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Galley Impressions

I received my galleys from Analog today for "TelePresence."

For those of you who don't know, galleys is the name given to a story when it's set in type, but not yet published. Basically, it's the writer's last chance to look at the story and make corrections. Sometimes those corrections are needed because of a mistake you made when writing the story, but sometimes you want to fix a change the editor made. And sometimes it's just a question of making sure that hyphenated words are broken in the right place and that quotation marks face in the correct direction.

But for me, all that is secondary to the experience I have when I hold the galleys in my hand. For the first time, the story feels real. I start to read it again, and instead of seeing it as a manuscript I'm working on, I see it as a full-fledged work of fiction...and I find myself getting lost in the tale. For some reason, the story just reads better when set in type, and I sometimes find myself marveling over the work, even though it's my own. I'll come to one turn of phrase and say, "Wow. Did I write that?" Or I'll read a scene and get drawn into the conflict and the characters. The story is no longer an amorphous blob; it's a real story, a work of fiction, and something I can finally be proud of.

I wonder if other writers react the same way.



Yes. I've only experienced it once so far, but yes.

Re: Galleys

Only once? Don't you have two Strange New Worlds stories out? Or am I misremembering?

Re: Galleys

You remember correctly (and it's very kind of you to do so), but we haven't gotten the galleys for this year yet. Soon, I hope.... (come to think of it, we haven't gotten contracts yet either -- but I think Pocket is good for it!)

On an unrelated note, are you going to Readercon up in your neck of the woods? Unfortunately, it conflicts with Shore Leave again. I miss Readercon. Of course, it was easier from Albany NY than it is from Houston TX.

Will look forward to your latest Analog story as I'm a faithful subscriber.

Re: Galleys

gnomi and I always go to Readercon; in fact, it's currently being held in the town where she grew up. We would love to go to Shore Leave, but from a professional perspective, Readercon makes a lot more sense for us.

I'm delighted to hear that you are a faithful subscriber to Analog! The Big Three short fiction magazines (Analog, Asimov's, F&SF) have been experiencing a precipitous drop in circulation; I'm desperately hoping they bounce back.

Re: Galleys

I subscribe to all of the Big Three, and a number of not-so-bigs as well.

By the way, I'd hoped to bump into you in the Exhibits room at ALA Mid-winter, but I guess it was not meant to be. Worldcon or NasFic perhaps, or there's always Readercon next year.

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You were at ALA? You should have gotten in touch in advance!

Ah, well. It's unlikely we'll make it to Worldcon this year, so we're probably looking at Readercon 2006.

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I admit I was a little shy about contacting you in advance since I know you by sight and you wouldn't know me, but I planned to approach you if I saw you there. Next time I'll be a little more aggresive in advance!

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I can understand about being shy, but I'm generally approachable. Especially by other writers and by readers of Analog... :-)

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You going to do NASFiC? I know it is a trip for you guys, but I would love to see you.


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We'd really like to make it to NaSFiC, but as I said in another post, it all depends on money and how things work out...

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Must have missed that. Ah well. I'll just hope a lot then. ;-)

Worst comes to worst, I'll hold out until LA Con. Where, with Teleprescene you should be up for another Hugo.


Re: Galleys

Worst comes to worst, I'll hold out until LA Con. Where, with Teleprescene you should be up for another Hugo.

Thank you. I certainly hope your prediction comes true.

It would be nice; LAcon III (1996) was my first Worldcon, and at the time, "TeleAbsence" was up for a Hugo and I was up for the Campbell. I would love it if ten years later, the sequel were up for a Hugo...and this time, I were to win.

Re: Galleys

*wave* Dawn here. Popping up and seeing you online. Mind if I friend you?

I'll be at NASFiC (not enough money for WorldCon) so I look forward to seeing you there.


Reacting the same way

I haven't read many galleys (the best came from Andromeda Spaceways), but seeing those is the same for me as seeing the story in print--suddenly the story seems a whole lot better than it did when I was just staring at the double-spaced manuscript or the words on my computer screen.

Re: Reacting the same way

And then, when you finally get a copy of the magazine in hand, it looks even better...
I haven't had anything published, as such, but I know exactly what you're talking about. In a way, I am only able to take the "voice" of my own prose seriously -- and objectively -- if I typeset it to look "like a real book".

Fortunately, I have that skill as well. ;-)
Remind me to send you a whole bunch of Word docs for typesetting... :-)
I have written a few songs that, while they sound good when I play them in guitar, I just can't get a decent version recorded. It honestly doesn't matter if I then go record a better version, but I've "broken through" once a track is committed to disc and I'm happy with it.
Isaac Asimov told the story of how he met a composer once, who had composed a symphony. He asked the man what it sounded like, and the guy replied, "I don't know. I've never heard it." Because unless an orchestra commissions you to write a symphony for them, you'd have to hire an orchestra yourself to learn their parts so you could hear the work you had created.

Asimov said it made him very glad to be a writer, as he wasn't dependent upon anyone else to appreciate his own work.
I had that experience with the first two Beginnings books. The third one arrived on a Thursday evening and Elaine called to tell me it had arrived as I was driving to Windycon, of which I was the chair that year. I told her to bring the cover flats and leave the galleys and I would get to them after the con. She informed me that there were no cover flats this time around and the publisher wanted the galleys on Monday morning.

So, which issue of Analog is it going to be appearing in?
It should be in the July/August 2005 issue, making it a tenth-anniversary appearance for me, as I had hoped.

You know, it's because you chose TeleAbsence to appear in WONDROUS BEGINNINGS that I decided to write TelePresence. So it's all your fault.

(Although my acknowledgment line is to Tom Easton, because he's the one who told me what the sequel had to be about...)

Interestingly, the galleys omit the line Stan usually puts in about a story being a sequel...I'd better point that out to them when sending in my feedback, in case it was an oversight.
There are worse things than a Michael A. Burstein story to have on one's conscious. So, TOm gets the ack line, I'll be in the story.
And as you know, Steve, the funny thing about that was Stan's concern that I was using the name of a "well-known fan." He wanted to make sure that this was a deliberate choice and that I had permission to do so.

Here's a preview for you:

A tall bearded man named Steven Silver grunted. "It's not the same," he said, and one of the women, a petite lady named Crystal Bordewieck, frowned and nodded in agreement.

Well, Tony thought, at least I now know who my main opposition is.
Almost makes me want to shave my beard off prior to the publication of the July issue. Almost.

So, any chance of you and gnomi hitting Windycon this year. Give you a chance to meet Wilma Deering and her buddy Buck.
Chances of Windycon are probably extremely low. Given my "writing year," money is tighter than usual. We were able to make it to Arisia and Boskone because they are local, but unless a miracle occurs, travelling out of town for a convention will probably not be in the picture for the foreseeable future.

Dang it.
Not quite the same, but I know I always have that sense of newness, of not-quite-ownership, when I see pages I've worked on in Word after they've been poured into [whatever page layout program], and then again once I see the finished book.
I haven't had galleys, but I have had these two experiences:

1) Seeing my article appear on SH in "galley" form, in that it was all typeset and I had to access a super-secret webpage to edit it. That made it more real.

2) Reading a book via Word and then buying it in hardbound. Even though it was the same, the book was more real. I managed to not engage my internal editor while reading the .RTF version, but it was damn hard 'cause that is where I edit so much of my stuff.

It's certainly been true for me, every time.

December 2016

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