Thursday, July 31, 2014


Sometimes I love the Internet. Many years ago, when he was still active and working, the late Karl Edward Wagner published two stories in his old Year's Best Horror series by a writer I'd never heard of: John Gordon. The two stories were amazing and effective and chilling. They deserved to be there, and it was a rare honor for one author to have more than one story in a DAW Year's Best Horror.

But old Gordon was a complete unknown to me, then. Wagner went on to state that, effectiveness aside, the stories had been published in a collection meant for children/young adults! I was floored. What? Are they trying to traumatize the kiddies in the UK?! So I set about trying to find a copy of the collection from whence these two amazing yarns. It was called CATCH YOUR DEATH AND OTHER GHOST STORIES. But here I was in the USA and there was the book and its publisher in the UK. And keep in mind, this was in the days before the Internet.

Try as I might, I just could not land a copy. Apparently the book went out of print quickly and no US distributor had picked it up. Whenever I heard a close friend mention that they were going to the UK I would give them the book title and author and ask them to search for it. No luck.

After some years, I located a few copies, but at $200 to $300 each they were just way the hell out of my price range. In due course, I just forgot about ever being able to own a copy.

Until last week. I was trolling the Net looking for books and decided to key in CATCH YOUR DEATH by John Gordon. It popped up. Not a huge surprise--they sometimes do, with a high price attached. But this time...99 cents!! WTF?! I didn't debate and I didn't even bother to look too closely at the fine print. I just grabbed it, paid the small shipping charge, and waited to see if the book would actually come.

Today, it did. And a copy in very good condition, indeed! Only a small nick on the back cover, otherwise in fine condition.

I am a happy reader today.

CATCH YOUR DEATH and Other Ghost Stories by John Gordon.

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