Monday, December 29, 2014

Winter Tales Nearly Finished

Winter Tales chapbook cover
Pegana Press Winter 2014-15

Just a quick update.  Winter Tales is nearly complete and Mike is working on typesetting and printing the last 2 pages of the book.  We did the cover today.

Limited to 50 copies, it is the first seasonal chapbook for Pegana Press and we hope there will be many more to follow.

A note from Mike:  Your support of this release will help sustain Pegana Press for the 5 months needed to produce our next book for you so we do hope you will take this opportunity to purchase this beautiful and wonderfully written first seasonal release.

We are offering a special price to our customers who preorder this chapbook.  Please visit our website for details.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Winter Tales Preorder

Cup of Cheer a page from Pegana Press Winter Tales 2014-15
(photo taken under Christmas lights)

Hello friends of Pegana Press.  Mike here taking a moment to share our exciting news.

Winter Tales, our first seasonal chapbook is now available for preorder.

The edition is letterpress printed on snowy white Hahnemuhle German paper using Van Son's blue ink from Holland. A combination of Goudy Franciscan and Friar types were used with a cursive Civilite for story titling.

Limited to 50 numbered copies and hand sewn on soft grey covers with ornate front.

These three original stories by our beloved resident binder Rita evoke the magic of this time of wonder and we hope they will be good companions to you through the long winters, past, present and future.

Here is the link to the page for more information and images.

And now back to printing for me and we do wish you all well.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

Winter Tales

View from Pegana Press

Coming Soon

Winter Tales

Three original short stories with a winter theme

Available in chapbook from Pegana Press for midwinter

The Voice of Fire
Where The Snowfolk Live
Cup of Cheer

Winter Tales is very nearly finished and will be available for sale on our website before the end of December.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Website back up and running

At last we finally have our website up and running again.

Maybe a little more sleep, then it's back to the books.

Please let us know if you have any more problems.

Pegana Press Books

Lord Dunsany   Lost Tales
Clark Ashton Smith The Age of Malygris
Hope Mirrlees  Paris, A Poem
Handmade Letterpress Holiday Cards
And coming soon: Winter Tales
a seasonal chapbook with 3 short stories

Technical Difficulties update

I just spent the evening creating a temporary website from our blog, to serve until Go Daddy gets our website back up and running.

Lord Dunsany is here.  Clark Ashton Smith  is here.  Hope Mirrlees is here, as well as the broadsides and holiday cards.

We don't have paypal buttons here though.  If you see something you like, you may inquire through the contact form on the blog to make arrangements.

I know it's inconvenient, but it's what we have to work with for the present, and we really appreciate your patience and willingness to work with us.

The more interesting news is we've been making more holiday cards, which is fun for us, and Mike is still working on the Winter chapbook.

We're down to the last 7 copies of Clark Ashton Smith- Poseidonis Cycle 1, The Age of Malygris.  If you decide you want one, I will be binding them as soon as I can.  Literally, I am working on Lost Tales vol. 1 and 3 this week, and Malygris next week.

Have I mentioned how much we appreciate all of you who buy our books?  Hard as I try, it's a race to keep up with the orders.  So Volumes 1 and 3 will be ready to go out on the 12th and Malygris will be ready on the 17th, this is of course providing that I don't break any bones, and then I'll start on a new batch of Lost Tales all over again.

Check out the tabs on this site to get a rough idea of what we have left.

We'll keep you posted on our progress.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Technical Difficulties

We were recently made aware that our website has been unavailable.  We have been told by Go Daddy that they are working on the problem and should have it operating normally by tomorrow.

If you need to contact us, you can email us or use the contact form here on the blog.

We apologize for the inconvenience.  And wish to assure you that we are still open for business here at Pegana Press.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Winter Chapbook Update

Chapbook. Ltd to 50 copies from Pegana Press. Winter 2014 (pp. 4 & 1 shown)
Mike and Rita at Pegana Press wish to announce production has started on a Winter themed chapbook which will be available before the end of the year, possibly mid December.

Blue ink on snow white paper from Hahnemuhle.  Letterpress printed using Goudy Franciscan type from The Dale Guild Foundry.

This chapbook features 3 short stories with a Winter theme.  More details as they become available.

Winter Chapbook

Chapbook.  Limited to 50 copies from Pegana Press Winter 2014

In October, Mike and I were discussing options for the next offering from Pegana Press.  The books are averaging about 5 to 6 months to produce, so we thought we might like to put out a book that could be produced in less time, in between the larger projects.

