A Review Of Sorts Of The Mariner Books PKD Editions

PKD's The SimulacraWhen I saw the covers for the new Mariner Books set of Philip K Dick editions I was slightly offended. How dare anyone consider buying a PKD book without the “classic” vintage covers that I have first editions of all of them and that form the bedrock of my PKD collection consisting of every published piece of PKD writing? Why does someone think that the covers need changed or updated? Why break something that didn’t need fixing? I can see that the covers are more minimalist than the older set but I like the circuitry feel of almost all of them and the bold color selection. Recently I also saw the set of new editions and new covers for Raymond Carver’s fiction and I don’t like the new designs. Something just isn’t right and I can’t put my finger on it.

I can remember waiting Waiting WAITING for the book that I wanted to read to come back into print. Counter Clock World was the one I remember wanting to read the most and it was one of the last ones put back into print. By the time it was published, I had lost my desire to read it immediately and I still haven’t read it yet. Someday, I will. I don’t want to read all of Philip K. Dick’s books because then what new material would I have to look forward to (I’m excluding the Exegesis here.). AS far as I know all of his finished work has been published and that there are no hidden manuscripts that will appear.

I have created a page of Philip K. Dick’s Works In Print that will be a work in progress for the near future due to time constraints.

11 thoughts on “A Review Of Sorts Of The Mariner Books PKD Editions

  1. I think what you can’t put your finger on is the question: WHY another edition of Philip K. Dick’s novels? Apparently the Bluejay Special Edition with critical afterwords was good enough. Apparently the Vintage Books Edition was good enough. In my humble opinion it smacks of pure greed and commercialism, yet another way to make money off of Philip K. Dick AFTER he’s dead and won’t get a single cent of the money.

    1. Aesthetic and financial considerations aside, I’m all for each new edition that keeps the books in print and available to be discovered by people who have never read PKD’s original work.

  2. I think you’re on the right track. The cover doesn’t matter to me; only the text inside. Now if a publisher really wants to anger me and probably a lot of other fans is to add extra content to the new edition is like the music industry tends to due with bonus tracks, etc. They could add drafts of the novels or passages that were significantly changed or novel outlines, notes or…I think I should stop before I give someone an idea.

  3. Mr. Fisher, what you suggest the publisher of Mariner Books edition of Philip K. Dick’s oeuvre do makes too much sense!! They are in it for making money, to include cheap looking covers, which helps their profit margin. To actually have, say, an award winning SF artist draw something that is relevant to the novel’s title, and contents, would be too expensive, as would the information you suggest…

  4. The reason for another edition is simple, another publishing company acquired the rights to most of PKDs books, and of course they want to do something new. The old covers are dated. I personally like the British editions the best.Gollancz/Orion publishing, as well as the 6 Harper Voyager editions. Go to /amazon.co.uk/ to check out the British covers.

    PKD s children are living quite comfortably off the royalties, from what I hear.

    The vintage editions were cheap looking to me, and the current Mariner versions make PKD look more like serious literature, which it is.

  5. I like the covers. I agree that they make the books appear more as the serious literature that they are.

  6. I am currently seeking the entire collection of the Mariner Books PKD series and so it goes without saying that I agree with Scott, though I respect the vintage covers, and the reasons behind prefering them, I just can’t help being drawn to the design of this series. Have you actually held one of these books? They feel good in the hand. And the art work on the cover is a refreshing and vibrant example of minimalism that I’ve heard many say but few provide. Publishers will ALWAYS try and make money, it is their jobs, what we should expect is something we want to buy.

  7. I think what looks good changes faster than good literary themes and ideas. While the original covers are neat, they tie PKD’s timeless writing to–let’s face it–some pretty old school sci-fi imagery, which might not resonate with new readers. That’s not fair to the writing. Getting the attention of these new readers seems like a good reason to release new editions with updated covers. I know the new covers got my attention when I first started reading PKD a couple of years ago.

  8. I’m going to shift my opinion because of the points Smith J. wrote. I love the old vintage science fiction covers, but I think they could be a detractor for many other readers, signaling to them that the text inside is simple pulp writing not well thought out. The Mariner Books covers look modern and while I don’t think they stand out as interesting, they don’t turn off readers looking for writing with depth.

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