Mailvox: Redesigns

After an email conversation with a Castalia Library subscriber who was disappointed with the fact that we are doing second editions, thereby theoretically reducing the value to collectors who would prefer the supply of Library books to be as limited as possible, it occurred to me that in addition to changing the color of the second editions, we could follow the lead of Franklin and Easton by changing the artwork on the covers and spines.

For example, Easton actually has five different editions of Plutarch’s Lives in addition to its Deluxe Limited Edition, which has a limited print run of 1,200 volumes. The editions, with one exception, feature different artwork.

While I would prefer to keep the artwork more or less the same from one edition to the next, thereby maintaining some degree of continuity for those who start collecting the books later, I can understand why some might prefer different covers. So, I thought it best to survey the people whose opinions matter most, which is to say the Library subscribers.

Also, I should point out that while we value the opinions of the collectors and we are pleased to have piqued their interest, they are not our primary market nor is serving their needs our primary objective. Castalia Library, first and foremost, is about the preservation of knowledge in a beautiful and timeless manner. Therefore, our motivations and our decisions may, at times, not be aligned with the preferences of those who are buying our books.

Regardless, let us know your opinion on SocioGalactic.


Last Day for POLITICS

That’s a rather click-baity way to inform potential Castalia Library subscribers that today is the last day to subscribe to the Library and receive POLITICS by Aristotle without needing to make a catch-up payment.

And since several people have asked, this is what presently comprises the Library series, here is the list. The books marked by strikethrough are sold out. HEIDI and SUMMA ELVETICA are the two books that are closest to selling out next, although I’m pretty sure we have more than two copies of HEIDI left in stock.

  1. The Missionaries by Owen Stanley, limited edition of 500
  2. The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, limited edition of 650
  3. Awake in the Night Land by John C. Wright, limited edition of 650
  4. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, limited edition of 750
  5. Lives, Vol. I by Plutarch, limited edition of 750
  6. Lives, Vol. II by Plutarch, limited edition of 750
  7. Summa Elvetica by Vox Day, limited edition of 750
  8. Heidi by Johanna Spryi, limited edition of 750
  9. Rhetoric by Aristotle, limited edition of 850
  10. Discourses on Livy by Niccolo Machiavelli, limited edition of 850
  11. A Throne of Bones Vol. I by Vox Day, limited edition of 850
  12. A Throne of Bones Vol. II by Vox Day, limited edition of 850
  13. Ethics by Aristotle, limited edition of 750
  14. The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling, limited edition of 750
  15. Politics by Aristotle, limited edition of 750


Polishing the Library

Now that the Arkhaven site has been stabilized, we’ve been able to get the Castalia Library store updated and make some of the books that had not been available to purchase available again. We even managed to find a few copies of THE MISSIONARIES and AWAKE IN THE NIGHT LAND squirreled away; please don’t get too excited, as both books are already out of stock again. So the first three books in the Library series are now sold out.

The more significant news is that both Library and Libraria editions of THE DIVINE COMEDY are available, as are DISCOURSES, RHETORIC, ETHICS, and THE JUNGLE BOOKS. The cover on the latter is especially fine, as a comparison with the more expensive Easton Press edition tends to demonstrate.

The next book in the Castalia Library series is POLITICS by Aristotle, which will complete the three-volume ersatz trilogy that we are publishing. While we may one day publish a Complete Works set of Aristotle, we will not do so as part of the main subscription. And don’t forget, subscribers can utilize their Library discount to purchase additional volumes at the subscription price.

On the production side, we’re now working on getting ATOB Vol. I, ATOB Vol. II, and DISCOURSES shipped in April and May. The bindery is having compressed air and water installed in preparation for the arrival of the machines, most likely in May.


