Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy Durga Puja!

Stolen from Detective Comics #35, January 1940. 

I always wonder: is there much fiction written in Asian or African languages where the authors have used totally made-up European gods and religions and ethnic groups?  If anyone knows of such stuff, please to share your information.

While researching for Tamil Pulp Fiction Vol. II, we did find a Tamil pulp novel by Rajesh Kumar in which Coimbatore police detective Vivek solves a case of political intrigue in Coluba, a small independent island nation situated between the US and Canada... but that's the only example I know of so far.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Happy International Literacy Day!

You must learn to read and write
Then your mind will shine so bright
Just plain Love won't do for me
You must also learn your ABC!

Commemorate International Literacy Day by picking up a copy of Kumari Loves a Monster by Rashmi Ruth Devadasan & Shyam for that budding young reader in your life.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Coming soon -- "Stupid Guy Goes to India"

We're happy to announce that sometime in late 2011 or early 2012 we'll be releasing Yukichi Yamamatsu's 2008 non-fiction manga インドへ馬鹿がやって来た, in a new English translation by Kumar Sivasubramanian. 

It's the hilarious true story of Yukichi's first journey to India--his first trip out of Japan, knowing no English and no Indian language--and his slightly insane mission to introduce classic Samurai manga to Hindi readers, even if it meant sitting on a mat on the Delhi pavement and selling them himself.

Here's Bharath Murthy with a short strip about Yukichi.

Look alive there, boys! Keep your eyes peeled!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Tambu Main Bamboo Ke Baad

Hi all,

Wieden+ Kennedy in Delhi has a pretty fab-sounding exhibit of vintage A movie posters on until September 17th. If you're in Delhi, go check it out... read more here. (Apparently they are selling the posters from between Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 50,000. Gotta start collecting!)

If you like this sort of thing you may also dig Delhi Calm author and Pao Collective member Vishwajyoti Ghosh's superawesome postcard book Times New Roman & Countrymen, in which he uses bits and pieces of adult movie poster artwork along with the actual text of Delhi newspaper classified ads and a wide variety of other colourful things to make lovely images like these:

Buy the book here! Go retro! Send a friend a postcard!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

eBook release: Where Are You Going, You Monkeys?

Blaft Publications is proud to announce the release of Ki. Rajanarayanan's Where Are You Going, You Monkeys? -- Folktales from Tamil Nadu as an eBook.

The stories are expertly selected and translated from the definitive 2007 collection of Tamil folklore, நாட்டுப்புறக் கதைக் களஞ்சியம் (buy Tamil version here), by Pritham K. Chakravarthy, whose translation of Ki. Rajanarayanan's Sahitya Akademi award-winning novel Gopallapuram is also out from Penguin this month.  

The book also features some illustrations by Chennai-based artist Trotsky Marudu. Here's his picture of a bootham, a sort of shape-changing genie-like ghost:

You can buy the book from the Kindle Store or the NOOK store or Lulu.com. Or buy the physical book from here.

Here's what reviewers have said about the book:

Pritham Chakravarthy’s translation is breezy, occasionally wicked, but always urging you to read on. Folklore buffs will love this one and so will other general readers. -- R. Krithika, The Hindu
At a time when it’s fashionable to define 'Indian culture' as a fixed conservative entity, to squeeze tradition into an airtight box, these stories are essential reading. -- Jai Arjun Singh, Tehelka
This delightful collection fully lives up to - enhances - Blaft’s young but confident standing. -- Vijay Nambisan, The Deccan Herald

If you're not convinced to pick up a copy yet, check out this funny video of Ki. Rajanarayanan (affectionately known as Ki. Ra.) telling one of the stories that couldn't make it into the book as it has a visual element to it. Warning: Mature audiences only. :-)

Friday, July 15, 2011

New Kuzhali Manickavel story

Blaft Publications is proud to announce the release of 
a new short story 

Eating Sugar, Telling Lies

by Kuzhali Manickavel

Now available as an eChapbook
(a very short eBook)

"Eating Sugar, Telling Lies" starts like this:
The Thieving WhoreQueen was missing. Grey, runny bubbles leaked from a lump of wet clothes she had left on the washing stone. Her broom was propped under the stairs, handle down, the grass tip curled to an almost perfect circle.

To read the rest of this really good, powerful, hard-hitting story:
  • You can buy it here for $0.99 (about Rs. 45) and download in any of the following formats: EPUB, Sony reader (LRF), Kindle (MOBI), PDB, PDB, or RTF. (Should work with any credit or debit cards, including Indian ones.)
  • Or buy it here from the NOOK store (US or UK cards only.)
  • Or buy it here if you have a have a Kindle.
The eBook version of Kuzhali's 2008 collection, Insects Are Just Like You and Me Except Some of Them Have Wings, is also now available from Amazon, the NOOK store, and Lulu.com for US $4.99.

