More file obituary work for the Guardian this week, so not much in the way of news to discuss. I should be back onto Bear Alley Books writing by the time you read this, so maybe there will be some news next week.
Random scans. Here are a few books I've picked up over the past few weeks. I often just drop new pics into the various cover galleries I've posted over the years but I thought I'd mention that I've updated both the Chris Priest and Colin Forbes. Inverted World includes the curious note that the cover is "based on illustration by Chris Moore/Artist Partners". Have they distorted the colours or something to the point where it has ceased to be an illustration by Chris Moore? By coincidence, the Forbes cover is also an illustration by Chris Moore.
I also picked up a nice Gino D'Achille cover for Wilbur Smith's Eye of the Tiger – I loved Smith's early books but went off them the larger they grew. And while I'm moaning about bloated "blockbusters", I may as well get in another whine: are publishers dropping the 'C' format paperback? That's the old-style paperback that you used to be able to slip into your coat (or school jacket) pocket. Every new book I pick up seems to be in what we called 'trade paperback' size.
So, two problems: one is that I can't easily carry the book around and they're not as comfortable to read because they're bigger and heavier; and, secondly, in these days of smaller houses with less room for "stuff", putting out bigger books is counterproductive. It encourages people to get rid of them once they're read, so more people pick them up in charity shops, and publishers moan that their sales are down, etc., etc.
Actually, I have a third moan, but it's for people like myself who have collected books for years. It's really frustrating to have a nice row of pocketbook-sized books, as I have with my old James Bonds, only to have the latest pair in trade paperback. I demand neatness and order on my shelves, not the chaos and horror of mismatched and differently-sized books sitting next to each other. Aaaaaaghhh! It's wrong, I tell you. Wrong!
And to end on, there's a later NEL edition of James Herbert's The Rats, the 22nd printing with a cover by Gerald Grace, which I rather like.