Shipping Information

My printer informs me that the books will be packed and shipped from Milan to Virginia during next week, that is, the week of May 3rd. Some books to the EU may be shipped directly from Milan, another cost check is happening. The others come to Virginia first, then out to subscribers.

Volumes 3 and 4 are sitting on my computer in PDF, ready to go to the printer but awaiting the last check from one of my editors… this is a semi-automated check, and may already be finished.

Clean off your reading glasses…

Now, to really whet your appetite… V4 Sample

The sample is not at full resolution, BTW…



  1. Aaron Singleton said,

    April 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    The preview looks absolutely wonderful, Bob. I for one can’t wait! The double-column format is not as intrusive as I had thought it would be. I am quite pleased with the layout and love the font. Great work!

  2. Pierre De Duytsche said,

    April 27, 2010 at 12:52 pm


    Wonderful news, it’s like a dream come true to have acces to Jack Vance’s
    complete works and it looks really great to read (even in the 2 columns).
    Looking forward to volumes 1 and 2.
    Let me know when to proceed for the next 2 volumes.

    Pierre De Duytsche
    Kooidreef 16

    • rclacovara said,

      April 28, 2010 at 11:59 am

      The next payment is due when you receive your first two volumes… of course, the moment the books leave Milan, I’ll be letting everyone know, and I’ll be happy to take the money sooner. 😉

      But we are getting very warm on the trail, now…


  3. töff said,

    April 27, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    You know I’m all out of drool, right?
    Got plenty of these, though:

    I never had a problem with a 2-column layout. In fact, I think, to maximize words per page, it’s necessary. Helps with readable line lengths, too.

    Cadwal! It’s been so long … okay, I’m drooling.

    (I notice Col.1 Ln.39, em-dashes inside the quotes in interrupted dialog. I’m planning a little essay on dialog attribution & punctuation, and this will serve as a nice item of evidence. I’ve usually put the em-dashes outside the quotes: “… But”—and here Scharde held up his finger—”Sessily decided she wanted butterfly wings …” But I’m waffling on this point.)

    • wrycur said,

      April 28, 2010 at 6:34 am

      The sample looks great, Bob. I think 2 columns is totally appropriate for the size and style of the book. It’s easier to read with less horizontal movement of the eye.

      I think the dashes in question are better the way the text has them, because presumably the speaker pauses to make his gesture.

      Good to hear that Eyjafjallajökull is not preventing the air delivery of the books across the Atlantic. Maybe cargo planes, such as those of FedEx, are still flying. Sometimes we monkeys get reminded of who the real boss is on this planet–Nature.

      • rclacovara said,

        April 28, 2010 at 12:15 pm

        I rather suspected that folks would like the sample… it’s in the way of an appetizer. I have a letter that Jack wrote to one of his editors that addresses his likes and dislikes in punctuation: I’ll see if I can reproduce it here. All will be amused…

        But you are dead-on: a single line would be a very wide line to scan, and not be much fun after a few tens of pages.


      • töff said,

        April 28, 2010 at 7:58 pm

        > I think the dashes in question are better the way the text has them, because presumably the speaker pauses to make his gesture.

        I disagree for this reason: we would not use a dash to indicate a pause; we would use a comma. The dash — very specifically, a PAIR of dashes (which you see me use here, in fact) — is used to demark a separate, disconnected phrase. In this case, the single comma that we would see after “But” is rendered invisible because of the narrative’s dash-demarked interruption of the dialog. Therefore, the pair of dashes belongs to the narrative, not the dialog; and narrative is outside quotes marks, so the dash pair must be also.

    • rclacovara said,

      April 28, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      Well, I was laughing to myself as I cut out the two pages for samples… I knew that there would be looks of longing and anticipation. The layout does look pretty nice. We had tried out other formats, including single column, but as you can well imagine, a single column on a page of that width at that font size is rather hard to read. Just too wide a line to scan.

      As far as punctuation, well, that’s a very long story. But the short version is: that’s how Jack likes it. Here are some examples:

      Did she ask, “where is it?”

      She said, “it’s here.”

      Often, you’ll see the full stop outside the double quote. Jack likes it the way I’ve shown. He has other preferences: a man may be blond, but a woman is blonde.

      And he uses British spellings, such as “colour” and “grey” according to his mood, or more specifically, the mood of his story. The obvious example is in the text of Lyonesse, where much of it is British spelling, for obvious reasons.



