Jakubowski, Maxim 1944-
JAKUBOWSKI, Maxim 1944-
PERSONAL: Born 1944, in Barnet, England; son of Marjaov and Brenda (Rothberg) Jakubowski; married Dolores Rotenberg; children: two. Education: Educated in France.
ADDRESSES: Home—95 Finchley Lane, London NW4 1BY England. Office—c/o Murder One, 71-73 Charing Cross Rd., London, England. E-mail—[email protected]
CAREER: Author, editor, and publisher. Murder One (bookshop), London, England, co-owner; Mystery Scene, contributing editor; columnist for Crime Time Time Out, and Guardian; Literary director of Crime Scene Festival at National Film Theatre, London. Advisor to several international film festivals.
AWARDS, HONORS: Anthony Critical Award, 1992, for 100 Great Detectives; Karel Award for contribution to European science fiction. Erotic Author of the Year, 2002, for Kiss Me Sadly,.
(With Ron Van der Meer) The Great Movies—Live!: A Pop-up Book, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1987.
Life in the World of Women: A Collection of Vile, Dangerous, and Loving Stories, Do-Not Press (London, England), 1996.
It's You That I Want to Kiss (novel), Do-Not Press (London, England), 1996, published as It's You That I Want to Kiss, and Other Erotic Thrillers, Venus Book Club (New York, NY), 2001.
Because She Said She Loved Me (stories), Do-Not Press (London, England), 1997.
The State of Montana: A Novella of Erotica, Do-Not Press (London, England), 1998.
On Tenderness Express, Do-Not Press (London, England), 2000.
Kiss Me Sadly (novel), Do-Not Press (London, England), 2002.
The Erotic Novels, Do-Not Press (London, England), 2002.
(And translator with Beth Blish) Travelling towards Epsilon: An Anthology of French Science Fiction, New English Library (London, England), 1977.
Twenty Houses of the Zodiac: An Anthology of International Science Fiction, New English Library (London, England), 1979.
(With Malcolm Edwards) The SF Book of Lists, Berkley Books (New York, NY), 1983.
The Wit and Wisdom of Rock and Roll, Unwin (London, England), 1983.
Lands of Never: An Anthology of Modern Fantasy, Unwin (London, England), 1983.
MTV Music Television, Who's Who in Rock Video, Zomba Books (London, England), 1983, Morrow (New York, NY), 1984.
Beyond Lands of Never: A Further Anthology of Modern Fantasy, Unwin (London, England), 1984.
Rear Window and Other Stories, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1988.
New Crimes (annual), Robinson (London, England), 1989-1991.
100 Great Detectives (directory), Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1991.
Constable New Crimes 1, Constable (London, England), 1992.
Constable New Crimes 2, Constable (London, England), 1993.
(With Edward James) The Profession of Science Fiction: SF Writers on Their Craft and Ideas, foreword by Arthur C. Clarke, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1992.
Murders for the Fireside: The Best of Winter's Crimes, Pan Books (London, England), 1992.
More Murders for the Fireside, Pan Books (London, England), 1994.
Crime Yellow, Victor Gollancz (London, England), 1994.
The Mammoth Book of Erotica, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1994.
London Noir, Serpent's Tail (London, England), 1994.
(With Dolores Jakubowski) The Best of the Journal of Erotica, Titan Books (London, England), 1995.
No Alibi: The Best New Crime Fiction, Ringpull (Manchester, England), 1995.
The Mammoth Book of International Erotica, Robinson, London, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1996.
The Mammoth Book of Pulp Fiction, Robinson, London, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1996.
(With Mike Ripley) Fresh Blood, Do Not Press (London, England), 1996.
(With Mike Ripley) Fresh Blood 2, Do Not Press (London, England), 1997.
Past Poisons: An Ellis Peters Memorial Anthology of Historical Crime, Headline (London, England), 1998.
The Mammoth Book of Historical Erotica, Robinson, London, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1998.
The Mammoth Book of New Erotica, Robinson, London, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Mike Ripley) Fresh Blood 3, Do Not Press (London, England), 1999.
(With Nathan Braund) The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 1999.
