Attendees appreciated the absurdity of it all. A screening of The Epic of the MERCANARY™ invited wonder, awe, and laughs as supporters arrived. The opening act was a poetry “reading” by the enigmatic Snake, I’s, which left the crowd speechless yet smiling. Next, Nicholas Morine’s reading of “Johnny Cobra & the Cerebral Crucible” set the stage for heart-pounding adventure. You can read that story and more of his short fiction that cuts deeply in Steel Sarcophagus. Finally, David Reynolds read excerpts from The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™. Teasing tidbits and side-stepping spoilers, he provided a prophetic preview of his debut novel — this gonzo picaresque tale — A Sells-Word’s Story.
MERCANARY™, a sells-word inspired by a typo, is a metafictional hero who’s been drafted for lit’s sake on land, sea, and air. His mission? Word.
David Reynolds hasn’t won any awards for his creative writing, but his most shocking anecdote has won him more beer than he could possibly ever drink. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, where he teaches English at Atlantic Canada’s largest university.
In the words of the author: “This is a gonzo picaresque novel. It’s a work of intermedial metafiction. It’s a cautionary tale. It’s a sob story. It’s a farcical melodrama. It is high art. It adapts a ‘zine of poetry and adventure. It adapts a memeoem, which is literally a new poetic art form that I invented for this. It is the culmination of my life’s work in literature. It’s ballsy and hubristic and vulnerable all at once. The protagonist is an anti-hero. The sidekick is really something else. The odds are against them, but they’re in this to win it. Together, they make things weird. Well, this thing is certainly weird.”
We wish to thank everyone who came to the launch and purchased a book. People like you make this all worthwhile.
The author expresses his deepest thanks to his family and friends for their love and support throughout the writing process.
He thanks everyone who purchased a copy of the original ‘zine
He also thanks everyone who purchased items from his childhood collection of treasures to help fund this print run of books.
Order copies of The Marvelous Saga of the MERCANARY™ as print and Kindle editions here.
Indeed, as the gift-giving season approaches, consider how those you love might love to receive one of our books!
What’s that you say? “Shut up about the holidays; it’s too early for all that now,” you say. Well, with online ordering you have to think about shipping and potential delays, and we wouldn’t want anything to come between your loved ones and the Problematic Press title(s) they have their hearts set on!
So, no matter what you choose to celebrate or refuse to celebrate, Problematic Press has a special little something for your special little someone!
Subtle and charming, bright and playful, The True Story of the Three Billy Goats Gruff: The Troll’s Side of the Story reimagines the classic tale to reflect on the perspective of the kind troll who falls prey to the prejudice of the eldest goat Gruff. Illustrations by Myles Reichel give this tale life. Plus, this edition also includes Sir George Webbe Dasent‘s translation of the classic folktale. This book is best suited for adults reading to young children, for early readers, and for all of us children-at-heart.
Deep beneath the scarred and scorched surface of the Earth, the last of us remain.
The Cavern is deep, dark, and damp. The city is busy, expansive, industrious. Technology has been salvaged, scavenged from the surface, and repurposed to a new fashion. Survival comes in the form of the shunt, drilled deep into the skull. A device that takes all the pain away, and lays it on the shoulders of one poor soul.
The Sufferer. An old man, dying beneath the tree of tears. And when his heart breaks, it will spell doom for us all.
Nicholas Morine was born and raised in Gaspereau, Nova Scotia. Words are his livelihood. He has written many words on a range of subjects, from tech to fashion. Having returned to Nova Scotia, he continues to write non-fiction and fiction. Montag Press published his debut novel, Punish the Wicked: A Dystopian Horror. Problematic Press is proud to present Cavern: City in the Dark, his second novel.
And, his work is quite impressive. Containing original poetry as well as his translations of pieces by John Owen and Francois Rabelais, Quodlibets reflects on thieves and knaves, good wives and whores, as well as the untamed beauty of Newfoundland. Hayman’s poetry exposes his love for Newfoundland, inviting the adventurous and hopeful to settle this rock. The language for this edition has been updated by David Reynolds to facilitate reading for modern audiences yet preserve the poetic voice of the author.
While playing a silly game, four bored yachtsmen find a mysterious copper cylinder bobbing along the sea. They soon discover the briny cylinder contains a massive script, a journal of sorts, detailing the adventures of Adam More, a sailor lost at sea. Examining the script reveals More’s incredible story of drifting across the ocean, sailing to lost lands, encountering giant beasts, and meeting truly peculiar people. This satirical tale is sure to entertain!
De Mille was a Canadian scholar and author. He pioneered Canadian science fiction and fantasy with his masterpiece, A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder. De Mille had many lofty goals for his fantastic satire, and he struggled to accommodate all of them, leaving the denouement somewhat abrupt in his ultimate manuscript. Nevertheless, what remains is a thought-provoking tale of absurd wonder that seeks to challenge our most deeply held values. The story was first published posthumously as a serial by Harper’s Weekly in 1888, eight years after the author’s death.
The Problematic Press edition of James De Mille’s A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder features a Foreword and Annotations by David Reynolds. Reynolds briefly introduces the author and the novel while his end notes reflect on interesting elements of the text and reference scholarly works.
Vester Vade Mecum: A Collection of Short Fiction is a collection to delight educators and pupils alike. It contains a variety of important short works of English literature, featuring authors such as Mary Shelley, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Louisa May Alcott, Oscar Wilde, Arthur Conan Doyle, Pauline Hopkins, Stephen Leacock, Howard Phillips Lovecraft, and others. Edited by David Reynolds, the text contains contextual information about each author and story as well as questions to provoke critical reflection.
Vester Vade Mecum is a Latin phrase that means “you go with me.” As the title of this textbook, that phrase carries multiple meanings. It indicates that this is a manual that mindful students will carry with them in their studies. In relation to the enduring nature of great stories, the title alludes that these are tales we often recall in our own reflections. In relation to the nature of storytelling, it suggests how the author leads the reader along their journey.
Superheroes: An Analysis of Popular Culture’s Modern Myths by David Reynolds is a semiotic and cultural anthropological interrogation of popular North American superhero narratives, such as those of Superman, Spider-Man, and Batman, that provides insight into how media’s messages influence the culture’s ethical values. Since emerging in the late 1930s, the superhero has become a pervasive figure in North American popular culture. As an extension of ideas presented by Friedrich Nietzsche, Joseph Campbell, and Umberto Eco, this dissertation argues that superhero tales must be regarded as modern mythology. It follows that people observe and learn social norms of justice from such narratives, since these ideals are intrinsic to the tales. In investigating the superhero’s role as a contemporary figure of myth, this project focuses primarily on three areas: an account of the history of the superhero from 1938 to present; an examination of the cultural functions of contemporary superhero narratives; and, an interrogation of vigilantism, responsibility, and justice in these narratives and how those concerns further relate to ideologies and practices in North American culture.
If you aren’t in the St. John’s region of Newfoundland and Labrador, then you can find print and Kindle copies of our titles online from the Problematic Press Shops (CAN and US). Otherwise, you might find us pushing books with a table at the St. John’s Farmers’ Market. We hope to see you there!
From all of us at Problematic Press to all of you, we hope your holiday season is full of joy and merriment… and reading!