This guide is a uniquely entertaining collection, containing work by Neil Gaiman, China Miéville, Rachel Pollack, Liz Williams and many others -- and it's been painstakingly put together by talented editors Jeff VanderMeer and Mark Roberts. The editors have also contributed submitted their own weird and wonderful pieces. We reissued the ebook in the UK for the first time on 5th June, with this great new cover, and you can see the full version below.
The cover is designed to tie in with our Jeff VanderMeer reissue covers (here). But it was a bit of a challenge. Jeff's works of fiction are imaginative, lyrical and at times surreal - but they don't have the quirky comedy of the guide. We also wanted to signal the difference between the reissues and the collection, so people didn't think this was another novel, or a collection of solely VanderMeer stories (thought that would be very cool too). However, we wanted to also make it clear that this collaboration was also part of Jeff's body of work. We hope that the cover for the collection, in it's jaunty orange, shows an appropriate difference in mood to the gravitas of his stylish black and white reissue designs. There's also a very slight 'jog' on the guide's lettering, taking the edge of the formal type of the reissues. And the title itself helps!
On the contents of the guide, it's certainly something a bit different. A compendium of exotic fictional illnesses and afflictions where, detailed within for your reading and diagnostic pleasure, are frightening, ridiculous, and downright absurdly hilarious symptoms. You'll also see histories and possible cures to all the ills human flesh doesn't suffer. These include Ballistic Organ Disease and Reverse Pinocchio Syndrome. Plus the guide is illustrated throughout with curious and humorously un-enlightening sketches.
World Fantasy Awards and the quotes below also reflect the fun content. If you want to see some huge literary talents at work, or fancy something a bit different, look no further. A virtuoso display of skill is on display here. You can also see an interview with Jeff VanderMeer here, on his gorgeous-looking reissues which we published last month.
'An amazing book ... plays delicious postmodernist games that are sure to delight the discerning (and slightly warped) reader'
'The editors of this remarkable book, Jeff VanderMeer and Mark Roberts,have set out shamelessly to parody our learned and noble profession . . . the results are often hilarious'
'One can always count on Jeff VanderMeer for his imaginative approach to fiction and the collections of stories he gathers as editor ... Now, along with co-editor Mark Roberts, VanderMeer has produced one of his most original and sumptuously fabricated collections to date'
Our Jeff VanderMeer reissues