At this point I’ve devoted a sixth of my life to the Little, Big project. It is the elephant in every room I enter and every room I leave, and has been for nearly a decade. A conservative estimate? Since the fall of 2006, I’ve put in over 10,000 hours of work on LB25, and all together John D. Berry and others have put in another few thousand hours. I’m proud of the work we’ve done — very happy with the design and layout of the book. Peter Milton’s art, and the way we’ve deployed it throughout the edition, still has the power to make me swoon with astonishment and delight. The text is in great shape: typographically more accurate, and, after long and careful editorial work with John Crowley, the novel is now closer to the author’s own ideal. Achieving these things, despite numerous setbacks, has made the work more than worthwhile. But it’s not done until it’s done, and everything depends on finishing the job.
It’s crucial that we go to press no later than May 2016. However, our goal is to go to press in March. Most elements and tasks are well in hand, in terms of reasonably estimating how long things will take; a small number of important items are less easily estimated, because they are partially or largely outside our direct control. Hence the nominal March goal, with May as an outlier. Once the book is actually in press, print production should take three to four months; at the time we commence printing we can narrow the timeframe down to a specific date, and announce that. Once finished books are in hand, all subscription copies will be shipped out in the order they were paid for, so that those who have waited the longest will be the first to receive their copies.
For those who have long followed this project, and these updates, you know that after several early miscalculations as to the completion date, for the last several years I have refrained from making predictions and kept to updates on work completed. I state the above goals, with caveats, out of a combination of relative confidence and felt necessity. It’s time to deliver.
A brief update on another matter:
I finally had surgery on my left knee on October 22, seven months after surgery on the right (for matching injuries: in two falls last winter, I ripped the quadriceps tendon in both knees); recovery is going reasonably smoothly, though recovery from soft tissue injuries takes a relatively long time.
Thank you again for your patience and support.