Robotech novels stuff

Original pencil art for the cover of Robotech #21: Before The Invid Storm, by Ken Steacy

Over in this thread at the forums, in between discussion of new ROBOTECH novels and reprinting the old ones, I recall seeing a remark about how popular the ROBOTECH novels were back in the day, and how many printings they went through. Curious, I grabbed my copies of the novels and flipped to the copyright page. This is what I found ...

Genesis - Sixteenth printing, April 1993
Battle Cry - Tenth printing, May 1991
Homecoming - Eleventh printing, August 1991
Battlehymn - Eighth printing, April 1990
Force of Arms - Twelfth printing, 1994
Doomsday - Ninth printing, November 1990
Southern Cross/Metal Fire/The Final Nightmare omnibus - First edition, April 1995
Invid Invasion - First edition, October 1987
Metamorphosis - Thirteenth printing, 1995
Symphony of Light - Fifth printing, April 1990
The Devil's Hand - First edition, April 1988
Dark Powers - Sixth printing, June 1990
Death Dance - First edition, June 1988
World Killers - First edition, July 1988
Rubicon - Ninth printing, July 1993
The End of the Circle - Fourth printing, July 1991
The Zentraedi Rebellion - First edition, May 1994
The Masters' Gambit - First edition, April 1995
Before the Invid Storm - First edition, April 1996

Most of my copies of these books are in pretty sorry shape, the worst being my copies of the Robotech Masters three-in-one, End of the Circle, and The Zentraedi Rebellion; most of my first editions I snagged at second-hand bookstores and are, surprisingly, in better shape than those three, which I know for a fact I bought brand-spanking-new. In fact, I clearly recall picking up my copy of The Zentraedi Rebellion from one of those cardboard standee type displays when it came out. I suspect Del Rey did the big display because they recalled the prior success of the line, only to find diminishing returns with the "Lost Generation" books.

In any case, my personal hope is that the books get reprinted "warts and all" -- a selfish hope, as I'd like bright shiny new copies to replace my battered books (and maybe a copy of The Masters' Gambit that doesn't have the word "Gambit" misspelled on the spine -- yes, it reads "Giambit" right there on the spine!) and don't really want to be forced to fight off the urge, the need to provide a point-by-point comparison between these older printings and newer, monkeyed-with printings. It's a balancing act, I know -- is it a bigger deal to tromp all over the long-time and lapsed fans' memories, or to have two conflicting versions of the universe on store shelves when new fans enter the franchise?

Honestly, I think tacking a happy little foreword explaining the context of the closed circuit of the original novels would be the easiest and least intrusive way to keep all parties happy, but you know, Harmony Gold's gonna do what Harmony Gold's gonna do. Somehow I doubt my bleating is going to prevent them from tampering with Daley & Luceno's completed circle ... that is, if they so desire. I dunno, has Tommy or someone else actually said they're going to monkey with the novels, or am I getting all out of shape for nothing? (There is, of course, the rejiggered timeline that was present in the Macross Saga omnibus reprints in '02, but that could have been a fluke.)

Robofact: When hunting for the ROBOTECH novels at used bookstores, you can spot a first edition of books #1-12 or Sentinels #1-5 by seeing where the logo is on the spine. If the ROBOTECH or Sentinels logo is above McKinney's name, it's a first edition; if the logo is below McKinney's name, it's a subsequent printing.

Oh, and I'm curious ... anyone know how many printings the "Lost Generation" novels went through? I'm pretty sure Before The Invid Storm only had one printing, but how about The Zentraedi Rebellion? I seem to recall seeing copies that listed The Masters' Gambit as being available.


  • Ok I look over all my Sentinels books and have found that I own all first editions. I wonder how many book where in each edition and if del rey would tell us how many editions where printed for each book.

    By Anonymous Odyn, at 31 March, 2006 12:57  

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