THE INCREDIBLE UMBRELLA TETRALOGY IS FINALLY HERE!
I want to share some, well, let's say, incredible news about an old, tattered friend. But first, a heartfelt "thank you!"
I am so grateful for the many people in my life who have supported me and my work (my books—17 novels, 6 nonfiction books, several plays & play adaptations, and some 40 fantasy, mystery and theatre anthologies—The Open Book theatre company, Weird Tales, etc.) throughout the years. Because of this support, two of my books—about a curiously alive, high-flying, ultra-magical umbrella—came to see the light of day from 1979 to 1981. (I still read online comments from readers who are newly discovering these original Incredible Umbrella books. See below.**)
And now, the next incredible news: that irrepressible Umbrella is still taking off! My newest book, The Incredible Umbrella Tetralogy— containing The Incredible Umbrella + The Incredible Umbrella in Oz + The Amorous Umbrella + (hang on to your hat) The Cosmic Umbrella in a single, 521-page book—has recently been released from Wildside Press. Where will the Incredible Umbrella take you? How about on a whirlwind series of humorous adventures through literary and cinematic worlds, including those of The Wizard of Oz, Sherlock Holmes, Frankenstein, Dracula, Gilbert & Sullivan, Laurel & Hardy, and many more. (Confession: a few puns—okay, more than a few—are also shamelessly running amok within the adventures.)
P.S. I would be honored if you would write and post an Amazon review after you have read The Incredible Umbrella Tetralogy.
P.P.S. If you order from Amazon.com, make sure that you are purchasing the complete 521-page Incredible Umbrella Tetralogy (and not just the single Incredible Umbrella book, which is also listed on the same Amazon page).
* From a reader of The Incredible Umbrella Tetralogy:
"I am a big fan of Marvin Kaye, and have read the Incredible Umbrella books (such as were available) before, oh yes. To have them all in one magnificent volume, including previously unpublished stories in the series—well, this is something to file under the "too good to be true" category.
"Following the adventures, escapades and exploits of J. Adrian Fillmore (gads, what a name!) through alternate dimensions into worlds of literary fancy, one is drawn along, hopelessly and haplessly engaged in the doings done both to him and by him. Along the way we meet the likes of Frankenstein's monster, Sherlock Holmes, Dracula, various Ozians, Gilbert and Sullivan characters too numerous to name, and many more.
"Marvin Kaye writes in an intelligent yet humorous style, at once challenging your knowledge of all things literary, and making you giggle. There is, indeed, an entire chapter—well conceived and crafted—which is, at bottom, a set-up for a mind numbing pun which will have you flinging the book across the room. But once the book has been flung, and the resulting damage cleared away, it needs must be picked up again and eagerly devoured.
"This tetralogy is a wonderful compilation of wonderfully frantic and funny books. If you are a fan of Discworld, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Willoughby's Time & Space, and the like, I highly recommend The Incredible Umbrella Tetralogy by Marvin Kaye. Like a good potato chip, you can't read just one!"
** From readers of the original Incredible Umbrella, posted on Goodreads:
"When J. Adrian Fillmore bought the odd-looking bumbershoot, he had no idea it would soon whisk him away from his prosaic life as an English literature professor and plant him smack in the middle of a Gilbert and Sullivan cosmos. Before long he lands in jail, saves Sherlock Holmes from death, battles Count Dracula, befriends the Frankenstein monster, and fights, of all things, an army of isosceles triangles!"
"What a great little book!!! This may appeal to adult readers who enjoy Harry Potter and the like… his book was just too much fun; the author had fun with literature and the musical world. That it ends with the main character meeting the Fairy Queen was icing on the cake for me."
"What a good romp! It makes me want to go watch all the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. The puns were great. The genie with the white-brown hair!"
"This is probably one of the top ten most fun-to-read books I've stumbled across. Its cleverness knows no bounds, and it will be a joy to read if you happen to have the same love of literary parodies I do. I use the word "parody" loosely, though--in no sense does Kaye disrespect the works he draws from. It's just an amazing romp through Fictiland, and I can't recommend it whole-heartedly enough."
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THE LAST CHRISTMAS OF EBENEZER SCROOGE TO BE A FILM AND A RECORDING
My next-to-last novel, "The Last Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge," which is my sequel to Charles Dickens's "A Christmas Carol," has been recorded by my theatre company, The Open Book, and will be distributed this season by Wildside Press.
