Sunday, August 22, 2010

Red Jacket Press

"Yesterday's books for today's reader," it says right there on their webpage; also there, Wilmar H. Shiras's Children Of The Atom. The book -- more a collection of closely related novellas -- opens with In Hiding, a deeply moving story about a child who is more than he seems and probably the most anthologized work by Ms. Shiras. Interested? You can order the book via the Amazon link at Tam's -- it costs you just the same but helps her out.

The book is uncommon at used-book stores despite at least four editions (Gnome Press, a delightfully illustrated version from Pennyfarthing Press,[1] Nelson Doubleday and now Red Jacket Press), possibly because, like Terry Pratchett's books, those who have a copy, keep it. If you happen to own the Pennyfarthing Press edition, you'll find a few drawings include what could well be a young Roberta X: a little girl in big, round eyeglasses, hair pulled back, sitting tailor-fashion with a book in her lap, looking out at the world with a skeptical expression.[2]

I stumbled onto the publisher by way of Frederik Pohl's blog, q.v..
1. Late -- gone, in fact -- of San Francisco and not to be confused with comic-book publisher Penny-Farthing Press

2. Though the text describes her as "plump," the artist didn't see her that way. The character is every bit as notional as I was at that age, though altogether more talented and accomplished.


Justthisguy said...

Fredirik Pohl? Yes, I have looked at his blog, and bought many of his books over the years, but he really is a loathesome Commy, you know.

Owhell, I like Eric Flint's stuff and have even exchanged emails with him a time or two, and he's proud to be a Trotskyite.

(I think he's the kind who believes the worker should keep his rifle next to his lathe, though, in order to keep the Party honest.)

Roberta X said...

True enough, at least as far as it goes. He was also a pretty good friend to the Heinleins and if you read the blog, you'll find at least non-partisan, impassioned plea for people to get involved in local politics: he's the kind of guy who will get along with other people, even when their own opinions diverge from his.

He's also a helluva writer. There aren't many of his generation left.

Anonymous said...

Gnome Press was the original publisher of Asimov's "Foundation" series. The author was frustrated by their seeming inability and/or apathy in getting his work out to the public. I guess he wasn't the only one so affected.