Discussion:
...And Call Me Conrad versus This Immortal versus The Dream Master (and Wikipedia errors)
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ckovacs
2007-08-10 10:58:27 UTC
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Few people seem to post here anymore, but I've received a number of
encouraging emails from people who have asked me to keep up with these
posts about Zelazny trivia and discoveries. Most of the material I'm
saving for a possible publication, but I thought this one might be of
interest.

Wikipedia has a number of significant errors on the Roger Zelazny
page, and on the ...And Call Me Conrad page, and on the This Immortal
page. This includes the suggestion that ...And Call Me Conrad was a
novella, that it was later expanded by Zelazny to become This
Immortal, and that This Immortal was Zelazny's second novel after The
Dream Master. Not true, all wrong, all wrong: ...And Call Me Conrad
was a novel, and it was Zelazny's first novel, written in its entirety
as a novel and republished as This Immortal before The Dream Master
was ever finished and published.

A few facts I've learned from reading old Zelazny interviews and
correspondence, and looking at the original publications -

The novel was written during 1964 and early 1965 under Zelazny's
preferred title: ...And Call Me Conrad. It was approximately 58,000
words. When serialized in two parts in the October and November 1965
issues of F&SF (instead of the anticipated three parts), the editor
chopped about 11,000 words, leaving about 47,000 words: Part One of
22,800 words and Part Two 24,300.

47,000 words is a novel, and it is this abridged version of ...And
Call Me Conrad which was nominated for and later won the Hugo award
for novel, tying with Dune by Frank Herbert. It various inteviews and
essays, Zelazny describes how this was his first attempt at writing a
novel and the various problems that he encountered in writing it.

The novel was supposed to be restored to its full length and published
by Ace Books under *their* preferred shorter title of This Immortal
(not expanded, but restored to the full length as originally written
by Zelazny), and this is where things get confusing. Unbeknownst to
Zelazny, not all of the magazine cuts were restored in the Ace Books
edition. Nor were they restored in the Rupert hardcover, which was
the first hardcover edition of this novel, published in the UK.
Instead, it wasn't until another publisher was preparing a book club
edition that an editor noticed some discrepancies between the
published text versus a manuscript version, and Zelazny was finally
alerted to the fact that This Immortal was shorter than intended.
Zelazny prepared a restored version of the text for that book club
edition.

Unfortunately, the interview does not make clear *which* book club
edition. The first book club edition was the UK book club published
by Goodchild in 1984 and which has an introductory essay by Dave
Wingrove. The second was the Easton Press hardcover published in 1986
which has an introductory essay by Robert Silverberg. The third was
the SFBC edition published in 1988 and which bears dust jacket art by
Richard Powers. I've looked at these briefly in comparison to the Ace
Books and Rupert editions, and that brief comparison has not led to
any conclusion as to which of the texts from the late 80s contains the
restored text. Does anyone know? (? Former editor of SFBC might
know?)

Moreover, what is even more confusing is that *none* of the versions
of This Immortal contain a page of text that was in the magazine
version, a bit of background information that explained what Radpol
was and who Karaghiosis was. In all versions of This Immortal, there
is a paragraph beginning "In attempting to reconstruct the affairs of
these past six months..." and ending "...only five days ago." On the
other hand, in ...And Call Me Conrad, this section continues "And the
long-dormant Radpole was stirring again, but I did not know that until
several days later." and this goes on for 9 more paragraphs, ending
"The days of Karaghiosis had passed."

Thus, it is clear that while Zelazny restored text that had been cut
from the magazine appearance for a revised book club edition in the
late 1980s, he overlooked a section of text that had been in the
magazine version but inexplicably cut from the paperback/hardcover
versions. If there is ever a truly restored text of this novel, it
would need to restore this text. It might also be published under his
preferred title of ...And Call Me Conrad, since he indicated that he
still preferred that title (which conveys some of the personality of
the character) over the title This Immortal.

As well, the "Synopsis of Part One" that appeared in the November 1965
issue of F&SF (immediately prior to Part Two) is written in the first
person and contains material about Conrad's character and the
backstory that is not in the main text of ...And Call Me Conrad nor
the restored version This Immortal.

