The long-running (and always on time!) Philip José Farmer 'zine has morphed into an annual series of anthologies, featuring fiction authorized by Phil's estate, set in Phil's worlds, as well as smattering of essays and interviews.
My own contribution to The Worlds of Philip José Farmer 1: Protean Dimensions is the Scarlet Pimpernel story "Is He in Hell?"--now expanded with more Wold-Newtony goodness!
Longtime fans of Philip José Farmer’s Wold Newton Family are by now well aware of the meteor which struck near the small hamlet of Wold Newton on December 13, 1795. Two large coaches with fourteen passengers and four coachmen were within a few yards of the strike, exposing all present to ionized meteorite radiation, and causing a beneficial mutation of genes in those present. Their descendants included an extraordinary number of great crime fighters, scientists, explorers, and even criminal masterminds. As Farmer has said, “…Most of the passengers came of stock which had been producing extraordinary men and women for many generations. Some of their descendants were more than extraordinary; they bordered on, and in some cases attained, the status of superman.”
What followers of the Wold Newton mythos have long wondered is, what were those passengers and coachmen doing at Wold Newton, so far off the beaten path, on a cold December day in the waning years of the 18th century? Was it a twist of fate, or was such a gathering inevitable?
“Is He in Hell?” takes on that question and sets up what promises to be an ongoing series of tales about these extraordinary men and women, and the origin of the Wold Newton Family.
As a bonus feature, a short note follows the story, detailing the Scarlet Pimpernel family tree and reconciling information from Baroness Orczy's Pimpernel books with Phil's fictional biography Tarzan Alive.
The Worlds of Philip José Farmer will be a series of books published annually for the foreseeable future. This year's book will contain (subject to change):
- A Foreword by Paul Malmont.
- Farmer inspired fiction by David Bischoff, Chris Roberson, Rhys Hughes, Win Scott Eckert, Christopher Paul Carey, Edward Morris, Dennis E. Power, & Paul Spiteri.
- An interview of Philip José Farmer from 1997 by Danny Adams.
- Essays about Farmer by Randall Garrett, James Gunn, Laura Wilkes Carey, & Jack Mertes.
- And of course never-before-published material by Philip José Farmer himself! That's right, the "Magic Filing Cabinet" continues to conjure up material by Phil for our reading pleasure.
And for you book collectors out there, The Worlds of Philip José Farmer will be a numbered limited edition trade paperback. The release date is June 26th, during Farmercon V. We will only be printing 50 to 100 copies more than are pre-ordered, so to be sure you get a copy of this book, send an email to mike @ pjfarmer.com and reserve your copy today. You don't have to pay for the book when you pre-order and if you request, the book will be signed by those contributors who happen to be at FarmerCon V, which is also acting as a launch party for the book.Copies are limited and already going fast, so contact mike @ pjfarmer.com and reserve your copy now!