Off Season

Off Season ARC

A beautiful New York editor retreats to a quiet Maine beach town – 

 

Nearby, a savage human family lurks in the woods, watching, waiting…

 

And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people will learn just how primitive we all are, and that there are no limits to the will to survive.

Off Season

A beautiful New York editor retreats to a quiet Maine beach town – 

 

Nearby, a savage human family lurks in the woods, watching, waiting…

 

And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people will learn just how primitive we all are, and that there are no limits to the will to survive.

Стервятники (“Vultures”) (Off Season and Offspring) (Russia)

Translated by Vyacheslav Shutov.

 

From a 2017 Interview with Darker Magazine (in Russian):

 

Readers in Russia know you mainly from the rather messy-made edition of «Vultures» [Off Season] and «Stai» [Offspring].The nineties were a paradise for horror lovers in Russia, although most publishers wanted to spit on copyright, high-quality covers / translations, etc. What do you think about this book? Did you receive any money for it?

 

Not a cent. These books were stolen by the editor of a magazine…and sold without my knowledge. Then one day I received this book in hardcover by mail, on the cover – a frightened man in the form of either a New York policeman, or the pilot of a Nazi attack plane, surrounded by zombie-like creatures. There was no return address, so where she came from, I don’t know.

Off Season (UK)

This edition is slightly different than the original American edition, but not as complete as The Unexpurgated Edition.

 

From the Afterword to The Unexpurgated Edition (edited to avoid possible spoilers):

 

“There was one…change I made…for the British paperback.

 

At the very end of the original, [a character is] in the ambulance, shot up with painkillers and speculating through her haze on whether these people who are treating her are paramedics or doctors. She hoped they were doctors, reads the line.

 

A few months after the book was published I got a letter from a fan who said he’d enjoyed the read immensely. Until he got to that line.

 

He went on to say that he was in fact a paramedic and in [her] situation, she’d be far better off in the hands of a trained ambulance crew than with a bunch of doctors. I checked it out and he was right of course. Whoops. I hadn’t done my homework. I wrote back and apologized and thanked him for bringing the error to my attention and promised that if the book ever went into another printing anywhere I’d fix it.

 

In ’95 the Brits at Headline came along and I did.

Off Season: The Unexpurgated Edition

This edition restores cuts made for the original Ballantine paperback edition.

 

From the Afterword:

 

“I have very few regrets as a writer…A particularly graceless line here and there. An occasional bad edit. And that’s about it except for what happened to Off Season. What happened, exactly, was negotiation.

 

When Marc Jaffe at Ballantine bought the book it was on the condition that I’d be willing to rewrite. And I was. Of course I was. It was my first novel and I was delighted to have the contract. Did they think I was crazy? I’d rewrite in a minute. We were all very much aware that the book was over-the-top violence-wise, that it had the kind of teeth pretty much unseen before in mass-market fiction. It was just that quality that they were buying. But I knew I’d have to make some cuts.

 

I just wasn’t prepared for them to want so many.

 

…There were times we fought through paragraphs line by line. Word by word.

 

…This went on for a couple of weeks.

 

By then my manuscript was sporting a lot of red ink. [The editor’s] notepad had a lot of scratch-outs.

 

When it was over I went home and a few weeks later produced [this] version of Off Season… The original I tossed in the garbage.

 

Yeah, yeah, I know. You don’t have to tell me. I’m an asshole. What can I say?

Off Season

First mass-market paperback edition of Off Season: The Unexpurgated Edition.  Features the bonus story, Winter Child.

 

September. A beautiful New York editor retreats to a lonely cabin on a hill in the quiet Maine beach town of Dead River – off season – awaiting her sister and friends. Nearby, a savage human family with a taste for flesh lurks the darkening woods, watching, waiting for the moon to rise and night to fall…

 

And before too many hours pass, five civilized, sophisticated people and one tire old country sheriff will learn just how primitive we all are beneath the surface…and that there are no limits at all to the will to survive.

 

Contents:

  • Off Season: The Unexpurgated Edition
  • Winter Child