The thing is, it's a bit unfair to publish the novella's in e-book only.
It's not as if there's another option. A few decades ago, there were plenty of print magazines that published novella-length stories, and novels were often quite short so novellas could be published as standalone, illustrated works or in something like an Ace Double "flip book" with two tales in one binding (a format emulated by DS9: Fearful Symmetry
). But these days, neither of those is really the case anymore. There's no market for standalone volumes that short, few print SF magazines exist anymore, and there's certainly no market for Star Trek
novellas as standalone works -- except
in e-book form.
And is that really "unfair?" I don't see it that way, since there's nothing stopping you from buying it as an e-book except your own resistance to the format. As long as you're given the freedom to make your own choice, that's fair. If you choose not to buy, that's your own decision, not something imposed on you.
I don't have an e-reader, and I just don't like sitting behind my compuer reading books. I do that on the couch, or in bed. Or during lunch. We are being forced to either buy e-readers (which I'm not going to do for two or three Trek novella's) or sit behind computers, reading them that way, which some of us just don't like.
Again, that's your own choice, so don't blame the publisher. The option is readily available for anyone willing to take it.
And frankly, I don't understand the notion that mild discomfort is a reason not to read something. Heck, I've read enormous hardcover tomes that I found uncomfortable to read because they were so heavy, or old paperbacks that were falling apart and smelled funny. I've read sitting outside in frigid weather, or in dusty library stacks that made me sneeze, or just in uncomfortable chairs. Being comfortable didn't matter; what mattered was reading.
If you like the story, if it engrosses you, then you probably won't even notice the circumstances you're reading it in.
Also, and this is my biggest point.... I'm paying for bytes, something I can't hold and only exists in a digital form.
No, you're not. You're paying for labor
. You're paying for the months of hard work done by the writer, the editor, the copyeditors and proofreaders, the typesetters, the researchers, the cover artist, the cover designer, the legal department, the sales and marketing department, etc. You're paying for the fruits of their creativity and effort. The actual cost of the physical paper, ink, and binding of a book is negligible, especially if it's published in bulk. That's mere pennies of value. (I just got some advance reading copies of my upcoming novel, and although they're in a cruder paperback format, they're actually more costly per unit to print than the final hardcover because there are so few of them printed.) What you're paying for isn't the physical book, but the content
thereof. The physical book, like the computer, is merely the storage medium for what you're buying.
Hopefully, Pocket Books wil realise that they can make some extra money by publising these novella's in a binded volume. I mean, they cater to both markets by releasing all the other novels in both paper and digital form, why not with these novella's?
Because, again, there aren't enough of them yet
. There's effectively zero chance of getting a single
novella published as a physical book. All the paperback collections of Star Trek
e-books to date have been omnibus collections of 4-8 separate e-books, because that's what the print market will bear. And so far, aside from the eight remaining uncollected Corps of Engineers
novellas and the 6-part TNG Slings and Arrows
miniseries, there's only one standalone novella available yet, with two more yet to be published. There will need to be more of them before it's practical to publish them in print form.
So yes, I strongly urge Pocket to find out if releasing both The Struggle Within and In Tempest's Wake together as one book is possible. Then everybody can read these two novels.
They're not novels, they're novellas. Which is why only two wouldn't be enough. But a third, TNG: The Stuff of Dreams
by James Swallow, is in the works for March, and it's logical to assume that Pocket will continue to publish more, because plenty of people do
buy e-books and will continue to do so. So there should probably be enough to get collected eventually
. But if you insist on waiting for that, it's your own choice, so please stop pretending you're being persecuted somehow.