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  • Clair Lamb

December 2022

Dear Folks,

As some of you may have spotted on social media, I’m ending this year an honest man, Jennie having finally consented to marriage, if only to spare someone else the burden of taking me on.

To those of you who sent congratulations, many thanks; to those of you who pointed out that I’m punching above my weight, kind of thanks; and to those of you wondering about the identity of the old guy in the pictures, don’t you have somewhere else you need to be?

Apart from that, I’m currently deep into the second year of my PhD, which has turned out to be rather more work than I’d anticipated, especially when set alongside the business of writing the odd book or two. With that in mind, the first half of 2023 is likely to be a busy one for me, and I’ve already been forced politely to decline some interview and festival requests, grateful though I was to be asked. As always, I’ll be staying in touch through the newsletter, and Minion Clair will be on hand to lend a respectable, responsible face to the operation, but if there’s the odd period of silence from me, well, you’ll understand why. You may even be grateful for it. (Sob.)

SHADOW VOICES on sale in the United States

At long last, the hardcover edition of SHADOW VOICES is on sale in bookstores throughout the US and Canada. The book uses Irish genre writers – because we’ve produced quite a few – to discuss the origins of gothic, horror, science fiction, and more, as well as to examine the history of popular fiction, and where some of the snobbery towards it may originate. Alongside about 130,000 words of my introductions, musings, and arguments are seventy or so short stories from names both familiar – Bram Stoker, James Joyce, W.B. Yeats – and less so. It’s a wonderful gift for the fan of genre fiction, or Irish fiction, or just fiction in general. Thanks to its size, it also makes a handy step, doorstop, occasional table, or weapon of self-defense.

When I signed SHADOW VOICES in bookstores, I gave away envelopes of ephemera tied to stories in the book. Some of the US stores I visited (see the list below) may still have these items, so ask about them if you order the book from them. If they can’t oblige, our friends at the bookstores listed closer to home in Dublin and Belfast will be able to help.

Signed copies for the holidays!

Time’s getting very short for international shipping, but signed copies of THE FURIES (and quite likely SHADOW VOICES as well) should still be available from these fine stores:

The Gutter Bookshop, Dublin

Alan Hanna’s Bookshop, Dublin

Centuries and Sleuths, Forest Park, IL

The Green Hand Bookshop, Portland, ME

Jabberwocky Bookshop, Newburyport, MA

Longfellow Books, Portland, ME

Murder by the Book, Houston, TX

The Mysterious Bookshop, New York City

No Alibis, Belfast

The Poisoned Pen, Scottsdale, AZ

VJ Books, Tualatin, OR (online only)

Water Street Books, Exeter, NH

If you want a copy inscribed/dedicated, The Gutter Bookshop and Alan Hanna’s will take those orders, as will No Alibis, Belfast, but don’t wait — place that order by phone or email today to get your book by Christmas.

ABC to XTC: The Christmas Show

ABC to XTC, my weekly tribute to the punk, post-punk, and New Wave music of the late 1970s and 1980s, continues to stream on RTÉ Gold every Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Dublin time. The RTÉ mobile app is a free download available worldwide, and you can listen back to a few weeks’ worth of shows at any time. This year my annual Christmas show falls on December 17th, as the powers that be at RTÉ Gold would rather like to take the festive weekend off, so I hope you’ll tune in for some left-of-center seasonal good cheer.

The year ahead

2023 will see the publication of THE LAND OF LOST THINGS, the sequel to THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS that I never expected to write. As of this week, it looks like the book will be published on this side of the water on September 7, and in the US and Canada on September 19, which is a very small gap indeed, and should allow me to travel as widely as possible to promote it. As usual, we’ll also try to provide a little thank-you gift for those who order early, or come to events. More of that once we’ve settled on something . . .

The next Charlie Parker novel is more or less complete, but won’t be published until 2024. And, because some people have asked, work is continuing on a third NOCTURNES volume, which might well also be ready in time for publication in 2024, or maybe early 2025.

Italian readers will be able to purchase SPORCO SUD,the translation of THE DIRTY SOUTH, from Fanucci TimeCrime on January 27. As we get publication dates for upcoming editions in French, Spanish, Bulgarian, and Greek, we’ll post those to Twitter (assuming Twitter continues) and to Facebook.

Thank you all for your kindness and support throughout this eventful year. You’re as fine a bunch of readers as a writer could to have, and I hope 2022 is ending on a bright note for all of you. Have a lovely Christmas, and may the New Year brings you peace, cheer, and the company of those you love.

Best wishes,


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