Also, in case you're not following it yet, there is lots more of Kuzhali's wonderful writing available at her blog: http://thirdworldghettovampire.blogspot.com/.


If you have any trouble buying or downloading, please contact us at blaft [at] blaft [dot] com for assistance.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fuming Furious Arrrgghh

Today was the first day at school of Sharmina, the 3-year-old daughter of one of our staff. She came to the office proudly showing off her brand new LKG school books, the "Little Pentagon" series published by Samba Publishers, Chennai.  I flipped through and found this gem.

The year is 2011.  It is 86 years since Periyar's self-respect movement; 64 years since Indian independence; 48 years since MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech. Can someone please tell me why the F*** we are still feeding our kids this crap?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Darya Ganj Sunday Book Market Scores

No dates on these...

Also from Kali Gufa, this may be the best ever horror novel back-cover author photo:

Friday, April 29, 2011

Successful Ibne Safi Kickoff! and other exciting news

We had a wonderful time in Delhi for last week's launch of four Jasusi Dunya novels by Ibne Safi, translated by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, and co-published by the good people at Tranquebar Press in India.  Buy them here!

We were all very happy that Ibne Safi's son, Ahmad Safi, was at the last minute able to get his visa and come from Karachi via Dubai to Delhi to attend the function--his first time visiting India.  Unfortunately, the authorities didn't let him leave Delhi to visit his father's native Allahabad... but it was great to have him at the launch, at least. (Also great to join him at Karim's the next day for a lunch worthy of the gluttonous Jasusi Dunya character Qasim. Om nom nom.)

Our illustrious translator, Shamsur Rahman Faruqi, was there at the launch too, as were a bunch of Safi family friends, avid Jasusi Dunya fans who knew the stories in and out, and assorted other cool people.  A big thanks to all who attended, and to all those who have been helping to spread the word about the books.


The Safi novels have also gone on sale as eBooks outside India... you can buy them for the Kindle from the Amazon store or in EPUB format from Lulu.com.  We think this makes Ibne Safi the second ever Urdu author, after Ghalib, to be available in translation in eBook format. We like to think Colonel Faridi would approve.

The Unstoppable Awesomeness of Kuzhali Manickavel 

In other news, Kuzhali Manickavel did an interview at Sepia Mutiny a couple of weeks back which was awesome 1) because it gave a nice little bump to US sales of her book and 2) because she managed to work in a link to the best song video in the history of the universe, which of course is "Dheega Dheega" from Suriyan Satta Kaloori, sung by the reigning goddess of Tamil folk song, Chinnaponnu (go out and buy all her CDs right now!!) with lyrics and music direction by Deva, and featuring the maddeningly beautiful Aarthi as the lead dancer. How we wish someone would upload a higher-res version. At least, you can read the lyrics.

For those of you who are saddened by the fact that Kuzhali is taking the month off from her fabulous blog, here is a happy rumour: a brand new Kuzhali story is set to go on sale as a special edition eChapbook early in May.

Miscellaneous Other Stuff

  • The Hindu's Bangalore edition did a nice write-up on Tamil pulp author Rajesh Kumar, who is probably the most prolific author in the world. Interesting story of the genesis of Rubella.
  • More Tamil pulp author achievements: writer duo Suba (a.k.a. Suresh and Balakrishna), who were featured in our first anthology, have written the screenplay to the new Tamil blockbuster film Ko, which has opened to good reviews.
  • Sarnath Banerjee stopped by Chennai last week to promote his new book (which is pretty great: read it) and was interviewed at the Blaft office by a guy who was nice enough to mention our dog twice in his article.  The bad guitar playing was my fault.
  • The April issue of the literary journal Asymptote is up--entirely devoted to translation--and there is lots of amazing stuff in it, like this trippy play by Han Lao Da.
  • Persevere.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ibne Safi Cover Art!

Here are the cover images for the four novels by Ibne Safi we'll be releasing on April 22nd at the Habitat Centre in Delhi:

The paintings in the middle are the original 1950s Allahabad edition covers by Siddiqui Artist.

We'll also be releasing a new "popular edition" (= slightly smaller and cheaper) version of The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction Vol. I.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bizarre Kid's Clothing Slogans, pt. II

Seen in a t-shirt shop in Sivakasi.  Sort of kicking ourselves for not buying these.


So Awesome!  Tough Jeansmix!

In other news: Many people are asking us when the Ibne Safi books are coming out. The answer is: April. Really truly, this time we mean it. We will be announcing the launch here very soon!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why aren't more people into the Fighter Toads?

This question has baffled me for two years now, since I first learned of their existence.

TMNT move over!  This is the back cover of an old issue where Masterr, Cutterr, Shooterr, and Computerr take on The Disco Thief, who hypnotizes people at discos with a hat made out of fancy lights, and makes them go to their homes in a trance to get their expensive jewellery and bring it back to him.  Michael Jackson and Prabhu Deva make guest appearances.

Check out more at the Raj Comics website.