Friday, November 9, 2018

COLD HARD TYPE update, with deadlines

A Collaborative Project

Initial deadline for submissions: February 1, 2019
Deadline for revised work: April 2, 2019
Provisional publication date: June 1, 2019

E-mail all submissions to Richard Polt
at, or mail by post to:

Richard Polt
Dept. of Philosophy
Xavier University
3800 Victory Pky.
Cincinnati, OH 45207-4443

This book will be an anthology of what can be called post-apocalyptic typewriter fiction—a subgenre that has been explored occasionally in the typosphere. (Examples:,, Stories, poems, illustrations and photos are welcome.

Imagine that digital civilization collapses, and that some people adopt typewriters as their tools of choice. What will their adventures be? These are the tales of their struggles, defeats, and triumphs as they try to bring back typewriters from the grave of “obsolete” technology and restore them to their rightful place in the sun. All contributions to COLD HARD TYPE will be set in the future and will involve typewriters as an essential part of their content. The final versions of the texts will also actually be typed on typewriters.

The basic premise allows for many possibilities: there are different scenarios for the partial or complete breakdown of digital technology and culture, various reasons for the collapse in different parts of the world, different stages of the process, and many possible results. Stories can be set early in the process or centuries later. They may be funny, dark, violent, light, ironic, or profound. They can be suitable for an adult audience, but should not be out-and-out pornographic or sadistic. They can range from short-shorts (1 page) to around 20 pages.

Submissions should be sent to Richard Polt (see above). Drafts of fiction and poetry may be digital or typewritten, but the final version must be typewritten. Submissions will be reviewed by Polt (author of The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist’s Companion for the 21st Century,, novelist Fred Durbin (, and Broward College English professor Andrew McFeaters.

Submissions of illustrations may include color cover designs and grayscale interior artwork, including photos. (Dimensions will be announced well before the first deadline.)

Initial deadline for submissions: February 1, 2019. Submit a draft of your work by this date, at the latest. The editorial panel will consider it and may suggest corrections or revisions. In some cases, we may decide that the work does not fit this volume. However, we hope for wide participation and want this to be a fun, inclusive, and diverse project.

Deadline for revised work: April 2, 2019. This is the date by which we should receive any revisions. Texts must be typewritten. Detailed instructions for typing will be provided to participants well before this deadline; tentatively, texts should be typed single-spaced, in a readable pica typeface (not script), to fit within something like a 4.5 x 7.5 inch rectangle. Complete formatting instructions will be provided later in this process.

Provisional publication date: June 1, 2019. Around this time, the book will be available for purchase as a print-on-demand book. It will not be available in digital form. The price will be as affordable as possible; no one involved in the project expects to make any profit from it. The book will contain no digital text, only images of typewriting.

What about foreign-language or bilingual material? — The language for the collection is English, so submissions need to be in good English, and any bits in other languages must also come with a translation, so that readers who do not know those languages can understand.

If you want to be sure to receive all updates on this project, send an e-mail to Richard Polt at

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Bonanza in Carmichael

The day after the extravaganza in Auburn, I stopped in Carmichael, next to Sacramento, to visit a large office machine store. It has been closed for about a decade, and the family is now trying to clear it out. They are looking for takers for machines, tools, equipment, and more ...

In the photo above, the top shelf is all empty cases, including some nice Olympia cases. There are lots of electrics, especially Selectrics, but also manual standards and portables. A Torpedo 18 in a case is on one of these shelves.

Here are some of their older machines.

There are also checkwriters and adding machines.

There's lots of miscellanea, such as shelving and this box of plastic office machine covers:

The lights aren't working in the repair shop, but using a flashlight I spotted this useful tool. There is lots of other repair equipment and parts, as well.

A couple of neat dealer labels:

Are you interested? Write to Denise Martinez.