The Subterranean MARTIAN CHRONICLES thread...

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18 June 2010, 11:06 PM
The Subterranean MARTIAN CHRONICLES thread...
There is a seller with a copy (copies?) listed on eBay for $275 in case anyone is interested. And no, it's not me.
20 June 2010, 01:00 PM
Subterranean Press
One thing I might point out: Gauntlet accepted payment from customers for the Hill House edition, and paid Hill House. When Hill House went under, and never repaid Gauntlet, rather than absorbing the loss as a cost of doing business, Gauntlet then went back to the customers who bought the book initially and asked them to pay again to receive our edition. I have an email from Barry Hoffman that verifies this.

He may well have offered our copies to his customers at cost, but still, it's a business practice I deplore, and I'm sorry I agreed to sell Gauntlet copies of the book.


Subterranean Press
29 June 2010, 06:20 AM
It's ugly. It seems that Gauntlet was never actually out any money of their own, as the loss was the loss of the customer's up-front money. In fact, since they would be buying at a discount from Hill House, wouldn't they in theory have already pocketed a profit potentially?

I hope he didn't have that many takers the second time around.
29 June 2010, 09:28 PM
I just want to know if I can still get the book as the limited edition went out of print while I was still wondering how to pay for it.
29 June 2010, 10:45 PM
Go to ABE Books and check the listings. Mythos Books is offering a copy at list price. It isn't outrageously priced in the secondary market...yet. Don't wait too long.
30 June 2010, 08:54 AM
Mr. Xxx
I'm disgusted by the entire Hill House episode, not only because I'm out almost $1000, but also because:

1. Peter Schneider and his wife have a personal relationship with Ray, as well as a professional one.
2. The New York State Attorney General declined to investigate this case. I know I'm not the only one who was outright swindled by HH, and they were permitted to get away with it.
3. Bradbury deserved better than to be the eye of this nasty hurricane. He seems unaware of the details and I'm wondering who exactly handles his legal protection and how they could have permitted all this.

"Yes, yes. What a lovely insanity."
30 June 2010, 11:27 AM
I don't blame anyone at all for being disgusted with the Hill House situation. It is the MAIN reason I've never pre-paid for books from any publisher with the exception of Subterranean. It is a crap shoot and not uncommon for many of these small presses to go belly up without notice. Even a press as well funded as Stealth folded...not sure if subscribers were left holding the bag with them. I think it was Full Moon Books that folded semi-recently having taken an estimated $50,000 or more worth of pre-payments.
30 June 2010, 11:32 AM
As far as the attorney general situation, I suspect it's really up to the individual to file claims in small claims court. Hill House had been in business for years and proving a case of deliberate fraud probably wouldn't happen.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: Carcosa,
01 July 2010, 10:58 AM
Subterranean Press
Hey all,

In response to Mr. Xxx, especially point #3:

When we took over TMC, I had a peek behind the curtain at certain sensitive matters, and I can say without any hesitation that, in my opinion, nothing that happened with the proposed publisher of TMC was Ray's or Michael Congdon's fault. A very messy situation developed, and, as Michael, Peter Crowther, I, and the former prospective publisher attempted to sort matters out, Michael was very cognizant of wanting to take care of those who had paid for the never-to-materialize edition. In fact, the initial draft of the contract he sent me addressed this, in a clause that I asked be removed for reasons that will be clear in a moment.

Underline this, in blinking neon: It was not Michael Congdon's fault that anyone lost money in this deal. One party stopped communicating, and Peter Crowther, Michael Congdon, and I were left without essential information that we asked be provided in a timely manner. We were forced to go ahead with an agreement that did not specifically address issues we would all have liked to resolve.

There's plenty of blame here, but please don't besmirch those who had no role in what should have been a simple business deal.