The idea of a seasonal chapbook appealed to Mike and we began hunting for a short story or two to offer for the Winter season.  This was no easy task.  The stories with a Winter theme that seemed appropriate for Pegana Press, were all too long.

We both looked through our library, and on line, but finally had to admit that we might have to wait until Spring.  There are lots of short stories which evoke Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Then on Hallowe'en, a small miracle occurred.  I broke my shoulder, and I was unable to move my right arm for a full week.  I literally sat on the sofa, eating aspirin, drinking pain relieving teas, slathering on tiger balm and directing Mike, who now found himself in the unhappy position of having to do all my work, as well as trying not to fall too far behind in his own.  And I want to thank him for taking such good care of me, and for keeping everything running smoothly.  I'm sure that's why I healed so quickly.

I was going crazy just sitting.  I'm a doer.  I'm not good at delegating.  So I had another stab at researching stories on line.  And again, I was unsuccessful.

Then one night after Mike had collapsed from exhaustion, I was sitting in front of the fire, and a story happened to me.

I'm the kind of person who notices things.  The kind of things that most people don't seem to have time to notice.  So I was listening to the fire.  And then I realized that what I was hearing from the fire was a story.  And I wrote it down and called it, The Voice of Fire.

Within the week, two other stories told themselves to me and I wrote them down.  Now Mike is half way through typesetting and printing the second story and it looks beautiful.  Blue ink on snow white paper.  He is working hard to get it done, and we hope to have it available for sale on our website in mid to late December.

We'll keep you posted on our progress.

Happy Winter.

Saturday, November 8, 2014


Just a quick update to let you know what's happening at Pegana Press.

I appear to have a broken shoulder, which allowed me the luxury of a week off.  Quick healer that I am, I resumed binding Lost Tales Volume 3 yesterday and so we have not fallen behind.  Books will continue to arrive as expected.

Also, Mike is beginning work on a NEW project and we will have news about that very soon.

And don't forget, it's that time of year again.  Check out our letter press holiday card selection.

Have a great week end.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Lord Dunsany Lost Tales Volume 3 Release

We are pleased to announce that we have begun sending out Lost Tales Volume 3 to those of you who have preordered.

Volume 3 will be available at the special pre-order price through the end of October.  On November first we will begin selling Volume 3 at the regular price.

This new collection spans 1910 through 1954 and contains uncollected material presented for the first time in book form as well as 3 unpublished stories.  Also a color illustration by Sidney Sime.

Chapbooks have been bound in light gray paper, and the deluxe editions have been bound in golden brown cotton cloth, with brown tiger Tibetan end papers.

We want to thank you for your support of Pegana Press and for helping keep the work of this master story teller alive. You may order you copy of Lord Dunsany Lost Tales Volume 3 on our website at Pegana Press Books.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Lost Tales Volume 3 Shipping Update

Hello everyone,

Rita has completed the first batch of chapbooks and they will begin shipping in a couple of days. The first hardbacks are drying under weight and will begin shipping next week.  I will send out email notifications to each of you letting you know your copy is on its way.  The books are done in small batches at a time, numbered and shipped based on your order date.

We have posted new pictures of the finished book on the website page; I think Rita has done a splendid job (as always); we really like the "feel" and look of the book.

That's all for now



Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ever Closer

Lost Tales Volume 3 is now in the binding stage and my part of the work is done.  Rita is busily cutting cloth and making cases for the books.  The printing for the Sime illustration looks great and we're so excited to have the painting as part of the book.  These latest stories are quiet and reflective, and of the Earth and the fantastic hidden within its borders, and we think the Sime fits that quality very nicely.

We will post more images of the book soon on the main page and of course let you know when the edition begins shipping.  I'm now in the beginning phase of working on "The Age of Ending" Poseidonis Cycle II by Clark Ashton Smith.  That's all for now, take care one and all.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Sneak Preview Lost Tales Vol 3

We're getting really close.  The printing of this book is finished, Mike is hand folding each page and trimming each illustration.  And the process of hand binding begins Monday.

It looks like we will be able to begin shipping the first books in mid October on schedule.  And we will continue shipping the preordered volumes as they become available.

We're still taking preorders at the special rate, so there is still time to take advantage of that price.

We're excited about this latest offering of rare and unpublished Dunsany stories and hope you will be too.

To preorder Lord Dunsany Lost Tales Volume 3 please visit our website at Pegana Press.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lost Tales Volume 3 Available for Preorder

We are pleased to announce that Lord Dunsany - Lost Tales Volume 3 is just about finished and should begin shipping in mid October.

