Archive for January 31st, 2010

31
Jan
10

The Nursery Alice

The Nursery Alice by Lewis Carroll. Illustrations by Tenniel. Published by Godfrey Cave Associates Ltd, 1985.

Hardback first edition in this version: with dust jacket.

ISBN: 1850070512

First published in 1890 by Macmillan, 25 years after the original Alice, this is a shortened and simplified version of the story, adapted for younger readers by Carroll himself.

You can read the whole text here.

ONCE upon a time,  there was a little girl called Alice:  and she had a very curious dream.

Would you like to hear what it was that she dreamed about ?

Well,  this was the first thing that happened.   A White Rabbit came running by,  in a great hurry;  and,  just as it passed Alice,  it stopped,  and took its watch out of its pocket.

Wasn’t that a funny thing ?   Did you ever see a Rabbit that had a watch,  and a pocket to put it in ?   Of course,  when a Rabbit has a watch,  it must have a pocket to put it in:  it would never do to carry it about in its mouth—and it wants its hands sometimes,  to run about with.

Hasn’t it got pretty pink eyes (I think all White Rabbits have pink eyes);  and pink ears;  and a nice brown coat;  and you can just see its red pocket-handkerchief peeping out of its coat pocket:  and,  what with its blue neck-tie and its yellow waistcoat,  it really is very nicely dressed.

31
Jan
10

Automated Alice

Automated Alice by Jeff Noon.

Published 1996, Doubleday. First edition hardback. Dust jacket very faded at the top, as you can see from the scan.

In the book, Alice finds herself in 1998 Manchester when she enters an old grandfather clock, and soon becomes the prime suspect in the puzzling “Jigsaw Murders”. The automated Alice of the title is her doll Celia, who grows to life-size and becomes a sort of cyborg.

The jacket notes:

In the last years of his life, the fantasist Charles Dodgson wrote a third Alice book. This mysterious work was never published or shown to anybody. That’s not quite true. Automated Alice was written by Lewis Carroll, Lewis Carroll was the nom de plume of Charles Dodgson. No, that’s not even slighly true either. Automated Alice was written by Zenith O’Clock, the Writer of Wrongs. Oh dear that’s not at all right. This book was written by Jeff Noon. Zenith O’Clock is only a character invented by Jeff Noon. What Alice encounters in the automated future is mostly accidental; mutant hybrids, sinister gameplay, chaos theory, a robo-Alice, quantum physics, computermites, jigsaw killers, tickling vurt feathers, puzzle poems and an invisible cat called Quark.

Noon has said “I really felt Lewis Carroll was looking over my shoulder, correcting things, giving me ideas…Spooky!”




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