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The 62nd World Science Fiction Convention

  • Sept. 2-6, 2004
  • Boston, MA

Committee News Introduction

  • If you have items of interest or amusement to add to this weblog, please contact Leslie Turek.

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August 17, 2004

Live from Cummings Printers

Report from Geri Sullivan:

The first signature of the Souvenir Book (8 pages of color; 8 pages black and white) is on the press and looking good. I'm camped out overlooking the press floor, so I can see the press operators looking over the folded signatures as they come out the end of the press. It's fun, and they're clearly keeping quality up as they just tossed several handfuls into a recyclebin before judging some settings sufficient to stack on the pallet.

I've just snapped a few digital pictures, and will take more when I go back down onto the press floor to press check the next signature. [See photos below]

In other Publications and Design news, on the way here, I stopped at the Insty-Prints in Bedford and approved proofs of the N4 name badges. If all goes well, I'll stop by Saltus on the way home and approve the cover proof they're re-doing. If it's not ready this afternoon, it will be tomorrow -- the cover goes on the press Thursday morning.

Three printers, two different states, one afternoon's volunteer work. Oh, yes, plus uploading the 30 meg Lensman art for the decorator to use before I left Wales [ed note: that's Geri's home town in Massachusetts, not the country].

I'm seeing enough of the rest of the convention to know that many of us are juggling similiar levels of interocking complexities and challenges. We're doing amazing stuff here, and I hope other folks are having as much fun as I am right now...and are at least somewhat less frazzled and overwhelmed by the challenges still to come, of which there are rather more than any of us would wish.

It's not soup yet, but it's certainly getting there!

And that's the report live from the Funway,

And here are Geri's pictures:


Printers all around North America do this; it's utterly sweet. The sign would have said "Noreascon," too, but I confused them by giving our rep my PROmote business card last week, so he played it safe and went just for the name.


The Cummings press floor. Saltus printed all of the N4 Progress Reports, and many other publications, too, but they farmed the interior pages out to Cummings when it became apparent that the Souvenir Book needed the added resolution offered by a hot web press.


I've seen a press or two in my day; they never fail to amaze me. It is so *cool* to watch ink going into paper.


John ran the first two color signatures before leaving for the day and turning the job over to Mike on the second shift.


Signature 1. This was actually the second signature they ran, but the first I took pictures of.


Flipping the sheet to get a better look at the pages that were upside down before.


27000+ impressions/hour...


...a page at a time.


From flat sheet to folded signatures.


Signature 1, near the end of its trip through the press.


"Every book run over by a truck on it's way to you."


Tips for when things go wrong.


Automatic stacking


Ready for the pallet.


And here's Brent, ready to put it there.


Our second shift press crew: Bob, Mike, and Jeff. If you see any of them at N4, please tell them what a lovely job they did printing the book. (They aren't fans...yet...but Bob was full of questions about Farenheit 451 and runes, and may well stop by for an afternoon.)


Geri with Signature 1. Fourteen more to go...