The Silkie
Novel   (Fix-Up) 1969 60,000 words
  • Unlike most fix-up novels, very little revision was made to the original stories. In all likelihood, the stories were written with the intent of eventually combining them into novel form.

  • In the 1976 anthology The Best of A.E. van Vogt, a rather mysterious pieces appeared entitled "Prologue to the Silkie." This is an excerpt from the 1969 fix-up novel The Silkie, consisting (predictably enough) of the Prologue. It was the only section of the novel that had not previously appeared in short-story form, since it was written specifically for the novel. When making the novel ready for publication, van Vogt felt that the beginning paragraphs of the first chapter might have been too "far-out" and demanding on his readers, so he created this extra material to more gently ease readers into the story, to hook them with something more familiar.

Part of the
Silkie Series
1 —     "Prologue to The Silkie" 1976
2 —     "The Silkie" 1964
3 —     "Silkies in Space" 1966
4 —     "Enemy of the Silkies" 1967

These stories formed the basis of the novel The Silkie (1969).

"Prologue to The Silkie" was originally linking material written for that fix-up novel, and was first published as a story in its own right in the 1976 American collection The Best of A.E. van Vogt.

Versions

1969

full novel

1976

novel excerpt
Based On
"The Silkie" 1964
"Silkies in Space" 1966
"Enemy of the Silkies" 1967
Contents
Section Source Notes
Prologue "Prologue to The Silkie" (linking material, later published separately)
Chapters 1-8 "The Silkie"
Chapters 9-22 "Silkies in Space"
Chapters 23-33 "Enemy of the Silkies"
English
1969 Ace
paperback 76500 191 pages $0.60

cover art by
Jack Gaughan

First edition

First Ace printing.

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1973 February New English Library
paperback 0-450-01209-3 156 pages £0.30

cover art by
Bruce Pennington

First British edition.

First NEL printing.

Cover image: Morita Data: Walwyn
1973 June New English Library
paperback 0-450-01209-3 156 pages £0.30

cover art by
Bruce Pennington

Second NEL printing.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1973 December Ace
paperback 76501 191 pages $0.95

cover art by
Bart Forbes

Second Ace printing.

Date from Master of Null-A.

Some copies have an ad between pages 64 & 65

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1975 Ace
paperback 76502 191 pages $1.25

cover art by
Bart Forbes

Third Ace printing.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: Master of Null-A
1977 October New English Library
paperback 0-450-03549-2 143 pages £0.70

cover art by
Bruce Pennington

Third NEL printing.

Strangely, Master of Null-A gives the code for this edition as 03583-2 rather than 03549-2. Perhaps this indicates a further NEL reprint that we don't know about?

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1982 January DAW Books
paperback 0-87997-695-0 160 pages $2.25

cover art by
Wayne D. Barlowe

First DAW printing.

DAW Collector #465

UE1695

Cover image: Morita Data: ISFDB
1982 January DAW Books
paperback 0-87997-695-0 160 pages C$2.50

cover art by
Wayne D. Barlowe

Second DAW printing.

Canadian printing.

DAW Collector #465

UE1695

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1985 July DAW Books
paperback 0-88677-062-9 160 pages $2.95

cover art by
Wayne D. Barlowe

Third DAW printing.

  Data: Master of Null-A