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Dread Central Joins Boycott of Dorchester Publishing

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There was a time when the name Leisure Books was synonymous with horror novels. When it came to mass market paperbacks, Leisure ruled the horror world. Authors like Ed Lee, Craig Spector, Brian Keene, Richard Laymon, Graham Masterton, Jack Ketchum, and even Stephen King have published with Leisure, which was owned by Dorchester Publishing.

Horror Author Brian KeeneUnder other lines Dorchester publishes romance, thrillers, westerns – you name it. However, in 2009 things began to go sideways at Dorchester. Within months the company as it was known was gone: sales and editorial staff fired, reports of shipments to stores and authors delayed, creditors piling up along with unpaid royalties to authors.

In mid-2010 Brian Keene (pictured right; Ghoul, The Rising, Urban Gothic) forged a deal with the company for the return of all publishing rights to his work in return for the forgiveness of all money owed to him by Dorchester. This was the first truly serious sign of trouble heard in public.

Skip ahead to early 2011. Dorchester Publishing has reinvented itself as a strictly-digital publisher of e-books. The plan is to dive into the new era of publishing and drag itself out of financial trouble. 2011 saw many of its titles released in e-book format for many different devices.

Problem is, Dorchester doesn’t own all of the titles it continues to sell, including several of Keene’s titles. Keene, a very open voice on the Internet, raised a ruckus. Many other authors spoke up, relating similar circumstances of stolen work, unauthorized e-books, unpaid royalties, and rights held hostage.

This month Keene organized a movement to boycott Dorchester. A hashtag on Twitter and a Facebook group later, over 200 professional authors and over 10,000 consumers have joined the boycott.

Boycott Dorchester PublishingDread Central is now announcing that we are joining this boycott.

We cannot sit by and allow a company to directly harm the industry and genre that we love and support. As one of the few large horror sites to cover horror novels, we’d be ethically repugnant if we supported Dorchester’s efforts to profit off the work of Keene and others illegally and immorally.

We will no longer cover Dorchester’s releases. We will not review them or post news about them. Until and unless Dorchester comes out of this dark time and makes things right with its authors, we’re done with them and strongly encourage the horror community to join us. Don’t buy Dorchester/Leisure books, not even discount books in a clearance bin at Wal-Mart. Definitely do not buy any Dorchester e-books or download any ‘free’ e-books. (Yes, Dorchester has been releasing free e-books from some authors without authority.)

Some names in the horror genre that are already supporting the boycott are Craig Spector, J.F. Gonzalez, F. Paul Wilson, and Christopher Golden. A full list (as of 3/25) can be found here.

Dorchester has responded through Publishers Weekly as follows:

Dorchester CEO Bob Anthony and senior editor Chris Keeslar said they understood Keene’s frustration but said they are also frustrated by the situation. Anthony said the call for a boycott is “truly regrettable and not necessary to get our attention, since he has our attention.” According to Anthony, after being notified by Keene that some sites had been selling e-books for which Dorchester had reverted the rights back to Keene, Dorchester sent suppression notices to the vendors. After Keene reported that some sites were still selling the e-books, Anthony said they sent another suppression letter telling the vendors they expected the e-books to be removed from sale. “We expected the vendors to act accordingly,” Anthony said, adding that “we respect the right of reversion.”

Anthony acknowledged that in rebuilding Dorchester the company has had to “prioritize its cash flow.” This has resulted in not all authors being paid the money they are owed and that Dorchester had committed to pay when Anthony took over from John Prebich last November. “All authors will be paid in full,” Anthony vowed. The Keene controversy has been a setback to Dorchester’s turnaround efforts, but Keeslar said Dorchester is committed to rebuilding.

Keene, on his official website, fired back:

Here’s the thing, Bob. This keeps happening repeatedly, despite your assurances of sending “suppression notices” and despite your expectations that your “vendors act accordingly.” For three months, I’ve been asking for an explanation of why it keeps happening. I’ve yet to receive one. So despite your claim, I don’t think I’ve had your attention. I don’t think any of your authors have. But we do now.

A great breakdown of everything that’s happened so far with this drama can be found on Making Light.

We’ll continue to follow the Dorchester story and report any important changes as they happen. Hopefully, the continued public pressure on the company will force them to repent and make things right with the authors that built their company. At that time you’ll see Dorchester/Leisure news and reviews here again. Until then, stay tuned to Dread Central for news and reviews of horror books from all other publishers!

