In 2014, students produced new editions of Phillip Mann’s classic science fiction series The Gardener and another of his best-known books, Pioneers.
Phillip Mann’s first novel was The Eye of the Queen, published in 1982. The two books in The Story of the Gardener series – Master of Paxwax and The Fall of the Families – were published in 1986 and 1987 respectively, and Pioneers in 1988. These remain available through Gollancz as ebooks but the author reissued the novels in print in 2014 through his imprint Sargasso Press. They are now available from New Zealand bookstores.
Locus magazine praised Pioneers for its ‘strange but haunting beauty’ and called the Gardener books ‘wonderfully imaginative’, while White Dwarf described them as ‘high-class space opera with a welter of convincing aliens’. We are excited to introduce these classics to a new generation of readers.
Phillip Mann was shortlisted for the 2014 Arthur C Clarke award for his novel The Disestablishment of Paradise.
Because these books were ebook editions, the students’ publishing task involved converting the files back into Word documents that could be checked and proofread before being laid out for typesetting in a new format. Their task also involved producing new covers with a limited budget, so they spent hours trawling databases for suitable royalty-free images. Happily one of the publishing team had the skills to design the covers herself — not something the publishing course generally teaches. She also designed this set of postcards to promote the release of the new editions.