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Daniel Mounsey
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Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen
      #5533193 - 11/22/12 12:22 AM

Somehow I missed the details on what appears to be a wonderful book here. Does anyone have any thoughts? I looked on Amazon but it appears the "look inside" feature only shows the text. Crossen is an amazing writer! Does this book have images? I love wide field observing. Thanks

Edited by Daniel Mounsey (11/22/12 07:40 PM)


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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sky Vistas Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5533215 - 11/22/12 12:50 AM

You know the more I read into the sneak previews of this book, the more I like this. I still can't say enough about Crossen and his writing. He has an amazing talent for getting into the guts & nature of certain types of deep sky objects. This is the kind of thing that connects me to deep sky when I'm observing. Hopefully there are some pictures in this book too.

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obrazell
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Re: Sky Vistas Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5533330 - 11/22/12 03:01 AM

There are lots of pictures in the book.

Owen


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Man in a Tub
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Re: Sky Vistas Craig Crossen new [Re: obrazell]
      #5533500 - 11/22/12 08:09 AM

It's a gorgeous book. The main library here has a copy for reference only!

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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sky Vistas Craig Crossen new [Re: Man in a Tub]
      #5533617 - 11/22/12 09:42 AM

That's enough for me, thanks!

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rookie
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Re: Sky Vistas Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5533653 - 11/22/12 10:07 AM

I ordered mine from Germany a few years ago. It's one of my favorite books. It's beautifully bound and Craig Crossen is a wonderful writer, posting here occasionally.

The book text is illustrated with glorious full color and black and white images by Gerald Rhemann.

This is a reference book with lots to read, see and learn. I would never take it to the telescope to be subject to dew but others that have it may feel differently.


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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sky Vistas Craig Crossen new [Re: rookie]
      #5534363 - 11/22/12 07:39 PM

That's very nice to hear. I should have a copy shortly.

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auriga
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Re: Sky Vistas Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5536533 - 11/24/12 01:02 AM

Daniel,
You will enjoy it, the text is outstanding in writing style, the photos are great, and it is the best source I have found for observing and understanding our galaxy with binoculars or a richest field telescope. Very rich in information and a joy to read, I am glad people are discovering it.
Bill


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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas Craig Crossen new [Re: rookie]
      #5536770 - 11/24/12 08:12 AM

Quote:

I ordered mine from Germany a few years ago. It's one of my favorite books. . . . The book text is illustrated with glorious full color and black and white images by Gerald Rhemann.




I can't praise Springer Verlag Vienna/New York enough for the care and effort they took in every aspect of the production of "Sky Vistas." They spared no expense in paper quality, binding, and color printing; and readily provided me with all the technical support I needed.

And I can't praise my co-author, Gerald Rhemann, enough either. Not only is there no better astrophotographer in the world (to give them their due, there are some that are as good as Gerald--but none better), but he proved as dedicated to the quality of our book as our publisher in terms of the amount of work he invested in the processing of the photographs. And Gerald's generosity to me personally was almost embarrassing: when it came time for us to divide the royalties, we ended up having to bid each other up! I think Springer was a bit surprised: they're more accustomed to situations were co-authors are trying to bid each other down.

One thing I want to made very clear: There are several Springer Verlag branches, but they are semi-independent. They have a common marketing and distribution apparatus, but they are editorially unrelated. I stress this because a few years ago Springer Verlag London published a book titled "Binocular Astronomy". The problem is that this is the same title as a book of mine that was published in 1992 but is now out of print. I have never had any connection with Springer London; and to judge by the quality of the majority of the books of popular astronomy they publish, I would not want to have any connection with them. A friend of mine who has had considerble experience in publishing tells me that for a while Springer London was dumping a lot of inexpensively-produced new astronomy titles on the market with the idea of publishing better second editions of those that showed some popularity. Their use of a title of a book of mine that was at that time in print, and becoming widely known, seems to be evidence of their carelessness.

Anyway, Gerald had an abundance of excellent wide-field astrophotos from which to choose for "Sky Vistas." Because this is a book for the somewhat experienced amateur, we could assume our readers would already have a star atlas. I wish we could have included finder charts for specific objects; but as it was, Gerald and I exceeded the page count Springer asked us to try to meet. But many of Gerald's astrophotos I chose for inclusion because they would serve in lieu of finder charts: I remembered that back in the 1980s when I was first observing with 10x50 binoculars, I found the wide-field photos in "Burnham's Celestial Handbook" and in Dave Eicher's excellent "Deep Sky" magazine, when accompanied by good captions, to be as helpful for locating things as finder charts. Thus I provided most of the astrophotos in "Sky Vistas" with extremely long, and hopefully informative and interesting, captions.

Anyway, thank you all for the kind comments about "Sky Vistas".

Craig Crossen


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davidpitre
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Re: Sky Vistas Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5539370 - 11/25/12 08:23 PM

I have to say, this is one of the best observing books ever written. It is a shame to limit it to a "binocular" viewing audience. Yes the images are great, but even without them, it would be in my short list of my favorite observing books.

