Jan 28, 2010

SF Masterworks Relaunch (or Golancz Mocks Me)

On Monday, I posted about finally getting the last book in the Gollancz's 73 odd book SF Masterworks Series. Wooooooo!!!, right?

So today, I am minding my own business on twitter. And then I see this:

Gollancz: First cover from SF Masterworks Feb relaunch (new covers, matt lam, new typsetting AND with new intros) is in and looks gorgeous. V. excited
Not Cool Gollancz. Not. Cool.

My first response:

A little bit more digging reveals they are indeed relaunching the series with a mix of old and new titles in new editions with intros from SF writers like Adam Roberts and Graham Sleight.

February Relaunch (All Rereleases)
The Rediscovery of Man - Cordwainer Smith
Gateway - Frederik Pohl
The Fifth Head of Cerberus - Gene Wolfe
Cities In Flight - James Blish
The Forever War - Joe Haldeman
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick
I Am Legend - Richard Matheson
Lord Of Light - Roger Zelazny
Babel-17 - Samuel R. Delany
The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester The Stars My Destination

May Books
Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut - New
Inverted World - Christopher Priest - New

June Books
Childhood's End - Arthur C. Clarke  - Rerelease
The Island Of Doctor Moreau - H.G. Wells - New

July Books
Helliconia - Brian Aldiss - New
The Time Machine - H.G. Wells - Rerelease

You can see all the gory details here.

Out of the 16 books on the calender thus far, 4 of them are new releases. The rest are rereleases...

I guess the covers are decent (especially The Time Machine) but still I'm reluctant to get involved again. The biblioholic in me is scared. I need to know...

-Will the spines be different?
-Will the numbering restart?
-Will they line up nicely on the shelf?

I don't know who makes these decisions but if you are they: What did I ever do to you?


  1. That has to be painful... It is why I choose to not be a collector and invest emotion in the physical book. I find it rather frustrating that I can barely collect what I want when I want it and then have no space to shamelessly show it.

    Have you considered buying the new releases and just ignore the re-released ones?

  2. Not cool at all. I started collecting these, then stopped for a while, and now they relaunch them. AAAARRRRGGGHHH. Hate it when I get half way through collecting books then they change the cover. If the spines don't match up in my bookshelf, then what to do... hunt for second hand copies or just sell/donate the ones I already have (I have about a dozen I guess) and start from scratch. Anyone know if the rereleases match up with the first releases?

  3. Well, I'll just answer my own question - seems like they won't match since the rereleases aren't numbered. Damnit. Ok Gollancz, I'll buy the new ones from the start, catch up, then read them as they're released. And once I've read them all - that's it, I quit. No more S.F. Masterworks. Ever.


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