Selected Scenes from the End of the World
Custom Collector's Edition (CCE)

Published by:

ISBN: none
Edition size: 175 numbered
MSRP: $75.00 - $135.00 (see below)



Another production that frustrates. The Custom Collector's Edition was something of an experiment for Delirium. This title had already enjoyed a regular numbered and lettered run, but due to the increasing demand for Risingverse material, it was revisited with a spin. Purchasers could customize their own editions with four optional features. A rather novel idea (no pun intended), but a somewhat problematic one for this webmaster.

Delirium gave purchasers their choice of the following enhancements (my thanks to kresby for the price breakouts, as Delirium's order page is no longer up):

Each option selected added to the $75.00 base price of the book. As you can see, choosing all four tacked on an additional $60.00 to that price, topping the MSRP out at $135.00.

I have several beefs with this production:

  1. Delirium required full prepayment up-front. My invoice was dated March of 2007 and I received the book in January of 2008.
  2. The high base price of $75 for a book that would have enjoyed NONE of the preceding amenities (including no slipcase).
  3. The page count is pretty low for $75 (less than 225).
  4. According to the solicitation, it is NOT leather-bound (Delirium reserves leather for their lettered and ultra lines).
  5. Despite the solicitation, no dustjacket was included, decreasing the overall value-for-money and making the book that much harder to Brodart.
  6. The purchaser's name is printed on a second signature sheet bound in the front matter of the book. This makes it personalized and, effectively, NON-flatsigned. This was done, in the publisher's words, " help to keep these editions off the secondary market at extremely inflated prices." My question is - why should the publisher care if I decide to auction it off and try to make a small killing on eBay? That's part of the collecting game and was not in the best interest of the consumer.
  7. Because each book was customizable, should they ever appear on auction sites or online bookstores, potential buyers are going to have to be extremely careful that they know EXACTLY what they're getting from such secondary sources. For example, if an interested party wanted a book with every feature and was made the proper assurances, but was sold one without the marbled endsheets or bookmark, a lot of disappointment and FUD could follow. The converse is also true - if a buyer didn't already know that these features were optional, he or she would not become aware of this until reading the production notes (pages 223-224). Whereas if these would've come automatic, such confusion could never happen.
  8. The book lacks a certain "pop" that's hard to finger. A more ornate limitation page, better paper, non-repetitive designs, a plate or two, fancier layout, or even just more pages would've helped (I still think I'm owed a dustjacket).

Am I happy I paid for the entire feature-set? For the most part, yes, although it resulted in almost doubling the base price, which gives me pause. Since I did commit to a purchase, I would not have been content to leave out this or that enhancement. It's a real mystery to me why someone would buy this book and omit anything, especially the slipcase. However, only 99 copies were apparently produced with all four options (mine being one of those 99). Indeed, 24 were commissioned with NO options, which, to me, is perplexing.

I was afraid I might be ultimately dissatisfied with this production, as I had seen other Delirium limiteds and they didn't strike a chord with me. However, I'm told Delirium books are something of an acquired taste. I will say that, except for the first few pages which "feel" a little rough, the book IS handsomely bound, solidly manufactured, and should survive the abuse of many moves and examinations.

Please note that, as with any entry on here for which I'm highly critical, I have a standing invitation for anyone to send me a counter-review. If you think I was unjustly harsh or unfair, I'll be more than happy to construct an opposing page with YOUR pics and words of praise.

Okay, I know you're probably sick of my rantings, so on with the pics!

- N U M B E R E D -

The front of the slipcase and the first optional feature. The silver foil stamping is very crisp and readable.

The slipcase spine. Again, very readable stamping.

And the back. I think Delirium should've put their website url here.

The front of the book, the stamping identical to that of the slipcase. A different design would've been nice, either here or on the slipcase.

And the spine. Good, clear stamping.

And the back of the book.

A close-up of the binding employed along with the embedded ribbon marker. The marker was another optional add-on.

The front marbled endsheets, the third optional enhancement.

And the frontispiece, the final optional feature one could purchase.

I suspect this single page will greatly diminish the potential resale value on the secondary market. Perhaps this was a neat idea in theory, but not necessarily in practice.

The limitation page. Pretty plain, which again reuses the layout from the slipcase and book face. A different design would've been nice, perhaps by commissioning Alan Clark to do an illustration specifically for this edition.

The copyright page. This is stated to be a first edition, but readers should be aware that lettered and numbered versions preceded this edition.

The dedication page. If you've been around the small press horror community for awhile, you should recognize some of these names.

The table of contents along with a listing of popular books by Brian Keene.

Pages 88 & 89, showing the font used, size, spacing, and margins.

Pages 144 & 145, displaying the embedded ribbon marker.

Now this must've been a pain to compile. The first of two pages listing the total amounts of the permutations eventually produced based on the optional features offered.

And the second Production Notes page. A total of 17 permutations were possible (4^2 + 1).