel Day!

The hit counter as of May 9th says 267,283 which is 3,477 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on April 9th.

April 9th:
As of today the new Riverworld miniseries is only 9 days away. The last time a Riverworld movie aired on television we were flooded with questions about the series, about Phil, about his other books, about what you should read next...about anything and everything. So, rather than do the regular monthly update, reporting what is new on the website and any news we have from his publishers, we decided to create this list to make things easy for everyone:

Ten Things You Need to Know about Philip José Farmer

1. Philip José Farmer was an award winning author: Named a Grand Master in 2001 by the Science Fiction Writers of America, he also won three Hugo Awards during his career: 1953 as the most promising new author, 1968 for the short story "Riders of the Purple Wage," and in 1972 for the novel TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO (the first novel in the Riverworld series).

2. He burst onto the science fiction scene in 1952 with "The Lovers": This was the first magazine science fiction story to openly deal with sex. Despite the racy magazine covers of the day, the stories were all about space, science, inventions, aliens, with women usually acting as props to be rescued. "The Lovers" was famously rejected by the leading magazines of the day, but published in Startling Stories to great fanfare. The majority of the letters that poured in over next two years lauded the story and some even speculated that Philip José Farmer was a pseudonym for an established author afraid to put his name on such a controversial story; because how could a first time writer have published something so maturely written?

3. He was very prolific: He published over 50 (mostly science fiction) novels, over 100 short stories, dozens of articles as well as poems, reviews, introductions to other author's books, countless letters to magazines and fanzines...you name it, he probably wrote it. Besides science fiction he also wrote a mainstream novel, a mystery, two biographies and was granted permission to write "official" novels about his favorite childhood characters: Tarzan, Doc Savage and the Wizard of Oz.

4. He is now best known for the Riverworld series: which primarily consists of five novels: TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO (1971), THE FABULOUS RIVERBOAT (1971), THE DARK DESIGN (1977), THE MAGIC LABYRINTH (1980), and GODS OF RIVERWORLD (1983). The first two novels have just been repackaged in one volume titled RIVERWORLD. A much earlier lost version, which contained the whole story in one novel, was published as RIVER OF ETERNITY (1983). He also wrote several short stories set in Riverworld: "Riverworld" (1966), "Crossing the Dark River" (1992), "A Hole in Hell" (1992), "Up the Bright River" (1993), and "Coda" (1993). The last four were published in two shared-world anthologies, TALES OF RIVERWORLD (1992) and QUEST TO RIVERWORLD (1993), along with Riverworld stories by other authors. In the 1980s the ABC Network was going to do a Riverworld series, but a change in management killed the project. The Sci Fi channel aired a pilot for a Riverworld TV series in 2003, over a year after it was filmed and well after they could have picked it up for a series. The ratings were strong enough for them to try again with a new miniseries in 2010.

5. However, many fans consider The World of Tiers to be his best series: THE MAKER OF UNIVERSES (1965), THE GATES OF CREATION (1966), A PRIVATE COSMOS (1968), BEHIND THE WALLS OF TERRA (1970), THE LAVALITE WORLD (1977), and MORE THAN FIRE (1993). These six novels are about a race of Lords who have the technology to create their own "pocket universes" which contain their own physical laws as well as any life form a Lord can imagine and then create. However, the protagonist of the last four novels is a human named Paul Janus Finnegan (note the initials), also known as Kickaha. Philip José Farmer described Kickaha as having the characteristics, the derring-do, he wished he had himself. There is also the novel, RED ORC'S RAGE (1991) but it is not considered part of the main series. It is based on true story about a psychologist using "Tiers therapy" with juvenile delinquents to have them identify with characters from the novels.

