P.O. Box 1360, Ashcroft, British Columbia, Canada V0K 1A0
Tel: (250) 453-2045; Fax: (250) 453-2075
A ONE HUNDRED VOLUME RETROSPECTIVE
The Suppressed Ash-Tree
Even in the most well-regulated of circles, things sometimes go wrong. The well-regulated circle of Ash-Tree Press is no exception; and, as we approach the publication of our one hundredth title in December 2003, the time is right to release details of the 'Suppressed Ash-Tree'.
In mid-January 1998
we were awaiting delivery of Binscombe Tales: Sinister Saxon Stories by
John Whitbourn. The telephone rang. The familiar voice of our printer, a little
less cheery than usual, faltered: 'Er, Binscombe Tales. We've just begun casing
in. Er, unfortunately, there's been a cock-up with the pagination of the
prelims. . . .'
'Cock up? How bad?'
'Oh, not too bad, it's just that page xiii is printed on the back of page vii, and what should be xiii—you know, after xii, and before xiv, is now blank. Will this be a problem?'
'Well, it won't be a problem to us . . . but it looks like it's going to be a problem for you. . . . Can anything be salvaged?'
'No, the whole thing is sewn and ready for casing. We can't get away with just printing new prelims. . . .'
His voice faded to silence, expectantly awaiting me to accommodate his problem by agreeing to accept the job as it was.
'Looks as if you'll be reprinting the whole book then, doesn't it?'
'Oh . . . you won't take it as it is, then?'
'No, I won't take it as it is then.'
'Oh. . . . That's going to cost me, then.'
'Yup. Looks like it. . . . Oh, and by the way, we still need it by the 31st. OK?'
'And how many copies have you already cased in?'
'Just ten before they noticed the problem.'
'Ah, well at least you won't have the cost of extra bindings. Perhaps you'd send me those ten copies as a souvenir? And just so that I can ensure they don't get released . . . ?'
The ten copies duly arrived, and so did the correctly paginated edition of Binscombe Tales, just a few days late, giving many Ash-Tree readers their first taste of life in Binscombe. Subsequently, a second volume, More Binscombe Tales: Sinister Sutangli Stories was released, thus ending the cycle of Binscombe stories. There would be no more tales of Mr Disvan and Mr Oakley, no more visits to The Duke of Argyll. Well, that was the intention. . . .
For something so major to have happened to an Ash-Tree production, strange forces had to have been at work . . . somewhere. And where other than in Binscombe itself?
In celebration of Ash-Tree 100, John Whitbourn has resurrected his Binscombe characters, and we are at last able to bring you the full story behind those events of January 1998 in 'Publish & be Damned! or 'The Suppressed (& Depressed) Edition'.
For purists, and completist collectors, of the ten copies of the suppressed edition, one is in the hands of a private collector; one forms a part of the Ash-Tree library; and eight remain in their pristine green cloth on a shelf of our stock room. They would, of course, command absolutely outrageous prices were they ever to be offered for sale (we are open to persuasive approaches!).
© Ash-Tree Press 2003
Return to Ash-Tree Press Home Page