Good news for those who love quality supernatural and horror fiction, new and old: in the New Year (well, it started at the end of the Old Year, but no point living in the past, right?), Ash-Tree press is slowly releasing much of their catalog as e-books. You can download them at their website or go to Amazon to purchase a Kindle edition. Note that if you don’t have a Kindle (I don’t), you can get a free Kindle app for just about any device, including your PC. Reading on a laptop still isn’t ideal but the Kindle app is far more reader-friendly than trying to read something like, say, .pdfs. And if you aren’t sure whether you’ll like the Kindle or not, there are plenty of free eBooks available (I think a couple even come with the download itself) that you can use to preview the experience before actually purchasing any books.
The reason this is such terrific news coming from Ash-Tree is that it’s a press which produces lovely, high-quality books in limited editions–which means they are also rather expensive. I’m not opposed to shelling out more money for good-quality books, but it definitely means that those of us on a tight budget are limited in what we can get hold of (and eventually the books sell out). If it’s a book I really care about, I’d always rather have the object itself rather than an electronic edition, but if it’s a choice between an eBook and no book at all I know which I’d choose. Ash-Tree eBooks are priced at $5.99 and $6.99, versus around $50 for their actual physical books (and far more for out of print volumes from collectors).
Right now I’m working my way through Steve Duffy’s short story collection Tragic Life Stories (recommended!) and although there are some other releases I’ve got my eyes on at the moment, what I’ve really got my fingers crossed for is Lisa Tuttle’s Stranger in the House, volume 1 of her short supernatural fiction. I read her collection A Nest of Nightmares when I was I was in college, and it was a real formative influence for me; unfortunately, it’s scarce these days, and as I borrowed my copy from the library back then, I’ve never owned it so I could go back and reread those stories and see what captured me so about them at the time (and, perhaps, if I can see any influence in what I’m writing today). Stranger in the House includes that and some other early short fiction.
I swear I don’t get a kickback from Ash-Tree Press–I just like their books! Also, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to blog a lot more, and what better way to start that off than to send you off in the direction of some excellent fiction?