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Carcosa panders to my book fetish

January 1, 2012

Yesterday I received a package from Helsinki containing copies of Geoffrey McKinney’s Carcosa and Isle of the Unknown, published by James Edward Raggi IV at Lamentations of the Flame Princess. I’ll say more when I’ve had time to peruse them properly, but the thing that struck me right away was this:

Judged purely as a physical object, I think Carcosa is the most beautiful RPG book I have ever seen or, equally importantly, held in my rugose and squamous paws. I’m a bookseller by profession, and I know these are tough times for publishers, but it makes my heart glad when one of them takes the trouble to produce something special. Hats off to Raggi and his associates, then, because Carcosa is a book that provides aesthetic thrills before you even open it. The cover material is apparently Balathane Sensuale, and “sensuale” it most certainly is. There’s a bit of “give” to it, and a solid/soft tension that is extremely satisfying. The stamped, two-colour silhouette of the city of Carcosa on the cover, and the Cthulhoid detailing on the spine, are also very nicely and tastefully done. All in all, it looks like an edition of some obscure fantastic adventure novel from fifty years ago that you might find on a good day in a second-hand bookshop, and it feels like a Bible.

Isle of the Unknown is rather pretty too.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. January 2, 2012 9:54 pm

    I’m a bit dissapointed that the moon isn’t behind one tower and in front of another though /inspirationalmaterialnerd

  2. January 2, 2012 10:29 pm

    I heartily agree. Both are lovely books, beautifully put together.

  3. January 6, 2012 12:24 am

    That is a lovely book for sure. It is a shame that few books are printed to that standard these days.

  4. Eksem permalink
    January 6, 2012 7:38 am

    Agreed, the Isle of the Unknown is very nice and blows most RPG books out of the water; but the Carcosa book is just incredible. The slightly different colorings of the pages themselves for each chapter makes the book look wonderfully sickly and makes it easier to use at the game table! The choice of paper is beyond perfect, I love the illustrations, and the typographical work is well executed. It’s worth noting that not only is it a fantastic looking book (in every sense), it is also exceptionally easy to use.

  5. January 8, 2012 9:06 pm

    I too have copies of both books and I agree the production value is very high and a pleasant surprise.

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