I do believe I've mentioned Revelations here on The Speculative Scotsman before - see, no, I don't mean the book in the bible, why would you think that? I mean Revelations, the website, which superfans Phil and Sarah Stokes have been keeping on behalf of the great Clive Barker since the cenobites were but a pinhole of a twinkle in his eye. They have unprecedented access to the man himself, and with great power, as we all know, comes great responsibility. Thus, every couple of months, Phil and Sarah sit down with Clive to talk about what the man's been up to in the intervening period.
The last interview was conducted in August, published in November, and read - by me - just there. And it appears, after years of yammering about art and the like, there's finally been some book news: Clive has delivered the final manuscript of Abarat 3, the third volume of a quartet a decade in the making and now set to run for five books rather than the requisite four. Still no publication date, but the publishers - the Joanna Cotler imprint of HarperCollins in the States - have been champing at the bit for this book, so I'd wager we see it sooner rather than later: this Winter or next Spring seem likely plausible release windows.
But wait, there's more.
The thing Clive had been working on instead of Abarat 3, "a home for all the previously uncollected short stories together with a whole bunch of new pieces of short fiction" called Black is the Devil's Rainbow, has suffered something of a setback. Evidently sick of waiting on delivery of the final new story in the collection, HarperCollins' adult division - Clive's publisher since 1986 - have called it quits with the Weaveworld author. Not. Good. News.
Sounds like the man's been through the ringer, rather. He has my sympathies.
At least there's something positive to report as regards The Scarlet Gospels, a new Pinhead project that grew from a novella into something far larger: writer Mark Miller - no, not that one - came onboard last Summer to edit the 2,000 page-long manuscript which Clive had completed, saying "the book is well on its way. The Scarlet Gospels are almost here."
Which would be ever so nice, in truth. I love Clive Barker's work, and I'm a patient guy - if you're going to take five years to finish your next novel, that fine... just don't go promising we'll all be reading whatever it is in a few short months when the chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, they say, and still offer better odds than the release date of Clive Barker's next book would fetch.
Anyway. Grumpy hat off, hopeful hat... on. Abarat 3 is where?