1. What are all the Repairman Jack books?
The Repairman Jack books so far (in order they were published and in the order they should be read):
ALL THE RAGE
THE HAUNTED AIR
BY THE SWORD
THE DARK AT THE END
Jack also makes an appearance in NIGHTWORLD, but that is not a Repairman Jack book per se.
There are a handful of other stories that involve Repairman Jack. These are:
* A Day in the Life is available in the anthology THE BARRENS & OTHERS
* The Last Rakosh was incorporated into the novel ALL THE RAGE
* "Home Repairs" was incorporated into the novel CONSPIRACIES
* "The Long Way Home", "The Wringer", "Incident at Duane's", "Do-Gooder", and "Piney Power" can be found in QUICK FIXES
2. Why are there three different versions of The Tomb?
There is the "pre-1998" version and the "revised" novel that Tor/Forge reprinted in 1998.
Also, Borderlands Press released a limited edition of the revised version of THE TOMB under the authors preferred title: RAKOSHI.
Here is what F. Paul had to say about the reason for the revision:
"Some of you who read pre-1998 editions of THE TOMB have questioned (and rightfully so) how LEGACIES, so obviously a contemporary novel, could take place only months after THE TOMB, which was definitely set in the mid 1980s. The answer is simple: I cheated. I changed THE TOMB for the new 1998 edition.
You see, I never planned to bring Jack back. But when I did, I realized I’d either have to set his new stories in the eighties, or go back and change THE TOMB. I chose the latter and removed all references that would moor THE TOMB in a specific era. The 1998 edition is now what we authors like to call "the preferred text."
All the new Repairman Jack novels loop out from THE TOMB and will weave their way back toward NIGHTWORLD."
3. Why is it called THE TOMB when there is no "Tomb"?
As for why the book was titled THE TOMB in the first place, the story goes that after reaching a fairly high level of success with THE KEEP, F. Paul Wilson’s publisher decided that to continue the trend of good tidings the next novel should keep with the same sort of title to give it name recognition.
The working title for the book was RAKOSHI. They didn't like the sound of Rakoshi and came up with THE TOMB instead even though the story didn't feature a "tomb". The publisher was convinced it would sell as well as THE KEEP because the titles were so similar.
4. Why is the Jack in Nightworld ignorant of things he should know about from his adventures in the Repairman Jack books?
At the time F. Paul Wilson was finishing up The Adversary Cycle, he did not know he was going to write a whole new series of Jack books. A few years after NIGHTWORLD was published, F. Paul Wilson decided to write more Jack. However, considering the apocalyptic nature of NIGHTWORLD, he could hardly set his new Jack books after that novel.
Therefore he decided instead to set the books in the time between THE TOMB (the first Jack book) and NIGHTWORLD.
This gets very sticky because F. Paul Wilson threw in quite a few pop culture references and definite dates into The Adversary Cycle (which ends in the early 90’s), yet has set the Jack books in our current time. Thus, many gentle readers are confused mightily when Jack doesn't know things he should in NIGHTWORLD. This problem has been somewhat mitigated by the revised version of THE TOMB (Tor/Forge, 1998), in which pop culture references were updated. 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.
5. Why is Jake Nacht from NIGHTKILL so similar to Jack?
In 1997 F. Paul Wilson and Steven Spruill (going by the name Steve Lyon) teamed up to write the novel NIGHTKILL
. The main character, Jake Nacht, has a lot of characteristics that are similar to F. Paul Wilson’s other character, Repairman Jack.
The reason for this, in F. Paul Wilson’s words:
"Jack's return wasn't on the radar when we created Jake. He does have common traits with RJ, too many to allow them to co-exist. So Jake's in indefinite suspended animation (unless he runs into Jack sometime)."
6. What is the timeline and chronology of the RJ and AC Books?
The preponderance of my work deals with a history of the world that remains undiscovered, unexplored, and unknown to most of humanity. Some of this secret history has been revealed in the Adversary Cycle, some in the Repairman Jack novels, and bits and pieces in other, seemingly unconnected works. Taken together, even these millions of words barely scratch the surface of what has been going on behind the scenes, hidden from the workaday world. I've listed them below in chronological order. (NB: "Year Zero" is the end of civilization as we know it; "Year Zero Minus One is the year preceding it, etc.) You can also see this timeline on The Secret History of the World
"Demonsong" (prehistory) (free download)
"Aryans and Absinthe" (1923-1924)**
BLACK WIND (1926-1945)
THE KEEP (1941)
REBORN (Feb-Mar 1968)
"Dat Tay Vao" (Mar 1968)+
JACK: Secret Histories (1983)
JACK: Secret Circles (1983)
JACK: Secret Vengeance (1983)
YEAR ZERO MINUS THREE
THE TOMB (summer)
"The Barrens" (ends in September)*
"A Day in the Life" (October)*
"The Long Way Home" ++
YEAR ZERO MINUS TWO
CONSPIRACIES (April) (includes "Home Repairs")
"Interlude at Duane's" (April)**
ALL THE RAGE (May) (includes "The Last Rakosh")
THE HAUNTED AIR (August)
YEAR ZERO MINUS ONE
BY THE SWORD (May)
GROUND ZERO (July)
THE TOUCH (ends in August)
The Peabody-Ozymandias Traveling Circus & Oddity Emporium (ends in September)
REPRISAL (ends in February) (reprint scheduled for 12/6/11)
FATAL ERROR (February) (includes "The Wringer" - October 2010)
THE DARK AT THE END (March) (the last Repairman Jack novel) (to be published 10/11/11)
NIGHTWORLD (starts in May) (revision scheduled for 2012)
* included in The Barrens & Others
** included in Aftershock & Others
+ included in the 2009 reissue of The Touch
++ included in Quick Fixes
7. What is the Young Jack series?
This is a series that follows Jack in his young teen years. The titles are:
* SECRET HISTORIES
* SECRET CIRCLES
* SECRET VENGEANCE
8. I’ve read through every Repairman Jack book there is and I still crave this type of fiction. Any suggestions?
You might try reading just about anything else by F. Paul Wilson. It’s all good. Trust us. Oh? You’ve already read everything? Okay, then here are some of the series/authors that RJ Forum members and F. Paul Wilson have recommended in the past:
* "Burke" Novels – Andrew Vachss
* "Hap and Leonard" Novels – Joe R. Lansdale
* "Bob Lee Swagger" Novels – Stephen Hunter
* "Jack Reacher" Novels – Lee Child
* "Agent Pendergast" Novels – Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
* "Joe Kurtz" Novels – Dan Simmons
* "Kenzie/Gennaro" Novels – Dennis Lehane
* "Cole/Pike" Novels – Robert Crais
* "John Rain" Novels – Barry Eisler
9. Is there a Repairman Jack fan club? And is Stephen King really the president?
The closest thing to an "official" fan club would be the Grand Unification (GU), an occasional meetup that consists of friends from the Repairman Jack Forum. Started in 2001 as a means for the people on the board to meet in person, the GU has met about seven times since. The gathering usually happens for three or four days over a long weekend and F. Paul Wilson joins the group for at least one of those days.
As for Stephen King the short answer is "no". The reason this question comes up every so often on the forum is because King wrote a blurb for the Forge edition of Conspiracies. The blurb states:
"THE TOMB is one of the best all-out adventure stories I’ve read in years."
Stephen King (President of the Repairman Jack fan club)
This was nothing more than a jest on King’s part.