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Exhibition Opening - February 11, 2017 - Riverside Art Museum
Exhibition Opening - February 11, 2017 - Riverside Art Museum
1,269 backers pledged $123,627 to help bring this project to life.

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Well-Traveled Books

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The worlds of Michael Whelan are varied, with a myriad of different twists and turns. And...we’ve got a new one for you.

"Edgedancer" - Twists & Turns
"Edgedancer" - Twists & Turns

You probably didn’t expect a buddy road trip comedy to be part of your book-backing experience, but here we are!

Magician Rudy Coby & Baby Tattoo Ringmaster Bob Self (and The Van)
Magician Rudy Coby & Baby Tattoo Ringmaster Bob Self (and The Van)

At this point, the freshly printed books have traveled from the far east to the west coast, but they have to complete one more trip before they make their final journey home to you.

In an effort to get the books signed as soon as possible, Ringmaster Bob Self loaded his red minivan to the brim as soon as the international shipment cleared customs. He then shanghaied world-renowned magician Rudy Coby to be his co-piolt for a cross-country road trip to Michael Whelan’s studio.

This morning, Michael began signing books for Kickstarter backers, and as of this very minute, he's autographed them all! As soon as the red van is loaded, Bob and Rudy will high-tail it back to Los Angeles. The books should arrive at Baby Tattoo HQ by the weekend, and will begin to ship to backers on Monday!

Signed Books!
Signed Books!

But wait, there’s more!

If you can’t wait any longer (and seriously, thank you for your patience thus far), we invite you to meet up with Bob and Rudy along the way and pick up your book the old-fashioned way... in person by the side of the road (coordinating via text message, just like the pioneers did).

"The Astrophysicist" - Another Roadside Attraction
"The Astrophysicist" - Another Roadside Attraction

If you are a backer who pledged for a physical book, and if you can get yourself to any point along Bob & Rudy's planned route (see the map below), you are invited to meet up and get your book in person. Send Bob a text message at 818-416-5314 to make arrangements for a roadside rendezvous. Once you've coordinated a pickup, voila... your book will be in-hand via a very special delivery.

Plus any backer who meets us on the road will receive a bonus Michael Whelan grab bag item as a thank you gift for making the effort to be part of our cross-country adventure. Michael and his wife Audrey are signing and assembling the goodies right now.

The journey starts late this afternoon in Middletown, NY (Rudy's hometown growing up), and ends in Las Vegas (Rudy's hometown now) as quickly as road conditions allow.

Some areas the Baby Tattoo Bookmobile will be rolling through in the next several dozen hours:

Middletown, NY

Cleveland, OH

Toledo, OH 

Chicago suburbs (Tinley Park, Joliet) 

Des Moines, IA 

Lincoln, NE 

Las Vegas, NV

SOME SERIOUS NOTES ON THIS WACKINESS:

- The main purpose of this adventure is to get the books back to Los Angeles to start shipping right away, so detours can’t be accommodated.

- Bob and Rudy are tag-team driving nonstop. They may cruise through your town anytime during the day or night, so if you’re looking to meet up with them you’ll need to be prepared to arrange a pickup at whatever time destiny happens to place them geographically near you. Again, text Bob at 818-416-5314 if you want to meet somewhere along the route indicated on the map above.

- If you arrange a pick up, please be there early so you’re ready and waiting when the Baby Tattoo van arrives.

"Winging It" - Emblematic of the Cross Country Adventure
"Winging It" - Emblematic of the Cross Country Adventure


With the road trip underway we kind of glossed over this in the text above, but OH MAN BOOKS START SHIPPING MONDAY!!!! WOOHOO!!!!

"Trantorian Dream" - Destinations Near & Far
"Trantorian Dream" - Destinations Near & Far

This means that is is vital that you double and triple check your shipping address in BackerKit. We will be locking down addresses Thursday June 28th. Please log in to BackerKit and confirm that your address is correct and up to date, especially if you’re an international backer. If you can't locate your survey link, go to this page and type in "Beyond Science Fiction" as the project name.

As always, don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!

Alternative Reality Becomes Real Reality

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A boatload of books* (real physical books!) is currently crossing the Pacific Ocean en route to Baby Tattoo Headquarters. 