We are offering folks the opportunity to preorder this latest volume at a reduced price through our website.

This edition is limited to 80 copies, available in both chapbook and hardbound.

This new collection spans 1910 - 1954 and features 4 unpublished stories presented for the first time and frontispiece rare watercolor by Sidney Sime from 1926.

Please visit our website at Pegana Press Books to preorder your copy.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Heart Of Earth

The Heart Of Earth first appeared in The Saturday Review,  London,  July 1909.  It was one of the stories we at Pegana Press were privileged to add to our collection of previously uncollected works entitled Lost Tales Volume 1 by Lord Dunsany.

It begins thus.

As the poet walked through the moist, grey town thinking of Faëry and imperious Death, he saw the unthought-of pavement, monotonous, wet, clad with dirt, desolate.  And, thinking of the long time that they had lain there under unheeding feet, unprotected by soil or grass against the will of the rain, he, being at peace because it was now evening, pitied the old grey stones.  And the pavement felt his pity.  Every stone felt it; stone told it unto stone for quite a mile.  It had been trodden on for two hundred years by dogs as well as men, it had been spat upon and covered with filth, but had not before been pitied.
     Deep in it's core it felt the poet's pity; it had felt an earthquake less.

Lord Dunsany shares through his potent writing the ability of creating a portal which transports us into the very setting of the story itself.  Anyone who has walked a lonely road lost in thought will recognize this realm. The smell of the wet pavement - rain on stone.  The feel of footsteps meandering as the mind follows its own fancy.  The power of connection that is the very fabric of reality - that which communicates the feeling of the poet through a network of stone conveying information further down the road.

We are told the poet's thoughts go wandering off into other realms, while the pavement fairly bristles with indignation.

     "What is this that dares to pity the heart of Earth?  A thing of a few years and the toy of Time!

     Is not Earth's heart of the lineage of the stars?..."

And we are allowed audience as the Earth waxes poetic about what it has seen throughout time.

     "...What love should Earth's heart have for the hearts of men, who have chosen cities as their foster-mothers, rejecting Earth?..."

Lord Dunsany was a story teller who could make his point in under 1000 words and he wrote a wealth of material in short story format.

The Heart Of Earth appears in Lost Tales Volume 1 published by Pegana Press; by arrangement with the Dunsany Estate.  This book contains 10 stories written by Lord Dunsany which have not been in print since their original magazine appearances about 100 years ago.

If you wish to own a copy of the book, please visit Pegana Press Books.

     "...Am I not the heart of wandering Earth, child of the sun?

     Who?  Who has pitied me?..."

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Dreamer's Tales: A New Google Community

We'd like to extend an invitation to those of you who have a deep appreciation for the work of Lord Dunsany to join A Dreamer's Tales, a Google Community to encourage renewed interest in the work of Lord Dunsany.

Come on over and let's talk about your favorite stories and what draws you to this author's work.  When did you first discover Lord Dunsany?  What was the first Dunsany book or short story or play you read?

If you're just discovering this author, you're in for a treat, and if you are well acquainted with the writing of Lord Dunsany, then come on over and help encourage others to discover this master story teller.

We look forward to the conversation.

And don't forget to join us at Pegana Press, as we prepare to release Lord Dunsany's Lost Tales Volume 3, this Autumn.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Lost Tales Volume 1 Deluxe Edition?

We've had many requests to create a deluxe binding for this book.  So here it is.  Lost Tales Volume 1.  The original printing with a deluxe binding.

This is a great companion to the deluxe Lost Tales Volume 2.  I used a Dubletta cotton cloth in Teal for the binding and the Lama Li Tiger paper in black for the end papers.  Letterpress title on spine and inset paste down on front cover.

I will be binding this book in small batches starting next week.  You may order it on our website to reserve your copy.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Lord Dunsany

Happy Birthday Edward John Moreton Drax Plunkett 18th Baron of Dunsany.

Born July 24, 1878

We celebrate your extraordinary creative life.

And the wonders of Elfland, Shadow Valley, Pegana and the Billiards Club.

We're grateful you shared your vision of these things with us.

"And little he knew of the things that ink may do, how it can mark a dead man's thoughts for the wonder of later years, and tell of happenings that are gone clean away, and be a voice for us out of the dark of time, and save many a fragile thing from the pounding of heavy ages; or carry to us, over the rolling centuries, even a song from lips long dead on forgotten hills."  --Lord Dunsany

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pegana Press StoryCast: The Ghost of the Valley

Mike took a little time off from printing Lord Dunsany: Lost Tales Volume 3 to record a new StoryCast.

