This week in new hardcovers: A blocked writer confronts the possibly unnatural source of his muse and a team of enforcers targets a colony of frog monsters, plus a Joseph Campbell compendium, two Doctor Who activity books, and a specially bound rerelease of a tale about orphans and a tale of malice.
by Joseph Campbell
"Before he was the engaging professor who brought mythology into people's living rooms through his conversations with Bill Moyers, before he became known as the thinker whose ideas influenced Star Wars, and before his now-beloved phrase "follow your bliss" entered the popular lexicon, Joseph Campbell was a young man who tried his hand at writing fiction. At the age of twenty-nine, after years of Depression-era unemployment, when he lived off money he had earned playing saxophone in a jazz combo and read the world's great literature in a syllabus of his own design, Campbell published his first short story. That tale, included in this collection, remained the famed mythologist's only published piece of fiction, until now. In these stories, readers will find rich mythological symbolism, down-to-earth concerns with the ravages of the Second World War, and singular iterations of Campbell's famous Hero's Journey schema — all interwoven into a literary style that anticipates the genre that would years later come to be known as "magical realism." Compelling in their own right, these seven stories are essential reading for longtime Campbell fans and the many who continue to discover him afresh." New World Library, 288 pages, Nov 20.
by A.K. Kuykendall
Writer's Block Trilogy. "Since his youth, Gregory Stillingsworth has known his destiny: to become a great writer. Indeed, now a wildly successful author, he has penned seventy-three novels, all of them best-sellers. Obsessive and possessive, he writes the old-fashioned way - on a typewriter. His instrument, beaten and tattered even when his parents gave it to him for his fourteenth birthday, has earned a name over the years - Buford. It has also earned a voice. Early on, it spoke to him, repeating a simple mantra: "You and I, forever. You and I, together." Gregory Stillingsworth, a world-renowned horror writer, an author who has already surpassed the great ones like Koontz and King, was destined to reach the top. Or was he? Was he destined, instead, to live the life carved for him by his cursed forebears? Instinctively, it has always been Gregory's custom to write his books one after another. His wife, Jamie, who serves as his lawyer, critic, and business partner, gave up convincing him to slow down so as to focus on starting a family. Gregory is relentless in nourishing his career; that is, until for the first time, he runs out of words, sending him into an uncontrollable rage that even his wife cannot comprehend. Is this unexpected rage an extreme reaction to the stresses of writer's block? Or is it the unveiling of his true role among us, a scribe born into this world only to write of the coming Armageddon?" Decent Hill, 282 pages, Nov 19.
by Mark Z. Danielewski
"This collector's edition of Mark Z. Danielewski's The Fifty Year Sword features a deluxe slipcase with five metal latches, Nepalese binding (an exposed, specially stitched spine), and a signed frontispiece. Limited to 1,000 copies. In this story set in East Texas, a local seamstress named Chintana finds herself responsible for five orphans who are not only captivated by a storyteller's tale of vengeance but by the long black box he sets before them. As midnight approaches, the box is opened, a fateful dare is made, and the children as well as Chintana come face to face with the consequences of a malice retold and now foretold." Pantheon, 288 pages, Nov 20.
by BBC, Steven Moffat
"Based on the exciting BBC television series Doctor Who, starring Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, Arthur Darvill as Rory Williams and Alex Kingston as River Song. This awesome official Annual is packed with comic strips, stories, activities and features and is the perfect Christmas gift for any Doctor Who fan!" PENGUIN GROUP, 64 pages, Nov 19.
by Jorge Santillan
"If you enjoyed tracking the Doctor through his alien adventures in Where's the Doctor?, you'll love hunting him and his friends down as he travels through time. Can you spot the Doctor, Rory, Amy, and the TARDIS in Ancient Rome, Victorian London, and the far future? With loads to find, these incredibly detailed images will keep you searching for hours!" PENGUIN GROUP, 40 pages, Nov 19.
by Mike Mignola, John Arcudi, Scott Allie, Guy Davis
"A story that began in the first issue of Hellboy concludes with the B.P.R.D. team set to permanently wipe out the subterranean colony of frog monsters. The team tracks down Memnan Saa's hideout, but soon find themselves in over their heads when old enemies like the Black Flame arrive to lay waste to the world!" Dark Horse, 456 pages, Nov 20.