In Memory of Paul Williams

Paul Williams died yesterday, aged 64.  I don’t expect this means anything to most people who visit this blog, but you should honour his memory for various reasons. In the wider realm of popular culture, you should honour him as the founding father of rock journalism.  The magazine he founded as a 17-year-old college student in 1966, Crawdaddy!, was the first publication to focus on serious writing about the then-new music.  It launched the career of writers such as Jon Landau (who went on to become Bruce Springsteen’s manager), Sandy Pearlman, and Richard Meltzer.  It was the inspiration for subsequent…

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In Memoriam: James Herbert

After yesterday’s sad news about the passing of James Herbert, some of the Gollancz team took a moment to share their memories about the man, and about the books. Malcolm Edwards said: James Herbert published two novels with HarperCollins in the 1990s – THE GHOSTS OF SLEATH and ’48.  He was half of a predatory double swoop on the Hodder & Stoughton list, where HC’s CEO Eddie Bell had previously worked.  The other half was Jeffrey Archer.  As fiction publishing director, I was potentially in line to edit both, but I dodged the bullet with Jeffrey, who wanted to be…

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Dune! Some thoughts from Malcolm Edwards

My first encounter with Dune was the opening sentence of Part Two, Muad’Dib: “Now Harkonnen shall kill Harkonnen,” Paul whispered. Dune wasn’t even a novel at that time – it was a pair of magazine serials, published in one of the leading magazines, Analog, still under the legendary editorship of John W. Campbell Jr. The first section, “Dune World” (“Dune” in the novel), appeared in three parts between December 1963 and February 1964. Readers then had to wait almost a year for the second section, “The Prophet of Dune”, which was a five-part serial commencing in January 1965. In the…

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