No Longer Stepping So Harshly on Robert Heinlein’s Toes

Behold! The new title of Zoe’s Tale in German:

Some of you may recall that previously ZT’s title in German was intended to be Zwischen den Planeten, which translates to Between Planets, which is, of course, the title of a Heinlein juvenile novel. I asked if we might not be able to change it just a little, and so now it’s Zwischen den Sternen, or Between Stars. This still gets the feel of what my German publisher was going for without looking like we were bonking Ol’ Bob over the head and then riffling through his pockets for titles, so I am quite pleased.

Speaking of RAH and German editions, I recently completed the foreword to a new German edition of Stranger in a Strange Land, this one using the “uncut” version of the novel that surfaced a couple of decades ago. I was of course delighted to be able to give my thoughts on it, and specifically about how it compared to the 1960s version of the novel. In what might look like a bit of waffling, I like them both; the 1960s version has an economical punch to its delivery, while the 1980s version feels like you get to explore more of the details of the world. It really depends on what you’re in the mood for, basically.

I’ve been lucky enough this year to write intros for new editions of The Forever War, Stranger and the upcoming Subterranean Press edition of The Martian Chronicles. Writing intros is like the writer’s version of opening up for your favorite bands, so you can imagine the fun I’m having doing these (I’m also doing intros for Howard Tayler and Mary Robinette Kowal’s upcoming work — in those cases, hopefully it’s telling people who like my stuff to, hey, check this out, too). It’s all a reminder that, hey, my job doesn’t suck.

25 Comments on “No Longer Stepping So Harshly on Robert Heinlein’s Toes”

  1. What *is* it with the Germans and Generic Spaceships Firing Lasers At Unseen Targets?

    At least it’s not the spider-like ship that’s on the Heyne covers of all three previous OMW novels, so there’s progress, I suppose.

  2. Translate? Scalzi writes all his introductions in German. (The ones for the US, the publisher translates into English.)

  3. More to the point, Marko, with that much hull to play with why go for six widdly wingtip beamers when you could have an axial-mount Tube O’Doom that carries a “Don’t Point That At My Planet” rating?

    Tsk. Thought the germans were meant to be good at design?

  4. You want Bauhaus, you should see the current Honorverse renders. I’ve been so anal about the canon I’ve been shoving chunks of coal up my ass waiting for the diamonds to come out.

  5. Is it me, or did “forward” sneak in, instead of “foreword”, in “Speaking of RAH and German editions, I recently completed the forward to a new German edition… “?

    Or is such a spelling considered o.k.?

  6. MarkHB:

    If you look at the nose of the thing, it does appear to have a giant axial muzzle, so maybe they just aren’t firing it on account of being pointed at a planet they might want to live on someday.

  7. Also, I’m glad to not see the Amazing Palette-Shifting Spider again. We can now, finally, refrain from making fun of your German publishers every time cover art comes up.

    (We may choose not to.)

  8. You know, unlike the opening band of a concert, many people will actually pay attention to the foreword.

  9. I have not seen any evidence of Spanish versions of your books? Do they exist? Where does one get them? There doesn’t seem to be any Spanish-language Amazon store.

  10. Nentauby: That’s a good point, actually. No point in getting rid of colonies in such a way that you can’t actually use the planet afterwards.

  11. Thank you. Seeing the titles reminds me that you did mention La Colonia Perdida, The Lost Colony, a while back.

  12. krieg der klone? cough. that’s just a wee bit close to the german title to star wars (‘krieg der sterne’).


  13. Ask Tim Powers to tell you the “soup” story. Then ask yourself if Heyne did the same thing to the translation of your novels. :-D

    (seriously, a *great* story, as only Powers could tell it!)

    Jerry H.

  14. I’m always in the mood for exploring more of the details of the world, so I’ll have the 1980s remix, please.
    Any chance of some Author’s Preferred Text (expanded, unexpurgated) versions of the OMW books?

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