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message 1: by This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For (last edited Jan 13, 2009 07:02PM) (new)

This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For | 949 comments SF SQRL and I have encountered a conundrum of a combination which we wish to solicit opinions on.

This is the quick-and-dirty explanation. Hopefully my facts are more-or-less correct.

Philip K. Dick wrote a novella in 1964 called "The Unteleported Man" originally published in a magazine. He then wrote an expanded version, which a book publisher rejected, instead republishing the novella in a double-book form in 1966.

In the late 1970's, Dick regained copyright of the book and talked a publisher into publishing the expanded version. However, he discovered pages were missing from the manuscript and the expanded part didn't flow together well with the original manuscript, so he began rewriting different parts and renamed the book "Lies, Inc." He died before it was done.

After his death, the publisher put out the "original" expanded book in 1983, minus the missing pages but without any of the more recent corrections under the original title, "The Unteleported Man"

A publisher in the UK also had the rights to the expanded version, but they published the edited version (which Dick's agent had) rather than the original unedited expansion. However, there were still some missing gaps in the text, so they hired another writer to fill in the gaps. This was published under the title "Lies, Inc." in 1984.

The next year, the agent then found the long list missing pages and had yet another version published in the US, under the title "Lies, Inc." which now included the revised expansion, but with the original author's filler pages rather than the substitute author. what do we combine? We have the original "Unteleported Man", the expanded "Unteleported Man", the expanded/revised "Lies Inc." and a different expanded/revised "Lies Inc." Are they all one book or are they multiple books?

Some other things to consider: other authors have been known to published "expanded" or "director's cut" versions of their works, for example, The Stand by Stephen King or Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein. To my knowledge, these have generally been combined with the original edits. Also, I think the general consensus was to combine abridged versions with the original version of a work.

We do separate books which are split into multi-parts, but that seems to be a fundamentally different thing than a reduction/expansion of a whole work.

Opinions? Suggestions? Ideas? Other similar problematic texts?

message 2: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 38697 comments Mod

Wow. And I thought figuring out OSC's various incarnations of Worthing/Hot Sleep was complicated!

I think I vote for combining them all. As you note, it's kind of like an abridgment. Only in reverse.

message 3: by Cait (new)

Cait (tigercait) | 5005 comments I incline toward combining them. After a couple of aspirin!

message 4: by BJ (new)

BJ | 27 comments I guess I don't understand the reasoning behind combining different books. The Stand, for instance. If I'm reading the reviews I have no idea which version they're talking about, making the reviews mean much less. All I know is they thought some version of The Stand was too long. I'm going to read that differently if they're talking about the long one or the short one. I understand that people can indicate which version they are reviewing, but they don't.

I watched a movie called "Donnie Darko" because several people recommended it to me. I thought it was pretty awful. But I watched the "Directors Cut" (which a lot of people apparently didn't like) and the people recommending it watched the original, so now I don't know if they have bad taste in movies or not.

This is my problem with combining different books. When friends asked how I liked the movie we quickly realized that there was nothing to discuss, they hadn't seen the version I had and vice-versa.

It seems like if a book is significantly different then the reviews will not apply to different versions. Of course you have the debate of what is "significantly different", but we're having that anyway.

message 5: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 38697 comments Mod
You can sort reviews by edition. Even if you don't, reviews indicate which ISBN they correspond to.

message 6: by BJ (new)

BJ | 27 comments Thanks, I didn't know that. The print for that feature is barely above invisible for me.

It would still seem that most people are just reviewing whatever comes up on the first page.

message 7: by jenjn79 (new)

jenjn79 | 565 comments Billy wrote: "It would still seem that most people are just reviewing whatever comes up on the first page."

A lot of people don't really pay attention to finding the exact edition that they read. They just want to mark that they read a certain book. For me, I used the exact ISBN of the book I have/had. But I know others have just done a title search, seen the book and clicked to add, not caring that its a different edition or that it had extras and whatnot.

message 8: by rivka, Librarian Moderator (new)

rivka | 38697 comments Mod
And that would not change if they were separated. If anything, it would make the problem worse, because you wouldn't even see the reviews of the other edition (that perhaps really belong with yours).

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