Back in the 1980s, the giant German sf publisher Heyne tried out an experimental partnership with a soup company Maggi (they're still around), and it was bonkers.
Under the terms of the deal, science fiction novels would be periodically interrupted by scenes in which the characters would drop everything and start eating Maggi soups, smacking their lips and exclaiming over just how delicious they were.
But to keep readers from confusing the soup ads with the novels, these scenes would be set in different type and set off with other weird textual flourishes.
To German sf fans of a certain vintage, these Maggi ads are legendary: I first heard tell of them from Tim Powers, who told me how he'd been leafing through a German edition of one of his books and discovered this weird stuff and asked a German fan about it and been told, "Oh, those are the soup ads, of course!"
Heyne publishes some of my German editions, including the forthcoming German edition of Unauthorized Bread, and the editors I've spoken to there all seem weirdly proud but embarrassed by the soup ads (I'm sure there's a long German compound word to describe this emotion). I think they should do an anthology of these weird, food-oriented fanfic short stories.
Here are the soup ads from William Gibson's Count Zero, the sequel to his seminal novel Neuromancer. For reasons no doubt lost to history, this book was called "Biochips" in German, and boy, did it have a hell of a cover!
Amaze, an illuminating and informative guide to designing magical experiences, has finally been published in English! Written by my pal and Boing Boing contributor Ferdinando Buscema and inventive designer/writer Mariano Tomatis, Amaze (“L’arte Di Stupire” in Italian) is not a book of tricks but rather a primer on “thinking like a magician.” Here is what […]
Unhinged Trump tweets in three, two, one… A judge on Monday released Mary L. Trump, PhD from a gag order.
In 2012, I was given the privilege of performing my high school ska-punk hit song “Adam Wants A Blowjob” during a performance of Mortified in Brookline, Massachusetts. Mortified is a gloriously hilarious and cathartic evening of performance, wherein people perform excerpts from their actual, real-life high school and college journaling and other writing. It’s embarrassing; it’s touching; […]
If you want swole arms cut like tree trunks, you start savaging the curl bars. If you want to sculpt a tight, firm core, you have lots of planking and bridges in your future. So what do you do if you want to knock out that double chin? Or put a little added definition into […]
Considering the state of our world, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise to find lots and lots of people pushed to their breaking point. Anxiety and stress are often constant companions during the best of times. But now, with fear and frustration running rampant, it’s easy to be subsumed by all the distractions and […]
Most of us aren’t constantly beset by poor posture. But all it takes is some subtle misalignment while you’re doing serious hours behind the wheel driving or working away at a desk to do a real number on your back. In fact, most of us are so unaware of the mechanics of good posture that […]