Pictured: The second pass of page proofs from The Ghost Brigades, which I need to comb through for any remaining errors/inconsistencies/things I want to take out. After this, any errors that remain become part of the quirky character of a first edition printing, to be enjoyed by bibliophiles for years after they’ve been corrected in second and subsequent editions. At this point I expect most of the truly egregious errors have been dealt with; be that as it may, I’ll be reading closely to make sure.
Aside from grammar, spelling and continuity issues, what has changed from the original manuscript to the second pass page proofs you see before you? Well, since you asked:
1. Sentences have been rejiggered so that when the entire text is exposed to certain mystical numerology practices, it no longer reveals the coordinates of the secret island where Jesus, Buddha and Jim Morrison engage in an eternal, bloody pillow fight over the future of humanity.
2. A talking, bow tie-wearing walrus named "Chumley" no longer plays a critical role.
3. The sentences of every character no longer end with the phrase "Arsenal Rules OK".
4. Holographic cameo from endearing, confetti-throwing comedian Rip Taylor excised from Chapter Six. Likewise, Chapter Eight now lacks crowd-pleasing star turns from former "CHiPs" stars Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada.
5. 73-page radio address by the character Jane Sagan outlining the fundamentals of my new philosophy of "Rejectivism" has been gently lifted from the text and will now be available as a stand-alone limited edition novella from Subterranean Press.
6. Patrick Nielsen Hayden suggested, and I agree, that I don’t actually have to note that all the character’s nipples crinkle happily whenever there is a spot of good news.
7. The final confrontation between the forces of good and evil no longer erupts into a colorful Bollywood-like musical number.
8. The members of the "Ghost Brigades," who as you may recall are born as fully-sized, combat-ready adults, no longer have crystals in their hands that flash ominously when they turn five years old.
9. Combat uniforms are now made from a substance other than taffeta.
10. Characters no longer stop every five pages to conspicuously enjoy the products of my corporate sponsors Anheuser-Busch, RJ Reynolds and Spanky Sam’s S&M Tie-Up Emporium and Bait Shoppe (home of America’s first dual-use sex toy and fish lure, "The Wiggler").
Don’t worry. These will all make the "Uncut Edition" that will be released after my sordid, sordid death. Which, I am reasonably certain, will involve "The Wiggler" in some way.