We are doing The Ghost of the Valley, because it was one we had hoped to put in Volume 3.  Fortunately, just before setting type for this story, Mike found it had already appeared in The Ghosts Of The Heaviside Layer and Other Fantasms.

Although we were disappointed to lose such a wonderful story, we were grateful that Mike discovered it before investing the time to typeset, and even more importantly, before it became part of the book.

It's such a great story that we wanted to do a reading for our PeganaPress StoryCast series.  We have a copy of the typewritten manuscript and found as we were reading from both the book and the manuscript that there were one or two variances.  

If you don't already have a copy of The Ghosts Of The Heaviside Layer, then find a copy.  And if you do have one, read along with us. Headphones are highly recommended as the ghost voice may be hard to distinguish on laptop/computer speakers.

We hope you enjoy our newest StoryCast, The Ghost of the Valley.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Last Call for Poseidonis Cycle 1: The Age of Malygris

Pegana Press is pleased to announce that our most current book is about to sell out.  I am currently binding 8 copies for a customer.  And will be binding the last 10 copies in mid July.

If you want a copy of this hand bound letter press edition of Clark Ashton Smith stories (limited to 55 copies), please don't miss your opportunity.

Monday, June 9, 2014

The Real Reason Behind The Name Pegana Press

If you spend long enough collecting Dunsany titles in different editions as I have, you can run into curious differences between these editions.  Different illustrations between U.S and UK releases, changes in story order, names of illustrations, etc.  When I knew very little about publishing and the art of printing books these differences seemed magical and mysterious.  They also spurred on my desire to collect alternate versions of books I already had because of the hidden treasures, even small, I might find in them.

After acquiring the 1st American Luce edition of The Gods of Pegana I began to look at other editions.  The first English edition of 1905 by Elkin Mathews would of course have to be purchased.  Unfortunately the $500 plus pricetag prevented me from buying it even to this day.

But I stumbled upon listings for a 2nd edition released by Pegana Press in 1911 that appeared to be identical in construction and covers to the Elkin Mathews books I was familiar with.  The title page showed a different address for Pegana Press as the publisher than Elkin Mathews used.  I've never found another title ever released under the Pegana Press imprint and was very intrigued.  Why this one edition?  Why the difference when they appeared to be made by the same people?  There seemed to be an unusual story behind this book.

I decided then I would revive the mysterious Pegana Press to release new material when I was ready.
It seemed appropriate to give its Spirit more work to glue and mutter over.

I suspect now it had to do with a copyright issue of some kind as most of the differences between editions can be traced to .  But really, there's no mystery in that answer, and I prefer the enigma to the answer.

I still don't know the answer even though the curator probably knows and would tell me but somehow we're always busy with other matters when we communicate. I hope to ask him over a pint in a Dublin pub some day. 

As for us, the mystery and shadow of that Spirit ,we hope, will continue to imbue our books and breathe life into them for a time.

Mike Tortorello
Pegana Press 
(the younger)

The Gods Of Pegana 2nd edition pictured.
(we don't actually own this lovely book)

Friday, May 30, 2014

Roy A Squires

I picked up the copy of Lost Worlds from the library table where Mike had recently lain it.  I was hoping to get inspiration for a quote to pass on for the day.

Inside, I found this card, which got me thinking about Roy A. Squires, and how much his work has inspired the work of Pegana Press.

When I read the words on the card, I am taken back 25 years. In those days we were very young, newly married and Mike was working in a recording studio which no longer exists, but which at the time hosted it's share of well known musicians and producers like Steve Miller, Randy Meisner, Queensrÿche, and Terry Brown.

The card included with the sale of the book was a nice touch, which  is appreciated even more now, when I see it tucked away like a snapshot in time.  I like the line which reads, Cordial regards and Good hunting, Roy.  It reminds me of how it used to be for collectors without the resource of the internet.

In the 1980s and 90s, it was amazing to walk into a book store, and know that you were on the brink of pure potential.  Books you had been seeking for years, might suddenly pop out from the shelf.  And every town had at least one used book store. Everywhere we went, the first priority was to find the local bookstore.

 Soon after we were married in 1984, and while we were still in college, we began dreaming about our library.

Mike bought a used copy of Bookman's Weekly which had an article written by Roy A. Squires. After reading it, he wrote for a catalog.

Mike recalls that a lot of what Mr. Squires sold came from personal collections of authors and friends that he knew so even the catalog is filled with little gems, insights and background of the people associated with these books.

More from Mike:

We have a fair amount of his chapbooks--tidy clean work.