6. What you should read after the Riverworld and Tiers series: We're asked some form of this question all the time. Philip José Farmer wrote so many different types of novels and stories, it's hard to know which may appeal to you, but some of our favorites are: FLESH, NIGHT OF LIGHT, A FEAST UNKNOWN, LORD OF THE TREES, THE MAD GOBLIN, LORD TYGER, THE STONE GOD AWAKENS, TARZAN ALIVE, TIME'S LAST GIFT, THE OTHER LOG OF PHILEAS FOGG, DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE, THE ADVENTURES OF THE PEERLESS PEER, HADON OF ANCIENT OPAR, VENUS ON THE HALF-SHELL (by Kilgore Trout), FLIGHT TO OPAR, THE UNREASONING MASK, DAYWORLD, and ESCAPE FROM LOKI, just to name a few. Be sure to also check out his many collections of short stories, which contain some of his finest work.

7. His most enduring creation may be the Wold Newton Family: In the two biographies he penned: TARZAN ALIVE and DOC SAVAGE: HIS APOCALYPTIC LIFE, Phil wrote about events surrounding the meteorite that landed in Wold Newton England in 1795. People who were traveling past where the meteorite landed were affected by its radiation, which caused mutations in their children and grandchildren, making them smarter, stronger, and more driven than they would have normally been. Many of these people went on to become quite famous: Richard Wentworth, Dennis Nayland Smith, Leopold Bloom, Lord Peter Wimsey, Monk Mayfair, A. J. Raffles, Nero Wolfe, Professor Challenger, and even Sherlock Holmes. Wold Newton scholars have continued the work Phil began, and expanded his Wold Newton Family into the Wold Newton Universe.

8. Philip José Farmer passed away February 25th, 2009: He was 91 years old, and had been in frail health for a few years. The very large number of notices published show that he was still remembered and highly regarded.

9. In addition to carrying on this website, we are also selling many of his books for his family: On the Estate Sale page you will find hundreds of books for sale from his personal collection. There are many signed copies of his own titles, signed copies of anthologies his stories appeared in, and books signed by other authors, many "association" copies inscribed to him personally. You will also find books from his Edgar Rice Burroughs collection and his impressive Richard Francis Burton collection.

10. What's new: In September 2009 Subterranean Press published, THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE, a novel begun by Philip José Farmer in the late 1960s, and finished by Win Scott Eckert. This novel is about Clark Wildman Jr.'s daughter, Patricia, and the famous English estate she inherits. Subterranean Press also recently published THE OTHER IN THE MIRROR a collection of three classic novels, edited by Christopher Paul Carey, and at the end of 2010 they will be publishing, UP THE BRIGHT RIVER another outstanding collection of Phil's short stories, edited by Gary K. Wolfe. And finally, due out in June 2010 is the first volume in THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER. As you can see if you follow that link, this book will be a numbered limited edition, so if you want a copy be sure to write in and reserve your number.

If you find all this interesting and want to keep up with news about Philip José Farmer, we update this website once a month, usually on the 9th. You can also sign up to be on the PJF Mailing list and get newsletters sent to you; also about once a month.

The hit counter as of April 9th says 263,806 which is 2,167 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on March 9th.

March 9th:
Just like last month, if you are on the newsletter list then you already know about the first two items in this update. We have added even more books to the Estate Sale; these are easy to find as they all have a bright yellow "NEW" graphic next to them. This time most of the new titles are in the Richard Francis Burton section. Even if you're not interested buying them, it is interesting to look at as Phil was a serious Burton collector.

The second item from the newsletter is the news the Syfy channel has announced the airdate for the NEW Riverworld mini-series; April 18th from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. We stressed the word "NEW" because a number of people wrote in after the newsletter asking if this was a new production or if Syfy was just reshowing the old Riverworld Pilot. Apparently, we haven't been doing a very good job of promoting the new mini-series! It stars Tahmoh Penikett and Laura Vandervoort, and also features Alan Cumming, and Peter Wingfield. You can watch the trailer here.

For some reason they are showing the entire four hour mini-series on one night, instead of breaking it up over two nights. We can't stress enough how important it is to not only watch that Sunday night, but get everyone you know to watch it as well. High ratings could mean a regular series. A regular series should mean more of Phil's books being reprinted. Ironically, having a TV presence is HUGE for an author. The first time the pilot aired in 2003, the amazon sales rank for TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO surged up to #35, from its normal station well into the 100,000's, before they ran out of stock. A regular TV series would have an even bigger affect.

