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6 March 2023

Sexton Blake returns!

Over on The Sexton Blake society Facebook group (here) author Mark Hodder has had this to say about an upcoming release from Rebellion publishing...

Since it is being listed on various publishing sites, I can now announce the next Sexton Blake project from Rebellion. Most of you will know that CARIBBEAN CRISIS was Michael Moorcock’s first published novel (based on an initial idea by Jim Cawthorn). It was also his one and only Sexton Blake tale. It was published in 1962 as “by Desmond Reid,” a name the editor, William Howard Baker, frequently applied to work to which he had made changes. In this case, he reversed the politics of the story, to make it less sympathetic to Cuban revolutionaries. Mike was dismayed at the time, soon glad to be hidden behind the pseudonym, and over the subsequent 60 years has not permitted the novel to be republished. Nor has he been inclined to revise it … until now. 

A couple of years ago, I suggested to him that we collaborate on a “restored, revised, and extended” edition. To this, he thankfully agreed. We have made alterations to practically every paragraph. New elements and characters have been added to the story. I was able to expand on descriptions based on my travels in Cuba. The political slant is restored, but updated to better reflect Michael Moorcok of 2023 than of the late ’50s (when the original was written). The old CARIBBEAN CRISIS was 29,000 words in length. The new version is 10,000 words longer.

We so enjoyed the process, that we also collaborated on a prequel to the yarn. VOODOO ISLAND is a brand new Sexton Blake tale set in the Caribbean of 1933. It features the villain from CARIBBEAN CRISIS, and re-introduces the wonderful old characters Marie Galante and Professor Huxton Rymer (in what is, in Blake chronology, his penultimate story). The story is 42,000 words in length.

CARIBBEAN CRISIS and VOODOO ISLAND by Michael Moorcock and Mark Hodder will be published in a single volume by Rebellion in the autumn.

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