THE BIG BOOK OF NECON edited by Bob Booth. Forest Hill, MD; CD Publications; 2009. 1st trade HC.
Featuring contributions by Stephen King, Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, Jack Ketchum, Rick Hautala, Thomas Tessier, Chet Williamson, Douglas Clegg, Brian Keene, Ramsey Campbell, Douglas Winter, Thomas Monteleone, Gahan Wilson, Jonathan Carroll, John Coyne, Alan Ryan, Lucius Shepard, Graham Joyce, Tim Lebbon, and over 30 other artists and authors who have made Necon the most popular convention of the horror genre over the last three decades!
Bob and Mary Booth invented The Northeast Regional Fantasy and Horror Convention (Necon) in 1980 after they ran the 1979 World Fantasy Convention. Attendance at Necon has always been capped at 200 participants, which adds to the convention's close-knit atmosphere—but also creates a high demand for tickets. If you've never been able to attend this incredible summer gathering, The Big Book of Necon will give you a glimpse into what makes that convention so special. And if you're already a Necon regular, this generous volume will bring back a lot of fond memories.
Featuring works from over 50 contributors, The Big Book of Necon provides hours of great horror/dark fantasy reading from some of the most important names in modern horror. Many of the short stories, essays, poems, and artwork originally appeared in the annual program booklet, which is exclusively printed for the attendees each year—and in the case of the Necon XX volume, with its rare appearance of Stephen King's "The Old Dude's Ticker," now sells for as much as $250-$500 on eBay.
Other highlights include:
• fiction by writers from horror's golden age (Stephen King, Peter Straub, F. Paul Wilson, Alan Ryan, Jack Ketchum), by the genre's newer stars (Christopher Golden, Brian Keene, and many others), and by visitors from the British Isles (Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Lebbon)
• essays by Charles L. Grant and Thomas F. Monteleone, defining the Necon experience for the uninitiated
• artwork by Gahan Wilson, Glenn Chadbourne, Richard Sardina, and Cortney Skinner
As eclectic and entertaining as the convention itself, The Big Book of Necon gathers together horror's finest authors in a rare celebration of what's unique and exciting about the genre. A once-in-a-lifetime event, this massive anthology is certain to be one of the most talked about books of the year!
Table of Contents:
"Bob Goes To Necon" by Charles Lang (artwork),
"Introduction" by Bob Booth,
"Live To Write / Write To Live" by Glenn Chadbourne (artwork),
"Saugies, Valuable Prizes and Hawaiian Shirts" by Douglas E. Winter,
"Necon: What It Is?" by Charles L. Grant,
"The Dark Campers" by Linda Addison,
"View From The Bottom" by Matt Bechtel,
"Four Views Of Necon" by Ginjer Buchanan,
"Conning At Roger Williams On A Summer's Evening" by Elizabeth Massie,
"My Favorite Necon Moment" by Thomas Monteleone,
"Necon X" by Yvonne Navarro,
"Untitled" by Holly Newstein,
"Camper Activity Page" by Cortney Skinner (artwork),
"Valuable Prizes" by Gahan Wilson (artwork),
"Necon" by Hank Wagner,
"Report On Necon '82" by Stanley Wiater,
"Ketchum Kabobs" by Glenn Chadbourne (artwork),
"Red Paint" by Jill Bauman,
"A Death In The Day Of" by Gary A. Braunbeck,
"The Hustler, Smoking" by Jonathan Carroll,
"Unexpected Attraction" by Matthew Costello,
"End Of The Line" by John Coyne,
"Loser" by Les Daniels,
"Kisses From Auntie" by Craig Shaw Gardner,
"Little Brother" by Rick Hautala,
"Sundays" by Jack Ketchum,
"Illustration For The Old Dude's Ticker" by Richard Sardinha (artwork),
"The Old Dude's Ticker" by Stephen King,
"Freddy And Rita" by G. Wayne Miller,
"Lake" by Kathryn Ptacek,
"Last Performance Of Kobo Daishi" by Alan Ryan,
"On The Last Night Of The Festival Of The Dead" by Darrell Schweitzer,
"Exercise Of Faith" by Lucius Shepard,
"Erotorium" by Stephen Spruill,
"Response From A Surprised But Pleased Recipient" by Peter Straub,
"Nocturne" by Thomas Tessier,
"Night Deposits" by Chet Williamson,
"Demonsong" by F. Paul Wilson,
"Necon Proceedings" by Cortney Skinner (artwork),
"And We'll Be Jolly Friends For Ever More" by P.D. Cacek,
"Becoming Men" by Douglas Clegg,
"Tryptich" by David Cram,
"Somebody Put Me Together" by Sephera Giron,
"Runaway" by Christopher Golden,
"Undercover" by Nancy Holder,
"I Am An Exit" by Brian Keene,
"Virtually Perfect" by James Moore,
"Necon Bat Camper" by Gahan Wilson (artwork),
"Burning" by Ramsey Campbell,
"Clearly Dead" by Simon Clark,
"Days Of The Wheel" by Peter Crowther,
"Fifteen Painted Cards From A Vampire Tarot" by Neil Gaiman,
"Partial Eclipse" by Graham Joyce,
"Recipe For Disaster" by Tim Lebbon,
"Memories Of Lydia, Leaving" by Phil Nutman,
"Camp Necon Skeleton" by Gahan Wilson (artwork).
