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.
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 the edition of the book that was published in 1974 by Heritage Press. That's a great version, 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 also long out of print, but there are a handful of used copies floating around out there on the secondary market, and it can be obtained for as little as $15.00-$35.00.)
This message has been edited. Last edited by: theoctobercountry,
Thanks for the feedback. You may be interested to know that I believe the proposed Hill House edition was going to have an even larger trim size than ours, so it would have been even more unwieldy. As to breaking TMC into two volumes, I'm afraid that just wasn't economically feasible. I'd hate to think what we would have had to charge -- mostly because of binding two books in the custom ordered material. I never did price it out, but you would likely have been looking at a $450+ set, which was definitely a higher price point than we wanted to hit.
I have not received my copy yet and am VERY anxious to see it.
I just realized today how many copies of TMC I will now own and it's a little silly....The Heritage Press edition...the LEC....the Doubleday 40th Anniversary and a standard Doubleday hardcover. Oh, and a paperback reading copy.
I mean, really...how many copies of this do I need?
Hi agree with you carcosa,i have about 5 copies as well,one an illustrated copy published by Bantam "Science Fiction" Canada,illustrated by Ian Miller,never seen a copy of this one anywhere before anyone know anything about it.As for the new edition mine arrived this morning and i am in agreement with some of the remarks about the slipcase and binding on the spine will attract dust like a magnet,but all in all a very fine publication and i like the way the original cover we thought was going to be used was made into colour plates for the book.Great stuff Subteranean .
I have several copies as well; the book has been reprinted so very many times that it's fun to collect different editions, with different cover artwork, etc.
All I found out about your Bantam edition is that it apparently was published in 1979 in paperback form only. Are the Ian Miller illustrations any good? If so, this is an edition I might like to pick up for myself ... not that I need another copy of this book or anything!
Hi the artwork in that Bantam edition is very good if you have access to Facebook look on there under my name i have on here ,you`ll know its me as i`m wearing a black fedora hat and beard,i have all my Ray bradbury ,Robert Bloch, Richard Matheson and a few Fredric Brown books on there just click on my Profile then on photo`s .
I have friended you!
Friended is a good word.
I've friend-ed you as well....
Yes friended is a good word ,so is loveded,nice to have friends in the USA.
My copy has arrived....glad it finally here. I just did a quick glance since I'm at work and SHOULD be working
It's quite a book. Doesn't seem as large as I thought it would be. Guess I was thinking of something along the lines of Scream Press's SKELETON CREW volume way back when. Certainly easily handling to me. The interior design is beautiful...Sub seems to have done the two-color thing with a few of Ray's books now and it is very impressive. Great illustrations well produced, some fold-outs. Very impressed with the design. Contents I'll have to let go by for now but the book is obviously well loaded here. I'll look at it later.
Exterior...bound in a black linen with marbled paper boards, with the slipcase covered in the same black cloth. Title stamped on both the slipcase and book spines. I'm not a fan of this cloth as it does attract and easily shows dust and debris. This cloth can, however, be cleaned with on of the static micro brushes with no problem. I would have preferred to see a different cloth honestly, probably in a different color as well. It seems to me I paid nearly as much for DARK CARNIVAL from Gauntlet a few years back and it's an interesting contrast between the two in production values....mainly in the book layout/graphic design. Subterranean gives the best bang for the buck and it's another fine addition to my shelf.
My copy has arrived in New Zealand. It looks a beautiful book, and the art is stunning. Its not one I will fall asleep to while reading.
I liked the off season image so much I ordered a print direct from the artist.
As for the text, I skimmed the introductions, which were good and will get on to the rest of the book once I finish Green Shadow White Whale.....
Its my new favourite book.This message has been edited. Last edited by: robnz,
My copy arrived at the office, yesterday. Of course, I took the day off so did not get the book until today. I was lucky enough to have seen copies last week but this one is MINE...all mine.
As beautifully "manufactured" book as one can get today. Quality to the Nth degree.
John King Tarpinian
You know what you are, Mr. Bradbury? ... You are a poet! -- Aldous Huxley
My mailperson attempted to deliver mine twice this week, but I wasn't home. I have to collect from the post office, and won't get the opportunity until Saturday. (Sobs uncontrollably.)
There there now philnic,it won`t be long and you have something great to look forward to.
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