Jump to content
Wilbur

The Acts of Caine, Matthew Stover

Recommended Posts

On 9/14/2018 at 2:58 PM, Darth Richard II said:

It used to go for 100s. And for some reason didn’t get a reprint when the other two did.

Buying it new it still goes for $100, which to me is just crazy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are multiple copies on eBay at the moment, asking for anywhere between $12 and $30 for the book, which fits within my band of acceptable asking prices.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Which begs the question of the publishers' rectal-cranial inversion ailments:  If the used books are selling for a Benjamin a pop, why not reprint the book and simultaneously allow the author to make a little money?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My understanding is that it has to do with publisher rights, author contracts, and ROI for republishing, as opposed to, for example, books that are currently print on demand only (such as R. Scott Bakker's The Thousandfold Thought). 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems to be that way, aye. I had to order it as print on demand from a local bookseller, as it's no longer in stock anywhere in Australia and had to be printed on demand in North America and then shipped here. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, IlyaP said:

Seems to be that way, aye. I had to order it as print on demand from a local bookseller, as it's no longer in stock anywhere in Australia and had to be printed on demand in North America and then shipped here. 

 

I didn't even know print on demand was a thing.  I thought they only printed books by, like, the thousands, or didn't at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It was a big topic of interest when I was doing my Masters in Communication and Publishing ten years ago, and I haven't given it much thought since, but when I was ordering the book via Better Read Than Dead (a *fabulous* bookstore here in Sydney) the brilliant gals at the front desk said it had to be ordered via print on demand as there were no more first-hand copies available in any warehouse in Australia, and that even in Canada, they had to make a print order with Overlook Press (Bakker's publisher in Canada), have the order be sent from Overlook to a printer, have the book be shipped from their warehouse to Australia, to the bookstore, and then sent to my doorstep. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The subject matter of Blade of Tyshalle might also have been a problem for the publishers.  Not just the economic rapine, mental and physical rape and physical violence, but the ethical and moral themes.  Consider the criticism that George Orwell had for C.S. Lewis' That Hideous Strength, arguing that the spiritual or supernatural elements weakened the story.

Given that both BoT and THS contain manifestations of spiritual evil through technological or computerized forms, a lot of readers may have objected to the ideas in today's materialistic world.  A fair number of contemporary people won't consider a world, even a well-written one such as Stover has given us, where Evil uses applied science to become fully realized in daily life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm doubtful that the themes on the convergence of technology and capitalism to produce a more metaphysical evil is what hurt sales for Stover. It's basically the grafting of the themes of much science fiction to the metaphysical framework of fantasy, so I would be surprised if that was a particularly distasteful development for readers.

However, I don't really have a good answer for why Stover's sales aren't better to replace your conjecture. They really are great combination of over-the-top pulp and something more thoughtful. Maybe people bounce off Hari/Caine's character, as I can definitely see him not being for everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I somewhat enjoyed the first two books, but I haven't found the desire to seek out the third, and it's been over a year so I'm probably not going to.

I thought the world was interesting and well written, but the setting was just oppressively dark.  I have a pretty high tolerance for dark sci-fi/fantasy, having read and enjoyed Bakker, McCarthy, etc.  But this (particularly book 2) was just too much.  I don't really want to go back to that place. 

I suspect that is a big part of the lack of commercial success of the Caine books.  After all, Stover's Star Wars books are quite popular, so it's not like he can't write things people like. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

I somewhat enjoyed the first two books, but I haven't found the desire to seek out the third, and it's been over a year so I'm probably not going to.

I thought the world was interesting and well written, but the setting was just oppressively dark.  I have a pretty high tolerance for dark sci-fi/fantasy, having read and enjoyed Bakker, McCarthy, etc.  But this (particularly book 2) was just too much.  I don't really want to go back to that place. 

I suspect that is a big part of the lack of commercial success of the Caine books.  After all, Stover's Star Wars books are quite popular, so it's not like he can't write things people like. 

