Tiny Books, Big Imaginations

Do you like small books? If you do, I've got a couple of recommendations: the Jabberwocky series and its sly, if shy, companion Bandersnatch. They all come from Sean Wallace at Prime Books, winner of a World Fantasy Award a couple of years ago. Jabberwocky (named after a poem by some obscure English children's writer) contains poetry and prose of a whimsical and surreal nature from the likes of such award-winners as Tim Pratt, Jane Yolen, Catherynne M. Valente, and Holly Phillips. Each of the three current volumes is a gem of a tiny paperback, perfect for carrying in a back pocket or bringing on a trip. Bandersnatch, meanwhile, is a tiny hardcover, so mysterious and self-effacing it doesn't even have a title or editor listed on the cover. You'd never even know that it's co-edited by Paul Tremblay, who just inked a huge deal with Henry Holt for a couple of mystery novels. Bandersnatch may be even better designed than Jabberwocky and has been meticulously edited by Tremblay. You may not recognize as many names in Bandersnatch, but it's fiction of high quality in the perfect little package. If you know someone who likes surreal fantasy and magic realism, this would be a great gift as it's unlikely they'll already have it.

Why do I like small books? Well, when I'm on vacation, it's a great rationalization for buying books in the first place: Oh, I'll just get this microscopic book here, that I have to pick up with tweezers. That way, it'll fit in my luggage. Of course, I wind up buying so many tiny books using that rationale that I wind up with less space than if I'd just bought big books to begin with. Not that I'm complaining...

Here's the full wrap-around art for Bandersnatch:

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