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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sky Vistas Craig Crossen new [Re: davidpitre]
      #5539586 - 11/25/12 11:02 PM

Actually I'm glad to see though it also accommodates widefield telescopes. I actually love wide field viewing in fact I think too many observers are obsessed with aperture. That's not always important. I also agree with you as well that Crossen is a phenomenal writer. He's my top choice for an more detailed companion, primarily because he not only focuses on the visual descriptions, but the ingredients of the objects. It still blows me away how observers can observe and literally not care to have a brief in depth understanding of what they're seeing. I just can't relate to their logic. I prefer fewer objects with quality observations and understanding. Otherwise, what's the point of observing. If I can't explain or understand what I'm seeing, then it has less meaning to me.

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opticsguy
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Re: Sky Vistas Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5539639 - 11/25/12 11:39 PM

where to buy this book?

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beatlejuice
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5539726 - 11/26/12 01:44 AM

I have been following this thread with interest, but, darn this is an expensive book at $80-$90 dependening on where you look. Would like to find a more detailed review.

Eric


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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: beatlejuice]
      #5539785 - 11/26/12 03:35 AM

Quote:

I have been following this thread with interest, but, darn this is an expensive book at $80-$90 depending on where you look.




Yes, "Sky Vistas" is an expensive book. There are three reasons for that:

First, it is printed on high-quality glossy paper, and paper is one of the chief components in the price of a book. "Sky Vistas" has 48 full-page color plates of astrophotos by Gerald Rhemann (as well as about 48 B&W photos by Gerald, many of them full-page as well) and Springer Verlag and I agreed that we did not want to print only the color plates on high-quality paper: using high-quality paper only for the plates and average coarse-grain paper for the text and B&W photos gives a book a rather cheap look (plus B&W photos also come out better on glossy paper).

Second, color photo processing and printing is a lot more expensive than B&W processing and printing, and, as I said, "Sky Vistas" does have 48 full-page color plates.

Finally, there is transportation: "Sky Vistas" is printed here in Vienna and shipped from here to the States to Springer's New York distribution center. Springer Verlag Vienna/New York has its own printing and binding plant here (in fact the best printing facility in Vienna) and so it was easy for Gerald and I to oversee every step in the production and printing of the book. However, given the high quality of the paper of the book, it is very heavy: in fact, it costs me $20 to ship the book to friends in the States. Of course, it does not cost Springer quite that much per unit to ship "Sky Vistas" to the States, but it's still more than $10.

So why should the individual amateur lay out so much money for this book? Three reasons here too: First is the fact that it is well-printed anthology of the work of one of the finest astrophotographers in the world: many of Gerald's wide-field astrophotos are visual essays in Galactic astronomy and I have tried to give them captions worthy of their content and of their beauty.

Second, to my knowledge there still is no other astronomy guidebook specifically for wide-field instruments--"normal" binoculars, giant binoculars, and RFTs.

Third, there is no other guidebook--not even "Burnham's Celestial Handbook"--that will take you deeper into the actual astronomy of what you are looking at than "Sky Vistas." In particular, I have tried to help the observer visualize both our place within the spiral structure of our Galaxy, and our Galaxy's place in nearly intergalactic space--that is, to give the observer and reader both "Galactic depth perspective" and "intergalactic depth perspective." I've noticed a lot more interest in this type of thing in CN forums: "Sky Vistas" gives that kind of information, along with such 'traditional' observing information as how to find objects and what they look like in various instruments.

Craig Crossen


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opticsguy
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5539990 - 11/26/12 09:39 AM

OK< OK< OK< I am sold!!! :-) Where to buy?? Locally at Barnes and Noble or order at book store? Or?

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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: opticsguy]
      #5540224 - 11/26/12 12:21 PM

Quote:

Where to buy?? Locally at Barnes and Noble or order at book store? Or?




Other correspondants to this forum probably could tell you better than I where to get "Sky Vistas" for the best price: it's been 12 years since I've done any book-buying in the States. I see that both Amazon and Barnes and Noble list the book for slightly under $90. If that includes shipping, it's not an unreasonable price--especially given how heavy the book is. You mention seeing it listed for $80: that is a very good price. I've seen the book offered for well over $100 by some book-sellers: as the book's co-author, I find that kind of mark-up offensive. Find out how much it would cost to get "Sky Vistas" through your local Barnes and Noble: that probably would be the quickest and most convenient.

Craig Crossen


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beatlejuice
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5540338 - 11/26/12 01:43 PM

Thanks Craig, thats more of what I was looking for.
BTW, amazon.ca (canadian site) is $78.

Eric


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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: opticsguy]
      #5541308 - 11/26/12 11:26 PM

Quote:

OK< OK< OK< I am sold!!! :-) Where to buy?? Locally at Barnes and Noble or order at book store? Or?






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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5541360 - 11/26/12 11:53 PM

I would also add one thing of major importance Regarding the structure of the galaxy. I can not express enough how awesome that is. It's a very impressive part Crossen's work I've always admired. Even in his authentic 1st edition of Binocular Astronomy, I was amazed at this idea.