This leads us to our next topic, which is forthcoming books. Tor is reprinting and repackaging the first two Riverworld novels: TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO and THE FABULOUS RIVERBOAT in an omnibus titled RIVERWORLD. Not due out until March 30th, based on pre-orders only the amazon sales ranking is currently 292,752. We'll be watching this number closely in April, and hourly on April 18th.

Next, Subterranean Press has announced, UP THE BRIGHT RIVER, a new collection of short stories edited by Gary K. Wolfe. This collection shows that despite Subterranean Press already printing four collections of Farmer's work, there are still plenty of exceptional stories left uncollected. In the Introduction to the collection, Gary K. Wolfe says: Farmer always mean to tell a good tale, but he nearly always meant to provoke as well, and readers who pause to consider the ideas implicit in the stories here, and the assumptions Farmer repeatedly questions, will quickly understand what that phrase “daring science fiction writer” really means. Due out in December, this is certainly going on our Christmas list.

The final entry on the forthcoming books page is, THE WORLDS OF PHILIP JOSÉ FARMER. We're hard at work on this book every day and by this time next month we should have at least some of the contents listed online. The publish date for this book is June 25th, which also happens to be the first day of Farmercon V. You can read the details on that link, but in a nutshell it will be held in Seattle, Washington the same weekend as the Locus Awards and Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Science Fiction Museum. Tickets to this event have sold out the last few years and space is limited, so don't delay.

The hit counter as of March 9th says 261,639 which is 1,729 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on February 9th.

February 9th:
If you are on the newsletter list then you already know about the first two items in this update. We have added more books to the Estate Sale; these are easy to find as they all have a bright yellow "NEW" graphic next to them. Most of the new titles are in the antiquarian and the Edgar Rice Burroughs sections. Book orders have really picked up over the last month, thanks to ABE books we're selling a lot of the association copies to people who aren't necessarily buying them because they came from Phil's library. We will have another batch of books online before the next update, including Phil's Richard Francis Burton collection. We'll send out a newsletter as soon as they are available.

The other thing we talked about in the newsletter is that Farmercon V will be in Seattle, Washington, the weekend of June 26th. Also in Seattle that weekend, at or around the Science Fiction Museum is the Hall of Fame induction and the Locus Awards. No, sadly Phil is not being inducted into the Hall of Fame this year, and we don't think there will be any Farmer related material to be up for a Locus Award. But, the museum and all the activity that weekend, panels, awards, speeches, will make a fun backdrop for Farmercon. We'll add hotel and other information to the Upcoming Events page as soon as we have something to report. In the meantime, please let us know if you interested in attending.

There is one bit of news that did not make it into the last newsletter which we think many of you will find even more exciting. We are extremely pleased to announce, available in Seattle on June 26th for your reading pleasure; FARMERPHILE ANNUAL 1. Yes, Farmerphile is back, bigger and better—if less frequent—than ever. The original Farmerphile was of course a quarterly magazine that ran for fifteen issues from July 2005 to January 2009. FARMERPHILE ANNUAL, will be a much larger book, a yearly anthology of fiction and non-fiction all about Philip José Farmer. While a large percentage of the magazine incarnation was material written by Phil himself, there will be relatively little written by Phil in the book version, but his "voice" will be heard clearly throughout its pages.

On a less exuberant note, the Winter 2010 issue of Burroughs Bulletin is a tribute issue to Philip José Farmer. Besides the cover showing the 2006 Bison Books reprint of TARZAN ALIVE, the back cover shows the first Popular Library paperback edition of the same title from 1973. The articles throughout the issue: Philip José Farmer's Tarzan Alive by Win Scott Eckert, Philip José Farmer and ERB: A Shared Mythography by Christopher Paul Carey, Philip José Farmer's ERB-Related Work: A Bibliography and Philip José Farmer's Incarnations of Tarzan, both by Henry G. Franke III and also Bibliographer's Corner by Septimus Favonius are all illustrated with many photographs and pictures of book covers. We feel confident in stating that Phil would have appreciated this tribute more than just about any other. You can order a copy of the issue by visiting The Burroughs Bibliophiles.

