New Treasures: Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy
I have to admit I’ve been a bit frustrated with Ian Whates’s recent anthologies from Solaris: Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction (2011), and the brand new Solaris Rising 2 (March 2013).
Oh, they’re fine anthologies. Whates is establishing himself as an editor with a keen eye for talent, and he’s attracted some terrific names.
But that’s a lot of science fiction. Nothing wrong with science fiction but… what about fantasy? Come on Solaris — where’s the love?
Apparently, it was in the mail. Last month it arrived in the form of Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy, edited by uber-editor Jonathan Strahan.
Fearsome Journeys is the first volume in a new series of fantasy anthologies featuring all-original fiction. Authors in the first volume include Ellen Klages, Trudi Canavan, Elizabeth Bear, Daniel Abraham, Kate Elliott, Saladin Ahmed, Glen Cook, Scott Lynch, Ellen Kushner & Ysabeau Wilce, Jeffrey Ford, Robert Redick and KJ Parker.
That’s a damned impressive line-up. All is forgiven, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy was edited by Jonathan Strahan and published by Solaris on May 28, 2013. It is 416 pages, priced at $7.99 in paperback and $6.99 for the digital edition. Find out more at the Solaris website.
See all of our recent New Treasures articles here.
Reviewed, quite positively (by me) here:
I saw your review over the weekend Dave — great work!
Thanks for the “heads up” John. Just bought it online right after reading your post.
Glad to hear it, James. Let us know what you think!
Just ordered mine over the weekend. Mostly for the Glen Cook Black Company tale, but I’ll read the others, too.
I find the pricing very interesting…
Personally I’ve given up trying to figure out the logic of pricing for books vs. ebooks editions. Maybe you (or someone) could do a post for Black Gate sometime explaining the rationale behind these pricing schemes.
Hah! There is no rationale right now 😉
Every pundit has his/her advice on what and why to price. The few things I do know:
–The big houses want to charge more than the $9.99 Amazon forced/s on everyone.
–There’s $100+ ebooks. Why?
–There has yet to be determined once and for all whether sellers of e-titles can take them back whenever they want. Amazon’s done it three times over the last 2-3 years. While titles have been restored each time, nothing’s changed in their ability to do it again.
–There also is no definitive standing on inheritance – Apple specifically details that the content of one’s iTunes account cannot be bequeathed at death. Everyone else simply suggests bequeathing the account name, email address, and password, passing along to inheritors everything in the account.
–The only way to address both issues right now is to use an application like the free Calibre to convert all of one’s ebooks from any format to any other format and then store them separate from the devices/accounts that can take them back or lock them up.
As far as I’m personally concerned, I won’t charge nor pay $9.99 for an ebook. So far the highest I’ve gone on either is $7.99.
My interest in this pricing was the closeness of print (7.99) to electronic (6.99). I even had to go verify for myself, as that seemed highly unusual. I’m not sure which way they are seeking to push buyers.
Like I said, you (or somebody) should do a whole post on this. There are obviously a host of issues tied to it that need to be sorted out.
Your reply does confirm my suspicion: there is no (at least) uniform rationale right now for ebook pricing.
Well, in this case the print copy is a mass-market paperback so $7.99 doesn’t seem unreasonable, nor does the delta between print and electronic. Where it gets more complicated, I think, is with hardcovers or trade paperbacks where the retail price (non-discounted) will be anywhere from $15-$30 and the eBook will be maybe in the $11-12 range. Once Amazon throws their discount onto the print copy, you can easily end up with a situation where the print copy is slightly less expensive than electronic.
I do think publishers need to pay more attention to eBook pricing and to update it over time — I don’t necessarily object to paying $11 or $12 for an eBook version of a hardcover, but when the mass-market paperback comes out, I want the eBook pricing to drop accordingly.
I bought the ebook because I have a kindle and it was basically less hassle than ordering the hardcopy equivalent. The price difference was too small to be a factor for me. The book is pretty cheap in either format – I’m guessing the publishers see it as basically a showcase for new but established authors and by extension, a way of attracting new readers.
Does the ruling against Apple Inc. today (July 10, 2013) inform this discussion about ebooks any? Just wondering.
James — Great question!
My guess is that the Apple decision isn’t really relevant to current pricing debates, since Apple already accomplished what they set out to do: set e-book prices close to print prices. They already won that debate and the market has accepted those prices.
In a free-market system it is ultimately the buyers who set the price. If enough buyers refuse to purchase what they believe to be a too-expensive e-book and sales begin to drop, then so will the prices for same. A balance will be stuck if the demand for over-priced e-books drops to the point where it is no longer profitable.
Why should the sellers lower their prices if youse guys keeping buying product at those inflated prices. Vote with your wallet.
Here’s a little more on the Apple decision, as reported by Locus Online (including a link to the 160 page verdict should you wish to read it).
[…] It started with George Mann’s The Solaris Book Of New Science Fiction, which last three volumes, only to be reborn as Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction, under new editor Ian Whates (two volumes so far). In May of this year this showed fantasy some love with Fearsome Journeys: The New Solaris Book of Fantasy. […]
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