Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

RPG Superstar 2015

Planet Stories Hiatus


Planet Stories®

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Folks,

We just sent Planet Stories subscribers an email letting them know that Robert Silverberg's THE CHALICE OF DEATH will be the last Planet Stories volume for the foreseeable future. We've had a lot of fun with the 33 books we've released in this series to date, but sales of the line into bookstores have been sluggish, and the line has the fewest number of subscribers of any Paizo product, by a considerable margin. That's not a good combination, so for the immediate future we are pushing the "pause" button to consider our options and chart a new course for the imprint.

As many of you know, Planet Stories is a personal labor of love of mine, and something I've poured enormous amounts of time and energy into over the last five years. I am currently talking with my partners in Paizo's senior management to determine what comes next for the line. I have a list of projects longer than my arm that I'd love to do, but in order to make them happen we need to restructure the business, and that's going to take some time.

Given the huge popularity of Pathfinder (and the fact that Pathfinder projects already dominate much of my "free" time), I can't promise a timeline on when I can bring my evil plans to fruition, so for the time being I ask that Planet Stories fans remain patient. I AM working on something, and I do not intend to let the project end permanently with this announcement.

We've removed the option to begin a new Planet Stories subscription as of today. Planet Stories subscriptions are no longer required to achieve "superscriber" status on paizo.com. Current Planet Stories subscribers will continue to enjoy a 15% discount on previous Planet Stories volumes, and if you're missing any of our previous volumes, a good way to show your support is to pick up books you may have missed the first time. Should the line begin anew, we will give subscribers plenty of warning so they can know what to expect, and when.

I'm happy to answer whatever questions I can here in this thread and elsewhere in the Planet Stories discussion folder, which isn't going anywhere.

So, for the time being, keep your eyes on the stars and a fresh charge in your blaster pistol. The future of Planet Stories is lurking up ahead just beyond the next star.

More soon.

--Erik Mona
Publisher
Paizo Publishing

Liberty's Edge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

Erik -

Though this was, without a doubt, the worst news I received this week, it's been clear from the line's beginning that Planet Stories has been a passion project, and it's been just as passionately received by those of use who subscribe (and who will continue to do so). I really can't imagine that the line has been anything other than a tough sell for a lot of people; there's a vast difference between "Yeah, I really enjoy pulp and planetary romance" and "Where-in-the-name-of-God-is-more-Manly-Wade-Wellman?!" Personally, I've been nothing but pleased with the output of this line over the years. (Not, of course, that I don't have a list as long as my arm of things I'd still like to see.)

Here's hoping that the business can be restructured in such a way that Planet Stories can continue in some way, shape, or form (and preferably a physical one, at that). I'll confess that the format shift wasn't entirely to my liking, but I've never questioned the worth of the line or Paizo's commitment to making it a quality product.

In short, good on ya, and here's to more Planet Stories to come.

--Darin Kerr

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

I have everyone one of the planet story books and it kills me that we are going on hiatus. Erik this series alone is what got me reading older pulp fiction and I like to say thank you for helping me expand my reading comfort zone.

Now get this back in print !!! :-).

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Thanks for the support, guys!

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

Damn, this is a real pity. I was hoping to see Gardner Fox back in print some day. But at least we got some Manly Wade Wellman and the series exposed Leigh Brackett and C.L. Moore to a wider audience.

I guess that it's back to haunting second-hand bookstores for a while :(

One question - is there any chance that you would look at negotiating ebook rights for any of the works published under the Planet Stories banner?

I notice that Gollancz seems to be having some success with the SF classics that they are releasing in electronic format under the Gateway branding. They had a blog entry a while ago stating that although it wasn't economically viable to republish these works in 'dead tree' format, releasing them in electronic format effectively allows them to stay in print indefinitely.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

I, for one, am happy that Paizo's resources will be diverted to product lines I am more interested in.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

I'd hoped things would pick up again in 2012... and I ill still look forward to Planet Stories starting back up in the future. I'll second the appreciation for introducing me to Manly Wade Wellman. He is, without a doubt, the best thing I've been exposed to in the run. Mr Mona, you handed me my first Planet Stories book at GenCon a few years ago and I can't thank you enough. Since then Brackett, Burroughs, Moore, Lovecraft, and more have sprung to life for me. Thanks a bunch and I look forward to more in the future.

Scarab Sages

While not a subscriber, I must admit that I am very sad to hear this. I've been very pleased with the Planet Stories books I have picked up, and hoped the line would continue for some time. If Planet Stories is revived, you can count on my future support. In the meantime, I'll concentrate on collecting the PS titles I missed the first time around.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2009 Top 4 , Star Voter 2013

Erik, just wanted you to know that I appreciate how much effort you've put into keeping this line going. You've opened my eyes to stories I never even knew were out there, and I'll be ready for more once you and Paizo get to the other side of this hiatus.

