Suntup Editions Immortalize I AM LEGEND By Richard Matheson

Suntup Editions Immortalize I AM LEGEND By Richard Matheson

Suntup Editions immortalize I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson with three incredible limited editions and an I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print featuring the same Stanley Meltzoff cover art that was on the Gold Medal Books first edition of the book in 1954.

Oh, the horror! To be the sole survivor of a world-wide vampire and zombie-vampire creating pandemic!

Each of the three Suntup editions are incredible to behold, and we will be reviewing the Suntup Editions Artist Gift Edition of I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson and the accompanying Limited Edition giclee print.

The Suntup editions are as timeless as the book I AM LEGEND itself.

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I AM LEGEND by Richard Matheson was a first on many levels, as it crafted a post-apocalyptic world where living vampires emerge alongside undead zombie-vampires.

The last man on earth, Robert Neville, is besieged with an incessant danger and terror.

Here is the story synopsis from Suntup Editions, and the review continues below it.


“This may be the most terrifying novel you will ever read.”

This quote from mystery writer William Campbell Gault graced the first edition cover of what would become one of the most influential and adapted works of the 20th century. Originally published in 1954, Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend ushered in a different kind of novel, defying and transcending genre to combine elements of horror and science fiction within a post-apocalyptic frame.

I Am Legend is the story of Robert Neville, who appears to be the sole survivor of a pandemic that has turned the human race into a crossbreed of zombies and vampires. Robert must hunt by day, hide by night, and most importantly, survive.

In 2012, the Horror Writers Association gave I Am Legend the special Vampire Novel of the Century Award. The novel and Richard Matheson are often credited for creating the zombie-vampire genre.

The cover art on that edition was painted (1917-2006), and has become one of the most famous book covers of the genre.

IAL Suntup AGE Illustration © 2019 by Allen Williams. Artist Gift edition cover art by Stanley Meltzoff © 2020 Silverfish Press. [Suntup.press]


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PLEASE NOTE: The following book review is *SPOILER FREE* and discussion of the plot is tread upon lightly for the sake of readers that have not yet opened the book.

Though many more are familiar with the name ‘I AM LEGEND’ since the movie of the same name (little else resembled the book), starring Will Smith, came out, than the book, that should be true of the name Richard Matheson, who exploded onto the horror, science-fiction, and post-apocalyptic fiction scene with his short novel I AM LEGEND in 1954.

It was not ten years after its first publication, only in paperback for 25 cents, that it came out in theaters as The Last Man On Earth, starring Vincent Price (this movie resembled the book), in 1964.

Many great novels had begun to spring from Matheson by this time, but I AM LEGEND truly made an indelible mark on horror tales and fiction itself for that matter.

It is not just the brilliant concepts of the story and the last man, Neville, struggling to make stakes, keep fresh garlic on his home’s door, and cope with the menace that lurks at night that make this book special.

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It is the inner workings of the great character, Robert Neville, that moves the reader, again and again.

The man is tortured.

And he continues to torture himself with thoughts of what was and is clearly deeply depressed.

In the beginning he has three passions: killing the vampires, surviving, and drinking away the dread of it all.

Haunted by his family, now years gone, the lack of human contact while undead females taunt his sexual hunger night after night, and his own neighbor repeatedly yelling his name over the sound of the music Robert uses to try and drown out the cries in the night puts him under a cloud of pressure.

The pressure mounts when ideas of the pandemic being curable take hold, but survival becomes no less difficult.

The relationships Neville gets to form will break your heart.

The world-building – the unending menace, impending calamity, and the pits of burning bodies – is so immersive it is scary, the language use is brilliant, the plot is full of gut-strangling twists, and the ending does not disappoint.

Here is Jeff’s infamous unboxing video of this edition:

The AGE Suntup Edition of I AM LEGEND is a Must-Have.