We have made a few additions to the website this month. The first are links to two reviews of THE OTHER IN THE MIRROR, both worth checking out. We also added new audio book entries for four of Phil's books: TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO, THE FABULOUS RIVERBOAT, THE DARK DESIGN and DARK IS THE SUN. If you don't already have an account with Audible, you can sign up for a 14 Day Trial which includes a free audiobook download. (Please read all the fine print as this does sign you up for a monthly subscription.)

Win Scott Eckert posted a note on his blog that the Limited Edition of THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE has sold out. So if you got one of those copies listed on ebay a couple of weeks ago for half price, go you.

We are always interested in what Farmerphile Alum are up to, and there's been a good bit lately:

The long awaited (and by long we mean twenty-five years long) fourth book in Charles R. Saunders' Imaro series is now available. THE NAAMA WAR can be ordered online right from the publisher.

Joe R. Lansdale was interviewed recently at Dread Central about his forthcoming collection, THE BEST OF JOE R. LANSDALE and he lists Phil among a long list of authors who have influenced him. Of course we already knew that.

Farmerphiles Will Murray, Art Sippo and Win Scott Eckert all have items in BIG BOOK OF BRONZE 2. Win's article, "Philip José Farmer: Doc Savage Loses an Author" is another tribute to Phil. Win has been in high demand lately. He wrote an introduction for the German collection, SHERLOCK HOLMES UND DAS UHRWERK DEC TODES (you can read an English translation here). Win also has stories in two soon to be available anthologies: THE GREEN HORNET CHRONICLES and THE CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT CHRONICLES.

Just for fun check out the second video on this webpage where various science fiction authors are discussing different Grand Masters. There is a short section where Phil talks about Fritz Leiber and, completely coincidentally, we just discovered Subterranean Press is publishing STRANGE WONDERS: A COLLECTION OF RARE FRITZ LEIBER WORKS. This collection of rarities sounds a bit like PEARLS FROM PEORIA, and as far as we're concerned, that is a wonderful thing.

The hit counter as of February 9th says 259,910 which is 2,247 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on January 10th.

January 10th:
Before we get to any news here, be sure to visit the International Bibliography website and read Rias' Year in Review for 2009. Of course you may find yourself killing an hour or so there, as we usually do, but that's ok, we'll be here when you get back.

Then, the next thing you need to do, if you have not already, is sign up for the PJF Mailing list. We typically send one newsletter a month and most of the time it lets you know about things before they make it on the monthly update, which is on (or near) the 9th of each month. In fact, sometime in January, and then again in February, we will be adding more books to the Estate Sale page. These are books by some of Phil's favorite authors: Edgar Rice Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, A. Conan Doyle, Lord Dunsany and others. As well as what may well be one of the greatest collections of Sir Richard Francis Burton in the United States. So, if you don't want to risk being the last to know about these books, sign up for the mail list and be one of the first.

We'll have to wait to for the next monthly update to talk about the sixth installment in the Shadowmen series, TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN: GRAND GUIGNOL, since it just arrived yesterday. Even if you are not familiar with most of the French characters found within, if you enjoy reading tales from the era of Sherlock Holmes and Raffles, you will enjoy the entire Shadowmen series. Volume 6 however, is of special interest to Farmer fans because so many of the authors are also Wold Newton Scholars: Christopher Paul Carey, Win Scott Eckert, Matthew Baugh & Micah Harris, Rick Lai, and Dennis E. Power; and you just never know if and when they might slip something in there for the careful reader to pick up on.

