The Folio Society: Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker illustrated by Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake has illustrated The Folio Society’s edition of Riddley Walker

Featured image: Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban The Folio Society edition 2017

Some very exciting news has come out of The Folio Society today, as they’ve announced a new illustrated edition of Russell Hoban’s Riddley Walker, which has been illustrated by the great Quentin Blake.

Illustration by Quentin Blake from The Folio Society edition of Riddley Walker ©Quentin Blake 2017

The edition is limited to 1000 copies, each of which has been signed and numbered by Blake, and the edition also includes a postscript by Dr Rowan Williams.

With such a limited run, fans of Hoban’s classic will want to act on this very quickly, and Blake’s specially commissioned illustrations are gorgeous.

Illustration by Quentin Blake from The Folio Society edition of Riddley Walker ©Quentin Blake 2017

Here’s the full press release from The Folio Society:

“Walker is my name and I am the same. Riddley Walker. Walking my riddels where ever theyve took me and walking them now on this paper the same.”

Riddley Walker is Russell Hoban’s genre-defying masterpiece. A free-wheeling road-novel it is set in post-apocalyptic Kent, 2,500 years after a nuclear catastrophe has plunged England back into a second Iron Age. The survivors huddle in fenced settlements, packs of killer dogs roam the countryside and the rudimentary government communicates its policies through travelling puppet shows. This is a world where the ruins of Canterbury Cathedral are misinterpreted as the remains of a power station, and a post-nuclear mutant incarnation of the Archbishop might just know the secret of nuclear fission.

As well as being signed and numbered by the artist, this new edition, limited to 1,000 copies, includes ‘Acknowledgements’, ‘Afterword’, ‘Notes’ and ‘Glossary’ by Russell Hoban. Quentin Blake has contributed a new essay ‘Draw is a intersting word’ and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has written a specially commissioned postscript ‘Myth and “knowledging” in Riddley Walker’.

Perhaps the most distinctive and rewarding feature of this book is ‘Riddleyspeak’; a fractured phonetic version of English where words have been worn down and broken apart to develop multiple meanings. Although the language is unfamiliar at first, it reveals its meaning surprisingly easily.  This edition includes Russell Hoban’s ‘A Short Guide to Riddleyspeak’.

As it approaches its fortieth anniversary, Riddley Walker is as fresh and challenging as ever – a book that feels as though it was written both in the distant past and also far in the future, that remains timely and timeless.”

Illustration by Quentin Blake from The Folio Society edition of Riddley Walker ©Quentin Blake 2017

For more information, visit

Pick up the new issue of SciFiNow for a look at The Folio Society’s edition of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, illustrated by Dave McKean.