The limited edition of 1000 copies of I AM LEGEND by Paul Suntup and his brilliant team offer a large full cloth smyth-sewn binding with two-hits foil stamping, and printed endsheets featuring the creepy long-nailed arm of one of the undead.

The crimson red emanates the red used on the original first edition Gold Medal Books made and to further that cause the entire front cover of the dust jacket, sans title or verbiage, is the historic painting by Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006) from that same original 1954 paperback edition.

The depiction of Neville holding a stake aloft as he looks down at the pit of burning bodies in the piece is timeless.

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It adds so much to the gorgeous AGE book that is signed by the illustrator Allen Williams, whose creepy black and white depictions of the IAL world are haunting equally enthralling.

The book, printed offset, is housed in a printed slipcase with the creepiest vampire hand you will ever see and there is cloth on the upper and lower sections.

The look and feel of the cloth and the gold foil is something truly special in the hand.

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And going back to the cover art: Suntup Editions created an I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print of the Stanley Meltzoff painted cover art, and I had to have it as well.

Limited to just 50 copies, the I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print by Suntup is STILL AVAILABLE here (how or why I do not know)!

Be sure to check out the wild numbered and lettered editions of this book from Suntup too!

Between the art, the care for every aspect of the book, and the impactful work put into all of the Suntup Editions of I AM LEGEND, the publisher has helped to further immortalize a grandfather of dark fiction and one of his most prominent works.

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read ’em and buy ’em)!


Want To Buy The I AM LEGEND Fine Art Print by Suntup Editions (or their last numbered book that is NOT SOLD OUT, somehow, Brother by Ania Ahlborn)? Click away!

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“Suntup Editions Immortalize I AM LEGEND By Richard Matheson” was written by R.J. Huneke.

P.S. If You Like The Hand-made Wooden Case For I AM LEGEND…

Check Out Out My Pet Projects, Igor, here.

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P.P.S. If You Want To Know A Little More About How The Forgotten Fiction Is Different & Our Mission . . .

We are really trying to achieve two main goals here:

  1. To bolster every author who puts out a work of fiction long after the initial buzz that accompanied its release and to bolster small press and fine press publishers that make works of art out of the books we love. This includes limited edition and small press publications, like Suntup Editions, that are also reviewed for their physical beauty, as well as the work’s literary art and often illustrations, so long as the initial work has been out 60 days.
  2. We love books of fiction! And as readers we have too little time to read ALL of the books that fall onto our tentative To-Read List. The Forgotten Fiction hopes that with our Yea or Nay stamp, we can definitively give our unbiased opinion to you as a recommendation that may or may not move a book from the stack to your Must-Read List.

To Read More Details On Our Process Go To The About Page Here.

The Long Walk By Richard Bachman (Stephen King) Book Review

The Long Walk By Richard Bachman (Stephen King) Book Review

The Long Walk by Richard Bachman (Stephen King) Book Review takes a look at the first novel Stephen King is said to have ever written, while in college, and was not published until 1979 under the penname of Richard Bachman.

Walking the edge of The Long Walk, as a reader, balances the dichotomies of humanity’s actions toward itself: torturous psychological and physical pain foiled by expectant friendship and self-sacrifice.

And the thematic thumping of the drum of feet on the road!

The Long Walk

The language is sharp and there is certainly a darker, glass-half-full aspect that emanates dystopian tropes in King’s book.

And yet, despite the terrific pacing, the immersive world of The Walk that grips the Constant Reader, King still harnesses such great characters, major and minor, that they make their journey yours, and their life-like aspects are so real they are uncanny.

This is a gift King seems to have had from the first, and this hard hitting tale is a great example.

The seemingly unending walk, the pounding of the pavement, goes on and on as though the reader’s suspense and the characters’ own fears will never end.

After the book review, I will also take a look at the two elusive first edition copies of The Long Walk that came out via paperback editions, in the US under Signet in July 1979 and then in the UK under NEL in September 1980.

