‘Not-so-bestsellers’ are novels that didn’t sell very well. These include Lady Chatterley’s Friend by D H Lawrence and Two Days of Tea-Drinking by the Marquis de Sade.
Why did Lady Chatterly friend-zone her gamekeeper? Without torrid sex, did Lady Chatterly resort to self-stimulation? Or is the alternate history novel PG-rated? And if they’re just friends, do they still explore issues of class inequity?
And what historic differences changed 120 Days of Sodom into Two Days of Tea-Drinking?
Other not-so-bestseller lists include The Triassic–Jurassic Extinction Event, Clan of the Meer Kat, Pan’s Maze, A Game of Chairs, and Drizzle Dancer.
The backstory behind these silly illos
Ian Gunn, creator of these silly illos (illustrations), was an award-winning artist based in Melbourne, Australia. Cancer took him too soon. But his legacy includes numerous illustrations for zines, books and even school textbooks.
Victoria’s science fiction convention, Continuum, occasionally presents the Ian Gunn Memorial Award recognising the ‘unsung heroes’ of fandom. Recipients work in obscurity for years without recognition. This award commemorates Ian’s selfless efforts to reach out to others, encouraging others and thereby building the science fiction community.
K’rin Pender-Gunn, Ian’s widow, gave Dark Matter Zine permission to republish Ian’s artwork. Thanks, K’rin!