Philip K. Dick’s The Cosmic Puppets Via Centipede Press Wows

Philip K. Dick’s The Cosmic Puppets Via Centipede Press Wows

Philip K. Dick’s The Cosmic Puppets via Centipede Press Wows, and I mean Wows with a great limited edition of a fantastic book!

Philip K. Dick is an inspiration of mine, and I have only perused a healthy percentage of his prolific body of work…so far.

There is no writing, no fiction, like that of PKD. Nothing comes close.

For this very special article, we kick off the new year with a TFF book review of the 1957 Philip K. Dick classic The Cosmic Puppets and then my first fine press review of the Centipede Press treatment, which they have given to PKD in a gorgeous boxed set trilogy that also contains Dr. Futurity, and Vulcan’s Hammer.

The following TFF Book Review of The Cosmic Puppets by Philip K. Dick is *Spoiler Free

The Cosmic Puppets, Philip K. Dick, PKD, fine press, Centipede Press, Signed Limited, S/L

I was surprised upon reading Michael Swanwick’s introduction to this edition that this book is considered Dick’s only fantasy novel.

But I hate labeling genres, and I do not know it, but I suspect he would have as well.

What is immediately intriguing at the outset is the utter realness of the protagonist Ted Barton, as his emotions, confusion and painful revelations shake the reader to their core.

You feel what he feels, and as the precarious situation gets stranger and grander in scope than one would think possible, the suspension of disbelief is there and we hungrily eat up the world that has been built.

It is through this vessel that crafting such a marvelous world is possible.

The Cosmic Puppets, Philip K. Dick, PKD, fine press, Centipede Press, Signed Limited, S/L

That world is Ted’s hometown, which he returns to after many years to find its history is not as he has remembered.

And there are unexpected gods, unforeseen characters of diabolical, selfish, and devious minds, and also their foils who are dying lights amidst the darkening battleground for something far vaster than Ted could have ever guessed.

It is here that Philip K. Dick’s voracious appetite for reading Carl Jung, Plato, and any philosopher of note’s text that he could get his hands on shines through masterfully in myriad nuanced subtleties.

Some of the symbolism may seem more obvious, but it is but done in new and unique ways, whether in the grandiose cosmic chess matches, the battles of nature – in all manner of creatures’ strife; nature versus nature – and even in the creation of life through clay it is all remarkable.

The pacing, the stomach gripping suspense, and the quickly unfolding mystery that seizes the weird, and Ted with it, fiercely make this a book that once started cannot be put down.

The Cosmic Puppets by Philip K. Dick As Part Of The Centipede Press Signed Limited Edition Boxed Set Is Spectacular!

The Cosmic Puppets, Philip K. Dick, PKD, fine press, Centipede Press, Signed Limited, S/L

The box itself has navy and black cloth and emits quality.

And despite a very modest price-point, not one, but three great PKD novels are encompassed in beauty and a sense of dedication that truly pays respect and homage to the great author’s work.

I am still blown away by the production.

The Cosmic Puppets, Philip K. Dick, PKD, fine press, Centipede Press, Signed Limited, S/L

The Centipede Press edition of The Cosmic Puppets is limited to 300 copies signed by all of the contributors, including by Michael Swanwick, Peter Strain, and Chris Moore, with an Estate-approved facsimile signature by Philip K. Dick.

The book itself features an amazing theme bound to the dustjacket art by Peter Strain, which features a boy whose melted head contains a chessboard, honeycombs, and a flurry of bees, while beneath him rests the town upside down, in distress, and it wraps around to the spine and the back as the pieces are held by a hand pulling their strings!

The Cosmic Puppets, Philip K. Dick, PKD, fine press, Centipede Press, Signed Limited, S/L

And beneath the jacket is the finest black cloth, with two color foil stamping, and an asteroid-like design bearing Philip K. Dick’s signature on the front, as well as little specks of tiny meteors possibly.

The Cosmic Puppets, Philip K. Dick, PKD, fine press, Centipede Press, Signed Limited, S/L

A Centipede staple, there is a history presented in the book’s cover art, from its first novel form in Ace’s two-novel 35 cent paperback to many others, throughout the brilliant introduction.

The fonts, the gorgeous archival artwork by Chris Moore, and the entire design is truly a work of art.

And with that my dear friends, Eager Readers, and comrades, I can give you something to look forward to: there are two other novels in this boxed set that are begging for me to review.

