Leibowitz: what's the appeal?

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Leibowitz: what's the appeal?

Out 25, 2022, 12:03 am

Two proposals for the same book in the top 9 qua top 10. I tried reading the book. I read the first section/part, and then the first one or two chapters of the second section/part, and put it down without a desire to pick it back up. When I put it down, I thought, "meh."

Irrespective of the design differences between the two proposals, I have to ask: what's the appeal of the novel?

Out 25, 2022, 12:30 am

Great question. I was pretty surprised by the great showing for the novel!

Out 25, 2022, 12:50 am

>2 grifgon: Have you read it or tried reading it?

Out 25, 2022, 2:03 am

I've never been a fan. And that goes back to ca. 1962 when I read it. It had won the Hugo the year before and that made a big noise, so I read it. It impressed me so much that all I remember about it is that I didn't like it.

Editado: Out 25, 2022, 2:12 am

>3 ultrarightist: I haven't read it! It's one of those that's been on the pile forever, but since I'm not much of a Sci-Fi-Guy to begin with it never made it to the top. Obviously I'll need to pick it up now.

Out 25, 2022, 2:14 am

It's also interesting that two separate works by Seneca made the top 9.

Out 25, 2022, 3:04 am

>6 grifgon: I voted for both Senecas hoping at least one would make it, and I was quite surprised both did.

Out 25, 2022, 8:37 am

It's been ages since I read it so I would need to read it again and see what I think of it now. I believe part of its appeal here is that it's a book about the power of books.

Out 25, 2022, 10:59 am

>8 Shadekeep: Interesting point

Editado: Out 25, 2022, 11:02 am

Well, only two of the titles I voted Yes on made it to the final round, and neither had as good a showing as Canticle, so I’m simply letting myself get excited about the concepts.

I’ll certainly read it again if it’s the inaugural CP title, but it’s not a favorite of mine. In my opinion, Miller’s ideas far exceed his skills as a writer.

Out 25, 2022, 11:10 am

I read Canticle many many moons ago when I was in college and liked it quite a bit. I own a hard bound copy of the book. I recommended it to my book club which read it sometime in the last three years. It was not well liked and got low reviews. I enjoyed reading it again but was much less impressed than I remember being forty plus years ago.

Out 29, 2022, 8:54 pm

I was unfamiliar with "Canticle for Leibowitz”; however, given that it represents almost a quarter of the “top ten”, I decided to give it a try and borrowed an audio book to listen on my commute to work. After listening to 20% of the book, I decided that enough is enough. I am sure that there are many people who like this book; however, for me it is a firm “no”. That being said, for anyone who hasn't previously read this book, I would strongly suggest reading a few chapters just to see if this is your cup of tea. Also, if you read this book many years ago, might be a good idea to reread the first few chapters. I often find that certain books that I enjoyed reading twenty years ago in my youth are no longer to my liking.

Just started reading “A Flower for Algernon”. Only a few pages into it, but so far so good…

Out 29, 2022, 9:32 pm

Some fiction is well regarded because it's good literature, and some because it advances its genre in a fashion (thematically, tonally, narratively, etc). This is just as true of science fiction as other genres. From what I recall of the book, this likely falls into the latter category, and has been superseded since then. So for myself, there are other proposals I am much more excited for.

Out 29, 2022, 10:07 pm

I have never read it before but after reading this I'm not exactly running screaming in the opposite direction. I like the setup and Miller's style. I like the premise of the book, from what I know of it. I like the humor. I like the personal backstory of Miller's experiences in WWII, and how the Cold War/nuclear fears of his time and increasingly of our time lend relevance to the novel. I respect how current critics cite the book as an important classic. Based on all that I have zero doubt Canticle deserves a fine press treatment. Could our humble group make that happen? I have serious doubts, partly because of the probable cost challenges but mainly because I feel that if this book could receive such a treatment, if would have received it already by now. My hunch is the copyright holder would be very hard to play ball with. Hopefully we'll at least get to learn if that's the case.

Out 30, 2022, 6:04 am

>12 vadim_ca: I attempted a reread of Canticle this week, and found myself even less enthusiastic about it than I was the first time around. Of all the proposals to make it to the second round, this is the book that I would be the least interested in owning at any price. Given that it will easily be the most expensive to produce, it's a firm "no" from me as well.

Interesting that the proposal that attracted the most votes in the first round is proving to be the most divisive among members of this forum.

Editado: Out 30, 2022, 7:23 am

I read it a few years ago and enjoyed it. I would love a nice edition (as I would like to read it again). Although personally I think it would be better suited to a folio society or similar edition, rather than fine press (given the length and cost feasibility). That said, I would personally prefer canticle to some of the other finalists (as some I don't have any particular interest in reading at all).

