Thursday, 12 May 2016

Nice New Covers for Ridiculous Tone-Deaf Bigot

Penguin is pushing out some nicely restrained covers for a couple of Richard Dawkins's books on their various anniversaries.

Given his horrible online presence (see here and here for summaries) where he attacks children interested in science because they have brown skin, tells people to abort their babies, and retweets white supremacist propaganda, might I suggest Penguin add this title to their list?

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Nitwittted New Agers Refuted by Authors No Longer As Good As They Once Were #2 (Also He's Dead)

“Yes, it is true that sometimes unusually intelligent and sensitive children can appear to be stupid. But stupid children can sometimes appear to be stupid as well. I think that's something you might have to consider.”
― Douglas Adams

Nitwittted New Agers Refuted by Authors No Longer As Good As They Once Were #1

“The universe is a million billion light-years wide, and every inch of it would kill you if you went there. This is the position of the universe with regards to human life.”
― Martin Amis

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Publisher Spotlight #1: Restless Books

Being the first in a series looking at recent line-wide work by publishers who are doing most excellent work


Restless Books launched a few years ago as an ebook company specialising in translations, but fortunately for lovers of both good books and good design they have started releasing paper versions of their books--and they publish some amazing books.

I'll focus here on the four paperbacks in their Cuban Science Fiction series (that they should have such a specific series at all shows how different they are to most publishers), with two books each from Agustín de Rojas and the monosyllabically named Yoss.

All four have covers designed by Cuban-American designer Edel Rodriguez, and I love the way they neither neglect their SF-ness nor fall into cliche in any way. Rodriguez was also responsible for these lovely Chinua Achebe covers a few years ago.

These books are as interesting as they are inviting, proper SF of ideas with fine writing, and you suspect their authors have utilised speculative fiction much as the wonderful Strugatsky brothers did: as an effective way of exploring humanity and ideas under a repressive government.

Restless doesn't only do Cuban sci-fi, though. Here is a selection of some of their other best covers...

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Old Favourites Return

A couple of much-used cover images are getting another run around the block later this year. First of all comes A Fine Imitation by Amber Brock, which uses a photo by George Hoyningen-Huene...

which we have seen a few times before:

Then there's this photo by William Egglestone, being used on Deborah Shapiro's upcoming The Sun in Your Eyes...

..and which has been around the block a few times already, each time also with the white space used for the text block:

The girl on the left is still not looking any happier, despite her increasing literary fame.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

An Alternative History of Literature, as Interpreted by HMDS Printing

At the risk of turning this sporadically updated blog into nothing but a repository for the worst bowel movements of the public domain-scraping automated ebook industry, let's imagine the alternative history of literature suggested by the covers of the classics published by "HMDS Printing...

Alcott's classic tale of cloned urban feminist Leninists

To be fair, you can almost see Fanny.
The beloved novella of American Civil War Primal Scream training

A portrait entitled 'Man in a Hat that Makes Him look Retarded'

Prince Lyov Nikolaevich Myshkin vomited on his shirt and then sucked a lemon to take away the aftertaste. 'Who's an idiot now?" he asked, smugly.

No, Vietnam is on the other side of paradise.

This is actually the cover for the book The Brothers Shaw

No trainer wheels? That IS adventurous!

Australia, Japan, it's all the same, who gives a fuck?

Everyone always wondered how he would end this novel. Nobody thought of the answer 'pretentious woman goes topless with a rug on her head'.

Cormac McCarthy's first draft of The Road was much less effective when every reference to "the father" was written as "Dombey".

The big red A stands for Absolut

How evolution led to cavemen inventing the toilet roll

Bimbo and Bicycle

When Heathcliff dug up his Cathy's body, he was in for a surprise

The Black Arrow. The One-Cup Bra. The Bow Made of Lobsters.

Long John Silver always found it annoying that people refused to believe the story of how he lost his leg.

I just, I mean, what the fuck, I don't know

Anna was winner of series 3 of Real Housewives of St Petersburg

Nothing wrong here, this is a perfect reasonable cover

[Shoots self in head]

[Collapses bleeding on floor]

[Bleeds out]

[All is silence, and blessed peace at last]