The Big Book of Necon
- Editor: Bob Booth
- Page Count: 312
- Pub. Date: June 2009
- ISBN: 978-1-58767-202-6
- Status: Out of Print
"The best horror convention since its inception,
folksy, laid-back, and an all-around good time."
— Stephen King
"Some people have lives. We have Necon."
— Stanley Wiater
The Big Book of Necon
edited by Bob Booth
Featuring contributions by Stephen King, Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, Jack Ketchum, Rick Hautala, Thomas Tessier, Chet Williamson, Douglas Clegg, Brian Keene, Ramsey Campbell, Douglas Winter, Thomas Monteleone, Gahan Wilson, Jonathan Carroll, John Coyne, Alan Ryan, Lucius Shepard, Graham Joyce, Tim Lebbon, and over 30 other artists and authors who have made Necon the most popular convention of the horror genre over the last three decades!
About the Book:
Bob and Mary Booth invented The Northeast Regional Fantasy and Horror Convention (Necon) in 1980 after they ran the 1979 World Fantasy Convention. Attendance at Necon has always been capped at 200 participants, which adds to the convention's close-knit atmosphere—but also creates a high demand for tickets. If you've never been able to attend this incredible summer gathering, The Big Book of Necon will give you a glimpse into what makes that convention so special. And if you're already a Necon regular, this generous volume will bring back a lot of fond memories.
Featuring works from over 50 contributors, The Big Book of Necon provides hours of great horror/dark fantasy reading from some of the most important names in modern horror. Many of the short stories, essays, poems, and artwork originally appeared in the annual program booklet, which is exclusively printed for the attendees each year.
Other highlights include:
• fiction by writers from horror's golden age (Stephen King, Peter Straub, F. Paul Wilson, Alan Ryan, Jack Ketchum), by the genre's newer stars (Christopher Golden, Brian Keene, and many others), and by visitors from the British Isles (Neil Gaiman, Ramsey Campbell, Tim Lebbon)
• essays by Charles L. Grant and Thomas F. Monteleone, defining the Necon experience for the uninitiated
• artwork by Gahan Wilson, Glenn Chadbourne, Richard Sardina, and Cortney Skinner
As eclectic and entertaining as the convention itself, The Big Book of
Necon gathers together horror's finest authors in a rare celebration of
what's unique and exciting about the genre. A once-in-a-lifetime event, this
massive anthology is certain to be one of the most talked about books of the
(Please note: Due to the low print runs, we cannot accept orders for the signed editions that are placed using store credit, coupons, savings certificates, or gift certificates. Limit of one copy of the Limited Edition, one copy of the Deluxe Artist Edition, and one copy of the Lettered Edition per person, household, mailing address, or credit card.)
A major horror anthology calls for a 'killer' lineup, and this 30th anniversary tribute to the Northeast Horror and Fantasy Convention features more than 50 works of fiction and nonfiction by past attendees and guests who represent the best and darkest of the genre's practitioners. Among the highlights are Stephen King's "The Old Dude's Ticker," a retelling of Poe's "The Tell-tale Heart" as the rant of a homicidal Vietnam vet, and Peter Straub's "Response from a Surprised but Pleased Recipient," which takes the form of creepy answers to a marketing survey. Essays and illustrations by numerous horror and dark fantasy notables round out the volume. Though mostly not convention-themed, these works easily showcase the impressive array of talents that have helped make Necon an annual highlight for horror's pros and semipros.
— Publishers Weekly
With its laid-back, summer-camp atmosphere and Rhode Island university setting, Necon is arguably the most popular of the many annual horror conventions. For the benefit of fans and fellow writers who've never attended, convention chairman Booth preserves much of the event's warm and fuzzy feeling in the essay and story anthology he has compiled. Featuring a smorgasbord of well-known genre names—Stephen King, Peter Straub, Ramsey Campbell, and Tim Lebbon, among others—the volume mixes personal recollections of past conventions and original fiction, including tales gathered from assorted Necon program guides. Standout stories include Jonathan Carroll's "The Hustler, Smoking," about a boy's encounter with Paul Newman; Kathryn Ptacek's "The Lake," profiling a psychologically abused wife who finds refuge at a lake; and Chet Williamson's "Night Deposits," recounting one man's unusual solution to erasing his crushing debt. For past Necon attendees, the collection will serve as a nostalgic reminder, while nonparticipants will imbibe some of the convention's playful energy and enjoy some outstanding writing as they do.
There are two ways to read The Big Book of Necon, the lovingly crafted tribute to this small New England convention. One is simply as an anthology of short fiction and artwork by those affiliated with the con, whether they be one-time guests or long-time regulars. To read the book this way is to enjoy work by luminaries ranging from Stephen King (with a previously unpublished story) to Gahan Wilson to Neil Gaiman to Jack Ketchum to Peter Straub to Christopher Golden to, well, let's just say there are a lot of names in there. It's also to thumb past a few Necon travelogues and reports from folks like Stanley Wiater, Charles L. Grant, Thomas Monteleone and others, and to completely skip the alternately informative, amusing and terrifying Necon glossary helpfully provided by Douglas E. Winter. Doing so yields an entirely satisfying, highly enjoyable read of some wonderful fiction and poetry, spiced up with art by Wilson, Glenn Chadbourne, Jill Bauman and others. Of course, reading the book this way completely misses the point... it's to celebrate the fact that so many people, of such talent, have come together at Necon to have a good time, and to share the joy that has resulted.
