Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dinosaur poetry

I was surprised to find that the distinguished Edna St. Vincent Millay at one point directed her poetic energies towards our venerable predecessors, the dinosaurs. No, I am totally not kidding.

So here, for your Sunday pleasure, is a trifle from her volume Wine from These Grapes (1934), section 2 from her "Epitaph for the Race of Man":

When Death was young and bleaching bones were few,
A moving hill against the risen day
The dinosaur at morning made his way,
And dropped his dung upon the blazing dew;
Trees with no name that now are agate grew
Lushly beside him in the steamy clay;
He woke and hungered, rose and stalked his prey,
And slept contented, in a world he knew.
In punctual season, with the race in mind,
His consort held aside her heavy tail,
And took the seed; and heard the seed confined
Roar in her womb; and made a nest to hold
A hatched-out conqueror . . . but to no avail:
The veined and fertile eggs are long since cold.
Card art by Matt Buchholz, Alternate Histories on Etsy!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Ace doubles: Pulp-lover's dream!

I just got in a stack of old Ace Doubles, and wanted to share some of the awesome cover art with you all, because it's too much fun to keep to myself. :) Each Ace Double has two novels in it, and many sci-fi classics started out in this format back in the 1950s or thereabouts. The novels are printed back-to-back. Each book has one of the covers to itself, and the story reads front to back from that side of the book, which means to read the second book, you have to flip the book over and then turn it the other side up. Kind of a cool idea, really!

Here is a sampling of typically wonderful intergalactic art from them.  If you click on the image, you will be able to see a larger version of the picture.
Ace D-162

Ace D-227

One side of Ace D-99 -- with tentacles!!!
To get an idea of how many books were published this way, take a peek at the list on Wikipedia, here:

While the series is most famous for its focus on the field of science fiction, Ace also spread its range to include other genres such as Westerns and mysteries.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Some poetry about a fish

Here's a little bit of silly poetry for your Sunday afternoon!

This comes from page 83 of a lovely 1961 UK edition of Ogden Nash's Collected Verse from 1929 On that I'm just putting out. A very fun read from the fellow who once said, "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker"!
The Fish
The fish, when he's exposed to air,
Displays no trace of savoir-faire,
But in the sea regains his balance
And exploits all his manly talents.
The chastest of the vertebrates,
He never even sees his mates,
But when they've finished, he appears
And O.K.'s all their bright ideas.
Nash has a knack for snappy titles for his verse, such as:
-- Here We Go Quietly Nuts in May
-- Love Me But Leave My Dog Alone
-- So Does Everybody Else, Only Not So Much
-- My Dear, How Ever Did You Think Up This Delicious Salad?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Cover illustration marvels

Every now and then I see some cover art that makes me wonder... what was the meeting with the art director like for this?! "Let's see, we want you to put Mr. Hitchcock's head in a burlap bag, but you have to also be able to tell it's him. Plus, you should stick a couple of swords through his head. And while you're at it, throw in a hangman's noose for good measure."
I would love to ask the illustrator (credited simply as "Schumaker") what his work process was like for this one...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Lovecraft art show at the Green Hand!

WHAT: First Friday Artwalk opening of MADNESS IMMEMORIAL: A Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft, artwork by Brandon Kawashima and Michelle Souliere
WHERE: The Green Hand Bookshop, 661 Congress Street, Portland ME
WHEN: Friday, March 2nd, 2012 from 5:00-8:00 (on display through the month of March 2012)
FMI: contact Michelle Souliere at (207)253-6808


Instead of the usual March Madness, why not sample something darker? Brandon Kawashima and Michelle Souliere have assembled a select body of new work in tribute to their eldritch literary idol, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, to coincide with the 75th anniversary of his death (March 15, 1937). Crawling chaos and other treasures from the deep dark spaces of our cosmos. Accursed imagery wrought in shadows and jeweled tones brought forth for your viewing pleasure. Make your March a little more interesting!

"But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean. ... Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time."
--H.P. Lovecraft, from his short story "The White Ship"