Chronicles of Crime, Headline (London, England), 1999.
(With Michael Hemmingson) The Mammoth Book of Short Erotic Novels, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2000.
New English Library Book of Internet Stories, New English Library (London, England), 2000.
Murder through the Ages, Headline (London, England), 2000.
Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, Robinson, London, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2001.
Mammoth Book of Pulp Action, Robinson, London, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2001.
(With Marilyn Taye-Lewis) Mammoth Book of Erotic Photography, Robinson, London, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2001.
(With M. Christian) Mammoth Book of Tales From the Road, Robinson, London, Carroll & Graf (New York, NY), 2003.
Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica, Volume 2: 2002, Robinson, London, Carroll & Graf (London, England), 2003.
Michel Jeury, Chronolysis, Macmillan (New York, NY), 1980.
Columnist with Time Out; contributor to publications, including London Observer, Daily Telegraph, Independent and Guardian. Contributor to anthologies, including Noirotica 1, Noirotica 2, Masquerade Books, 1997, Noirotica 3: Stolen Kisses, edited by Thomas S. Roche, Black Books (San Francisco, CA), 2000, and many others.
WORK IN PROGRESS: History of Erotic Fiction.
SIDELIGHTS: Maxim Jakubowski is a British author, editor, and publisher in the genres of erotica, fantasy, science fiction, and crime and mystery fiction, as well as the owner of the popular Murder One bookshop in London. Jakubowski was born in England and raised in Paris, and as a young adult he became a voracious reader of science fiction, then crime novels. He edited a number of science fiction and fantasy anthologies in the 1970s and 1980s, including Travelling Towards Epsilon: An Anthology of French Science Fiction, to which he contributed and which he also translated with Beth Blish. In a Times Literary Supplement review, Eric Korn wrote that "too many stories are wrong-headed pastiches of Anglophone models: they are often literary in a literal way, which is to say they frequently mention other writers." New Statesman reviewer J. G. Ballard called it "one of the most interesting collections I have read." Included is the 1975 prize-winning story, "Thomas," by Dominique Douay, in which computer controls are used to treat the mentally ill.
Jakubowski and Malcolm Edwards collaborated on The SF Book of Lists, which Los Angeles Times Book Review contributor Dick Lochte felt contains "a number of treats for the science fiction fan and a few amusements for other readers." Some of the lists were first published in science fiction magazines or reference books. A useful list, "The Years of Futures Past," is a chronology of the editors' picks of the best science fiction novels and short stories over the years, including Hugo, Nebula, and other award winners or nominees. The SF Book of Lists names pseudonyms of science fiction authors, collaborators, and books that have been adapted for film. There are other lists of stories influenced by chess, stories of sex between humans and aliens, and humans and robots, science fiction writers who have written gay science fiction or pornography, and Nobel literary prize-winners who have done the same. Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact writer Tom Easton wrote that because the book has neither a table of contents nor an index, it "is useless to anyone except the browser." However, a Washington Post Book World reviewer commented that a science fiction fan "will go into hyperdrive over this book."
Colin Greenland reviewed The SF Book of Lists and Lands of Never: A Further Anthology of Modern Fantasy for British Books News. He also felt the former to be incomplete due to its lack of index and contents, but did call it a "remarkable collection." Greenland noted that contributors to the latter include Angela Carter, Robert Silverberg, William Horwood, Christopher Evans, Steve Rasnic Tem, J. G. Ballard, and John Grant. Greenland noted that "the book as a whole is lightweight" and felt that only Carter and Evans "seem to have their customary presence, both refashioning the stuff of Germanic legend, both vivid and sombre."
Jakubowski and Ron Van der Meer produced The Great Movies Live!: A Pop-up Book. Chicago Tribune Books contributor Richard Christiansen called it "a slick variation on children's popup books that presents cutout scenes from five movies." Included are scenes from King Kong, High Noon, Gone with the Wind, The Seven-Year Itch, and Casablanca, which features a tiny music box that plays As Time Goes By.
