Luzifer Verlag has announced the publication date for their German translation of The River of Souls. They’ll release Matthew Corbett und der Fluss der Seelen on September 30, 2021, in hardcover and ebook formats. The cover art can be seen below.
Australian audiobook publisher Bolinda will release The Providence Rider and The River of Souls on CD and MP3 CD on February 1, 2021, and April 1, 2021, respectively. These are the Audible productions narrated by Edoardo Ballerini.
The cover art for The River of Souls has not been released yet. With these releases, all of the Matthew Corbett books published so far will be available on CD and/or MP3 CD.
The Providence Rider can be ordered from Book Depository now. They offer free worldwide shipping. Pre-orders for The River of Souls should go up in the coming weeks.
In May, we announced that Crossroad Press is publishing ebook editions of several Robert McCammon novels in the UK, Europe, and other regions not controlled by the U.S. Until now, all of the books published by Subterranean Press have only been available in ebook form in the U.S. and Canada.
The Queen of Bedlam was released to those markets in May, and Mister Slaughter, The Hunter from the Woods, and The Providence Rider were released in July.
Now The River of Souls joins them! Coming soon: Freedom of the Mask.
|The River of Souls:|
There have been a number of blog reviews posted recently; here are some of them:
- Don’t Be Afraid of the Dork: Review: Mister Slaughter by Robert McCammon
- Manly But Bookish: The Night Boat
- I, Popeye: Review: Robert McCammon’s “The River of Souls”
- Cody’s Bookshelf: Stinger Review
- Twirling, Twirling, Twirling Towards Freedom: Late-Early Robert R. McCammon Takes a Mystery Walk
- Neurosurgery 101: The Blog: Review: “Makeup” by Robert McCammon
- Titas Reads Books: Don’t Tempt a Mother! (review of MINE)
Fan Paul Halucha sent these photos of a great remarque artist Vincent Chong created for his copy of The River of Souls. Click on each image to view a larger version.
Three Robert McCammon books featuring Vincent Chong remarques can be found on eBay right now. Note that the auctions originate from the UK. RobertMcCammon.com has no connection with the auctions or the seller.
For Chinese readers, Nautilus has purchased the rights for Chinese translation of Robert McCammon’s upcoming horror/SF novel The Border. No word on when that’ll appear, but Subterranean Press will publish The Border in limited, trade hardcover, and ebook editions in Spring 2015. Audible will release an unabridged audiobook edition of The Border at the same time.
You can read a little more about The Border here.
Finally, here are some of the recent related links from around the ‘net:
- Michael R. Collings wrote a fantastic essay about Boy’s Life
- Jonathan Janz write a superb review of The Wolf’s Hour
- Arah-Lynda Hay wrote a great review of Boy’s Life on Goodreads
- The “Talk Stephen King” blogger posted about Swan Song (and part 2)
- Artist Soraya Nullia posted about the “I believe in magic” quote from Boy’s Life
- Writer A. Braxton reviewed Swan Song
- Blog site lostinthatstory reviewed The River of Souls
- A photo of a tattooed quote from Boy’s Life was posted on Facebook
- Blog site wrongspelling posted excellent reviews of Speaks the Nightbird and The Queen of Bedlam
Don’t forget: Robert McCammon will be speaking at the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library on Thursday, October 2, 2014, at 6:30 PM!
Here’s the colour art that appears in the The River of Souls limited and lettered editions only, which was out a while ago.
Interior art for the main novel:
Interior art for the bonus story The Scorpion’s Eye, exclusive to the limited and lettered editions:
Subterranean Press posted this on their website this morning:
We’re shipping the Signed Limited Edition of Robert McCammon’s The River of Souls, which includes the novel proper, illustrations not in the trade hardcover, and an 11,000 word bonus story that won’t be available anywhere else for at least two years. The limited is 97% sold out, so don’t hold back if you’re interested in a copy.