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btschumy
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5541790 - 11/27/12 10:21 AM

Quote:

I would also add one thing of major importance Regarding the structure of the galaxy. I can not express enough how awesome that is. It's a very impressive part Crossen's work I've always admired. Even in his authentic 1st edition of Binocular Astronomy, I was amazed at this idea.



Indeed. It was Craig's awesome description of the structure of our Galaxy that inspired me to write my "Where is M13?" application several years ago.


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helpwanted
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: btschumy]
      #5542635 - 11/27/12 06:59 PM

just downloaded Where is M13?... looks like this could be nice!!!

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helpwanted
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: helpwanted]
      #5542641 - 11/27/12 07:02 PM

wow, this is a neat program!!! Thanks Bill!!!

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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: helpwanted]
      #5543225 - 11/28/12 02:19 AM

I should have Sky Vistas in a day or two. I'll report back with a couple of pics. I cant wait to see it finally. I have no doubt that this and Burnham's will be the books I'll cherish forever and Craig, I promise not to tatter Sky Vistas up like Burnham's.

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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5543243 - 11/28/12 02:44 AM

Quote:

Craig, I promise not to tatter Sky Vistas up like Burnham's.




Daniel

I hate using my own copy of "Sky Vistas" and risking coffee spills on it--and I needed to consult its data tables a lot this past spring when I was writing the new second edition text for "Binocular Astronomy." Fortunately Springer also gave me an unbound copy of the book.

Craig


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btschumy
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5543423 - 11/28/12 08:51 AM

Craig,

Do you have an estimate for when your new edition of Binocular Astronomy will be published?

Bill


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mountain monk
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: btschumy]
      #5543464 - 11/28/12 09:30 AM

Daniel,

"Tatter" seems like a bit of an understatement given your photograph of your Burnham last year!

Craig,

I too will buy a copy of Sky Vistas, and I look forward to your book on Lawrence.

Enjoy the night sky.

Jack


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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5543625 - 11/28/12 10:56 AM

When Crossen's new and authentic 2nd edition of Binocular Astronomy is published, I'll always use the 1st because im reserving a list of my favorites for his new version. Once the 2nd edition is complete, I'll have the best three books of my life, Binocular Astronomy, Sky Vistas and Burnham's.

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rookie
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5544256 - 11/28/12 05:26 PM

Still waiting for his Ancient Babylonian Astronomy book too. (hint, hint, not forgotten)
I will be happy to review advanced copies if necessary.


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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: rookie]
      #5544955 - 11/29/12 03:37 AM


Thanks for the questions. Here's where things stand on these books:

Last spring I finished the text to the authorized 2nd edition of "Binocular Astronomy". It is a little over 10% longer than the text of the 1st edition: in particular, I have added a considerable amount of constellation history information and more on the nearest stellar associations, and the Milky Way chapter has been increased from 5000 to 8000 words. I have about 2 dozen constellation history illustrations which I am dropping into the text; and Gerald Rhemann has agreed to supply astrophotos for the book.

Before I approach a publisher, I need to line up a chart-marker for the book. Bill Meyers and Daniel Mounsey has given me some good suggestions, and basically I consider that problem solved, though the design of the charts (a full-sky atlas at the back and a couple dozen finder charts for the text, as in the 1st edition) will take some time.

The real hold up at this point is the fact that early in the autumn I found a publisher for a book on the history of archaeology in Iraq on which I have been working for several years. This book is a spin-off of my interest in constellation history and was suggested to me several years ago by one of the Assyriologists at the Oriental Institute of the University of Vienna: the library at the Institute has a lot of original late-19th/early-20th century sources relevant to a book on this topic which have never been used. The book will have about 230,000 words, over 140 illustrations, and might be in print as early as next summer. However, except for the proof-reading, I will have everything done by Christmas and can return to "Binocular Astronomy." After that I can finish the Babylonian Constellation History book, about a fourth of which remains to be written.

Craig Crossen


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Rick Woods
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5545746 - 11/29/12 03:53 PM

Nothing like juggling several things at once!

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LB16europe
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5545843 - 11/29/12 04:59 PM

Craig, I'm quite interested in ancient Middle East history and have read a few books about it. Just as a hobby, since my profession has absolutely nothing to do with it. What I find most interesting about Middle East ancient history is the birth of writing, which to me is one of the most fundamental events in the history of humankind. So I would love to read your upcoming book, as well as the new edition of Binocular Astronomy. Please keep us updated!

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LivingNDixie
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: LB16europe]
      #5547902 - 11/30/12 09:20 PM

I have been spending the last few days with Sky Vistas since my local library has it. It really is an outstanding book. The writing is outstanding, on par with O'Meara and the layout of the book is similar to Deep Sky Wonders by Sue French. This is just as much a guide as a coffee table or cloudy night reading book.

The only minor quibble is that some of the photos in the plates are clearly film shots and they just don't have the sharpness as a CCD image, maybe it is just the size of the full paged image not printing well. I did the chuckle at a couple of the images having a comet in them though.

Anyway, I am putting this book down on my short list to get.


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Stellarfire
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5548319 - 12/01/12 05:54 AM

Quote:

I have been spending the last few days with Sky Vistas since my local library has it. It really is an outstanding book. The writing is outstanding, on par with O'Meara and the layout of the book is similar to Deep Sky Wonders by Sue French. This is just as much a guide as a coffee table or cloudy night reading book.

