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SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc. 
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PITA Bred
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Post SPLIT THREAD: The Virginia Edition etc.
That's sourly amusing - I am having a parallel discussion about the complete edition of Burton. (Literally; a half-finished email glares at me in the other monitor.) Many of the same questions arise, although there are few legal/copyright/ownershp issues to cloud the decision-making.

All I can say is that the travails of the VE, public and private, known and unknown, have been immensely valuable in helping me shape this larger project... and avoid the pit- and pratfalls. I'd like to avoid another case of WhatMight'veBeen.

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Thu Sep 04, 2008 7:07 am
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Post Re: Stories: Citizen of the Galaxy (Opus 128/G.134) (Nov. 1956)
Thanks, guys! A Variorum Heinlein edition -- what fun that would be.

I doubt if I could manage myself a dual close reading in the foreseeable future. But when I next reread Citizen of the Galaxy I'll do it from the Astounding issues, and glance across at the Scribner edition as the spirit moves me. It's been a while since I looked at all the van Dongen illustrations, anyway.

Speaking of illustrations: did Scribner just lose interest in illustrating Heinlein's last, great novels for them?

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Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:39 pm
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Post Re: Stories: Citizen of the Galaxy (Opus 128/G.134) (Nov. 1956)
The original plan, long ago, was a full scholarly standard edition, with variorum and close editing and corrections per original mss and notes. It devolved repeatedly into, well, the Virginia Edition. I don't think many people have an idea of what a crippled clusterf*ck that project has become. I'd bet that it never sees completion.

Unfortunately I think Bill's ten-year hiatus is too short by... well, a lot. The problem with doing a huge project half-assed is that it spoils the market and the motivations for doing it right. If a true standard edition of RAH is ever done, it won't be for 25 years or more. There will be no significant interest from the potential market, and none from the rights holders, before the VE is forgotten.

And there was so little standing in the way of doing it right.

:cry:

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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Thu Sep 04, 2008 2:39 pm
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Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:57 am
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Post Re: Stories: Citizen of the Galaxy (Opus 128/G.134) (Nov. 1956)
Don't get me wrong - it's a very good collection, and Bill has put in a massive amount of work to see it through properly from a weak position. (The vast amount of it gratis, or next thing to it, as far as I understand.) It may well wheeze through to completion, as there are contractual obligations to meet, but I would be unsurprised if it is only completed in some technical, letter-of-the-law manner and not in some more realistic sense. But it is, and will be, worth having. (Just don't ever think about how you could have 99% of the contents in decent hardcovers for 1/10 the price.)

So many poor decisions were made in shaping, launching and managing the project that it would take a book to detail them all. A very, very poor choice of publisher was one of the most significant - one that had zero expertise with the material or with multivolume sets, no capacity to wrangle such a large project and was financially shaky to start with. Aiming the set at such a platinum-plated sales level was another - it was sheer moonshine through the 'shroom smoke that there would be that many buyers for such a set. As the Centennial showed, RAH fans tend to talk lots'n'lots bigger than they do.

Sorry; this is all leaking out from a rather sour postmortem on my Heinlein years that will likely never be seen by any eyes but mine. It's vastly depressing when the wishful thinking is brushed away and the cold realities emerge. (The purpose of the PM isn't to diss anyone; it's to help me keep from getting similarly misled in future projects.)

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Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:16 am
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Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:47 am
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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:12 am
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Fri Sep 05, 2008 11:35 am
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Post Re: Stories: Citizen of the Galaxy (Opus 128/G.134) (Nov. 1956)
I'm at least a non-collector, and ceased being an accumulator at about age twenty when I began losing track of what I had. I do like to own what I like to re-read, in hopefully attractive but at least durable form.

Getting back to my question on the lack of illustrations in the Scribner Citizen of the Galaxy.

Has anyone considered a general collection of illustrations for Heinlein works, rather like Kelly Freas' and other artists' collections? I'll bet the vast majority of fans who have stacks of Heinlein paperbacks have never seen the 1940s Astoundings with Hubert Rogers etc., or even the 1950s Clifford Geary illos for the Scribners.

I think such a collection could sell well, and boost Heinlein generally.

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Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:16 pm
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"Hier stehe ich. Ich kann nicht anders." - Luther
In the end, I found Heinlein is finite. Thus, finite analysis is needed.


Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:38 pm
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