In the meantime, here’s an interview with Rick we’ve been holding back until the Limited Edition shipping started:
Kealan Patrick Burke: In The River of Souls, the fifth book in your Matthew Corbett series, when we meet Matthew, he is somewhat unmoored, lonely, lamenting the loss of love, an intentional sacrifice to keep those he cares about out of harm’s way. And by the end of the novel, this caution is revealed not to be unfounded. Do you ever see him finding a way back to love despite the inherent and obvious danger?
Robert McCammon: Well, first of all there are five books yet to go in the series. I will say that I know what the series is about, I know how it will end and I know what the last line will be…but I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to get there and I don’t want to be sure. I want the series to be a surprise to me. I have faith in my ability to guide it to a good conclusion, but I don’t want to have every step mapped out. If you’re asking if Matthew will have more romantic encounters, that is certainly true. And if Berry will come back into the series…certainly true again.
KPB: We are introduced in the novel to the memorable character, Magnus Muldoon, who though initially an antagonist, becomes for Matthew an invaluable ally. Given your penchant for revisiting some of the more memorable characters in Corbett’s world, is it safe to say that we should expect to see more of this wonderful character in the future?
RM: As I stated above, I don’t know. I have no idea who will show up in future books or who will die…this series just happens. Will Magnus return? Not sure, but you can be sure that there will be more characters equally as interesting as Magnus.
KPB: Given the period in which these books are set, it is no surprise that superstition plays a large role in the proceedings, perhaps never more so than in Speaks the Nightbird. How much of the swamp-lore and the vicious tribe who dwell there is based on real superstition, or did you develop it all yourself for the purposes of the book?
RM: Part of The River of Souls is based on the lore of the Bell Witch, from Tennessee, and also from local Alabama lore. The “creature” is based on stories told in a small town very near to my hometown. And a lot of it comes from my imagination, too. It just seems “right”.
KPB: Speaking of superstition, and in particular the horrific incident midway through the book in which you employ a rather macabre sporting event, have you considered writing an outright horror novel featuring Matthew Corbett, or is the supernatural something you prefer to keep to your non-series novels?
RM: I think “creepy”, “spooky” and “horrific” can be applied to the Corbett series but I’m not sure I want to go deeper into what we call the supernatural. I will say, though, that clues were planted in both The Queen of Bedlam and The Providence Rider that lead to a situation that might be called “supernatural”. It involves a book. A book that shows up in both Bedlam and Providence Rider. There’s a lot going on in this series that won’t be fully clear until we get into the final phase.
KPB: The River of Souls is fairly different in structure to the other books, in that, rather than have the plot involve the decoding of an intricate and elaborate mystery, the villain is revealed rather early and the book focuses more on the hunt, the swamp as a character, and all the evils it hides. The book is also the shortest in the series thus far. Can you talk a little bit about the inspiration for The River of Souls, and whether it was a conscious choice to move away from the idea of the mystery being the propelling force behind the story?
RM: Actually I was going through a rough time in my personal life and I wanted to live some of that out through Matthew. He was my “sin-eater”. Also my role-model. He can take whatever is thrown at him and keep going. Of course he’s going to be changed in some way and that’s what life is about, but Matthew is an ultimate survivor. So The River of Souls was more about endurance than mystery.
KPB: How much research do you typically do when preparing a Corbett novel to ensure that you authentically represent both the period and detail?
RM: I did reams of research for both Speaks the Nightbird and The Queen of Bedlam, so unless I have a specialized situation I can coast for a little while on my research. If something comes up that I need to find out about, I know where to look. I also have to say that I’ve embellished the times a little bit…cleaned them up some, because there was so much disease, pestilence and plague in that era there would be no time for handling anything else. My research on that era tells me there was no word for “joy” but many words for “sorrow”. It was truly a very rough, heartbreaking and soul-wrenching time. I am in awe that this country and the cities in it exist, to be perfectly honest. How humans overcame the swamps, the primeval forest, the diseases and all the other hardships of that time…it’s amazing and really incredible.
KPB: Much like the miasmic swamp, the pall of series antagonist Professor Fell looms large over The River of Souls, and by the book’s end you set the stage for a reckoning. As the next book is a ways off yet, and without giving too much away, how much of that coming story do you already know, and can you tease us with an idea of what to expect?
