Infinity Plus Review
"This is quite simply the most original piece of speculative fiction I have read for years."
The review also nicely picks up on some of the structural elements and their symbolism, seeing the order in there amongst the chaos...
"Inevitably first impressions are that the author has thrown his readers into a literary chaos. But... first impressions are misleading. Vellum is kaleidoscopic rather than chaotic."
... which is cool.
On another front, I got the page proofs for the US edition through the other day, and have started the long haul job of proofreading. Weirdly enough, I've been, um, kinda enjoying it. I mean, it was a horrendous slog for the Macmillan edition, coming at a point where (and I've heard a few writers say this sort of thing) by that stage you're just absolutely sick of the damn thing. You're rereading your own work, and it's not that you want to edit this or that -- more that you've just gone through the same damn book so many times that you it's just words on a page. You want it to just be over and done with. The thrill of having a deal in the first place has worn off. The actual publication seems so far away. It's just a dreary dragging of feet through spelling mistakes and font irregularities. This time round though -- maybe it's because the book is already let loose into the wilds in the UK -- I seem to be able to read it as a book again, rather than as a bunch of pages covered in words.
Maybe it's the gorgeousness of the design job they've done on it. The different fonts are just a little more distinguishable than the Macmillan edition and, to my mind, just that little bit prettier; I'm just a sucker for those sorta things. Hell, the chapter and section headings are sexy as fuck. And they've done that thing where the first letter of the first word of each chapter is BIG and handwritteny-looking, like an illuminated manuscript, you know? And the Volume Heading pages have a sorta watermark thing in the background. Fuck, in the same way that Macmillan wowed me with the cover, Del Rey have got me droolling like a doggie over the page design. I'm just hoping the corrections I send back won't be made too illegible by my slabbers.
The only thing I've had to resign myself to is the loss of my precious Modernist dash for dialogue. I know, I know. I know why they've done it, and it's fair enough (and in some ways, I even kinda like the idea that the different editions will be -- kinda sorta -- different books for that reason), but... well, I do like my Modernist dash. I think one of the effects you get with a breakdown of that barrier between narrative and dialogue imposed by inverted commas is a seepage of voice. I'm not sure I can articulate quite what the aesthetic effect is, but I do think there's more to the dash than affectation.
But, hey, I got watermarks on the Volume Heading pages! It's soooooo purty! So I ain't complaining.