Jakubowski's imprint, Black Box Thrillers, reissued books by popular American noir authors, such as David Goodis, Jim Thompson, Cornell Woolrich, W. R. Burnett, and Horace McCoy, as well as a small number of contemporary writers. He told Joyce Park in an interview for MysteryGuide.com online that sales did not start out strong. "But what I didn't realize myself is that a whole new generation of people were coming to crime writers, and now, fourteen or fifteen years later, what I would term the whole Fresh Blood generation . . . of British crime writers are people who started reading crime writing for real. I mean, a lot of them had probably read some of the Golden Age people, but they weren't hooked by crime writing until they started reading all these reissues, many of which I was involved in."
Jakubowski edited annual editions of New Crimes, beginning in 1989. In the 1990 edition, he includes nineteen stories, including several vintage pieces by Woolrich and Goodis. Additional stories in the collection come from Sara Paretsky, John le Carré, Robert Barnard, Peter Lovesey, Derek Raymond (also known as Robin Cook), James Crumley, Andrew Vachss, Peter Lovesey, and others. Also included is an interview with author Patricia Highsmith. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called it "a decidedly eccentric collection." Publishers Weekly contributor Sybil Steinberg reviewed New Crimes 2 and wrote that "Jakubowski's veneration of American Jim Thompson . . . permeates this entire collection" and felt that the best reading was to be found in the stories of Reginald Hill, H. R. F. Keating, Ed McBain, Bill Pronzini, and Charles Willeford, writers who have long been on the scene. Steinberg also praised Paul Buck's "Twisting the Blade" and Susan Moody's "Freedom." New Crimes 3 was reviewed by a Publishers Weekly reviewer who felt the standout stories are the previously unpublished "Surrogate," by Robert B. Parker and "Jukebox Jungle," by John D. MacDonald. The reviewer also praised "The Monk's Ale," by P. C. Doherty, "Star," by Molly Brown, "The Persian Apothecary," by Cay Van Ash, "Until I Do," by Robert Lopresti, and "Squeezer," by Steve Rasnic Tem. Crime Yellow features sixteen stories by contributors who include Mat Coward, Martin Edwards, Howard Douglas, Susan Kelly, Robert Richardson, Ed Gorman, Joe Bannister, Lesley Grant-Adamson, Russell James, Michael Z. Lewin, and Janwillem van de Wetering. A Kirkus Reviews writer observed that the best of the stories "are brief and acerbic." A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that "among the most appealing is Robert Richardson's 'The Woman of Goodwill,' a Holmesian pastiche that would have offended the Victorians' sense of propriety."
For 100 Great Detectives, one hundred mystery writers penned essays on their favorite literary detectives, some of whom make frequent fictional appearances, while others appeared briefly, sometimes only once. "Among the most obscure inclusions are Charles Burns's comic-strip sleuth El Borbah and John Russell Fearn's 'Black Maria,'" wrote Jon L. Breen in Armchair Detective. Linda Semple writes about her favorite, V. I. Warshawski, while Anne Hart discusses Hercule Poirot. Julian Symons's piece is on Sam Spade, Paula Gosling's is about Rex Stout, and Loren D. Estleman writes about Philip Marlowe. Booklist reviewer Elliott Swanson found that the book "has the potential to get fans of the genre moving in some new directions." A Kirkus Reviews contributor felt that readers who love mysteries "will enjoy these generous, generally upbeat homages—many written with appropriate stylistic flourish."
Jakubowski and Edward James collected sixteen of several dozen articles by American and British authors published in Foundation: A Review of Science Fiction and presented them in a book of the same name as the original series, The Profession of Science Fiction. The contributors explore their genre, why they began writing science fiction, and the relationship between science fiction and mainstream writing. Writer and astrophysicist David Brin writes in the essay: "We are the ones who toy with new myths, with the images and ideas our culture may need as it rushes headlong toward a future that may glow or may burn but in any event will certainly feature profound change." Locus reviewer Gary K. Wolfe said that Naomi Mitchison's account of her friendships with H. G. Wells and Olaf Stapledon "is certainly one of the high points of the collection.... Mitchison's essay also demonstrates one of this book's hidden strengths: namely, that its best parts are not necessarily to be found in the contributions of those authors we in the States view as 'celebrities.'" Wolfe noted "thoughtful and provocative pieces" by Michael Coney, Richard Cowper, M. John Harrison, Gwyneth Jones, and Richard Grant. Other writers include J. G. Ballard, Jack Williamson, Gene Wolfe, James Blish, Ursula Le Guin, Norman Spinrad, Garry Kilworth, and Pamela Sargent. New Scientist reviewer David Barrett called the book "fascinating." "Whimsical or deadly serious, each essay contributes significantly to the enjoyment and understanding of science fiction," wrote J. R. Cox in Choice.
