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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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Feb 26th, 2012
...I gotta be honest, the cover for The Eye of the World was what got me into the books in the first place.
What really sucks is that I found out that the larger than normal paperback I have been rereading all this time was the first issue for The Eye of the World. I thought there was a hardcover version. So all this time I have been beating the crap out of a rare first edition. Boy do I feel special.... kinda like the time I found out my sister traded all my first run Uncanny X-Mens for my cousin's ... er "collection" of Archie comics.... kinda like the time... gah...
Been lurking since The Beginning. Although I haven't had the time or the mental capacity/creativity, most days, to contribute in any significant fashion. Although hopefully I can find some more time in the future to do more than Lurk....
However, to all the new posters, regulars and alumni—I'm appreciative of the hours and hours of entertainment you've provided; Kudos to all!
Just a heads up to Sub, that the first printing of the oversize paperback isn't overly valuable (50-150 $) pending condition, and they show up on ebay on a regular basis—but still something worth looking after carefully.
If I've managed this properly—my avatar will have a picture of what I believe is the first bound version of The Eye of the World that I rescued from ebay a couple of years ago (maybe tnh can/will comment). Read the red fine print, if/when you can ... it's really cool.
Edited: for coherency. Deleted a sentence as my avatar showed up as planned. And add—you can't see it well in the picture/avatar, but there is printing along the top of book that reads "Harriet's marked up copy"—no trolling. This book contains some hand written edits by Mrs. Jordan (and someone else whom I have yet to identify although there is a fairly obvious choice), and includes a 3-page letter to tnh from Mrs. Jordan. As I understand it, the advance reading copy was created from this version, as were the final hardcover (yes Sub there was a limited hardcover printing) and oversize softcover both originally printed in February 1990.
How the devil did that production copy wind up on eBay? With, for all love, my correspondence with Harriet still tucked inside? (Is that the letter where we were going back and forth about Nancy Weisenfeld's copyedit, and Jim Rigney's preferred style of ellipses? It's been a long time.)
Did the person who sold it say anything about it?
I'd love to see large high-resolution photos of all those materials, including samples of the interior markup, and all three pages of the letter. I can recognize the handwriting of most of the people that could have marked up the pages, so there's a good chance that I can either identify the person or rule out some possibilities.
I'd very much prefer that you mail me pictures of the letter, rather than posting them somewhere. My email address is on the front page of my weblog, Making Light.
What you have there isn't the first bound edition. It's either a bound galley or a bound manuscript copy—I should remember which, but I don't. Tom Doherty did so much fiddling with the marketing and format of that book that it spent close to a year in production, rather than the normal nine months, and at times drove our department to distraction.
If it's typeset, it's a bound galley. If it's reproduced from the manuscript pages, it's a bound manuscript. Both can be referred to as "advance copies."
Anyway, the advance copies with the plain light-blue cover were superseded by the massive printing of ARCs with the four-color Darryl Sweet cover. An ARC (Advance Reading Copy) is basically a bound galley with a four-color cover that's usually an early version of the cover that will appear on the book. The Tor booth at the ABA that year had so many copies of it that they could have built Vauban-style fortifications out of them. Printing such a large and lavish ARC in such quantities was a gamble for Tor, which back then was a smaller and poorer company.
Is the thing you're referring to as "the first printing of the oversize paperback" the ARC? Check and see whether it has a price printed anywhere on the cover. If not, it's an ARC. IIRC, the ARC also featured the interim state of the cover in which the author of one of the cover quotes was erroneously identified as "Gordon R. R. Dickson."
Thanks for the info, greatly appreciated!
I will email pictures in the next 24 hours along with what history I know or have deduced. I agree with you that the letter shouldn't be made public without necessary approvals. The "discussion" you mentioned sounds...interesting...but the contents of this letter are more mundane and simply include info on book formatting, layout and listing of the chapter icons (I've scanned a copy of it too).
While not clear in my avatar, the book looks grey in real life (although if there was a light blue one, that would be interesting as well). I acquired a second one, without markups, that is identical to that pictured, and it is grey as well.
I know the ARC well, as at one point I had five of the things from various bundled purchases I made (the exterior cover of the ARC is the same artwork that is now found on the inside flap, and the inside cover of the ARC is the same artwork that now appears on the current cover). I just picked up one of the ARCs and on the back has a quote attributed to George R Dickson—is that what you were referring to? (Been so long since I'd picked it up that I'd completely forgot that I had the matching bookmark, and postcard inside, a pleasant surprise). I've since donated one to Jason Denzel and one to Jennifer Liang, for helping make a waking nightmare of a trip to the Gathering Storm signing in Charleston end on an awesome note.