So to summarize:
1) ...And Call Me Conrad was the abridged novel at 47,000 words, which
was nominated for and won the Hugo, and it was written as a > 58,000
word novel from the start. It was Zelazny's first novel. (NB a
novella is generally considered to have a length somewhere between
17,500 to 40,000 words, and ...And Call Me Conrad exceeded this in
both its abridged and full-length versions).
2) This Immortal was Ace Books' chosen title for the novel, which
restored some but not all of the magazine cuts to a length of about
58,000 words, and it appeared in 1966 with the Ace code # F-393 on the
cover.
3) One of the 1980s book club editions restores some of the missing
text, but oddly none of the existing versions of This Immortal
contains the 10-paragraph section described above that was in the
magazine version. I don't know which book club edition(s) contain the
restored text, it would take some careful comparison to determine
this. I don't know whether the ibooks trade paperback published in
2004 used the restored text or the standard text that was in the Ace
Books editions; the ibooks version is also missing that 10-paragraph
section.

And regarding The Dream Master -

Zelazny originally wrote the novella (yes, novella) "He Who Shapes"
during 1964, and it was published in the January & February 1965
issues of Amazing. It was about 31,000 words in length, and it won the
Nebula for novella, tying with Aldiss' "The Saliva Tree." Later, he
was convinced by Damon Knight to expand the novella into a novel, and
he did this by writing extra sections that were inserted throughout
the text, thereby creating a final length of about 45,000 words. He
did this expansion *after* writing ...And Call Me Conrad. This
expanded version of "He Who Shapes" was then published under the title
The Dream Master by Ace Books, and it appeared later in 1966 - *after*
This Immortal - with the Ace code #F-403 on the cover. Thus, The Dream
Master was the second novel to be written - expanded from an earlier
novella - and it has always been recognized as Zelazny's second novel
- including by the author, who knew when he was writing it - despite
what is currently claimed in Wikipedia. Maybe somebody will fix
Wikipedia now.

