Paper Engines and Pinky Promises

It was August, 2020. It was hot out, so I was indoors, scrolling Instagram when in my feed appeared a post by Aaron Fisher (@aaronfishermagic):

I mean, wow. A fancy looking deck of cards, a wad of cash, and a name I've heard of. Count me in! This is a Kickstarter campaign that I'll definitely jump on.

The Campaign

The campaign itself was in fact for the deck, it is the CC Club Playing Cards, the CC standing for "Conjuror Community". Ah, but it was for a little bit more than that:

A Premier Deck of Playing Cards & Live Online Training Program from the World's Best Magic Club: Conjuror Community

Heck yeah! But wait, there's more! There were live events, the Pandemonium Vanishing Deck trick, and also the Aaron Fisher Card Magic Collection. That collection is 6 different video lectures, which is pretty sweet.

What's more sweet is this though -- for $85, I got 6 of the CC Club decks, the Pandemonium trick, unlimited access to the "Out of the Box Experience" online site (which has a ton of videos and lectures), access to the live events when they were going on in the beginning, and also those 6 lectures from Aaron Fisher. That is a pretty great deal if you ask me. It didn't hurt that the deck was pretty good too ;)

The Paper Engine Update

But wait, there's even more!!!

Have you ever heard of the book The Paper Engine, by Aaron Fisher? He, and John Lovick, published it back in 2002. It's 126 pages, hardcover, and has 50 or so card magic sleights and routines. If you're lucky enough to find a copy of it, it's often $150+. Yikes...

Though, technically, you can download a PDF of it from Aaron Fisher's website for a low, low price of $24.95. Hmm...

So, back to that Kickstarter campaign. One of the stretch goals was a 20th anniversary, new and improved version of The Paper Engine. They offered both hardcover and paperback editions, the only difference was the addon cost of $88 vs $38, respectably. I'm known to be a book collector, so of course I smashed that "add on" button and chose hardcover.

I was excited, the community was excited, we were all just super excited!!!

The Pinky Promise

September 10th, 2020, 21 days after its launch, the campaign ended after receiving over $140k -- the goal was $5k!

The first main update that all of us backers received at the end of the campaign included this paragraph regarding The Paper Engine:

If you added a copy of the Paper Engine 20th Anniversary Edition to your reward, please keep in mind that the book is scheduled to be printed and shipped Spring 2021. For that reason, it won’t appear on your shipping confirmation now.

That makes sense. Decks are quicker to print than a book is to write and publish. I was cool with waiting -- half a year, that's not terrible. Oh, if only I knew.

Here is a quick view of each update, as they provided them to us:

In March, 2021, we received the next update. Unfortunately, it let us know that the original target of Spring 2021 wasn't happening. Unforeseen delays and whatnot. But they were still working on it "diligently" and would announce a shipping date asap.

July 27th, 2021:

Many apologies for the long delay since our last update ... I've found it difficult to write updates about the Paper Engine because the project is so close to my heart.
Aaron Fisher

September 16th, 2021:

the book has finally entered the final editing stage
Aaron Fisher

November 23rd, 2021's update reiterated that they're still working on editing the final piece of writing... I'm no editor, but that must be a huge piece of writing to spend more than 2 months on.

March 2nd, 2022:

The final letter written by Bobby Boucher's father in The Water Boy.

Yup, that's right. They're leaving us pretty high-and-dry with the good ol' "sorry, no updates, check back again later" routine. If you think about it, it's just like a real magic trick -- they asked someone to borrow a $20 bill, and forgot to return it. Hopefully it doesn't show up inside a lemon =/

At this rate, if they were to announce "all work's done" this week, we might actually receive it on the 2-year mark after we paid for it. And, it's called the 20th Anniversary edition so hey, 2022's the year right?

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