Suntup Editions, Gerry Grace, The Long Walk, NEL, Signet, Richard Bachman, Stephen King

PLEASE NOTE: The following book review is *SPOILER FREE* and discussion of the plot is tread upon lightly for the sake of readers that have not yet opened the book.


Here is the story synopsis from Stephen King, and the review continues below it.

From StephenKing.com:

The Long Walk

Formats: softcover, audiobook

First Edition Release Date: by Signet in 1979 (first US edition) and NEL in 1980 (first UK edition)

Synopsis:

In the near future, where America has become a police state, one hundred boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner will be awarded whatever he wants for the rest of his life. The game is simple – maintain a steady walking pace of four miles per hour without stopping. Three warnings, and you’re out – permanently. First Edition Release Date: September, 2019


For those looking for an introduction into King’s works, The Long Walk serves up both an insightful glimpse into the human condition, under bleak circumstances, and adds some grimly powerful statements about society as a whole, some of which can certainly be echoed in today’s world.

While many are familiar with The Running Man because of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie of the same name in the 1980’s (there are few other similarities between the flick and book, one could argue, besides entertainment), few realize that the late Richard Bachman, who, sad to say, succumbed to cancer some years back, spawned some of Stephen King’s finest works, including The Long Walk, Rage, Roadwork, Thinner, and Blaze.

There would have been no Hunger Games without The Long Walk.

In days eerily reflective of our own in America, a police state’s great annual entertainment centers around The Walk, or The Long Walk, contest where 100 teenagers walk from the Maine/Canadian border as far south as it takes to leave one standing.

This is not typical Stephen King horror, though Constant Readers will be quick to point out that “The King of Horror” has written in just about every genre, trope, form of writing, and cross-genre imaginable.

The Long Walk is a near-future dystopian masterpiece of suspense and horror.

The horror here is all in the horrible face of humanity that is shown again and again.

The Walk’s prize is whatever the winner wants . . . for life.

But the price is to take whatever you choose to carry with you and wear on your feet, and then accepting only water and food from the soldiers guarding the foot race, with rifles at the ready.

You have to stay above four miles per hour for the entire time, usually days.

You can change your family’s lives forever by winning it all or by being one of the 99 who run out of warnings, slip below the speed, and get shot by a military rifle.

Young men face life, death, and dig deep into themselves to find the mental toughness many long-distance runners require to accomplish their goals, though the stakes are far far less.

For the main character Raymond Davis Garraty, seeing those he loves waiting for him far down The Walk, his mom and his girlfriend Jan, becomes the most important motivation to continue on day and night, night and day as the miles go bye taking their toll and splattering many young mens’ brains in the unending road before them.

It is the relationships these guys form during The Walk that make the story so moving.

There are some wise-cracking clowns, a mysterious loner, and new friendships made that could cause the lives of their own competition to survive, despite that making the contest that much harder for a friendly Walker to outlive everyone else.

At one point, as a storm nears, Garraty looks on dismayed as a loud mouth, named Barkovitch, taunts another Walker in an attempt to get him to throw a punch and break the rules.

Breaking rules have dark black and white consequences from the “emotionless” soldiers watching incessantly.

Inner strife amongst the young men spurns some, as others form teams, some form shaky alliances, and some swear oaths to one another.

As unlikely events follow seemingly every possible behavior and action, positive and negative, you could imagine during such a trial, The Walk almost seems a test for what an enduring human can be.

Meanwhile, the weather, from heat to rain that threatens to wash out bridges, to lightning and hail storms all play as battle after battle, skirmish after skirmish in the constant war that is the Walk.

There has never been such a gripping tale of camaraderie and humanity like this set amidst a society-induced hell on the road, complete with its own military overseers and Lord Of The Flies-like scenarios.

The only complaint or critique of The Long Walk that I have is that there could have been many more of these tales from previous or future Walk events.

