Friday, October 06, 2006


The trade paperback of Secret Life is now officially:

SECRET LIFE: The Select Fire Remix

In answer to queries about this, the original Golden Gryphon Press hardcover is a definite "definitive" edition. In that it is actually the most complete.

For the Select Fire Remix, I am rearranging story order a bit, cutting a few stories, adding incidental text, and adding two short-shorts inspired by illustrations by Eric Schaller. I have also expanded the story notes to include alternate versions of a couple of Veniss-related story fragments, the complete incomplete text of "Jessible and the Metal Dragon", and been much more honest in some of the genesis of material notes. I've also moved them to the back as end notes and added a very brief afterword.

Some people have asked if this is an epidemic, a virus, a head cold. Can you never stop futzing, Jeff?

I admit to being a victim of circumstances. City of Saints had two basic editions: one that Wildside Press did and one from Prime that incorporated additional material. Any other changes to subsequent editions were basically cosmetic and even the addition of "Learning" and "The Exchange" to the British and Bantam editions constituted including material that could be had elsewhere.

Shriek: An Afterword is, contrary to rumor, in only ONE edition. The Pan Macmillan edition simply doesn't contain a few of the final edits incorporated into the US Tor edition because of a scheduling snafu. It wasn't a conscious decision nor are the changes in any way substantive.

With Secret Life, most of the story selection was of my own doing, but not all of it, and after reading the finished book, I thought it was about five stories too long. This Remix allows me to cut while adding some value and if you already own the hardcover, you shouldn't feel compelled to buy this edition unless you're a VanderMeer completist. On the other hand, if you want an inexpensive gift for someone this holiday season, some fun touches and flourishes have been added and the cover quality is going to be vastly superior. So the way I see, it everybody wins. The essence of the original hardcover has been preserved, without some of the dross, and there is a playful quality added that may not have been present before.

All of this by way of saying that I generally intend the first edition of a book I put out to be the final one, but it doesn't always work out that way. And as I have more and more leverage, there will be fewer and fewer iterations of things.

So bear with me and if you're thinking of being cross with me, please don't be...



At 7:34 PM, Blogger Matthew Cheney said...

Yeah, but where's the revised and definitive edition of Do You Know Where You Are Now? You go fiddling around with all your other books, but the one we need, the essential, the required -- the one book that could truly change the world, or at least my life, you leave to fester in its own typographically-impure dust! For shame, for shame!

At 2:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'll buy it even though I have your hardcover version. I'll buy this new version to have as a "reading" copy. The hardcover is more collectable and a beautiful book in it's own right as well as being the true first edition.


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