With “Masked Classics” Pandemic Publishing Comes of Age

When in doubt, fall back on a classic. It worked for Pride, Prejudice and Zombies and its many spinoffs, and now resourceful publishers, making up for lost time and revenue, aim to make it work for a pandemic-weary reading public. Gimik Books (a division of Langweiliger-Zellstoff) has just premiered a new line of “masked classics,” featuring slightly rewritten versions of familiar titles. So we join Mrs. Dalloway as she struggles with the banal details of arranging lawn chairs for an appropriately distanced social gathering, and we experience afresh the noughting of Ralph Ellison’s nameless protagonist as he struggles not just to be seen, but to be heard through a double mask. 

Racing them to the marketplace is Impulse! (a division of Seelenlose-Gier), with its own line of masked reprints, including the intrepid girl detective Nancy Drew going up against a new sort of “invisible intruder,” and Tolstoy’s doomed Anna Karenina, who recklessly persists in leaving her nose hanging out, even amidst the hustle and bustle of a crowded train station.  Continue reading “With “Masked Classics” Pandemic Publishing Comes of Age”

New Fiction & Non-Fiction Roundup, April 2019

On the first of every month, we usually publish our roundup of new fiction & non-fiction releases for the month ahead, but this month there are so many fascinating titles coming out, we’ve decided to spread the wealth across two days of posts. Here’s a quick preview of books released just today.

4/1: Harold Runs Amok, by Thomas Hairless. In the tradition of Wicked and Mr. Timothy, this provocative sequel to Harold and the Purple Crayon reveals Harold’s darker side: not for the squeamish. Continue reading “New Fiction & Non-Fiction Roundup, April 2019”

Avengers Spoiler Alert: Andy Serkis is playing WHO?

Ms. Marvel, White Wolf, Mantis, Drax, Falcon, Peter Dinklage as Pip the Troll!… Just when you thought the burgeoning cast of characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe couldn’t get any more crowded, Hollywood Insider has gained access to leaked scripts for an as-yet-untitled Avengers movie due out in April 2020 that reveal a veritable avalanche of new characters, and a stunning new merger of beloved comics franchises. Continue reading “Avengers Spoiler Alert: Andy Serkis is playing WHO?”

Shakespeare’s Skull Found …in Brooklyn!

As reported in Smithsonian and The New York Times, archaeologists using ground penetrating radar have recently discovered that despite its dire inscription of “Curst be he moves my bones,” William Shakespeare’s tomb was probably disturbed in the late 18th century by grave robbers out to steal the genius’s skull. In a startling turn of events reminiscent of the astonishingly lucky find of Richard III’s remains on the very first day of digging, we now know that this missing skull has come to light half a world away, in Brooklyn!


Continue reading “Shakespeare’s Skull Found …in Brooklyn!”

Kids Agree: Books are no longer cool

                 ~ Posted by David W.

“If it isn’t cuneiform, it just doesn’t speak to me.” Photo by flikr user M1K3Y

To many it came as a shock. Just as conventional wisdom chorused that in our increasingly plugged-in society print books were destined to get left behind, a series of studies and articles from such sources as Nielsen, Publishing TechnologyHewlett Packard, The Pew Research Center, and The Washington Post overwhelmingly agreed that not only was print as popular as ever, but that younger digital natives are some of its most devoted fans. But the very latest data suggests this is starting to change, as hip young readers are forsaking paper for the retro-cool of parchment, papyrus, clay and stone. “I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.” observed cultural commentator DuPrise Blevins of the Myrick Millennial Institute, “Once it became clear that books were still hot, kids just naturally try to top each other. So we had the incunabula craze, and illuminated monk-punk. Then papyrus scrolls were popping up everywhere, in malls and at the clubs. This year, it’s clay. Everything is clay.” Continue reading “Kids Agree: Books are no longer cool”