Acheron’s distinctive quality is that it selects the best speculative fiction written by Italian authors who take inspiration from the rich Italian historical and folkloristic tradition.
The name “Acheron” represents the meeting of two worlds: Italian fantastic fiction, represented by the Acheron River from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and the mysterious Acheron Empire created by Robert E. Howard.
Acheron also means above all transformation and evolution.
This is why we chose as our symbol the Acherontia Atropos moth (one of the species of Death’s-head Hawk moth well known to the fans of “The Silence of the Lambs”): Italian speculative fiction remained closed for decades in national boundaries, and now, thanks to our English translations, it will transform and be available to readers all over the world.
What sets Acheron Books apart?
Italy, with its thousands of years of history and its art patrimony. Italy has a unique and diverse setting: from big and mysterious cities like Turin, Rome, Venice, and Naples to the folklore rich countrysides and the lands of mythological monsters mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey like Scylla and Charybdis, Sirens and Cyclops. Its landscape includes places like Milan, where skyscrapers, finance and high tech mix with ancient traditions, back to the Roman and Celtic dominations. This is a cultural and historical humus almost unknown in the field of international speculative fiction.
Aware of the high value of international fantasy, science fiction and horror and of the fact that it is a highly competitive market, Acheron commits to producing works that reflect all this. We believe our products meet the tastes of international readers. Our authors continue a great literary tradition in fantastic fiction that includes name like Carlo Collodi, Dino Buzzati, Italo Calvino, with roots going back in time to masterpieces of international literature like Ludovico Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso (“The Frenzy of Orlando”).
The books of the publishing house will be sold directly from the company website and from international bookstores like Amazon, I-Books, Google Play, Kobobooks, Smashwords. All of our novels are available in English (and a selection will be available in Italian for the national market). To obtain the widest diffusion and the optimize ease of use for the reader, Acheron will distribute only DRM free ebooks.
The first novels we will publish come from a diverse group of authors well balanced between known Italian writers and emerging talents selected also in the constant evolving world of self-publishing:
– Luca Tarenzi (“Premio Italia” fantasy and SF literature prize in the “Best Fantasy Novel” category.), with Demon Hunter Severian – Lady of the Night Gates, a historical fantasy starring an ex- exorcist and soldier in AD 394 Milan, written under the pen name Giovanni Anastasi, and Poison Fairies – The Landfill War, the first volume of a urban fantasy trilogy;
– Samuel Marolla (novelist and scriptwriter for Sergio Bonelli Editore, the biggest Italian comicbook publishing house) with Imago Mortis, a supernatural noir starring the detective-medium Augusto Ghites who is able to communicate with the dead by sniffing the ashes of their corpses), and Black Tea and Other Tales horror stories collection: Black Tea is the first Italian short story to run in a preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker award and in 2013 received an “honorable mention” by Ellen Datlow;
– Davide Mana (another author already published in the USA and active in the RPG world) with Ministry of Thunder, historical fantasy set in 1930s China, between New Pulp and Taoist magic, with the pilot and adventurer Felice Sabatini as the main character;
– first time novelist Alessio Lanterna with Lieutenenant Arkham: Elves and Bullets, original contamination from technofantasy and hard boiled, where Blade Runner scenery meets “Lord of the Rings” creatures.
Acheron Books staff includes a group of professionals from native English speaker translators and editors, cover artists, graphic designer, computer programmers, from Italy, UK and US.
Adriano Barone, editor, novelist and scriptwriter of cartoons and graphic novels (Carlo Boscarato award 2014 in the “Best scriptwriter” category) is the editorial director.
[I am happy to reprint here the official press-release from Acheron Books, wishing this new company all the best for the future… after all, they do publish my books!]