Wednesday, August 14, 2013

John Lange Novels to be Published in Paperback

Ask and ye shall receive.

When the digital publication of Michael Crichton’s pseudonym novels was announced, many people said they wished they could get print editions. Most of the titles were out of print and the second hand copies were often quite expensive.

Especially Odds On, Drug of Choice, and The Venom Business.

Hard Case Crime, which republished Grave Descend in 2006 and Zero Cool in 2008, will be publishing the eight novels Crichton wrote under the name “John Lange” in October/November 2013.

Charles Ardai, the owner and publisher of Hard Case Crime, worked with Crichton in getting two of the books republished—Crichton even wrote two extra chapters for Zero Cool—but he was unable to persuade “John Lange” to reveal his true identity. In a recent interview, Ardai said:

Working with Michael (even if we had to keep it secret) was one of the great pleasures and privileges of my career, and ever since, I've wished we could have completed what we began. I've also wondered whether Michael might eventually have given in to temptation and written a whole new Lange novel for us -- no less persuasive a figure than Stephen King was encouraging him to do so! Alas, a new Lange novel will never be…but we’re very pleased to announce that five years later we finally will get to finish what we started. We’re going to be bringing all eight John Lange novels back to bookstores for the first time in more than four decades – and with the blessing of Michael’s family, the first time ever under the his real name.

I work in a bookstore and I remember telling several Michael Crichton fans about the John Lange novels we had for sale. Most were very surprised, having had no idea that Crichton had written under a pseudonym.

Odds On (1966)

Scratch One (1967)

Easy Go (1968)

Zero Cool (1969)

The Venom Business (1970)

Drug of Choice (1970)

Grave Descend (1970)

Binary (1972)

Unfortunately, Dealing or The Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues (1970) by Michael Douglas is still available only in digital or out-of-print editions.

A Case of Need (1968) by Jeffery Hudson was out of print but was republished in 1993 with Crichton’s name on the cover. It’s available in paperback and has been for years. There’s an interesting story behind that. (Coming Soon: “A Special Case of Need”)