The Society is delighted to announce a forthcoming collaboration with Jurassic London in the form of The Book of the Dead, a collection of nineteen new short stories, all themed around the most mysterious, versatile and, perhaps, under-appreciated of the undead: the mummy.
Although this may seem an unusual venture for the EES, it should be remembered that the Society's founder, Amelia Edwards, was the doyenne of the Victorian short story, quite a few of which could be described as supernatural thrillers. In addition, the mummy has an important role in the popular reception of ancient Egypt, as the Society's Vice Chair, John J Johnston, who provides the volume’s introduction, explains:
“The mummified remains of Egypt’s ancient dead have fascinated travellers, scholars and museum visitors for millennia and for around the last 180 years, they have provided a potent source of inspiration for authors, artists, and film makers. The fictional mummy is a compelling figure, lurking in the dark recesses of our collective imagination, having been resurrected and refashioned time and again, as the object of exotic fantasy, the tragic paramour, tortured by long-lost loves and, most frequently, as the terrifying instrument of ancient vengeance."
Since 2011, Jurassic has developed an impressive reputation as an independent publisher of short speculative fiction in themed and beautifully presented limited editions: Stories of the Apocalypse (2011), Stories of the Smoke (2012), A Town Called Pandemonium (2012) and The Lowest Heaven (2013), all of which have also been made available electronically.
The editor of The Book of the Dead, Jared Shurin, is especially enthusiastic about this forthcoming volume:
“This is a dream come true. Although the opportunity to go poking around in forbidden tombs has always been (wisely) denied me, thanks to all these fantastic authors and the EES, I still get a chance to unleash some ancient evils on the world.
“I’m delighted by how the themes of the mummy have been brought to life (pun intended) by the stories in this volume—not only brilliant tales of both revenge and romance, but also explorations of race and imperialism, immortality and humanity.”
The stories are illustrated by Garen Ewing, the creator of The Adventures of Julius Chancer, the acclaimed ligne claire adventure nominated for two UK National Comic Awards and currently serialized in The Phoenix.
The Book of the Dead will be released at the end of October 2013 as a limited edition hardcover as well as in paperback and digital formats. A portion of all proceeds from sales of The Book of the Dead will be donated to the Egypt Exploration Society.