Special edition

Oh, Ariel’s as hopping mad as a kangaroo who’s just found his joey in the billabong again. And rightly so since he’s taking to task a reviewer for a web publication I like (and subscribe to) but who has written a somewhat nasty review of the limited edition of PS Publiaction’s Ramsey Campbell collection. He also mentioned another publication moaning about these sorts of publiactions being rip-offs, heavily priced to screw gullible fans. Ariel protests but notes he is a little biased, being the webmaster for PS.

Well, my only connection it that as a bookseller I buy in PS books, all of which are limited edition, signed and numbered titles, all one offs (which is more than some big publishers do – they’ll do more if it sells a lot). I’ve dealt with Peter who runs it for a while now and he’s always struck me a decent bloke who is obviously very much into this because he cares about good quality fantastic fiction. There’s no real money to be made in this, it’s a love thing. The fact I’ve sold several of these very collectable books, all by good authors and with other famous authors doing often informative introductions, proves to my mind that most SF fans agree with me. There are some publishers – usually the big ones – who often make ‘limited editions’ which are frankly cheap, nasty and clearly cash-generating cows. Pete is the quality end of the market and if anyone doubts that then they should check out the list of excellent talent who are happy to write for him (and not for huge fees) – Adam Roberts, Ken MacLeod and piles of others.

If a reviewer didn’t enjoy a book then they are entitled to say so of course, but not to pick on a small publisher of quality SF who produces excellent and unusual material. Surely all fans – and certainly reviewers who do their work free because they love books – should be promoting this sort of endeavour?