The proofing stage of preparing the Tekumel Foundation’s edition of Prof. M.A.R. Barker’s second novel Flamesong is now complete. Stephen Hearn has been responsible for the proofing projects for The Man of Gold and Flamesong with proofing partners Theresa Alberti, Kathryn Hearn, and Robert Dushay. Proofing the first two novels has required two people, one working from Prof. Barker’s marked up computer printout manuscript and the other from the Foundation’s working electronic copy in PDF, both watching for discrepancies between the two documents.
Prof. Barker’s manuscripts are impressively error free. Much of the correction consists of catching double periods, foreshortened dashes, missed italics and other anomalies in the PDF working copy. Between the two novels Barker switched from British to American spellings (he had moved from Montreal to Minneapolis in the interim). The proofing has occasionally corrected a word which missed this transition.
The goal is to produce a clean edition of the book with no anomalies in the text to disrupt the flow of Prof. Barker’s words and imagination. One side benefit for the proofers has been the chance to read aloud and share these stylish and inventive narratives and immerse themselves again in the world of Tekumel.