Happy New Year! [I have been told I will have to put money into the jar if I say that after today]


The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


Want To Buy A Book From A Local bookseller? Click Away!

 

“Philip K. Dick’s The Cosmic Puppets Via Centipede Press Wows” was written by R.J. Huneke.

 

Suntup Epitomizes Johnny Got His Gun By Dalton Trumbo

Suntup Epitomizes Johnny Got His Gun By Dalton Trumbo

Suntup epitomizes Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo with fine press editions and artwork that emanate the true anti-war classic novel from 1939.

The Following Preview Review of Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo and the Suntup Editions limiteds is *Spoiler Free

It is the vital works of fiction that continue to make worldwide waves again and again.

Trumbo’s anti-romantic-war novel is one of the great ones.

The protagonist Joe Bonham wakes in a hospital bed to slowly discover that an enemy artillery shell has taken his arms and legs and left a mangled hole where his eyes, nose, teeth, and tongue used to be.

The premise told from a first-person narrative: he cannot hear or speak, or leave his prison.

johnny got his gun, trumbo, suntup editions, fine press, suntup

The famed filmmaker’s book was published in 1939 and was heavily influenced by the fallout of what Trumbo called the last “romantic war” in World War I.

The meaning I take from that sentiment is that it was a war that could very much have been avoided and various war machines and romantic ideals in politics continued to make larger and larger waves until the Great War was unleashed.

And there were many wars he felt similarly about (World War II was not one of them).

And so this harrowing work truly claws at one’s humanity and brings into focus many uncomfortable realities of the world.

Because of this, it has been very impactful since its publication, its winning the National Book Award and Trumbo’s subsequent adaptation into a film in 1971.

Decades afterward, this film would be used by Metallica in their most successful and popular song titled “One” and its music video, and that would act as a relaunching of Johnny Got His Gun that was again thrust into popular culture to harp on the horrors of war.

Suntup Editions took on this monumental title, which will be shipping in the near future and there are still Artist Editions available for purchase.

The numbered and lettered editions are sold out.

But all of the books feature stunning artwork by Ūla Šveikauskaitė that really captures the soul brought forth in Johnny Got His Gun.

The AE edition is the only one of the three featuring a dust jacket and is signed by the artist.

The image of the skulls and the cover image with the raised peace sign are striking!

This is a book and fine press editions that will forever resonate with you!

The details of Suntup Editions ARTIST EDITION:

 

  • 6” x 9” trim size.
  • 256 Pages.
  • Limited to 750 copies.
  • Full cloth, smyth-sewn binding.
  • Two-hits foil stamping.
  • Introduction by Dalton Trumbo from 1959, with addendum written in 1970.
  • Foreword by Cindy Sheehan.
  • Afterword by E.L. Doctorow.
  • Six full-color illustrations by Ūla Šveikauskaitė.
  • Dust jacket featuring artwork by Ūla Šveikauskaitė (the only edition featuring the dust jacket).
  • Signed by the artist.
  • Printed offset on archival Cougar Natural.
  • Housed in a metal mesh paper slipcase with an acrylic coating.
  • Bookmark with all pre-orders.

 

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


Want To Buy The Book Click Away!

 

“Suntup epitomizes Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo” was written by R.J. Huneke.

 

Orlo’s Trouble: A New Heartwarming Children’s Holiday Tale

Orlo’s Trouble: A New Heartwarming Children’s Holiday Tale

Orlo’s Trouble: a new heartwarming children’s holiday tale by Gertrude Stonesifer and Dr. Amy Broemmel and illustrated by Jim Diehr truly crafts a remarkable Christmas story.

This old but cheery Orlo is one of Santa’s elves and has a story of his own to tell.

What I love most about this children’s book is that it is not only very appealing to an age three to eight audience, but it has a great moral that applies to all of the parents, grandparents, great grandpas and great grandmas, and omas and opas and pop pops.

Anyone and everyone, no matter their age, has something to contribute, especially to the special Christmas holiday and season.

For Orlo feels like he is now too old to contribute in Santa’s workshop.

He has difficulty making toys now.

But lo and behold! He can spin a yarn from his youth and tell of the olden times, when he was very young and spent time amongst the funny and red-cheeked trolls of Norway.

“Not everything you’ve heard about trolls is true,” says Orlo, and seeing them in Christmas sweaters shows it to be very true.

