I blogged here in April and May about Warren Lapine's venture into reprinting backlist titles in POD trade editions. Without seeing how the final product was going to turn out, I was reluctant to sign over reprint rights to THE RAGGED WORLD and TIME, LIKE AN EVER-ROLLING STREAM--Volumes I and II of what I'm now calling the Holy Ground Trilogy. (Volume III, THE BIRD SHAMAN, came out a year ago.) I thought of PENNTERRA as a trial balloon; if I liked the looks and quality of that one, I meant to let Fantastic Books reissue RAGGED and TIME as well.
I promised to report back when I had a finished copy in hand, and now I've got one--ten of them, actually--and I'll say right away that I'm more than pleased. The book is unapologetically POD; there are no blank pages and the cover illustration is a doctored photo. That conceded, it's an attractive book. The photo fits the story pretty well and has nice bright colors (see userpic, bearing in mind that it looks less dark at full size), the paper is cream-colored and of a reasonable weight, the font is appealing, and the print, though small, is no smaller than many a commercially printed book. While this edition is not as comfortable to read as the 1987 hardcover edition, which had margins, spacing, paper, and a font size that strike me at this remove as verging upon decadent, it's less heavy; and it fits the hand much more agreeably than the mass market editions do and isn't nearly as taxing to keep open!
Best of all, this edition is the most accurate that's ever been published. Marty Halpern, who acquired and copy-edited the book, is far and away the best copy editor who has ever worked on any manuscript of mine. No backward-facing apostrophe or incorrect em-dash escapes his eagle eye. This was not a particularly easy book to copy-edit; for one thing the electronic version had to be created by scanning, and for another Part Two is full of charts and diagrams that the scanner made mincemeat of. We had a PDF file to work with, not a Word document, so the corrections had to be, not made, but DESCRIBED in such a way that Warren would know how to enter them himself. (That approach won't be tried again!) It was a lot of work for both of us, but especially for Marty, as I've explained before. But we caught, not only the inevitable mistakes from the scanning process, but a surprising number of errors that had crept into the first edition, copy-edited by someone much less eagle-eyed than Marty, whose work had then been corrected by a very inexperienced me.
So that's the report. You can still get a copy of one of the other editions--from Amazon, or David Hartwell's dealer's table, or me--but I'm happy to recommend this one.