Howard Rodman’s book The Great Eastern is here! (you remember Howard; the wonderfully eloquent and soulful keynote speaker at the Walter Becker Way dedication? His keynote address is reprinted here)Advance praise for this thing is so good it’s almost scary. Just two among dozens of blurbs: “A historical phantasmagoria and ripping adventure. Like twelve of your favorite movies at once, in full Sensurround." —Jonathan Lethem. Howard Rodman’s powers of invention, connective synthesis, and grim humor are matched only by his literary ventriloquism and psychological insight… A ready-made binge-read!” —Steven Soderbergh. You can read lots more about it hereBut can we tell you a secret? And well we know it from our own forays into The Marketplace. Quoting Howard himself: Pre-orders are vital. They drive book reviews, tell booksellers how much to stock, determine whether a book makes best-seller lists (pre-orders are counted as first-week sales). And of course: a book that lands on the Amazon Top 100 garners far more attention from readers and the media alike. Pre-orders are the single best way of supporting an author, and of helping a book find its place in the world. This is the god’s honest truth. It was your preorders that found Two Against Nature at #6 on its release day! So if you think you might read The Great Eastern eventually, please consider preordering it at any one of the usual outlets — and let’s help give Howard’s ship a mighty mighty launch! Thanks.The proprietors would like to say that this is intended to be the only commercial tout ever to appear on walterbeckermedia.com. Howard was a great friend to Walter: He would want us to do no less.