Best wishes and good luck!

Eric Bailey

Star Voter 2013

I'm sad to hear this. I bought the first 26 books as a subscriber, and had been hoping to pick up the rest - I guess just 7. (I was too broke to continue my subscription at the time, and I was a bit disgruntled by all the typos).

I'm definitely interested in whatever you have planned for the future - whether ebook or print book. Hopefully more of the footballs will be caught this time - but even if any new books are only as outstanding as the old ones, I'm happy to support the line.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Bummed to hear this. While I don't have all the Planet Stories books, I have a good many, and plan to eventually fill out my collection. Hopefully, the series will be started up again one day.

In the meantime, thank you Mr. Mona, for all the hard work you put into this incredibly cool series.

The Exchange

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Maps, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

I am disappointed but not surprised. Paizo earned my respect supporting this line. As a consequence I increased my monthly buy to encompass the entire product line in a conscious effort to support the brand. I will be rethinking that investment in light of this decision.

I have felt like this product line was on life support for the last two years. Print publishing is becoming a marginal business and until you can make a digital play, you limit your audience and drive up expense.

Thanks for your hard work. Your work has been excellent.


Well, thanks for introducing me to the following authors:

C.L. Moore
Henry Kuttner
Leigh Brackett
Manly Wade Wellman
Mike Resnick
Otis Adelbert Kline

the art of Virgil Finlay

and reading Gygax's fiction was fun, as was rediscovering Silverberg and some of the Moorcock.

I hope PS makes a return sometime.


I guess we all knew from the beginning that this was at best aimed at a niche market. This is very bad news indeed as I sadly do not buy the "hiatus" thing and believe this has been canned for good. I dearly hope I am proven wrong though.

Well, subscribed from them all from day one, read them all, and apart from "The Walrus and the Warwolf" I have enjoyed them all (*) so this was nice knowing you "Planet Stories". The line did a brilliant job at inviting me to read authors whose books I would never have picked-up otherwise.

(*) Cannot win all the time as in all the time. :)


Put me down for the waiting for ebook option. I've blogged about some of the books over on my site and enjoyed seeing some of these harder to find works reach the stores but with Borders closed and barnes and nobles e-branch doing better than its regular one, not having these in ebook format seems to be swimming against the tide.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Card Game, Modules Subscriber

I guess this was clear from the writing on the wall, with no new update for potential future projects for so long, but it still saddens me. I subscribed for awhile, and dropped the subscription to support my local gaming store, but never missed a book. The line definitely exposed me to authors, and books, that were outside my normal line of sight in terms of what to read. I enjoyed them all, though the Warwolf and Silver John books were trying at times.

I hope you are able to reorganize, and restart, but if not, it was good while it lasted. I guess I'll just have to go back and start ordering the back log while I wait, as I think I own just over half the line as of yet.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32, 2011 Top 16 , Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

I'm also disappointed at this news, even though it seemed like it was coming. I've really enjoyed the line, and while I didn't subscribe, it was mainly due to already owning some of the titles, and generally receiving others as gifts, I really enjoyed every one I read. Reading Planet Stories has also caused me to pick up other books by some of the featured authors that caught my eye in used book stores. I'm far more excited to read those than many new releases.

I'm looking forward to whatever reincarnated version of the line materializes in the future.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

I've enjoyed the line, so thank you for the books you were able to put out.

I'll also echo the sentiment that I would be supportive if the line continued in eBook fashion!


Lord Slaavik wrote:
I guess we all knew from the beginning that this was at best aimed at a niche market.

Indeed, and there are other companies aiming at the same niche. In the request thread, it seemed like many of the requests were answered along the lines of "we can't because some other company is already planning on republishing X".

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8 , Star Voter 2013

I had to drop it for austerity reasons (still holding on with my eyeteeth to the other lines) but I am sorry to see it go.

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

Either way, I'm sad to see it go. However, I completely understand the business reasons behind the decision (and agree) ... I'm just hoping that circumstances change and the line gets resurrected sometime in the future.


Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

I am very happy to see it has been moved to "hiatus" rather than "canceled completely". I look forward to that status being removed. I have been exposed to authors I would have never read and picked up books I would have never even looked at.

I always liked the trade paperback size of the book, but wondered if that hurt the sales a bit. I remember hearing that when Spock's World was originally published in the Star Trek series, the hardback sales were very poor and they considered not offering it is a standard size paperback. When it was, it became one of their highest sold items as everyone who had been purchasing the line had a bookshelf filled with Star Trek paperbacks and the hardback didn't fit with it.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber
jmidd wrote:

Well, thanks for introducing me to the following authors:

C.L. Moore
Henry Kuttner
Leigh Brackett
Manly Wade Wellman
Mike Resnick
Otis Adelbert Kline

the art of Virgil Finlay

and reading Gygax's fiction was fun, as was rediscovering Silverberg and some of the Moorcock.