Fundamentally we are uncovering the true challenge with the consensus press idea, none of the titles were voted for by even half of the members in the first round. Whatever wins will likely be divisive.

Editado: Out 30, 2022, 10:30 am

>16 EdmundRodriguez: I don’t know that that’s “the true challenge,” as the voting process encouraged more No votes than Yeses, with many members taking it as far as only giving 10 yes votes. That doesn’t mean there were 10 titles they loved and a hundred-and-something they absolutely wouldn’t buy.

I personally only voted for 2 out of the top 10, but the only ones I might pass on if they’re selected are the Seneca titles, and only if they’re particularly expensive and/or fail to hook me on the long description. The other 8 all have fantastic proposals coming together, each with their own interesting details that I’d love to see executed.

I see the key to this part of the process being 1) vote for the titles you must want to read, but 2) advocate for any of the top 10 to be something you’d at least like to see done and have in your collection. For me, that second point means encouraging the finest printing and bookcraft alongside interesting / experimental design, binding and illustration.

Out 30, 2022, 10:48 am

>17 NathanOv: I just mean there is a big range of preferences . So it will be tricky (impossible) to find an edition that is universally popular.

Out 30, 2022, 11:02 am

>18 EdmundRodriguez: "I just mean there is a big range of preferences."

I see that as a benefit, personally. I don't know that universal popularity has ever been the goal, so much as sharing ideas that we're individually very excited about and seeing if enough other people share that interest to actually make it happen.

Out 30, 2022, 1:31 pm

Advocatus diaboli, but if this title is selected as the final one, it is likely to give the press a certain amount of buzz that other titles might not, simply because of its reputation. Not that I think that should be the deciding factor by any stretch, but at least a potential upside. Of course, the downside is that buzz does not always translate to long-term support of an effort, especially if the next title isn't just as buzzy.

Out 30, 2022, 2:12 pm

>20 Shadekeep: note also that title selection will likely produce some degree of feedback loop, reinforcing any preference tendencies. I suspect this will occur due to membership attrition (anyone who does not buy the title will not contribute to the next edition) and recruitment of new members drawn by the previous title (assuming members vote for a way to admit new members).

So "buzz" may have pros and cons, depending on one's goal for the imprint. Our first title will likely set the press on its future path.

Out 30, 2022, 2:17 pm

>21 abysswalker: Exactly, I considered that as well. The first book could signal to people the potential focus of the press, even though its remit is no focus beyond what the group wants. So there's the risk of it becoming pigeonholed.

Editado: Out 30, 2022, 5:33 pm

>21 abysswalker: Huh - I get the impression that the initial members would like a little more variety than that and a “repeat” / too similar title to what was last published probably wouldn’t do so well.

Who knows until we see, though!

Out 30, 2022, 5:57 pm

>21 abysswalker: >22 Shadekeep: >23 NathanOv:

I think that if Consensus Press succeeds, the inevitable trend will be towards members who are members because they enjoy or believe in this process itself. Members whose participation is contingent on the outcome of each edition will eventually drop out.

Out 30, 2022, 5:58 pm

The biggest question (I think) if the first edition succeeds will be how to deal with further members. I think the simplest method will be to cap the membership at 100 and have a wait-list, but I'll be curious to see if anybody proposes something better.

Out 30, 2022, 6:20 pm

>24 grifgon: agreed. I would almost certainly not be keen to purchase a few of the shortlisted works if they were released by another press. However I find the process interesting enough to likely tip the scales. It is a welcome window into the fine press world.

Out 30, 2022, 8:34 pm

>24 grifgon: Totally agree.

>25 grifgon: Also think a waiting list and capped membership is the way to go though with a slightly higher cap of 120.

Out 31, 2022, 11:59 am

>25 grifgon: Agreed that the membership should be those who are more behind the process than the titles, hopefully it will shake out that way. Indeed, it almost must.

I would be open to membership as high as 150, but I think the caps that you and kdweber suggest are probably more reasonable. Means fewer proposals to review each round as well. As long as that membership size is sufficient to cover operational costs.

Out 31, 2022, 1:11 pm

>17 NathanOv: Yep. I gave something like 17 yes votes in the first round. 3 of them are in the top nine. Doesn't mean that the rest were definite nays. That was just an attempt to steer votes towards the titles I most want to see published.

But even if you take a title I was interested in - Narayanan's version of the Mahabharata - I voted only for one of the two proposals specifically to avoid the situation we're in now with the Canticle and, to a lesser extent, Seneca hogging extra spots.

While I'm hoping one of the three works I voted for in the top 9 wins, as >24 grifgon: said I find the process interesting and I'm open to other works except maybe 1 (will need to read a longer sample to decide whether it's something I could accept to keep participation in the project going).

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