Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year From All of Us @ PFB

Thanks to everyone who bought, sold, or traded books with us in 2009. A busy and successful year.

Coming soon to both stores: new shelves, way more new books, and tons of publisher's remainders (about 1500 pounds of them, scheduled to arrive some time in the first week or two of January).

We have also just received a massive shipment of protective plastic Brodart book jackets, and can now cover anything from tiny Science Fiction Book Club hardcovers to oversize art books. Never Brodarted your books before? Bring yours in to either shop; the jackets are really inexpensive, and we'll cover your books while you wait.

Kits will be CLOSED New Year's Day, but Main Street will be open from 12 noon to 6pm. See you next year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Why There Haven't Been Any Updates Here for a While Now

* 3000 volume estate collection, including hardcover first editions by Bruce Chatwin, Thomas Pynchon (pictured), Cormac McCarthy, W.H. Auden, Italo Calvino, Phyllis Webb, J.D. Salinger, David Adams Richards, & etc.

* 1000 pounds of remainder books, including lots of art, poetry, Japanese woodblock prints, high-end gardening books, cookbooks & etc.

* Tons of new books, all at 20% off Canadian list price.

If you haven't visited in a while, now might be a good time to. We're busy!

We're also raising food for the Vancouver Food Bank. Any donation of food that's not instant noodles or K.D. will receive 10% off any used book in the shop now through Christmas Eve.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Gregory Maguire's New Novel: Free!

The Next Queen of Heaven, "the best novel money can't buy."

While They Last: Signed Copies of 8 x 10

Michael Turner dropped into Main Street yesterday to dry off, and kindly signed all our copies of 8 x 10. First come, first served, while they last. He also showed off the UK paperback edition of Faulkner's New Orleans Sketches recently mentioned in passing on his blog: red and black cover, sans serif typography, a little crystalline piece of British industrial modernism, unscathed by the years.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Phoebe Tsang Reads @ PFB

Toronto's Phoebe Tsang will read from her new collection of poems, Contents of a Mermaid's Purse (Tightrope Books), this Thursday, November 26th, in Main Street's front room at 7pm. Please join us for the usual books and beverages.

Phoebe’s poetry can be found in the anthologies Garden Variety (Quattro Books) and Not a Muse (Haven Books). Journal credits include Asia Literary Review (Hong Kong), Atlas 02 (UK & India), Brand (UK), Room and Freefall (Canada). Her chapbooks are Solitaires (Lyrical Myrical Press, 2006) and To Kiss the Ground (Press On! 2007). A professional violinist, she is a multi-genre artist who holds a BSc in Architecture from the University of London. Contents of a Mermaid’s Purse is Tsang’s first full-length collection.

New vinyl record, coming soon.

"These days it seems as though everyone is constantly checking to see which of their friends came of age in a tenuous time and discovered their mentors and role models were not who they thought they were."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Elliott Bay Book Company On the Move

The Elliott Bay Book Company, my favorite independent book store in Seattle, and one of the best bookstores on the West Coast, has all but moved from their Pioneer Square home in the historic Globe Building to Capitol Hill, according to the Seattle Times. Noteworthy in the article is the fact that the bookstore has apparently been financed by the owner's line of credit for the last few years.

When I visit -- maybe six times a year -- I almost always buy a book, even though that purchase is pretty much guaranteed to be more expensive than it would be back home @PFB. Elliott Bay's astounding selection helps me find things that I couldn't have found any other way, and that service -- exposing me to books that I might otherwise never have seen; "curating" the stock so I don't have to wade through endless shelves of NASCAR books, entertainment biographies, communicate-with-your-dead-pet books & etc., is worth paying for.

Last time I was in EBBC, I walked behind a couple making notes of books they wanted to buy on a Blackberry, in order to buy them later, at a discount, from Amazon. Which will work just fine for them until EBBC and everything like it is gone, at which point Amazon, which is no slouch in the competition theory department, will be more than happy to jack their so-called "bargain prices" right back up to full retail.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Now in Stock: More New Books Than Ever!

A month or two ago, we decided to start stocking new releases from most major publishers, in addition to the usual assortment of used books, out-of-print books, and publisher's remainders. Mornings now routinely begin with a parade of courier vans arriving at Main Street's front door, and we've built new shelves at both stores to handle the influx.

