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Year of the Jackpot 
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PITA Bred
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot
beamjockey wrote:
Holy smoke. That's the only version I've read.

Which means you have new Heinlein to read, you... you...


Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:03 pm
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot
Could it really have happened by accident? I never considered it before. Silverberg was a very experienced anthologist by 1974 and presumably knew how not to mishandle his source materials. Nor do I think it likely that the typesetter goofed and that Silverberg didn't catch the omission when checking galley proofs; surely he would have noticed the absence of "The End" (which I presume would have been set off typographically, as in the 1962 Signet paperback The Menace from Earth, which I have with the early-1970s cover art).

Ideally someone would simply ask him whether it was deliberate - someone who wouldn't have qualms about raising an embarrassing incident from 35 years ago... not me, that is.


Mon Jan 26, 2009 7:07 pm
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot
JJGarsch wrote:
Could it really have happened by accident? I never considered it before. Silverberg was a very experienced anthologist by 1974 and presumably knew how not to mishandle his source materials. Nor do I think it likely that the typesetter goofed and that Silverberg didn't catch the omission when checking galley proofs; surely he would have noticed the absence of "The End" (which I presume would have been set off typographically, as in the 1962 Signet paperback The Menace from Earth, which I have with the early-1970s cover art).

Ideally someone would simply ask him whether it was deliberate - someone who wouldn't have qualms about raising an embarrassing incident from 35 years ago... not me, that is.

The Heinleins pointed it out to him, and he was profuse in apologies for the "accident" at the time. I don't think it's too hard to understand: apparently he only read what was there in the galleys and slipped over noticing what was not there. I can't remember whether that particular anthology used "The End" at the end of stories -- most don't. At any event, I have a hard time imagining what advantage Silverberg might have been seeking by truncating the story; it's not even as if he didn't have a cordial and respectful relationship with Heinlein.


Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:25 am
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NitroForum Oldster
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot
As an end-of-the-world story, "The Year of the Jackpot" definitely suffers an end-of-the-story jinx.

Galaxy's version (March 1952) ends reasonably:
Code:
[...] knowing with an unexpected and overpowering burst of sorrow that 1952 was ...
                    The End

Unfortunately, the big Science Fiction Book Club omnibus, Off the Main Sequence (2005), ends:
Code:
[...] knowing with an unexpected and overpowering burst of sorrow that his was.

Galaxy stories normally were terminated with the author's byline in bold. Of course "1952 was" was generalized to "this was" but garbled or wrongly corrected; and Heinlein's "The End" dropped through a mistaken sense of following the stylebook. Which makes Heinlein sound as though he's trying to imitate Finnegans Wake's wraparound, and of course rather steps on the reader's sense of termination.

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Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:44 pm
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot
Robert W Franson wrote:
Galaxy stories normally were terminated with the author's byline in bold. Of course "1952 was" was generalized to "this was" but garbled or wrongly corrected; and Heinlein's "The End" dropped through a mistaken sense of following the stylebook. Which makes Heinlein sound as though he's trying to imitate Finnegans Wake's wraparound, and of course rather steps on the reader's sense of termination.

Urk. That's an awkward one. I've bought maybe half a dozen copies of that book to give away, but I don't think I've ever looked particularly at that story before. Thanks for catching that. Next time I have occasion to talk with Andrew Wheeler I'll mention it to him.


Fri Jan 30, 2009 8:15 am
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot
Um, I trust you're aware that Andrew Wheeler lost his SFBC job (as did the only other editor there, Ellen Asher) back in May 2007? (see this link: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2007/0 ... -book-club)


Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:19 am
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PITA Bred
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot
What the hell would SFBC need editors for, anyway? :mrgreen:

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Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:45 pm
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot
Harking back to Peter Scott's original question, I think that the story's ending (as written) is not an expression of pessimism -- rather it is Heinlein's storytelling integrity which requires that he express his engineering integrity pushing to its logical climax. So to tell the true story of all those statistical peaks and troughs reaching their extreme limits, even the social chaos has to be overwhelmed by the physics of the primary influence on our astronomical neighborhood.

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Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:52 pm
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot
JJGarsch wrote:
Um, I trust you're aware that Andrew Wheeler lost his SFBC job (as did the only other editor there, Ellen Asher) back in May 2007? (see this link: http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2007/0 ... -book-club)
No, I wasn't aware. Wheeler posts sometimes to rec.arts.sf.written, but I don't recall that the subject ever came up (at least not in any thread I looked at).


Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:07 pm
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot
Robert W Franson wrote:
Harking back to Peter Scott's original question, I think that the story's ending (as written) is not an expression of pessimism -- rather it is Heinlein's storytelling integrity which requires that he express his engineering integrity pushing to its logical climax. So to tell the true story of all those statistical peaks and troughs reaching their extreme limits, even the social chaos has to be overwhelmed by the physics of the primary influence on our astronomical neighborhood.

Well -- okay, but I wouldn't say it's an expression of either pessimism or optimism, it's just a story gimmick. As a writer, You work with the ideas that come to you.


Fri Jan 30, 2009 9:12 pm
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