Well, if you really want me to get going, there are a host of reasons I've been dissatisfied with the SP treatment.
When the opportunity came to pick the ball up from Meisha, SP could have opted to continue with the parameters set up by the previous publisher to maintain optimal continuity. True they didn't HAVE to do that but it would have been a mark of respect for the people who bought these books. Instead, Bill decided to completely do his own thing and gave us a volume that in no way matched the earlier Meisha versions.
1. Completely different sizes. Much smaller. I really disliked that, I don't like my limited edition books to be "library membership" size.
2. Two Volumes instead of One. Why? For my LIMTED EDITION, DELUXE books, I would prefer a nice large bound volume. It's obviously possible since they've done it forever for Lord of the Rings. Why give us two smaller volumes for Storm of Swords?
Bill's response at the time was because he found it MUCH more comfortable to read a smaller volume in his hand.
Sorry but the idiocy of that comment can't be overstated. Was he joking or did he really think his customers were that dumb? Who in their right minds actually READ these hundred dollar books which are now worth several thousand? Also, is it fair that just because he decided to read them that he would then impose a design decision on the 500 of us who don't necessarily share his views?
To add insult to injury, he then announced that all further volumes in the set would also be split into 2 volumes as well regardless of length.
Feast for Crows isn't much longer than Game of Thrones but we get 2 volumes of that as well. No doubt future editions of Game of Thrones and Clash will be 2 volumes as well.
The true reason for this decision may never be known but my suspicion is that perhaps it is cheaper to bind two volumes than one very large volume. I don't know.
3. The slipcase. For Storm of Swords, the books fit VERY tightly into the slipcase. So much so that it is essentially impossible to put Broadart covers on your books and have them fit comfortably in that slipcase. Again, bad design.
Even worse, the decision NOT to have nice gilt lettering on the spine of the books? Why? Again, Bill never explained.
There was such an uproar, he even considered ordered the slipcases done again. Or having some weird sticker version sent out so we could put it on. It was a fiasco but in the end, as with many things, he simply decided to ignore the issue. It's worth noting that the next volumes had the lettering on the spines.
4. The worst ever. Editorial mistake and a block of text from the Prologue was struck out of the SP version of Storm of Swords. How this utterly stupid oversight could have occurred is beyond me but for a supposed "definitive" version of one of the best fantasy books of this past decade, it is a rather fatal error, isn't it? I can't remember the reason why this happend but whatever it was, it remains inexcusable.
Of course, most owners have no idea this is an issue since 90% plus of people DON'T FUCKING READ these books but I found it ridiculously ironic that the justification for one bad decision (easier reading so split the book into 2 volumes) is a crossroads with a fatal problem (missing text from the book so if one were to truly read it, one would become infuriated).
5. No sewn in bookmark.
6. No gilt edges.
7. Literally almost NO differentiation between lettered set and numbered set. At least Meisha had an extra endplate illustration on their cover, gold gilt on all sides vs 1, and an extra remarque.
All SP had was the extra remarque and different color slipcase.
They offered traycases for other lettered sets but decided agaisnt it for Song of Ice and Fire. Why? Because it wouldn't match??? Sorry but I think that ship sailed a while back.
I am a big George RR Martin fan and a BIG, BIG fan of Storm of Swords. This is bar none the best book in the series and one of the best works of epic fantasy in the past decade. It should have deserved the grandest, best special edition treatment ever and instead got shit on with second rate treatment and attention to detail. That book deserved A LOT better than what it got.
I'm probably uneducated in this regard but I'm convinced the majority of these decisions were made for one reason and one reason only: cost.
I've said it before and I feel very comfortable saying it now. If Subterranean Press really cared about the fans, their reputation, and the integrity of the books, they should have eaten the cost and redone the ENTIRE Storm of Swords limited edition. Given us slipcases that matched with the rest of the series and corrected that horrendous mistake which resulted in MISSING TEXT from their final edition.
But no, that's not what this is about and it's never been about that. It's been about the bottom line. So instead we get the nice money grab and NEW editions of Game and Clash which my friends you can lay money down will NOT be anywhere NEAR as nice as the Meisha versions.
Sorry to vent my spleen again but these were HUGE issues when Storm was first released and there was MAJOR bitterness at that time from many of us who owned these sets.
To be fair, the books are still incredible quality of course and Tom Cany and Charles Vess are big names in fantasy art but for the money being charged, that is to be expected.
Anyway, it's the only game in town and these remain the crown jewels of any Martin collection but people need to know the history and details before making comparisons between the two.
There's nothing to be done about that now of course but I refuse to let these issues be swept under the rug and for them to just "go away." They are more outrageous in light of the fact that part of the justification for making "new" versions of Game of Thrones and Clash of Kings is to re-establish continuity of appearance to the series and that the effort was "for the fans" to finish their broken sets.
For more details, please reference this link which outlines in greater and more precise detail what I have mentioned:
http://www.awfulbook... Swords, A.html
It's a worthwhile read and was put together by a collector of books who was a member here but no longer participates.