Monday, February 19, 2007

Dealing in Sin! letter of provenance for the Sin of Origin collection

One very logical use of this blog is to record what's in these collections as I sell them off, because things hang around on the blogs for years, and this creates a public record. Presumably I'll know who I sold it to and that will mean that if some grad student wants to do a thesis about me, or some assistant prof with tenure to think of wants to do an article, they can find out what's available here, contact me, and find out who's got the stuff. Anyway, it seems inefficient in retrospect that I put the Letter of Provenance for the Century Next Door down in the comments of a previous post, so this time, here it is, front and center, with searchable words John Barnes and Sin of Origin and all in the post. If you actually want to bid on it, get over to eBay by late afternoon on the 24th of February (if you're in the US) --

(copy and paste if a link doesn't appear)

LETTER OF PROVENANCE regarding Materials Sold as the "Sin of Origin Collection"
To whom it may concern:
On February 24, 2007, I sold to [NEW OWNER] the following items which were used in the preparation of my second published novel, SIN OF ORIGIN. To the best of my knowledge, this letter enumerates what each item is, its date of creation when known or an estimate when not known, its condition on February 24, 2007, and other information which may be pertinent to scholars and collectors.
If at some future time I discover further materials which would have been included in this collection if they had been found before February 24, 2007, they will be shipped to [NEW OWNER] at my expense, and with a similar letter of provenance, plus a revised version of this full letter.
PREAMBLE: This collection is sold as a unit. It is recommended that it be kept intact rather than broken up, particularly in light of [NEW OWNER]'s obligation to assist in scholarly access to these materials. (See the LETTER OF UNDERSTANDING).

TAG Short description Dating (as much as is known) Long description and commentary
A 50 page blue steno pad. Contains about 10 pages of planning for cutting Part I of Sin of Origin down to length to become THE LIMIT OF VISION, which ran in Asimov's SF the following year Most dates in the pad are from April 1988 Pad also contains my notes from Dr. Jim Kriley's grad class in analyzing and interpreting text for performance, which was a seminal influence on my thinking (Kriley and I didn't get along at all but he was one of the more useful professors I ever had). Notes from some other classes as well. PLEASE NOTE: the lecturing professors may retain some rights in the material in these notes, and any copying or quotation of them should be in Fair Use quantities only. ALSO NOTE: I often wrote down what I thought the professor should have said rather than what s/he said, and at this late date I cannot be certain which is which.
B single page letter to Ashley Grayson (my agent) handing over final draft of SIN OF ORIGIN December 31, 1986 Contains a paragraph discussing our attempt to get in on a consulting gig with Microsoft on a then-new product that pretty much no one had heard of: Windows. We didn't get the gig, by the way.
C 100 page 8 1/2 by 11 notebook, yellow, containing much idea work and worldbuilding calculations for SIN OF ORIGIN Earliest dates appear to be from May 1986, last from July Planning for finishing the book happened in here, probably roughly simultaneously with production of the first, partial rough draft (Item ). Calculations about orbits, gravity, etc. for the various planets, scribbled partial outlines, some notes and calculations about nearby stars and about physics of an atmosphere with a drastically different Reynold number from Earth's (very sticky air in this case). Also contains the couple noodling pages where I figured out a new title for MEMOIRS OF A PAWN – the MAN WHO PULLED DOWN THE SKY. And the first outline for the story that became "Restricted to the Necessary." Also course notes and rough drafts of memos.
D 80 page 10x8 notebook with colored pencil checkerboard drawn on front; my continuity and consistency notebook for SIN OF ORIGIN Late summer or early fall 1986 Because Kaypro Perfect Writer (my first word processor) could only reliably write files a couple thousand words long, the novel was written in very large numbers of very small pieces, so much of the notebook is a list of what happens in each of those units, as I reshuffled and reassembled them. Notebook is tabbed with index tabs; first section is the unit by unit breakdown, last section is a new outline very like the final structure of the book plus several pages of revision notes, second section is blank, third section is blank except for a single page of language notes, and fourth section is an elaborate hand calculation, using some invented graphic notation, for how long it would take human expeditions to reach planets as distant as Randall using my imaginary "Runeberg Gate" STL technology
E 80 page steno pad, mostly handwritten rough drafts of scenes from SIN OF ORIGIN Contains a personal letter dated 8/19/1996 Some extensive calculations at back look like they're for a story but not for Sin of Origin – almost certainly "Under the Covenant Stars"
F one page of notebook paper with notes about structure of Sin of Origin Spring 1986? was carried around in other notebooks a lot and seems to have been the note that solved the structural problems
G Box of 5 1/4" floppies with various drafts of Sin of Origin on them 1986 Format would be Perfect Writer for Kaypro 4, a CP/M program; if you have the tools and skills you can probably hack into these, they seem to be in good shape
H Cover flat for paperback of Sin of Origin Spring 1989 In excellent condition with a hole punched in upper left corner; cover painting was by Vincent di Fate
I Six unburst runs of fanfold paper containing early prints of first few chapters (up through page 145) of SIN OF ORIGIN One is still attached to an old gradesheet bearing the date 6/20/86; this is consistent with material found in them Most pages occur more than once. Some handwritten notes including a list of short Perfect Writer files making up the novel that seem to indicate it was less than 1/4 written at the time the list was made up. Corrections made on these pages were erratically entered (some were, some weren't) into the first full draft, which is Item J below, but there are relatively few marks on this one, not more than 1-2 per page.
J Five unburst runs of fanfold paper containing the first full rough draft of SIN OF ORIGIN Fall 1986 Very heavily marked and annotated in many different colors of marker and pen. Blank fronts and ends of fanfold paper, and some backs, have been used for handwritten notes, lists, maps, etc. as well. The printed part incorporates some modifications from Item I.
K notes to myself between rough and second draft of SIN of origin – 3pp unburst fanfold that is just comments and questions as if I were a different reader, 2 pp that list the file names of all the small units the book was then made up of Fall 1996 most of the notes I responded to in blue ballpoint pen so there's quite a bit of my own handwriting in this as well, and in effect you can see me arguing with myself
L Photocopies of page proofs of SIN OF ORIGIN as marked by me for return 10/20/87 This was typeset by the then-new technique of optical scanning, and was riddled with errors, some of which the copy editor caught. It also seemed to have had a copy edit that I didn't get a look at prior to that time, introducing many severely empurpled passages, so there are many places where I pasted in corrections, sometimes just the original text and sometimes whole replacement blocks of text.
M The first two attempts to start SIN OF ORIGIN, on a typewriter, and some handwritten notes Early spring 1983 At the time I thought SIN OF ORIGIN was going to be a novella for Analog. Item M is fewer than ten pages, and it predates my buying a computer by several months
N Second draft of SIN OF ORIGIN, on 3 runs of unburst fanfold paper, up through page 214 November 1986 Relatively less marked, and very close to the final text. Incorporates many changes proposed in Items J and K.
O 43 page first draft of SIN OF ORIGIN, first time I wrote a story with that title. Summer 1983 Clearly prepared with Item M at hand. Not much resemblance except first scene to later novel. Also, frankly, not very good!
P Rough drafts of proposal for SIN OF ORIGIN to my agent; on unburst but stripped fanfold paper Attached gradesheet page refers to 4/8/85 7 pages, daisy wheel printer seems to have had an old ribbon on the day this was printed.

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