Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ammonite goes multi-generational

I meant to post this in early November. But, eh, we all know what happened that month...


A conversation two weeks ago on Twitter:
This pleases me enormously (the link in the first tweet leads to an excellent review). In our household we call Ammonite the little book that could. It started life twenty years ago as a cut-price mass-market paperback with what looked like a jellybean spaceship on the cover--all in lurid orange and yellow.

Then it was rereleased with a new cover--still in mass market--to match the nifty original cover of Slow River.

Then it went out of print in 2001 for a few weeks--long enough for me to get a series of anguished emails from academics who'd been planning to teach the book at the beginning of the academic year. I forwarded the emails to my publisher. After a bit of head-scratching they agreed to a brand new contract and a lovely new trade paperback edition, complete with map. I admit, I never really understood the latest cover--which to me looks like a woman wrapped in a bedsheet--but it seems to sell okay so everyone's happy.

But, wow, Ammonite moving through the generations, mother to daughter? I can't tell you how that warms the cockles of my heart.

And hopefully later this month I'll be able to tell you more about a project I've been working on with an artist. We meant it to be ready last year, to celebrate Ammonite's 20th anniversary, but each of us has been extraordinarily busy with both expected and unexpected (some good, some bad) stuff. Stay tuned...



  1. I’m reading it for the first time on Kindle and am rather hooked but also sought out the paperback edition and yeah the cover is a bit odd, couldn’t quite work out who or where it was meant to be. Pretty though. Evocative.

    1. Yeah. At some point I just learnt to ignore my covers (often with a sigh) and focus on what was between them. That I had some say in...

  2. I have got Slow River, which hopefully I shall read some time in the near future. Ammonite has crossed my SF book searching in Waterstones. Hopefully, I'll get to read it at some point.
    How do you feel now about your ventures into SF, particularly those 2 novels?

    1. Ooops, just seen this. I'll reply in a separate blog post sometime in the next day or two.