As indicated on the front page, this is a collection of squibs, greetings & thanks, stories, music, images, poetry & prose, items from the archives and from family & friends for Alan Prince on the occasion of his retirement, May/June 2015.

First and foremost, I’d like to thank the many willing contributors to this off-the-beaten-path collection. Even with the bar set at “any and all contributions of any kind considered”, I didn’t expect anything near the response I received to my request, sent just a few short weeks before I intended to present a near-final result to Alan. And that result — still not completely finalized as of this writing — is everything I’d hoped it would be: an eclectic collection reflecting and celebrating Alan’s own eclectic interests and tastes.

I could have limited my request for contributions to current and former colleagues, collaborators, and students, as is usual for Festschriften, but we’d already done that about a decade ago. So instead, I decided to cast as wide a net as possible, and I’ve been attempting to widen it further since. Alan’s research, teaching, and other pursuits and diversions (both academic and otherwise) have affected so many that it seemed silly to restrict contributions in any particular way. This is, I think, faithfully reflected in what you see here.

Alan, we hope you enjoy the short ’schrift we’ve given you.

Other readers: likewise, mutatis mutandis.

— Eric Baković
San Diego, June 2015