... you can read them in November, too!
All profits go towards paying off the new washing machine!
It takes a while for post to reach Argentina. In fact, I'd started to get a little nervous that my package had gone astray when, thankfully, I had a message from Quique Alcatena: Steve, I've just received Arena! A very handsome book indeed! And a very thorough and interesting Introduction! I specially like your essay on the gladiatorial topic, and was surprised of how much you know about me! Thank you very much."
Phew! It's always a bit nerve wracking to send something to someone whose work you admire. You would think I'd have learned by now: either I'm making a reasonably decent job of the books I do or everyone I know or have contact with is part of a global conspiracy to stroke my ego. I'm beginning to thing that, having now been involved in about 100 books in the past 25 years, I must be starting to get the hang of it.
Dave Taylor, the scriptwriter of Arena, told me he was "chuffed to death" with the book. Hopefully that's not literal—I wouldn't want his death on my hands. And I have heard from his since, so I think I've gotten away with sending him copies.
The reason I'm being cagy is that I'm waiting as long as possible before having to face the inevitable... I'm a signature away from having to pay another license fee. And that's on top of having just had to pay for a new washing machine. Which, incidentally, arrived on Monday and we're very happy with it. The only thing we miss about the old one was the way it would lie to us, telling us that there was only a minute left on the spin cycle and telling us the same thing for five minutes. Just like computer downloads. "A few seconds left"... yeah, sure! This new machine doesn't have a countdown.
This week's random scans are a further handful of Roger Hall covers—I published a list of Hall's covers recently and these were originally going to be the illustrations for that column. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, so I had to hold them over until... now.
I still have to publish this month's Recent Releases and Upcoming Releases columns which I'll do over the weekend or early next week. I'm also trying to put together a cover gallery for the late Michel Parry; it is rather more substantial than I first imagined so it may take a few days to piece together.