And this book...
Clark Ashton Smith - The Hill Of Dionysus - Pacific Grove 1962
While my personal design tendencies are more ornate than Squires, he inspired me with his dedication to publishing lost works resting forgotten in boxes and filing cabinets and his desire to keep the hand-craftsmanship of the book arts alive.  The absolute precision of his printing is something to aspire to but takes many years to realize; and which I am still far from achieving.

I am astounded years later remembering how cordial and willing he was to help build my young library even with (at the time) fairly inexpensive copies of books. I had no idea then of the world he lived in and the people he knew and had collaborated with over the years.  He was a living repository for us that will always be missed but never forgotten.

Friday, May 23, 2014

This Week At Pegana Press

We are happy to report "The Age of Malygris" has reached the halfway point of its press run and we expect it to sell out before long.  If you are interested in a fine press edition featuring our favorite magian Malygris don't wait too long to secure your copy.

More information is available on our website Pegana Press.

Our thanks to the collectors around the world who have helped support this edition.  We hope to complete the Poseidonis stories later this year in a companion volume "The Age of Ending".

In other press news, things are progressing nicely on Lord Dunsany Lost Tales Volume 3.

And we were honored to read in Michael Swanwick's Flogging Babel that he and Marianne were enjoying Poseidonis Cycle 1 - The Age of Malygris.

Our thanks for all the customer feed back we've gotten on our books.  If you'd like to write a customer review there are two ways to do it.

You can click on the Customer Reviews tab on the blog, and leave your review in the comments (where we will retrieve it and post it to our review page).

Or you can email Pegana Press through the contact form in the sidebar of this blog or on our website.

Have a great week-end

Mike & Rita
Pegana Press

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Pegana Lost

Dunsany Study Magazine  Pegana Lost Vol 14  May 2014 Edited by Oto Mitani

We just received the current publication from Pegana Lost, a wonderful Dunsany scholarly appreciation group based in Japan.  They have been active since the 1990's translating the work of Dunsany to share in Japanese.

It is a beautiful magazine, which includes scholarly articles discussing the work of Lord Dunsany and stories translated by Hiroshi Inagaki.

Their love of Dunsany's work is profound. Moments after Rita tweeted the release of The Emperor's Crystal orders began flooding in from Japan and kept me busy filling out customs forms! 

Dunsany helps us to embrace the Wonders of this journey we are all on together and Pegana Lost is doing noble work.

Our thanks to Mitani Oto (Editor of Pegana Lost) and Hiroshi Inagaki (Translator from English) for sharing the work of Pegana Lost and Lord Dunsany.

Our collection of Pegana Lost on the shelf

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Setting Volume 3

Setting page 6  Lord Dunsany Lost Tales Vol 3

Setting 4 lines of type at a time in the composing stick.  Letter by letter with spaces.  Upside down and backwards to get the right perspective for the press.  If a word doesn't fit at the end of a line and can't be hyphenated, then I take out the spaces, and put in smaller spaces until the word fits.

Drawer full of Goudy Franciscan type with spacing on the table.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Hello Again

I'm taking a moment to connect on line with our book loving friends.

Not a lot to report at the moment.  Mike is type setting Lord Dunsany Lost Tales Vol 3, and I am binding books as always.

It's been a lovely day here today.

One of us will be writing a real blog post soon, with full sentences and everything.

I hope you are enjoying your week, and that you are finding plenty of wonderful books to read.

Rita Tortorello
Pegana Press
Olympia WA USA

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Coptic Bound Hope Mirrlees

 ***Special Offer*** We have a small number of copies available in a hand sewn Coptic binding with soft cover of French Canson heavy stock paper in gray, cover illustration printed in reflex blue ink.  These are the copies from the original Pegana Press run which did not go to Ars Obscura for binding.  There are less than 1 dozen of these available.

If you are a collector of modernist poetry, and have despaired of ever finding a copy of Hope Mirrlees work, Paris A Poem, then we at Pegana Press have good news for you.  We were tidying up around the press, and found our unbound copies of Paris A Poem safely tucked away in a box.  They were just waiting to someday become books, so using a Coptic stitch, I hand sewed one of these volumes with a paper cover, and it looks wonderful.

We need to free up some space around here and make room to work, so we have made a special price on this soft cover Coptic bound Pegana Press 2010 edition of Paris A Poem by Hope Mirrlees.

Take a look at the soft cover and hard bound edition on our website.   The beauty and subtlety of this poem is something you will want to explore.

