New Book about TOS: These Are The Voyages

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by neoworx, Jul 13, 2013.

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  1. Andrew_Kearley

    Andrew_Kearley Captain Captain

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    Premium pricing? Is the book particularly expensive then? I thought it was about normal. Mind you, I don't know what prices books go for in America. But 19 quid on Amazon UK is about average for a book this size from a small press publisher. (And I buy a lot of these about Doctor Who, for instance.)
     
  2. Daddy Todd

    Daddy Todd Captain Premium Member

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    US$40 for a paperback is pretty high, at least for something not from a 'scholarly' press.
     
  3. Andrew_Kearley

    Andrew_Kearley Captain Captain

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    Ah right. That's about 24 pounds. So more than it cost over here. But like I said, I wouldn't consider 19 pounds excessive for a small press publication over 600 pages. Big publishers can afford to discount their prices more of course.
     
  4. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    Currently on Amazon.com.

    Hardback (original edition): $24.95
    Paperback (revised edition): $32.78
    Kindle (revised edition): $14.86
     
  5. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think $33 for 600 pages is bad at all. Six cents a page. That's cheaper than mine, but we think in terms of "a product" rather than how many hours it'll give ya.

    There aren't many comparables: TV/film histories/backstories that large (i.e. hours of reading) with so much exclusive content. If you want a book to sell in bookstores, it needs to be in line with the market. But this one is pretty unique. And if their model is as I think, they're trying to make up for smaller sales (not in stores, niche market) in larger profit margin. That can be a trap since people (as on this bbs) have price points in their heads based on the market and traditionally published books.

    If I were that interested in that level of detail, I might bite, since you're getting a lot of book. Oddly, though TOS is "it" for me, I just don't care in that detail. Again best wishes to everyone and a sweet 2014. I am pumped for an even-numbered, solid-feeling year.
     
  6. Botany Bay

    Botany Bay Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Damn, should have gone with the kindle edition! I don't recall it being an option when I did my christmas shopping a couple of months ago.

    For what it's worth, when I picked up the 2nd ed. -

    Paperback book : $39.83 AUD ($37ish USD back in Oct) add shipping and currency conversion, up over $50 USD.

    Making it easily the most I've ever paid for a paperback book. But I understand physical books have overheads, it's impossible to build scale on a (presumably) small print run, etc.

    Anyway, I think pricing is the least of the issues here, I'd have been just as disappointed and written the same review had I picked it up for $5.
     
  7. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    The hardback edition is apparently priced to try to move those copies. The paperback version is indeed not badly priced also considering it's revised and sixty pages longer than the original edition.

    The kindle version is also the revised edition and apparently became available when the revision was released. This is the option I went with to get the revised version. I might well go with the kindle for the subsequent volumes assuming those versions are released.
     
  8. gottacook

    gottacook Commander Red Shirt

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    I haven't seen any edition of These Are the Voyages but would like to note that major publishers (allegedly with professional editors on staff) also have been known to produce supposedly well-researched books that turn out to have problems just as large as those reported here.

    Case in point: I recently read last year's biography of Kurt Vonnegut Jr. by Charles Shields, published by Henry Holt. Despite hundreds of endnotes, there are some serious problems that anyone moderately knowledgeable about Vonnegut's career would have been aware of.

    One major piece of missing information involves the 1974 novel by "Kilgore Trout," Venus on the Half-Shell (first published as a serial in F&SF). Shields fails to mention that the title and a short excerpt from it (reused by the actual author, Philip Jose Farmer) first appeared, along with Trout himself, in Vonnegut's 1965 novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Because Vonnegut is depicted as remorseful that he'd given permission to Farmer to write the novel, it's obviously pertinent that Vonnegut himself had planted the seed for it.

    There are also some unsupported assertions. One that I recall (checked Amazon just now for the quote) is "the publisher made the mistake of leaving off 'Jr.' after his surname on the cover" with regard to the 1976 novel Slapstick, as if "Jr." had appeared anywhere else in the book - which it didn't! (Yes, I have the hardcover, and yes, I can see why it got bad reviews at the time.) Vonnegut's final book to use the "Jr." was Breakfast of Champions 3 years earlier, and despite Shields' assertion there is no reason to think a mistake was involved.

    And so on.
     
  9. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    You're right. No book is perfect. (That's why I'm afraid to open the covers of mine now! :) )

    Fact checking is generally up to the author, since no publishing house carries experts in every field. Typos, sentences, structure and flow are supposed to be attended to by the editor(s) the publisher employs (one reason for the publisher's hefty cut, often 40% of cover price, after selling the books at 60% discount to wholesaler; then paying the royalties to the author).