The first of Jakubowski's "Mammoth" books is The Mammoth Book of Erotica, which a London Observer reviewer called "an uncompromising selection." London Noir is a collection British noir fiction, featuring writers who include Mark Timlin, John Harvey, Derek Raymond, Chaz Brenchley, and Molly Brown. A Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that "the London of these fifteen effective, workmanlike stories is sleazy and brutal, not cozy or literary." The reviewer felt that as a collection, these stories "make up a good sampler of current British crime writing."
Jakubowski and Mike Ripley edited a series of three books of noir fiction, the first of which was reviewed by Marilyn Stasio in the New York Times Book Review. Stasio called Fresh Blood "a terrific introduction" to the new British authors being showcased by independent publisher Do-Not Press. A Publishers Weekly contributor who reviewed Fresh Blood 2 noted that "it offers reason to imagine that some of the talent on display will soon crack crime fiction's top rank."
A Kirkus Reviews contributor observed that Life in the World of Women: A Collection of Vile, Dangerous, and Loving Stories, written by Jakubowski, is a collection "of nine erotic (and largely sadistic) fantasies in which males provide the agency and women the geography." Jakubowski's novel, It's You That I Want to Kiss, is a story of diamond smuggling and sex. Model and escort Anne Ryan carries gems for a group of smugglers but leaves the operation after she is assaulted by two of them. She teams up with Jacob Jones, both in bed and in staying alive, as they are chased from Miami to New Orleans to Seattle by her former cohorts. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted the "copious interludes of rough sex" and added that by the time the couple reaches Seattle, "even the rawest appetites seem to have been burned as deeply from their story as from their bodies, and what's left is perversely tender." Library Journal reviewer Rex E. Klett called the novel "literate, sophisticated prose."
In The Mammoth Book of Historical Erotica, Jakubowski offers a fictional look at sexual depravity over time—in ancient Egypt, Renaissance Italy, and in Victorian public schools. Authors include Poppy Z. Brite, Julian Rathbone, and Thomas S. Roche. A Books reviewer called it "a raunchy collection." By the time Jakubowski's The Mammoth Book of Short Erotic Fiction was published, the previous four "Mammoth" books of erotica had sold nearly half a million copies. The new volume, which was edited with Michael Hemmingson, is comprised of eleven erotic novellas from authors who include Jakubowski, Michael Perkins, William Vollmann, Josephine Jarmaine, M. Christian, and Robert Coover. A Kirkus Reviews contributor called Perkins's "Night Moves" "an appealingly believable tale" and said that Jakubowski's contribution, "Hotel Room Fuck," is "a gooey tale juicy with exertions undertaken amid much body heat."
Victoria Esposito-Shea reviewed Jakubowski's novel, On Tenderness Express for HandHeldCrime online. As the book begins, protagonist Martin Jackson, a London private investigator, says that he is a liar and an unreliable witness and offers the reader the choice of believing him, or not. Esposito-Shea wrote that "the absolute starkness of this opening absolutely took my breath away; I couldn't imagine that the rest of the book could possibly live up to it." The book is about Jackson's searches for a man's wife, a woman's sister, and a rare book, which take him from Europe to New Orleans, with stops along the way. The book is also about searching for human relationships and sex. Esposito-Shea wrote that as Jackson becomes more and more involved in the searches, the story becomes "by and large, astounding. Calling what happens plot twists is simply inadequate; it's more as though the reader's on an elevator which suddenly drops five floors....And yes, it does live up to the promise of the book's beginning."
