Edgar Allan Poe may not be able to attend BEA this year—because he’s been dead for nearly 163 years—but minor obstacles like death and physical decomposition aren’t going to deter Chicago’s Wicker Park Press. Stop by the publisher’s booth (4488) for galley copies of Poe’s Lighthouse, a new collection of 23 short stories by the noted 19th-century author. Each story in the collection was written by Poe, in collaboration with a living writer. Poe’s Lighthouse was edited by Christopher Conlon.
If any author were to transcend death to publish, it would certainly be Poe, who wrote such classics of mystery and the macabre as “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” and “The Purloined Letter.” All it took to bring the collection to life was a little push from Wicker Park Press.
“I always wanted to do a Poe book,” says publisher Eric Miller, explaining that in reality, 23 contemporary writers each took the fragment of a tale Poe had begun writing in 1849, shortly before his death, and completed it. Three pages exist of the story, which is titled “The Lighthouse.”
“The only rule was to use Poe’s language, his images, his ideas; the story had to truly work together with the master. They are designed to be genuine collaborations,” Miller notes of the stories, which span a variety of genres, from fantasy to horror. Contributors include Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Carole Nelson Douglas, John Shirley, and Mike Resnick. There are no plans to send anyone on tour, especially Poe.
As Poe—if he were here with us in Javits—might say, “And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor / Shall be lifted—nevermore!”