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SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc. 
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Post Re: SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc.
JamesGifford wrote:
PeterScott wrote:
Good lord no. Even if anyone were disparaging it, I'd say to hell with 'em. If it makes you feel good and doesn't hurt anyone, for God's sake keep doing it and don't look back.

In spades. I can't imagine what you might have read, here or elsewhere, that gave you the idea there was a problem with these memorabilia.


I suspect that anyone who posts to this forum is likely collecting because they love Heinlein, not as an "investment." When we had our current house built in 2002, I insisted on floor-to-ceiling built in bookcases in my study just to hold my Heinlein collection. Adding the VE at this point would just be an example of gratuitous gluttony.

Not that there's anything wrong with that! ;)

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Thu Jul 30, 2009 6:54 am
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Post Re: SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc.
JackKelly wrote:
I suspect that anyone who posts to this forum is likely collecting because they love Heinlein, not as an "investment."


My original thinking about the original offer of the VE was that they were not publishing it for RAH fans, but for collectors. However, that wouldn't have stopped me from purchasing if I had had the money then or now :oops:


Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:03 am
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Post Re: SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc.
JackKelly wrote:
When we had our current house built in 2002, I insisted on floor-to-ceiling built in bookcases in my study...

One of the things that troubles me is the decline in built-in bookcases of any kind. It's long been normal for houses, even very large ones, to have no bookcases anywhere. Older houses often have them in most shared rooms.

I mean, don't people have to put their scrapbooks and knicknacks somewhere?


Thu Jul 30, 2009 7:24 am
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Post Re: SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc.
JackKelly wrote:
I suspect that anyone who posts to this forum is likely collecting because they love Heinlein, not as an "investment."

That's certainly true for me. I own at least one copy of everything the man ever published that I could get my hands on, in hardback wherever possible, and they're all no more elaborate than good reading copies, many bought from abebooks.com and bookfinder.com. I own no signed, boxed first editions. I saw one in the late 1990's in the Black Oak bookstore in Oakland (it might have been Red Planet), but there was no way I could afford the $250 they wanted for it, so I'd just go in occasionally and look at it in the locked display case. If it had been Time Enough For Love, I would have thrown fiscal prudence to the wind and bought it. In the 1970's (I think it was) I got from Ginny via mail some of Heinlein's signed blank labels and put them in a few of my favorites, but I don't have any physical books he actually held and signed.

I bought the Virgina Edition largely to have a "complete works" set that was nicer than the hodgepodge I already own, and for the material Bill Patterson is adding to each volume, and I'm very glad I did. It's wonderful. But I'm very frustrated with what a clusterf* it's turned out to be. The latest glitch seems to be that the guy who's been the main contact (Sean Thompson) is going off to law school in the fall, but he swears that it won't impact the completion of the project. Honk if you believe that.

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Thu Jul 30, 2009 9:58 am
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Post Re: SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc.
DanHenderson wrote (21 May):
Quote:
The most recent email I got from Sean Thompson was dated May 6, 2009:

Hello All,
As the ether foretold, I present to you our schedule and plan for the remainder of the Virginia Edition:
We will be printing the remaining books in two tranches. The first will go to the printer at the end of August and the second will go to print about mid to late January. At the start of July and December, I will confirm mailing addresses and instructions for each of you. We've decided to rearrange the print order somewhat as well.

[followed by an elaborate list of projected volume completion dates]

On 29 July I received Sean's e-mail confirming my address, starting "Hello. The Virginia Edition is nearing the print date for the third group of books..."

As most people here know, in fall 2007 the Prize Trust (in its Virginia Edition Publishing Co. guise) contracted with Windhaven Press, which is responsible for everything but the printing and shipping of the VE. Currently Windhaven's situation is dire, as anyone visiting its proprietor's blog can see: There are few clients and/or an inability to get work turned around for these clients, hence very little business income; a number of recent posts have concerned fundraising efforts to pay medical bills. Windhaven prepared volumes 8 to 21 for press (volume 7 was prepared, but not printed, by Meisha Merlin in early 2007); the shipment of those volumes occurred 9 months ago.

Whether or not to sympathize with the proprietor of Windhaven and her husband isn't the issue -- it's the Prize Trust's representative in this endeavor (Sean) continuing to make statements at odds with reality, as in fact he has done since his Virginia Edition blog began in June 2007. And now it would seem he's gone entirely, per DanHenderson's 30 July post:
Quote:
The latest glitch seems to be that the guy who's been the main contact (Sean Thompson) is going off to law school in the fall, but he swears that it won't impact the completion of the project.

... also, his last blog post was dated 8 July.

When Meisha Merlin failed and the Prize Trust undertook to publish the VE itself in summer 2007, it sent then-current subscribers each an authenticated volume from Heinlein's personal library (in my case, the Grosset & Dunlap edition of Andersen's Fairy Tales with color illustrations by Szyk) as a way of saying "Please give us a chance to continue the series; don't ask for your money back." This was indeed a very nice gesture on the Trust's part, but its value as a palliative is starting to dwindle in the face of the facts. Whether these facts are reaching the trustees (and/or what's left of the VE Publishing Company) is unfortunately an open question.


Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:53 pm
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Post Re: SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc.
Although I am merely an interested bystander, I always hope for good news with respect to the Virginia Edition. Hope begins to fade when the spots of good news come amid so many setbacks... or turn out to be false cheer.

Publishing is not for amateurs. Even in - or perhaps especially not in - this era where a stoned chimpanzee can hammer out something in Word and have a PoD press return something that looks a lot like a book. It ain't that easy, folks. It ain't that easy.

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Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:57 am
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Post Re: SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc.
The last email I got, which was also the first I had received since 7/29/09, was dated 9/30/09:
Sean Thompson wrote:
To All,
Two updates, the first informs the second;

First: When I say that we're going to print, that means files get sent to the printer, we review the final files generated therefrom, printing starts and, ideally, completes in something like six weeks--assuming no problems crop up on their end--and when they actually ship out, I notify everybody--and trust me, I will absolutely notify everybody both via email and via the blog when books are sent out. If you check the blog and there's no notification to that effect, it doesn't happen and there's no need to worry.

Second, I have to admit that I tried to utilize a little sleight-of-hand with that space between going to print and actually having the books print. Reviewing Windhaven's schedule there was a large clumping of books completing in the first three weeks of September which would have allowed us to print fifteen books this go 'round instead of eight. I set things up so that we'd get them worked in and by the time anybody noticed a delay, we'd be able to announce the windfall (no pun intended). Unfortunately, Windhaven was unable to meet the planned deadlines for those books and so we will be returning to our original plan to print eight books on this run.

I sincerely apologize for the delay and will keep everybody notified when we receive ship dates from Transcontinental,

Sean Thompson

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Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:21 am
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Post Re: SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc.
JJGarsch wrote:
<snip>And now it would seem he's gone entirely . .

FWIIW, I know Sean and Nancy are still working on the print batches, for I periodicaly get in proof queries -- that is, questions from proofreaders) through about volume 30 (I haven't compared that to the planned print date, so don't know how that compares). A batch of four or five came in about the same time just before the biography markup came in, so I was delayed getting the answers back.

It may be of interest to know just what that entails. Typically I am sent a PDF of the book with questions about, e.g., consistency of use, typos, logical mismatches, etc., which can run from half a page of 10 pt type to four pages. The books are typically typeset from hardcover first editions (there are some exceptions), which are the "reference editions" they have already checked the text against. I then have to locate the questioned text in the pdf -- not always an easy or straightforward task, as the groups of proofreaders don't use the same referencing system. I locate the questioned text in reference to some "landmark" in the text -- beginning or end of chapter, or graphical insert or indented quote, something recognizable. I then use my Retrieval Guide to find out where the manuscripts are stored in the Archive. I have an (unwatermarked) copy of the Achive on a 3x5" external drive. If there is a compositor's draft, typically that's the one I use; if not, then I have to decide which draft to look at, then find the corresponding passage in Heinlein's draft.

But that is not the end of the process. Once I know what is in Heinlein's draft, it still has to be evaluated. The editorial principle is we "correct" only clear and obvious errors, either grammatical (e.g., pronoun agreement) or textual (e.g., a wrong character name in a conversation, a wrong time given in narration, that sort of thing). Anything that is not a clear and obvious error is allowed to stand as the manuscript has it, and I've overruled Sean quite a number of times on usages that are simply unusual but not incorrect. It can get tricky. For example, at one point Heinlein quotes "honi soit qui mal y pense," which has a different spelling as a French proverb than it does as the motto of the Order of the Garter. Heinlein spoke French -- which did he intend? At one point in Red Planet the original manuscript itself contained a hash of Heinlein's revision for Alice Dalgliesh, with revision pages inserted into the manuscript itself and I had to determine what parts were written after her comments and find the pages that would reconstruct Heinlein's original in a different part of the Archive. It can be quite a time-consuming and finicky process.

And just a few days ago I turned in a "control sheet" (which is an instruction on how to assemble a volume, complete with all editorial material and so forth) for the second volume of screenplays, which are volumes we didn't even know we would have to do ourselves until a few months ago.

And the Panki-Barsoom manuscript has to be reconstructed from parts. The first part of that has been done as instructions to take this part from A and this other part from B and the main text from C and put them together in a text which I will later review for flow and consistency.

So there is continuing progress, albeit on a much slower basis than projected -- which has been the course of this entire project.


Mon Oct 19, 2009 6:34 am
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Post Re: SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc.
BillPatterson wrote:
So there is continuing progress, albeit on a much slower basis than projected -- which has been the course of this entire project.

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Mon Oct 19, 2009 7:50 am
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Post Re: SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc.
Bill,

As one of the relatively new purchasers, please be aware that I appreciate the effort. And I certainly recognize the pipeline for this process is fairly constricted, so I'm not all that torqued up about it taking longer than desired. In time, all things.

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Mon Oct 19, 2009 9:30 am
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