Talk:Fix-up

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Problems[edit]

There are two serious problems with this article: First, the term itself is not used outside of science fiction; and I would not say that the "concept . . . exists outside science fiction" but that the practice does. The citations at http://www.jessesword.com/sf/view/264 make the development of the term clear. Second, the list of SF fix-ups is much, much longer than it needs to be. I would think that five or six examples (starting with van Vogt's) would suffice. A third item is that the list of proposed non-SF fixups mixes collections of linked short stories (Winesburg, Ohio) with items that might be considered fix-ups (Go Down, Moses--though The Hamlet is a better Faulkner candidate). A fix-up involves revision to improve or impose continuity or unity on a set of separately composed or published items; a story-cycle places the original items in a single volume; an episodic novel is composed as a set of incidents or units intended to be read as a whole. Thus one needs to know the publishing history to determine fix-up status. RLetson 18:31, 26 January 2007 (UTC) `

Me, I don't think you CAN have a practice without the concept. GeorgeTSLC (talk) 16:02, 18 April 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that by the definition stated, Asimov's Foundation series counts very much as a "fix-up". It was intended to be a serial from the start; true, it was only published in collected book form a while later, but it was serial and chronological in its original magazine publication, and no doubt needed very little "fixing up" to fit together into three books, even if the first few Foundation novels do read like collections of much shorter works (due to the future-history, multi-century scope of the series, though, this can be seen as not necessarily having been unintentional). Again, it's true that they weren't specifically written for book form originally, but the definition given here implies that the stories in any given "fix-up" need considerable editing to make sense as a cohesive whole as a novel, and that they weren't originally say, a three-part series or a story and its direct sequels. I could be wrong about this "fix-up" definition, but if I am, it makes me wonder if the intro might not still need some tweaking to make it absolutely clear what the difference is between a novel originally published in serial form, and an actual "fix-up".
However, I would say that definitely Asimov's I, Robot book counts. It's referred to as both a "short story collection" and a "novel", depending on who you're talking to, but usually called a "novel" by the publishers, due to the fact that it's really nine different early Robot series stories edited so that they appear in a logical order, with the inserted framework of an interview with Susan Calvin. Stories which, coincidentally, were not originally intended to be anything more than what they were: different short stories that happened to share the concept of a positronic robot and some characters and organizations (like Susan, or U.S. Robots and Mechanical Men Corp.), and of course, the Three Laws of Robotics (or the assumption of something very like them). Yet, oddly enough, that is the ONLY one of the "fix-ups" or alleged fix-ups that I know of by Asimov that isn't on this list. Huh.
Anyway, why would you say there is any difference between "the concept (if not the term) exists outside of science fiction" and the statement "the practice (if not the term) exists outside of science fiction"? They essentially say the same thing in this instance, especially with "clip show"'s article linked right next to it. The concept is of a particular practice, was my understanding, even though the term is apparently specific to SF. The article actually already says the term is not used outside of SF, even though the concept is. A rose by any other name...
Although, I'm probably going to edit the sentence to jive with what the rest of the article, and its link to clip show, both imply: that science fiction book publishers and book/short story authors aren't the only ones that have done it in the literary form (seeing as there are "mainstream fix-ups" listed), and that similar (but not identical) things can be found in other media, such as television, but that the term "fix-up" is fairly exclusive to printed SF.
On an almost completely unrelated side note... this actually gives me an excellent idea for being able to finish some of the longer things I'm working on right now, because with some of them, I know where I'm going and have some scenes and vignettes I want to do, but am used to working "beginning to end" (and then going back and relentlessly editing it anyway). Perhaps going out of order a little wouldn't be so horrendous, and I might, you know, actually get something done. *snerk!* By the way, I hope you don't mind that I put the Talk page stuff under a header. It looks less clunky that way to me (I also tagged it for a couple of WikiProjects while I was at it). Runa27 22:15, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
I agree that a lot of the titles listed are not "Fixups" but "expansions" (Dune, Foundation, Canticle for Liebowitz, quite a few others). These should be removed. I'll check back in a few days for opinions, then I'll take those out. They don't fit the definition. As I haven't read all of them, do please delete others (assuming no major objections).Mzmadmike (talk) 04:27, 10 March 2009 (UTC)
Four years have passed, and nothing has been done with this. I have edited the "mainstream" section to remove titles that are definitely NOT fix-ups. The titles I removed are novels conceived as a whole that originally appeared in serialized form, or short story collections/cycles that were not "fixed-up" for collected publication. The remaining titles include several items that are debatable, especially the last two which blur the distinction. Haunted and Goon Squad should probably not be included IMO: although they consist largely of short stories, they were conceived as a whole, the stories were not published separately from each other, and there was no modification process because the book publication is the original appearance of the material. Go Down, Moses should probably also not be included because there was no "fixing-up", hence the ongoing debate about whether that title is a novel or a short story collection. 12.233.146.130 (talk) 01:51, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree this article is more wrong than informative. A "fix-up" requires at least one published story be changed to be cohesive with another published story, usually when the both are short stories being collected. Revising several stories so the main character has the same name would be a "fix-up". Changing details in a single story is called a "revision". Adding text without changing the existing text is an "expansion". Some examples are just "collections with introductions".

