Friday, 15 June 2012


The Classics are the works that are always in print. We can always buy a new copy of The Time Machine, and can even choose between editions. I do not have to name the author to identify the work.

Of the many works that do go out of print, some are remembered, referred to as "sf classics" and occasionally revived. I regard Bring The Jubilee by Ward Moore as a classic of time travel but it went out of print after two years, I bought an edition published nearly ten years later and the New English Library SF Masters Series republished it another decade after that.

When James Blish's After Such Knowledge Trilogy was published in a single volume, I did not buy it because I already owned the individual volumes and it simply did not occur to me that the single volume edition would go out of print or indeed that all the works of a writer like Blish would go out of print in my lifetime.

I am rereading Poul Anderson's Brain Wave, a good first novel, in a now out of print SF Masters Series edition with an appreciative Introduction by Brian Aldiss and am buying the Baen Books Technic Civilization Saga, the first uniform edition of Anderson's major future history. It is to be hoped that Baen will publish Anderson's Complete Works?

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