To all and moondry,
I may start writing down my thoughts as I go back over each of these books. In many cases, this is the first time I've read one of these books since I was ten or eleven and it's remarkable to consider how much of the material I really failed to grasp. There is a great deal of material one misses simply through lack of context. Or, in another vein, the impact of a given book changes with time. Notably, as I read "Methuselah's Children," I am better able to engage with Slayton Ford's dilemma in dealing with the Families--particularly his reflection on the time it takes a man to become educated, to become known in his field, etc. I imagine that in another thirty odd years I'll have an all too great an appreciation for the dimming of the senses as well and perhaps it'll be time to take yet another glance through that book. (This, incidentally, is why updates become more sporadic during busy times, it's far too easy to philosophize with the Heinleinia and while away time better spent on productive affairs.)
After a great head-run through the bluelines to get them reviewed by the deadline, we are still on-track for our ship date of January 23rd for volumes 8-21.
I've finally received the artwork for Donato's "Heinlein's World" so I can take the steps to get that made into a poster for the subscribers--we'll definitely have enough made for ye current subscribers and, depending on Art's preferences, we'll probably go ahead and print another few hundred--the economies of scale on these things are absurd, as you increase the number printed, the price per unit plummets.
As of this past weekend, we have, in hand, all three of the letter volumes, both of the nonfiction volumes and both of the short fiction volumes. Effectively, the only thing we still need at this point are Mr. Kondo's files for "The Heinlein Century" when that's completed and the files for the Screenplay volumes from Subterranean Press.
I would like to take a moment once again to thank Bill Patterson for all the work that he's done to help us get all of this together. I think he's done quite a good job and that these volumes will be a substantial positive addition to the Virginia Edition.
So far as the subsequent sets--and since we moved the Future History volumes to print with Set 3, we've got one set of fourteen and one set of twelve books left to go before completion--I found out last week that, apparently, Windhaven did not have the introductions for the set 3 volumes and that was preventing them from doing the book layouts and thus from doing any work on volumes 24 onwards. This was not mentioned to me until I had sent repeated requests to find out what was happening with those volumes. While, normally, this might inspire a more than passing disquiet on my part, I am told that it will be possible to make up for the lost time without disrupting our printing schedule. As such, I will wait until I have had a chance to go over this with Windhaven and get an updated schedule. At that point, I will post it here. And there will be much rejoicing.
There have been a couple of issues with our billing system--affecting, at most, three or four people--which I've been researching and hope to have dealt with within the next week or so.
Once the New Year begins, I'll speak with Deb and Geo Rule--who manage all our website information--about a) updating our website with new and wondrous things (more the former than the latter) and b) the best way to go about setting Archives access for all subscribers so that Geo doesn't have to spend forty hours manually creating access codes.
When this project is completed, I have a strange desire to ask Art Dula if we can print a single book, any book, so that I can enjoy a simple project.