More behind the story Hope Mirrlees, Paris A Poem

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Emperor's Crystal Back In Stock

Last week I posted that I would be spending the next two weeks binding our unbound supply of The Emperor's Crystal.  They are once more available to purchase on the website

I'm also binding more copies of The Age Of Malygris this week.

Mike is in the planning stages of Lost Tales Volume 3.  The stories have been tentatively chosen, the paper has arrived and we have been discussing layout and design.

I want to thank those who have generously contributed feedback about The Age Of Malygris.  We have just started posting the customer reviews of Poseidonis Cycle 1 on the Clark Ashton Smith page, and also here on the blog under Customer Reviews.  So if you want to know what actual customers think of the book, you can read it there--and again, we are very grateful for the response we're getting.

That's all for now.  I'll get back to the binding table now.  Have a great week.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Getting Back To Work At The Press

I had to take a little time off to file the income tax return.  It took almost all of this last week, but now it's completed, and I am sooooo ready to get back to binding books.

News for The Emperor's Crystal

About 3 weeks ago, we sold the last deluxe binding of The Emperor's Crystal, that we had in stock.  We still have unbound copies, so I will be spending the next two weeks binding them.  They should be available to purchase on our website before the end of April.

I am also still binding the last copies of The Age Of Malygris.  

And Mike is working on Lost Tales Volume 3!

That's all.  Just a quick post to update what's going on at the press...Now back to Work!

A few lines from a poem by Clark Ashton Smith entitled Postlude
published in The Hill Of Dionysus  A Selection   
Pacific Grove 1962

Hearkening now the voices of the crowd,
Have you forgot the faint Parnassian music
We heard between the bracken and the clouds?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Crafting The Age Of Malygris: Design and Intent

Posted by Mike Tortorello

Here is some background on what went into the making of The Age Of Malygris from a printers perspective.

The font used for the body of the text is Optima, designed by Hermann Zapf for a german foundry in the early 1950's. I chose it because it's cool, detached feel seemed to lend itself to Clark's dispassionate glimpses of a remote age. I think it also allows the ornateness and beauty of the prose to be the focus. When designing the book, I pictured a scribe or monk slowly transferring the text of a crumbling tome that may have come from the chamber of Malygris. The paper is german watermarked with the feel and look of parchment; Hahnemühle has been making this kind of paper for over 400 years. I really wanted the book to feel OLD. Keeping the craft of true bookmaking alive to pass on is valuable to me as well. The type is distributed(put away) after the print run and will never be done again. It takes about 4 months of painstaking work to create books like this but worth the effort. It also gave me the chance to speak and work with Donald Sidney-Fryer which was incredible. 

I too have these stories in my library in several versions; Arkham House, Weird Tales, Ballantine, etc. Other than the late Roy Squires beautiful chapbooks, none of the CAS books were made to truly enhance and convey Clark's work. Their materials and manufacturing were based on cost; and designs were based on standardization. 

Don't get me wrong, I love all those versions, but as a CAS lover I would always want a beautiful edition in my collection and I thought it was time to create one. 

The inclusion of Clark's original illustrations and DSF's prelude, as well as a poem not published since The Dark Chateau become the setting for the jewellike prose he left for us. 

I plan on finishing the Posedionis stories in Cycle II after doing a new Dunsany and then probably the Zothique stories. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

A Word Of Encouragement To Writers

Life is full of stories.  We are all story tellers.  A writer is someone who writes them down.  Not always to be published.  But because it is a way of crafting words.  A writer writes down words, because we must.  Whether poetry, story, lyric, essay, journal, editorial or blog...whatever form the written words take...for whatever purpose they serve, no matter the label we put to the words, we do this because we must.  These words we write are not ours alone.  They are thoughts from the collective which we all receive, and if we are of a certain temperament, we are inspired to write them down, as we individually interpret them.  We do not create them.  But we craft them in a certain fashion, and in so doing, we are deeply touched by them.

I was inspired to post this here because we have met so many writers (I refuse to use the word 'aspiring' because either you write or you don't) through Pegana Press, and I sometimes hear people expressing discouragement.  For whatever reason you write, please continue to do it.  If it brings you joy, then write to experience the joy of it.  If it tortures you on some level, then write to express that.  In it's expression, you will experience a level of transformation by the very act of writing it down.  Don't compare your form of expression to another.  Only continue to hone your own skill by constantly writing words on whatever you can find to express them.  Do it because you are a writer.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Latest From Pegana Press

Just a little picture to show you how we're doing. This is my binding table.  The book lying open on the left is about to be attached to the cover.