I hope PS makes a return sometime.

Ditto!

This product line is more than just reprinting old stories, it's a public service. it is a shame that more people have not recognized this.

edit: Thank you Erik

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16 , Marathon Voter 2013, Marathon Voter 2014, Star Voter 2015

Kata. the ..... wrote:

I am very happy to see it has been moved to "hiatus" rather than "canceled completely". I look forward to that status being removed. I have been exposed to authors I would have never read and picked up books I would have never even looked at.

I always liked the trade paperback size of the book, but wondered if that hurt the sales a bit. I remember hearing that when Spock's World was originally published in the Star Trek series, the hardback sales were very poor and they considered not offering it is a standard size paperback. When it was, it became one of their highest sold items as everyone who had been purchasing the line had a bookshelf filled with Star Trek paperbacks and the hardback didn't fit with it.

I obviously can't speak to everyone's taste but I can say that when I was a manager at Waldenbooks the trade format did pretty well. People seemed to appreciate the improved quality over a standard mass-market without the hard-cover cost. So I'm not sure that format had a lot to do with any lagging sales.

Even with my actively suggesting the line to customers, the few books I was able to get in moved, at best, sluggishly. I had really hoped that it would be a better success not just for Paizo but also for my store. It's a niche line that certainly a lot of us enjoy but it is a harder sell than rest of the Sci-fi/fantasy offerings.

Thank you Erik for all the hard work and passion you poured into this project, there are a lot of us who enjoyed the line's initial run and look forward to what comes next.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What a stinker! Was going onto the site tonight to pick my subscription up again.

I'll 2nd the notion of digital publishing. This would be awesome on an e-reader.


Thanks for all the books you did publish. I especially enjoy the two from Wellman. Particularly "Battle in the Dawn", a book some folks were working on for decades and that finally became a reality here.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Card Game Subscriber

Too bad I couldn't have remained a subscriber. I had to cancle it and I've been going back and picking up copies over time when I had extra money. I'm sad to see it paused. I guess I need to pick up the last few copies I haven't yet purchased. Just to show how I do still support them.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting Subscriber

Hello Mr. Mona,

I just wanted to add a much delayed thank you and I'm sorry to see this line go into "hibernation."

In the past year, I have been re-reading much of Burroughs' John Carter of Mars series. This, in turn, led me to start re-reading many of the "old school/pulp" writers you guys have mentioned. It was inspired in part by Paizo's willingness to use many of the themes and monsters written by these guys that I got interested.

But aside from the most well-known (Lovecraft, Howard), it was Planet Stories that got me started reading many other writers - Wellman; Kuttner; Merritt. I didn't even know Moore had written Northwest Smith - having only seen her Jirel stuff before now. Despite its shortness, Kuttner's Gallegher stories have become a fast favorite to me.

Truth be told, fantasy novels was something I had gotten sick of after reading too many writers who seem like trying to be next Hickman or Brooks or Tolkein. This is not a knock on them, I have enjoyed that kind of writing - but I was getting epic fantasy fiction nausea.

In any case, thanks for bringing many of these stories to light. It has certainly helped me find others(C.A. Smith) and I have appreciated getting a chance to read some different kind of fantasy/sci-fi stories.

PS - I haven't read Silverberg in years, so I may try to pickup a copy of Hunt the Space-Witch.

PPS - If you guys ever do getting around to publishing more Planet Stories, any chance you can check on the chances of publishing Gardner F. Fox's Niall of the Far Travels stories? They were spread out in Dragon Magazine, so I know the chances are slim.

Sovereign Court

Thank you for everything Erik, hope this sorts out soon.

Grand Lodge

It was good while it lasted


Hi there,
With the recent sad passing of Jack Vance, is there any chance you'll consider looking at the vast back catalogue of his works that have been out of print for decades?

Paizo Employee Senior Editor/Fiction Editor

Adam Hurrelbrink wrote:

Hi there,

With the recent sad passing of Jack Vance, is there any chance you'll consider looking at the vast back catalogue of his works that have been out of print for decades?

There's literally nothing that would please our publisher more--Erik is a diehard Vance fan if ever there was one--but unfortunately the hiatus continues...

Marathon Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Paizo Charter Superscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber; Planet Stories Subscriber

*phew*

I was afraid that you posted to say the hiatus was over, and not in a good way.

Sovereign Court

Has anyone a list of Vance's books ?

I know and have all the main ones, but I'd be curious to know what else he may have written.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Older Products / Planet Stories® / Planet Stories Hiatus All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Planet Stories®

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.