Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Not too early for the Halloween Season, is it?

Earthling Publications is a fine press publisher specializing in "exceptional horror, dark fantasy and suspense".  Naturally this piqued my interest as it's my favorite literary genre, so I dove in to see what was what.  One of the first books I came across was China Mieville's first novel, King Rat, pictured below: illustrated by Richard Kirk, bound in bonded leather, slipcased, and signed by Mieville.  Tho, sadly, no longer available (although I managed to get my mitts on a copy).

King Rat by China Mieville
This certainly bodes well!  However, this particular blog post is not intended to focus on their everyday, run-of-the-mill fabulously custom bound and beautifully illustrated selections.  (We'll get to those another day.) This post is about Halloween.  Because, not only does Earthling Publications specialize in horror on a daily basis, they also have an ultra-special Halloween series of finely bound books.

Below, Mr Dark's Carnival, 2004 - which sold out immediately:

Ticket artwork embedded in cover
French Marbled Endpapers
From the site:  "This book is an ultra-limited hardcover edition of Glen Hirshberg's haunted house novella MR. DARK'S CARNIVAL, featuring an introduction by Glen, original art by Deena Warner featured on the front board of each book, fine leather and Japanese cloth binding, French endsheets (black and orange), and slipcased. Entirely handmade."

Wow.  After this, Earthling Books has published one outstanding book each Halloween. Again from the site: "This series of books celebrates publisher Paul Miller's favorite holiday. Each October, as the air turns colder and leaves fall off the trees, Earthling will release one novel of flat-out horror, usually featuring classic terrors such as monsters and haunted houses rather than psychological suspense or real-life horrors."

Below, cover artwork for The Haunted Forest Tour (Halloween 2007). A novel by James A. Moore and Jeff Strand.  Cover and interior art by Glenn Chadbourne.

The combination of extraordinarily spooky stories, original artwork and custom binding makes for a wonderful set of collectors items.  Currently available for Halloween 2011: By Wizard Oak, a novel by Peter Crowther, with artwork by Glenn Chadbourne.

And pre-orders are being accepted for the next volume in the series, Blood Harvest by James A Moore.

All of the Halloween publications are issued as limited-run, hardbound, illustrated and slipcased or traycased editions.  It's evident how much care is taken with these - Mr. Miller's dedication to the genre shines clearly.

I know I'm getting into the Halloween spirit already.  (What, it's only two months away!  That's not too soon!)  And I am definitely looking forward to diving into one of these for Castle Macabre's Frightful Fall read-a-thon.  Possibly more than one. Oh yes, I love this season!

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