Saturday, July 30, 2011

An Heir To Our Affections

Parker Peevyhouse (!) posts about books finished posthumously and a majority of her text is devoted to John Bellairs and, more so, Brad Strickland:
"This isn’t exactly an unusual occurrence, and it has also taken place in children’s publishing. The series that starts with the quirky and Gothic The House With A Clock In Its Walls, by John Bellairs, was completed by author Brad Strickland after Bellairs’ death. Strickland finished two manuscripts Bellairs had started before his death: The Ghost in the Mirror and The Vengeance of the Witch-Finder. He also wrote two more books based on Bellairs’ notes, and then wrote four more novels of his own using Bellairs’ characters.

...when I hear that an author is finishing a book or series created by another author, I get very suspicious. Is this an act of generosity to readers who want more...Bellairs? Is it a plan to take advantage of a dead author’s good name? We can’t know how...Bellairs would react to Strickland’s commandeering of his series–but we do know that these authors’ estates felt it wise to approve these new books.”

Friday, July 15, 2011

What's What: Queen of Spades

Lewis was dreaming that he was being chased by the Queen of Spades [The House with a Clock in its Walls; 19].

Friday, July 8, 2011

Goreyana: The Beast under the Wizard's Bridge

Notes from Goreyana about The Beast under the Wizard's Bridge:
  • The preliminary art for the "beast" was still on [Gorey's] drawing table when Kevin McDermott photographed Mr. Gorey's home just days after he died. It can be seen in Mr. McDermott's book, Elephant House, The Home of Edward Gorey.
  • The dust jacket painting and the black and white frontis illustration were included in the 2001 Bromer Booksellers catalog.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thou Seest The Twilight

I caught a few episodes recently of The Twilight Zone marathon that was on one of the cable channels. Airing I think twice over the course of the marathon was was the classic "Time Enough at Last" (1959). The program tells the story of a Henry Bemis, a bank teller "who loves books, yet is surrounded by those who would prevent him from reading them." Then something happens and he finds himself with more than enough time to read. And then something else happens and we’re left with one of the most popular and parodied episodes of the original run of Twilight Zone episodes. (I won’t tell you what happens – you’ll have to go out and spoil it for yourself or, better yet, watch the program.)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Goreyana: The Wrath of the Grinning Ghost

Notes from Goreyana about The Wrath of the Grinning Ghost:
While completely appropriate for this title, I have never cared for the dust jacket design for this book. I have the original artwork for the frontis illustration in my collection. The image features a fantastic map with sea monsters and flowers with faces - the flowers are reminiscent of some very early illustration work by Mr. Gorey for books by John Ciardi.

#JohnBellairs