New W. A. Dwiggins book! Athalinthia stories and pictures

Created by Bruce Kennett

The personal side of Dwiggins. Cool stories, published together for the first time. Tons of never-before-seen art, much in color.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Last call . . .
3 months ago – Wed, Aug 31, 2022 at 06:42:14 AM

Hello Everyone,

First of all, many thanks for completing your surveys. It helps get the information exactly right for shipment.

Second, orders are about to be closed. If you had meant to order a T-shirt or another copy of the book, today is the day to do it. After today, T-shirts and Series II deluxe books can no longer be ordered. A few standard books will be available for purchase later on, but at a higher price.

Thanks again for your help in getting this project off the ground!


Backers list to be printed in book — Please read this note!
3 months ago – Sat, Aug 20, 2022 at 03:55:03 PM

This post is for backers only. Please visit and log in to read.

Image proofs • Surveys
4 months ago – Thu, Aug 11, 2022 at 07:06:45 PM

Hello Everyone,

I'm very pleased to have proofs back from Penmor for all the illustrations in the front 220 pages of the book. Everything looks great. Still working on the afterword.

Important: BackerKit tells me that 88% of you have completed surveys. For the remaining 12% of you . . . please do complete your survey so we can tidy up that housekeeping stuff. If you cannot *find* your survey, or never got one, please send me a message and I'll have one sent to you.

In case you want to mention it to friends, standard Athalinthia books, deluxe (series II) books, and t-shirts are still available for the general public to order. They can just go to the Kickstarter campaign page and click the link there.



A small sampling of the color and b&w proofs for all illustrations in the seven Athalinthia stories. Just in from Penmor’s prepress department.

Titles for the seven stories
4 months ago – Fri, Jul 29, 2022 at 11:50:51 PM

Now that the housekeeping and on-line programming details seem to be receding in the rear-view mirror, at long last I can turn my attention to writing about how Dwiggins imagined these stories and what he did to breathe life into them. And bring some of this to you in the form of updates.

Over the more than four decades that Dwiggins was working on his Athalinthia tales, the sequence of the stories varied, as did some of the names. (For example: Siriling > Sirriling > Sirraling >Syrillion.)

This list is probably from the late 1920s, given the spelling of Sirraling.

By the late 1940s he had settled on both the story order and the names, displaying those clearly on the cover of The War Against Waak (Püterschein-Hingham, 1948), so I have adopted that sequence for the 2022 edition.

My design calls for each of the seven stories to begin with a half-title page that has only the name of the story. Dwiggins drew/lettered line art for four of the stories; for a fifth, “Bronabejjia,” he made a combination of a line drawing and some typeset matter.

However, there was no art in the files for “Syrillion” and “Jade Carved Flamewise.” (In the Dwiggins Collection at Boston Public Library, each of the stories has its own folders that contain handwritten and typed manuscripts, plus tons of illustrations, relating to that individual story.)

I was disappointed not to have something directly from Dwiggins’s hand for each of the stories, but I refused to be deterred. Last winter, while I was working on the design, I decided to build my own titles for the two remaining stories, using original Dwiggins material to do so. For “Syrillion” I put together glyphs from the 41-point Plimpton Initials, which WAD made in 1936 for use at the Plimpton Press, where many Knopf novels were printed. For “Jade Carved Flamewise” I combined letters from a Dwiggins script alphabet that was included in Paul Hollister’s American Alphabets (Harper Brothers, 1930); given the particular combinations of letters in that word, the fit was not ideal, so I took a few liberties in retouching and combining the letters. (You can see these two titles at the bottom of the JPEG below.)

But then . . . Eureka! Yesterday, while working on the afterword text, I decided to go through everything I have in my Athalinthia files, and I came upon copy photographs of two title-page comps that Dwiggins made in the 1940s, on which he happened to have written both “Syrillion” and “Jade carved Flamewise” as titles. So now each of the stories can open with titles that Dwiggins actually made himself! These you’ll see in the upper portion of the JPEG.

Titles for stories, all made by Dwiggins (upper portion), with my now-discarded titles below

Stay tuned . . . more to come as I keep working on this. 

T-shirts and Deluxes
4 months ago – Tue, Jul 26, 2022 at 06:06:17 PM

Greetings All,

T-SHIRTS  I’ve had some requests for additional sizes on the T-shirts. I checked with the printer and he can do this. So T-shirts are now available from XS (extra small) in both ladies cut and unisex, up to XL in ladies cut and XXL in unisex. If you didn’t see your size earlier, please go back and have a look. Also, I got size charts from the printer and have put both of those into the image gallery.

DELUXES  Some of the series II deluxes are still available. For those of you who wish to upgrade your pledge from a standard copy of the book to a copy of the series II deluxe, please get in touch with the BackerKit customer support people to make this changeover. Just click on the CONTACT US link in the survey and ask them for assistance. (If you select a deluxe in the survey menu it will be classed as an add-on, which means you will get two copies of the book: one deluxe and one standard, and that’s not what most people want.)

Thanks, Bruce