Anyway, I am putting this book down on my short list to get.





I bought my copy of Sky Vistas two years ago. One of my best astro book purchases ever, I would buy it again at any time. Not only the writing, but also the printing and paper quality is absolutely outstanding. This book is well worth every cent of its price.

Stephan


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auriga
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5549158 - 12/01/12 05:52 PM

Quote:


Thanks for the questions. Here's where things stand on these books:

Last spring I finished the text to the authorized 2nd edition of "Binocular Astronomy". It is a little over 10% longer than the text of the 1st edition: in particular, I have added a considerable amount of constellation history information and more on the nearest stellar associations, and the Milky Way chapter has been increased from 5000 to 8000 words. I have about 2 dozen constellation history illustrations which I am dropping into the text; and Gerald Rhemann has agreed to supply astrophotos for the book.

Before I approach a publisher, I need to line up a chart-marker for the book. Bill Meyers and Daniel Mounsey has given me some good suggestions, and basically I consider that problem solved, though the design of the charts (a full-sky atlas at the back and a couple dozen finder charts for the text, as in the 1st edition) will take some time.

The real hold up at this point is the fact that early in the autumn I found a publisher for a book on the history of archaeology in Iraq on which I have been working for several years. This book is a spin-off of my interest in constellation history and was suggested to me several years ago by one of the Assyriologists at the Oriental Institute of the University of Vienna: the library at the Institute has a lot of original late-19th/early-20th century sources relevant to a book on this topic which have never been used. The book will have about 230,000 words, over 140 illustrations, and might be in print as early as next summer. However, except for the proof-reading, I will have everything done by Christmas and can return to "Binocular Astronomy." After that I can finish the Babylonian Constellation History book, about a fourth of which remains to be written.

Craig Crossen




Hi, Craig,
And in addiion to all that, there is your work as a professional editor of outstanding scientific books and papers
Bill


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BobinKy
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5551037 - 12/02/12 09:01 PM

Quote:


The real hold up at this point is the fact that early in the autumn I found a publisher for a book on the history of archaeology in Iraq on which I have been working for several years. This book is a spin-off of my interest in constellation history and was suggested to me several years ago by one of the Assyriologists at the Oriental Institute of the University of Vienna: the library at the Institute has a lot of original late-19th/early-20th century sources relevant to a book on this topic which have never been used. The book will have about 230,000 words, over 140 illustrations, and might be in print as early as next summer. . . . After that I can finish the Babylonian Constellation History book, about a fourth of which remains to be written.

Craig Crossen




Craig...

Many of us cannot wait until these two histories are finished and available to your fans in the U.S. Please keep us posted.


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CounterWeight
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: BobinKy]
      #5551240 - 12/02/12 11:07 PM

I'd certinly be interested in anything of substance in the proto-Assyrian/ Chaldaen/Sumerian/Babylonian ... as a student of cuneiform in it's various incarnations something with footnoted references like that of Satye as it is a bit archaic in some ways. I have some terrible copies of precious few tablets on the subject - adding anything to the public inventory would be greatly appreciated! I know that there can be some contention on exact translation / transliteration and scribal method, but access to even mediocre imagry seems terribly difficult and makes much more than difficult to approach - as in why are these things so difficult to get access to.

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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5552150 - 12/03/12 02:28 PM

Quote:

I'd certainly be interested in anything of substance in the proto-Assyrian/ Chaldaen/Sumerian/Babylonian ... as a student of cuneiform in it's various incarnations something with footnoted references like that of Satye as it is a bit archaic in some ways. I have some terrible copies of precious few tablets on the subject - adding anything to the public inventory would be greatly appreciated! I know that there can be some contention on exact translation / transliteration and scribal method, but access to even mediocre imagry seems terribly difficult and makes much more than difficult to approach - as in why are these things so difficult to get access to.




You're right Jim: it's deucedly difficult for the interested amateur to find quality information about the Sumero-Babylonian constellations and star-names--especially the original cuneiform lists, which are buried in scholarly tomes with intimidating titles like "Sumerian Lexical Texts from the Temple School at Nippur" (Ed. Chiera, 1927, Chicago Oriental Institute Publication, Vol. XI.)

I got interested in constellation and star-name history in 8th grade. In the spring of 1985, while I was still living and working on the family farm in Minnesota, I read Samual Noah Kramer's 1963 book "The Sumerians". In it Kramer says that the only thing that survives from 3rd millennium BC Sumerian astronomy is a list of 25 star-names. He does not say anything more about that list--not even if it had ever been published.

Well, the next autumn I went to the University of Minnesota's main library to see if I could get a line on that list of 25 star-names. You can imagine how my heart sank when I went up to the second floor of Wilson Library and saw those scores of selves holding literally thousands of books with cuneiform texts either photographed or hand-drawn. This was hopeless. But I was there, so I took a few volumes at random off the shelves: I least I could get a better feel for what cuneiform and cuneiform texts look like. The third or fourth book I took off the shelves was "Sumerian Lexical Texts from the Temple Library of Nippur." When I came to page 109 I stopped dead: tablet 214, reverse column 6, was a list of 25 cuneifom words, most of which were preceded by a triangle of 8-pointed stars. I already knew that one 8-pointed star-symbol meant "god" or "heaven"--Could three of them together mean "star-pattern"? It was too good to be true. But it WAS true.

