Spotted this post. I'm a big fan of F. Paul Wilson ever since I read "The Keep" back in the early 80's (and I also loved the film). Thought you might find this interesting:
From the author of this series -
Jack arose from a dream. The scene on the roof in The Tomb was the dream. I worked backward and forward from there to create a character who could survive that situation. I have a wide libertarian streak, so I figured I’d make this guy an anarchic urban mercenary with no identity.
By the time I reached the end of The Tomb, I realized I had a series character. I didn't feel I was ready to write a series then, so I left him bleeding to death at the end.
But the guy wouldn't die. The Tomb never went out of print, and through the years it amassed a huge following. So after 14 years of pleas from readers, I wrote a second Repairman Jack novel. Legacies was so much fun I had to do another, and it’s been a book a year since then.
But this is not an open-ended series. I will not run Jack into the ground. I'm figuring on ending his saga in 2011 with book fifteen.
Further notes -
The first book "The Tomb" was published in 1984 and because there was a 14 year gap between this book and the next in the series, Wilson revised "The Tomb" in 1998 (and it was reprinted) -- he didn't change the story but changed all the references that reflected the '80s. With the help of Amazon's "look inside the book" some differences are noted:
specific '80s date references removed
Betamax to VCR
rollerskates to rollerblades
giant boombox to giant casette box
eliminated references to such "classic" movies as "Deep Throat" and "The Devil in Miss Jones".
a can of "Lite" beer becomes a can of "Red Hook Lager"
Atari becomes Nintendo
The 13th book in the series will be "Ground Zero" and is due to be published Sept/Oct, 2009.
A final note from the author's website -
Jack makes an appearance in "Nightworld" although it is not a Repairman Jack novel.
All the new Repairman Jack novels loop out from THE TOMB and will weave their way back toward NIGHTWORLD, where the Repairman Jack stories (and just about everything else) end.
When F. Paul Wilson is done with the latest round of Jack books, he plans to go back and revise NIGHTWORLD so that it meshes better with the current state of Jack's knowledge and adventures. Currently this revised version of NIGHTWORLD is available from Borderlands Press (limited edition).
Hate to say it (being a devout believer in Murphy’s law), but The Tomb looks like it’s on its way to being filmed this year. Last October, after seven years of development, numerous options, five screenwriters, and eight scripts, Beacon Films ("Air Force One," "Thirteen Days," "Spy Game," etc) finally bought film rights. Disney/Touchstone/Buena Vista will be partnering and distributing the film here and abroad.The film will be called "Repairman Jack" (the idea is to make him a franchise character).
The Tomb (1984, revised 1998)
Much to the chagrin of his girlfriend, Gia, Repairman Jack doesn't deal with electronic appliances--he fixes "situations" for people, often putting himself in deadly danger. His latest project is recovering a stolen necklace, which carries with it an ancient curse that may unleash a horde of Bengali demons. Jack is used to danger, but this time Gia's daughter Vicky is threatened. Can jack overcome the curse of the yellow necklace and bring Vicky safely back home?
"New York Times" bestselling author F. Paul Wilson brings back the popular Repairman Jack--introduced in the 1984 bestseller "The Tomb"--in a quirky, captivating tale of technological power and family secrets.
Fifteen years have passed since Repairman Jack debuted in Wilson's novel The Tomb. Beginning with Legacies and now continuing with Conspiracies, we are once again swept up in a high-octane thriller that never ceases to let go of the reader. Repairman Jack is one part Travis McGee and one part the Saint, an enigmatic antihero without identity, working outside the system. Jack's moral imperative is sometimes questionable but always leads him into the heart of darkness and beyond.
Repairman Jack is a Mr. Fix-It who isn't afraid to break the law in order to help people who are willing to pay for his services. Jack sticks to his own code though, never trusting any of his clients without first perusing the situation for himself firsthand.
Jack is an everyman who makes sure nothing of his persona is memorable or stands out in any way -- not his looks, his dress, his car, or his demeanor. Now that Jack has his own home page he's able to advertise his talents on the Internet while remaining out of sight. His latest case involves the missing Melanie Ehler, an "expert" on conspiracy theories who has vanished without a trace. She reappears only once over the television, her disembodied voice urging her husband, Lew, to find Repairman Jack because only "he would understand."
Actually, Jack doesn't have a clue as to this latest puzzle, and though he'd prefer not to get involved with so strange a mystery, the fact that his name has come up compels him to accept. He attends a conspiracy conference with Lew and is immediately swept up in the bizarre world of paranoia, where every guest has a different theory as to the world's woes: UFOs may be from outer space or the center of the earth, the government may be in league with aliens or may be covertly fighting them, or perhaps all our troubles are simply caused by Satan.
Before her disappearance, Melanie Ehler was working on GUT -- her Grand Unification Theory, one that would tie all unexplained machinations together under the umbrella concept of a chaotic force known as "The Otherness." Though Jack is amused by the usual eccentric conference attendees and their weird beliefs, he soon comes to realize that there is a supernatural evil at work here.