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Freddy’s Greatest Hits Vinyl Re-issue Is a Must-Own

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Strange Disc Records has just announced that it will be releasing “Freddy’s Greatest Hits – The Elm Street Group” on vinyl starting this Wednesday with pre-orders expected to ship in January 2018.

Not only that but Mondo announced they will be releasing an exclusive variant pressed on “Freddy Sweater” striped vinyl. This LP from Mondo is limited to 400 and will cost you $25.

For those who might not know, “Freddy’s Greatest Hits” was originally released in 1987. The record contains nine tracks (covers, originals, and instrumentals) with Robert Englund doing the voice of Freddy over the top.

I don’t know about you but this has just made my list of must-own items. But I’d prefer an original copy. That said an original copy is probably hundreds of buck on eBay as opposed to this version for a mere $25 bucks. Not bad.

You can check out the full track listing and a sample song below. Then make sure to hit us up and let us know if you’ll be snagging a copy in the comments below!

Track Listing

1. “Do The Freddy”
Freddy and the Dreamers cover, as well as a parody.
The lyrics were changed to fit Freddy Krueger persona and elements

2. “Obsession”
original song

3. “Wooly Bully”
Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs cover.
Freddy (Robert Englund) provides the opening lyrics.

4. “Don’t Sleep”
original song

5. “In The Midnight Hour”
Wilson Pickett cover

6. “All I Have To Do Is Dream”
Everly Brothers cover

7. “Dance or Else”
original song

8. “Down in the Broiler Room”
original song

9. “Elm Street Dreams”
original song

Pre-orders begin Wednesday, November 22.

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That is One Gigantic Steampunk Squid…

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Perhaps one of the greatest sci-fi adventures novels ever written, Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a landmark book, one that was decades ahead of its time. The story follows the crew of the Nautilus, a submarine commanded by Captain Nemo, as they venture in search of a giant sea monster. It was the basis for several film adaptations and the character of Captain Nemo played a pivotal role in the graphic novel series The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

So why am I bringing this up, you ask? Because Tor Books is releasing Nemo Rising, a sequel, this Christmas! Written by C. Courtney Joyner, the story once again follows Nemo, although this book sees him a prisoner that must be pardoned by President Ulysses S. Grant in order to face an onslaught of more sea monsters.

Normally, I wouldn’t bother you all with this, but I happen to have a soft spot in my heart for 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and the cover art for the book is fucking epic! I’ve always been a fan of cephalopods, and I’ve found the steampunk aesthetic to be pretty fascinating. Combine them both along with giant monsters, and you damn well better believe that I’m 100% into it! Plus, it’s wrapped itself around the Nautilus, which is already a giant vessel, so now I’m wondering just how large these mechanical monstrosities are…

Nemo Rising will be released on hardcover from Tor Books on December 26, 2017.

Synopsis:
Sea monsters are sinking ships up and down the Atlantic Coast. Enraged that his Navy is helpless against this onslaught and facing a possible World War as a result, President Ulysses S. Grant is forced to ask for assistance from the notorious Captain Nemo, in Federal prison for war crimes and scheduled for execution.

Grant returns Nemo’s submarine, the infamous Victorian Steampunk marvel Nautilus, and promises a full Presidential pardon if Nemo hunts down and destroys the source of the attacks. Accompanied by the beautiful niece of Grant’s chief advisor, Nemo sets off under the sea in search of answers. Unfortunately, the enemy may be closer than they realize…

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Filming On Blumhouse’s Halloween Pushed to January

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Looks like filming on Blumhouse’s upcoming sequel to John Carpenter’s Halloween from Danny McBride and David Gordon Green has been pushed back a few months.

Not a huge deal, though. Only till January.

Filming on Halloween (2018) was supposed to begin this October (natch) but now it seems the film still has some cast to fill out.

The news comes to us via a South Carolina casting agency, The Island Packet, who are still seeking extras for the new film. In fact, if you are from the South Carolina area, you can be an extra in the film. Just click the link above for more details.

I wish I lived in or around South Carolina because being in this new Halloween would be a f*cking dream come true. If you’re in the area, get on it. You owe it to the rest of us! Haha?

How excited would you be to be an extra in this new Halloween? Let us know below!

Blumhouse’s Halloween is directed by David Gordon Green from a script he co-wrote with Danny McBride. The film stars Jamie Lee Curtis and Judy Greer and is executive produced and scored by John Carpenter.

Halloween (2018) hits theaters Oct. 19, 2018.

Synopsis:

Jamie Lee Curtis returns to her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.

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