26 May 2004

City Bound

As of Thursday, I finally have a copy of Of the City of the Saved.... It isn't one of my complimentaries -- although those have now arrived as well -- but a copy I bought over the internet from a retailer in the US, and paid for them to send across the Atlantic by express mail. Look, I was desperate, OK?

It's... well, it's my book. In print. Bound together, and with a barcode on the back and everything. It has my name on the front cover, and words in it that I wrote, and an "About the Author" note relating to me. It's... very odd, actually, at first, although I've carefully acclimatised myself since it turned up by obsessively poring over it day and night. It's like having part of your mind break off, like a piece of iceberg, and float off on its own. Trite, hackneyed and lacking in a sense of proportion though the analogy is, I do see why people compare it with having children.

And it's beautiful. Obviously there are things I wish were different: there are design decisions which (while perfectly understandable and correct from Mad Norwegian Press's point of view) don't chime with the platonic version of the novel I keep inside my head; and I've spotted half a dozen typoes (not at all bad actually, for a book of its length), only one of which was my fault. Oh, and the frontispiece uses the same illustration as the one in This Town Will Never Let Us Go, rather than going with my suggestion of using Jim Calafiore's striking "Timebeast Assault" picture from The Book of the War.

Even so... as I kept remarking to my other half during the hours after I first saw it, wow.

I didn't say a lot else that evening, actually.

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