A demonic creature almost kills him in the hotel basement even while he's being scrutinized by the leader of the conference, Professor Roma, who seems to know more about Jack than anyone alive should. Also thrown into the plot are the "men in black," who may be involved with a hideous mutilation murder on the premises or might be Jack's only allies when the Otherness is finally unleashed. Repairman Jack's craving for anonymity is perfectly juxtaposed by the personal life he can't escape.
Though the reader is let in on little, we do ascertain that Jack loves his girlfriend, Gia, and her daughter, Vicky, and that Jack also is terrified over visiting his father after a long absence. Though we don't learn the details of Jack's guilt and personal familial fears, we discover just enough to make the story thread involving as it sheds new light on Jack's cryptic character. Also giving us clues to Jack's integrity is another case he's working on, which involves a sadistic husband and an abused wife. Jack's personal code comes into play here, especially when the situation doesn't end quite the way he expected.
F. Paul Wilson has given us another immensely readable and highly enjoyable novel that literally speeds along without a snag anywhere. Although Jack doesn't need to exert his cleverness or skill quite so much in Conspiracies as in previous stories, he still faces incredible odds of the supernatural variety. Fans will delight in the return of Repairman Jack even while this novel conspires to garner F. Paul Wilson even more legions of wildly fanatic followers.
All the Rage (2000)
The new Repairman Jack book from the author of THE TOMB and CONSPIRACIES, ALL THE RAGE takes off from where CONSPIRACIES ends. More on the Rakoshi as Jack tracks down a designer drug Berzerk which literally drives users to violence.
Wilson's latest Repairman Jack thriller (after All the Rage) shows the long-running series still creatively malleable and full of surprises. Each begins with the identity of the latest person to seek the urban mercenary's unorthodox skills: his beloved sister Kate, who's unaware at first it's her younger brother's job to "fix" problems and injustices that fall outside the usual legal boundaries. Kate asks Jack to investigate an apparent cult that her lover, Jeannette, has fallen in with while recovering from experimental viral treatment for a brain tumor, and Jack finds that the virus, tainted with a contaminant that has made it sentient, is organizing infected human hosts into "the Unity," a hive consciousness single-mindedly devoted to spreading itself throughout the world. Though the Unity's insidious ramblings about the joys of collectivism recall classic SF parables of communist mind control, Wilson swathes Unity's rhetoric around several interlocking subplots Kate's coming out as a lesbian, Jack's avoidance of a crusading reporter whose efforts to lionize him in print would destroy his anonymity to leaven the fantastical intrigue with provocative observations on the roles that individuality, privacy, self-interest and self-sacrifice play in our society. Wilson's fans, who know to expect nonstop action and a hero who can seem a "cryptofascist comic book character," will no doubt be pleased by the more humanized Jack on display here, as well as an ending that packs an emotional wallop even as it sets the stage for his next eagerly anticipated adventure.
The Haunted Air (2002)
Jack is back, for 2002. F. Paul Wilson's engaging, self-employed, off-the-books fixer, Repairman Jack, returns for another intense, action-packed adventure just a little over the border into the weird, in The Haunted Air. First introduced years ago in the bestseller The Tomb, Jack has been the hero of a series of exciting novels set in and around New York City including Legacies, Conspiracies, All the Rage, and Hosts. "Repairman Jack is a wonderful character, ultracompetent but still vulnerable. Wilson strolls into X-Files territory and makes it his own, keeping the action brisk and the level of suspense steadily rising," said the San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle.In Astoria, Queens, the lively ethnic neighborhood just across the river from Manhattan, a house is being haunted by the ghost of a nine-year-old girl in riding clothes. More than two decades before, she'd been abducted from stables in Brooklyn. Now it's up to Jack to uncover the truth of her story and liberate the pretty, blond spirit. Perhaps the answer is in the odd little store called the Shurio Coppe? Ah, but that would be telling.Jack does things no human being should be able to do, but we watch, in horrified fascination, as the forces of evil seem about to triumph and fill the world with eternal darkness. And then-- but you must read the book.
"In Gateways, Jack learns that his father is in a coma after a car accident in Florida. They've been on the outs, but this is his dad, so he heads south. In the hospital he meets Anya, one of his father's neighbors. She's a weird old duck who seems to know an awful lot about his father, and even a lot about Jack." "Jack's arrival does not go unnoticed. A young woman named Semelee, who has strange talents and lives in an isolated area of the Everglades with a group of misshapen men, feels his presence. She senses that he's "special," like her." "Anya takes Jack back to Dad's senior community, Gateways South, which borders on the Everglades. Florida is going through an unusual drought. There's a ban on watering; everything is brown and wilting, but Anya's lawn is a deep green." "Who is Anya? Who is Semelee, and what is her connection to the recent strange deaths of Gateways residents - killed by birds, spiders, and snakes - during the past year? And what are the "lights" Jack keeps hearing about? Lights that emanate twice a year from a sinkhole deep in the Everglades ... lights from another place, another reality." If he is to protect his father from becoming the next fatality at Gateways, there are questions Jack must answer, secrets he must uncover. Secrets ... Jack has plenty of his own, and along the way he learns that even his father has some.
