Author Forewords in Newer Editions

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Desert Kris

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Feb 23, 2017
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Hello all, I'm still a newer SK fan at this point, gradually making my way through the back catalogue. While shopping to build my stockpile of King books, some of the newer printed editions started coming out, with some really nice cover art and pleasing matte finish. I had older copies of the Dark Tower series that I bought when they were newer, but didn't get around to until I started actually getting into SK's work.

So here's the thing. I really like a lot of the forewards that I've read so far. The standouts include the one for Night Shift, and two different forewards to The Gunslinger. While flipping through the newer editions of the Dark Tower books, with covers that look great and more appealing than the editions I already have, I was shocked to discover that the new edition of The Gunslinger didn't have the forewards (I don't remember off the top of my head if it was one or both that were dropped). I was a bit shocked by this, because having read those forewards, I really felt they had a lot of value. So while I like the new cover art for The Gunslinger, I'm not giving up my older copy because I want the forewards included in that copy.

It got me thinking about the SK books that I have bought of the newer editions, with the nice cover art and matte texture. I have no idea if there were forewards in Firestarter, The Dead Zone, Christine, It, and others that have been dropped for these newer printings. I'm happy to have the books themselves, as that is arguably the really important thing. But I feel that value is lost by removing those interesting forewards. The foreward to Night Shift helped me understand why SK's writing was working so well for me, drawing me in. Since On Writing was the first SK book I read, and got me started with a deeper dive, the forewards have kind of been supplimentary to what I learned about King in On Writing. I now view them as an important part of the overall body of SK's work.

Does anyone have any thoughts, critiques, commiserations, or reassurances on this subject?
 

GNTLGNT

The idiot is IN
Jun 15, 2007
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I've always enjoyed the forewards and afterwards when they are provided. They show a bit more personal information about his technique, work ethic, and 'where he gets his ideas'. They also expose us to the business side of his world as well. Not necessary for the stories themselves but fun background stuff!
....well put Mal, I agree whole-heartedly......as to why some editions have them, and others don't-it's a publishing deal I'm assuming and outside anything I'm familiar with.....possibly our Moderator might have some insight.....
 

Moderator

Ms. Mod
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....well put Mal, I agree whole-heartedly......as to why some editions have them, and others don't-it's a publishing deal I'm assuming and outside anything I'm familiar with.....possibly our Moderator might have some insight.....
Most likely not included as a publisher's decision. I don't remember Steve ever saying don't put it in the next printing.
 

Moderator

Ms. Mod
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Just throwing this out there as maybe a way to remember that it's Forewords and Afterwords (not forewards and afterwards):

Forewords are "words" included before [(Be)fore words] the main portion of the book and Afterwords are "words" included after the main portion of the book.
 

fljoe0

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Apr 5, 2008
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I would like to see a book that is a collection of Stephen's Forewords and Afterwords that were (and are) in his books plus all the ones he's done in other author's books and anthologies (I've come across quite a few of these over the years). I think that would make an interesting collection. It might be a massive collection because there are probably a lot more of them than I'm aware of. :) If there is room, this collection could also include some of his non fiction pieces that he has written for magazines.
 

Edward John

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Aug 15, 2019
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I would like to see a book that is a collection of Stephen's forewords and afterwords that were (and are) in his books plus all the ones he's done in other author's books and anthologies (I've come across quite a few of these over the years). I think that would make an interesting collection. It might be a massive collection because there are probably a lot more of them than I'm aware of. :) If there is room, this collection could also include some of his non fiction pieces that he has written for magazines.
They aren't really detailed enough for them to make up a full book I dont think. Maybe some of his essays as well?
 

fljoe0

Cantre Member
Apr 5, 2008
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120 miles S of the Pancake/Waffle line
Just throwing this out there as maybe a way to remember that it's Forewords and Afterwords (not forewards and afterwards):

Forewords are "words" included before [(Be)fore words] the main portion of the book and Afterwords are "words" included after the main portion of the book.

I corrected my post and am ready for my grade. :)
 

fljoe0

Cantre Member
Apr 5, 2008
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They aren't really detailed enough for them to make up a full book I dont think. Maybe some of his essays as well?

When you consider he has over 60 books (more including collections and non fiction), there are probably enough. Some books could have several Forewords because many times new ones are made for paperback and special editions.
 

Edward John

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Aug 15, 2019
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When you consider he has over 60 books (more including collections and non fiction), there are probably enough. Some books could have several Forewords because many times new ones are made for paperback and special editions.
I only know of a few of his afterwords that went longer than a few pages, he was known for thanking his PA in quite a few of them though, what was her name again? :)
 

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Ms. Mod
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Possible that some of the forewords and/or afterwords contained song lyrics?
And the publishers couldn't include them in editions printed later?
Not usually and even when they do, a certain number of words are allowed as fair usage. If it goes beyond that, they have a contract with the songwriter/s that would include the right for future publications.