The Chicago Oriental Institute has "Sumerian Lexical Texts from Nippur" available for download: simply Google the book to find its PDF file. Kramer was wrong, though, because "Sumerian Lexical Texts" itself has two additional lists of Sumerian star names: they are nos. 236, column 2, and 237, column 1, on page 118.

Craig


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CounterWeight
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5552662 - 12/03/12 07:34 PM

Craig,

Way to go! ... talk about 'good fortune!'. Lucky you didn't have to tunnel through immense amounts of volumns of tabultions of 'stores' and transactions and battle/conflict 'booty'! or tombs on morphology from x to y. I'll be all over that reference immediately after hitting the send button here - thank you very much! of course consider at least one more copy of this book you are completing to be pre-sold!


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5552937 - 12/03/12 09:56 PM

Craig I strongly admire your passion sir!

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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5566789 - 12/11/12 11:40 PM Attachment (29 downloads)

A wonderful surprise showed up at my door. After reading the Preface, I was drawn in like few other books have been able to do. I can't say enough about the galactic perspective. Not only that, but the preface explains how we should also appreciate wide field views using RFT's and much much more. This companion can be used as an armchair read or in the field since it has tables to refer to. I love this in fact if more beginners could indulge in such work, they would have a much better perspective and appreciation of their smaller wide field scopes and binoculars. I'm going to absolutely devour this book till toothpicks are holding my eyelids up.

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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5566792 - 12/11/12 11:43 PM Attachment (53 downloads)

Sky Vistas and Burnham's are heavenly.

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Daniel Mounsey
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5566809 - 12/11/12 11:50 PM Attachment (52 downloads)

Cover

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auriga
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5568337 - 12/12/12 09:40 PM

Quote:

Sky Vistas and Burnham's are heavenly.




Yes, I have noticed some deep similarities between Burnham's book and Sky Vistas, such as breadth of viewpoint, and love of the sky.
Bill


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5570574 - 12/14/12 10:09 AM

wow, I like the look of Sky Vistas and now after seeing your copies of Burnhams I have no doubt whatsoever of your review (meaning I think you are well qualified to speak on this subject)



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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Dave Ittner]
      #5571055 - 12/14/12 03:46 PM

Remind me not to loan you my Burnham's!

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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5574629 - 12/16/12 06:42 PM

After reading more into Sky Vistas, this is unquestionably one of the finest and most up to date works I've ever seen for astrophysical information and more. The work is simply off the charts!

The way in which the astronomical information is laid out is wonderful to say the least. For example, you can find countless books on astronomy, but they don't touch on the topics in the same way because they don't answer or mention the questions we should be asking ourselves. This is really a whole package.

It compliments Sky Atlas 2000 beautifully. I spent several hours digesting Sky Vistas yesterday. Somewhat similar to NSOG which Craig's intro is also great. The difference here though is the way it touches on various deep sky objects in more depth and where they reside, relative to the spiral arms of our galaxy.

For example, most observers take the constellation of Orion for granted. I recall one evening, observing with a friend. I said have you ever asked yourself why you see so many bright stars in the winter sky? He said he noticed it but never asked why. The explanation to those kind of questions would come from a source like this because the book sees in three dimensions.

It talks about Bulge globulars vs. Halo globulars and their metalicity. This is the kind of stuff that makes observational astronomy WAY more interesting and fun to discuss at the eyepieces. It takes you into the realm of the object itself, not just another sleepy visual description without any depth.


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5575169 - 12/17/12 04:46 AM

Great review there, Daniel. The book seems so tempting! Unfortunately with its current price I'm one of the many who would rather spend the money on other necessities.

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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: LB16europe]
      #5578692 - 12/19/12 10:29 AM

I purchased Sky Vistas a couple years ago. It's one of my favorite astronomy books. I concur with the previous comments about how the book gives the reader a thorough, three-dimensional understanding of the placement of DSO within our galaxy. I also like how the book does this while still keeping the amateur astronomer oriented in terms of constellations. Personally, I detest books - or websites or magazine articles - which discuss DSO without reminding you of the constellation it is in or of nearby bright stars. IMO, a concomittant 3-D and 2-D view is best.

Mike


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Sarkikos]
      #5590601 - 12/27/12 12:40 AM

As I proceed further with the reading, I'm really taken by the details on stellar streams, stellar associations, stellar evolution and much more. This is quite an advanced book for die hard observers who really want to know their stuff about the structure and nature of objects within our own galaxy and farther out.

