Recent Books

These titles were published in the last few years and are available from either Colombo & Company or The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box.

Early Earth / Denis Saurat
This work comprises the texts of two books, Atlantis and the Reign of the Giants and The Reign of the Giants and the Civilization of the Insects, written in the 1950s by the Anglo-French scholar and researcher Denis Saurat(1890-1958) and translated from the French by Toronto writer Linda Hilpold. Also included is an 8,000-word foreword contributed by John Robert Colombo, a biographical afterword by Harold Saurat, the author’s son, and eleven appendices about Saurat and his writings. His books chronicle events in the history of the Holocene during periods of reduced gravity due to collisions of Luna 1 and Luna 2 that were conducive to the growth of giant fauna and flora, including prehistoric giants. After reading Early Earth, the Moon will never look the same again!

Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, trade paperback, 5.5 x 8.5, illustrated, 348 pages, ISBN 1-55246-653-1. $40.00

All the Aphorisms of John Robert Colombo
Throughout his literary career, John Robert Colombo has observed human nature and written aphorisms. These have appeared in The Globe and Mail and in a series of limited editions published in the 1980s and 1990s. Now, for the first time, they have been collected and are presented here in an alphabetical arrangement that goes from “Abatement” to “Zero.” In the aphorist’s eyes, an aphorism is a stylish expression of a paradoxical truth, a wry observation, a sudden insight, an odd wordplay, a curious fact, or an idea given provocative expression. “A word may be a world.” “The remark outlasts the man.” “Sleep is a way of courting ‘recurrent oblivion.'” These are three instances of the more than 3,000 observations included in All the Aphorisms of John Robert Colombo.

Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, trade paperback, 5.5 x 8.5, 380 pages. $40.00

Autumn in August: Poems and Effects
For more than a decade, John Robert Colombo has issued poetry “annuals” which collect the “poems and effects” that he has composed the previous year. Here are the compositions written between January through December 2005. The 90 or so poems have unusual titles: The End of the World, Jean Cocteau Amazed, Prospero the Man, The Braden Beat, Thoughts on Albert Einstein, Gaston Miron, Warriors at Carnac, Impressions of the Buddha at the Guimet, At the Graveside of G.I. Gurdjieff, Paul Roazen, Again for bp Nichol, etc. Autumn in August is a most unusual collection from a most unusual poet.

Colombo & Company, QuasiBook Edition, 5.5 x 8.5, 71 pages, ISBN 1-894540-63-8. $25.00

Miniatures: An Anthology of Miniature Literary Compositions
This anthology, edited by John Robert Colombo, consists of some 300 short works of fiction, not one of which exceeds 50 words in length. In fact, the majority of these compositions are less lengthy than that, coming in at 40 words, 30 words, 20 words, 10 words, 1 word, and even 0 words! Reading this anthology is taking an excursion into other worlds with rapidly expanding boundaries that call into question the conventions of our consensual world. Some famous writers are represented, including Ernest Hemingway, John Cheever, Arthur C. Clarke, etc. Reading Miniatures is no minimalist experience. Reader, this is a book that will expand your reading and thinking horizons.

Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, 5.5 x 8.5, 188 pages, ISBN 1-5524-666-3. $40.00

The Penguin Dictionary of Popular Canadian Quotations
John Robert Colombo is nationally known as the Master Gatherer for his compilations of Canadiana. For the last thirty years he has been publishing “quote books” that document and in their idiosyncratic way dramatize the history and culture of the country. His latest publication in this series of seven (so far) is The Penguin Dictionary of Popular Canadian Quotations, which consists of approximately 5,000 pungent remarks made by Canadians about all subjects under the sun or by non-Canadians about this country and its people. Approximately 1,000 “notables with quotables” are included, and the quotations are alphabetically arranged by 750 topics. There is a comprehensive index of contributors. Who said people on welfare will spend their money on “beer and popcorn”? Who coined the influential phrase “evidence based medicine”? Who called Paul Martin “Mr. Dithers”?

Penguin Canada, trade paperback. Check their website for particulars.

A Is for Aphorism

This is the sixth collection in the book-length series of aphorisms composed and published by poet and anthologist John Robert Colombo. Here are 500 trenchant and tersely expressed observations and opinions about culture, men and women, war, etc. They range from Ability (“Ability does what one is willing to do. Talent does what ability finds hard. Genius does what talent finds impossible”) to Writing (“Writing is both righting and wronging”). Between these alphabetical extremes will be found cynical remarks (“Between fidelity and infidelity lies interest”) and lyrical utterances (“The infinitude of the stars reminds us of the finitude of man”).

Colombo & Company, QuasiBook Edition, ISBN 1-894540-58-1, 70 pages. $20.00

All the Poems of John Robert Colombo
Here is an astonishing collection of all the poems composed by John Robert Colombo, reprinted from over 40 books and publications issued between the years 1960 and 2005. There are over 2,500 poems here, with tables of contents and general index. This is an impressive and indispensable set of three, large-format books, folio-sized with double-columned pages, for all serious collectors of Canadian poetry and literature and for all public library and reference collections. Set of 3 books, trade paperbacks, folio sized, 8.5 x 11, 2-colour cover, 3-volume set, 924 pages.

Battered Silicon Dispatch Box: I/III – ISBN 1-55246-614-4 (v. 1) / II/III – ISBN 1-55246-613-2 (v. 2) / III/III – ISBN 1-55246-614-0 (v. 3) / Set of 3 volumes (not sold individually): $125

The Monster Book of Canadian Monsters
This is a scary collection! You will find in these over-sized pages close to 200 accounts of gripping encounters with windigos, sasquatches, ogopogos, and other creatures, beings, and entities that are said to inhabit Canada alongside us. These are told-as-true events and experiences–not works of fiction!–and they make thrilling and historically interesting reading. John Robert Colombo, “Canada’s Mr. Mystery,” collected them from old newspapers, periodicals, books, and correspondence.

Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, trade paperback, folio sized, 8.5 x 11, 304 pages, 4-colour cover, 5 illustrations, ISBN 1-55246-565-9. $40.00

O Rare Denis Saurat
This is the first critical study of the life and work of Denis Saurat (1890-1958). Saurat was head of the Department of French of King’s College London and director of the French Institute. He is remembered as the author of almost thirty books, including major studies of Milton, Blake, and Hugo. As author John Robert Colombo points out, Saurat concerned himself with the study of “the philosophical poets” and what he referred to as “the gods of the people.” He also wrote about such taboo subjects as “the rise and fall of Atlantis,” “the reign of the giants,” and “the civilization of the insects.” 40 illustrations. Bibliography. Index.

Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, trade paperback, 5.5 x 8.5, 7 illustrations, 442 pages, ISBN 1-55246-527-6. $40.00

The Denis Saurat Reader
Here are sixty excerpts from the books and articles of the Anglo-French scholar and critic Denis Saurat (1890-1958). Selected by John Robert Colombo, the author of 0 Rare Denis Saurat, they cover a wide range of subjects and topics, including the works of English and French writers, views of French society, the author’s work with Charles de Gaulle with the Free French in London during the Blitz, religion, and psychical research. In many ways Saurat was a precursor of New Age thought. Bibliography.

Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, trade paperback, 5.5 x 8.5, 3-colour cover, 7 illustrations, 332 pages, ISBN l-55246-607-8, $40.00

One Hundred Poems

What we have here is a selection of the poems written by John Robert Colombo between 1960 and 2000. The range of subjects is broad, indeed, from evocations of the stars of horror movies to expressions of awe at the sight of the stars in the heavens. Hugh Hood called Colombo “a unique and irreplaceable artist.” Proof is to be found in these pages.

Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, trade paperback, 5.5 x 8.5, 4-colour cover painting by Lawren Harris, 134 pages, ISBN 1-55246-526-8. $20.00

The Native Series

This is a most ambitious project: a boxed set of six books devoted to the lore and eloquence of the Inuit and the Indians of Canada compiled and annotated by John Robert Colombo. These titles, originally published by smaller presses in the 1990s, are now updated and being made available in an attractive series of books with covers designed by David Shaw. Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, trade paperbacks, 5.5 x 8.25, 4-colour covers. Total pages: 1,428. General index. Each volume is available separately, or $175 for the set of six.

1. “Songs of the Indians.” 1-55246-546-2. $40
2. “Poems of the Inuit.” 1-55246-547-0. $20
3. “The Mystery of the Shaking Tent.” 1-55246-548-9. $40
4. “Windigo.” 1-55246-549-7. $40
5. “Voices of Rama.” 1-55246-550-0. $30
6. “Songs of the Great Land.” 1-55246-551-9. $20

Algernon Blackwood’s Canadian Tales of Terror
This is a scary selection of the most gripping stories ever set in the Canadian wilderness. They were written by Algernon Blackwood (1869-1951), the master of English horror fiction, and are based on his experiences in Muskoka region of Ontario, the Lake of the Woods part of Manitoba, and the British Columbia Interior. Among the eight stories is his classic tale “The Wendigo.” Compiled with commentaries by noted anthologist John Robert Colombo, bibliographer of Blackwood’s Books.

Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, trade paperback, 5.5 x 8.5, 298 pages, ISBN 1-55246-605-1. $30.00

The Stephen Leacock Quote Book
“I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” “Women have taken over half a man’s world, and kept the whole of their own.” These are two of the hundreds of observations of human nature that flowed from the pen and the conversations of Stephen Leacock, Canada’s favourite humorist, the Sage of Mariposa. For this booklet, these “quotable quotes” have been collected by John Robert Colombo who has arranged them alphabetically under subjects ranging from Achievement to Writing.

Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, paper cover, saddle-stitched, 5.25 x 8.5, 76 pages, ISBN 1-55246-539-X. $20.00

To Take from Life
Here are the 87 poems written by John Robert Colombo during the calendar year 2004. The range is surprising – from meditations on trilobites to conceptions of the cosmos. They confirm the poet’s conviction that a poetic image or insight entertains as well as enlightens.

Colombo & Company, QuasiBook Edition, 5.5 x 8.5, 118 pages, ISBN 1-894540-24-7. $30.00

Colombo & Company
is the personal publishing imprint of author and anthologist John Robert Colombo. It specializes in releasing trade paperback editions and QuasiBook Editions of brand new and reprint titles, especially books of specialized interest. A QuasiBook is a photocopied text, coil bound, enclosed within clear plastic covers. Some titles are examples of mainstream Canadiana; others, instances of innovation and invention.

C&C is associated with The Battered Silicon Dispatch Box, the publishing house founded by George A. Vanderburgh in Shelburne, Ont., initially to reprint permanent editions of the popular pulp literature of the past, latterly to publish unusual Canadian titles, including books by Leacock, Buchan, and other notable authors. BSDB has specialized in the production of high-quality editions – clothbound books and paperbound books, all of them trade books with colour jackets or sturdy covers and all of them printed on demand. Certain C&C titles are available through both C&C and BSDB.

C&C’s Terms:

A discount of 10% is extended to wholesalers, libraries, and bookstores. Individual purchasers are requested to include full payment with order. To all Canadian orders, add 5% GST (No. R1224212 17). To all orders, for shipping and handling, add $5.00 first title ($2.00 thereafter). Invoiced orders: 30 days. Quantity discounts available. Make cheques or money orders payable to Colombo & Company.

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