Our new book ordering guidelines are very simple: will anyone still care about the book a year from now? If someone buys a book from us, reads it carefully, and brings it back for store credit or cash, will we want to see it again? Questions like this eliminate 90% of the new releases in most major publishers' catalogs. We will happily sell what remains for years to come.

So, no thanks to Sarah Palin's ghostwritten autobiography. Yes please to Barabara Kingsolver's first novel in nine years (above), and Anthony Beevor's history of D-Day, and the Momofuku Cookbook, a new edition of Wade Davis' perennially requested The Serpent and the Rainbow, & etc.

Also noteworthy: the strengthening Canadian dollar means that many of our new books are now priced way below US cover price. Just saying.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cormac McCarthy Interviewed by the Wall Street Journal

On the occasion of the release of the film version of The Road, semi-reclusive Mr. McCarthy jousts with the press.

"Q: Didn't you start No Country for Old Men as a screenplay?

CORMAC MCCARTHY: Yeah, I wrote it. I showed it to a few people and they didn't seem to be interested. In fact, they said, 'That will never work.' Years later I got it out and turned it into a novel. Didn't take long. I was at the Academy Awards with the Coens. They had a table full of awards before the evening was over, sitting there like beer cans. One of the first awards that they got was for Best Screenplay, and Ethan came back and he said to me, 'Well, I didn't do anything, but I'm keeping it.'"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Still Standing

We didn't burn down in last night's big fire. Main Street is open for business, with lots of firefighters and other emergency personnel still in evidence. Our thoughts go out to the staff of Kishu Island, Zocalo, Slickety Jim's and Lugz Coffee Lounge, all destroyed in the fire. Also to the bingo-playing spare-change guy on the corner, who's going to have to find somewhere else to stand for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Kate Braid Reads @ PFB

Kate Braid, poet and winner of the Pat Lowther Award, will be reading as part of the UBC Creative Writing Department's Locution series tomorrow night, November 5th, in Main Street's front room at 7 pm. Other readers include Jay Torrence, Tenille Campbell, Kevin Spenst and Christine Leclerc. Limited seating; if you don't want to be sitting on the floor in the front row, better plan to arrive by 6:45 pm or so. Books and beverages will be available for purchase; the event itself is free.

Richard K. Morgan Video Games

[posted by James N.]

Science fiction author Richard K. Morgan is writing 3 video games for Electronic Arts (the same company adapting Dante's Inferno into a game).

All 3 games are described as works of science fiction, which makes sense.

I, personally, would play the crap out of an Altered Carbon game. Or a Market Forces racing game!


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Shop Class as Soulcraft

This book is really good; I'm rereading it now for a third time. Crawford, who holds a PhD. in philosophy, disliked managerial and administrative work, and took up fixing motorcycles as an antidote to frustration and boredom, and then as a permanent career. Crawford writes plainly and directly about the value of working with one's hands, and how manual labor is, at its heart, a kind of philosophical practice, a means of engagement with the world.

Crawford's work took on special relevance for me last week as Main Street's toilet breathed its last. Confronted with a $125 estimate to repair it, I opted for a visit to Home Depot, followed by several hours of monkeying around on the bathroom floor with brass washers, hoses, and a big pink rubber gasket that looked like something that had recently escaped from a tide pool. No flood, and Main Street's bathroom looks better than it has in years.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A New Bookstore With Only Good Books

While recently in NYC I had the chance to visit 192 Books in Chelsea, a new bookstore that can't be any larger than Main Street's front room. What impressed me most about my visit was that every single book in the store seemed to have been chosen by someone with taste. There were no NASCAR cookbooks, no soap opera biographies, no books about UFO abductees or terrible Da Vinci Code knockoffs in sight. The history shelf only consisted of 100 titles or so, but every book on it looked interesting and worth reading.

Buoyed by my visit to this bonsai bookstore -- like Powell's, only smaller! -- the staff and I have decided to devote just as much of our attention to new books as to used ones. Our new book selection has doubled in the last two months, and, over the next four to six months, we'll expand it again, until we have most major new releases in house, plus a selected backlist of books we're always asked for, but seldom see second hand. All new books will still 20% off Canadian list price, as will special orders. We can now order any book currently in print in North America, and hope to add one or two UK-based distributors in the near future, for hard-to-find British mysteries and science fiction.

