I get the coolest door prizes

Last weekend I attended the Seattle Antiquarian Book Fair at Seattle Center. One of the exhibitors, my friend Ed Smith, surprised me with this awesome custom-bound copy of The Mirage:

The binding and original decoration are the work of Richard Smart and Alanna Simenson. Richard, a third-generation bookbinder and restorer who runs the Old English Bindery in Vancouver, also did a custom-bound Bad Monkeys several years ago:

You can see more of Richard’s work here and on Facebook. And you can see Alanna at work in this video pitch for a crowdfunded letterpress edition of Pride and Prejudice:

Although Richard and Alanna’s Mirage was by far the coolest thing I saw at the fair (and the only cool thing I got to take home), there were as always lots of other nifty items I wish I could afford. Among my imaginary purchases this year:

* A advance review copy of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House.

* A 1911 report by Seattle’s Municipal Plans Commission on hoped-for changes and improvements to the city’s infrastructure. I’m curious how much of this survived contact with reality:

* A set of Analog magazines containing the first publication of Frank Herbert’s Dune, signed by the author.

* And in the Bauman Rare Books booth, David Collins’ 1804 Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, with hand-colored engravings:

I don’t think there’ll be much call for quadruped illustrations in my next novel, but I’m already thinking about how I might justify their inclusion in the special-bound edition of book #7.

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