Tuesday, 10 August 2010

EDGE: A Welcome Return

George G Gilman's creation Edge is set to return via e-books and print on demand paperbacks by Solstice Publishing.

Back in 1972 Edge was depicted as a new kind of western hero - or anti-hero.
A violent man in a violent world. A man who survived by being far more brutal than those who came against him.
The kind of man who could sit back and watch a woman being raped because it was none of his business. Sooner or later it was the actions of others that would make it his business.

The character of Edge spans the traditional with the spaghetti western and over the course of 61 books he both evolves and ages. It is this point that is generally missed. Edge can be chauvinistic but could he ever be capable of any emotion? Gilman's skill in creating a moment when Edge marries Beth only to have her die shows that Edge has more depth than is suspected.
The series of books were not only influential in the seventies but their appeal continues in today's world. The US saw only 49 Edge books published by Pinnacle and the remaining books are highly sought after.

And now I get personal.
Without Edge there may never have been a Jack Giles.
The paperback series started me on a trail with Poseidon Smith and Pad Maghee as two possible series. They went to all the trade paperbacks and the response was highly encouraging but no one was taking on new western writers. I had arrived just a tad too late and the series western was coming to an end.
So I wrote to George G. Gilman aka Terry Harknett and asked for advice. He gave me a suggestion and the rest is history. Poseidon Smith was published by Robert Hale in 1984 and the Pad Maghee story 'The Man From Labasque' was my fourth published book.
Terry Harknett wrote to me to congratulate me and hoped that one day our books would be on the same shelf. My wife tells me that it happened on the shelves at Bromley Library.

Edge now gets a second run and I wish Terry all the success and hope that Edge will influence and inspire new writers to turn to the west.

2 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

Let's hope Edge's new found retro-cool status will encourage publishers to bring back other out of print classics

Randy Johnson said...

I'm with you on the return. The American editions were instantly snapped up when they hit the stands. Unfortunately, of course, they stopped with forty-nine. I've been wanting those last eleven for years.