Monday, December 28, 2009

Flurries, mishaps, & Calling All Steampunks!

It's been busy 4 or 5 days. You wouldn't think so considering Christmas and all, but on Christmas Eve we received orders for more books than we had printed up until that point. The interesting thing was that they were all Google editions.

Unfortunately, around that time Ginger decided to get the Flu; I spent the next few days troubleshooting any and all issues that popped up (it was really like a virus; incessant and seemingly all-encompassing.) I won't go into it here, but with the help of support I managed to resolve all the problems by today. It's tough work. A machine as intricate as this doesn't easily reveal where the problem is; I felt a little like a physicist trying to put a super-collider together. I had to do a lot of thinking before taking a step (but Ginger won't punch a min-black hole into the earth's core, thankfully).

The bad news is that I wasn't able to complete the "Leaves of Grass" project due to time spent dealing with Ginger, and an unexpected roadblock: an incomplete Public Domain scan. It appears that the only version of Whitman's Death Bed Edition of "Leaves" is actually missing pages of text. It hampered my progress, but I used a secondary source to plug the gaps. I just simply ran out of time. I misjudged the complexity of cleaning up poetical texts, especially if the original PDF it came from had marginalia, which gets translated as gobbledygook into a text file. I still plan to finish "Leaves" off some day; it will be the only "Complete" death-bed edition this side of anything Big Publishing has to offer, so it's worth finishing off.

Anyhow, back to those Google Editions: The true gems came from one order; a customer wanted to print 8 books for his Girlfriend as a Christmas gift. He'd been eyeing these books for over a year. And they were all of a particular, shall we say, Steampunk quality.
Here's the List: To The Poles by Airship, Indian Club-Swinging, Around the World with a Magician and a Juggler, Aeroplanes & Dirigibles of War, Wilde vs Whistler (not Steampunkish, but fascinating. Oscar Wilde published his vitriolic correspondence with the famous painter.). The pick of the lot was clearly D'Orcy's Airship Manual .

What an odd shape (it challenged Ginger's parameters)! But what an interesting book; copiously illustrated with photographs and schematics, this book displays the largest variety of dirigibles I've ever seen.
Surely there's A Steampunker with a novel/Role-playing/Art idea in need of this resource material?

Last post I mentioned my passing obsession for Stage Conjuring, but now it's this and other airship treasures. Yum.

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