Good Omens - The Occult Edition Review
First off, the book is joyfully huge! At 23 by 30 cm, the pages have about double the area of even the large standard and slipcased ‘Definitive’ editions. However, despite the large size it is still comfortably readable. Just.
The book is published by Dunmanifestin and was originally available through Discworld.com and via the artist’s website at PaulKidby.com before selling out in early 2020. Original retail price was £95.
The book comes in a red and black clamshell case, complete with ribbon pull so that you can easily remove it from the box. The cover is beautifully foiled and prominently features the batwing hourglass design.
For those of you who don’t know, this design was actually discovered by Terry and Neil during an author’s photo shoot when the book was first published in 1990. The shoot took place in Kensal Green Cemetery in London. After the shoot, they specifically requested that the carved bat-winged hourglass you can see above their heads be used as a design motif in the book.
The case is covered in an imitation snake-skin textured material, with red edges and made to look like a book itself. The book has metallic red crackling on the cover, and it is sturdily put together with a strong smyth-sewn binding, slightly more delicate red-foiled edges, and a sewn-in black ribbon bookmark.
There is a double frontispiece featuring framed full-body portraits of Aziraphale and Crowley. The tip-in title page is also foiled, and each edition is hand-numbered and signed by the artist Paul Kidby. The Occult edition is limited to 1655 copies, 1655 being of course the year that Agnes Nutter recorded her Nice and Accurate Prophecies. This adherence to special numbers is followed through with the other limited format editions in this series: the Ineffable edition – which has a fancier box, comes with a separate folio of ephemera and is also signed by Neil Gaiman is limited to 666 copies – while the ultra-limited Celestial edition for which there are only 24 copies is somewhat humorously priced at £6,666.
Other Good Omens Editions
The Ineffable Edition – similar to the occult edition but with gold accents, a fancier box, and comes with a separate folio of ephemera. It is additionally signed by Neil Gaiman, and is limited to 666 copies.
Retail price was £295 before selling out in late 2019.
The Celestial Edition – A work of art. The leather-bound hardback book features metal corner pieces and gold foil page edges, contained in a burr oak presentation box with winged brass hourglass inlays. 17 colour illustrations with additional pencil images. Each copy individually hand-printed and bound by specialists in the UK. The tipped-in sheets, with each book and its unique box corresponding to a letter of the Greek alphabet, are signed by Neil Gaiman & Paul Kidby. A separate folio of Good Omens ephemera is included in a secret compartment inside the box. Further bounty includes a hardbound copy of William the Antichrist, the first inception of the Good Omens story written by Neil Gaiman over 30 years ago.
Other Fun & Fancy Editions
Illustrated Good Omens: Signed Limited Edition with Slipcase
Gollancz, May 2019
Slipcase hardback with 12 colour illustrations and 5 black and white images, as well as red sprayed page edges. Numbered tipped-in sheet signed by Paul Kidby. Same text as Occult edition reviewed above, but slightly lower production quality (glued binding, fewer drawings, smaller size).
Good Omens: Discworld Hardback Library
Gollancz, Mar 2014
This is part of a series of Terry’s Discworld books begun by Gollancz, and continued by Penguin Random House. The embossed canvas-effect covers cover illustrations are all by Joe McLaren and they feature metallic foil detailing.
Published by Hill House, 2004.
A script based on the Good Omens novel written by Gaiman but originally developed with Terry Pratchett. 146pp.
Published exclusively for the members of the Neil Gaiman Preferred Edition Series. Bright blue cloth stamped in silver on the front panel and the spine panel. Signed and numbered edition of 500 copies, and lettered edition limited to 52 copies in a clamshell box.
Bonus update 2020:
Guards! Guards! (Discworld) – Terry Pratchett, illustrated by Paul Kidby
Gollancz, November 12, 2020
Features: 10 full-colour illustrations and further pencil drawings. Limited edition is slipcased and signed by the illustrator. The deluxe edition is foil-embossed with metallic gold page edges, has a signed (by the artist) numbered tip-in sheet, and is presented in a “dragon-skin” solander box also containing an eclectic folio of ephemera.
➡ Buy Guards! Guards! standard illustrated edition from Book Depository | Amazon (UK)
➡ Buy Guards! Guards! slipcased illustrated edition from Book Depository | Amazon (UK)
➡ Buy Guards! Guards! deluxe illustrated edition from Paul Kidby (due March 25, 2021)