Thursday, January 31, 2019

Does This Booklet Exist or Not?

In 2010, the shortlived Bandersnatch Books was supposed to publish a small chapbook by T.M. Wright (1947-2015)  titled The People on the Island. The short story was originally written for an anthology Cold Touch, edited by William P. Simmons, to have been published by Prime Books.  The anthology was delivered to the publisher in May 2002, for publication in November 2002.  But the book never appeared.

The short story, however,  appeared in Brutarian Magazine, issue 42 (2005), and was collected in Wright's Bone Soup (2010). It is perhaps most easily found in The Weird (2011), a massive anthology edited Jeff and Ann VanderMeer.

There are traces lingering on the web of the Bandersnatch Books edition.  First there is, copied from this source, an early cover for the book, from December 2009:

Next, in July 2010, Noah O'Toole published a series of rough sketches for the forthcoming booklet at his blog, here. Below is one image, for the rest see the blog:

The booklet was seemingly published on 23 October 2010, for the following statement was posted at the Shocklines Forum:
"T.M. Wright's The People on the Island now available”

After a longer delay than anticipated, I'm very pleased to announce that the revised version of the chapbook "The People on the Island" is now available for purchase. With a new cover, interior illustration and a foreword written and available only in this version, this is Terry at his best. Price is $10 plus $1 shipping.
Apparently the final cover
There are other hints that some copies of this booklet actually came out.  On November 23, 2010, the publisher wrote at Raingod's Weblog:
We’ve released T.M. Wright’s “The People on the Island” and will be releasing K.H. Koehler’s “The Dreadful Doctor Faust” in a couple of weeks.
But the Koehler book did not appear until 2015, when the author published it through CreateSpace.

Apparently, Bandersnatch Books disappeared quickly. I've never seen a copy of this booklet anywhere. What I'd like to know, bibliographically, is how many copies of The People on the Island were printed?  How many were released?  What is the content of the new "foreword written and available only in this version"?  Anyone know?

Update (2/13/19):  Thanks to the booklet's illustrator, Noah O'Toole, I can now say that some copies were indeed distributed, but not for very long.  He received only one copy himself.  The publisher disappeared very quickly afterwards.

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