Reasons for Delay

Book Three of The Great God's War trilogy, which may or may not ever be published.
Mr.Land
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Reasons for Delay

Post by Mr.Land »

In the absence of an update from the author I offer several conjectures for The Killing God radio silence.

1) The editor at Berkeley still has not made a decision in regard to publication.
This seems unlikely since Steve indicated a quicker turnaround time.

2) Steve is undertaking an aggressive edit of TKG to meet publisher demands.
This too seems unlikely since Steve indicated that anything over 15% would harm the work.

3) Steve is still shopping around TKG to another publisher
This is possible. I'm not sure of the legalities involved, but securing a new publisher could be quite time-consuming, especially for an author with dwindling sales and a large book.

4) Steve has given up on publishing TKG and is moving on to other projects.
While possible, I believe Steve would let his readers know this.

5) Steve is dealing with an illness or personal issue which prevents him from making any progress or communicating the current status of the project.
I sincerely hope this is not the case.

While it seems incomprehensible, we need to accept the fact that it may either be a very long wait for publication or TKG may not get published at all. I remain hopeful that the book will find its way out into the world eventually. I'm very sorry that Steve has to go through something like this, especially since The Great God's War is some of his best work. Perhaps this is a fitting echo to his publishing struggles for Lord Foul's Bane all those years ago. May he also persevere through this trial.
Last edited by Mr.Land on Sun Jul 04, 2021 5:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Niftium »

Where do we place our bets? I've got three handfuls of aliantha on #3.

He's 74 this year. We're going on something like 6 years of gestation - and counting - for TGGW, from conception to publication of the final book. There isn't time for another series. I suspect he's well aware of all of this and wants to make sure his swansong is done right (or as right as possible).
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Post by zakyfarms »

He finally posted on his website today, and didn't even mention this situation. Throw us a bone!
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Post by samrw3 »

zakyfarms wrote:He finally posted on his website today, and didn't even mention this situation. Throw us a bone!
Yeah that is incredibly strange he didn't mention it at all. Especially when he seemed to indicate he would have news in January. Now six months later he has a audiobook news but not a peep about The Killing God?

One has to assume that there is a good chance the publisher told him to keep quiet about whatever negotiations are going on. And/or SRD is negotiating with another publisher and wants to keep silence until a firm offer is in hand.
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Post by Mr.Land »

Well, at least we know Steve is still alive and kicking. I wonder is there was some fallout from his public disparaging of Berkeley back in December.
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Post by Mr.Land »

Looks like we finally know the reasons for the delay. Crossing my fingers his agent and publisher gives a thumbs up after all of Steve's efforts.

"People who would like to read "The Killing God," Book Three of "The Great God's War," have been waiting for a long time. Not me. I've been holding my feet to the fire continuously for at least six months, trying to mediate between my publisher's demands and my own standards. Now I've done what I can. My agent finally has the manuscript. When he's read it, he will deliver it to my publisher. At that point, the long wait will move on to phase three.

My publisher's issue has never been quality. Rather, it has been expense. To reduce the cost of publication, I've been told to cut 100,000 words. But my issue *is* quality. To that end, I've cut 59,000 words. An arduous task emotionally and artistically, but I'm prepared to stand by the results. Now we all wait to learn whether the quality is high enough to outweigh the expense.

My agent is remarkably effective when he believes in the book he represents, so his approval is important. But the final decision will be made "in house" at the publisher: a process which may involve some debate. Fortunately, my editor is likely to favor publication. After all, she loved the first two books--and refusing to publish the third book of a trilogy is a black mark for any publisher. Unfortunately, she doesn't have much clout.

Barring some unforeseen obstacle, I'll post more news when we move on to phase three."
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Post by zakyfarms »

"At long last, TKG is back in the hands of my editor. My agent is very happy with the new version. He made some useful suggestions (which, fortunately, required only a little extra work) and helped me clean up the text (typos, missing words, that sort of thing). Now my fate depends on whether the editor likes the book enough to push for it.

I have no idea how long I'll be forced to wait for a decision. In the short term, I need the rest. Beyond that, I'll go unquietly crazy.

8/5/21"
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Post by StevieG »

Well, I guess that's progress.
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Post by Roger »

I'm confident that the book will be released eventually. It's unfortunate that it has to be a cut down version. I wish he could publish some kind of "author's cut" so we could read the full story as SRD intended.
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Post by Mr.Land »

I was just thinking the same thing!
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Post by wayfriend »

Roger wrote:I wish he could publish some kind of "author's cut" so we could read the full story as SRD intended.
I agree with the sentiment, but I am sure his contract with the publisher forbids things like this. Publishers still adamantly defend their exclusive rights, no matter how much they fail to properly earn them.

Remember, if Donaldson was willing to concede (to some degree) to the publisher's demands, then we can be sure that being published by Berkeley is still better than the alternatives.

And we have heard no word on whether his UK publisher, Gollancz, is publishing the full version or the decimated version. Although, again, there is probably a lot of contract stuff that demands that Gollancz publishes the same thing Berkeley publishes. But we don't know for sure yet.
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Post by Mr.Land »

What was the situation that allowed Gilden Fire to be published?
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Post by wayfriend »

Mr.Land wrote:What was the situation that allowed Gilden Fire to be published?
Good q.
In the Gradual Interview, Stephen R Donaldson wrote:As I've said elsewhere, "Gilden-Fire" was an aberration. It was a natural part of the original text of "The Illearth War." Lester del Rey convinced me to cut it out, for very good reasons. Well, there's nothing sacred about my outtakes, and I would cheerfully have left that material in my wastebasket. But Underwood/Miller, a publisher of collectors' editions, persuaded me that it would do no harm to make "Gilden-Fire" available to an extremely limited specialty audience. (My mistake.) Unfortunately, Underwood/Miller was a rather unsophisticated (albeit extremely honest) operation, and they sold the rights (which they did not own) to the Science Fiction Book Club. In fairness to Underwood/Miller, they did everything in their power to make the situation right. Nevertheless I was outraged by the idea that unsuspecting SFBC readers would pay $10+ for something that I got out of my wastebasket. So, in an effort to reduce the scale of the ripoff, I included "Gilden-Fire" in "Daughter of Regals".

(04/15/2004)
What I wonder about is how Underwood/Miller discovered that there was an interesting sub-story in Donaldson's wastebasket.
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Post by dlbpharmd »

Meh. Gilden-Fire was worth the money!
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Post by zakyfarms »

"I've just received the good news from my editor. She describes my work on "The Killing God" as "heroic," "marvelous," and "very satisfying." (I swear I'm not making this up.) Berkley plans to publish in November '22. In audio (I assume), digital, and hardcover. I've also been given reason to believe that my UK publisher, Orion/Gollancz, will do the same. So spread the word! (I don't usually say things like that, but I'm feeling giddy.)"
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Post by renny »

Hurrah!
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Post by Savor Dam »

Another year to wait, but the confirmation that it will be worth the wait is encouraging.

Thanks, zakyfarms. I've cross-posted to the parallel
Guesses for release date of "The Killing God"?
thread with a link to your post.
Last edited by Savor Dam on Fri Oct 08, 2021 4:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by SleeplessOne »

Very happy for SRD, he's been through the wringer with wrapping up this series.

Looks as though The Killing God is still a year away, regardless this is great news and I can't wait to conclude the series.
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Post by wayfriend »

I'm giddy, too.
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Post by Mr.Land »

Many thanks to Steve for putting in all those long, grueling hours of rewriting to make TKG acceptable. It couldn't have been easy. I'm relieved and excited that we will all get to read the concluding volume, even if it's not exactly the way the author intended.
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