As always, if you have comments or queries, please get in touch; we are always happy to hear from you.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Wild Thing, I Think You Move Me

Special fur-covered edition of Dave Eggers' The Wild Things, loosely based on the Spike Jonze screenplay loosely based on Maurice Sendak's fondly-remembered-from-childhood picture book. Not available from PFB -- as with most of their limited edition releases, McSweeney's is selling this one themselves, but we'll have the regular trade edition by the middle of next week.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Stephen King's "The Cannibals"

70 page PDF of lost 1980s King typescript available for free download, courtesy New SK doorstop -- 100 characters! 1000+ pages! -- on the way in early November.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Dispatches From The Land of Molecular Gastronomy

2008's best cookbook, now available in a relatively affordable ($50 CDN, after our standard 20% discount) trade hardcover edition.

Heston Blumenthal's magnum opus, a blend of autobiography, full-color food porn, recipes for oak tree essence, Bacon and Scrambled Egg Ice Cream, "jelly of orange and beetroot," snail porridge, etc., and 100+ pages of kitchen science (detailed instructions for working with vacuum sealers, liquid nitrogen, agar, dehydrators, centrifuges, etc. etc. etc.). Plus illustrations by Dave McKean.

Blumenthal, whose Fat Duck earned three Michelin stars in 2004, never went to cooking school; he's positive proof that genuine fascination counts for more than education.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


[posted by James]

This is a former Dominican church that was transformed into a bookstore for booksellers Selexyz Dominicanen by architecture firm Merkx & Girod.

The store demanded 1,200 sq m of commercial area where only 750 were available.

The initial idea of the client to install a second floor within the church was rejected by the designers, because this would completely destroy the spatial qualities of the church. The solution was found in the creation of a monumental walk-in bookcase spanning several floors and situated a-symmetrically in the church. In doing so the left side of the church remained empty while on the other side customers are lead upstairs in the three- storey ‘Bookflat.’

The ground floor gives room to several different book displays, information desks, magazine-stands and cash registers, all made of standard sheet materials in different colours and surfaces.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

How to Advertise a Book in Europe

Apparently they view books differently in Europe than they do here. This is how they launch a book in Spain:

and Portugal:

The book is The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss and is one of the better fantasy novels I've read in a while. The fact that in Europe they make commercials to help advertise new books kind of makes me want to live there instead of here.

(posted by Bonnie)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Via Peter Culley, with thanks

Monday, August 24, 2009

Twilight Fan Art

Found in a box of books on the weekend. Black felt pen on BC Hydro Post-It. Nb. bats and puncture marks on Bella's neck.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Christmas in August

We're overstocked, and are trying to clear out some room for recent arrivals. So, for one week only, we're having a sale on selected stock up at the Main Street store: 30% off all used art books, cookbooks, and children's books.

The fine print: sale pricing applies to cash purchases only (no trade credits), does not combine with our regular 6+ item volume discount, and excludes collectible stock. Sorry, no dealers except by prior arrangement.

Friday, July 31, 2009

CINEMA SEWER Book Launch Tomorrow Night @ Main Street!

(Mainly posted to show off Mr. Bougie's snappy promotional poster)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Book-related news from Comicon

Another San Diego Comic-Con has come and gone (some of us call it "nerd prom", but whatever).

While the focus is steadily drifting towards movies and video games and away from, you know, COMICS, there was still a bit of bookish news:
  • Also at Vertigo Crime is The Executor, a new graphic novel just announced for the line by thriller, travel and technology writer John Evans. In it, a washed up athlete is named executor of his high school sweetheart's will after her murder. Secrets about his own life creep up as he investigates the murder.
  • Max Allan Collins announced Return to Perdition, the last book in the 'Perdition' saga.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


(via Reuters, and Kits manager Keith D.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New "Cinema Sewer" Book Launch Party

Launch party for Volume Two of Robin Bougie's "adults-only guide to history's sickest and sexiest movies" on Saturday August 1st, 7-9pm at Main Street. Books and cold beverages will be available.

