Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Universe Boxes are Almost Available!!!


Breaking News!

I just now received the following email from Marianne Porter, the unquestioned ultimate power at Dragonstairs Press. This is so highly-anticipated an event that I'm breaking precedent by blogging twice in a single day. Those who are interested in today's one-day sale of Vacuum Flowers in e-book format should scroll down to the earlier post.

Universe Boxes is issued in an edition of 13, of which 10 are available for purchase.  Price is $215 for shipping in the United States, $225 for shipping elsewhere.  Universe Boxes will be available for sale beginning Saturday, August 6, 2016, at noon, Eastern time.  Please check at

Universe Boxes is a collaborative project by Michael Swanwick and Marianne Porter. The boxes were assembled over several years by me, and the novelette was written by Swanwick.  It is a significant departure for Dragonstairs, and I hope you will be as intrigued by it as I have been.
The project has four distinct elements:
The Box
Each box is an actual cigar box, lined with astronomical charts and photomoechanicals of paleontological art. (Please note: the boxes have been carefully cleaned, bicarbonate of soda-ed, aired out, and Febreezed, but they originally held real tobacco.)
The exterior of each box has a Dragonstairs Press return address sticker and appropriate rubber-stamp-canceled postage for the item to go through the mail. (Out of concern for the contents, the Universe Boxes will be padded and shipped in larger boxes.) When each is sold, an address sticker with its purchaser’s name and address will be added. The whole will then be tied up with string.
The Contents
A variety of objects have been included in each. Every box has a hand-bound signed copy of Universe Box by Michael Swanwick and a vaccine created by Marianne Porter (more on these below).
Contents of one box, identified as Coma Bernices/Pleistocene include:
            glass beads
            vacuum tube
            red gem coral Corallium sp.
            sectioned geode
            postal reply coupon
            vintage German glass taxidermy eyes
            winged pin
            calling cards
Plus, of course, the vaccine and book. Some of the above items are common to all boxes but most are not. The contents of each box are unique to it.
Packing material consists of early drafts of the included story, run through a shredder.
The Story
Universe Box is a previously-unpublished 10,500 word fantasy dealing with cosmic powers, giraffe wranglers, the purpose of existence, and the most boring young man in all the universe. Physically, it is a stab-bound book with decorative paper covers, roughly six inches by four inches, issued in an edition of thirteen plus one printer’s proof. The books are all autographed by Michael Swanwick and a contents list is autographed by both the author and the publisher.
The Vaccine
One vaccine is included per box. These are individual works of art by Marianne Porter, consisting of a glass serum bottle (2 cm x 4.5 cm) filled with specifics “against what ails you.” The bottle is sealed with a rubber stopper and topped with a crimped aluminum cap. It can be opened, but once opened cannot be resealed. The contents of each vaccine are unique to it. The one included in Coma Bernices/Pleistocene, for example, contains human hair, an agate bead, and wire.
The vaccines are part of a larger series, none of which have previously been made available for purchase.
Thank you for your support.


  Marianne Porter



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