Meet Rachel A. Rosen @ the Imperial Pub, July 31, 2022

Image showing Cascade cover and text announcing book signing at The Imperial Pub on Jully 31, 2022, 54 Dundas Street East, in Toronto, starting at 4 PM. Masks Required.
Author Rachel Rosen, at ease
Photo of Rachel by Charlie Lucas

If you’d prefer to have a pint while you leaf through Rachel A. Rosen’s brilliant debut novel, Cascade, Rachel will be holding court at Toronto’s famous Imperial Pub, 54 Dundas Street East, on Sunday, July 31st, from 4 PM until closing (or we run out of books). (Covid is with us still; mask required!)

“Rachel A. Rosen is some kind of twisted genius. I wish I had even half her moves.” — Peter Watts, author of Blindsight
“Shriekgrass grows in the places magic has touched, where no other life can gain a foothold. Pale and spindly, sharp fronds edge its drooping stems. It sways in the wind like the legs of a centipede or a human spine. It screams when cut, groans where it pushes through the dry earth and the cracks in the pavement.
“A boy in school had once told Sujay that all plants feel pain, and the smell of freshly cut grass is actually chemical terror at the lawnmower blade. Plants, she understood—but didn’t quite believe—were constantly communicating, but at a register humans couldn’t perceive. Only the sentience of shriekgrass could be proven, a thin cicada death-rattle heard across the Prairies; only shriekgrass, it seemed, felt horror and pain not only in leaving the world but in entering it.”
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Tentacle Time: A tale of three covers

What is behind the curtain?

If human thought is a growth, like all other growths, its logic is without foundation of its own, and is only the adjusting constructiveness of all other growing things. A tree can not find out, as it were, how to blossom, until comes blossom-time. A social growth cannot find out the use of steam engines, until comes steam-engine-time.Charles Fort

These things are sent to entertain us.Carl Dow

Back in October of 2021, about a month after we announced that BPPress had bought the rights to publish Rachel A. Rosen’s brilliant debut novel, Cascade, Rachel mentioned to me that she designs book covers in her so-called spare time and would I like to see a concept she had for Cascade.

Well. What would you say? Of course I wanted to see it! And I think she sent me one the very same day.

And then, after a very little back-and-forthing, she sent me a design that knocked my proverbial socks not just off, but into the house across the street.

Chuthulthu rises on a point of order.

Needless to say, I was thrilled. The design was simple but eye-catching, the colours bold, and together the image conveyed a sense of place and of strangeness. How cold this not get people to take a closer look and sample the words behind the cover?

With all kinds of other work to do, what a relief it was to know we didn’t need to worry about the cover!

Or so we thought …

At this point I don’t remember if it was weeks later, or only days (and I’m not willing to dig into the archives to find out), Rachel sent me the following note and attached photo:

ETA: Fuckdammit. New concept time.

Fuckdamnit indeed …

Naturally, my first instinct was to cry foul. Surely, China Miéville‘s publisher must (somehow) have stolen Rachel’s work and adapted it for themselves! (Rachel was not so upset. She thought Kraken‘s cover was a good one, and she’s been a fan of China’s for years.)

Of course, Rachel’s cover had existed for only a few weeks and it didn’t take much checking for me to learn that the Miéville cover had been around since at least 2011.

Harm, maybe, but no foul; just a coincidence. An irritating and a kind of hard to believe coincidence, but a coincidence nevertheless. To paraphrase Charles Fort, the early 21st century seems to be tentacle time.

Of course, we could still have used Rachel’s cover despite the similarities, but appearances wouldn’t have been flattering. Since they published first, it would have looked as if we had stolen the concept, no matter what the truth was.

Thank goodness, Rachel A. Rosen is not easily cowed!

So, without (as they say) further ado, may I proudly present the cover to The BumblePuppy Press’ next release: Cascade, Book 1 of The Sleep of Reason!

Cover of Cascade, by Rachel A. Rosen.

Next time: We’ll talk pre-orders and our Kickstarter campaign!

That's me!

Geoffrey Dow
April 1, 2022