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General Category >> General Board >> Some of the Greatest Science Fiction Novels Are Fix-Ups
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Message started by Webbie on Mar 11th, 2015, 8:08pm

Title: Some of the Greatest Science Fiction Novels Are Fix-Ups
Post by Webbie on Mar 11th, 2015, 8:08pm

What do science fiction classics like Asimov's Foundation Trilogy, Bradbury's Martian Chronicles, Van Vogt's Voyage of the Space Beagle, Simak's City, and Sturgeon's More Than Human have in common? Each of them is a "fix-up" a novel constructed out of short stories that were previously published on their own. "This used to be one standard way to write a science fiction novel publish a series of stories that all take place in the same world, and then knit them together into a book," says Charlie Jane Anders. "Sometimes a great deal of revision happened, to turn the separate stories into a single narrative and make sure all the threads joined up. Sometimes, the stories remain pretty separate but there are links between them."

The Golden Age science fiction publishing market was heavily geared toward magazines and short stories. And then suddenly, there was this huge demand for tons of novels. According to Andrew Liptak, this left many science fiction authors caught in a hard place: Many had come to depend on the large number of magazines on the market that would pay them for their work, and as readership declined, so too did the places in which to publish original fiction. The result was an innovative solution: repackage a number of preexisting short stories by adding to or rewriting portions of them to work together as a single story. This has its advantages; you get more narrative "payoff" with a collection of stories that also forms a single continuous meta-story than you do with a single over-arching novel because each story has its own conclusion, and yet the story builds towards a bigger resolution. Fix-ups are a good, representative example of the transition that the publishing industry faced at the time, and how its authors adapted. Liptak says, "It's a lesson that's well-worth looking closely at, as the entire publishing industry faces new technological challenges and disruptions from the likes of self-publishing and micro-press platforms."

From Slashdot, more here...
http://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/15/03/11/1533214/some-of-the-greatest-science-fiction-novels-are-fix-ups

The comments are mostly from computer people and not writers as the site attracts those readers. Still, it's an interesting point and might be useful in our present situation of the internet and publishing.

Books are still popular but not as popular as they once were. Small presses are out there and self publishing on the web is still viable.

So as a writer. How do you get the most "Bang-for-the-buck" so to speak with your writing?

Fix ups might be an option.

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