The covers that weren’t

A few more source photographs to go before we start unveiling some of our (rather amateurish) DIY attempts at creating a full cover. This is a composite image of Hailey’s comet, as tracked by Yerkes Observatory. We loved the Carl Sagan je ne sais quoi and font-agnostic handwriting. (And is that a trick of the eye, or are each of these four panels hand-cut with scissors?)

A book cover based around this would have gone well with the first story, and perhaps two or three of the others. But the unanimous B+ rating among staffers meant it never left subcommittee. Stay tuned as we begin to unveil the finalists!

We have the final version of the book in hand

Whew! What a ride that was. Official details very soon, maybe within a week or two. That will allow us to finish the Covers That Weren’t series and get down to the business of asking people to read.

Official credits will come, too. Because we haven’t done this alone. Not by far.

It all has us thinking. The fact that the author dated the manuscript April 2012 — combined with the fact that it’s late October and we’re just now ready to talk shop — sort of belies this program, no?

National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel. Wrimos meet throughout the month to offer encouragement, commiseration, and—when the thing is done—the kind of raucous celebrations that tend to frighten animals and small children.

Don’t misunderstand us. Encouraging aspiring writers to write is not in itself a bad thing. But nothing about this process takes a month.

PS: This post is chock-full of double spaces, which our proofreader delicately reminds us are not printer-friendly. Stop the press!

The covers that weren’t

There was a time when The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration was known for more than just mermaid denials. Environmental study and education, resource management, weather reporting and charting all fall under the NOAA’s purview. Their photo library, for another, is an excellent repository of public domain images. And at least one notable recording. (Of mermaids?)

The picture above captures lobate ctenophore Ocyropsis maculata (we had to look it up). We weren’t quite sure how this would fit on the book cover, but it’s a remarkable shot.

The covers that weren’t

Our review of Zidi’s alternate book covers continues. This is a beautiful, ambiguous photograph we found by accident on Wikipedia. From the link:

USS Scorpion (SSN-589) was a Skipjack-class nuclear submarine and one of the few American submarines to be lost at sea while not at war and to date is one of only two nuclear subs the U.S. Navy has ever lost.

DeLillo hits the big screen

We have yet to work out an official Zidi Publishing policy surrounding Cosmopolis. Starring Edward the Pretty Vampire as Eric Packer and directed by David Cronenberg, Cosmopolis represents the first big-screen adaptation of one of Don DeLillo’s books.

First impressions: anything but this one. Or not. If memory serves DeLillo’s work was as much screenplay as novel anyway. Reviewers complained that the characters had little sovereignty; that DeLillo treated them as sign posts along a strictly-controlled route. But watching the trailer, that disadvantage almost plays like the opposite. There is no way I will pass on seeing this film.

I still love White Noise, too, even if its critics complained about the same things. Here is the Cosmopolis trailer:

The covers that weren’t

This one requires almost no exposition at all: the long, dark, cold, lonely path. Not only does our forthcoming book revisit that theme time and again, it’s also a pretty good way of describing any story. At least one worth reading.

This one also came from Google Street View. (See Jon Rafman’s stunning collection for many more.) Google doesn’t exactly come out and allow (or forbid) their Street View images for use in an e-book cover, so permission was always a question mark. But the composition of this photograph was never in question. As Rafman wrote in an August 2009 essay: “The world captured by Google appears to be more truthful and more transparent because of the weight accorded to external reality, the perception of a neutral, unbiased recording, and even the vastness of the project.”

The covers that weren’t

Passing on this image was tough. There is a key scene in the first short where the narrator follows his estranged wife along Interstate 94 until — at exactly half way — he loses the trail.

The photograph comes from Google Street View, courtesy of what appears to be a camera malfunction along I-40. But with the left side of the composition well-lit and the right side darkened — divided almost perfectly in two by a vanishing highway — we were almost certain that this picture was the one.

We would have been wrong. But we were almost certain.

More to come in the days ahead.