Reviews and Praise:
A major horror anthology calls for a 'killer' lineup, and this 30th anniversary tribute to the Northeast Horror and Fantasy Convention features more than 50 works of fiction and nonfiction by past attendees and guests who represent the best and darkest of the genre's practitioners. Among the highlights are Stephen King's "The Old Dude's Ticker," a retelling of Poe's "The Tell-tale Heart" as the rant of a homicidal Vietnam vet, and Peter Straub's "Response from a Surprised but Pleased Recipient," which takes the form of creepy answers to a marketing survey. Essays and illustrations by numerous horror and dark fantasy notables round out the volume. Though mostly not convention-themed, these works easily showcase the impressive array of talents that have helped make Necon an annual highlight for horror's pros and semipros.
— Publishers Weekly.
"With its laid-back, summer-camp atmosphere and Rhode Island university setting, Necon is arguably the most popular of the many annual horror conventions. For the benefit of fans and fellow writers who've never attended, convention chairman Booth preserves much of the event's warm and fuzzy feeling in the essay and story anthology he has compiled. Featuring a smorgasbord of well-known genre names—Stephen King, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, and Tim Lebbon, among others—the volume mixes personal recollections of past conventions and original fiction, including tales gathered from assorted Necon program guides. Standout stories include Jonathan Carroll's "The Hustler, Smoking," about a boy's encounter with Paul Newman; Kathryn Ptacek's "The Lake," profiling a psychologically abused wife who finds refuge at a lake; and Chet Williamson's "Night Deposits," recounting one man's unusual solution to erasing his crushing debt. For past Necon attendees, the collection will serve as a nostalgic reminder, while nonparticipants will imbibe some of the convention's playful energy and enjoy some outstanding writing as they do."
There are two ways to read The Big Book of NECON, the lovingly crafted tribute to this small New England convention. One is simply as an anthology of short fiction and artwork by those affiliated with the con, whether they be one-time guests or long-time regulars. To read the book this way is to enjoy work by luminaries ranging from Stephen King (with a previously unpublished story) to Gahan Wilson to Neil Gaiman to Jack Ketchum to Peter Straub to Christopher Golden to, well, let's just say there are a lot of names in there. It's also to thumb past a few NECON travelogues and reports from folks like Stanley Wiater, Charles L. Grant, Thomas Monteleone and others, and to completely skip the alternately informative, amusing and terrifying NECON glossary helpfully provided by Douglas E. Winter. Doing so yields an entirely satisfying, highly enjoyable read of some wonderful fiction and poetry, spiced up with art by Wilson, Glen Chadbourne, Jill Bauman and others. Of course, reading the book this way completely misses the point... it's to celebrate the fact that so many people, of such talent, have come together at NECON to have a good time, and to share the joy that has resulted.
— Richard Dansky, Green Man Review.
Necon is an annual, rather informal get together for horror professionals and fans, held annually in Rhode Island. The program pamphlets and other materials have contained a number of original stories, poems, essays, artwork, and other material by some of the biggest names in the genre. I've seen some of these listed on Ebay for really incredible amounts of money. Now editor Booth has collected all of these and more into this rather large collection of material from such names as Stephen King, Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, and many many others, over fifty contributors in all. Most of this material is not available anywhere else and it is all of professional quality. A genuinely rare and unusual as well as entertaining anthology.
—Don D'Amassa, Critical Mass.
Fine in fine dj. FOREIGN CUSTOMERS PLEASE NOTE: due to the slight oversize of the book I don't believe it can sent by Flat Rate Priority envelope, additional shipping will apply.