Sunday, December 10, 2006

First announcement about auctions in progress

If you're here for the intellectual property discussions, drop down to the first message in the blog to find out what it's all about, then look at the one just above it to see the current subject of discussion. This post is just an advisory to collectors.

If happen to be a collector of books and manuscripts, this is one of those brief announcements I promised about John Barnes collectible stuff as it becomes available. I'm auctioning the last few numbered signatures (I number the first 100 signatures on the first hardcover edition) for Armies of Memory and the last even-fewer for Gaudeamus. Details can be found at

and at

Sorry about the split URLs above; you'll have to paste them together and then paste into your browser to make them work, or you can look it up under ebay's JohnBarnesSFWriter "about the seller" section. Anyway, if it's of interest, get over there and bid, but after you do get right back here and start talking about the foul papers conditions. My guess is the first box of foul papers will be ready to auction sometime in January, and I want this stuff thoroughly picked over by then!


Robin Hobb said...

Hi John,

I think this is an interesting solution to what can become a huge storage problem for writers. With the advent of using word processing and printers rather than typewriters, I've found that I generate massive amounts of printed stuff for each book. I print out chapters to take on trips with me so I can do rewrites on them. I send drafts to US and UK editors and get them back with notes on them. Or I send them off as electronic files, and then print out the returned copies so I can do page by page comparisons of the editorial comments while I'm in a comfy chair.

I'd love to know if you and other writers have ended up with the hugevolume of paper that I have, and if so, how you determined what was worthy of preservation and what met Mr. Shredder. What do you think of keeping 'hard copies' on paper as opposed to being happy with copies stored on CD?

"Keep or toss" has been a huge dilemma with me in the past. I'm always interested in how other writers solve it.


John Barnes said...

For me the answer is pretty simple: I don't so much write books as build them, mostly on paper, typing into the computer only when I must. So most of my drafts are covered with my scribbles, many of my rough drafts are audiotapes made while I drive, and many of the rest of the roughs are handwritten in notebooks. I rarely enter the text until it hits the point where a draft is so scribbled on that I can barely read it, and then I sort of play it like a musical score, resolving the contradictory notes as I go. There will also be immense numbers of 4X6 file cards and scrawled notes clipped and stapled to the pages. Those are artifacts that really do show a lot about my process. But a mere printout for the sake of being able to read it in a coffee house? I turn it over and print something else on the back, and then off to recycling with it when I'm done with that.

Now that I think of it, one of the more interesting things about calling them foul papers is that the fouler they are -- the more marked up in my handwriting -- the more valuable they're apt to be. Hmm. And if I had to it over again, I'd call these blogs "Seeking to be fair about the foul."