The Extinction Event is Jurassic London’s Last Act

This is the end, my friends.

Jurassic London, the not for profit small press founded in 2011 by Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin to showcase “the continued relevance, creativity and fun to be found in literature, especially genre fiction,” announced a number of things on Monday—not least that it’d be closing its doors come its fifth anniversary in October, following the publication of one last anthology.

The Extinction Event will include over two dozen stories, a ton of art, and a whole heap of stuff, including new story introductions from a wide range of luminaries.

We’re still finalising the Table of Contents, but it currently clocks in at over 150,000 words; over half of which will be completely new material. We’ve been taking this as an opportunity to revisit our previous publications—including the more rare and out of print titles—and also commission some terrific new material.

That new material comes from some of genre fiction’s finest writers, including Chrysanthy Balis, David Bryher, Kim Curran, Den Patrick, Henrietta Rose-Innes, Robert Sharp, Molly Tanzer, Lavie Tidhar and J.Y. Yang, with more authors to be announced in the months to come.

As regards those reprints—why, I have a bit of a list!

  • Archie Black – “Uncle Smoke” (Stories of the Smoke)
  • Jesse Bullington – “Escape from the Mummy’s Tomb” (The Book of the Dead)
  • Becky Chambers – “Chrysalis” (Pornokitsch.com)
  • Amy Coombe – “The Life of Her Mother (Pornokitsch.com)
  • S.L. Grey – “We’ll Always Be Here” (The Lowest Heaven)
  • Will Hill – “Three Memories of Death” (The Book of the Dead)
  • Matt Jones – “The Comet’s Tale” (The Lowest Heaven)
  • Rebecca Levene – “The Knowledge” (Stories of the Smoke)
  • Sophia McDougall – “Not the End of the World” (Stories of the Apocalypse)
  • Simon Morden – “Never, never, three times never” (Thy Kingdom Come)
  • Adam Roberts – “Martin Citywit” (Stories of the Smoke)
  • James Smythe – “The Last Escapement” (Irregularity)
  • E.J. Swift – “The Spiders of Stockholm” (Irregularity)
  • Sam Sykes – “Wish for a Gun” (A Town Called Pandemonium)
  • Osgood Vance – “Closer” (Stories of the Apocalypse)

“Each story,” Shurin said, whether original or reprinted, “comes with a new introduction by a member of the extended Jurassic family—a few of the (many) readers, authors, bloggers, curators and Egyptologists that have been so supportive of us over the past five years.”

And happily, given that one of the laundry list of things Jurassic London has become known for since its inception is the fantastic art that has adored its most excellent efforts, the small press has also “commissioned new artwork (and reprinted old artwork) from the legion of artists who have brought our books to life over the years.” Jonathan Edwards, Joey Hi-Fi, Howard Hardiman, Jade Klara, Sarah Anne Langton, Jeffrey Alan Love, Gary Northfield and Vincent Sammy feature in that legion.

Jeffrey-Alan-Love-CLOSER

It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to present to you, in the course of this post, not one but two of those pieces. The first, above, is by the wonderful Jeffrey Alan Love, and the following illustration comes courtesy of Sarah Anne Langton, who was BSFA Award nominated for her work on Jews vs, another Jurassic London joint:

Extinction-Event-Interior-Art-2-Langton

The Extinction Event, which will be published as a very glamorous limited edition—and only as a very glamorous limited edition—in late October, sure sounds like a high note for Jurassic London to go out on. That said, it remains redolent of the end of a small press that has done so much to further genre fiction over the years, and done it so damned gallantly, and that’s sad.

But “this is not a sad thing!” Shurin assured in the post announcing the news, so I had to ask him why that was. Or wasn’t. “We’ve had an amazing time for five years,” he explained in the emails we exchanged later:

“Anne and I are grateful for all the people we’ve met and opportunities we’ve had because of Jurassic London. It has never stopped amazing us how kind readers, authors, artists, booksellers and book lovers can be. Anne is, of course, happily ensconced in Big Publishing, and has been doing amazing things with Hodder & Stoughton for several years. I’m perpetually scheming, and will continue to do so. We’ll see what October brings!”

Can’t imagine it bringing anything more exciting than The Extinction Event… but you know what? I wouldn’t count out Jurassic London’s ability to surprise and delight me one final time. After all, it’s made rather a habit of that.

Niall Alexander is an extra-curricular English teacher who reads and writes about all things weird and wonderful for The Speculative ScotsmanStrange Horizons, and Tor.com. He lives with about a bazillion books, his better half and a certain sleekit wee beastie in the central belt of bonnie Scotland.

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