In F. Paul Wilson's 8th Repairman Jack novel, CRISSCROSS, Jack is back in New York and working on two unrelated fix-its. The first involves a nun being blackmailed by someone who has photos of her that she does not want made public. Who or what is in those photos, she won't say, but with her meager savings just about exhausted, she hires Jack to help her.
The second fix-it seems straightforward enough: Elderly Maria Roselli hires Jack to find her missing son. He joined the Dormentalist Church years ago and seemed happier than she'd ever seen him. But it's been weeks since she's heard from him and she's worried. The deeper Jack digs, the more certain he becomes that the Dormentalist Church has a secret agenda hidden not only from the public, but from most of its members as well.
The suspenseful finale reveals a side of Jack that is darker than we've ever seen as he crisscrosses the two fix-it jobs to settle deadly scores.
For those ordering only through Gauntlet, you will receive the chapbook Crisscross: An Outline. It's the outline F. Paul Wilson wrote for the book. Read the book, then the outline to see how they differ. A rare treat for fans of the creator of Repairman Jack.
A mutual tragedy throws Jack together with his brother Tom, a judge from Philadelphia. They've never been close, and it doesn't take Jack long realize that's a good thing. Tom and he are antipodes. Jack, the career criminal, cleaves to a higher ethical standard than his brother the judge.
Tom convinces Jack to go on an "adventure" to get to know each other better. He has a map locating a wreck off the coast of Bermuda and they go in search of it. Instead of treasure they find a strange object, partly organic, part manmade, known as the Lilitongue of Gefreda. Ancient lore claims that it is a means "to elude all enemies and leave them helpless."
Why does Tom want such a thing?
But there's another, bigger question: If the Lilitongue lives up to the legend, where does it take you? No one seems to know.
Matters take a bizarre and dangerous turn when someone accidentally activates the Lilitongue.
"No more coincidences for you."
That was what the lady with the dog told Jack at the end of Hosts.
Was she right?
In Harbingers, F. Paul Wilson's 10th Repairman Jack novel, it starts off so simply: Jack, still down from the tragic events of Infernal, is hanging in Julio's when a regular named Timmy asks him for help. His teenage niece has been missing since this morning; the police say it's too early to worry, but Timmy knows something bad has happened. Jack says he'll put the word out on the street.
This simple request triggers a chain of seemingly coincidental events that lead Jack into the darkest days of his life.
At the end of Gateways Rasalom told him:
". . . Killing you now might be something of a favor. It would spare you so much pain in the months to come. And why should I do you a favor? Why should I spare you that pain? I don't want you to miss one iota of what is coming your way . . . A strong man slowly battered into despair and hopelessness . . . That is a delicacy. In your case, it might even approach ecstasy
That pain is no longer in the future. It is here. Jack is desperate . . . And the last thing you want to do is make Jack desperate. That's when things begin to blow up and people begin to die.
A hang-onto-your-hat-and-heart thriller of triumph and tragedy that barrels along at F. Paul Wilson's trademarked breakneck pace.
Jack has been on hiatus since the events in Harbingers. With his lover Gia's encouragement he dips a toe back into the fix-it pool. Christy Pickering's eighteen-year-old daughter is dating Jerry Bethlehem, a man twice her age. Christy sensed something shady and sinister about him, so she hired a private investigator to look into his past. But the PI isn't returning her calls. Will Jack find out why?
Jack learns there's a very good reason for the unreturned calls: The PI is dead, a victim of a bizarre water-torture murder. As Jack delves into Jerry Bethlehem's past he learns that the man is not who he says he is. Who—and what—he is will have a devastating effect on Jack's life and future, adding another piece to the puzzle of who he really is and why he's been drafted into this cosmic shadow war.
By the Sword (2008)
By the Sword takes up the adventures of Repairman Jack directly after Bloodline. Jack is hired to find a legendary Japanese sword, a katana stolen from the Hiroshima Peace Museum and brought to New York City. Central characters include the members of a weird Japanese cult, a young Japanese businessman and his three Yakuza bodyguards, plus Hank Thompson, the Kicker cult leader from Bloodline. The cult, the businessman, the Yakuza, and the Kickers are looking for the sword as well.
Also in the mix is the pregnant teenager carrying a child, loaded with abnormal DNA, who will be a decisive force in the cosmic shadow war raging behind the scenes. She becomes a pawn in the game, hunted by both sides. Following his usual m.o., Jack maneuvers all sides into a bloody melee from which he plans to waltz away with the fabled katana. Of course, when things don't go as planned, Jack must improvise (and he hates to improvise). By the Sword takes F. Paul Wilson's trademark breakneck pacing and interweaving storylines to a new level.