Chris

mun dot ca not mac dot com to reply
ckovacs
2007-08-10 17:12:50 UTC
Permalink
Raw Message
Post by ckovacs
Few people seem to post here anymore, but I've received a number of
encouraging emails from people who have asked me to keep up with these
posts about Zelazny trivia and discoveries. Most of the material I'm
saving for a possible publication, but I thought this one might be of
interest.
Wikipedia has a number of significant errors on the Roger Zelazny
page, and on the ...And Call Me Conrad page, and on the This Immortal
page. This includes the suggestion that ...And Call Me Conrad was a
novella, that it was later expanded by Zelazny to become This
Immortal, and that This Immortal was Zelazny's second novel after The
Dream Master. Not true, all wrong, all wrong: ...And Call Me Conrad
was a novel, and it was Zelazny's first novel, written in its entirety
as a novel and republished as This Immortal before The Dream Master
was ever finished and published.
A few facts I've learned from reading old Zelazny interviews and
correspondence, and looking at the original publications -
The novel was written during 1964 and early 1965 under Zelazny's
preferred title: ...And Call Me Conrad. It was approximately 58,000
words. When serialized in two parts in the October and November 1965
issues of F&SF (instead of the anticipated three parts), the editor
chopped about 11,000 words, leaving about 47,000 words: Part One of
22,800 words and Part Two 24,300.
47,000 words is a novel, and it is this abridged version of ...And
Call Me Conrad which was nominated for and later won the Hugo award
for novel, tying with Dune by Frank Herbert. It various inteviews and
essays, Zelazny describes how this was his first attempt at writing a
novel and the various problems that he encountered in writing it.
The novel was supposed to be restored to its full length and published
by Ace Books under *their* preferred shorter title of This Immortal
(not expanded, but restored to the full length as originally written
by Zelazny), and this is where things get confusing. Unbeknownst to
Zelazny, not all of the magazine cuts were restored in the Ace Books
edition. Nor were they restored in the Rupert hardcover, which was
the first hardcover edition of this novel, published in the UK.
Instead, it wasn't until another publisher was preparing a book club
edition that an editor noticed some discrepancies between the
published text versus a manuscript version, and Zelazny was finally
alerted to the fact that This Immortal was shorter than intended.
Zelazny prepared a restored version of the text for that book club
edition.
Unfortunately, the interview does not make clear *which* book club
edition. The first book club edition was the UK book club published
by Goodchild in 1984 and which has an introductory essay by Dave
Wingrove. The second was the Easton Press hardcover published in 1986
which has an introductory essay by Robert Silverberg. The third was
the SFBC edition published in 1988 and which bears dust jacket art by
Richard Powers. I've looked at these briefly in comparison to the Ace
Books and Rupert editions, and that brief comparison has not led to
any conclusion as to which of the texts from the late 80s contains the
restored text. Does anyone know? (? Former editor of SFBC might
know?)
Moreover, what is even more confusing is that *none* of the versions
of This Immortal contain a page of text that was in the magazine
version, a bit of background information that explained what Radpol
was and who Karaghiosis was. In all versions of This Immortal, there
is a paragraph beginning "In attempting to reconstruct the affairs of
these past six months..." and ending "...only five days ago." On the
other hand, in ...And Call Me Conrad, this section continues "And the
long-dormant Radpole was stirring again, but I did not know that until
several days later." and this goes on for 9 more paragraphs, ending
"The days of Karaghiosis had passed."
Thus, it is clear that while Zelazny restored text that had been cut
from the magazine appearance for a revised book club edition in the
late 1980s, he overlooked a section of text that had been in the
magazine version but inexplicably cut from the paperback/hardcover
versions. If there is ever a truly restored text of this novel, it
would need to restore this text. It might also be published under his
preferred title of ...And Call Me Conrad, since he indicated that he
still preferred that title (which conveys some of the personality of
the character) over the title This Immortal.
As well, the "Synopsis of Part One" that appeared in the November 1965
issue of F&SF (immediately prior to Part Two) is written in the first
person and contains material about Conrad's character and the
backstory that is not in the main text of ...And Call Me Conrad nor
the restored version This Immortal.
1) ...And Call Me Conrad was the abridged novel at 47,000 words, which
was nominated for and won the Hugo, and it was written as a > 58,000
word novel from the start. It was Zelazny's first novel. (NB a
novella is generally considered to have a length somewhere between
17,500 to 40,000 words, and ...And Call Me Conrad exceeded this in
both its abridged and full-length versions).
2) This Immortal was Ace Books' chosen title for the novel, which
restored some but not all of the magazine cuts to a length of about
58,000 words, and it appeared in 1966 with the Ace code # F-393 on the
cover.
3) One of the 1980s book club editions restores some of the missing
text, but oddly none of the existing versions of This Immortal
contains the 10-paragraph section described above that was in the
magazine version. I don't know which book club edition(s) contain the
restored text, it would take some careful comparison to determine
this. I don't know whether the ibooks trade paperback published in
2004 used the restored text or the standard text that was in the Ace
Books editions; the ibooks version is also missing that 10-paragraph
section.
And regarding The Dream Master -
Zelazny originally wrote the novella (yes, novella) "He Who Shapes"
during 1964, and it was published in the January & February 1965
issues of Amazing. It was about 31,000 words in length, and it won the
Nebula for novella, tying with Aldiss' "The Saliva Tree." Later, he
was convinced by Damon Knight to expand the novella into a novel, and
he did this by writing extra sections that were inserted throughout
the text, thereby creating a final length of about 45,000 words. He
did this expansion *after* writing ...And Call Me Conrad. This
expanded version of "He Who Shapes" was then published under the title
The Dream Master by Ace Books, and it appeared later in 1966 - *after*
This Immortal - with the Ace code #F-403 on the cover. Thus, The Dream
Master was the second novel to be written - expanded from an earlier
novella - and it has always been recognized as Zelazny's second novel
- including by the author, who knew when he was writing it - despite
what is currently claimed in Wikipedia. Maybe somebody will fix
Wikipedia now.
Chris
mun dot ca not mac dot com to reply
I went ahead and made a bunch of changes to the main Wikipedia page
about Zelazny, but not the subsidiary pages about ...And Call Me
Conrad etc. Also added info on anthologies and other bits that were
missing. It may be futile doing this since anyone can come back and
alter it again.

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