Dead Names, Dead Dog: The Spellbook Shuffle, Part 4

Returning to our topic, “Simon’s” portrayal of the Necronomicon Spellbook in Dead Names, we have two puzzling aspects of this situation that I’d like to examine more closely. The first is the curious timing thereof: “Simon” states that “there was, however, no time” to update the book – and that was almost a decade before it was reprinted. Further, we have his emphasis upon Larry Barnes as the driving force behind the republication.

I’m not in a position to refute either of these, but neither sounds particularly convincing. I can offer an alternate theory, based on a single piece of evidence not raised in Dead Names. I’ve never brought it up before because I could never see the relevance. If “Simon” wants to discuss the publication of the Spellbook, though, it becomes relevant.

My research indicates that, before the Spellbook was published, “Simon” no longer had control of the Necronomicon rights. In fact, it’s likely that his control ended within a few years before the Spellbook was published.

This suggests an alternative scenario. “Simon,” for whatever reason, wasn’t interested in the Spellbook rights for quite some time. After all, the Spellbook looked like small potatoes in proportion to the black book itself. Larry wanted it reprinted, but “Simon” was unwilling to do so. Then he lost the revenue from the Necronomicon and fell back upon a Spellbook republication with Avon. There really was no time to expand it, not if he wanted to make up whatever gap the Necronomicon loss left in his personal budget. (Even for an author as modestly successful as I am, those royalty checks can really matter.) The book is quickly republished, he makes money, the fans get their book, and everyone’s happy.

As I said, it’s not a refutation, but a more plausible scenario that makes more sense of the facts at hand. Still, if it’s true, it indicates a man whose only interest in the Spellbook was financial, as “Simon” himself suggests:

I had second thoughts about the Spellbook, if only because I felt that it would detract from sales of the Necronomicon.

Another aspect of “Simon’s” personality this might illustrate is his treatment of Larry Barnes. It’s very likely true that Barnes needed the money – but, if “Simon” himself needed the money as well, the omission can only be seen as using someone else’s misfortune to cover “Simon’s” own problems. At this point, I’d hardly be surprised.

Published in: on October 23, 2006 at 7:13 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. How do you lose rights to a book that you wrote? Horrid contract?

  2. Suffice to say that there’s more than one way.

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