The Collidescope is sponsoring corona/samizdat books, a unique venture that publishes the kind of literature that would not be printed by profit-focused presses. Born from the shambles of an unreliable publisher, Rick Harsch decided to save his contemporaries’ books from the vortex of absolute obscurity by creating corona/samizdat and starting with David Vardeman’s first-ever collection, An Angel of Sodom. Being non-profit allows the possibility of this press to continue well into the future, with plans to bring into existence even more neglected books by other authors, such as the first-ever complete edition of Roberto Arlt’s The Flamethrowers. Authors receive 50% of sales and the rest of the money goes back into press. Thank you all for your support.
To order, send an email to email@example.com and let Rick know which books and how many you would like (combined shipping is cheaper), along with your mailing address.
Sea Above, Sun Below by George Salis
Shipping: 5.42€ airmail
Upside-down lightning, a group of uncouth skydivers, resurrections, a mother’s body overtaken by a garden, aquatic telepathy, a peeling snake-priest, and more. Sea Above, Sun Below is influenced by Western myths, some Greek, some with biblical overtones, resulting in a fusion of fantastic dreams, bizarre yet beautiful nightmares, and multiple narrative threads that form a tapestry which depicts the fragility of characters teetering on the brink of madness. Within you will find flashes of immolation and mutilation, transubstantiation threaded through thematic and genealogical membranes in a literary voice composed of whispers over wails.
An Angel of Sodom by David Vardeman
Shipping: 5.42€ airmail
In each story, and in the titular novella, Vardeman’s characters seem to be confounded by the banality of normal, while the undertow of an unglimpsed all-powerful strange tugs at them. What they don’t notice, luckily Vardeman does. His writing provides a variety of pleasures, including humor and puzzles that prick the intellect to discomfort, but his primary talent lies in providing endless surprise. Not a page goes by without unpredictable reactions, urges, indabas, insights, petty cruelties, and odd moments of tenderness which in this world are indeed odd and not likely to last.
The Manifold Destiny of Eddie Vegas by Rick Harsch
Shipping: 8.57€ airmail
For his magnum opus, Harsch reached into a bag of tricks left in a closet in Brussels by forgotten literary masters, and as the punning title might suggest, he attempts no less—and much more—than to come to grips with what empire has wrought, and how over the recent two centuries the United States rose to global economic mastery and a nuclear-proliferate madhouse. Harsch is able to render the story of Hugh Glass and the grizzly with dark humor and quotidian accuracy. Yet Harsch plays no tricks with time: his modern characters are modern and his historical rendering of their ancestors slot into their proper niches in historical time, vividly lit within historically corrective tales running from the days of the mountain man right up to those of nuclear testing, down the Oregon Trail, with the gold rush, into the nuclear age, Vietnam, and even Blackwater. Meanwhile, this book is a romp through history and the present, story after story told in the jargon of the mountain man of the Old West, the ‘Indians,’ the coal miners, the Joycean, and more.
The Driftless Trilogy by Rick Harsch
Shipping: 5.42€ airmail
This satirical noir trilogy, consisting of The Driftless Zone, Billy Verite, and The Sleep of Aborigines, has long been out of print. Though of the noir genre, the three novels within have their own variegated styles, registers, and plenty of post-modern inventiveness, all certainly playing by their own rules. They are funny, dark works that would please the original Dadaists of a century ago.
Skulls of Istria by Rick Harsch
Shipping: about 4.50€ airmail
A man sits at a bar in Piran on the Adriatic coast in former Yugoslavia and tells his story to a large man who speaks no English, yet plied by free liquor remains, at times in a drunken sleep, head on the table as the words drift over his skull. This tavern confession is told by a defrocked historian from the United States, who unwittingly, perhaps naively, brought his talents to the turmoil of the Balkans. His tales in the first chapter take us to Capodistria, Ancona, Venice, and back to the bar where we began, linked by the physical presence of a wind known as the Burja (the Italian bora), a great wind capable of lifting cars into the air. But the unnamed narrator is not simply telling random stories. As we move through the next four chapters, we realize that this book is indeed confessional, an apology of sorts, yet with a broken man’s defiance; it is a meditation not only about hats and a historian’s attempt at written redemption, but about love and politics, history and warriors who drink blood, the isolation of a stranger in a strange land and the choices that lead us to death and our inability to use language to transcend ourselves.
For the full c/s catalog, click here.