Sunday, January 02, 2011

Dead in the Water?

I've had a couple of e-mails asking me, in effect, "Whatever happened to Damn Near Dead 2? Damned if I know. The book got off to an auspicious start. David Thompson was enthusiastic about it and wanted it to be a big success, but in the middle of the book's being put together, David sold Busted Flush Press to Tyrus books. The ensuing business complications must have been enormous, but we continued to work on the book with high hopes and expectations. Then David died. That complicated the business end of things even more, but with the help of Ben LeRoy and Sara Henry, the book was completed.

It was supposed to debut at Noircon in Philiadelphia, but somehow all the copies that were to be shipped there wound up at the Mysterious Bookshop in New York. A disappearing act, if you will, and after that the book was hardly seen again. As far as I know, no review copies were sent out. Or if there were, no reviewers cared about it enough to comment on it. It made the bestseller lists at a couple of independent bookstores, but hardly any copies seem to have turned up elsewhere. There are no reader reviews on Amazon, but at least copies are available there.

That's too bad. I don't mind so much for myself, but I feel bad for the authors, all of whom did fine stories for the book. I'd feel bad for David, but he's not around. I believe the book was sent to the Edgar short story committee, so maybe we'll get lucky there. Considering the book's history so far, though, I'm not counting on it.

And that's what happened to Damned Near Dead 2. Thanks for asking.

Update: I didn't mean to stir up any ill will with this post. I was merely letting people know what I knew, which wasn't much. I've since learned that the enormous complications mentioned above were even bigger than I knew about. Without the help of Ben LeRoy, as I also mentioned, the book would never have been published at all. I'm happy that it's out there, and I do believe that eventually those complications will be resolved.

Update: A nice review showed up after I wrote this. You can read it here.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think people who loved David and what he wanted Busted Flush to achieve should flood Tyrus with questions about Damn Near Dead 2 and all the other books David wanted published. I hate to see it treated as a troublesome stepchild and pushed to the back and forgotten. David's dreams should be able to live on.

Chuck Barksdale said...

Hopefully more people will be able to get a copy and read it and maybe my review will even help. I ordered mine from Farley's Bookshop while at Noircon, but certainly not much publicity beyond what was done at Noircon seems to have been done recently on this book.

Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...

Or maybe there are business complications having to do with probate and we don't know everything going on.
Maybe we should stop jumping to conclusions and stop blaming Tyrus books.

Bill Crider said...

I certainly don't blame Tyrus. There are no doubt big complications, as I mentioned. It's just a shame that the book's not getting much of a push.

Scott Phillips said...

I believe Jed Ayres has a review copy, and mostlyfiction has a new, very positive review posted.

jedidiah ayres said...

Actually, I bought my copy off the shelf at Subterranean Books http://store.subbooks.com/search/apachesolr_search/damn%20near%20dead%202

and it rocks

Sara J. Henry said...

I worked with David on this book, so I had an unfinished copy of it in my computer when he died - and ended up copyediting it and helping get it ready for publication. I have never seen anyone work harder than Ben LeRoy did, on this book and other Busted Flush titles he was trying to keep on schedule, under extraordinarily difficult circumstances and when he had just lost a dear friend. He deserves tremendous praise for getting the book printed, and in time for NoirCon (unfortunately misdelivered, but even Ben couldn't control that).

I have seldom been as impressed with anyone as I was with Ben during all this. Without his extraordinary and selfless efforts, the book would not have been published.

Anonymous said...

I was thrilled to find a copy on the Book Passage shelves in Corte Madera.
Michel

Todd Mason said...

Jon/Crime Spree Guy: jumping to conclusions can be contagious.

I can believe Tyrus is having its own problems.

Bill Crider said...

The ones connected with this book are Busted Flush problems. Eventually things will get fixed, I'm sure.

Anonymous said...

Well, I got mine a couple of weeks ago. Just go out and buy a copy, people.

Jeff

Bill Crider said...

Amen.

Jeff Wong said...

As the illustrator and designer of the book, I must chime in and praise Ben LeRoy and Sara J. Henry for their efforts in helping make this book a reality. I wanted to thank Reed Farrel Coleman for helping me get in touch with Ben so that we could try to get Damned Near Dead 2 out in time for its debut at NoirCon as David intended. It's my understanding that Bill was working on the finishing touches to the manuscript with Ben when I approached Ben about completing this title. This was a case of everyone being on the same page with the same goal, wanting to remember our friend in the way we all felt was fit. I thought it ended up being a truly beautiful example of a community effort. I had a crazy week, wrapping up the design of the NoirCon program by adding a memoriam to David (something I never expected to be doing) and also preparing DND2 to go to press. I don't think anyone was more disappointed than I was when the books didn't show up at the conference. I knew the books had actually been printed in time--my main goal since September 14th was to try to honour David by getting DND2 out on schedule at the intended venue. It's unfortunate that the printer shipped the books to the wrong store (I can only imagine this was related to plans in October to ship Reed's BFP reissue of Empty Ever After to Otto's store in NY to coincide with the Tyrus release of Innocent Monster; maybe the address was in the computer from this--once again, kudos to Ben LeRoy for going above and beyond duty for putting out EEA at this point in time). Ben and the guys at Farley's Bookstore made the best of a bad situation and arranged for signed limited prints to be produced the day of the NoirCon panel. These were given to people that bought the book at the con. Bill - I don't think you were aware of this, but that bespectacled shadowy figure running down the alley in the drawing in the Afterword is you (at least that was my intention).

Bill Crider said...

Thanks for all that info, and now that I'm sure I'm in the illo, I like the book even better!