***

Looking at these books, though they are not small press issue, they are certainly rare collectible books worth examining. Though publication numbers of the two first editions of The Long Walk are unknown, TheDarkTower.org believes the print run to be close to the 75,000 first editions of Rage; the rarity in them is that paperbacks are fragile and not many Very Good and Fine copies survive.

This copy of the UK The Long Walk is a personal favorite of mine.

Suntup Editions, Gerry Grace, The Long Walk, NEL, Signet, Richard Bachman, Stephen King

I prefer the cover art by Gerry Grace in the NEL copy and this book is Very Fine with square corners and white pages – almost As New, except for a slight wrinkle and a tiny white chip near the spine on the front of the cover.

Finding clean, bright covers is difficult in and of itself, but finding spines that are not cracked with one of no lines and pages not yellowed is not easy, and, at times, expensive.

Both the Signet and NEL first editions are starkly ominous and quite spectacular books visually.

The cover art on the American version of The Long Walk (not sure of the artist) highlights the menacing military man overlooking the contestants, as one is about to die.

The Red cover and black, bold font of the title, make it stand out in a “RED ALERT” type of way.

Suntup Editions, Gerry Grace, The Long Walk, NEL, Signet, Richard Bachman, Stephen King

But the NEL UK first edition of The Long Walk is truly a work of beauty.

The cover art by Gerry Grace covers the entire cover, not just a panel, and shows the Walk in full progress, complete with another menacing military man, but this one bearing the rifle that has spilled the blood of one fallen in the road.

The other Walkers amble on, like zombies, exhausted.

One is stumbling, and all are under the armored tank and possible media tank following behind them and shining spotlights to capture the ‘entertainment’ of the Walk at night.

The Beams of light seem to emanate a prison tower, or the Panopticon. And all things serve the Beam.

Suntup Editions, Gerry Grace, The Long Walk, NEL, Signet, Richard Bachman, Stephen King

The Grace UK cover is a fantastic work of art, the title emblazoned in deep crimson, and is even highlighted by a limited Suntup Editions fine art print too (sans red title).

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it and buy ’em if you collect)!


Want To Buy The Book from a local bookseller? Click Away!

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“The Long Walk By Richard Bachman (Stephen King) Book Review” was written by R.J. Huneke

.Rune Works Rare Book Case, Custom Book Case, custom slipcase, hand-made, Dolso, stephen king, suntup, clamshell book case, archival safe

P.S. If You Like The Hand-made Wooden Case For The Long Walk

Check Out The Rune Works Rare Book Case Page here.

Though designs can be made for others, with a Roman Numeral limited edition of 19 maximum, each one is a unique and truly one-of-a-kind collectible due to the customization of the wood used and the design nuances brought in as each one is hand-crafted.

These wooden cases are archival safe, using methods studied from the Library of Congress and other sources to provide the most protection for the book in each aspect of the Rune Works cases from the use of low acidity woods, like the poplar shown above, to the use of specific clear-coating with protective epoxy to eliminate book aging and paper degradation via off-gassing found in traditional wood stain polyurethane clear coats, to the acid-free padding, satin, rust-resistant hardware, and then the use of UV protective Plexiglass on the front of the case to display the book and its cover art in a setting that is nearly as creative and artistic as the book design itself.

Rune Works Rare Book Case, Custom Book Case, custom slipcase, hand-made, Dolso, stephen king, suntup, clamshell book case, archival safe

Wooden book cases, for example, are not used in most libraries and The Library of Congress and the Vatican’s archival safe library, because of the breakdown of the wood with off-gassing damaging and aging the paper and other book materials over time – the closest we can get to a powder-coated steel book case is a sealed and

Detailed engravings and personalizations can be added to the side, or spine, of the Rune Works Case too – just as Mr. Bachman’s signature (may he rest in peace) was added to the front of the case above – to save shelf space if one wants to put it in between other books the narrow way, versus book cover side out.

P.P.S. If You Want To Know A Little More About How The Forgotten Fiction Is Different & Our Mission . . .