RM: Again, clues have been already delivered that will come to fruition in the next book. I do know what the story will be and a lot of what will happen, but certainly not all of it. I do know we go to England in the next book, and the rest of the series will probably take place in Europe. And of course Professor Fell will be a large character in the next book…we may even find out who he really is and what he looks like. If indeed “he” is not really a woman who’s been hiding behind the image of a man.
KPB: As with the other books in the series that Subterranean has published, The River of Souls features typically evocative cover art and illustrations by the wonderful Vincent Chong. Obviously, it’s critical that the representations of your characters are accurate. How closely do you work with Mr. Chong to achieve the desired result?
RM: I don’t really work with Vincent that closely but he always does a great job. I love the idea of using a “weapon” of some kind on the covers. I’m always pleased to see Vincent’s work, it’s excellent.
KPB: Included in the limited edition of The River of Souls is “The Scorpion’s Eye”, a fun novelette featuring another series character, the roguish master-thief, Minx Cutter. The story has an adventurous, almost pulp-fiction feel to it. Have you considered writing more of these standalone tales, perhaps featuring other characters from the series?
RM: I was planning on doing next a book of short stories and novelettes about other cases Hudson and Matthew have handled. I’ve dropped mention of other cases they’ve been on in the books, such as “The House At The End Of The World”, “Night Ride” and the complications of a romance between a colonist and an Indian maiden that would be titled “Love Is A Walk Through Fire”. I was going to do this as the sixth book in the series, but I don’t think I can let readers hang so long with Matthew in his current predicament. So…that has to be for later, if ever.
KPB: It also takes a dramatic and unexpected turn into horror, perhaps even science fiction territory midway through. Is there any chance that we might see more of the accursed “object”, or other treasures from Xavier Dreadson’s macabre collection?
RM: Ha! Good idea. Who knows what else Dreadson had in that house, and who’s got hold of those things now. I may play with that one. Other “objects” may show up in the possession of…well, we’ll see.
KPB: Now that she has been incorporated into the Herrald Agency, how big a role will Minx Cutter play in the next Matthew Corbett book?
RM: That I don’t know yet. For sure, Minx is a very interesting character. But be assured there will be plenty more, and a lot yet to come. And when we get to the end and people realize what Professor Fell is searching for, and why…I think the destination will definitely be worth the journey.
KPB: Thanks so much for your time, Mr. McCammon!
RM: You’re welcome, and thank you.
Artist Vincent Chong, who did the cover for The River of Souls, has posted four of the black-and-white interior illustrations he did for the Subterranean Press edition. He did a few extra illustrations, both black-and-white and color, for the limited edition, which also includes a bonus short story, “The Scorpion’s Eye.”
And Subterranean Press has posted two interior illustrations that artist Les Edwards did for their upcoming limited edition of They Thirst.
Hello, all. I finished The Border about a month ago, but I wanted to wait to announce that until the book was out on the marketplace. I think it’s pretty good, and it’s certainly different from anything I’ve ever written. Hunter has read it and says he thinks it will appeal to fans of Swan Song and Stinger, so that sounds good to me.
I was asked recently about how long it takes to write a book and how long it takes for the book to be published. I replied that it takes me about nine months to write the book, but it can take another year for the publisher to put it into print. They have to do the cover, the marketing plan and all that, and “fit it” into the schedule. Then something unforeseen might happen and the book might be pushed back into a later pub slot, so it can appear that “I” am not working, but believe me, I am.
I have recently been involved in a legal situation with a past publisher (not TOR, who published The Five, nor Subterranean Press). This has gone on for nine months. It’s amazing how much time something like this takes, and how much of a drain on a person’s resources—financial, time, and mental. Just when I think the situation has been resolved, something else crops up and there you go again, back in the murky soup.
Someday further down the line I may write about my experiences in the publishing business. Most of you would not believe what has happened these past twenty years. Every writer I’ve told my situation to has the same response: “That is the worst story I’ve ever heard.” Honestly, every writer says that to me. But I keep soldiering on, even though it’s been sometimes (often) very difficult. Two things actually keep me going: your readership, and the fact that I have many more books I want to read, and the only way I can read them is to write them.
