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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Appendix A: Manuscript Copy Order Form

Now that we've finished our journey through the Holmes Manuscript, here's a look at what Holmes did after he finished writing & editing it. Here's a picture of a related artifact that Billy Galaxy sent me:

This is the form that Holmes filled out to order ten photocopies of the final version of the Manuscript at his work place, the University of Southern California School of Medicine, where he was an associate professor of neurology. Presumably either the original and/or at least one of these ten copies was sent on to Gygax at TSR.

The 138 pages of "originals" listed here exactly matches the length of the Manuscript, which includes a duplicate page (37) and a missing page (67), as I noted here. It's unclear whether the duplication/missing page occurred before or during copying, although Billy noted that all copies of the final version he has seen have the missing page.

Importantly, this form tells us that the final version of the Manuscript was completed prior to February 4, 1977, when the request was made. The copying work was finished & paid for on February 7th. The Basic Set first appeared in July 1977, so it took about five months for TSR to receive, review and edit the rulebook into form for publication.

As Chris mentioned in his recent Save or Die interview that after his father wrote to TSR proposing the beginner's rulebook, TSR told him "they didn't have any money, so if he didn't mind doing it for free, he could go right ahead". In 2007 Gygax wrote on DF, "The Basic Set sold very well, and it was to TSR's benefit that Holmes' did that version, and it cost the company nary a red cent."

When I sent this picture to Chris he wrote, "I think we have a good case here that TSR owes Dad $55 for printing."

Go Back to Part 54: "An Ape in an Iron Cage"
Or Go Back to Start: The Holmes Manuscript

1 comment:

  1. Neat meta-information on our favorite edition of this game.