Cold Iron & Rowan-Wood

November 30, 2010

Jekkara Press

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Sam @ 2:21 am

I recently got hold of an Android phone, so of course I’ve been looking through the free SF&F ebooks available. There are some really good ones available, and if I scrape up the time I’ll post some recs, but I also found something very odd which I need to post about.

To wit: Jekkara Press, and their gender-switched reissues of classic SF, fantasy, and adventure books. (All out of copyright; they seem to be using texts available through Project Gutenberg.)

In The Three Musketeers For All, by Alexandra Dumas, d’Artagnyn, Athys, Porthys, and Aramys battle the minions of the Duchess de Richelieu and serve Queen Louise XIII. Cathan L. Moore writes about Norawest Smith, and Joanna Harker is the guest of Countess Dracula in Brandy Stoker’s Dracula Refanged.

I’d normally approve wholeheartedly of what they’re doing, but there are a few problems with it. First, they’re straightforward search & replace jobs, and sloppy ones at that—M. d’Artagnan becomes M. d’Artagnyn, rather than Mlle d’Artagnyn. Some compounded terms (godfather, churchman) are left alone, but on one occasion a “nice” gadget becomes a “nephew” one. In one particularly humourous example, the Countess Dracula is described thus:

Within, stood a tall old woman, clean shaven save for a long white moustache, and clad in black from head to foot, without a single speck of colour about her anywhere.

Second, at least one of their books is by a living author—Harry Harrison—and though it’s entirely legal as far as I can tell, it seems a bit much.

Thirdly, many of the cover images are inappropriately pornographic. Not only is this annoying and offensive in itself, but rather ruins the general subversiveness.

It was a nice idea, but the publisher could have done so much better a job.

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