Paolozzi at New Worlds

PrintA quick plug for David Brittain’s Eduardo Paolozzi at New Worlds: Science Fiction and Art in the Sixties, which arrived in the post shortly before Christmas.

Michael Moorcock, ‘A Twist in the Lines’, POPP.027Last year I published a limited edition of a new short story by novelist and former New Worlds editor Michael Moorcock, called A Twist in the Lines. It is a fantastic new Jerry Cornelius short, but also something of a tribute to Paolozzi, suggesting as it does that the central artistic pattern upon which the multiverse depends is Paolozzi’s iconic mosaic at Tottenham Court Road London Underground station. Given these connections, Savoy kindly suggested that we might do a swap.

I’m glad they did, because this is a great book; full of colour plates, essays, interviews and contextual information:

The book contains rare and unseen images from the archives of New Worlds and the Eduardo Paolozzi Foundation, including excerpts from what is thought to be an unpublished science-fiction novel by the artist. There are also new interviews about the magazine and its times with editor Moorcock, art editor Christopher Finch, designer Charles Platt, contributor Michael Butterworth, and critic John Clute.

The whole is beautifully designed by John Coulthart. There are also reproductions of all kinds of New Worlds ephemera, including some tantalizing thumbnails of J.G. Ballard’s ‘Project for a New Novel’, an incredible graphic work from the late 1950s, a shorter version of which is reproduced across a number of double-page spreads throughout New Worlds No. 213 from 1978.

Eduardo Paolozzi at New Worlds is published by Savoy to follow the Brittain-curated, 2012 exhibition of the same name at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections. Here is part of the blurb from the exhibition brochure:

Between 1967 and 1970 the British magazine, New Worlds aimed to widen the scope of what could be called science fiction by developing a rich visual culture that mirrored the world around it. Artists as well as writers became involved – including Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005) who produced his own radical science fiction in the form of graphic art.

Eduardo Paolozzi at New Worlds follows the 2009 publication of the similarly excellent Jet Age Compendium: Paolozzi at Ambit (Four Corners Books), also edited by Brittain. I am struggling to think of any contemporary equivalent here. Anyone? I can’t think of another artist whose work is so in tune with and so integral to the ethos and the identity of one literary magazine, let alone two.

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Eduardo Paolozzi at New Worlds
Publication: 16th December 2013
ISBN: 978-0-86130-128-7
Pages: 184
RRP: £17.00

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