Orlo’s Trouble, christmas, children's book

This artwork is very warm and brilliantly colorful, with a style all its own.

Orlo’s Trouble really becomes Orlo’s new way to help and inspire the workshop way up at the snowy North Pole.

The oldest of Santa’s elves has a tale of mystery for his fellow elves, where he finds out that it is not what he cannot do that matters, but what he can do to help Santa’s workshop and Christmas.

 

Here are the book vitals:

 

TITLE:  Orlo’s Trouble

AUTHOR:  Gertrude Stonesifer and Dr. Amy Broemmel

ARTIST: Jim Diehr

DEMOGRAPHIC: Children’s Book, Ages 4-9+

GENRE: Children’s

PUBLISHER:  EBL Books, an imprint of Lantia

ISBN:  9781524316594

DATE OF PUBLICATION:  December 14, 2021

PAGES:  54

FORMATS:  Softcover, Apple iBooks, Nook, Kindle

 


The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


Want To Buy The Book Click Away!

 

“Orlo’s Trouble: a new heartwarming children’s holiday tale” was written by R.J. Huneke.

 

 

Earthling Halloween: Boys in the Valley by Philip Fracassi

Earthling Halloween: Boys in the Valley by Philip Fracassi

Earthling Halloween: Boys in the Valley by Philip Fracassi is the fine press pick for the holiday this year, as a horrific The Exorcist meets Lord of The Flies story occurs at the St. Vincent’s Orphanage for Boys in rural Pennsylvania.

There is a fun unnerving other worldliness to the historical setting for this circa 1900 horror tale.

And the prose by author Philip Fracassi is tight, vivid, and compelling.

On All Hallow’s Eve TFF covers the riveting Earthling Publications ARC read leading up to the spooky season with the following Spoiler-free Preview Review** of Boys in the Valley by Philip Fracassi.

Boys in the Valley, Halloween, Earthling Publications, Philip Fracassi

The main character Peter Barlow was orphaned by murder and the terrible trauma led him on the path to become a priest.

One night the 30 boys and their sacred caregivers are beset by a group of men bearing a maimed man full of occult symbols carved into his flesh.

The storm foreshadows the evil that his death will unleash on the remote orphanage.

If you are a fan of The Exorcist or Lord of The Flies then Boys in the Valley by Philip Fracassi will likely give you delightful shivers and more than a few nightmares.

There are still a few signed and limited edition books available exclusively at Earthling here, from a lettered edition of 15 copies hand made using the finest materials signed by all contributors, including artist Glenn Chadbourne and Andy Davidson, to the numbered edition of 500 copies signed by the author of the book and the introduction.

Philip Fracassi’s tales of suspense and dark fiction have long been hailed as triumphs, but this his debut novel is his most ambitious achievement to date.

Boys in the Valley, Halloween, Earthling Publications, Philip Fracassi

Do not just take my word for it.

From Earthling Publication’s website:

Praise for BOYS IN THE VALLEY and the works of Philip Fracassi:

“BOYS IN THE VALLEY is a beautiful novel that should be — will likely be — remembered as one of the best of the young decade. A harrowing and unforgettable debut novel.”
—Cemetery Dance

“With rich, multilayered characters and a setting as hopeless as it is dreary, Fracassi has masterfully orchestrated a tale that is both harrowing and profound.”
—Patrick Delaney

“While I was riveted to the pages, I didn’t realize how invested I was until I could breathe again after I turned that final page.”
Where the Reader Grows

“Paul Miller has added another haunting addition to his much-beloved Halloween Series. Fracassi has written an odyssey through possession and madness that is tough to read. This is my first meeting with Fracassi and I’m sure it won’t be the last.”
The Baryon Review

“A gothic, gory Lord of the Flies tale. The horror here is as much as warning on the dangers of human corruption as a testament to hope in the face of nigh-insurmountable darkness. Horror readers will be hooked.”
Publishers Weekly

“I sped through this gripping and excellently paced novel over three evenings as events quickly spiraled from bad to worse. I suggest you move fast as the 500 hardbacks being released by Earthling are dwindling, and I imagine will all be snagged via pre-orders.”
Ginger Nuts of Horror

Boys in the Valley is gut-wrenching, heartbreaking, and terrifying.”
—Andy Davidson

“A superior storyteller.”
This Is Horror

“The next big horror writer to blow your mind.”
Lit Reactor

“Especially skillful at creating and sustaining suspense.”
The New York Times


The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


Want To Buy The Book Click Away!

