Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is this the cover to Murakami's 1Q84?

Well, isn't this interesting: some cover art to Murakami's hotly anticipated 1Q84 has appeared on Amazon! I'm sure all of this is subject to change, as we've got about half a year before the book will be released. But, it doesn't hurt to get excited:

Looks to me like two layers-- perhaps along the lines of the UK edition of Tom McCarthy's C., with a transparent jacket and artwork printed directly on the boards. Also-- check out that page count! The book's almost 1000 pages, which surely collects all three separate volumes of the novel. Very much looking forward to this one.

Currently reading:
Pulse by Julian Barnes

Currently listening to:
Moon Duo, "Mazes"

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Perpetual Calendar, lettered edition


It looks like we're getting close to finalizing the handmade, lettered edition of my piano EP "The Perpetual Calendar"! Above is a picture of Emily at work.

And a few shots of the whole run:


And, as a bonus to readers of the blog, here's a link to a free download of the whole EP! If you're interested in one of the lettered copies, please get in touch via the comments below.

Early Richard Powers firsts, with original press release

Here are two first editions of Richard Powers's first two books, Three Farmers On Their Way To A Dance and Prisoner's Dilemma, published in the 80s by Beech Tree.

It's difficult to explain what sort of a writer Powers is; scientific-fiction would almost work if it didn't sound so much like sci-fi. His novels each grow from a deeply scientific base; they often deal in psychology and computer science but are written with such poeticism that Powers is able to pull readers through the analytics and lead them towards a natural and emotional core.

More people should read him--his novel The Echo Maker (about the devastating Capgras Syndrome, a brain disorder where you think your loved ones are impostors) widened his audience with the National Book Award, but I think he deserves a whole lot more.

One thing exciting about my copy of Three Farmers is that is still includes the original press release insert from 1985.

Having recently started reviewing books for about.com, I've been getting a lot of these press releases--it's good to see that some part of the industry hasn't changed over the past 25 years.


Currently reading:
The Paris Review, Issue 196

Currently listening to:
Kurt Vile, "Smoke Ring For My Halo"

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tristram Shandy by Visual Editions

Once again, a big gap between posts. My apologies to those readers who would prefer a more frequently updated blog (I'm working on it!) I had a big month of reviews in February with About.com, so a lot of my time went there (click through to read some if you're interested).

I'd like to return to collectible books with one you all may have missed, Visual Editions' first publication:
Visual Editions have been the recipients of a world of well-deserved press with the publication of Jonathan Safran Foer's cut-out novel Tree of Codes. I think what makes Tree of Codes so remarkable is that it is was both written and visualized by its author. Foer's a madman for taking on such an ambitious project, and Visual Editions deserve all their praise for making Tree of Codes a reality. What I think a lot of people don't know is that Tree of Codes is the publisher's second publication, coming out after an equally incredible edition of Laurence Sterne's bonkers 18th-century novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

In terms of its form, Tristram Shandy is just about as crazy as its rambling, tangent-after-tangent narration. Sprinkled throughout the text are curlicues, hand-arrows, diagonal sentences, and even some pages that are completely blacked out. As you'll see, Visual Editions have taken all these things and turned them into an stunning, multicolored new edition:




There's a page pre-dog-eared, and a two-page spread splattered with "raindrops":


Really stunning stuff. Considering how rare Tree of Codes suddenly got, I highly recommend picking this up, and watching Visual Editions for anything else they might have up their sleeves.

Currently reading:
"You Are Here" by Jacques Tardi

Currently listening to:
Kurt Vile, "Smoke Ring For My Halo"