We are really trying to achieve two main goals here:

  1. To bolster every author who puts out a work of fiction long after the initial buzz that accompanied its release. This is something that is usually left to an expensive public relations manager or company and even with all of their powers of marketing / PR are limited in where they can place the book months after its launch. This includes limited edition and small press publications, like Suntup Editions, that are also reviewed for their physical beauty, as well as the work’s literary art and often illustrations, so long as the initial work has been out 60 days.
  2. We love books of fiction! And as readers we have too little time to read ALL of the books that fall onto our tentative To-Read List. The Forgotten Fiction hopes that with our Yea or Nay stamp, we can definitively give our unbiased opinion to you as a recommendation that may or may not move a book from the stack to your Must-Read List.

To Read More Details On Our Process Go To The About Page Here.

Book Review: The Institute Is One Of Stephen King’s Best

Book Review: The Institute Is One Of Stephen King’s Best

Book Review: The Institute is one of Stephen King’s best, and that is saying something among the 60+ novels and myriad works of art he has created.

Choosing a novel for the inaugural The Forgotten Fiction book review was tough.

But The Institute by Stephen King is truly a remarkable work of fiction that resonates with the Constant Reader, and I felt it was a great recent work to highlight in our review kick-off.

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In The Institute, King’s story-telling is poignant, his characters – and many of them, at that – are utterly real and visceral.

PLEASE NOTE: The following book review is *SPOILER FREE* and discussion of the plot is tread upon lightly for the sake of readers that have not yet opened the book.

The Institute sheds labels and stands alone as a tightly woven work of suspenseful fiction.

Here is the story synopsis from Sai King, and the review continues below it.


From StephenKing.com:

The Institute

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

First Edition Release Date: September, 2019

Synopsis:

In the middle of the night, in a house on a quiet street in suburban Minneapolis, intruders silently murder Luke Ellis’s parents and load him into a black SUV. The operation takes less than two minutes. Luke will wake up at The Institute, in a room that looks just like his own, except there’s no window. And outside his door are other doors, behind which are other kids with special talents—telekinesis and telepathy—who got to this place the same way Luke did: Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris, and ten-year-old Avery Dixon. They are all in Front Half. Others, Luke learns, graduated to Back Half, “like the roach motel,” Kalisha says. “You check in, but you don’t check out.”

In this most sinister of institutions, the director, Mrs. Sigsby, and her staff are ruthlessly dedicated to extracting from these children the force of their extranormal gifts. There are no scruples here. If you go along, you get tokens for the vending machines. If you don’t, punishment is brutal. As each new victim disappears to Back Half, Luke becomes more and more desperate to get out and get help. But no one has ever escaped from the Institute.

As psychically terrifying as Firestarter, and with the spectacular kid power of It, The Institute is Stephen King’s gut-wrenchingly dramatic story of good vs. evil in a world where the good guys don’t always win.

Notes:

On Sale: September 10th, 2019

Page Count: 576


The horror within The Institute certainly grips you.

But this is not strictly a book of ‘horror,’ though there are many horrific things depicted therein.

Rather the book is parts thriller and science fiction, and like many of the author’s books that have been labeled ‘horror,’ it a cross-genre work at its heart.

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The story contains a number of truly wicked and unsettling depictions of humanity, including the Nazi-like experimentation on children and young adults with psychic abilities.

But there is also a remarkable resilience and a compassion of human character in the tale too.

Overcoming the odds while remaining a morally-centered young person may or may not be possible for the likes of Luke Ellis and company.

The protagonist Luke is twelve-years-old.

From his experiences as an extremely bright kid that is ever seeking mental challenges to his courageous new best friend under the dire circumstances of imprisonment, Kalisha, to the good cop driven off the job, Tim, all stand apart in myriad ways.

And then there is ten-year-old Avery Dixon who is much younger than the majority of teenagers with telekinetic and psychic powers that have unwantonly been abducted and then inducted into the place they all refer to simply as the Institute.

