Friday, September 23, 2011

Carcosa Publishing Trivia

Forgive me for repeating it (I mentioned it seven months ago or so), but I have a feeling I'll be repeating this story until I die...

I deal with the senior sales person over at Otava even though I'm a very small publisher. Perhaps it's because I'm special, or perhaps it's a random draw, or maybe she's just the best at speaking English over there.

In one of our first Carcosa meetings, I asked this senior employee of a printer that's been in business since 1890 if they had any connections in India or something, because I was wondering if we could get the book bound in human skin. (I mentioned India because as Return of the Living Dead taught me, India used to be the source for skeletons for medical research purposes... skeletons with perfect teeth!)

"Not amused" is one way to describe the reaction. We're going with Balathane Sensuale material for the cover instead, with two-color metallic foil stamping for the graphic. It should be HOLY CRAP THAT'S AWESOME special and the book will give you little orgasms just touching it... but it's not going to be anyone that used to be alive.

But I had to ask, you know?


  1. Yeah, 'bound in human skin' sounds kind of cool but in reality it's not so funny.

    Historically you have three main sources of books bound in human skin: as grisly object lessons (trial transcripts of executed criminals bound in their own skin); as grisly soveniers for demented doctors (anatomy books bound in human skin procured from cadavers); and as grisly war trophies (the library I work for has a Koran that is apparently bound in human skin, and the best we can piece together is that is bound in the skin of rebel leader from a German- or Belgian- occupied African country. So they got in both a dehumanization of an enemy and a desecration of a 'sacred' object. Nice.)

  2. oh, believe you me, I was rather worried that somehow the answer would be "yes."

    The cost would have been enormous and I bet there would have been customs issues shipping them around...

  3. They probably think you are a Nazi after that request. I hope they didn't report you to the authorities.

  4. I hope they did.

    (And yes, I recall the story from the first time you told it. Is that really the kind of thing that needs to be repeated?)

  5. You should have asked if it could be bound in "elephant foreskins", that way if you rubbed the book it would grow into an Encyclopedia.

  6. @dhowarth333

    If you believe that anyone should be reported to the authorities merely for asking an absurd question...

    And if you even disapprove of telling a story about an absurd question being asked...

    Then you shouldn't waste any more of your time on anything Carcosa-related. It will just needlessly upset you.

  7. ...little orgasms every time i touch the cover? sold me.

  8. Also, it is not actually crime to ask stupid questions where mister Raggi lives and conducts his business. Also I doubt that they thought him to be a nazi (BTW being nazi scum is not illegal either) the more likely stereotype is satan worshipper or most likely just a person of bad taste in jokes.