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Nightshade Editions: Whither Complete Corrected Texts?
Posted by: Keith (IP Logged)
Date: 15 October, 2013 08:37PM
So, in the Nightshade edition of Clark Ashton Smith, you can get complete corrected texts of CAS's works.
I've been a fan of CAS since junior high, 43 years ago, not long after I discovered Lovecraft. And in 1983, while in Canada, I bought a five volume paperback set from a British Commonwealth press that I assumed was complete.
Then, about a year ago, while perusing a book about the Lovecraft circle, I decided to use my state's (Michigan's) wonderful statewide library instant search-and-interlibrary-loan system to see if there were any good books about Smith. I found mention of Nightshade's End of the Story as the first volume of what I now know of the series. What an epiphany! I went immediately to the Nightshade website to find it, only to find that the first two were out of print. I then did two things: first, contact the publishers about any reprintings, to which I( got a lame, lackadaisical maybe but probably not, and then the used market, where I got the real shock. Okay, I have been dealing with used bookdealers since I was a kid, and I even work at general and SF/F specialty shows for a dealer with a national reputation, and everyone I've talked to thinks that the prices for End of the Story and Door to Saturn are unbelievable and outrageous for out-of-print books just published since 2007. Well over a hundred bucks for a mediocre copy to as much as a thousand for the former, and $450 to over $5000 for the latter on Alibris and/or Amazon. But wait, Nightshade collapsed in a way that scandalized the bookworld and authors, and then was bought by a company called Skyhorse. And on an Amazon review/comment addendum, another disgusted fan tells us that yes, we should be appalled at these exhorbitant prices, but we should be encouraged because he has heard that the series is going to Print-On-Demand release in September 2013.
Comes September 2013. I check out all the likely websites. Nothing. I decide to call Skyhorse Publishing itself, get foisted off on some corporate drone in marketing to whom I tell what I've found out or not found about this Smith series. I mention the prices that volumes 1 & 2 commanding on the used market, and point out that, hey guys, whether or not it would justify a complete reprinting, wouldn't it make sense to either do POD yourselves, or to license these books out to a POD firm, and cash in on the obvious demand? After all, collectors have been buying Smith for over 60 years now, and you've got the goods for the most complete correct editions? The response from him was well, I don't know blah blah blah (the sound of computer generated-like Corporate PR Dronese). I hung up, frustrated.
Ok, I just discovered this website a few weeks ago. Forgive me if this has been hashed out before, and I've missed relevant info. But I have tried to skim older postings, and even as people discuss new collections, it just seems foolish that the most complete and correct edition to date of an author can't be kept in hardcover, especially with today's technologies and many specialty presses and fan presses (please don't tell me about ebooks- I've got a Nook, but I want a REAL hardcover book, not a bunch of g-damned electrons). Does this mean that for the rest of history, the accomplishments and realization of a complete, corrected edition of the works of Clark Ashton Smith is going to be virtually out of reach and unaffordable to most of his fans? This just seems absurd, if not a waste.
I believe that at one point, the two editors who put this magnificent series together have appeared on this website. If they, or their friends or associates can respond to these issues, I would be very grateful. You guys have done something wonderful - can't you take it back from Nightshade/Skyhorse, and get it out somewhere else, even if in POD, through something like Lulu or another? Thanks. - Keith K.

Re: Nightshade Editions: Whither Complete Corrected Texts?
Posted by: phillipAellis (IP Logged)
Date: 22 October, 2013 05:08PM
I recommend, if you're up to reading poetry, the Hippocampus Press edition of the poems.

Re: Nightshade Editions: Whither Complete Corrected Texts?
Posted by: Scott Connors (IP Logged)
Date: 28 October, 2013 09:56PM
There is a Plan B, but you'll forgive me if I don't make like a Bond villain.

Re: Nightshade Editions: Whither Complete Corrected Texts?
Posted by: jimrockhill2001 (IP Logged)
Date: 28 October, 2013 10:32PM
Would that be Andrea Planbee, Scott?

Re: Nightshade Editions: Whither Complete Corrected Texts?
Posted by: Keith (IP Logged)
Date: 3 November, 2013 04:47PM
Once again: it is a complete waste of time for any of you people to talk about new limited editions of CAS as long as there exist complete corrected versions as put out and then allowed to go out of print and then SAT UPON in non-existence for all time by the obviously incompetent jackasses at Nightshade and Skyhorse books. Sir: what is "Plan B" or, at the very least, when might we see it come to fruition in the form of actual books? Thank you for your wonderful work and your reply. - Keith

Re: Nightshade Editions: Whither Complete Corrected Texts?
Posted by: shivapashupati (IP Logged)
Date: 5 November, 2013 06:53PM
It might be worth mentionning that I read and collect another author, Greg Egan, who writes "hard" scifi. The third part of a trilogy of his, printed in the US by Night Shade Books, was due last summer and has been postponed till August 2014 following the change of owners which occured recently to this publisher. That may suggest that the reprint of CAS first two volumes, which has been rumored, may simply also have been postponed... So perhaps sometime next year? This is, of course, pure speculation on my part. I am just trying to say that logically there is hope to see those two volumes back in print, eventually.

Re: Nightshade Editions: Whither Complete Corrected Texts?
Posted by: Avoosl Wuthoqquan (IP Logged)
Date: 6 November, 2013 04:25AM
I don't want to dash anybody's hopes, but this is what NSB was like in the past:


My advice would be to get the e-book version and print it out.

It's all very sad.

Re: Nightshade Editions: Whither Complete Corrected Texts?
Posted by: shivapashupati (IP Logged)
Date: 8 November, 2013 01:50PM
Well, the new Night Shade Books mnagement may just decide to finally render the business profitable by printing and reprinting its best-selling authors. And the fact that CAS's books do get out-of-print should speak volumes, no pun intended.

And, while waiting for eventual republications of the first two volumes, some alternatives do exist:


Or just get the e-books to read while Night Shade reorganizes itself...

(I am not connected to Night Shade Books in any way besides having bought their CAS and Greg Egan books!)

Re: Nightshade Editions: Whither Complete Corrected Texts?
Posted by: Keith (IP Logged)
Date: 17 November, 2013 03:39PM
Forget formal 2nd (re)printings. The subject under discussion was POD, that is, "print-on-demand, and it was not brought up by the disgusted CAS-loyal fans outraged by both the rapacious and insanely greedy used book market (that, to repeat, is asking $455 to $5800 for Nightshade's OP second volume Door To Saturn) and the apparently totally unmotivated publishers who have swallowed NS up, but was, from all reports, suggested by someone at the publishing house(s) themselves as a strong, if not imminent possibility. Obviously, people who edited these books and/or published them occasionally read these postings. So, guys, what happened to the POD promises that would allow you, rather than, say, the avaricious parasites on Amazon, Alibris, and Ebay to make money hand over fist while you get nothing at all? And while CAS's complete and corrected works and reputation are once again forced to languish and go into darkness? - Keith

Re: Nightshade Editions: Whither Complete Corrected Texts?
Posted by: casofile (IP Logged)
Date: 5 December, 2013 12:51AM
Hey Keith, great to hear from such a passionate CAS devotee . . .

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