Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Summer of Love part one

The first episode of our Summer of Love event has now been cut edited and uploaded by the team at www.sittingnow.co.uk

We really appreciate the professionalism, time, energy and effort that Ken Eakins and his crew put into this.

The first episode showcases Ulysses Black grappling with the issues of identity, magickal names, performance art and authentic action.

We suggest you watch it through to the sticky end.

Future episodes will follow with Jake Stratton-Kent, Peter Grey and Alkistis Dimech.

We are pleased that we can share this with our international and absent friends.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Digital Revelations

As book lovers producing real books as objects of magic and beauty we have done the unthinkable and gone digital.

We are obsessed and obsessive about books. When we call ourselves a talismanic publisher it is because we create magical objects to create change in the world. This is explicit in every step of the process, from design to typography to consecration. If you want a magical book, then there is nothing comparable to a hand bound edition in a mass production world. But we are not elitists. We intend to empower the next generation with these books in whatever format necessary.

We want the same  information which is in our fine editions and hardbacks to be accessible. We have also struggled to buy books, pay rent and put food on the table whilst being committed students of magick.

We launched Bibliotheque Rouge to prove that esoteric knowledge should be available and affordable, not artificially scarce and expensive.  Now Rouge will also be releasing e-books.

Our Rouge books are in a direct lineage from the Bibliotheque Bleue chapbooks which mass printed and produced grimoires (amongst other books) in Europe causing and fuelling an explosion of popular magical practice from the seventeenth century onwards.  This gave us Red Dragon, Black Dragon, Grimorium Verum et al. It was a bold and brash move which put books that had often circulated as costly manuscripts into the hands of every man (and woman) confounding the censorious church.

Such a change is occurring again and we ally ourselves with it. 

Magical books changed radically with the invention of the printing press, no longer hand copied and clandestine, these rough and ready inventions both preserved and spread dangerous ideas like wildfire.
Was their magic any worse for it being performed out of tatty blue pamphlets?

Magic is not just the book itself, but crucially what you do with it.
Attainment comes from the Work and not the object alone.

The printing press democratised and empowered practitioners and we are seeing an equally potent event now happening in the digital age.  As a small publisher we are able to produce paperback editions in print runs or on demand in a way that does not bankrupt us.  We like the fact that paperbacks do not simply fall out of print but continue to cause trouble in the world, just as they should.

Yet if the Devil is the god of the printing press, then Lucifer is surely the digital information revolution.

 In the last year the landscape has radically changed. The digital book, whether on kindle or i-pad or sony reader has become ubiquitous. Information is now fluid, and any published book can and will be digitised. Content is agnostic, and it is foolish to pretend otherwise. Limitation is becoming a lie.

We know that occultists appreciate the art inherent in the book and will continue to cherish these living things and not abandon them for zeros and ones. The e-book is complimentary rather than a replacement for the physical form.

The e-book hopefully means more people will read books. That can only be a good thing. It also means that we can create affordable versions of our work so that readers can take the risk on new authors and unfamiliar subjects. You can dare to read and enrich yourself outside of your field, perhaps you haven’t encountered Pomba Gira or Palo Mayombe before, or you want to see if the poetry cuts it.

It allows you to travel with a library rather than dislocating your shoulder with a satchel full of books- as we often do. It makes unwieldy reference texts quickly searchable for research.

To this end, we are issuing all of our future paperback Bibliotheque Rouge titles in epub and mobi format.

Does this mean that we are starry-eyed converts, adoring the new format of the book? Far from it. The digital reader is both a technological inevitability and wedded to a clear attempt to control all of publishing by the Scylla and Charybdis of Amazon and Apple. This will maim publishers, bookshops and printers, large and small. This alas seems inevitable.  Skills such as editing, layout and typography will continue to decline in the mass market. We know our readers will continue to act with discrimination and support small publishers by buying direct and knowing the value of the book itself.

The e-readers themselves are designed to die, in a cycle of fake upgrades, fashion and the component failure of built in obsolescence. You will keep having to buy more hardware and the third world will get more container loads of toxic junk in return. Digital information does not survive collapse in the resilient way that hard copy does. Let’s not pretend that the environmental impact is anything other than an ongoing catastrophe. 

However, as the world enters into radical flux, magick responds.
Now, more than ever, there is an urgency to communicate and we hope that by embracing the digital revolution we can get these relevant voices of modern magick to the new generation.

We still hold firm to our commitment to the physical book as a repository of force and form.
There is something very special about the book, which will endure when the last kindle is thrown in a landfill.
(We will of course replace lost files for you free of charge as long as the lights stay on.)

Our books are specifically made to accomplish magical results, and digital books are simply an extension of that aim.
If you want a book that will potentially last as long as our species does, buy a fine or hardback edition.
If you want a book to underline, throw in your bag or take to the woods in the rain, choose a paperback.
If you simply want the raw data file, download an e-book.

We are daring to offering a free and unfettered choice.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Rushing after Roses

Prints of the Red Goddess cover are now available in a limited run of 200 prints from the artist, retitled simply with Babalon. A striking modern icon:

The prints are $100 each, signed and numbered by Christopher Conn Askew.
Gorgeous quality, we just hope that there are enough left for our readers as desire for this has been overwhelmingly expressed.

We missed the announcement too, afflicted mercury seems to be causing some strife with communication. We thought this print was going to happen after the exhibition which has just opened at the Merry Karnowsky gallery in LA and have been so busy with digital editions that we have barely caught breath for the past month. Our congratulations to Chris on the show. 

You probably want to make an order for your icon  as quickly as possible as these will not be re-issued.

The link with order details is here: http://sekretcity.tumblr.com/

Good luck!

In Nomine Babalon

Peter Grey