Adding one or more story to a collection of previously published stories is not a fix-up, typically called a "collection with new material". Three examples from the list: - Asimov added an introductory short story to the collection of 8 unchanged short stories in the Foundation series, which were divided into 3 books by publishers. - McCaffrey added a short story (placed first) to the collection "To Ride Pegasus" of 3 previously published short stories. - McCaffrey added a short story (placed last) to her collection "The Ship Who Sang" of 5 previously published short stories.

An "expansion" adds text while retaining most of one short story's text. The examples include "Ender's Game" which expanded one (and only one) short story into a novel, mostly leaving the original text intact but interwoven with new text. Asimov's novels "The Positronic Man" and "Nightfall" are similar expansions, each mostly adding text to a single short story.

Other expansions includes one mostly unchanged short story surrounded by new text. McCaffrey's "The Rowan" and "Damia" are novels surrounding previously published single short stories ("Lady in the Tower" and "Meeting of Minds" respectively) with much new text.

Several examples did not revise the original stories, just added an interstitial framework. Bradbury's "The Martian Chronicles" added text between unrevised previously published stories. "I, Robot" collected previously published short stories as being told during an interview; the same stories appeared in later collections without the interview. Should we include anthologies with an author or editor providing introductions before each story as a "fix-up"? Solprovider (talk) 10:36, 5 July 2015 (UTC)

I don't see how books like I, Robot are fix-ups. There is no intention to make it a novel; it is a series of stories with a frame. That is not a fix-up. If I don't see some discussion of this, I'll edit out some examples, including the Baen Telzey Amberdon volumes, none of which claims to be or resembles a novel. (The early book The Universe Against Her appears to be two stories, published as Part 1 and Part 2. If someone knows that they were edited to splice together, I'd love to find out.) Zaslav (talk) 04:28, 28 May 2016 (UTC)

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The Silmarillion[edit]

Point of clarification of the article's scope: Would The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. by Christopher Tolkien, count as a fix-up? If not, what distinguishes it from a fix-up? --Damian Yerrick (talk | stalk) 01:55, 12 December 2010 (UTC)

No, it does not count as a fix-up. A fix-up requires that separate materials originally published separately be revised into a whole for later re-publication. No such process was involved with The Silmarillion, which was originally published as a whole. It is not a novel, but a collection of stories and vignettes illustrating some of the backstory of Middle-earth. That doesn't change the fact that it is not a fix-up. No "fixing-up" was done. The book we see is the original form. That's the distinction.
Further clarification: compare Ray Bradbury's R Is for Rocket with The Martian Chronicles. The individual pieces of both books were originally published as separate and unrelated science fiction short stories in various publications. R Is for Rocket is not a fix-up; the stories were selected by theme and simply "collected". Though Bradbury may have done some slight editing to replace outdated ideas or to improve individual stories, no additional modification or "fixing-up" was done to make them appear as a single narrative. The Martian Chronicles is a fix-up; Bradbury took several of his unrelated stories about Mars, modified them to work as a continuity, and added additional previously unpublished material to create an overarching narrative about Mankind's colonization of Mars. A short story collection is not a fix-up; a collection of short stories modified from their original form to work as a continuous narrative that previously did not exist is a fix-up.
Conversely, a novel conceived as a whole but broken into segments for original serialization in a periodical is not a fix-up. The parts were always intended as elements of the whole. 12.233.146.130 (talk) 02:23, 3 June 2013 (UTC)

Removed Enders Game[edit]

Placing Enders' Game on this list reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of what a fix-up novel is. There must be at least two different stories involved. Enders Game is an expansion of one short story. Removed it from the list. — Preceding unsigned comment added by DanQuigley (talkcontribs) 14:34, 28 June 2017 (UTC)

How to verify?[edit]

I, Robot[4] (1951) by Isaac Asimov
The Green Hills of Earth (1951) by Robert Heinlein

I don't see the reference to a Budrys column supporting I, Robot as a novel rather than a collection of related stories. The Green Hills of Earth is clearly a collection of unrelated stories. How many more non-novels are there in the long list? It is a useful and widely-used phrase, but examples in SF could be confined to those that critics have verifiably explained were formerly multiple short stories. --Cedderstk

I, Robot is a novel, if barely; Asimov wrote interstitial material connecting the stories (such as mention of a rumor that Susan Calvin and Stephen Byerley were lovers) that isn't present in other Robot collections like The Complete Robot. Budrys discusses I, Robot a paragraph after talking about "the 'novels' pasted together from series short stories". It clearly isn't the other examples Budrys discusses, non-SF writers and old SF. Ylee (talk) 01:23, 12 January 2018 (UTC)