Editors and Zyklon B

I still owe you a letter that Jack sent a publisher discussing his thoughts on editing. But while I’m trying to find it, let me tell something else that I witnessed:

“Gold and Iron” in some publications has a really strange ending. Our hero, and the girl he essentially beat into submission, got with child, and generally disgusted kiss and make up at the end, and walk off into the sunset hand in hand.

John Schwab (aka “Hercules”) and a group of us were sitting around with Jack. Herc says, “you know, I always thought the ending of Gold and Iron was rather strange.” Jack asked why. Herc said that he couldn’t see the two of them getting married, etc… Jack said, “I never wrote that!”. Well, Herc described where he thought the novella should have ended. After some working at it, we pieced together this bit of editorial obscenity:

Some editor didn’t like the way Jack ended the story. So, they reversed the last two chapters, added some glue material, and fudged up a fake ending…

Some of these guys (and Vassar girls) are sniffing Zyklon B, if you ask me.

That’s one of the reasons 200-odd people worked so hard on these books.

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Back from Vacation

And, naturally, exhausted.

Well, a couple of points.

1) Thanks to those of you who sent in the second installment of $600.

2) There are two or three sets to go out: that didn’t happen this AM, but most likely tomorrow AM. They are packed and ready for a shipping label, so there’s no issue except to print a label or two.

3) Some of you have been kind enough to send in errata. I appreciate it, and plan to let you know the disposition of your comments. I can tell already that some of the errata are Jack’s unique spelling, and others, strange as they are, are what Jack wanted. If your errata has ever been seen by one of the VIE proofers, we have documentation on its disposition. On the other hand, there are several “catches” in there, and they will go into the fix. Standby for updates…

Afton House Books is now… on vacation…

Ha, did you have a short palpitation? No? ok…

I will be sitting at the beach for a week in South Carolina. I will have e-mail, but I won’t be able to handle any shipping until 7/12. On the other hand, there are only one or two odd cases out there, but I will resolve them when I am home again.

The Complete Vance Integral Edition, Reviewed

Your comments here are appreciated. And I’ll send wavering potential buyers here to see what you’ve said.

Shipping Update

Well, all the books are shipped. With a few exceptions, noted below.

All domestic US volumes have been handed to the USPS. Almost all of you in the US have received a notice of shipping: in a couple of cases, this automatic notice messed up. On the other hand, Priority Mail in the US is supposed to take 2 days, may take 3, but suppose it takes a week: everyone in the US should have books by this time next week. More likely, by tomorrow.

Non-US subscribers: all books are out. All of you should get a shipping notice, with only a few exceptions. Priority Mail claims 6 – 10 days to Perth, Australia. I don’t know of anyone further than that, except those of you in New Zealand, maybe. The last went out this morning, so two weeks from today should be the absolute limit.

All subscribers: please check your shipping address. If it needs a correction, please send me a note at AftonHouseBooks@earthlink.net. Put your address on several lines, showing me exactly how your address should look. Please use correct capitalization. There are some peculiarities that I have to deal with: there are about 6 varieties of addressing around the world, and I don’t know them all. (Why don’t they do something useful at the UN, like standardize addressing?)  Postal codes go different places. The country name is always by itself on the last line. “The Netherlands” isn’t recognized by my mailing software, but “Netherlands” is. “United Kingdom”, which strikes me a just fine, narks the USPS. They want Great Britain, Ireland, Scotland…

A telephone number is recommended, for delivery issues. Please give me one when you check your address. If you are outside the US, give me the number as it would be dialed from a local number in your country. I’m afraid that I exhibit the “ugly American” syndrome with respect to telephone numbers: I don’t know how to change an internationally dialled long distance number into your local number. I’m sorry.

I have carefully selected the Harmonized shipping code for the books, to be accurate. I hope that for most of you, there is no duty. Remember that although you bought them from a business in the US, they were manufactured in Italy. This may or may not help. Some countries don’t have duty, others do.

A few of you have asked for invoices, I’ll send these out. Bug me if you don’t get one soon.

Please send your next payment, if you have not done so. Otherwise, I may have to sell a kidney. (Just kidding: I’ll sell one of my kid’s kidneys…)

I plan to start a thread on Reviews. Please use it; be gentle; let me know if you don’t wish to be quoted. If there is something that can be improved, let me know. It won’t happen for this printing, but perhaps it will be useful later on.

Last note: if you don’t get your books by next Thursday in the US, or the Thursday after, everywhere else, let me know. I have a sneaky suspicion that one or two of you didn’t give me a shipping address, and so I didn’t send you books. I have two sets unaccounted for, but “reserved”.