New Releases: Memory by Donald Westlake

PK Interview: Jonathan Oliver (Part 5)

Previously, we captured Jonathan Oliver and made him tell us all about his book, The Call of Kerberos, as well as divulge his feelings about pulp fiction & spill the secret history of Abaddon. 


Rebecca Levene - Cold Warriors What’s changing at Abaddon in 2010?

Abaddon’s been happily ticking away, but this year we want to be bigger, push more buttons.

We’ve been licensing to foreign rights publishers already, and quite a few more foreign rights publishers have approached us. For a while we weren’t able to do anything about it, but now we’ve got more staff, we’re selling to Poland, France… we’re doing everything as eBooks as well.

And new books? What’s coming out that we can get really, really excited about? 

We’ve got Rebecca Levene’s The Infernal Game series. Rebecca's series is something a bit less ham-fisted pulp and a bit more serious. Not serious-serious, but more interesting in a noiry, stylish way. It’s like the Bourne Identity meets The Devil Rides Out. It’s espionage and diabolism.

That cover looks gorgeous too. 

This is our first book where we’ve done a design-led cover. The cover’s got spot varnish. We’ve got a bloody great-big upside-down cross on the cover and one on the spine. Either we’re going to be banned in 25 of the American states, or that’s going to catch people’s eye. 

We’re giving this book a big push in the States and a big push here. We’ve got two books signed up – I really want them to do well, because I really want to do more of them. 

That’s fantastic. Really looking forward to reading it! 

Pat Kelleher - Black Hand GangWe're doing another series called No Man’s World. This author came through another of our Abaddon authors, who said, “My mate Pat [Kelleher] writes, and he’s a really good ideas man. Would you like to see something from him?” At that time I had nothing for Pat, but I said I’d look at him, as a favor to the author. 

He sent me these ideas he’d had for Twilight of Kerberos and they were brilliant. But Twilight was full – so I asked him to stop. I didn’t want to steal his ideas! 

It came on that we wanted to do a new series, and the boss had been going on for a while about how he’d quite like to do soldiers, from a specific period in history, taken out of context. 

We went for World War One Tommies on an alien planet. They’re fighting in the trenches, there’s a bloody great flash that goes off, and they wake to find that they’re in a section of trench still, but they’ve been dumped in the middle of a vast plain, on an alien planet. And it’s how they cope with that. And it’s really good. 

Pat’s done really well. I’m not a fan of military science-fiction, but the military aspects of this are well-done and convincing. And, they are not the only aspects of this book. It is a good-science fiction novel. 

And it has elements of steampunk… or 30’s steampunk… but we’re going to do more with it. We’re going to go a bit Edgar Rice Burroughs – there will be some Hollow World type stuff in later books. It’s going to be a cool series to develop. 

Those both sound like they’re going to be a lot of fun to read. 

Genre fiction is so diverse. At its best, it can produce such great works of literature – Fahrenheit 451, Something Wicked This Way Comes, The Grifters, The Haunting of Hill House. Genre fiction can move you in the way that any great literature can. 

You can be brave with genre fiction. You can push the limits. Genre fiction’s wide and diverse, and the great thing is that you can do anything in it as well. It’s not “kitchen sink” fiction – we’re not realists – and that’s great, because you can talk about issues in new and bizarre ways.

Especially if your issues are giant squid gods. 


I think genre’s still an exciting place to be. I’ve never got bored with it, and I’ve been reading it since I was a kid. I love what we publish, and I read what everyone else publishes as well. There’s so much to enjoy right now, and I think we’re very, very lucky.

The Call of Kerberos is available through Amazon and your local bookshop. Cold Warriors, by Rebecca Levene, and The Black Hand Gang, by Pat Kelleher, are both available for pre-order on Amazon.