Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Grammarian's Five Daughters

One of the rare comments on this blog asked, "Where is the science fiction?"

It's here.

The Minnesota Center for Book Arts has published my story "The Grammarian's Five Daughters" in three limited-edition, handmade versions. The chapbook (200 copies) is $35. The standard version (60 copies) is $225; and the deluxe version (26 copies) is $550.

I work at MCBA and watched the books being made. There is hundreds of hours of labor in these publications, far more time than I spent writing the story. I am in awe of the people who did this work.

This is a partial description:

"The Deluxe Edition, lettered A through Z and signed by the author, illustrator and mixed media artist, is a 5.5" x 12" landscape volume with an accordian binding opening to over 40 feet. The hardcover boards are wrapped in aubergine Japanese bookcloth with insets of brushed aluminum and amethyst cabochons. The book is housed in a box covered in handmade plum and pearl momigami papers. Text is printed in black, plum and celadon on French mouldmade Rives Heavyweight. Pages are backed and hinged with olive handmade Japanese mullberry paper. Tipped-in mixed media illustrations, designed by Lin Lacy based on the artwork of Linda Koutsky, complement the story..."

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I am never going to get another book like this again. It's not likely, anyway...

17 Comments:

Blogger delagar said...

I loved that story -- I read it online, I think on the Free Speculative SF site, though I might have read it when it was published? I can't remember now. I first ran into your fiction with Knapsack Poems & I've been hunting down your work ever since. (I made my students read that one in my SF class this past summer -- it's still one of my all-time favorite stories, not just by you but by anyone.)

11:04 AM  
Blogger Paula J. Lambert said...

I just received this lovely book as a birthday present. We ordered the standard edition and were able to get it at a reduced price because it is several years old now, but it was still a bit of an investment for us. I love this book SO much, and cried both when my husband agreed it was okay for us to buy it, and again when I opened it on my birthday. It's SO beautiful, but the story itself is also so beautiful. I'm an Ohio poet, have recently become interested in letter press printing, found the chapbook version of this book at a local letter press, Igloo--the owner came from the Minnesota Center. I don't think I've ever coveted anything so much. I came home and looked it up online, called them to order the chapbook version, which they were sold out of, and with a bit of talking and thinking, we decided, at the reduced cost, that it was okay to order the standard (not deluxe!) edition. I just found your blog entry tonight and thought I would let you know that there is still someone out here newly overjoyed to own a copy of this wonderful piece of art--the story itself, and the book. It's a joy to me to own it. Thank you for writing such a moving and wonderful story. And I'm so glad that you won this Winter Book award and that this edition was made.

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