About Amiante and Minion

I see some discussion of the font. I also see that people are happy with it, a good thing, since there’s a lot of it. However, unless my typesetter is playing a trick on me, it’s not Amiante. It is Minion. And there’s a reason for this.

Back in December of 1999, I showed up at the Vance residence, along with another 8 or dozen volunteers, to get the VIE organized. At that time, there was a coup underway to supplant Paul, who had been a long-time friend of the Vances, from a position of leadership in the group. I had had a great deal of experience in volunteer groups: president of a flying club, vice-president of a swim team, etc., etc., until I learned not to volunteer. I sized up the players, and realized that there would be no VIE without Paul Rhoads. So I threw my support, both visible and invisible, behind him. The result is as was seen: the VIE saw print.

That trip, Paul told me he was creating a font for the VIE. This struck me as a lot of unnecessary work, but the fellow is an exacting artist, and if he wanted to create a font, ok. He showed me the work to date, and my thought was “oh dear Lord, walk among us…” However, I was looking at a set of characters about 4″ tall. That’s not the way to see a typeface. A professional typeface, isn’t merely scaled, but just as Paul did with Amiante, each size needed is created. Enormous work!

Then the battles began. I took samples to strangers, and asked them to comment on a set of printings of the same material in various fonts including Amiante. Amiante was well-received. On the other hand, detractors told me that it was illegible, amateurish, inspired by the Devil, etc., etc…

We printed in it, and it is very fine in the size font used in the VIE. I like it myself. (BTW, don’t judge Amiante by back-issues of Cosmopolis. There’s something wrong with the way that Adobe represented Amiante, and it doesn’t look anywhere near as nice as when set in Adobe’s InDesign. Trust me on that one.)

Now, in the font in the CVIE, we tried again. But to be honest, after looking, testing, and showing many people, it seemed that readers preferred Minion. So: that’s how that decision was made. Now, if my compositor tells me I’m nuts and it is printed in Amiante, I’ll be apologising again. And probably not for the last time…

That’s the story on that one, folks…

Another BTW. The illustrations in the CVIE are all Paul’s except for the Afton House Logo: that’s done by Joel Anderson. Paul’s illustrations are actual, real copperplate etchings. He coated copper plates, did the cutting, the acid wash, and then, on a printing machine he had built to order, printed the original illustrations. If you want to buy one, contact him… they are really nice, and frame up very well.

Shipping Status; Apologies; Wry Engruntlement

Well. Good news, and bad news.

The good news is, the books have left my printer, and are enroute to Virginia. The importer has contacted me, all of the legalities have been met for import. Now I sit back and wait for books to appear at my (employer’s) loading dock.

So what’s the bad news? The books were mistakenly printed in Italian? The shipping cost is $48/book and I’m going to ask you for an additional $300? I am going on an extended vacation and will be back in September, and I’ll ship you books then? No, none of these easy things…

Here’s the bad news, with the apology embedded. The books are not being shipped air. That was economically impossible, given the weight. The books are coming by ship (it leaves port today) and it will take about 3 weeks to reach the port of NY. It’s not easy to tell you this, since I claimed that they would be shipped air, but that’s the story. I offer my apologies. In connection with the long delay between a December shipping date and today, I don’t know what to say, except: the next two volumes are in the printer’s hands, and she expects them to be finished by August. The last two volumes will be at the printer’s within 2 weeks.

Once the books reach the port, it can take 4 days to clear customs. It’s sometimes faster, since the printer is known to the US Customs people (in a good way) and from Customs, they go on a truck to Virginia. That will be about 2 more days. I then begin shipping. From the time I put the books in the mail until they reach a domestic US address is about 1 week.

There it is… Once again, I make the offer to return anyone’s money if they feel that they would prefer to wait until I have full sets in stock, or for any reason whatsoever.

The “wry engruntlement” part? I have noticed (how could I not, I get immediate copies) that some of you are having fun at my expense on my own blog. Now, I don’t mind because (a) there isn’t all that much fun in the world, to my mind, and (b) the chiding about delivery is deserved. But be warned: when I taught college, I was not referred to as “the hatchet man” by other engineering faculty for no reason. If you cause me to frown whilst reading your posts instead of roll my eyes and form a small smile, then I have a means of revenge. I may decide to have Jack autograph the last volume of the series for everyone, but for the wise guys, they get the signature of one of the hacks who writes the Star Bleck series or one of the other endless serials found at the end of the Science Fiction section of Barnes and Noble… you’ve been warned… 😉

Again, I’m sorry for the seemingly endless delay. You have sent money, a few have sent the entire amount, and about six months later, all you have seen are blog entries. However, that is soon to change.


Shipping semi-update

I was waiting until I had a bit more information before I posted, but since several people have pinged me on this, I’d give you the information I have.

The books are packed, wrapped and palletized at the printer’s warehouse in Milan. According to the printer, they will be enroute today or tomorrow. I have been waiting for the shipping information which I don’t have yet, but as soon as I have it, I’ll post it. Shipping information will be available to me as soon as the shipper has accepted the consignment, which means that it’s out of the printer’s hands and on the way.

Once I know the routing, I’ll know withing a day when it should be here in Virginia. At that point, I start sending all of it out again.

Volumes 3 & 4 are at the printer, in-process. Volumes 5 & 6 are set, and are either at the printer or on the way: we have to send them via airmail on disk, since the pdfs are so large.

As I get actual dates, I will post them.

Getting much closer!