Via Mr. Bougie: "Issues 13 to 16 [of CS] are exhaustively revised and collated in this second wild volume, together with an additional 90 pages of never-before-seen movie reviews, interviews, rants, comics, hard-to-find classic movie advertising, and graphic illustrations by myself and a host of my talented friends from both the comic book and animation industry. Regardless of whether you’re is just discovering the world of classic porn, horror, and exploitation movies, or a long time fan from the days when the drive-ins and grindhouses reigned, you’ll find plenty to get excited about, gleefully sloshing around in the filth of the Cinema Sewer!"

Friday, July 17, 2009

More Free "Julie & Julia" Movie Passes Available!

Columbia Pictures just sent us a big stack of free passes for a second preview screening of Julie & Julia on Monday July 27th at 7pm.

They're available on a first-come, first-serve basis from the front desk up at Main Street.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Clint Burnham Reads From "The Benjamin Sonnets"

The Benjamin Sonnets are a series of poems created through a process of "homophonic" translation from German writings by Walter Benjamin. They are ridiculous, but only in the sense that things unexpected and wonderful can be ridiculous.

Clint Burnham reads in Main Street's front room Saturday July 11th at 7pm. Books and the usual ice-cold beverages will be available. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Get 'em While They Last: Free Film Passes!

The Main Street store has four free double passes to a preview screening of Nora Ephron's Julie & Julia, based on the recent book by Julie Powell, on Wednesday 22 July 2009 at 7 pm.

First come, first served; just ask at the desk.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Pulpfiction Books turns 9 years old today!

Heartfelt thanks to all our current customers, and to everyone who has ever sold or traded us books, read in the front room, arrived with cold alcohol in tow, sent friends and/or family in to buy books, dated and/or moved in with a staff member, brought an animal by to "visit" (rabbits; birds; cats; dogs; ferrets; goat; turtle; stuffed cats), voted for us in a "Reader's Choice" poll, special ordered a book, picked up a special order, burned us a cool mix CD, borrowed the key to go look at CSA Space, arrived with donuts or croissants, written kind words about us in a local or international publication, provided legal, accounting or other professional services, helped bust a shoplifter, sold us a book with an odd or revealing photograph in it, talked comics / music / film / videogames / The Cure / unicorns / Steely Dan / photoconceptualism / poetry / points of issue at the desk, asked us for books about cats who solve mysteries, & etc.

Thanks, everyone. Thank you.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


[posted by James N.]

This past week was the E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) Video Game Convention. One of game publisher Electronic Art's games on display this year was Dante's Inferno based on the first book of The Divine Comedy.

The player controls Dante, a veteran of the Crusades who must chase his beloved Beatrice and try to free her soul from Lucifer’s grasp. As his pursuit takes him deeper into the pits of Hell, he must battle ever more fierce and hideous monsters, while also facing his own sins, a dark family past, and his unforgivable war crimes.

It might be a bit of a stretch, if you're a literary purist, but on the other hand, at least it classes up the video game world, right? Well, fundamentalist Christians don't seem to think so, and showed up in protest at E3:
It seems that gaming giant EA, (that's Electronic Anti-Christ for those of you church folk) has angered the religious denizens of LA with its sinfully spectacular title, Dante's Inferno. The 'Go to Hell' tagline seems to the main focus of debate, with angry protesters warning ignorant gamers to steer clear of the title, regarding it as 'tainted' and 'evil.'

"We are on a crusade to stop the blasphemous glorification of HELL and its minions as presented by Dante's Inferno. The ever decaying youth and slovenly adults who engage with Dante's Inferno are a victim of our society's pointless need to flirt with Satan and his lustful campaign to corrupt human souls...We say NO. We say inferNO."

Dante's Inferno Official Game Site


And if that's not weird enough for you, there's talk of making a video game out of Walden. I guess you'd win points by avoiding people?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Make Your Own Bread, Miso, Kimchi, Sauerkraut...

