Ray Bradbury's THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES Triptych


Published by:

ISBN: 0-931771-08-0
Edition size: 750 numbered52 lettered100 triptych
MSRP: $325.00$N/A$free for preorders

Yes, I know this entry needs some explanation, hence this preface.

Hill House (HH), Publishers has, as most everyone probably knows by now, become insolvent. They have closed-up shop, their website is gone, and emails to their scattered addresses go unanswered. They have passed into the long and hallowed halls of other small press publishers who either failed or ran the course of their natural life. In HH's case, the former is definitely the case.

When HH produced this triptych for The Martian Chronicles (TMC), they must've known the end was nigh, for this was one of their last publishing gasps. Anansi Boys would soon follow, which DID spell the end of HH, but this is their penultimate production.

When I first received this, it took me completely by surprise. I was excited - I mean REALLY excited. I thought the book was just around the corner and the order page on HH's website would soon go live. So, I waited and waited and waited some more. Then I saw on HH's website that Anansi Boys was finally done and would be shipping. Again, great, I thought. HH is finally getting stuff out the door. Surely, TMC would be just weeks away from seeing print.

And that's when HH finally went belly-up, taking my hopes and dreams with it. Much speculation began to abound as to which publisher this title would fall. PS Publishing, Gauntlet, and my old favorite, Subterranean Press were cited as possibilities. Eventually, it was revealed that TMC would be a co-production between PS Publishing and SubPress.

Sigh.

Well, I suppose the good news is that PS/SubPress will be printing everything HH had collected (and then some) and has even commissioned five additional color illos from the original painter for the HH edition, Edward Miller. And that it will actually see print. The bad news is that it'll probably look like a "competent" SubPress book, but will otherwise be fairly ordinary. Certainly nothing like what HH would've produced, I betcha.

But, I'll be nice and won't prejudge. TMC is a seminal book in the annals of SF literature, penned by a legend in the field, cherished worldwide, and was even adapted into a TV teleplay starring Rock Hudson, Bernie Casey, and Roddy McDowall, so maybe PS & SubPress will produce something genuinely deserving of this title. For those interested, you can view the SubPress solicitation page here:

The Martian Chronicles: The Complete Edition

When HH finally shut its doors, I almost cried. TMC was going to be one of the crown jewels in my collection and I had even remitted a $100 deposit for the uber-deluxe edition (which I'll never see). A book I would've been willing to pay $1000+ in the hands of HH.

However, since I'm on SubPress' permanent blacklist, the odds of me getting ahold of a copy are slim, though it might appear on Amazon or I could probably get it through a reseller like Camelot. I haven't decided if or how far I'm going to pursue this edition. There's also the Avon Limited Editions Club edition to consider, which was printed in 1974 with a 2000-unit print run.

In any event, here is HH's second-to-last effort, just behind Anansi Boys. You could tell it was something of a rush job, though, as there are numerous incredibly blatant errors. The leather-bound edition of the chapbook, "How I Wrote My Book", was also included. Don't get me wrong, it's extraordinarily nice and was intended to be a free gift serving as a huge apology from HH for taking so long in getting the book out.

Problem is, HH never produced the book (and, at this point, never will).

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the pics.


UPDATE - PS Publishing and SubPress have published this edition since the above write-up. Despite my permaban from SubPress, I have a lettered edition on hold through a third party and will post pics of it here when I receive it.

- L E T T E R E D -

This three-panel framed print is called a "triptych". What's a triptych? Look HERE.

Unfortunately, there're two printing errors on the signed card. The first - only 100 of these are being produced, but the card says 200.

The second - the card references "The Complete Edition" when it should be "The Definitive Edition".

The back of the triptych frame, with an affixed explanation.

Arrrggh! This leads to a third printing error! You'll note the text states "This volume was published by Hill House, Publishers in 2007." Since HH went out of business before their edition of TMC saw print, that makes this statement just a tad off.

The letter hand-signed by Peter Schneider.

The pouch-like sleeve which protects the chapbook.

The leather-bound chapbook, exclusive to the lettered edition.

And the limitation page.