JD Enterprises, which is a company headed by my friend Jack Dalgleish, has taken an option to make "Last Xmas" into a feature film shot in Canada. Jack, who was one of the Tony-winning producers of the Broadway musical, "Spring Awakening," is hoping to see production on the film begin in the first half of 2012.
THE PASSION OF FRANKENSTEIN to be published by WILDSIDE PRESS
Two Julys back, I finished a project that took many years to write: my 16th novel, "The Passion of Frankenstein," a continuation of Mary Shelley's classic, with elements of a murder mystery. It is set in three places in Scotland: the woods near Pitlochry, the cathedral at Dunkeld, and Edinburgh. The latter section features several characters taken, with authorial interpolation, from life: among them Dr. Robert Knox, and the infamous Burke and Hare.
Wildside Press has just informed me that it will publish "The Passion of Frankenstein." Wildside published my preceding novel, "The Last Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge."
SINGER AMONG THE NIGHTINGALES: PROGRESS REPORT
Despite turn-downs from many publishers including Tor Books, one of whose editors really wanted to publish "Singer Among the Nightingales," Parke Godwin and I have decided to go ahead and write it anyway, and hope for more interest in a completed project than a mere proposal.
"Singer" is to be the final volume in the trilogy that began with the cult classics, "The Masters of Solitude" and "Wintermind," both written collaboratively by me and Parke. He has already completed his portion of the novel, and I am in the early stages of writing the opening chapters.
NTH DIMENSION MEDIA, INC., BUYS WEIRD TALES
Nth Dimension Media, Inc., a corporation founded by Marvin Kaye and John Harlacher, has purchased WEIRD TALES magazine from Wildside Press. Beginning with an issue tentatively scheduled for next February, Harlacher will become its new Publisher and Kaye its Editor.
MARVIN KAYE'S NTH DIMENSION
A long time ago, author-agent-publisher Richard Monaco suggested I write a column called MARVIN KAYE'S NTH DIMENSION in which I expressed opinions on anything my eclectic nature desired, whether it be fantasy, SF, mystery, music, philosophy, politics, etc., etc.
I did so, and the column appeared for many years in the trade magazine, "Science Fiction Chronicle." Later it ran for several issues of "Horror" magazine, and then returned to SF Chronicle till its demise.
It now appears online at:
WINNER OF THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD
The 2006 World Fantasy Convention awarded the Best Anthology Award for 2005 to "The Fair Folk," edited by Marvin Kaye and published by the Science Fiction Book Club.
SURPRISE APPEARANCE ON BROADWAY
Not that I planned to, but I appeared onstage with Dame Edna at "her" 2005 New York show. Here I was, an Actors Equity member, doing a freebie .. but the Music Box is my favorite theatre, and I've always wanted to play Broadway, so it was great fun. Hope Dame E. didn't mind the unscripted extra laughs I managed to milk.
WEIRD TALES LAUNCHES NEW ERA WITH NTH DIMENSION
Journey into the “weird” is a natural step for editor Marvin Kaye
NEW YORK, New York, October 19, 2011 – Weird Tales, America’s first and foremost magazine of gothic fantasy, science fiction and horror, has been purchased by Nth Dimension Media, Inc., co-founded by veteran writer and science fiction book anthologist Marvin Kaye and actor-director-writer John Harlacher.
Kaye is the latest in a series of distinguished editors who have guided “The Unique Magazine” through nearly nine decades.
Under the direction of current editor-in-chief Ann VanderMeer the publication earned a Hugo Award, the most prestigious honor in the sci-fi world.
Publisher Harlacher plans to have VanderMeer edit one final issue before turning over the reins to Kaye in early 2012.
Kaye says he is “interested in continuing and expanding the splendid work” of VanderMeer. “When I take over the helm,” he adds, “I hope Ann will continue her involvement as a consulting and contributing editor.”
Kaye describes his own vision for Weird Tales as “Janus-faced,” honoring the long history of the publication while continuing its legacy of discovering new and unusual fiction. Content will feature works of well-known, midlist and new writers, and a few reprints of classic stories.
Beginning in February 2012 each issue will have a theme, though Kaye states, “the usual assortment of stories and poetry will be included along with tales that fit the governing conceit.”
The new Weird Tales will be open to nearly all sorts of genre fiction, including absurdist humor, fantasy, horror, mystery and surrealism. “The only kind of story that probably won’t fit would be neo-realism,” says Kaye, “though even there I’m willing to be convinced otherwise.”