Sandor Ellix Katz's Wild Fermentation. Part cookbook, part ecological manisfesto, part biochemistry textbook. Another one of those titles that we finally broke down and ordered new after being asked at least twice weekly for it. Also includes recipes for delicious alcohol, including coffee-banana flavored t'ej (Ethiopian honey wine). Awesome bibliography and supplier lists, too, if you can't wait to get started making pickles, brined meats, yogurt, gv-no-he-nv (Cherokee sour corn drink) & etc.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

May's Strangest Special Order

Giant shark books.

"[T]he male shark's vulnerable state prompts an even larger female megalodon to emerge and attack it, and as the female rips it apart, it is bathed in the shark's warm blood as it follows the entangled male upwards, the warm flood of liquid keeping the female protected from the cold water long enough for it to reach the warmer surface waters of the ocean, hence unleashing the megalodon anew on the ocean's ecosystem. It doesn't take long for the shark to pick up where it left off after it reaches the surface, as it starts killing and eating whales, and sometimes people. . . ."

(Soon to be a major motion picture!)

"Do You Sell New or Used Books?"

Both now, side by side. We can obtain any title currently in print in North America within two weeks or less, typically at 20% off its Canadian list price. This month, we helped our customers find everything from James Patterson's latest high-seas-and-murder adventure, to Guy Debord's Society of The Spectacle, to "that kids' book from the 70s with the little worm." (Richard Scarry's Cars and Trucks and Things That Go, starring Lowly Worm).

Richard Stark: Back in Print at Last

New series of trade paperback reprints of Donald E. Westlake's hardest-boiled pseudonym. Master thief Parker (no last name) sets up clever score after score, only to be hamstrung by crooked partners, the cops, the mob, bad timing, weird coincidences, & etc. Parker keeps ticking along like a little clockwork toy, trying to adjust to circumstances, to fix things. But every one of his clever solutions invariably makes things worse.

Some of the finest noir novels ever written. Highly recommended.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

George R.R. Martin's A DANCE WITH DRAGONS. Coming Soon! (Maybe)

Cover art from the eagerly-awaited next volume in Mr. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire sequence. Random House now claims the book will be published on September 29th. We have our doubts, having heard this story a few times since 2006, the year the manuscript was supposed to have been completed, but have gone ahead and ordered copies anyway. If you'd like one held for you when -- if -- it arrives in the fall, please call or email.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Major Renovations @ PFB

No posts for a week or two now, because we've been busy upgrading Main Street's front room to cope with an influx of new books and recent arrivals. Lots of new display space for our ever-expanding selection of new books, and a few smaller A-frame units to hold some of the more interesting new arrivals, including Joseph O'Neill's terrific short novel Netherland (Dutch investment analyst lives in post-911 NYC, plays cricket, and registers the city around him in succinct, lucid sentences equally reminiscent of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Richard Ford); Curtis Sittenfeld's American Wife (First Lady to fictitious unpopular president reviews her life); John Huddy's Storming Las Vegas (Soviet-trained Cuban ex-commando and associates knock over five Las Vegas Strip casinos, three armored cars, & etc.), and lots more.

New stereo speakers in the back of the store, too; no more bass blaring at the desk!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free Comic Book Day 2009

[posted by J. Nadiger]

Every year, the first Saturday of May is Free Comic Book Day. It's usually timed with the release of a comic book movie, this year being X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

For Free Comic Book Day, participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE to anyone who comes into their stores.

IMPORTANT: It does NOT mean that all comics found in the store are free!

Rather, each publishing company creates a comic intended as a free sample for a potential new reader. Some are reprints of popular titles, but most are original stories done by talented creators, designed to woo you into the comic shop on a more regular basis.

Every store does Free Comic Book Day a little differently, but I think that my comic shop, Elfsar Comics, puts on the best FCBD in town.

For the past several years, we've combined Free Comic Book Day with a food drive for the Vancouver food bank. If you walk into the store, you automatically get to choose 5 out of the 25 different Free Comics, no questions asked.

BUT! If you bring in a non-perishable food item, or cash donation, you get 5 more comics, an entry into one of the raffles, and a photo taken with one of the costumed heroes that will be on site.

