02/13/2024 UPDATE: If you placed an advance order for this title, chances are it’s either in your hands or in transit. A few orders — mostly international orders — remain to be dispatched, however, and I expect to have these out by the end of the week. I apologize for the delay, which is largely due to some unanticipated setbacks affecting my workaday schedule. But it’s getting done, and your patience is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Format: 4.5 x 7 | 124 pages | Softcover
Notes: Limited edition of 200 copies; includes a separate pamphlet enclosure written by the publisher
01/31/2024 Update: Orders begin shipping today! US domestic single orders go first, followed by combined and larger US orders. International orders will then follow. I expect this to take a few days, so your patience is appreciated.
This is Chip Smith of Nine-Banded Books, first-person-bombing the space where you would ordinarily expect to find some artfully contrived voice-of-god description of the book that grabbed your attention—in this event, a new one by Peter Sotos that you’re probably going to buy anyway, while supplies last, maybe to sell on eBay when you’re short for a fix a year from now (old joke, I know), regardless of what promotional palaver I might otherwise parse and place here, whether as a coy tease or as a gesture of semi-professional form or, let’s be honest, as a cataloging crib-sheet for wholesalers.
I figure it hardly matters, since there won’t be wholesale options for this one. This book won’t be in brick & mortar shops, and it won’t be listed on other online storefronts. You can buy it here and here alone. The price is fair, I think, and the press run is strictly limited to 200 copies.
Okay. So, what is it?
It’s a pocket-size paperback—a slim volume that you really can slide into your pocket. Which is lovely, don’t you think? Just like in the old days. Except you probably shouldn’t put it in your butt-pocket if you plan to do the eBay thing. That’s rough on books. Warps the spine.
Sure. But what’s it, you know, about?
Oh, it’s about 120 pages. Har, har.
Sorry. The book is “about” Vanessa Place. Sort of. That’s an oversimplification, of course, which should go without saying. But for present purposes I’d prefer that as our shorthand. Better not to muddy the waters. It’s about Vanessa Place.
If you don’t know who Vanessa Place is, there’s probably an internet nearby. If you do know who Vanessa Place is, then you probably know two things about her—both of which, I promise, are salient in Sotos’ text.
And for what it’s worth, this one is mostly text. But for a spare selection of bracketing images and graphic drops at the front and back of the book—all of which derive from my gum-chewing aesthetic sensibility, so you’ll know who to blame!—it could almost qualify as a scholarly monograph. Except for the jokes. Scholarly monographs don’t usually have jokes. And there are jokes in this book. Just like in Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.
So, it’s a joke book?
Yes. It’s a joke book. A “joke book” by Peter Sotos. Go with that. It’s not true, not really. But it’s a fun rumor.
If it seems I’m being too glib for the occasion, I should also mention that I have written more elaborately—and I hope, more thoughtfully—about the present release (and matters tangential) in a short zine-like pamphlet enclosure that will be included with every order. That’s where I talk about my embarrassing role in the book’s origin, and more candidly, about my personal history as Peter Sotos’ friend and occasional publisher. And that’s where I try to explain, contrary to this display of ill-advised anti-promotional whimsy, why I think Kee MacFarlane is something more incisive and relevant than I’m letting on. Even if it doesn’t have an ISBN.
Anyhow, my little pamphlet thing is factored in the price. Think of it as a glorified “publisher’s note.” Or just use it as a bookmark.
Any other questions?
If it’s a joke book about Vanessa Place, then why is it called—
Read the room.