They reached port, in Boston, on Monday. They cleared customs Monday night. Boxes will be put on trucks, or sent via UPS, today. Unfortunately, subscribers’ copies will not, after all, be mailed directly from Boston. (Long story.) They will instead be shipped to the Brooklyn apartment of McSweeney’s staff person Diane Vadino. They will then be hand-enveloped and hand-stickered and -stamped, and mailed on Monday and Tuesday.

Subscribers should get theirs by the end of next week.

Bookstores should have them the week after that, unless their distributors are slow, which is sometimes the case. And it’s August, so go figure.

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A few advance copies of the issue have been viewed by representatives here, and we must say that it looks very, very, very, very nice. As intimated previously, Issue No. 3 makes Issues No. 1 & 2 look very small and weak, as if Nos 1& 2 were very small and weak animals, with poor eyesight, which had not eaten for many days.

Number 3 is 288 pages long, with three color gatefolds. Each copy weighs about six pounds. It is a very heavy thing, this thing, much heavier than we could have ever expected. It is heavy in a very good way.

It contains approximately 190,000 words. There are approximately 1,200 words on the front cover. As a special feature, there is a short story on the spine, by a young writer who we think you’ll be hearing much of in the future. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a story has ever appeared on the spine of a book. You will be impressed. You might even gasp.

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There are all kinds of things inside, including the work of:

Lawrence Weschler
(he who can be blamed for the gatefolds — they accompany three essays)

Jonathan Lethem
(a letter from Brooklyn concerning madness)

J. Robert Lennon
(three very short stories)

Camden Joy
(a treatise on boxing and Warren Zevon)

Arthur Bradford
(a letter from old Virginny)

Sarah Vowell
(a letter from the continent)

Komar & Melamid
(an offer to save you)

Magnus Mills
(a short story about Christmas)

Mark O’Donnell
(a musical about catering)

And much more, which will be revealed tomorrow.

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In the meantime, if you happen to happen into your local bookseller, you might remind her or him to put in his or her order for the new issue. This will help us get the copies distributed promptly, and will help your bookseller become rich.

Also, do know that as of next week, we will be able to process credit card orders through the website, just like you heard was possible on the news that one day.

As for those almost-subscribers out there, we encourage those who have contemplated sending money to McSweeney’s to do so soon. This issue, we are fairly sure, will sell out quicker than the first two, in large part due to the issue’s main article, which we will talk about tomorrow, and will excerpt next week.

It is really something, that main article.

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Also note that the McSweeney’s Lifetime Subscribers’ orders will be filled next week. We apologize for the delay, but we wanted to be able to include the new issue in their bundles. In addition to the new issue and whatever else we promised before, Lifetime Subscribers will all be provided with one of the following souvenirs from the McSweeney’s country of origin:

A piece of volcanic rock, red
A piece of volcanic rock, grey
A toothbrush featuring a picture of a geyser. Opposite the geyser it says “The Great Geyser,” for at Geysir — a huge Old Faithful kind of job that spouts every five or ten minutes — is where it was purchased.
One pack of souvenir playing cards, with the backs of each featuring an arial view of Reykjavik
A patch featuring the word “Îsland,” which is how those people spell it
A magnet in the shape of a seal, below which it says “Sealed with a kiss from Iceland.” The seal is holding a postcard.
A magnet depicting a viking-looking man riding a bicycle, holding a flag that says “Iceland.” Below him is the caption: “Biking Viking Liking.”
A magnet of a cow jumping. The caption: “Iceland: For Whatever Mooves You!”
A drawing of a slide projector executed in the conference room of the Radisson Hotel, Reykjavik, where the issue’s final details were completed
These souvenirs, among others, are available to Lifetime Subscribers.

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That is all. More tomorrow.