If that wasn't enough, we'll have some spectacular local artists there promoting their work and doing sketches:
  • Comic creator/filmmaker KAARE ANDREWS
  • Cartoonist CAMILLA D'ERRICO
  • Arcana Comics publisher & EiC SEAN O'REILLY
  • Digital artist DERYK MANDRYK
There will also be a massive sale on almost every item in the store: Buy 2 get 1 free on all reading material, and 20% off all non-reading material.

At the very least, it's a chance to find some cool new works of art and donate to a very worthy cause.

Free Comic Book Day happens this Saturday, May 2. We open at 11am and close at 7pm. Supplies of free comics are limited (first come, first served!), and it's always crowded, so please come early, but it's always a good time.

I hope to see you all there!

For more information, please visit Elfsar's Free Comic Book Day page.

GG Winner Jacob Scheier and Sonnet L'Abbe Read Tonight @ Main Street!

Jacob Scheier and Sonnet L'Abbe read tonight in Main Street's redesigned front room, courtesy of our friends at PRISM International magazine and the UBC Creative Writing Department. This reading is likely going to be really crowded; if you want a guaranteed seat, you might consider arriving around 6:45pm.

Monday, April 27, 2009

New Islands Discovered!

[posted by Chris Clarke]

Thought I'd pass along a new discovery (new to me, at least) for those that enjoy Latin American fiction with a touch of magical realism, along the lines of Borges, Casares, Ocampo and other faves. A copy of Maria Luisa Bombal's "New Islands and Other Stories" (Cornell University Press, 1988) wandered across the counter and caught my eye. A big fan of the short fiction of Argentine Silvina Ocampo, I had vague hopes that this might be similar in feel; the 'Preface by Jorge Luis Borges' notice led me in that direction. While quite different thematically, Bombal did not disappoint. In fact, it was a pleasure to read and, as with Ocampo, I am now in the frustrating position of finding that there is little if any more available in English translation.

Bombal, born in 1910 in Chile, studied in London and Paris, and, returned to Chile, married Elogio Sanchez. The marriage wasn't ideal; in fact, Maria shot him (apparently) and fled to Argentina (he survived...), where she met Borges, Neruda and others. She lived in the US for about thirty years with a later husband, and also returned to Chile later in life.

Bombal is known in her brief output for narrative experimentation and complex poetic imagery. The lightly surrealistic feel of her stories is well suited to the inner worlds of the female characters she inhabits. Occasionally, unusual or ambiguous details are mentioned in passing without explanation; they hover in the back of the mind while reading, but never resurface. This soft touch of magical realism is a pleasure, reminding a bit of some of Marquez' work, or again Ocampo's, yet it remains contained within the private, proto-feminist, nature-connected worlds she creates. I was particularly taken with the title story, in which the characterization and interaction takes place over the backdrop of unexplained islands emerging from the depths of a nearby lake.

According to the Latin American Fiction in Translation bibliography that we often refer to, compiled by Joao Barretto in 2004, there are three titles available in English by Bombal, "House of Mist", "New Islands", and "The Shrouded Woman", although it seems to me that these three collections overlap, each containing some of the same two novellas and short stories. The copy of "New Islands" I have doesn't contain 'The Shrouded Woman", but has the story "The Final Mist" as well as four others. Whether these other volumes contain different versions of the same stories, of which I have seen mention, or simply a few stories not available in this volume, there is unfortunately little of her small output available at this time.

As for availability, I haven't seen too many of these floating around used, but it seems that there are three editions currently in print that we could try to order for anyone interested in trying some out: "New Islands" is available in an edition from Farrar, Straus and Giroux, who have also done an edition of "House of Mist", while the University of Texas Press published an edition of "House of Mist - The Shrouded Woman" as a part of their Texas Pan American series.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hey Kids! Comics!

Here are some preview pages from two upcoming comics taken more or less directly from great books:

First up, we have five pages of BOOM! Studios's 24-issue serialization of Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? This is not an adaptation, but rather the entire text of the short story laid out over comic book pages. They even kept the "he said/she said" bits.

Each issue will feature essays by various writers on how PKD influenced their own work. The first issue will feature cranky Warren Ellis, and then Matt Fraction, Ed Brubaker, and Farscape creator Rockne O'Bannon.

Click here for the preview pages as well as a bit more info about the project.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? #1 of 24 ships in June.