The books are due to arrive in the Port of Long Beach on June 15th. It will then take a week or so for the shipment to clear customs and for the cargo to be trucked to our warehouse. Here's a sneak peek of the advance sample copies that were expedited to our office.

Hardcover Editions
Hardcover Editions

Once the bulk shipment arrives, Michael has a big stack of signing to do. Books will be ushered out the door as soon as the ink is dry! Bottom line... it’s a near certainty that shipments to backers will begin by the end of the month.

All four editions!
All four editions!

With the fulfillment process so close, we ask that you please log in to BackerKit and confirm that your address is correct and current. Surveys went out a long time ago, so please double check to make sure the information we have is up to date. If you can't locate your survey link, go to this page and type in "Beyond Science Fiction" as the project name. 

If you need to change or revise your address, now is the time to do so. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about the process. 

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We’ll be e-mailing an individual tracking number to every backer we ship to as packages go out. The shipping process will take weeks to complete, so please be patient if other backers receive their book(s) but your package hasn't arrived yet. Our intention is to ship as fast as we can - but also as carefully as we can, to ensure that every book arrives in pristine condition.

Cover Embossing
Cover Embossing

Again, please log into Backer Kit now and confirm that your address is correct and up to date, especially if you're an international backer. It's extremely important to us that these books arrive in your hands as efficiently as possible, and having the correct address on file plays a big part in that. If you can't locate your survey link, go to this page and type in "Beyond Science Fiction" as the project name.

Thank you so much for your support and enthusiasm for this project! 

The Book Has Been Printed!

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We just received the F&Gs for Beyond Science Fiction: The Alternative Realism of Michael Whelan. So, what are F&Gs and why is this important?

F&G stands for “folded and gathered”. The manufacturing process consists of printing the pages (and the cover) for the book, then allowing the ink to dry completely, then binding the folded and cut press sheets into finished book form. Once the printing step is complete (the entire print run of all the components for all of the books), the factory collates a set of pages into finished book order so that we can make sure everything printed correctly for assembly. This is a last chance to make sure that all of the images are in the right order and right side up! Well…

It’s done! All of the pages are in the right order and right side up!

The Way of Kings
The Way of Kings

And it looks gorgeous. The wide-gamut, high-resolution printing is breathtaking. Some images (A Memory of Light, The Way of Kings, The Integral Trees, A Princess of Mars, The Wave) are literally aglow with richly saturated colors. Details in some paintings (the red celestial body in The White Dragon, the green volcanic blaze in Crown of Shadows, the edge of the cresting wave in The Inexorable Equation, the foggy atmosphere in Lovecraft’s Nightmare, and the so-real-you-could-touch-them checkered pants in The Mule) are stunningly vivid.

The Mule
The Mule

We’ve instructed the factory to bind the books immediately. There is still an ocean that needs to be crossed, and for some international backers, another ocean after that. But the books are printed. Finally.

Hooray!

A Princess of Mars
A Princess of Mars
The White Dragon
The White Dragon
The Wave
The Wave
The Integral Trees
The Integral Trees
Crown of Shadows
Crown of Shadows
Lovecraft's Nightmare
Lovecraft's Nightmare
The Inexorable Equation
The Inexorable Equation
A Memory of Light
A Memory of Light

Print!

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It's being printed!

Literally. 

The book is finally on press!

Hooray!


The plotters (pictured throughout this update) looked right on target except for a few issues with the spot varnish which have now been resolved.

The factory will give us a schedule for the final steps of couriering a set of folded and gathered pages for examination, binding the entire production run, air freighting advance copies to us to commemorate completion of the manufacturing, and packing the bulk for sea shipment.

Once the books arrive in the United States and clear customs, Michael will start signing and Team Baby Tattoo will start mailing!


Oh, one other fun little detail, we just selected black and white striped head and tail bands (the little strip of braided thread that decorates the top and bottom of hardcover books) for the two limited edition variants.


We're really excited to see the finished book after so many delays... but probably not as excited as you will be to not have to wonder any longer whether or not you'll ever receive your autographed copy!

Kindest regards and sincerest thanks,

Bob Self, President, Baby Tattoo Books

The Digital Book!

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