For a boy to go through being separated from his parents and kidnapped and then tested upon, such atrocities, such utter emotional devastation, as does Avery, it pulls at and tightens the chest with anxiety for this kid as the story unfolds.

Numerous surprises occur in the plot and they often catch the prisoners in the Institute off guard, to say the least.

You feel for the characters in the book, and you grow to utterly despise most of the ones that are working for The Institute.

Few people have ever creeped me out like Mrs. Sigsby, or her remote, soft-spoken boss.

The troop of doctors appear to be enjoying their work with human lab rats and the attendants are all very aware that they have participated in the kidnapping and torturing of children.

The labs, the Institute itself, becomes one of the most impactful characters in the work.

The book’s setting largely takes place inside a hidden laboratory facility with multiple buildings and prison-like security that is hidden in an isolated forest area in Maine.

It is a whole other level of creepy, in terms of both the psychological elements in the surroundings, from retro posters hinting at the age of the place and their consistently warped messages, and the feel of the old-time secret underground cold war lab that has survived in the 21st century.

And the methods for getting the children to comply with the Institute’s rules and orders, carrot and stick methods, would be heinous if they were done to adults. Yet they are being done to kids.

You can feel the heavy cement of the compound’s outer walls as if they were rough under your hand.

It is truly a fortress meant to prevent kids from escaping and to prevent them from being found.

Readers grow to hate the Institute, to hate that god-awful place, just as the characters do.

As Sai King says, the characters come to life and choose their path, making the story.

The Institute even has an air of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer adventuring to it, though this is bleaker in some ways than Mark Twain’s classics.

For one thing, the protagonist Luke Ellis will almost surely experience PTSD the likes of which Tom and Huck could not have ever fathomed.

I see The Institute as a story tied to a King masterpiece, Firestarter, though there are stark differences between the two.

Firestarter has been a great influence on pop culture, and especially the Netflix show Stranger Things, and I would not be surprised if The Institute becomes another great influencer as time goes on.

The Institute is a gem of a tale!

To say Stephen King is a prolific writer, is a given, but his writing is phenomenal.

There is no one like Stephen King.

That is not to say that all of his books are favorites of mine, don’t murder me Constant Readers, but I do appreciate all of his works, his top-notch level of writing, the fully-fleshed innumerable characters he creates, and the master storytelling, even in those tales that do not resonate as strongly with me.

And many of his books are among my favorite works of literature, of all-time, and The Institute has become one of these, just as Firestarter is.

And as we head further into 2020’s Coronavirus social distancing self-quarantines with more reading time on our hands, anyone who has not given this book a read, or a re-read, may want to peruse this Spoiler-Free book review and feel inspired to read the newest (from 2019) from the author of The Stand.

At over sixty novels, The Institute proves Stephen King is still at his best.

The Forgotten Fiction Grade: YEA (read it!)

Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org

Shop your local indie bookstore for The Institute 

P.S. If You Want To Know A Little More About How The Forgotten Fiction Is Different & Our Mission . . .

We are really trying to achieve two main goals here:

  1. To bolster every author who puts out a work of fiction long after the initial buzz that accompanied its release. This is something that is usually left to an expensive public relations manager or company and even with all of their powers of marketing / PR are limited in where they can place the book months after its launch. This includes limited edition and small press publications, like Suntup Editions, that are also reviewed for their physical beauty, as well as the work’s literary art and often illustrations, so long as the initial work has been out 60 days.
  2. We love books of fiction! And as readers we have too little time to read ALL of the books that fall onto our tentative To-Read List. The Forgotten Fiction hopes that with our Yea or Nay stamp, we can definitively give our unbiased opinion to you as a recommendation that may or may not move a book from the stack to your Must-Read List.

To Read More Details On Our Process Go To The About Page Here.

 

“Book Review: The Institute is one of Stephen King’s best” was written by R.J. Huneke for The Forgotten Fiction.