Suspending the Arkhaven Blog

No, it’s not being deplatformed or anything like that. The problem is a technical one, as too much traffic over too much time at the arkhavencomics-dot-com site has overwhelmed the WordPress database and the site has bogged down to the point that it is interfering with the necessary operations of the Library store it hosts. So, until the new Castalia Library site goes live, we’re suspending the Arkhaven blog and its comments. We anticipate the new site will be operational in 6-8 weeks.

This will not have any effect on Arktoons, as it utilizes a custom system that is hosted on a different server.

With regards to Castalia Library, Book 13 is The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling and Book 14 is Politics by Aristotle. Also, some good news on the bindery construction, as the machine list is complete, the specificied machines have been acquired, and the entire setup is being operationally tested over the next 2-4 weeks prior to being transported and installed. Best of all, it’s been done within the original budget.


Junior Classics Vols. 4, 5, and 6

The Castalia Junior Classics Vols. 4 – 6

We’re pleased to announce that The Castalia Junior Classics 2020 edition, Vols. 4, 5, and 6, are now available in the USA from Castalia Direct. The Backer Editions will begin shipping in the first two weeks of January. In the UK, they will be available soon from Amazon and Waterstones, and in the USA they are already available from Barnes and Noble. The epubs will be sent out to backers toward the end of January and made available on Amazon sometime after that.

If you are a backer who a) has not received Vols. 1-3 or b) you have changed your address since receiving Vols. 1-3, please email CastaliaJuniorClassics-AT-outlook-DOT-com. Please send an email even if you have changed your address on the arkhavencomics site or previously sent an email to Castalia Library. Please include your full address, as well as your backer ID (if you have it) and whether you are on the royal octavo or demi list.

Also, since we are beginning the process of binding the leather editions of Vols 1-6 and will be shipping them (or at least the first five volumes) to the leather backers this spring, it is necessary for those who wish to purchase a goatskin set to do so now. The cost for the 10-volume set is $5,000 and the backer can select the color. If you wish to purchase a set, please send me an email specifying the Pantone color.


And Now We Know Why

A few years ago, in 2015, I presented evidence that strongly suggested that the rumors concerning Arthur C. Clarke being a pedophile were correct. However, the initial public reports by a reporter working for News of the World and the Sunday Mirror were never followed up on by the media and were subsequently dismissed as aberrations without anyone ever actually being refuted. Now we know why they never led anywhere.

The News of the World spiked an exclusive story exposing the science fiction writer Arthur C Clarke as a paedophile, according to a new book about life inside the newspaper whose closure was announced a year ago today.

In Hack, an account of his nerve-shredding days as a reporter on the News of the World and then the Sunday Mirror, Graham Johnson claims that although the NOTW prided itself on outing pederasts, editors made an exception for Mr Clarke because he was a friend of Rupert Murdoch.

Through BSkyB, the tycoon commercially exploited the futurologist’s theory that satellites would be ideal for communications and praised him in public. As a result, according to Mr Johnson, who by that time had been sacked by the NOTW and had joined the Sunday Mirror, a story by reporter Roger Insall about Mr Clarke’s alleged abuse of adolescent boys was never published for fear of upsetting the proprietor.

Tipped off about the story, the Sunday Mirror sent Mr Johnson to Colombo, where he extracted an confession from the author that he paid boys for sex. “I have never had the slightest interest in children – boys or girls. They should be treated in the same way. But once they have reached the age of puberty, then it is OK,” Mr Clarke was quoted as saying in the Sunday Mirror. “If the kids enjoy it and don’t mind it doesn’t do any harm … there is a hysteria about the whole thing in the West.”

Mr Clarke subsequently denied he was a paedophile, saying: “The allegations are wholly denied.” But he never sued the Sunday Mirror and died aged 90 at his Sri Lanka home in 2008.

Speaking to The Independent yesterday, Mr Johnson said: “Roger [Insall] said that because Arthur C Clarke was a mate of Rupert Murdoch, the editor wasn’t having any of it and despite Roger getting a lot of evidence that Clarke was a paedophile they wouldn’t publish it.”

It’s probably not a coincidence that Murdoch has himself been accused of harboring similar predilections.