There's even a nice set of tables with abbreviations like "Av" which stands for, "Absorption in visual magnitudes due to interstellar dust". This is really remarkable stuff. This is hardly if ever mentioned in any kind of observing companion. One has to really dedicate themselves to the read, but it's worth every bit. This work will evolve in to my latest modern sky bible as I proceed. No modern book I've seen on the market captures such imagination or 3 dimensional perspective with detailed notes


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DrAl
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5674949 - 02/11/13 10:48 PM

I just had a problem with my order of Sky Vistas from Amazon; it was an instant book which is essentially a Xerox or similar, not glossy. The cover was glossy color, but the rest of the printing and binding was terrible. It had come from one of the vendors, Alinewbooks (_Mary ?) in New Jersey. Anyone have an idea of what is going on? I sent it back with a nasty note to Amazon, then reordered directly from Amazon. I wonder if this copy will be glossy? I have a copy from the University Library for comparison, and will report. Craig might want to check with Springer on this... I hope the new copy is correct and I can modify my review on Amazon (I need to do this anyway and praise the book, instead of just roasting the printing quality).

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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: DrAl]
      #5675168 - 02/12/13 02:03 AM

Obviously, you got delivered a poor POD-copy on Xerox paper (maybe Springer is out of stock on their quality printed first edition of Sky Vistas?).

Stephan


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5675211 - 02/12/13 03:34 AM

Daniel, et al;

I do like this book, very much. As you said, it contains lots of information that is rarely discussed in observing articles. I am about half way through it at this point and it is a book you can't read casually, ya need to think while doing so.

I would like some more drawings of the Milky Way and which direction are which arms and objects that he is discussing. This would provide me with more usable information.

Is there a web site that goes into this and has drawings?

I do like it;
Steve Coe


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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5675284 - 02/12/13 05:42 AM

I have read these posts with great concern and have just been in touch with my editor at Springer here in Vienna. She is investigating the problem. Springer's original print run of "Sky Vistas" was unusually large; and so, to judge from my annual royalties statements, I can say that there must be several hundred copies of the high-quality first printing of the book available. Whether they are here in Vienna or in New York I do not know. When I find out something more specific concerning this situation, I will post it on this forum.

One of the things I as an author have been most proud of about "Sky Vistas" is the book's unusually high print and paper quality. Because I wrote it while simultaneously studying the most recent astrophysical journals, the information in it is not likely to become out-dated anytime soon. Thus in both content, and as a physical object, "Sky Vistas" is a book meant to last.

Craig Crossen


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Stellarfire
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5675290 - 02/12/13 05:53 AM

Quote:

One of the things I as an author have been most proud of about "Sky Vistas" is the book's unusually high print and paper quality.

Craig Crossen





I totally agree with this. Printing quality is absolutely state of the art. Sky Vistas is one of the few really oustanding books in my astro library. See also my post earlier in this thread.

Stephan


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rookie
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: stevecoe]
      #5675374 - 02/12/13 07:57 AM

Quote:

Daniel, et al;

I do like this book, very much. As you said, it contains lots of information that is rarely discussed in observing articles. I am about half way through it at this point and it is a book you can't read casually, ya need to think while doing so.

I would like some more drawings of the Milky Way and which direction are which arms and objects that he is discussing. This would provide me with more usable information.

Is there a web site that goes into this and has drawings?

I do like it;
Steve Coe




The most recent Backyard Astronomer's Guide has beautiful charts of the Milky Way produced by Glenn LeDrew. They may not be in the level of detail you are seeking, but they are a big improvement from earlier versions.


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DrAl
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: rookie]
      #5676313 - 02/12/13 05:12 PM

As a follow on, I received the copy today directly from Amazon. It is without doubt an "instant print", but this time on glossy paper. The only problem is that the actual book within the "sky vistas" cover was "magnetic resonance of congential heart disease". Obviously there was a printing error... ;-) This is also being returned, this time to Amazon. I am now looking for a used copy actually printed in Vienna, but they are not easy to find and verify as actually a first printing. I hope, Craig, you can resolve this with the publisher.

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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: DrAl]
      #5676319 - 02/12/13 05:18 PM

This is too bad, my texts I've bought from Springer or Springer-Verlag have been top notch books, made to last. Good luck -hope this gets cleared up for you and others that don't frequent here.

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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: DrAl]
      #5676340 - 02/12/13 05:34 PM

Quote:

I just had a problem with my order of Sky Vistas from Amazon; it was an instant book which is essentially a Xerox or similar, not glossy. The cover was glossy color, but the rest of the printing and binding was terrible. It had come from one of the vendors, Alinewbooks (_Mary ?) in New Jersey. Anyone have an idea of what is going on? I sent it back with a nasty note to Amazon, then reordered directly from Amazon. I wonder if this copy will be glossy? I have a copy from the University Library for comparison, and will report. Craig might want to check with Springer on this... I hope the new copy is correct and I can modify my review on Amazon (I need to do this anyway and praise the book, instead of just roasting the printing quality).




How much did you pay for this edition of "Sky Vistas"? Was it one of what Amazon calls the "Kindle" books? I myself am not very happy with Amazon because they have been peddling the pseudo-2nd edition of "Binocular Astronomy" as if it is really by me. It's a constant struggle for an author to assure the intellectual and aesthetic integrity of the material published under his name. Last year a European academic journal solicited an article on archaeology from me, and when I received a copy of their edited version of my article I discovered that their editor had slipped into my text a charge that Bosporus University in Istanbul is engaged in the antiquities black market. In point of fact I had not even mentioned Borporus University at all in my original text, let alone made such a libellous and unsubstantiated charge. I am not alone as a writer in such problems: I have heard plenty of similar horror stories from my editing clients.

