Friday 24 February 2017

Empty Despair

There's something about the cover and author's note for this upcoming book, all about getting rid of everything and living in an empty howling void of whiteness, that makes me think it's more a cry for help than an advice manual. Where does he go to the toilet? In the box? In any case, it seems as though the cover should probably be more like this:

Thursday 23 February 2017

Beached Statue

 Ever since Planet of the Apes, a disaster-wrecked Statue of Liberty has been used frequently in movies and on their posters to symbolise ruined America.



It's a cliche that started in literature, and actually goes back to 1887: the oldest occurrence I've read is in J. A. Mitchell's novella The Last American, which featured illustrations like these...

 ..and which, along with Planet of the Apes, led to numerous book, pulp magazine and comic covers featuring Liberty in various states of disrepair and repurposing.

Now that a horrific deluge of utterly unoriginal post-apocalyptic self-published fiction has been unleashed by Amazon, it seems only fitting that these books without new ideas should also feature covers to match.

It's mildly unfair to include Warday here, in that it was first published in the 1980s by a respectable firm, but Streiber abandoned his career as a writer of obvious fiction in order to become a wildly disreputable purveyor of alien-abduction bullshit and plagiarist, so fuck him.

Sunday 12 February 2017

Swedish Beauties

Oh, great, now I have to learn Swedish.

Until last week I was unaware of the work of publisher Novellix, a small Swedish outfit which regularly publishes individual novellas and stories by a mix of modern and classic authors, both Scandinavian and otherwise. Their books are beautifully designed, and in their size and scope remind me of the output of Readux. (And sometimes sets of four are available in slipcases.)

I mean, look at these:

(It should also be noted that you can never go wrong reading Hjalmar Söderberg, some of whose wonderful work has been translated into English)

Fortunately, they have just decided to test the water with English-language work, producing four novellas/stories in gorgeous new editions.

These four were designed by Lisa Bengtsson, using artwork by Jennie Ekström.  I'm not sure who to credit for the other beautiful books above because of the whole Swedishlessness I suffer, but whoever they are, they're doing damn fine work.

(With thanks to Creative Review, who first drew these books to my attention.)