Boys in the Valley, Halloween, Earthling Publications, Philip Fracassi

“Earthling Halloween: Boys in the Valley by Philip Fracassi” was written by R.J. Huneke.

 

 

 

Night Tastings By Bervi Adams: 19th Century Russian Vampires

Night Tastings By Bervi Adams: 19th Century Russian Vampires

Night Tastings by Bervi Adams: 19th Century Russian vampires seize the lives of a lower-level aristocrat named Nikolai and his love, Tatianya, as they voyage to Mardi Gras and Napa Valley and beyond to escape their doom!

This is a Spoiler Free** book review of Night Tastings: Part 1 The Ingress in an upcoming paranormal vampire trilogy By Bervi Adams.

I was fortunate to receive an ARC of this brilliant book, and a sample of the audiobook, which has a fantastic narrator and the perfect accent for this world and time-spanning tale.

night tastings, bervi adams, vampire trilogy, vampire, vampire, czarist russia, mardi gras

The voice, vampires, and vivid, romantic world give Night Tastings an Anne Rice Interview With The Vampire-like feel.

If you like a bit of horror and history and heading back to the Czarist regime of the 19th century to meet compelling characters beset by their societal obligations whose lives are crashed upon by a vampire promising power beyond any Nikolai can imagine, then this is a read worth endeavoring in.

Nikolai, a lower-level aristocrat, appeared to only be missing a wife and heir, and, Tatianya, the duke’s youngest daughter, unknowingly manages to tame the wild man’s heart – at least until the coming of the vampire.

If you have a romantic purvey and a lust for blood spanning time and seas, then Night Tastings is a tasty read.

From the author: Bervi Adams is thrilled to be publishing Night Tastings: The Ingress, part one of a trilogy that has been a long time coming to fruition. She is the mother of two grown children, one living abroad. When not delving into the depths of her imagination, she enjoys travel, shelling, wine tasting and just being with family friends and most of all, her favorite guy. Her fondest wish is for you to enjoy the first in this series as much as she enjoyed crafting this tale of romance, treachery and yes, even redemption.

Here is a fun unboxing of Night Tastings from book reviewer Jeff @ The Jeff Word:

 


The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


Want To Buy The Book Click Away!

 

There is also a Goodreads giveaway running for Night Tastings here.

 

“Night Tastings By Bervi Adams: 19th Century Russian Vampires” was written by R.J. Huneke.

 

 

 

Bird Box By Josh Malerman Shatters Minds With SST Brilliance

Bird Box By Josh Malerman Shatters Minds With SST Brilliance

Bird Box by Josh Malerman shatters minds with SST brilliance, as the author’s 2014 debut novel rattles all senses with the riveting tale like no other, so too, does SST Publications craft a signed limited numbered edition that is reminiscent of the book’s world, sharp and wonderfully haunting.

Civilization falls to chaos, as those who see something, some creature, go insanely violent on themselves and/or others: welcome to Bird Box.

There are few tales so poignant that you root for the characters so strongly you feel their utter incessant terror so strongly.

Bird Box, josh malerman, sst publications, limited edition, sl, signed limited, ben baldwin, thriller, horror

The following book review of Bird Box by Josh Malerman will contain *SPOILERS up until the fine press edition of the S/L book from SST is reviewed in detail.

Is Malorie insane?

Clearly the world she resides in has gone insane.

The mother of two debates taking a dangerous winter trip on a river toward a possible sanctuary.

They will be in a rowboat for twenty miles.

The boy and the girl are four, and they will have to risk going outside and traversing the river up to a section of rapids blindfolded the entire way.

The mother’s words are rough with the two children, stern, and candid: they must not take off their ‘folds’ no matter what happens.

Outside, unknown creatures cause madness upon sight of them.

Bird Box, josh malerman, sst publications, limited edition, sl, signed limited, ben baldwin, thriller, horror

You see it and you lose it and go mortally violent; unless, of course, you are already mad yourself, and then you will welcome the embrace of the savior or cleanser or xenocidal force that has been unleashed on earth.

I had a feeling early into the novel that I had no idea what the creatures were and I might end the book without knowing what they were.

That idea is a tricky writer to reader relationship, to say the least (more on this later).

