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The seven-volume reissue of James H. Schmitz recently completed by Baen Books puts back into print all of his work except his one and only collaborative story, the novella "Project Alpha," written with A.E. Van Vogt. I was the editor of the project, and in the course of it I wound up doing significant editing on four of the stories:
"The Star Hyacinths"
The first three stories, in their edited version, were included in the first volume of the reissue, Telzey Amberdon. The edited version of the novel Legacy was included in the third volume, Trigger & Friends.
In addition, my co-editor Guy Gordon and I decided to slightly modify a fifth story, "Planet of Forgetting," to make it fit into the Hub series. We retitled the story "Forget It," and that the name it's published under. (Also in Trigger & Friends.)
Since a number of people have expressed a desire to see the original editions of those works, we are putting them up here in the Baen Free Library, where they will be available to the public free of charge.
If anyone is wondering what I mean by "significant" editing, that refers to any editing that resulted in changing more than a few words of the text. There were a number of stories where I either cut or slightly changed words or—in a few cases—complete sentences which unnecessarily dated the story. I am not placing those here, because it would be very time-consuming for me and not worth the effort. Reissuing the entire story "Aura of Immortality," to give one example, because in two places I substituted the term "newscaster" for "newshen" is just pointless.
"Significant" means what I did with the five stories we are placing here. I cut three thousand words from the novel Legacy, which shrank the length from 76,000 words to 73,000. I cut about 15-20% of the total length of "Poltergeist." The cuts in "Undercurrents" were considerably smaller, but still added up to a number of paragraphs. While very little was actually cut from "The Star Hyacinths," I re-arranged the story by cutting the prologue and reinserting it in the form of dialogue about halfway through the story. In "Planet of Forgetting" (which we retitled "Forget It"), we changed the name of the hero, did some rearranging of paragraphs in the early sections of the story, somewhat modified a few paragraphs of background material to make it fit the Hub setting, and cut a short "trick ending" that wasn't really part of the story itself and wouldn't fit the Hub setting.
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