Sunday, 18 September 2011

SF Gateway republishing the complete Dumarest saga – and lots more besides

Although my collection of books is pretty big, there are gaps, even when it comes to my very favourite authors. Not for much longer! The SF Gateway plans to have 5,000 backlist titles back on sale as ebooks by the end of 2014 (press release here), and wherever possible they will be republishing the complete backlists of authors. Complete backlists!

This isn't new news, but the significance of it is only just starting to strike me. For example, a few weeks back I discovered a bunch of John Brunner books in the Kindle store I hadn't read before (e.g. The Super Barbarians, Manshape), and pre-ordered them – incidentally, the first Brunner books I've ever bought new instead of secondhand – and today I noticed that they're also reissuing all the Dumarest books (they're listed here on Amazon UK).

Fantastic news, especially since there are lots of gaps between the dozen or so in the series I bought on eBay a couple of years ago, after hearing of the series for the first time in a Craig Herbertson article for Dark Horizons. If they're all as good as the one I've read, I think they'll do very well on Kindle. They're ideally suited to the format.

I suspect other publishers may see the SF Gateway as a huge and rather worrying landgrab, but as a reader I love them for doing it. And so must the writers. I loved collecting secondhand books, but none of the money I spent on them ever went to the authors. I seem to remember reading that when John Brunner died, all his books were out of print. That shouldn't ever happen again to an author of that calibre.

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