— Richard Dansky, Green Man Review
Necon is an annual, rather informal get together for horror professionals and fans, held annually in Rhode Island. The program pamphlets and other materials have contained a number of original stories, poems, essays, artwork, and other material by some of the biggest names in the genre. I've seen some of these listed on Ebay for really incredible amounts of money. Now editor Booth has collected all of these and more into this rather large collection of material from such names as Stephen King, Peter Straub, Neil Gaiman, Brian Keene, Jack Ketchum, and many many others, over fifty contributors in all. Most of this material is not available anywhere else and it is all of professional quality. A genuinely rare and unusual as well as entertaining anthology.
—Don D'Amassa, Critical Mass
Bob Booth and his wife Mary are best known for founding Necon, which, according to Stephen King, "has been the best horror convention since its inception, folksy, laid-back, and an all-around good time." Bob likes to bring people and stories together, and although he has published both horror fiction and non-fiction relating to the horror genre, his main contribution to the larger horror community has been behind the scenes.
As a student at a small state teacher's college (Rhode Island College) he organized a speakers series that, over two years, brought in a number of fantasists to speak to students. The list included Bloch, Sturgeon, Leiber and Ellison, among others. He worked for Donald M. Grant Books as a free-lancer for nearly twenty years and in fact succeeded Don at his day job (as Associate Publications Director at Providence College). He helped bring Stephen King to that campus in the early 1980s.
He was a founding member of the World Fantasy Convention (1975) and further served that convention as Chairman (1979), Program Director (1986), Awards Judge (1983), Consultant (1982 & 1984) and board member (1975-1990). His Necon committee helped run the World Horror Convention in 1993.
Bob has ghost-edited all of the Necon program books and anniversary volumes as well as several World Fantasy Convention program books. The Big Book of Necon will be the first book to actually have his name on the spine.
A "friend to the stars," the number of horror novels in which he is a character or which have been dedicated to him approaches twenty. Friend Les Daniels likes to refer to Bob as one of the "nine unknown," a shadow government that brokers deals in the horror/dark fantasy community. Dave Hartwell once referred to Bob as one of the "secret masters of fantasy."
Published in four states:
• Trade Hardcover Edition bound in full-cloth and Smyth sewn with full-color dust jacket artwork ($40)
• Slipcased Hardcover Limited Edition of 350 signed and numbered copies, bound in full-cloth and Smyth sewn, and signed by more than 50 contributors (excluding King) on four pages of signature sheets ($175)
• Slipcased Deluxe Artist Edition of 150 signed and numbered copies, bound in a different full-cloth and Smyth sewn, signed by more than 50 contributors including Stephen King, featuring a different slipcase, different full-color signature sheets, an additional piece of color artwork, embossed endpapers, and original artwork by Glenn Chadbourne ($350)
• Traycased Lettered Edition of 52 lettered copies signed by more than 50 contributors including Stephen King, hand-bound in leather, featuring different endpapers, different signature sheets, a color frontispiece, with a satin ribbon page marker and a deluxe hand-made traycase ($1000)
Table of Contents:
"Bob Goes to Necon" by Charles Lang (artwork)
"Introduction" by Bob Booth
"Live to Write / Write to Live" by Glenn Chadbourne (artwork)
"Saugies, Valuable Prizes and Hawaiian Shirts" by Douglas E. Winter
"Necon: What It Is?" by Charles L. Grant
"The Dark Campers" by Linda Addison
"View from the Bottom" by Matt Bechtel
"Four Views of Necon" by Ginjer Buchanan
"Conning at Roger Williams on a Summer's Evening" by Elizabeth Massie
"My Favorite Necon Moment" by Thomas F. Monteleone
"Necon X" by Yvonne Navarro
"Untitled" by Holly Newstein
"Camper Activity Page" by Cortney Skinner (artwork)
"Valuable Prizes" by Gahan Wilson (artwork)
"Necon" by Hank Wagner
"Report on Necon '82" by Stanley Wiater
"Ketchum Kabobs" by Glenn Chadbourne (artwork)
"Red Paint" by Jill Bauman
"A Death in the Day Of" by Gary A. Braunbeck
"The Hustler, Smoking" by Jonathan Carroll
"Unexpected Attraction" by Matthew Costello
"End of the Line" by John Coyne
"Loser" by Les Daniels
"Kisses from Auntie" by Craig Shaw Gardner
"Little Brother" by Rick Hautala
"Sundays" by Jack Ketchum
"Illustration for the Old Dude's Ticker" by Richard Sardinha (artwork)
"The Old Dude's Ticker" by Stephen King
"Freddy and Rita" by G. Wayne Miller
"Lake" by Kathryn Ptacek
"The Last Performance of Kobo Daishi" by Alan Ryan
"On the Last Night of the Festival of the Dead" by Darrell Schweitzer
"Exercise of Faith" by Lucius Shepard
"Erotorium" by Stephen Spruill
"Response from a Surprised but Pleased Recipient" by Peter Straub
"Nocturne" by Thomas Tessier
"Night Deposits" by Chet Williamson
"Demonsong" by F. Paul Wilson
"Necon Proceedings" by Cortney Skinner (artwork)
"And We'll Be Jolly Friends For Ever More" by P.D. Cacek
"Becoming Men" by Douglas Clegg
"Tryptich" by David Cram
"Somebody Put Me Together" by Sephera Giron
"Runaway" by Christopher Golden
"Undercover" by Nancy Holder
"I Am an Exit" by Brian Keene
"Virtually Perfect" by James Moore
"Necon Bat Camper" by Gahan Wilson (artwork)
"Burning" by Ramsey Campbell
"Clearly Dead" by Simon Clark
"Days of the Wheel" by Peter Crowther
"Fifteen Painted Cards from a Vampire Tarot" by Neil Gaiman
"Partial Eclipse" by Graham Joyce
"Recipe for Disaster" by Tim Lebbon
"Memories of Lydia, Leaving" by Phil Nutman
"Camp Necon Skeleton" by Gahan Wilson (artwork)