Monday, May 11, 2009

The Mystery Behind the Publication of a Mystery Book by Science Fiction Writer Roger Zelazny

The Dead Man's Brother by Roger Zelazny

Tom Jackson notified us about a post he wrote on the Sandusky Register about the mystery behind a mystery book written by a science fiction novelist.

Roger Zelazny was a popular, award-winner writer of science fiction who died in 1995. Fast forward 13 years to a literary agent's warehouse in New York City where a cardboard box with the notation "Save - No submissions at this time at Roger's request" is found. Inside is an untitled manuscript, though "The Dead Man's Brother" is written on every page. Thinking it was a draft, or possibly an earlier version of a published novel, it was set aside to be looked at later. When read by the author's literary agent, he discovered the book wasn't a fragment or otherwise incomplete, and most surprisingly, wasn't science fiction, but, as Publishers Weekly subsequently wrote in their review, a "fantastic and compelling hard-boiled mystery," written in 1971.

Jackson has penned a fascinating article on the backstory to the book's recent publication by Hard Case Crime (see the book cover above, right), and we thank him for letting us (and our readers) know about it.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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