In referring to the "oversize paperback"—it is a softcover book with the dimensions of approximately 6" x 9" (matching the size of the arc as well as the other proofs/galleys/bound manuscripts that I have). On this version, the exterior artwork and inside flap match what is currently on shelves everywhere. There are prices (both Canadian and US, etc) and ISBN # listing.
From your perspective—is there a difference between a galley, bound manuscript, or proof? Just curious, as I have various versions of almost all those written by RJ (have never seen a proof/galley/manuscript for Crown of Swords despite hours and hours of searching).
Okay, this is funny. I've been able to confirm that what Kafmerchant has is a one-of-a-kind artifact from the production of the first edition of The Eye of the World. The line written in red ink at the top edge of the cover that says "Harriet's marked-up copy" is in my handwriting.
Question for those in the know: is the written content in the WoT ARCs or galley copies any different from the retail version? Any changed lines or new/missing parts?
I own a few ARCs of other books, and they don't seem any different from the retail version (as far as I can tell), but reviewers were asked to make sure any quoted text matched with the final version.
For the various versions that I have of this series, the results are all over the place; here are few examples:
A lot of the pre-publication versions I have such as The Great Hunt, The Dragon Reborn, The Fires of Heaven, Winter's Heart and Knife of Dreams have no obvious noticeable differences from the retail versions (although I haven't read through each in great detail so as to not damage them).
The galley for The Shadow Rising has a prologue of approximately 1.5 pages that was integrated into the first chapter of the finished book.
The advance version (2-book set) for Lord of Chaos has line edits, handwritten notes including some chapter titles written in and notes of what icon is to be used for certain chapters.
For The Path of Daggers, the book I have is labeled as an advance uncorrected bound manuscript that includes tons of changes: many, many line edits, actual chapter revision numbers, and in one spot, a chapter was moved to a different sequence in the book, and that's just what I noticed scanning through it quickly a few years ago.
My intention always has been, if/whenever I get the time to do a detailed review of each book, but that maybe just a pipe dream as I own a small business that consumes my life.
I started discussing some of this with Bob Kluttz of Encyclopaedia-Wot a few years ago in order to try get some info posted on-line, but I don't have the time to do the work nor the space or skills to post the info.
Hope this helps a little.
Kafmerchant@323—I admit your posts were glazing my eyes over as I'm not much of a collector, being broke all the time and whatnot. But that is an amazing bit of info about The Shadow Rising. I've always found the approach to be rather odd in comparison to the rest of the series. Not only is there no prologue, but the wind hangs around for quite a bit, and what he did at the beginning of Chapter 9 is pretty unique too. I'm going to put this whole conversation in the interview database, just for that tidbit. If you'd like to post reviews of each book one day, I would put them all in there. It's designed to be a database of all non-canon canon, so to speak, which is of course usually in the form of interviews, hence the name. But there are exceptions.
There are so many small but interesting things in my WoT collection that I'd really like to share with anyone who is interested (including books of course, but also have promo literature, and marketing materials such as posters, bookmarks, WoT "postcards" etc . The risk is that I'm seen as just showing off when my intent is far from it.
An example of promo literature is from a letter dated 15 Aug 1990 included with the Great Hunt galley, from Eleanor Lang (Tor publicist) that states that The Eye of the World "...was the first volume in The Wheel of Time, a six part series to be published by Tor Books." The print run for The Great Hunt is stated as 200,000 copies in this letter.
Just to clarify that the The Shadow Rising prologue in the advance uncorrected proof was called, "Seeds of Shadow" and started approximately halfway down the page and ended on the next page with just a single paragraph on that second page. The next (first) chapter was simply called "Seeds".
While searching for something tonight I've found some items that may be of interest to you—I assume you have copies of the audio of the Budapest interviews? Do you have the 2003 Toronto audio file? Also found a word file with a list of interviews starting with Starlog in 1991, followed by letters by Carolyn Fusinato and ending with blog posts/interviews somewhere in 2006 with lots in between (the word file is 2M in size)? I may also have a couple of old floppies, somewhere, with various old interviews and other miscellaneous files from the mid-late 90s although not sure if I can find anything that can read it...or if my memory of what may actually be on them is correct.
I'll keep the offer to post additional content in mind for the future.
I also found what I was looking for—a list, in excel, of chapter revision numbers and titles from the Path of Daggers manuscript—do you want this? And if so, where should I send it (gmail account)?