Full disclosure: Castalia House publishes several Clarke stories in the THERE WILL BE WAR series. We will continue to publish them despite our belief in Mr. Clarke’s misdeeds because a) they are very good stories, b) I do not believe the work is inseparable from the author, and c) Mr. Clarke derives zero benefit from their publication.

In like manner, we will not refuse to publish H.P. Lovecraft because he is accused of racism, John C. Wright because he is accused of Catholicism, Vox Day because he is accused of white supremacism, or Owen Benjamin because he is accused of heightism, regardless of how substantive or insubstantial the accusations may be.

UPDATE: A reader writes about his experience meeting Mr. Clarke in Sri Lanka.

Very interesting post about Arthur C. Clarke. I actually met him in spring 1988 at his house in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where I found him simply by looking in the phone book, called the number, and he answered and invited me over straightaway. I was delighted to meet him, but very surprised to see something like ten to fifteen 11-year-olds running around the house like pets. I was 19 at the time, and made no question of it, just noted it in my head.

A few weeks later I met an expat living in Sri Lanka who said there were two reasons why Arthur C. Clarke moved to the remote island nation of Sri Lanka, the official reason, and the actual reason. The official reason: the sacred mountain was visible from space, and this was where the aliens would land when they came to earth, and he didn’t want to miss it. The actual reason: loads of 11-year-old boys, and very little legal consequence for taking advantage of them. He said that “everyone” in Sri Lanka knew this, but nobody talked about it except in knowing smirks and nods.

Bindtaria Begins

Total: 140.5 percent of goal

The Iliad Library edition: 483/500

The Iliad Libraria edition: 49

The Odyssey: 471/500

The Odyssey Libraria edition: 50

Heidi German edition: 62

Homer Ebook sets: 88

Thanks very much to everyone who took part. We will be signing the lease for the building and starting to acquire the machines very soon, and we expect to officially begin initial setup and training operations in January. Our objective – and I cannot stress this enough, it is an objective – is to produce our first sample products in March. Rest assured that we’ll be taking lots of pictures of the process and posting them along the way.


Bindery Campaign Final Update

Days Left: LAST DAY

Status: 127.7 percent of goal

The Iliad: 438/500

The Odyssey: 425/500 

This is the last day of the Castalia Bindery Campaign. Please note that we will not be producing more of these limited collector’s editions once the Special Bindery Editions are completed, so if you’re on the fence about whether to dive in or not, this is your last opportunity. They will be removed from the site at approximately 9 AM Eastern tomorrow morning.

Thanks very much to everyone who helped make this a successful campaign from Day One.

Bindery Campaign Update 26

Days Left: 2

Status: 104.2 percent of goal!

The Iliad: 355/500

The Odyssey: 346/500 

I’m extremely pleased to be able to announce that the Castalia Bindery campaign has been a complete success! Yesterday afternoon, the Books For Frens group placed their orders on behalf of the selected recipients and that pushed the campaign across the finish line. Thanks to everyone who supported it!

What’s particularly remarkable is that the campaign has actually exceeded the original Alt-Hero campaign that got this whole process started, but since it didn’t utilize Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or any other crowdfunding site, we’ll be able to devote at least an additional $20k to the purpose rather than the process. This is an important proof of concept, and means that we’ll be able to operate at an even higher level of efficiency and stewardship in the future.

We very much appreciate all the Bindery backers, and also wish to single out Cactus Eater Bear, who was the architect of the Books For Frens operation that was completely unknown to us, but is an excellent reminder of the value of effective independent action in parallel with the primary effort. Well done, everyone!

There are still two days left, so if you’re interested in obtaining either the Library or the Libraria editions of The Iliad and The Odyssey, now is the time to act. Of all the books we’ve done to date, these will almost certainly be the most collectible over time, as in addition to being the first products of the new bindery, they will have a smaller print run than anything we intend to do in the future.

Green light means go!