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BRAVE STORY [Archive]

Brave Story: Extended Mass

As many of you know, the first edition of Brave Story came out two years ago in hardback. If you own a copy you know the beefy tome takes up a lot of space on your bookshelf (and in your backpack). It’s one of those books that goes toe-to-toe with other doorstoppers like Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows and Stephen King’s Under the Dome.

Next Tuesday Miyuki Miyabe’s award-winning novel gets downsized into a handy Haikasoru paperback edition. “Downsized” might be the wrong word, however. The trim size remains the same, and none of the text has been clipped. We even kept the helpful map of Vision at the beginning of the book. But the new edition is definitely thinner and easier to cart around. You won’t suffer any discomfort hefting this book from place to place. And that’s good news for me.

Since I live in San Francisco and take public transportation everywhere I go, I’m a big fan of “pocket” books. Gigantic hardback novels can be nice ornamental items sitting in your living room, but they’re not convenient on a crowded bus. I much prefer a book I can shove in my jacket pocket and whip out when an opportunity for reading arises. Long live mass market paperbacks, that’s what I say. Or, in the case of Brave Story, long live extended mass market paperbacks.

The Return of Brave Story (And More)

bravestory2

While revisiting Brave Story for its paperback debut, I started thinking again about the book’s zany cover painting. It’s an awesome piece of art, both playful and frightening (much like the Miyuki Miyabe novel itself). In fact, the book’s designer was so taken with the image she ultimately purchased it for herself. It’s now hanging on the wall of her hip San Francisco apartment. And I have no doubt that it provokes spirited conversation during dinner parties.

I remember when the novel first popped up in stores back in 2007. It didn’t look like anything else on the shelves. I even remember Andrew Wheeler blogging about it. “(The novel) has a great oddball cover by Dan May,” he wrote back then. “When people complain that all fantasy covers have to look alike, they forget that things like this are possible.”

In conclusion, he wrote, “I’d love to see more like it, if the audience doesn’t run screaming in disgust.” And guess what? It looks like Mr. Wheeler is going to get his wish. We’re publishing the latest novel by Miyabe in January (The Book of Heroes) and it sports another terrific painting by Dan May. I predict no one will be screaming in disgust.

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