    The difference with this project is the sheer volume of errors both English and factual in edition 1. They seem far reduced in ed. 2. We're really rooting for volume two now.
     
  10. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Maybe it's different for nonfiction; but for fiction, the author is absolutely responsible for proper grammar, spelling, and the "flow" of the manuscript, and too many typos and grammatical errors will earn the author an outright rejection. No fiction editor would waste time with an author who hasn't mastered his craft and with a manuscript that isn't ready to be published. It's the writer's job to write, not the editor's. I'm surprised nonfiction editors would bother to take on some of the writing responsibilities.
     
  11. plynch

    plynch Commodore Commodore

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    You certainly have a point. A panel of editors I heard speak at a writers' convention talked of sometimes being very involved with the re-development of the work. It is true in fiction the author writes an entire draft first, but more work might follow after the expert eyes/mind of an editor get involved. And apparently some authors quite adept at characterization or dialog suck at grammar. If I were mailing out a draft of a novel, I'd sure want it as "correct" as possible, but there are supposedly name authors who aren't so good mechanically. I now forget the different types of editors the panel was naming, but content editors (iir the title correctly), copyeditors and proofers all have different and necessary roles at the publisher.

    Hey, Christopher or Greg Cox, can you weigh in with how active fiction editors are? Maybe what I learned is bunk. Although I'm pretty good grammatically (esp. where split infinitives are concerned, eh, Christopher?) my editor found some things that didn't sound good; and made me eliminate many commas, my bane. And helped me see big picture stuff. And confirmed some of my hopes for readers outside music. And noted my use of fragments. :) Which was often intentional since I was writing colloquially.

    In nonfiction, from the copious reading I did before sending out book proposals, if one already has a platform/following, one can get an agent and publisher; and I understand large allowances are made for one's English and usage. A big name or real expertise are rare; people who can reshape/fix one's writings, alas, are common. (Spoken as a father of an English major who doesn't want to teach.:scream:)
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2014
  12. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    I'm about thirty percent into rereading TATV revised edition. It does read cleaner than the first go around although I have spotted the odd misstype. Some of the factual errors do appear to remain. The one that comes most immediately to mind is the statement that NBC had never done sci-fi before, and this in the face of Harvey clarifying that that assertion is incorrect. Cushman could simply have said NBC had never done anything remotely like TOS before and it would have been a fair statement.

    I am reminded again of the friction that began to arise between writers and Gene Roddenberry over rewrites. John D.F. Black is on record as not liking GR's rewrites particularly with writers of Matheson's calbre. But I can't get away from seeing it in a different light: no matter how good the writer's work might be GR had a vision for the show and had the right to make the stories fit the series with a measure of consistency. And in many cases the rewrites did improve the final filmed episodes. With "The Enemy Within" Matheson wanted to focus almost exclusively on the situation of the two Kirks. He was against the B plot element of Sulu and the stranded crewman in danger of freezing to death. Matheson's initial concept also had an evil Kirk that was less intelligent and not that cunning, essentially more a simple brute. It was Roddenberry who pushed making the evil Kirk more intelligent and cunning. GR also suggested while we could see the evil Kirk drinking it was entirely unnecessary to see him actually drunk.
     
  13. Hober Mallow

    Hober Mallow Commodore Commodore

    Wasn't it David Gerrold who said something like Gene could turn a bad story into a good story and a great into a good story?
     
  14. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I believe that's a Gerrold quote, yes.
     
  15. Warped9

    Warped9 Admiral Admiral

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    GR was within his rights to make certain the stories fit the series. The fact that many of the early episodes are effective and well regarded backs him up. This isn't to say the writers didn't do good work, but did their finished work fit the series as is? Re-reading these chapters on each episode it often does come across that many if not most of GR's rewrites were improvements toward the final results.
     
  16. stcanada29

    stcanada29 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Not even a single rare photo in the book can be attributed to "The Collector"? This recent post on his Star Trek Prop Authority website from Jan. 4 is long overdue, IMO.

    http://www.startrekpropauthority.com/2014/01/special-report-behind-scenes-look-at.html
     
  17. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Gerald, is that you?
     
  18. BillJ

    BillJ Admiral Admiral

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    :lol:
     
  19. stcanada29

    stcanada29 Lieutenant Red Shirt

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    Said with such assurance, Harvey.

    At least you can be credited with allowing for the possibility that a single image (= ONE) photo can be attributed to him.

    I am certainly a fan of "The Collector"'s website, and a supporter of this enjoyable book by Mr. Cushman! I just thought this article was newsworthy ...

    http://www.startrekpropauthority.com/2014/01/special-report-behind-scenes-look-at.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  20. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    I'll say one thing with assurance: "Some of the images weren't pilfered!" is hardly a passable defense.
     
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