Last time I posted here, the book was finished, and anticipation was running very high. Here's what's happened since.
The proof copies of the book have come back from the printers, but there are serious issues with the internal formatting. I strongly suspect this was due to a subtle production error on my side that went undetected in their preflight checking. I'm in touch with the printer's tech support people to find out exactly where things broke down.
That said, I'm still confident I will have the first press run of books available for the debut at A-KON 2007, and at conventions throughout the rest of the year. I'll post more news as I get it.
[The rest of this is crossposted from my main site, with some editing]
Even though I felt Children of Men was only okay as drama, it was incredible as cinema — so much so that it wound up influencing a dream I had the night after I watched it, one directly related to the book.
I was sitting at my computer, which I'd loaded up with a video-editing suite of some kind (it reminded me of Avid or maybe Final Cut Pro — something with a lot of slick-looking options). I was editing an HD proxy version of an animated film version of Summerworld. I can't deny the fact that a lot of what went into the book was anime-influenced, but actually seeing it turned back into animation was startling.
The animation itself looked like the kind of top-tier stuff you'd expect from a studio like Production I.G — very polished, very classy. But what really knocked me out was that the shots in the film were designed and executed a lot like the way Children of Men worked. They were long takes done in a POV, handheld-camera style, but as animation. I've seen this sort of thing attempted as animation in real life — but only for a moment at a time, never in these long, continuous shots that move through their environments. (If someone tried to pull off for real what I was seeing in that dream, it would probably cost hundreds of millions of dollars, easy.)
I only remember being really stunned by the whole thing after I woke up. While I was dreaming it, the one thing I remember feeling most was frustration that the scene I was cutting together (i.e., blending several short "takes" seamlessly into a single one) wasn't matching the music cue I had. The music cue itself, too, was wonderful stuff; it was like a take-off on the "temp score" I'd created for writing the book, which I assembled from various movie soundtracks.
If I take anything away from this, it's the notion that I need to step back and look at what I've done with an encompassing eye. I get too caught up in the details, and it robs me of the joy of what it's all really about.