So this happened: my first ARCs. ARCs are advanced reader copies: they're sent out to bookstores mainly, in order to let the book buyers get a peek at them beyond a half page in a catalog or the product description on line. Because I've been working as a bookseller for 15 or so years, I've seen thousands of the things, and read quite a few. They come in all types and styles. Some of them are just the text, plainly printed, bound with a generic cover that includes the author, title and publication date, along with some basic explanation of what the book is about. These don't get read all that often. Some are fancier: an inset of the cover image, maybe, or at least bright colors or an author photo. And some are very fancy, like mine seen here. They look pretty much the way the real book will look (only paperback instead of hard cover), with all the interior fonts on display, and the wingdings around the page numbers, and the suggestion of fog on various pages that will be made slightly more perfect for release but is totally an awesome thing even as it is. I don't suppose one ever forgets a first book (though some author interviews suggest that maybe, after long enough, you kind of do) and this one is a wonderful thing to remember. Here's to hoping there will be many more over the years.