Hard Case Crime announces HC via Subterranean Press

Hard Case Crime, a premier mystery-crime publisher which has been published and distributed by Dorchester Publishing (see my previous post) is making a move.

Posted today at the Subterranean Press site:

“We’re pleased to announce that we’ve just reached agreement to publish an exclusive Hard Case Crime volume, which will also be the first in the series to debut in hardcover. Volume #69 will resurrect a pair of early Lawrence Block novels: 69 Barrow Street and Strange Embrace, bound back to back in the classic “doubles” format, featuring brand-new art by Robert McGinnis. You can look for more details, including ordering info, later this year, with a projected publication date in the first half of 2011.”

While I see this as good news, it’s limited good news. There is so far no indication who will be publishing the regular paperback line of Hard Case books. Also, while it is good to know a new book is on the way, hardcovers cost a good deal more than paperbacks, and Subterranean’s books, while of high quality, are not inexpensive. I’m still hoping that Hard Case, and other mystery and western mass market lines which appear to be headed for extinction at Dorchester Publishing will find another home.

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12 Responses to Hard Case Crime announces HC via Subterranean Press

  1. Reading between the lines, I think the mass market books of HARD CASE CRIME are extinct. They may do a trade paperback/hardcover deal with other publishers like Subterranean, but don’t expect to find those familiar paperbacks on the shelves of Barnes & Noble or Borders any more.

  2. Todd Mason says:

    Well, that might be premature. But even if they go all “trade”/”quality” paper, they might well be on the shelves at the Big Boxes, as much as they have been (not often enough for my local outlets). Dunno if Sub and HC are likely to be longterm partners, but if Ardai chooses to say on Rara-Avis before p/r filters out, I’ll pass that along (R-A being an “open” list).

  3. Richard says:

    Thanks, Todd, that would be great!

  4. Richard says:

    Let’s hope not, George, but you ay well be right. Let’s hope there will be some more of the HC books, and at least that those in print don’t get ground up. Ardai has done such a great job with Hard Case.

  5. Patti Abbott says:

    I can’t imagine he would have given up this quickly so maybe this is a separate deal. He probably hopes to cut another one for the paperbacks. Or find the means to do it himself. I assume they sell because I see them in various places including my library.

  6. Richard says:

    Patti – that’s logical and I hope you’re right. I see the books in many places also.

  7. Does anyone see the parallels between what’s happening with Dorchester and the collapse of the pulps in the early Fifties?

  8. Richard says:

    Not sure. I suppose you mean when comics and paperbacks took the market, or was it when the G.I Bill helped soldiers buy homes, the suburbs sprang up and there were no news-stands or other pulp outlets, or it could be when the nation recovered from the depression and with more money people bought books or slicks. There were a lot of reasons the pulps faded away, the economy being a large one. There may be some parallels. One thing is sure, compared to in print books, the pulps were a brief phenomena, while printed books continued on.

  9. Richard says:

    I’m probably: 1) over-reacting and 2) burying my head in the sand about this. It’s making me want to buy and hold tight every book in sight. Uh-oh. The credit card is smoking.

  10. Chris says:

    I agree with Patti. In fact, I’d be shocked if this Subterranean deal wasn’t already well in the works before the whole Dorchester thing went off the rails. I love the stuff Subterranean does. I can’t afford everything they do, but for books I want in hardcover, few do it better.

    I’m confident that HCC will weather the storm.

  11. Richard says:

    Hope that’s the way it falls out. Good thought on the deal already being under way, you’re probably right. Sometimes I forget about the lead time on those things.

    Meanwhile it’s a beautiful day, I’ve just come back from a swim, and I’m just starting a book. Life is good.

  12. Carl V. says:

    It would sincerely suck to see Hard Case disappear. I’ve enjoyed collecting the books, particularly those with McGinnis covers. I will certainly be picking up the Subterranean Press book, but I don’t want to see the paperback series disappear, or go through some wildly changed redesign.

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