Newly published, my labour-of-love “With the Night Mail”, annotated edition. Available now as a .PDF file. $2 on Gumroad, but the first 30 Tentaclii readers can get it free by using coupon-code tentaclii at the checkout. Or if you’ve feeling generous, you can pay the $2 and skip the coupon. I’m hoping that this Gumroad ‘formula’ may eventually start to produce a much-needed bit of extra income.
This is the best version of Kipling’s famous “With The Night Mail” (1905), the first ‘hard’ science-fiction story. Still a fabulous steampunk read, today.
Here newly and fully annotated with 4,600 words of precise scholarly annotations. Several important new discoveries are made, including the identity of “little Ada” — she was a real pilot! All four earliest versions have been checked and cross-referenced, and the modern corrupted text has been carefully cleaned. Differences between editions are noted in the footnotes.
There are 145 footnotes, explaining the technology, lingo, and places. One footnote even discovers a long ‘new’ section of dialogue about the risk of plague, unseen since the first publications in 1905 — and never reprinted until now!
This .PDF is thus as close as we will get to a definitive version of the seminal story that launched the entire genre of hard science-fiction, and which opened the highly influential Gollancz yellow-jacket survey anthology One Hundred Years of Science Fiction (1969).
As a bonus, there are four new full-page colour illustrations including one of “George”. This labour-of-love e-book is 28 pages in total, delivered to you as a .PDF file. It may interest RPG gamers, as well as scholars and readers.
As you can tell, I’ve at last been able to see all four of the earliest editions. And my gosh… many differences! And with errors in places, in some modern editions, even including a handful in the free version on the site of The Kipling Society. Anyway, regular Tentaclii readers know my approach… copious attention to detail, deep historical research, resulting in many fascinating footnotes. Enjoy.
Horace Smith said:
Thank you. The extensive annotations to the story were a great help. Without them, I would not have understood a number of points in the writing, and, of course, I would never have known about the text variants. I hope that you had fun doing the annotations because it must surely have been a lot of work.
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