Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tim Powers & Pirates (& More)

I can't speak for the entire Catholic blogsphere, but everyone in my own little corner of it (do spheres have corners?) is all a-twitter at the recently confirmed report that Disney has optioned Tim Power's novel, On Stranger Tides, and will be using elements from it in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

I'm always delighted when an author I like encounters good fortune. Especially when it is likely to include tie-in editions of his novels (More people discovering his work -- yay!) and, hopefully, an incentive for his publishers to keep his other novels in print.

As an added bonus, while clicking around on related links, I discovered news of even more interest to a bibliophagist. Earlier this year PS Publishing released Powers: Secret Histories by John Berlyne. Described by the publisher as "a bibliographical cornucopia,"
. . . Secret Histories has been nearly ten years in the making and brings together an astonishing range of Powers ephemera - a huge treat and a remarkable resource for both fans and collectors alike.

As well as a complete, illustrated reference of every Tim Powers book published to date, . . . Secret Histories offers an extraordinary insight into the stories behind the stories, collecting together in a single volume Powers material previously seen only in private collections.

Here - in print for the very first time - you'll find poetry, drawings, research and plotting notes, novel outlines, early drafts, out-takes and an excerpt from the author's unpublished 1974 novel, To Serve in Hell.

Supporting these riches are story notes and commentary by Powers himself and you'll also find articles and essays from collaborators, friends and renowned Powers aficionados . . .

The book was published in three separate editions. The regular signed edition (limited to 1,000 copies) costs £40. The two volume slipcased edition (£195), which includes an unfinished novel which Powers wrote in the early '70s, The Waters Deep, Deep, Deep, has been illustrated by the author. The deluxe edition (£495) also includes a third volume: "a full colour facsimile edition of the original handwritten manuscript of The Anubis Gates, complete with doodles, crossings out, dog-eared corners and even coffee stains! Only twenty-six copies of this facsimile, signed by Powers and individually lettered, will be available . . ."

After adding postage and packing from the U.K., I doubt that even the least expensive of these in within my book budget. But it's nice to know they're out there.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Type Like a Pirate!

In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, here's a picture of "the Corsair Ergonomic Keyboard, so useful for piratical bloggers" which was posted by Mark Lieberman on The Language Log in 2005. (Maybe everyone else on the Internet has already seen it, but it was new to me.)

There's also an amusing discussion of "pirate-speak." Did pirates really did go around saying, "Aaarrrh?" Apparently, Robert Newton's portrayal in the 1950's movie version of Treasure Island is one source of the popular perception that they did.

But in real life, both dialect from the southwest part of England, as well as Maritime Pidgin English, might have played a role in how how pirates spoke. For more details, click here.

(And a HT to Grammar Girl whose newsletter featured the link today.)

P.S. Talk Like a Pirate Day seemed like a good time to resume blogging since I was shanghaied a few months ago by life, the universe, and everything. (Well, mostly responsibilities.) I think I'm back now.