Neil Gaiman: If You Read This Book The World Will End

Source: The Hypothetical Library. (C) 2010 Charles Orr

Source: The Hypothetical Library. (C) 2010 Charles Orr

Such a cool idea: a graphic designer’s site with cover art for imaginary books. Neil Gaiman obviously likes it too as he’s submitted a title to designer Charles Orr, and this is the result:

Mr. Gaiman provided a very different kind of proposal. Here it is as I received it.

“The trouble with imagining a book I would never write is that when I think of it, I think ‘but I could WRITE that…’

So it would have to be a book of books I would never write. A book of ideas I would never have. A book of things I would never do in prose or in fiction. A book of things that should have remained unwritten, fragments and dreams and moments. Secrets too terrible to be learned. Things that would destroy me if I knew them, or hurt my friends. It would contain the secret name of God, and tell you how to pronounce that name.

It would be called IF YOU READ THIS BOOK THE WORLD WILL END.”

At first I thought this email was a cleverly worded rejection note, but after the second reading I took it to be what it was—a challenge. How do you design a cover for a book that should never be read?…

[more at The Hypothetical Library]

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  • 5by5

    This will sell like hotcakes to the Rapture crowd. Tell them it will destroy the planet, and they'll run to get the bolt cutters. Hell, if they have to, they'll gnaw at it like a leg in a bear trap.

    • Spooky

      I've never really understood that mentality, considering the whole “no man shall know the time of return” bit that their book runs on.

  • tonyviner

    I am not a huge fan of the 3D movement that has begun taking over, I saw a demo and it was cool, but I just don't have the time for these things. However, after seeing what a wonderful job Gaiman and Dave McKean did on MirrorMask I would love to see what they could do with some really advanced 3D technology at their disposal.

  • Spooky

    I’ve never really understood that mentality, considering the whole “no man shall know the time of return” bit that their book runs on.

  • Spooky

    I've never really understood that mentality, considering the whole “no man shall know the time of return” bit that their book runs on.

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