Sorry, guys - been watching volleyball and running through mazes super busy with important stuff.
Although this place has turned into D&DVienna, we'll actually be playing 7th Sea, not D&D. It's an old AEG game about pirates and magic and stuff; think On Stranger Tides set in an alternate pseudo-Europe.
It's getting a bit of buzz now because, like every older game, it's getting a remake these days, because that's a lot easier than coming up with something new. We'll be playing the original one, though.
As for rulebooks, I think you'll get far more enjoyment out of the game if you don't read anything before playing. I won't stop you, but I'd recommend just rereading Powers or Stevenson instead.
I'd suggest making characters all together, but again, I'm not stopping you if you want to be all maverick and strike out on your own.
As to when: is everybody who wants to play actually in town now?