Kaye, the author of sixteen novels and editor of over 30 genre fiction anthologies, has a long personal history with Weird Tales. Fascinated by the “creepy-looking” magazine that his sister Dorothy brought into their Philadelphia home, he was an avid fan by the age of nine. He edited two anthologies celebrating the magazine’s distinctive brand of fiction: “Weird Tales – the Magazine That Never Dies,” published in 1988, and “The Best of Weird Tales: 1923,” published in 1997. Kaye also edited H.P. Lovecraft’s Magazine of Horror, which will remain an ongoing portion of Weird Tales.
No novice to the world of fantasy and horror, Harlacher is the co-director of “Nightmare,” an interactive theatre experience widely recognized as New York’s most horrifying haunted house. This year’s motif, a creepy rendition of familiar fairy tales, has been described by Fangoria horror magazine as “entirely spooky and full of nasty, nasty fun…imaginative, and yes, hilarious and repulsive.”
Weird Tales was launched in 1923 as a showcase for writers of speculative and alternative fiction – in other words, stories that were too bizarre to be published anywhere else. It launched the careers of such authors as H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury, and Robert E. Howard; even Tennessee Williams made his first sale to Weird Tales. The original magazine folded in 1954, but resurfaced over the years in the form of reprint anthologies, original magazines and paperback editions. Weird Tales has been printed regularly since 1988, when it was resurrected by editor-publishers John Gregory Betancourt, Darrell Schweitzer and George H. Scithers.
For more information, contact Terry Kaye at (818) 694-3016 or email@example.com.
Nightmares and a powerful sermon persuade Scrooge to journey into his past. His quest ultimately brings him to revelations that he and only he can fight for in the courts of Paradise. Dickens’s compassion and social conscience might well have conceived a story like The Last Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge.
“It’s a brave soul who writes a sequel to a universally-loved and –known book like A Christmas Carol; it’s a rarer man still who does a job as fine as Marvin Kaye of evoking Charles Dickens without imitating him, of extending a story that until now seemed resolved and delivering a tale which will delight, terrify and affect all readers.”
-- Kim Newman, author of “Andy Warhol’s Dracula.”
“ … intriguing and unusual. The treatment of the Jewish angle throws a sidelight on early C19th society and fictional representations of it at the time which is extremely interesting. I’m sure that readers will find it fascinating … a worthy endeavour with much that is thought-provoking.”
-- Charles Palliser, author of The Quincunx
“I was impressed and moved on many levels, not only by Marvin Kaye’s mastery of Dickensian style, but also by a kind of optimism or idealism far more consistent with Victorian Dickens/Kaye than purely contemporary Kaye. I can imagine Marvin really wrote it as Dickens might have wanted it to go.”
-- Paula Volsky, author of The Grand Ellipse
“This is a magical, indeed a miraculous, story. Here is the vision of the Afterlife which Dickens did not address, but was the unanswered question at the end of his original tale. It is rare indeed when an author writes a sequel to some other author’s book and does not diminish both. It’s brilliant.”
-- Morgan Llywelyn, author of Lion of Ireland
NEW YORK REVIEWERS
For The Open Book's
Annual Ensemble Production
" .. an exploration of friendship, penitence, guilt, anti-Semitism and brotherhood in the true spirit of the season .. (It) generously rewards a visit."
-- Lawrence VanGelder, THE NEW YORK TIMES
"In a town where the lighting of a giant Christmas tree, extravagant shop window displays, and scantily clad synchronized kickers make up our holiday traditions, I say New York needs to make room for a tradition with substance and that is most certainly found in The Open Book’s production of Marvin Kaye’s 'The Last Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge.'”
-- Liza White, NEW THEATER CORPS
"Based on a sequel to Charles Dicken’s "A Christmas Carol", "The Last Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge" is a testament to the limitless talent of author/actor, Marvin Kaye. ... Kaye’s story is one of friendship, love and most of all, a heartwarming tale of the “Bah, Humbug” man who has changed for good. It brings joy to the heart, and is one show that will definitely put you in the Christmas Spirit.
-- Maria Perez-Martinez, NEW THEATER CORPS
REVIEWER: Vaudeguy from Dover, New Jersey
Sequels to great and loved novels are the most difficult writing to pull off. Because no matter what you do, someone usually is unhappy with it. ... However, Mr. Kaye not only created a beautiful and touching story, but he doesn't even WRITE like Marvin Kaye. The metaphors, the descriptions themselves are pure Dickens -- not a copy of the master, but the use of language in the style made famous by the man called "the Shakespeare of the Novel" ... It is an exciting tale, worthy to grace any bookshelf with the original.