All best,


Subterranean Press
05 July 2010, 09:28 AM
Also of note Ray was one of three authors whose fan base had put money up front with Hill House. The other two were Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I don't think you could find bigger names than those two along with Bradbury, so I wouldn't put any blame toward Ray or his camp, as other highly successul authors fanbase were also slighted and got caught up in the mess.
10 July 2010, 08:45 PM
Yes, I think the situation regarding Neil Gaiman fans was probably far worse, since there were (if memory serves) people who bought subscriptions to the Gaiman / Hill House limiteds....and I remember people on the boards noting difficulty getting books going back to AMERICAN GODS.
15 July 2010, 09:03 AM
Stewart Green
Originally posted by Stewart Green:
Originally posted by theoctobercountry:
Anyone else have any thoughts on Subterranean's Martian Chronicles? My copy arrived in today's post, and quite frankly I'm almost afraid to handle it, for fear of damaging the book. I don't think I've ever paid so much for a single volume before; my previous upper limit for a book wasn't more than $150.00 or so.
Well ,my book arrived this morning and i do have to agree with some of the comments posted by theoctobercountry,about the colour of the marbled papers and the cloth slipcase will atract dust so it will have to be protected somehow.But i am very pleased with the book and will have great pleasure in reading it ,i was surprised to note that it was limited to 1000 numbered copies as opposed to the 500 stated in the publicity but this is by the by.Overall a very nice publication thanks Subteranean once again.
But, I did open it up and have a look. I've a bit of a mixed reaction to it, however. Oh, overall I'm pleased of course. It's fantastic to finally have all of Ray's Mars stories in one volume, including quite a few that had not been previously published. I'm really looking forward to reading these!

Other positives include the really splendid colour plates; nicely done. There are several essays/tributes by other writers included in the text also, as well as two complete screenplays (from 1963 and 1997).

It's a very attractive volume inside a slipcase. The boards are covered in marbled paper. Now, I've always liked the look of marbled paper (a lot of Victorian-era books were bound this way). However... the colour of the marbling is in green, purple, black, and grey, and I'm not crazy about these shades in combination. Just a matter of personal taste, of course, but I think it would have made a lot more sense to use shades of red in the marbling---this is about Mars, after all! Along with some shades of blue (for the water in the canals)---I think those colours, in combination with black, would have been a lot more attractive.

The plain black endpapers represent a wasted opportunity, I think---would have been very cool to have illustrated endpapers in this case.

And (at the risk of sounding too negative) I really do think the volume is too unwieldy; too fat and heavy to read with ease. In my own experience, the fatter the novel, the more likely it is to crack right down the middle over time. I really would have preferred to see this published as a matched pair of two slimmer volumes. The screenplays take up nearly half of the book, so I would have printed them separately, and had the actual novel and all the additional stories in their own volume.

So, as I said, a bit of a mixed review from me. But am I sorry I purchased this? Absolutely not! I'm really looking forward to going through all this material at my leisure, despite what I would consider a few drawbacks with this printing of the novel. I'm pleased Subterranean has included so much material here.

(As a sort of PS, I'll add that if anyone is looking for a really nice version of The Martian Chronicles but missed out on this volume, which is now officially out of print, I would recommend looking for a copy of the book that was published in 1974 by Heritage Press. That's a great edition, slightly oversized in a slipcase, with colour plates by Joseph Mugnaini, and with a great cover which can be seen below. Of course it's long out of print, but used copies can still be obtained in the $15.00-$35.00 range.)

Hi to you The October Country,i just ordered that copy of "The Martian Chronicles" by Heritage Press through Abe Books Uk its coming from the USA ,it sounds like a large book how many pages is it .Iv`e just started reading my copy of The Comlete Edition from Subteranean a great looking book i`m looking forward to seeing this other version with illustrations aslo.
21 July 2010, 03:36 AM
Stewart Green
Well my copy of Heritage Press "The Martian Chronicles " arrived this morning and i am very pleased with it Purchased from "Always superior Books "In the USA,the book is in great condition a little fading on the slipcase due to that great big golden ball in the sky we call the sun but the book is very nice great illustrations in colour and black and white and an added bonus was a leaflet inside "Sandglass" which i found interesting.Thanks for telling us all about this book it will sit on my bookcase alongside "The Complete edition" and all my other Bradbury books.
04 August 2010, 01:16 PM
Hello there! Sorry for not responding earlier; I had not checked in here for quite some time.

I'm very happy that you're pleased with the Heritage version of "Martian Chronicles." It is a lovely volume, isn't it---I especially love the cover!
05 August 2010, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Stewart Green:
Well my copy of Heritage Press "The Martian Chronicles " arrived this morning and i am very pleased with it....

Stewart, you should look into other volumes...they are fantastic. Each book was issued a "Sandglass" which discusses the the book and it's production and design. Nearly all of the pricey leather-bound Easton Press "classics" are reprints of these volumes.