No news to report about the Riverworld mini-series due out in 2010, except that Scifi Wire listed it on their complete midseason preview of 31 hot sci-fi/fantasy shows. Reading through the list, there are actually a lot of good shows to look forward to this year, as science fiction continues to take over television.

As you may recall, on the August 2009 update I (Mike) talked about a trip to England where Paul Spiteri, Win Eckert and myself (along with our families) visited the Wold Newton Monument. My wife Lisa, who is really good at this sort of thing, decided to make a memento of the trip for each family; so she made three miniature models of the Wold Newton Monument. Here is a picture of mine. It is much cooler in person than in the picture, I've gotten up from my desk to look closely at it almost every day for about three weeks now.

Win Eckert alerted us to a bit of a controversy online regarding the Wold Newton Universe and what Sean Levin is doing to try and clean up the mess. The issue is that there are rules: research that needs to be done, articles that need to be written, to establish someone in the Wold Newton Universe. You can't just decide to list several hundred characters and declare they are in the WNU for no apparent reason. Thank you Sean for your effort, we'll be watching your progress with great interest.

Vladimir Verano (Farmerphile #13 cover artist) is now running the Espresso Book Machine at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Washington. Wow, that is so cool, you know what they say...if I could do that, I'd never leave the house. Their search engine for books that can be printed still needs some work, but this could be a fantastic way get your hands on hard-to-find out-of-print books for very little money. Chris Carey, who told us about this, also pointed out Third Place Book's blog which we plan to follow and see what future wonders they produce.

The hit counter as of January 10th says 257,663 which is 2,201 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on December 9th.

December 13th:
Happy Wold Newton Day!
December 9th:
Here is some BIG news for book collectors: All items in Philip José Farmer's Estate Sale are 20% off in the month of December! That discount is in addition to the volume discounts. Which means:
Buy 3 to 6 books and get 30% off instead of 10%.
Buy 7 to 10 books and get 35% off instead of 15%.
Buy 11 or more books and get 40% off instead of 20%.

And, if you have previously purchased books from the estate sale, those titles count towards your volume discount. Don't delay, beat the Christmas rush and get your orders in now!

It has been another slow month, with nothing new to report on either the Riverworld mini-series or Tor's new reprints. The only addition to the website in the last month is new artwork on the Fan Art page; the first addition to this page in quite a while. At the bottom of the thumbnails you will find a remarkable painting of Doc Caliban fighting a bear by John Gallagher.

Things being slow around here is just one excuse for checking out Rias' International Bibliography website. He never seems to have a slow month.

In addition to naming Philip José Farmer "the greatest science fiction writer ever" noted critic Leslie Fiedler also described Phil as having a “gargantuan lust to swallow down the whole cosmos, past, present and to come, and to spew it out again" referring to Phil's penchant for reforming other author's creations in his own work. One is reminded of that quote when reading this quote by noted science fiction author and editor Michael Moorcock, "Rhys Hughes seems almost the sum of our planet's literature... Few living fictioneers approach this chef's sardonic confections, certainly not in English."

Well then, are we saying Rhys Hughes is the next Philip José Farmer? Certainly not, since both writers are unique, more unique than most writers in fact. But they do share some qualities, the most significant being: while each is more than the sum of their—many—influences, those influences can often be seen not far below the surface. Although even the very well-read may miss more than they spot. Two other characteristics they share are playfulness and audacity. The differences between them? we can name a few: Rhys writes more short stories than novels, Phil is himself one of Rhys' influences and Rhys, as far as we can tell from reading half a dozen of his novels and short story collections, is out of his freaking mind. Just saying...

We mention all this as a prelude to talking about Rhys' new novel TWISTHORN BELLOW, which is an homage to Philip José Farmer. Phil is not only mentioned throughout (characters seem to always be reading his books) but Phil is also a character in the novel. Note to the squeamish: no book could truly pay homage to Phil if it didn't contain some horrific, utterly non-erotic, sex scenes; TWISTHORN does. We're sure Phil, despite having never expressed any animosity towards the French, would have enjoyed this book. We announced here a couple of months ago that publication of this novel has been delayed until March 2010. However, if you don't insist on having an actual dead tree version of the book, you can order an electronic copy now.

