Being asked to sign a copy of one of my books is always an honour, and I try to rise to the occasion. If the occasion is a charity auction where someone is especially generous, then it is in the nature of Baron Munchausen and those whose paths he crosses – I am fortunate enough to be one such – to be similarly generous with their words and anecdotes.
At the end of last year, I gave one of the very last limited-edition hardcover copies of The Extraordinary Adventures of Baron Munchausen to Patrick Rothfuss’s Worldbuilders charity auction, where it sold for a quite breathtaking $717, to an amazing fellow named Yankton. I knew I had to do something special for him, so I asked him a few questions about himself, planned out a narrative, started to write it into the book… and spilled coffee on the damn thing.
There was then a delay while I hunted down another copy of the hardcover. But while I did an idea was fermenting in the depths of my mind. It would be a shame to use up two copies of a very rare book, and only send Yankton one of them. Wouldn’t it?
Here’s what happened.
The dedication begins in the Baron’s typical style. I apologise for my handwriting, but I was hurrying to keep up with his dictation. Two pages is fairly restrained when the Baron writes a dedication to one of his friends.
Three pages, and we have run out of space. The dedication progresses to the blank pages at the back of the book.
In the middle of a thought, the Baron—a man with no respect for boundaries of any kind—completely runs out of space in the book. What to do? Continue in a second volume, obviously.
Nine and a half pages all told, including coffee stains, over two books. Utter thanks to Yankton for giving me the opportunity to do this. I fear the Baron is already considering how to outdo himself in a future dedication, though with no more copies of the hardback left, I have no idea how he’ll manage it. He’ll probably do something insane like printing a whole new edition of the game just to have more copies to sign.
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