Jakubowski told CA: "I have always been both a fan and an appreciator of genre fiction. Early forays into writing were in the field of science fiction and fantasy and it's my interest for popular literature which, after some years in international business, prompted me to move into book publishing. Here, I was responsible for various crime and erotic imprints, but corporate politics finally got the best of me and I returned to writing, albeit buffered by my ownership of a major bookshop.
"I feel strongly that crime and erotic fiction are wonderful areas to work in, even more so in view of the fact that my own themes, obsessions, and preoccupations stand uncomfortably against the mainstream of most modern writing because of their highly charged sexual content and partly ironic post-modernist approach to narrative.
"I believe I am still at an early stage of my career, having arrived late to the realisation that I had no need to compromise my themes or realism and would just write what I wanted to write.
"Some commentators have described my work as 'romantic pornography,' a label which pleases me. One has to push the boundaries, but essentially I write about real people, of blood and flesh, struggling with the world of relationships and life. And people have feelings, and sex. The rest I leave to commentators."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Analog Science Fiction/Science Fact, July, 1984, pp. 165-171.
Armchair Detective, spring, 1992, Jon L. Breen, "What about Murder," p. 249.
Bloomsbury Review, January, 1997, Patricia J. Wagner, review of The Mammoth Book of Pulp Fiction, p. 17.
Booklist, April, 1990, Stuart Miller, review of New Crimes, p. 1611; August, 1991, Elliott Swanson, review of 100 Great Detectives, p. 2092.
Books, summer, 1999, review of The Mammoth Book of Historical Erotica, p. 21.
British Book News, March, 1984, Colin Greenland, "Science Fiction," pp. 134-136.
Choice, February, 1993, J. R. Cox, review of The Profession of Science Fiction, p. 964.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 1990, review of New Crimes, pp. 468-469; August 15, 1991, review of 100 Great Detectives, p. 1082; June 15, 1995, review of Crime Yellow, p. 819; March 15, 1997, review of Life in the World of Women, p. 422; July 15, 1997, review of It's You That I Want to Kiss, p. 1068; February 15, 2000, review of The Mammoth Book of Short Erotic Novels, p. 201.
Library Journal, August, 1997, Rex E. Klett, review if It's You That I Want To Kiss, p. 139.
Locus, February, 1993, Gary K. Wolfe, review of The Profession of Science Fiction, p. 93.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, January 1, 1984, p. 10.
New Scientist, March 20, 1993, David Barrett, review of The Profession of Science Fiction, p. 44.
New Statesman, April 15, 1977, J. G. Ballard, "Science Fiction: French Polish," p. 499.
New Statesman & Society, October 27, 1995, review of No Alibi, p. 46.
New York Times, November 30, 1987, p. C17.
New York Times Book Review, January 25, 1981, Gerald Jonas, "Science Fiction," p. 24; March 30, 1997, Marilyn Stasio, "Crime," p. 23.
Observer (London, England), October 9, 1994, Albert Manguel, review of The Mammoth Book of Erotica, p. 25.
Publishers Weekly, January 25, 1991, Sybil Steinberg, review of New Crimes 2, p. 50; November 22, 1991, review of New Crimes 3, p. 41; February 20, 1995, review of London Noir, p. 201; June 12, 1995, review of Crime Yellow, p. 51; February 16, 1998, review of Fresh Blood 2, p. 207; February 7, 2000, review of The Mammoth Book of Short Erotic Novels, p. 66.
Reference & Research Book News, December, 1991, review of 100 Great Detectives, p. 29.
Times Literary Supplement, July 1, 1977, Eric Korn, "Ne vaut pas le détour," p. 795.
Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), December 6, 1987, Richard Christiansen, review of The Great Movies Live!, p. 3.
Wall Street Journal, December 9, 1996, Tom Nolan, review of The Mammoth Book of Pulp Fiction, p. A12.
Washington Post Book World, December 25, 1983, p. 12.
HandHeldCrime,http://www.handheldcrime.com/ (March 23, 2001), Victoria Esposito-Shea, review of On Tenderness Express.
MysteryGuide.com,http://www.mysteryguide.com/ (May 10, 2001), Joyce Park, interview with Maxim Jakubowski.