When we think of book series that is taking too long to be completed, we most often think of The Winds of Winter or The Doors of Stone, but it looks like those aren’t the only ones! Books of the Art by Clive Barker is another example; with its nearly 30-year gap between book 2 and the still-unpublished book 3, the series makes The Winds of Winter delay seem pretty mild in comparison. So is book 3 of Books of the Art canceled and, if not, when is it coming out?
Books of the Art is an incomplete dark fantasy trilogy by Clive Barker. The first novel, The Great and Secret Show (1989) follows the enmity between Randolph Jaffe and Richard Fletcher, two men who have evolved to superhuman status. Their conflicts bleed into the human world, causing anomalies.
The second book, Everville (1994) tells the story of the titular town, Everville, featuring several characters from Quiddity, the afterlife that was mentioned earlier in the series.
The two books have received mixed reviews, as some feel there isn’t much of a plot behind the vast number of characters. Others enjoyed the series and would like the third Books of the Art installment to come out, but there’s been little hope of that lately.
Books of the Art Book 3 doesn’t have a confirmed release date to speak of. Author Clive Barker has promised that the third book will be epic, and he would like to write it with as much feeling as possible but has not commented on a possible release date. In 2014, the author confirmed that he was still planning to write the book and had figured out the ending. Unfortunately, this did not mean that the third book of the trilogy was any closer to being published. As of 2021, there have been no definitive updates.
So is the third installment of Books of the Art canceled? While there has been no official announcement to indicate that, many fans believed the book is canceled in all but name. Given that they’ve waited for almost three years, it’s hard to blame them.
Guys! I’m here! I’m back! It’s been a long silence, I know, but I am returning to the fold with a new novel, DEEP HILL, a large collection of out-of-print short stories, NEW short stories and a novella called MERCY AND THE JACKAL, the collection to be called FEAR ETERNAL.— Clive Barker (@RealCliveBarker) September 24, 2020
Unfortunately, there are no updates regarding Books of the Art Book 3. We will update this space should this change in the future.
The author has not been active on Twitter at all in 2021, but he did announce a few projects in 2020, including a novel Deep Hill and a collection of short stories. Books 4 and 5 of the Abarat series, a YA series are listed on the author’s website as his current projects. It looks like these are considered a higher priority than Books of the Art right now and there’s little to indicate this is changing anytime soon.