BEAR ALLEY BOOKS

BEAR ALLEY BOOKS
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Friday, January 26, 2018

Comic Cuts - 26 January 2018

The next volume of Forgotten Authors takes another step forward. I've now managed to read through the whole thing and tinkered around with the text a little for clarity, but the bulk of the book is now done, finished and ready to go. The introduction is written, as are the acknowledgments and contents page; and, more importantly, the cover is done, which you can see above.

Anyone who has bought the previous book will notice that the new cover echoes that of the first volume, but with more going on. That was always the plan and the next volume will also involve the typewriter motif and notebook on the rear cover. The left hand side will become the cover of the ebook version, while the whole thing will be a wraparound for the print version. There will be a barcode on the rear... but I like this version.

The cup of tea makes a welcome return, although anyone who knows me will be scratching their head about now... tea? I usually drink black coffee, but I wanted something a bit more colourful. Nor is that my usual cup. There aren't any "Easter eggs" hidden in the picture, but you might recognise a chocolate chip cookie in the top right hand corner on a saucer. The books are a random handful that I grabbed out of a box.

Next time, if I have time, I'll see if I can sneak something in for Bear Alley readers.

The revisions to the text and the completion of the long (over 20,000 words!) opening essay means that the totaliser has leapt up to thirty completed essays, which puts me three fifths of the way to the originally planned Fifty Forgotten Authors. The choice of who to include has been a bit random – a word that describes an awful lot of what I do! – but based mostly on revising the oldest essays that originally appeared on Bear Alley, with some unpublished material thrown in to make sure there's will always be something new.

To give you an idea of how the new volume stacks up, 8 of the 10 essays originally appeared on Bear Alley, although one was a subset of another and the original 14,750 words has been expanded to 45,500. Of the other two essays, one began life as an essay about a related author, who still appears, but as a bit of a postscript in an otherwise new essay, and the introductory essay is new, but based on a piece I had written in rough fifteen years ago. So, even if you've followed Bear Alley for the past twelve years and read every word that has appeared, the book still contains 50,000 words of new material.

If I'm 3/5ths of the way through the book, it's looking more and more likely that the whole project will run to 220,000 words or so and will have taken roughly ten months to complete. Did I mention that my original thoughts on this project was that I could get the whole lot done and dusted in time to put the book out before Christmas? The me of last July was an idiot!

The next stage is to create a dummy book, properly laid out, so that I can compile the index for the print version. The ebook may or may not be easier: there's no index but I've got to remember how I managed to sort out all the footnote links.

I'm not including any random scans here, but don't fret. Scroll down and you'll find a hastily compiled skeleton cover gallery covering the British paperbacks of Ursula K. Le Guin. John Clute's obituary in The Guardian covers her career. There's also a little guide to some of her best books, an appreciation by Margaret Atwood and another by David Mitchell.

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