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Roadside Picnic (Limited Edition)
Illustrated by Dave McKean
Introduced by Dave McKean
Foreword by Ursula K. Le Guin
Afterword by Boris Strugatsky
Translated by Olena Bormashenko
Limited to 600 hand-numbered copies
The Strugatsky Brothers’ science fiction mastery meets David McKean’s phenomenal artistic talent in this new Folio limited edition. Introduced and signed by the artist, and limited to just 600 copies, this is a stunning issue of Roadside Picnic.
‘Brilliantly and beautifully written . . . a truly superb work of science fiction.’
- Infinity Plus
Years after the aliens have been and gone, six landing sites, or Zones, around the world still contain the mysterious remnants of the visitation. Toxic wastelands of unimaginable terror, they hold dangerous artefacts and silvery threads of death that compel the straight-talking stalker, Redrick Shuhart, to keep coming back, his life dominated by the black-market trade in alien products. First published in 1972 from behind the Iron Curtain, the Strugatsky Brothers’ Roadside Picnic became a globally revered sci-fi classic and inspired the Andrei Tarkovsky film Stalker.
Award-winning illustrator Dave McKean describes the creative process in his exclusive new introduction: ‘Visualizing this place is in some ways like trying to bottle magnetism.’ Incredibly, this is precisely what McKean has achieved: from subtle nods to 1970s graphics and unnerving topographical renderings, to the arresting painterly illustrations of terrifying visits into the Zone, McKean’s arresting artwork is a startling vision of a bleak world.
Limited to just 600 hand-numbered copies, each signed by Dave McKean, this ultimate edition is a tribute to the Strugatskys’ masterpiece. Also included is an exclusive original print (created by McKean using elements from AI generated illustrations) and four prints with designs by the artist, as well as a spectacular lenticular slipcase that creates a mind-bending optical illusion as the book is removed, recalling the shimmering air of the Zone.
An edition that is not limited is available here.
Bound in blocked and printed cloth
Set in PT Serif Pro and Filth of Icarus
240 pages printed in dark green ink with integrated illustrations
7 double-page spread colour illustrations, including one double-sided fold-out
Cold-foiled and printed endpapers
Digitally printed page edges
Blocked cloth slipcase with a printed lenticular panel in a die-cut shape
Folder with separate print, 4 prints of cover and slipcase designs from the unnumbered edition, and numbered limitation page signed by the artist
10˝ x 6¼˝
Illustrating the Strugatsky brothers’ work was a lifetime ambition for award-winning illustrator Dave McKean. ‘I first visited the Zone in art school. Before then, I didn’t feel the warp of time and reality that art can achieve […] my childhood kicks were all sitting on the surface of normality.’ McKean’s love for the novel is obvious, as he draws the reader into the strange topography of the Zones and their enigmatic artefacts. Seven double-page illustrations, including a double-sided fold-out, reveal his startling vision, and the design on the foil-printed endpapers is a beguiling interpretation of the mythical Golden Sphere – a recurring obsession in this dystopian tale. McKean’s exclusive new introduction contextualises his artwork: ‘I’m not surprised Roadside Picnic and the film it seeded, Stalker, have become talismanic artifacts for some of us, some seekers, psychogeographers, and creators. It crystalizes the creative act, of visiting a place where the laws of physics and rationality are unreliable.’
‘The picnickers have gone; the pack rats, wary but curious, approach the crumpled bits of cellophane, the glittering pull tabs from beer cans, and try to carry them home to their holes.’
- Ursula K. Le Guin
A mind-bending, hugely influential cult classic, Roadside Picnic is a unique take on a ‘first contact’ story. Featuring Ursula K. Le Guin’s compelling 2012 foreword and a fascinating new introduction by illustrator Dave McKean, this incredible limited edition cements the book’s cult status. Boris Strugatsky’s afterword provides an insight into the novel’s complicated censorship history, defending ‘vulgarisms and slang expressions’, and reveals how lucky we are that this original version remains intact. A stark exploration of a potential post-capitalist society and a hard-eyed look at our place in the universe, it’s as relevant today as when first published.
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