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The Nicholas Hoar cover for the
1993 GMP issue of DEATH'S HEAD and the 1994 GMP issue ofEQUINOX
It all began with DEATH'S HEAD, originally
published in 1991, in abridged form by GMP in the UK. A year later
came EQUINOX, the second of the
Jarrat and Stone books ... and then a ten-year lull while GMP,
as a business, wound down and merged itself into the much larger
Not until Mel Keegan entered into the
current creative partnership with DreamCraft
Multimedia did the NARC books stir back to life, and they took off
2004/05 the way they should have fifteen long years ago!
The third novel, SCORPIO, was
published in September 2004, and Mel has dusted off old notebooks:
the story outlines for NARC books which were planned and of
necessity shelved, so long ago.
Next came STOPOVER, which we whimsically
called 'NARC #3.5," since it's a slim volume which falls between
SCORPIO and APHELION. It's the same length as most of the SF novels
of the 1960s about 44,000 words ... and MK had actually
intended it to be the prolog to APHELION.
Halfway through the
writing, we all realized Keegan had 'done it again,' and the
novel was going to run way too long. We cut STOPOVER out of
APHELION and released it as a stand-alone early in 2007, while
APHELION followed along later.
The NARC books became not merely a possibility, but a reality,
with the DreamCraft reissue of EQUINOX, and a year later, the
restoration of DEATH'S HEAD. The project was an immense task,
but the book was shipped in March '04, and reception from
readers has been overwhelming. Advance orders were several times
more than we had expected, and the reader response has been
better than we could have hoped for (and we'd already had
high hopes to begin with).
Early in 2008, DreamCraft switched over to printing and binding in
the USA/Can and UK/Eur, using the services of the POG 'giant,' Lulu.com.
To celebrate the move, we struck an entirely set of new covers.
Mel Keegan's readers frequently disagree on what might be their favorite book or genre, but on
one issue they're solidly in agreement: gay-themed science fiction doesn't get any better than
this! (Having said that, however, we can hear a wail going up in the background, from the folks who
actually prefer the historicals. In fact, 25% of readers do prefer (gay) historical fiction, and
something like 10% read mostly only contemporary fiction. Guys name your poison, as the saying
goes: the odds are excellent, you'll find it in these pages.)
Want to know more about NARC? Click here for a collection of articles, interviews and features
which open a window into this amazing world!
The covers for the 2012 reissue of the whole series:|