The spirit of a book reaps paper flesh
Mark Cantrell publishes a paperback 'fairly limited' edition of his novel Uranium Fist...
First it was published as a 'digital ghost' in the form of a PDF ebook, but now author Mark Cantrell has dared the physical and transposed his first novel into the hard tangibility of paper, with a paperback edition exclusively available through Lulu.
The 348 page paperback is intended to be what the author calls a 'fairly limited edition': that is he primarily published the book for his own pleasure, and to share with a select number of friends, but thanks to the possibilities of print-on-demand, he opted to fling open the doors of chance and discovery to make the novel available to all-comers.
"The print edition was primarily put together for my own benefit. I wanted a copy on my shelves. It’s as simple as that," Mark said. "Lulu provided an elegant means to transcend the digital ephemera of electronic publishing and leap into the paper flesh of physicality. Having produced the hardcopy edition for myself, it then only seemed right for it to be presented to anyone who might want to own a corporeal copy of the book."
The move provides an element of choice, if nothing else; in 2006 he released Uranium Fist as a PDF ebook for FREE download from his website, Tyke Writer Export [now defunct]. That version still exists and offers the chance for readers to 'try before they buy'. It provides the complete novel, but in the print edition the text has been tweaked and improved, as well as offering readers the chance to own a physical entity that can sit on their shelves, rather than lurk forgotten on a hard drive.
"For all the talk of e-readers, there is still no substitute for the aesthetic and tangible feel of a paperback novel," Mark added. "There is a sense of permanence within the covers and pages of paper, whereas the digital spirit that preceded it is as ephemeral and intangible as the electron mist it truly is. The free version remains out there, of course, in the meme-space of the Internet, but for those who want a certain solidity to their reading, then I hope they'll make a welcome for this ‘Fairly Limited Edition’ of Uranium Fist, exclusive to Lulu."
The book is priced at £7.95 (post+packing extra) and can be ordered through the Lulu website. To see the blurb and a sample of the novel then check out his websites, where details of the books are explained more fully. (see details below).
Originally written in 1993, whilst a student at the University of Liverpool, Mark revisited and revised the novel in 1999, completing that task just before the mass anti-globalisation protests kicked off at Seattle that same year. It seemed timely, given the theme of the novel, and with the current financial crisis reaping havoc through society's sense of certainty, the novel has gained an entirely new shimmer of contemporary relevance.
Written as a science fiction 'space opera', it is set in the far future on Greyermede, an Earth colony world. In the wake of an economic crisis sweeping 'interstellar capitalism' the planet falls into a state of political and social unrest that soon explodes into a full-blooded socialist revolution.
For a while, it seems that Greyermede is set to gain its full independence from Earth-rule and begin to forge its own destiny, but the politicians and the business elites on Earth have other ideas. As the book's fictional narrator Sue Reid recounts the tale of the people's struggles and hopes, the response is ruthless -- Uranium Fist.
Mark said: "The original theme underlying the book when I first wrote it all those years ago was to ask the question, in a nuclear armed world how far would the world's political, economic and military elites go to protect their power and privileges? Well, Uranium Fist gives one possible answer. Desperate times often breed desperate -- and in this case apocalyptic -- measures."
To order the novel, visit Lulu. Note:
The edition referred to here is no longer available, althought the electronic remains available for downloads. See the Books Blog for more information -- MC, 2-1-12
'Fairly Limited Edition'
By Mark Cantrell
Price: £7.95 (post+packing extra)
Copyright (C) 1993/1999/2006/2008 Mark Cantrell. All Rights Reserved.
Friday, 10 October 2008
The spirit of a book reaps paper flesh