About

What Atomic Fez Publishes

Good books.

You know, the ones that aren't "bad". Other publishers can publish those ones.

Many many years ago — before the age of the iPod and the MP3 — the story goes that Duke Ellington said there are only two different kinds of music: 'good' and 'bad'. Everything else used to describe the sort of music can be sometimes helpful, but isn't important.

These days, the same thing applies. If you ask a band what sort of music they play, you'll get a shopping list of influences. Here's some actual text from eMusic about the artist "Dexter":

One could argue that a world which for the last 20 years has allowed an artist like Dex(ter) Romweber to rave on in relative obscurity doesn't deserve him. All one can do, then, is just thank providence that he continues to buck trends and do what he does — namely, put his idiosyncratic rock / roll / surf / country / pop / folk stamp on everything he touches.

So… what part of the record store do you find him in, then?

Books, let's face it, have been in the same situation as music for some time now: rarely are they of one specific genre or variety of content. Even if there is a dominant type, it's likely either a mis-understood one like "horror" (which can be anything from Edgar Allan Poe, to Albert Camus, to any of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's non-Holmes stories), or it's a category saddled with an imprecise, all-encompassing term such as "mystery", which basically states that there's something which needs to be discovered by the end of the story, and any tale that doesn't have that at its core may not have a lot going for it already.

Girls who read books are smarter than boys who build thingsNo one listens to one variety of music exclusively, nor does anyone read any one style of book to the avoidance of others. Likewise, Atomic Fez was created to make available the books which are 'good', which are worth spending whatever time and money you have to read them, and which free you to dive-in without any pre-conceived notions of what they'll be like before doing so.

The books available from Atomic Fez are not selected because they don't fit specific markets, but are chosen despite the fact that other publishers have declared them 'tough to market'. This is, at its roots, a business after all; no one's actively trying to make their job tougher that it already is selling books. That said, the best recommendation a book can get is probably "you gotta read this, it's awesome! I'm not going to tell you anything more; just read it, okay?"

The books Atomic Fez publishes will, hopefully, engender just such a reaction in you and others.

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