The hit counter as of December 9th says 255,462 which is 2,040 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on November 9th.

November 9th:
Another science fiction giant, this time an artist, passed away this year. Don Ivan Punchatz died on October 22nd after suffering a heart attack on October 11th. Don was a highly respected artist and teacher who worked in many fields and styles and did many covers for Phil's books, including paperback covers for the previous Riverworld novels (TO YOUR SCATTERED BODIES GO, THE FABULOUS RIVERBOAT, THE DARK DESIGN, and THE MAGIC LABYRINTH) when GODS OF RIVERWORLD was published in 1983. He also did covers for RIVERWORLD AND OTHER STORIES, TALES OF RIVERWORLD, QUEST TO RIVERWORLD, DAYWORLD & DAYWORLD REBEL. You can read more about him, and see more samples of his artwork, at Spectrum. Sadly he did not have medical insurance and a large bill accumulated during his brief stay in the hospital. Donations to help his widow pay his medical bills can be made to Sandra Punchatz, c/o Lewis Glaser, TCU School of Art, TCU, Box 298000, Fort Worth TX 76129.

On a much happier note, we are pleased to report that the signed limited edition of THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE has not yet sold out! However, we have confirmed with the publisher there are only about 20 copies left. So don't delay, they will be gone before you know it.

On a similar subject, all of the books listed in Philip José Farmer's estate sale, are now available to a much wider audience at The Advanced Book Exchange. Orders are starting to come in from there, so chances are good the book (or books) you've had your eye on could get snapped up by someone else. Just saying.

We haven't added very much to the website this past month, but as promised, back in...um...July, we have finally found the time to get the timeline up to date. On the other hand, Zacharias, webmaster of the International Bibliography, has been very busy lately, updating his site a couple of times a week. Go check it out if you haven't been there in a while.

Win Scott Eckert has also been very busy doing a series on his blog called "Mythographers on the Move," which details the recent writings of fellow Wold Newton scholars and contributors to MYTHS FOR THE MODERN AGE. These include: CHRONOLOGY OF SHADOWS: A Timeline of The Shadow's Exploits, RICK LAI'S SECRET HISTORIES: Daring Adventurers and RICK LAI'S SECRET HISTORIES: Criminal Masterminds all by Rick Lai, DAYS GONE BY: Legends and Tales of Sipokni West by John Allen Small, SERIAL VIGILANTES OF PAPERBACK FICTION: An Encyclopedia from Able Team to Z-Comm by Brad Mengel, THE ELDRITCH NEW ADVENTURES OF BECKY SHARP by Micah S. Harris, several "Loki Comrades" and "Sun Koh" stories by Art Sippo, Glimmerglass, edited by John Allen Small and containing stories by Dennis E. Power and Art Sippo. We'll skim over the TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN series and just say that if you look closely at the table of contents of Volume 1, Volume 2, Volume 3, Volume 4, Volume 5, and the forthcoming Volume 6, you will see more and more Wold Newton alumni listed among the contributors. In addition to all that old news, did you happen to notice the announcement that Blackcoat Press will be publishing Win's CROSSOVERS: A Secret Chronology of the World, Volume 1 That's right, this detailed collection of "crossovers" is so massive it had to be broken into two volumes. We can't wait to get our hands on these.

A few observations about the previous paragraph. One, it would appear that Creative Mythographers have a penchant for rather long book titles. Two, of the above books we have read, TALES OF THE SHADOWMEN: Volume 5 is probably our favorite, which bodes well for Volume 6 as these books are getting stronger and stronger. Third, of the books we haven't read, DAYS GONE BY: Legends and Tales of Sipokni West by John Allen Small sounds like the most fun. Creating a history and legends around a town that never existed, is in fact nothing but a sometime movie set and Western-themed tourist attraction, sounds like a hoot.