      • töff said,

        April 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm

        > “punctuation, well, that’s a very long story”

        I would love to read that letter in its entirety. Any chance you can scan it & post it? I only recently noticed Vance’s use of the (as I call it) “Herbert comma.”

        Full stops outside the quotes are almost universally considered wrong. But I, too, use blond/blonde, fiancé/fiancée, etc.; and I cringe when I hear actresses referred to as actors.

      • rclacovara said,

        April 29, 2010 at 12:20 pm

        I’ll ask for permission to post it…


  4. wrycur said,

    April 29, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Well, I don’t want to use too much space or occupy people’s attention more than such a trivial matter deserves, so I’ll just say that a pause does not necessarily imply a comma. A semicolon is a pause, a colon is a pause, a period is a pause, and a dash is a pause.

    And all but the dash are usually seen inside quotation marks– so why not the dash too? More consistent that way, no?

    Of course, as Bob says, Jack has his own rules and usages and gets away with them excellently well.

    • rclacovara said,

      April 29, 2010 at 12:16 pm

      Well, this is a perfectly acceptable way for me to avoid shooting ultrasound into aluminum, so it is not a trivial matter. But the ground truth is that we wanted to use Jack’s conventions and spellings. This is sometimes not what is “typical” of English, but in the course of getting this straight sometime in 2000 or 2001, we came to the realization that there’s no “typical” of English. There’s only the folk who can carry off their likes and dislikes, and then the rest of us.

      I use the Chicago Manual of Style, if Jack didn’t have an opinion. Sometimes, Norma had a preference, and so of course we’d defer to her judgment. That led to the following absurdity: we found a word “acommodate”. Ok… not typical spelling. So we went through all of our usual juggling when we found a suspected errata: marked in the text, submitted to editors, run up the ladder since no one knew what to do, and finally, Norma said, “who spells ‘accommodate’ with one ‘c’? It was just a typo. Turns out that Norma, when she didn’t have explicit direction from Jack, used a Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary. I’ve seen it.

      So, barring something that got past our bank of editors and implementors, what you see is what Jack liked, or tacitly agreed to. In 4.4 million words, I’m certain stuff got by us, but not much.


      • töff said,

        April 29, 2010 at 5:35 pm

        > we wanted to use Jack’s conventions and spellings

        By all means, let Jack Vance’s preferences reign supreme in the printing of Jack Vance’s works! I’d certainly have it no other way, whether his styles jibe with mine, or not.

  5. Aaron Singleton said,

    April 29, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    It just dawned on me that I will finally be able to read Jack’s mysteries, and even Bad Ronald. I feel like I am nine years old awaiting Christmas. I can’t wait!

    • töff said,

      April 29, 2010 at 5:43 pm

      I feel that way even about the ones I’ve already read!

  6. Brian said,

    May 4, 2010 at 1:18 am

    Personally I cannot imagine reading it in one-cloumn format. What an ocean of text that would become.

  7. wrycur said,

    May 8, 2010 at 6:53 am

    As this is the end of the week of May 3, I ask: what’s happening with our books? Are they still in Europe?

    • rclacovara said,

      May 8, 2010 at 12:38 pm

      I’ll put up a posting later, but…

      Books were all sent to the printer, who boxed them. They were to be palletized and shipped either Friday or Monday, but since I didn’t see the shipping info, I presume the actual pickup is on Monday. I’ll have the shipping details and so on once they are consigned, and I’ll pass this along.

      So: the books are finished, packed, and in shipment (or about to be so).

  8. Aaron Singleton said,

    May 10, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I, for one, cannot wait. Hurry books, hurry! BTW Bob, my first payment is in the mail today, so you should receive it soon.

  9. Daniel Ingram said,

    May 10, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    Any news now that Monday has come and businesses are open and can hopefully shed light on the shipping status of these much anticipated books? Thanks for all your hard work to make this happen despite what seem to be endless complexities.

  10. töff said,

    May 14, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    Right, I just finished Shirer’s monster 3rd Reich history.
    I’m ready for my CVIE now, Mr. DeMille.

    • rclacovara said,

      May 15, 2010 at 1:55 pm

      I’m ready too…

      The books have left Milan. I don’t have dates yet, but the import agent has my power of attorney to receive the shipment. I will post details as soon as I have them.


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