On the other end of the genre spectrum, Canadian comic artist Darwyn Cooke is adapting the Richard Stark (who we all know is Donald Westlake, right?) Parker series into graphic novels for IDW Publishing. First up is The Hunter.

IDW Publishing has posted 19 pages for your pre-appreciation here.

The Hunter is on sale in July.


Both of these fine adaptations will be available for purchase from better comic book stores in your area. For those of you in Vancouver, two such awesome stores are:

RX Comics, 2418 Main Street, 604.454.5099, Pulpfiction's Main Street neighbour


Elfsar Comics, 1007 Hamilton Street (in Yaletown), 604.688.5922

(FULL DISCLOSURE: I also work at Elfsar, and am a large part of what makes it so awesome. -J.N.)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bruce Serafin's STARDUST wins Edna Staebler Award

Bruce Serafin, close friend of the shop, founder of The Vancouver Review, and one of Canada's best writers. Bruce passed away in 2007. His excellent Stardust, a collection of review essays and short prose memoirs, just won Wilfred Laurier University's 2008 Enda Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction. This Friday, April 24th, in conjuction with WLU and Bruce's publisher, New Star Books, we're hosting an award ceremony. 7-9pm at the Main Street store. Light refreshments. A reading. & etc.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

PFB Profiled in The National Post!

Brief profile/interview in today's Post.

"Q: A reader has just finished Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep. What would you recommend next?

A: Australian Garry Disher's numerous crime novels, now available in Canada through Soho Crime. Almost anything by Ross MacDonald. Charles Williams (especially A Touch of Death, recently reprinted by Hard Case Crime). Centipede Press' new David Goodis and Fredric Brown reprints. Maybe even Don Winslow's terrific California Fire and Life."

(Photo of the Main Street shop by flickr user Sashafatcat)

Monday, April 20, 2009

"Read Any Good Books Lately?"

Yes: Paul Bowles, The Spider's House (1955).

The Washington Post concurs:

"As Francine Prose suggests in her introduction to the new Ecco paperback edition, The Spider's House should be read by anyone with an interest in either Morocco or terrorism. 'It's very, very strange and disturbing, this place,' observes a lady friend of [the protagonist]'s. 'I don't quite see how you can stay in it. It would be like being constantly under the influence of some drug, to live here. I should think going out of it could be terribly painful, when you've been here a long time.' Bowles also delves into the desperation underlying jihads launched at civilians, no matter where they occur: 'It was not independence they [the terrorists] wanted, it was a satisfaction much more immediate than that: the pleasure of seeing others undergo the humiliation of suffering and dying, and the knowledge that they had at least the small amount of power necessary to bring about that humiliation.'"

Amazon to Kindle Users: Drop Dead

Weekend update:

Some starry-eyed Kindle owners finally wake up to the fact that they don't "own" their Kindle content; all they own is rented "access," which can be switched off pretty much whenever Amazon chooses. Best of the article's many insights: "A bookstore that locks you out because you treated it like a library doesn't take away the collection already sitting on your bookshelf."

JG Ballard, author of The Crystal World, The Drowned World, Vermilion Sands, Crash, The Atrocity Exhibition, and many other peerless works of experimental science fiction, dies, aged 78.

New used bookstore opens in Toronto. I don't know what this guy's stock is like, not yet having visited, but I totally covet his couch. Nb. banana box just above the couch, perfectly sized for transporting used mass-market paperbacks.

Spring @ PFB

Front door open, little pink cornflake-shaped petals from the cherry tree outside blowing in across the carpet.

Lots of new stock in-house. The blog wasn't updated last week because all our time was spent receiving and processing a collection of 1000+ scholarly books (Charles Olson; Ezra Pound much BC poetry and "little mags"), building a new set of shelves for the front room, to better display our ever-expanding selection of new books, and psyching ourselves up for another big collection of scholarly books, 12 or 15 boxes of them, that's arriving later today or early tomorrow.

New titles in house: all of Bruce Sterling's currently in-print pocket books, Raymond Chandler, David Goodis, Charles Willeford, Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son, in an affordable edition (as opposed to the $17CDN mass market paperback that exactly no one bought) , etc.