Friday, September 07, 2012

The Matter of the Dead

So I've just put together and published in a Kindle package two more short stories from my back list.  Both feature Mr Carlyle, an eccentric freelance investigator who knows, as he would put it, a great deal about the matter of the dead.  In the first, 'Dr Pretorius and the Lost Temple', he has just arrived in London, meets Isambard Kingdom Brunel at a seance, and in short order becomes involved in the plot of a necromancer, Dr Pretorius, and a curse as old as the city itself.  In the second, 'Bone Orchards', he's still working in London more than 150 years later, and a chance encounter at Abney Park cemetery leads him into an investigation into a tragic murder that occurred during World War 2.

Although I'm best known as a science-fiction writer, I'm a long-time fan of horror films and fiction, especially ghost stories (one of the first stories I published, 'Inheritance', is an homage to the M.R. James school of  ghost stories).  I've written five stories about Mr Carlyle, and the psychogeography of London.  Preparing these two stories for republication reminded me all over again of how much fun they are to write, and that so far I've neglected his adventures through Queen Victoria's reign, and most of the Twentieth Century - his role in bringing Cleopatra's Needle to London, the affair of the Zeppelin spy, his involvement with the Secret Intelligence Service and the Special Operations Executive . . .  I really should do something about that.

Meanwhile, perhaps you would like to buy the UK or US Kindle editions, or to sample this little story, told by one of Mr Carlyle's old enemies.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recall reading at least two stories that included Dr. Pretorious in the title. I hoped that you might write "The Cabinet of Dr. Pretorious" or The Island of Dr. Pretorious" or Perhaps even "The Island of Dr. Pretorious and other stories" :)

September 09, 2012 11:59 am  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

Or 'The Many Faces of Dr Pretorius'? A Dr Pretorius was the villain in The Mask: the animated series.

September 09, 2012 2:43 pm  
Anonymous Tom Moore said...

Mr. McAuley, I'm a big fan of your Mr. Carlyle stories and just recently purchased the Dr. Pretorius ebook. I, and I'm sure many others, would love to see them all collected as an ebook. Any chance of that happening?

Thanks for your stories.

May 14, 2014 4:41 am  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

Hi Tom,

Pleased you liked the stories, and thanks for your interest. Short answer: probably not, I'm afraid. There are only a few, so I'd need to write one or two more to make it a decent collection, and I'm busy with other things at the moment. Can't rule out a return, but not in the near future...

May 16, 2014 7:39 pm  

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