Aspects of the creatures accumulate: they could be small or enormous, they could be frequently stalking all humans, or sporadically invading city streets, row by row, they could be trying to touch, or scare blindfolded people into looking at them.

Bird Box, josh malerman, sst publications, limited edition, sl, signed limited, ben baldwin, thriller, horror

The unnerving loss of sight and the unknown haunting menace gives far more weight to the thrilling Bird Box than many of the great suspense novels out there.

The story flashes back and forth, from when Malorie first finds out she was pregnant and the subsequent unraveling of society and back to the dangerous river voyage.

As the world collapses, she escapes to a house that is a sanctuary, of sorts.

It has a well, electricity from a hydroelectric dam and a lot of stores for the half a dozen or so trying to live out the horror in a home with all the windows covered; for safety, no one sees the sky anymore.

The dynamics of the semi-democratic household full of realistic characters with great personalities and their own unnerving anxieties – that decide when or when not to take in someone like Malorie, a showing pregnant woman that will be two mouths to feed before long – are enthralling.

Malorie’s love for another grows, as the housemates struggle to adapt and get along and progress.

Can the landline, not powered by electricity but by a weak electrical signal in a phone cord, let them reach others who have survived with their sanity intact.

For a long time, I thought the birds would be the monsters in the book.

But it is the finding of a cardboard box full of birds at an abandoned home that brings a real-time alarm, a chirping warning system, for when the creatures get close that is essential to surviving.

Only Malorie and her children survive the house, and the birds, and together they march on to a place that someone on the phone says is a real sanctuary for any who can make it up the river to them.

The place is protected and full of good people.

And so Malorie waits until she deems the kids can understand enough to take the trip in the rowboat and she risks it all.

Getting to her destination by route of that damn river is so nerve shredding!

Sure, there are creatures, but there are also animals living in the wooded region that you forget about in the apocalyptic times, like wolves that attack and badly injure Malorie.

She even passes out and wakes to find her kids have learned to each row a paddle, in tandem.

Nothing was more creepy or intense than actually getting to the sanctuary and seeing through Malorie’s eyes as she risks it and takes off the fold and assesses whether or not the place is a trap or a real safe zone for her and the kids.

Bird Box, josh malerman, sst publications, limited edition, sl, signed limited, ben baldwin, thriller, horror

Your stomach will tighten and spasm with fear, as the worst seems inevitable.

But that is Malorie’s view, of fear, and not the reality, and when she realizes they are all safe it is one of the most beautiful moments in literature – I got choked up.

She had never named the boy or girl, her kids, and the entire novel they are called ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ so that Malorie upon getting them to safety names them, finally, for the girl’s mother who died in the house giving birth at the same time Malorie birthed her son, and she names him after her love that she met in the house.

And after all of the non-stop page turning full of realism, blood, tension, terror, and time that goes by in the grim world, the reader does not get to find out what the creature is.

And it works brilliantly.

*SPOILERS END here.

The SST Publications limited edition of Bird Box by Josh Malerman is marvelous and the fine press production is reviewed here.

The book is signed by the author, Malerman, and artist Ben Baldwin and has a limitation of 400 copies.

And this book is stunning to behold.

The SST Bird Box cover art and dust jacket is one of the wildest designs I have ever seen!

Bird Box, josh malerman, sst publications, limited edition, sl, signed limited, ben baldwin, thriller, horror

The child is wearing the blindfold and hearing the world shown: their trip on the river, the flying birds, the forest and the rickety speaker setup – the lone semblance of society – and of course blue tone for the cold and the water, and lots of darkness wherein the mysterious creature could be anywhere.

And that is just the dust jacket art. The design wraps around and even goes all the way to the folded in parts at the boards – it looks amazing and would make a great poster.

The six illustrations by Baldwin are remarkable and visceral, and my favorite, by far, is of the screams as the poor home owner goes mad, tied to his chair; it gives me the shivers.

Bird Box, josh malerman, sst publications, limited edition, sl, signed limited, ben baldwin, thriller, horror

SST’s Bird Box edition is a perfect emanation of Josh Malerman’s story within.

The clothbound book is sturdy and a gorgeous light blue with blue foil stamping.

This is one for the ages.

As my first voyage into SST Publications, I could not be more impressed with the UK fine press publisher.


The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)


Want To Buy A Book From A Local bookseller? Click Away!

 

“Bird Box by Josh Malerman shatters minds with SST brilliance” was written by R.J. Huneke.