But I wish to emphasize something I have said before in these forums: My experiences as an author with Springer-Verlag Vienna/New York have been entirely positive. They have consistently treated me not only honorably, but generously. The physical quality of "Sky Vistas" is testimony to the fact that they take the intellectual quality of what they publish seriously. However, the various Springer branches are editorially independent of each other, and it is clear to me that some of these branches--particularly Springer London--do not publish with such high standards as Springer Vienna/New York.

Craig Crossen


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DrAl
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5676376 - 02/12/13 06:05 PM

The first version ordered from Amazon used a vendor and was a bit over $80. This copy used regular paper (not glossy) and was bound in your glossy front piece. The binding was poor. The second version was directly from Amazon for about $100, was still "instant print" but with glossy paper. It was the one with the wrong book within the covers. The binding was poor compared to the original version from the library. The covers on both indicated Springer Wein/New York.

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Stellarfire
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5676384 - 02/12/13 06:12 PM

Quote:

The physical quality of "Sky Vistas" is testimony to the fact that they take the intellectual quality of what they publish seriously. However, the various Springer branches are editorially independent of each other, and it is clear to me that some of these branches--particularly Springer London--do not publish with such high standards as Springer Vienna/New York.

Craig Crossen





Yes, it appears that there is a disturbing lack of quality control at a part of the Springer branches, and in particular at their sub-contractors like Amazon.
I hope you may help DrAl to find another Springer source, from where he will get a flawless copy of Sky Vistas. Perhaps it would be better to order a copy directly from Europe?

Stephan


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mountain monk
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5676798 - 02/12/13 11:24 PM

My first copy from Amazon had text and covers reversed. I returned and the second copy was fine. Too bad there seem to be so many problems---it's a great book.

Dark skies.

Jack


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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: DrAl]
      #5677055 - 02/13/13 06:01 AM

Quote:

The first version ordered from Amazon used a vendor and was a bit over $80. This copy used regular paper (not glossy) and was bound in your glossy front piece. The binding was poor. The second version was directly from Amazon for about $100, was still "instant print" but with glossy paper. It was the one with the wrong book within the covers. The binding was poor compared to the original version from the library. The covers on both indicated Springer Wein/New York.




It's clear that the main problem is originating at Amazon. I would recommend that potential buyers of "Sky Vistas" order directly through Springer in New York and explicitly request a copy of the original 2003 printing of the book.

"Sky Vistas" was printed in November 2003 at Springer Vienna/New York's plant here in Vienna--the best printing and binding facility in the city. The official publishing date is February 2004. As I said in a previous post, to judge from the numbers in my annual royalties statements from Springer, several hundred copies of the original November 2003 book must still be available. How many of them are still here in Vienna and how many in New York I do not know, but will endeavor to find out. In any case, that's not the purchaser's problem.

Springer-Verlag's branch here in Vienna is an editorial/printing office: it does not have a marketing department. However, it does supply books directly to Vienna's two largest booksellers, Thalia and Morawa, both of which have websites: Thalia.at and morawa-buch.at. However, I can't recommend American buyers order "Sky Vistas" through Thalia or Morawa because they charge 71 Euros per copy, which, with the rate of exchange and shipping, would bring the final cost of the book to well over the $100 listed in Springer's website. However, if you do wish to order the book from Vienna I suggest you contact Thalia or Morawa at their customer service extensions: info@thalia.at and bestellung@morawa-buch.at.

As the text author of this book I find it outrageous that Amazon has the gall to charge you the $100 list price for a poor duplicate of the real "Sky Vistas." I'm afraid it is going to be increasingly difficult for would-be purchasers of "Sky Vistas" to find copies of the authentic thing rather than Amazon-type counterfeits. Part of the problem is the increasing proliferation of e-books: publishers and booksellers would rather distribute e-books than hard-copies because paper is very pricey (especially the type of paper used in the authentic "Sky Vistas") and the labor involved in handling hard copies is costly. The proliferation of e-books is regrettable because there will always be things a reader can do with a REAL book rather than with a ghostly e-mail specter of it--as is vividly demonstrated by Daniel Mounsey's photographs of his copies of "Burnham's Celestial Handbook" earlier in this thread!

Craig Crossen


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DrAl
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5677425 - 02/13/13 10:53 AM

I inquired with a few sellers using a specific description of the book -- glossy, sewn binding, and red pages inside cover, and came up with a few candidates. Albris seems to have them, but not completely verified yet. I will post when I know. I found one via Biblio at an independent seller, Coldbooks, at least it should be based on the description. It was ordered and is on its way.... It is a sad commentary on the book publishing industry.

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Stellarfire
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5677507 - 02/13/13 11:37 AM

Quote:

As the text author of this book I find it outrageous that Amazon has the gall to charge you the $100 list price for a poor duplicate of the real "Sky Vistas." I'm afraid it is going to be increasingly difficult for would-be purchasers of "Sky Vistas" to find copies of the authentic thing rather than Amazon-type counterfeits.