We haven't heard any news about the Riverword mini-series in the last month, but the trailer RHI Entertainment put online in September has been viewed another 5,600 times since the last update. These can't all be Battlestar Galactica and Dollhouse fans watching it just to see Tahmoh Penikett. After watching it several times now we're very curious to see how the mini-series ends. Does it come to a conclusion and answer questions about the Riverworld, making it less likely that it will continue as a full series, or does it end like the first pilot, with our heroes just beginning to set off to discover the mysteries of this new world? From the trailer it's too hard to tell but it does look like more is happening in this version than the first one.

The hit counter as of November 9th says 253,422 which is 1,935 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on October 9th.

October 9th:
As we told you last month, THE EVIL IN PEMBERLEY HOUSE began shipping on September 8th. And as we suggested last month, if you have not yet ordered a copy, be sure to get the Limited Edition (200 copies signed by Win Scott Eckert) which includes a chapbook full of bonus material. This month we've graduated to strongly urging you to order your Limited Edition of this book without delay. Our sources indicate there may be less than 25 copies of the Limited Edition left, which means—if you still haven't gotten a copy—next month we'll be saying, we told you so. If for some reason you are still on the fence, check out these reviews.

We talked about looking forward to this next item on the May 9th update. On the June 14th update we reported it wasn't available yet but expected to give a full report on it in July. On July 10th we lamented that it still wasn't listed for sale online...then somehow we forgot to look for it in August and September! But, don't let the fact that this news is several months old make you think it isn't important, it is. The Shadow's Sanctum is reprinting the Doc Savage novels in pairs and Issue #27 contains MURDER MIRAGE, THE OTHER WORLD and a long tribute to Phil by Doc expert Will Murray. Will has interviewed Phil in the past and was the perfect writer to pen this tribute.

Speaking of which, don't forget to check the Remembrances page now and then. As we find new ones online, such as The Last Farewells from Starlog, we keep adding them to the page. And, looking ahead, we know issue #81 of the Burroughs Bulletin (due out in February 2010) will commemorate Phil as well. We'll try to get our hands on a copy as soon as it comes out, and tell you all about it.

RHI Entertainment put a trailer online for the upcoming Riverworld mini-series. From September 24th through October 9th it has been viewed 35,813 times (note to self, we need more video on the site...) It's also getting attention on various websites and blogs: Scifi Wire, Nerd World, BSC Review, Io9, Screen Rant, The Knight Shift and others.

If you read through those stories, blogs and their comments you will find there is not a lot of optimism for this TV adaptation; especially since it has already been tried before. So before you read all the uniformed opinions, let's set the record straight on one point. The first pilot was filmed in 2001/2002 but for some reason the "powers that be" decided to cancel the project and not produce the series. Then in March 2003—over a year after it was completed, and well past any chance of the pilot becoming a series—they finally aired it, and...

SCI FI Sets Ratings Record: the scifi channel had its best ratings quarter ever. Thanks in part to Riverworld; "The two-hour original film Riverworld averaged a 2.2 rating, exceeding the time period average by 86 percent and becoming the most-watched original movie SCI FI has ever aired on a Saturday night (2.74 million viewers)."
That is from a story that appeared on scifi.com and perhaps explains why Syfy is now willing to give Riverworld another chance. Contrary to most opinions, the original pilot did not bomb, it in fact did so well they are willing to give it another shot.

Ok, we're not going to strongly urge you to buy any books you want from Philip José Farmer's estate immediately. But those of you on the newsletter list know that any day now we will be listing the books with AbeBooks where tens of thousands of other book enthusiasts will get a chance to buy them. So if you are interested in those books by other authors (most signed or personally inscribed to Phil), you might want to place an order before any Robert Bloch, Joe R. Lansdale, Clifford D. Simak, Charles Willeford, Ed Gorman, Ellen Gilcrest, James Crumley, Henry Miller, or Lewis Carroll collectors see them.

The hit counter as of October 9th says 251,487 which is 1,899 visits to this main page (not the entire website) since our last update on September 10th.