This shows a dozen books completed (all spoken for), and I have another 6 (also spoken  for) that are drying right now under weight.

I get a short break (to catch up with life in general), before more materials arrive on Tuesday, and  I go back to binding books.

This binding is different than the Emperor's Crystal binding and has more steps.  But we think it is turning out to be well worth the effort.  We hope you'll think so too.

For those of you who are waiting on books, they will begin shipping Monday.

And what is Mike doing?  It looks to me like he's taking a breather now that the Clark Ashton Smith book is printed.  But I have seen him perusing a new batch of stories, in preparation for Lord Dunsany-Lost Tales Vol. 3, and it's obvious that he's working on the potential layout of the new book.

We can't wait to get started.

One last thing.  We really do love to hear from you, and feedback is very valuable to us.  If you have suggestions to make about what you'd like to see us publish, please contact us either here on the blog, or on our website contact form.  Keep in mind that we specialize in smaller publications and that we want to revive works which are not currently in print.  We look forward to reading your suggestions.

Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Clark Ashton Smith - Poseidonis Cycle 1

Mike and Rita of Pegana Press are excited to begin offering  The Age Of Malygris: Poseidonis Cycle 1 on the website.   This collection was inspired by Clark Ashton Smith's stories of the Magian Malygris.  It includes two illustrations by the author and a forward by the exquisite Donald Sidney-Fryer.

Made with love and care at Pegana Press, this book was type set, letter press printed and bound all by hand.  The dimensions of the book are based on the sacred geometry of the golden rectangle, and for the story titles we used Civilite type, one of the earliest cursive fonts designed.  For the end papers we used Lokta paper, hand made in Nepal from two varieties of Daphne, one of which is Daphne papyracea, which gives the book a feeling of antiquity.

It is the mission of Pegana Press to offer the multi-sensory experience of reading some of the best authors of the fantasy genre presented in an artisan crafted book.  May it meet with your approval. 

We invite you to view more pictures of the book on our website and we welcome feedback.

We'll leave you with a quote.

...Perhaps we will not return, but will follow the tropic summer from isle to halcyon isle, across the amaranthine seas of myth and fable...

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Age Of Malygris Book Release

Mike and Rita at Pegana Press are pleased to announce the release of the Age of Malygris by Clark Ashton Smith.

We are taking orders on our website and since we are still in the process of hand binding, orders will take up to 5 business days to ship out.

Pre orders will also be notified via email.

Happy reading!

...Will you not join me in Atlantis, where we will go down through streets of blue and yellow marble to the wharves of orichalch, and choose us a galley with a golden Eros for figure-head, and sails of Tyrian sendal?

--Clark Ashton Smith

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Emperor's Crystal update

We have sold the last available copy of The Emperor's Crystal in the deluxe edition for the present.  However, there are still chap books, as well as unbound copies left.

Because I am currently busy binding The Age Of Malygris, it will be some time before I am able to bind anymore deluxe editions of The Emperor's Crystal.  If you would still like to order that edition, please email us on our website.

I plan on binding a small quantity of The Emperor's Crystal deluxe edition near the end of April, so that it may once again be available on our site.

--Rita  :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Age Of Malygris - Poetry, Prose & Sacred Geometry

It's fascinating the way form and structure can influence perceptions of emotional well being and even play a role in harmonizing the energy within ones environment.

The way a building is designed spatially, can either distort energy pathways or harmonize with the energy of the location, as architects and mathematicians have known for millennium.

Sacred Geometry employed as a tool within artwork determines how a particular work of art resonates for the viewer.

Early on books were designed using the geometry of the golden rectangle.  In modern times the dimensions of a book are influenced by standardization of materials.  For example, when cutting the paper for the Lost Tales books, getting the most out of each sheet, determined the dimensions of the pages.

When we were discussing the design for the upcoming Clark Ashton Smith book, The Age Of Malygris, we wanted to experiment with the dimensions of the golden rectangle for the design of the book.

When the book was bound, we were quite pleased with the results.

The page dimensions, the layout of the type, the boards that cover the book, and even the title pastedown on the front are all designed using the golden rectangle.

I will leave you with a quote from The Death Of Malygris:

Beyond the towering thuribles, the tomes that were piled like pyramids, they saw the threshold in intermittent glimpses, like a remote horizon. 
 --Clark Ashton Smith

The Age of Malygris -Update-

Just a couple of pictures to show you where we're at.

Sewing The Signatures


Putting The Book Together

Each book takes about 3 hours to prep.  Cutting the book cloth, laying out the boards, cutting end papers, sewing the signatures, gluing and shaping the spine, allowing the glue to dry. 