I would agree with you, but books 3 & 4 are a bit lighter IMO than BoT.  Caine's Law was probably my favorite in the series.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, aceluby said:

I would agree with you, but books 3 & 4 are a bit lighter IMO than BoT.  Caine's Law was probably my favorite in the series.

Totally agree! Without spoiling books 3 and 4, I think that it is safe to say that they present a totally new perspective on previous books. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Galbrod said:

Totally agree! Without spoiling books 3 and 4, I think that it is safe to say that they present a totally new perspective on previous books. 

I almost didn't read 3 & 4 because 2 was so slow and dark.  I only started 3 because I didn't have anything else to read and really enjoyed it.  4 is just awesome all around and despite being warned that it was 'confusing', I never really thought it was.  It's one set of books that I will definitely re-read at some point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, aceluby said:

I almost didn't read 3 & 4 because 2 was so slow and dark.  I only started 3 because I didn't have anything else to read and really enjoyed it.  4 is just awesome all around and despite being warned that it was 'confusing', I never really thought it was.  It's one set of books that I will definitely re-read at some point.

All i all, I think that it is the retrospective change of perspective in books 3 and 4 that make it one of the best (if not the best) fantasy series ever. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Wilbur said:

The subject matter of Blade of Tyshalle might also have been a problem for the publishers.  Not just the economic rapine, mental and physical rape and physical violence, but the ethical and moral themes.  Consider the criticism that George Orwell had for C.S. Lewis' That Hideous Strength, arguing that the spiritual or supernatural elements weakened the story.

Given that both BoT and THS contain manifestations of spiritual evil through technological or computerized forms, a lot of readers may have objected to the ideas in today's materialistic world.  A fair number of contemporary people won't consider a world, even a well-written one such as Stover has given us, where Evil uses applied science to become fully realized in daily life.

 

The subject matter was never a problem for Del Ray in late 1999, early 2000, when the book was about to be published. 

A massive publishing campaign and marketing push had actually been intended for Matt's book, to position it as one of the New Weird books that were hitting shelves at the time (e.g. Perdido Street Station, City of Saints and Madmen, The Graveyard Game, American Gods, etc.), which it would have fit in with quite well. Coinciding with that was a considerable amount of fan appeal and critical support from established genre names (at the time) like Gabe Chouinard and the now-defunct Fantastic Metropolis website. 

Unfortunately, financing fell through at the last hour, a few days (if not weeks) before the whole thing was set to launch, and so BoT was unfortunately released to very little fanfare and a total lack of a marketing campaign. Which did the book absolutely no favours whatsoever.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Maithanet said:

I somewhat enjoyed the first two books, but I haven't found the desire to seek out the third, and it's been over a year so I'm probably not going to.

I thought the world was interesting and well written, but the setting was just oppressively dark.  I have a pretty high tolerance for dark sci-fi/fantasy, having read and enjoyed Bakker, McCarthy, etc.  But this (particularly book 2) was just too much.  I don't really want to go back to that place. 

I suspect that is a big part of the lack of commercial success of the Caine books.  After all, Stover's Star Wars books are quite popular, so it's not like he can't write things people like. 

Feel the exact same way, and the 2nd is where I stopped. Though, I have recently thought about picking up, because of the positive posts about books 3 and 4 in this thread. After all, I am a Cnaüir fan, oh my! :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So today I got a free copy of Blade of Tyshalle from a free library I built for an ex girlfriends coffeeshop a few years ago.  MM paperback, in pretty months condition.  I read the whole series on ebook so kind of cool to have a physical copy.  Just thought I'd rub that in for anyone that paid a ridiculous price for one.

Edited by larrytheimp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 9/24/2018 at 5:38 PM, larrytheimp said:

So today I got a free copy of Blade of Tyshalle from a free library I built for an ex girlfriends coffeeshop a few years ago.  MM paperback, in pretty months condition.  I read the whole series on ebook so kind of cool to have a physical copy.  Just thought I'd rub that in for anyone that paid a ridiculous price for one.

Got mine delivered to my house for $20, it's the 'new' ones that are still fetching $100+

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×