Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by historypeats, May 10, 2020.
Or maybe by somebody going along with the joke?
Most likely just running on automatic pilot . . .
There’s even a newer series that’s in the middle of publication (it just started in 2019). Michael Anthony Steele is the author for the first 5 novels in that series (#5 “The Spybot Invasion” isn’t even scheduled for release until July 2020, so in this case we know the author before the book has come out).
I’ve read both his Hardy Boys Adventures and Tom Swift Inventors’ Academy books, and really I find his plots to be over-inflated Grade 2 reader plots that would work better in like “The Hardy Boys Secret Files” Grade 2 readers. Steele’s books are in no way comparable to the older Grosset & Dunlap-Wanderer/Minstrel/Aladdin series, even though they are marketed towards the same age group as those older books.
After Robert Jordan got really big, his publishers reissued the “Reagan O’Neal” books using the “writing as” formulation, complete with new covers by the Wheel of Time cover artist.
Funnily enough, the Robert Galbraith books have never been issued as by Rowling that I can see, though the author bio does say it’s a pseudonym for Rowling. Possibly the publishers figure she’s so famous everyone knows who Robert Galbraith is anyway.
Yep. And we also reissued his early CONAN novels in hardcover, using the same artist I believe. Indeed, one of my last big accomplishments as a full-time Tor editor was making sure we renewed our rights to publish those books before the license expired . . . . .
I would have said going by memory that the Conan reissue covers were by Darrell K. Sweet as well, but looking them up it seems they were by someone else. The style and typeface used were very evidently chosen to make the WOT connection as visible as possible, though.
My memory was fuzzy on that point.
And then there's fantasy writer Meghan Lindholm, who reinvented herself as "Robin Hobb."
More recently James R. Tuck wrote a Lovecraftian dark-fantasy trilogy as "Levi Black" to distinguish those books from his earlier men's-adventure novels. (Full disclosure: I edited that trilogy for Tor.)
One of my favorite cases is Tom Holt, who wanted to do something a bit more serious than his usual comic fantasy and came up with the pseudonym K. J. Parker. He enjoyed the freedom enough that when some people recognized similarities in style he denied there was a connection, and published an interview of “Parker” by himself to show they were different people.
In the case of "Galbraith," I recently saw a book review that acknowledged the pseudonym in the first paragraph, then proceeded to refer to the author as "she" and "Rowling" for the remainder of the review. I think it might have been in USA TODAY.
A Barnes & Noble I used to frequent grouped all Sherlock Holmes pastiches, no matter the author, under H. That takes work to maintain.
Hmm. My own "Organ Princess" milieu (and my planned model railroad layout, and the fictional history of the fictional railroad) are peppered with veiled Stratemeyer references (mostly as in-jokes). Then again, I literally grew up on The Bobbsey Twins, and then, as an adult, spent a fair amount of money on eBay acquiring the Bobbsey novels that never made it to the 1960s "purple" edition.
It's actually kind of amazing the level of research the Stratemeyer ghostwriters (and perhaps research specialists as well) did for children's novels: my first visit to Colonial Williamsburg was inspired by The Bobbsey Twins' Red, White and Blue Mystery, from the early 1970s, and I found that even decades after the book was written, I could use my recollections of it to navigate CW. They even got the color of the visitor shuttle buses right (they're gray).
That's surprising to me. The B&N I used to work at would group all the Holmes pastiches together in the Mystery section, but they were filed by the author's name after that.
Doesn't affect me anymore as I have a kindle, but one of the bookshops here in Dublin can be very hit and miss as to how they put Star Trek books on a shelf. All sci-fi lumped together so some Trek books are filed by author, but then a random sub group of Trek books can appear around "S" in the sequence.
When it comes to honesty over pseudonyms, I'm somewhat bemused by the acknowledgements on the trilogy I wrote over 2018-19, which have 'this is a house pseudonym' stated openly on the first page, and an author bio of the fictional writer at the end... He's a US military veteran who lives in LA with wife and two kids, rather than in Yorkshire with wife and four cats... I've no idea why you'd have both a 'this is a fake' and a bio...
Both an open acknowledgment of the house pseudonym AND a fictional biography thereof?
Sounds like something Oxymoron Press might do.
Bookstores were all over the place when it came to the CSI novels. Some stores would group them together, but others would scatter them all over the mystery section depending on the authors' names.
This is kinda an occupational hazard for tie-in writers. Are you books filed under "C" for Cox and shelved with other tie-ins elsewhere?
And where exactly would LEVERAGE or GODZILLA novels be shelved anyway?
Yeah, the science fiction/fantasy section usually has an area dedicated to tie-ins, but other genres tend to be a bit more scattershot. (I lost track of the number of different sections of the bookstore I found my Leverage novel in....)
And even with the genre stuff, it helps if an established series has already staked out shelf space. My GODZILLA and BATMAN novels are often shelved under "C" -- because there isn't an ongoing GODZILLA novel line?
And don't get me started on the ALIAS books. The thing is, there were two competitive lines of ALIAS novels: a young-adult series that focussed on Young Sidney Bristow in her very early spy days, and a series of adult novels set during the run of the TV show. Both featured publicity shots of Jennifer Garner on the covers, so, yeah, good luck getting bookstores to keep the two lines of ALIAS books straight. I was forever finding my grown-up ALIAS novels shelved in the YA section of bookstores, alongside the Young ALIAS books.
I once quixotically tried to explain the difference to a bored bookstore clerk who could not have cared less, but, to be fair, both lines of mass-market novels were packaged pretty much the same, at least to the casual eye.
When we first started the Marvel novels in 1994, it was an adventure to see where they were published because they weren't under a single series title -- there were Spider-Man books, Iron Man books, Hulk books, Fantastic Four books, X-Men books, etc. -- so the bookstores didn't know what to do with them. Once the series had been going for a couple of years, they started to be filed together in the tie-in section of the SF shelves, but it took a while to get there.....
Yeah, you kinda need to develop a critical mass before you get a shelf of your own.
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