REVIEWER: Loay Howard Hall from Blackwell, Oklahoma
THE LAST CHRISTMAS OF EBENEZER SCROOGE (Wildside Press) by Marvin Kaye is one of the most delightful and magical Christmas stories written ... Mr. Kaye's style of writing evokes Dickens's own without imitating Dickens. It is a rapid moving story with the charm, surprise, mystery and insight of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and a beauty and wonder all its own. Mr. Kaye is one of the most gifted and original novelists practicing his craft today. THE LAST CHRISTMAS OF EBENEZER SCROOGE is a "must read". Don't miss it!!
REVIEWER: The Rev. Kathleen LaCamera from Wilmslow, Cheshire, Great Britain
You don't have to be a Dickens fanatic to enjoy this book. I was intrigued to find out what really happened AFTER Ebenezer Scrooges's Christmas Eve conversion from miser to man of charity. Marvin Kaye gives full life to those who until now we've only glimpsed ... Kaye weaves a wonderful, surprising story complete with intrigue, mystery and even a bit of ancient Talmudic wisdom thrown in for good measure. While the writing is evocative of the period, it's accessible and flows easily, even for a dyslexic reader like me ... In short, The Last Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge is a delight. Buy it, read it and recommend it to a friend!
REVIEWER: Bill King from New York City
My wife and I had the pleasure of being in the audience hearing the author read his excellent book. Charles Dickens would be proud to have his story continued in such an effective and entertaining manner. This book provides a new dimension to Christmas season literature, building skilfully on a well-known classic. It enthralls with delight, and is recommended reading for all. Like a follow-up story in a newspaper of a major event, it is so satisfying and interesting to find out what happened to the people involved. The way the author adds to a holiday legend makes a great read!
REVIEWER: Caroline Wood from Longview, Washington
I think of them as one - as two parts of a whole. Marvin Kaye's sequel to "The Christmas Carol" picks up Dickens's thread so effortlessly and so honestly and yet at the same time so originally. Mr. Kaye speaks with his own voice or else there would be only an echo of another's voice and there is no such echo in this story. There is instead a clear ringing of honesty ... it is as though Mr. Kaye has walked in Dickens's shoes through the din and foulness of some of London's 19th Century streets, that they have spent many long evenings in front of a warm fire listening to one another well. It is not only a common shoe size these two authors share, they share too a kindred soul - a soul that reaches out to embrace their fellow-man bringing them together as brothers ... This story for me shall always be the last chapter of "A Christmas Carol".
REVIEWER: Edmee Firth from Bedford, New York
Don't worry if this Christmas the snow doesn't fall, and you can't put logs in the fireplace. Reading Marvin Kaye's book will put you in the mood for Christmas: immediately. This comforting tale, written in elegant Dickensian prose, but with a touch of contemporary sensibility, is a delight. The Christmas Carol cast is reassembled and we meet the Scrooge we knew existed all along, the one we only glimpsed at in the Christmas Carol. It is always good to know there is a second chance, and the Jewish angle is interesting and timely without being preachy. The descriptions feel authentic and the dialogue is lively. It was a lovely read, and I was sorry to finish it.
REVIEWER: Peggy Simmons from Midland, Texas
Being a Dickens fan for many decades, I picked up "The last Christmas of Ebenezer Scrooge" with some trepidation, fearing that I would be offended by a copycat effort at reproducing a classic .... an effort which one rightly dreads. To my utter delight, I found myself engrossed in Dickens's world and unable to put the book down. Marvin Kaye captures the feeling and spirit of "A Christmas Carol" and then carefully leads you beyond that into a world of spiritual awakening and a search for redemption that keeps the reader involved, and like every good mystery, eager to discover the solution. I heartily recommend this book as a perfect Christmas gift for your friends who are discriminating readers, and a must for Dickens lovers!
REVIEWER: Terry Kaye, Van Nuys, California
For anyone looking for a wonderful book to renew their "holiday spirit" - this is it! This is the sequel that Dickens would have written. The conclusion is thoroughly satisfying and the theme of brotherhood and love seems especially significant in the chaotic post 9/11 world. I highly recommend this book to one and all!
REVIEWER: Russ McKee
What a wonderful continuation of my favourite book, movies, etc. Dickens himself couldn't have done a better job. How fascinating you made the story blend with the original. I cracked a bottle of Port, put on a fire, turned on my Christmas Tree (yes it's still up) and read it cover to cover. I couldn't put the book down. I have watched the movies for years since a child, 1951 is my favourite and I have copies of almost all of them all the way back to Thomas Edison's 1910 silent movie. It would be wonderful to have your book made into film.