Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Picking the Authorhouse Scab

There have been many suggestions for additions to the nine circles of Hell that Dante proposed. My own idea for a 10th Circle would be one where you spend eternity reading vanity-published fantasy and science-fiction books, especially those brought into being with the paid assistance of Authorhouse, who published the incomparable BEAST FEEDING >> BOOK and the scariest book of poetry ever. Looking through their catalogue is an unsettling experience.


 
 
('VirginDay Chain Revelatins Explosive' indeed )



 
(Actually, the idea of a day spent in the company of Ms Rose and Ms McCullough probably requires its own special 11th Circle)



 
 
 
 
(I don't think Mr Smith knows who 'Lucky Pierre' really is. If he does, I want to read this book even less.)

What could be worse than the above vanity-published SF/fantasy? How about a vanity-published SF/fantasy role-playing game?



And finally, moving to autobiography, a book with something for everyone...



(Next up, a return to good stuff, with the second installment of this.)

11 comments:

Christy Pinheiro, EA ABA said...

I'm amazed at these books. Each one seems farther from reality. "The Leper" cover has to be my all-time favorite. The Star-Wars Emperor cape and hood is the best part. I love covers that are drawn entirely in watercolor pencil and then, the artist decides not to actually use any water.

It's hard to resist posting these, I know. I bet you had to take a shower after posting this one.

JRSM said...

I do feel a bit unclean. Much like the leper, really. If I do any more posts like this one I'll be wearing a little bell when I walk the streets.

Ben said...

Well some of these look to be extraordinary works of 'Outsider Art', at the very least.

Obviously the designation of things as such is an aesthetic/moral minefield, but it's easy to believe that if Henry Darger (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Darger) was around today and had a few hundred bucks, he might have turned out a few Authorhouse classics!

Anonymous said...

i did one design job for one of these small publishers. it was a nightmare and i'm horrified at what i was forced to turn out. i had hoped to elevate their design and instead they dragged me into the filth along with them. never again.

JRSM said...

Ben: I'd never even heard of Darger--thank you! You have enriched my world in another strange and murky way.

Anon: That sounds appalling. I'm curious to know more, but I can understand your desire for secrecy.

Matthew Adams said...

Authorhouse authors are people too!

DumbTerminator said...

I hope you all die in separate, painful traffic accidents.

Steerforth said...

Like Ben, the words "Outsider Art" instantly sprang to mind. The covers are very similar to some paintings I saw in a fascinating exhibition of art by schizophrenics, paedophiles and murderers (I don't think there were any postcards in the gift shop on that occasion).

JRSM said...

DumbTerminator: Wouldn't a single traffic accident be more efficient? So which of these was your book, then?

Steerforth: I actually saw a (fictional) movie recently that had otsider art and its exploitation as a major subplot--'Junebug'. It was really good.

Roy Perkins, impartial dogcatcher said...

I note for what it is worth that Lenta Shane is a double of the Marvel Comics character Tigra the Were-Woman ("were" means "man," so "Tigra the Were-Woman" ought properly to mean "Tigra the Transexual" or "Tigra the Hermaphrodite," but no, she is just your basic cat/human hybrid).

JRSM said...

Roy, your annotations are helpful and funny: I hope you can provide more!