The publishing business is in a strange place right now. Dealing with the people there, you get the sense that some are in shock and sleepwalking due to abrupt changes in the business, yet their egos are swollen to the extent that they can’t see the forest due to the little bitty bugs on all the leaves. I keep up pretty much with the business, and it always fascinates me to see a book promoted and touted before it’s published…and yet as soon as it hits the shelves, it disappears with no fanfare. I have gone out looking for books that received great attention before its pub date, only to find that the book is gone or that the book was never even delivered to my local Barnes & Noble. I spent a whole summer two years ago looking for a book that was supposed to be published in June and part of a “Lord Of The Rings”-type trilogy, and I found one copy of it on a remainder table in October. There were no further additions to the “series”.
More true than ever is the experience of Vernon Thaxter from Boy’s Life. If you don’t know what I mean, read that section where Vernon is explaining to Cory about writing his book Moon Town. ‘Nuff said about that.
Some other writer has said that writing is one of the most brutal professions. Well…think of it. You are on your own. Everything comes from your mind. All the experiences that you’d had through your life color your work. There is no one to help you get through a scene, or make sense of a situation, or guide the work to a successful conclusion. You are on your own, kid. Think about the day-to-day pressure of that, because not only does the work have to be “good”, it has to be “extra-special” good, yet it can’t be too off-the-wall or too “daring”. In my experience, some publishers look for your work to follow a model of success that some other writer has created. I grew up with the idea that you should push yourself to create something that hasn’t existed before, to take chances, and in that way grow as a writer.
Well, I was wrong.
Wrong not in my belief, which I still think is right, but wrong in my idea that the publishing world would rush to embrace a new and different idea. That may have been so in the 1940s and 1950s, when there were primarily literary people in charge of the publishing world…less so in the 1960s and 1970s, when more business people began to come in…less so again the following two decades, and now I find that the business people are fully in charge, the stockholders are breathing down their necks, and any decision to take a chance on a book has to go through a committee, with the punishment of losing your job if you have backed an “under-performing” book. Yet book publishers still struggle to figure out how to promote a book, and most are thrown against the wall to see what sticks. In that kind of climate, very few are successful.
(And maybe I’m talking about the first two books of the Matthew Corbett series, and maybe not.)
Of course it all comes down to individual preference and what experiences have colored the life of any individual editor. The first Harry Potter book was turned down by a ridiculously large number of publishers…and I always thought it was funny, that if you went looking for the actual people who turned down books that later became extremely popular and successful, you would wind up with a handful of air.
Generally speaking, in my experience I have found that some professional people run from responsibility, would die—or kill—rather than admit a fault, and build stone walls to keep there from being any honest or constructive conversation. A publisher can scorn you and treat you like dirt, but any attempt on your part to fix a problem, or at least come to some deeper understanding, is rejected. Truly, you are supposed to become a mute slave, keep on working, and keep on taking any indignity that is pushed upon you. Any “backtalk” resigns you to the gutter.
Why do I stay in this kitchen, if it’s so hot and miasmic?
Because, as I say, I have your readership, your appreciation, and my desire to read books that only I can write. And this is not strictly an oversized ego speaking, but the awareness that to keep going in this business, you have to believe first and foremost in yourself, that you think only you can write this, that no one else can do it better, and by writing this you will be delivering what will hopefully mean something positive to someone and maybe cool off the particularly hot kitchen they might find themselves in. So…it’s for you, and it’s for me, and who else is there?
Next up is the second part of I Travel by Night, followed by the next Matthew book. After that will be a book I’ve been wanting to do for awhile, set in New Orleans during the Great Depression. It will be different, I promise that.
Thank you for your readership, your support, and your comments. Without those, where would I be? I shudder to think.
I hope you enjoy The River of Souls, which puts Matthew in quite a few dangerous situations and one at the end that is pretty much a cliff-hanger.
And as I say…moving ahead.