Finally, another 2 hours to glue the cloth to the boards, secure the book in place and glue the end papers.  

Then the book sits under weight for several days to keep the boards from warping while the glue dries thoroughly.

It takes longer than it would seem.  And it's something that will not be rushed, though I have tried to speed up the process.

But there is something very Zen about binding a book.  I hope that comes through on some subtle level when you read these books.  They are made with love from start to finish.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Age Of Malygris Update

I'm taking a break from binding to share some pictures of the forthcoming book.  I hope you enjoy.  --Rita

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Age Of Malygris: Stories & Poetry of Clark Ashton Smith

Mike and Rita at Pegana Press are excited to announce the release of The Age Of Malygris.  This has been in the works since November, and is nearing completion.  In other words it is being bound right now, and we expect to release it March 24th.

Donald Sidney-Fryer most graciously wrote the prelude for this edition.  Mike said it was truly wonderful to speak with Donald and hear him recite Clark Ashton Smith via telephone.  When he speaks, even ordinary conversation becomes a work of art.

Included in the book is a short prose piece, two stories of the Magian Malygris and a poem, as well as two illustrations by CAS.

We wish to express gratitude to the CASiana Estate for permission to use the materials and to Scott Connors for advice on content and texts.

As with our previous books this edition was letterpress hand printed, and hand bound.  Limited to 55 copies.

We will have pictures to post in 2 days.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Paris A Poem

Mike first acquired his press in 2009, and while researching forgotten material to bring back to print, he found Paris A Poem, which became the first book project for Pegana Press.

The history of this work is fascinating.  Written by Hope Mirrlees in 1919 who is best known for her book  Lud-In-The-Mist, the poem has been cited as a lost masterpiece of Modernism, pivotal and influential to those poets of fame to follow.  Mirrlees becomes our eyes and ears for a journey through the wonders of the metropolis.

It was first published at the Hogarth Press by Leonard & Virginia Woolf, and typeset to exact specifications as directed by Hope Mirrlees.  Movement becomes personified by typographic layout, guiding us through the city.  The gardens of Tuileries are laid out on the page to represent their exact spacings; Lilies of the valley become one on the page.

Portions of Paris A Poem were later suppressed by Mirrlees herself, and the originals have now become virtually unobtainable, locked away in museums and private libraries.  After reading the poem and its history, it seemed important to bring this work back to publication in as close to the original typography as possible.

Working from a scan of the original, the spacing and typography were laboriously reproduced by hand for the Pegana Press edition by Mike.  This process took about a year working in the middle of the night and on his days off, while also employed full time at a local business in town.

In 2010 Pegana Press finished printing Paris A Poem by Hope Mirrlees.  Fifty copies were sent to Ars Obscura in Seattle to be bound by master binder Joel Radcliffe, who provided us with the beautiful blue cloth binding with gold lettering and inset cover image designed for this edition by artist Brian Dunning.

But what became of the unbound copies?  Recently Mike decided to offer them in an alternate binding with newly printed paper covers in gray French Canson heavy stock paper with the original cover image printed in reflex blue ink.

I am hand sewing each with white linen thread using a Coptic stitch.  Then adding a touch of glue to add durability to the stitching.

You may find both editions of Paris A Poem by Hope Mirrlees, published by Pegana Press on our website.  We invite you to take a look.

Now I'll leave you with a quote from Paris A Poem.

The Seine, old egotist, meanders imperturbably to-
                                                          wards the sea,
Ruminating on weeds and rain...
   If through his sluggish watery sleep come dreams
      They are the blue ghosts of king-fishers.
--Hope Mirrlees

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Clark Ashton Smith: The Age Of Malygris

Mike has been working night and day on this book, and we are excited to announce that it's nearly finished.

The stories have been printed and the introduction is in the typesetting/printing process.  We will say more about the introduction in a future post.

This book will include two illustrations by Clark Ashton Smith and we hope to have it ready to release very soon, if all goes smoothly.

The Age Of Malygris This link will take you to the information on our website.  This "In Progress" page doesn't appear listed among our tabs, so follow this link for a contents listing and pre-order info.

We will continue to update the blog with tidbits as we get closer to the release of this book.

Until then, here is a quote from The Last Incantation.

...implacable he mused, while the sun of afternoon, declining on the city and on the sea that was beyond the city, smote with autumnal rays through the window of greenish-yellow glass, and touched his shrunken hands with its phantom gold, and fired  the balas-rubies of his rings till they burned like demonian eyes.

-- Clark Ashton Smith