On The Nightside

Hollywood movie moguls are circling fantasy author Simon R Green to seduce him into signing a deal for his Nightside series of books. Nightside, about a private eye investigating tales of the weird and uncanny in the Twilight Zone, is about to reach book number eight and they really are excellent tales.

Simon is a prolific author – famed for the Deathstalker series – with an uncompromising sense of humour. Going back a few years, he handed the second Deathstalker book in to his UK publisher, and the copy editor turned out to have no discernable sense of humour. At all. So she went through his book and crossed out every single joke. And then she looked at some of the science, and decided to “improve” it. He contacted his editor, who basically said “Oh no, not you as well.” They went through the book putting the humour back in, but there just wasn’t time to undo all the damage that had been done. Which is why the US edition of Deathstalker Rebellion is the only full and authentic version.

On the other hand…. the fourth Deathstalker book turned out to be the longest in the series, at some 800 pages of Manuscript. His then US editor said that it would cost too much at that size, and that the book needed cutting by ten percent. And either he could do it, or she’d do it for him… He wasn’t in any position to argue, so he did it. When the UK editor saw the manuscript, she had no problems with the size. So the UK edition of Deathstalker Honour is the only full authentic version.

And not forgetting the US copy editor who objected to his making jokes about the disabled. Simon knew very well he hadn’t done any such thing. It turned out she was objecting to a joke he’d made, saying that a character’s actions were about as sensible as a leper playing volley ball… Later in the series, he wrote a retelling of the Alamo story, set in a leper colony, but that copy editor had moved on by then.

His new series is Secret Histories featuring Shaman Bond, the very secret agent who fights all the secret wars with dark forces on our behalf so we never have to find out what a dangerous world we live in. The first books is The Man With The Golden Torc to be followed by Demons Are Forever.

Go on, you know you want to…