Craig Crossen





I think it is time for Springer to intervene and to stop Amazon's POD-variant of Sky Vistas. There is no doubt, that Amazon, who apparently is selling a poorly duplicated POD-variant of the original Sky Vistas (at the same high price level like the sewn-bound hardcover original edition), burns the trustful buyers, and damages the reputation of Springer. I hope Springer will correct that unacceptable situation.

Stephan


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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5677955 - 02/13/13 04:22 PM

If there are any other viewers of this forum besides Mountain Monk and DrAl who have received poorly printed and bound copies of "Sky Vistas", or know of anyone else who has, it would be very helpful if they would tell me about it, either here on the forum or via personal message. My co-author Gerald and I are considering various courses of action we might take, and it would be helpful to know the extent of the problem.

Craig Crossen


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mountain monk
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5678008 - 02/13/13 04:59 PM

For clarity....

My copy says "SpringerWeinNewYork" on the cover (no spaces), and inside "copyright 2004 Springer-Verlag/Wein."

Craig: Since I am the author of three books, with another forthcoming, I am sympathetic and would be happy to help in any way that you suggest. I would echo David's remarks above: Sky Vistas is origional, packed with information, and an obvious labor of love. It deserves a quality presentation.

Dark skies.

Jack Turner


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5678098 - 02/13/13 06:02 PM

I would dearly love to purchase a genuine 2003 copy but find it impossible to tell by any of the vendors' descriptions on Amazon if they have such. I have no interest in a POD copy by Amazon!
---Maya


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crow Haven]
      #5678103 - 02/13/13 06:05 PM

Quote:

I would dearly love to purchase a genuine 2003 copy but find it impossible to tell by any of the vendors' descriptions on Amazon if they have such. I have no interest in a POD copy by Amazon!
---Maya




Ditto here.


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DrAl
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5678105 - 02/13/13 06:06 PM

Even the "instant print" had SpringerWeinNewYork and the same copywrite. But the real Vienna printed copies have red pages right after the cover, are on very good glossy paper, and have sewn binding. The "instant print" are typically glued bindings, and the two versions I got do not have any red pages following the cover. I hope this helps for ID.
Al Smith


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mountain monk
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: DrAl]
      #5678134 - 02/13/13 06:28 PM

Yes it does. Mine is not the genuine 2003 edition, alas. Thanks. Now I too will pursue a genuine edition.

Dark skies.

Jack


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CounterWeight
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: mountain monk]
      #5678142 - 02/13/13 06:32 PM

Maya, I think Powells has a copy... at least was still there last time I looked.

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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5678342 - 02/13/13 08:53 PM

I ordered a copy from Amazon and immediately returned it for a refund once I saw that it was a POD. IIRC, there was no dust jacket (no big deal in itself), the paper was of mediocre quality, and the color plates were atrocious. I then ordered a copy from a German bookseller, and was happy to see that the pages were sewn and printed on high-quality glossy paper. Plus, the color plates were of much better quality and the book came with a dust jacket. I just checked my copy and it does have the red endpapers; that seems to be the easy way to tell whether the book is genuine. My advice would be to check before ordering from a bookseller to see if the book has red endpapers.

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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: turtle86]
      #5678894 - 02/14/13 07:38 AM

I also just ordered a copy from Cold Books in NY through Biblio.com.

They answered my inquiry positively about the red end papers, but failed to confirm that the binding is sewn. I took a chance and will return it if it's not the proper version. Fingers crossed.

Looks like Cold Books may have three more copies in stock.


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: rockethead26]
      #5679041 - 02/14/13 09:45 AM

Quote:

I also just ordered a copy from Cold Books in NY through Biblio.com.

They answered my inquiry positively about the red end papers, but failed to confirm that the binding is sewn. I took a chance and will return it if it's not the proper version. Fingers crossed.

Looks like Cold Books may have three more copies in stock.




Also wanted to mention that the genuine edition has a bit of heft to it due to the thick glossy paper. Sounds like you're getting the right one. If so, you'll be very happy with it. Just a tremendous book.


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: turtle86]
      #5679743 - 02/14/13 03:28 PM

Quote:

I ordered a copy from Amazon and immediately returned it for a refund once I saw that it was a POD. . . . I then ordered a copy from a German bookseller, and was happy to see that the pages were sewn and printed on high-quality glossy paper. Plus, the color plates were of much better quality and the book came with a dust jacket. I just checked my copy and it does have the red endpapers; that seems to be the easy way to tell whether the book is genuine. My advice would be to check before ordering from a bookseller to see if the book has red endpapers.




The copies which I as co-author received right after the original printing do have red endpapers. This indeed does seem to be a very good litmus test for the authenticity of a copy of "Sky Vistas." Plus the binding should be sewn, and, as another poster pointed out, an original copy is VERY hefty because of the quality of the paper. I also believe that all original copies should have glossy dust jackets with the same front photo and back wording as the glossy hard covers themselves. I know that these dust jackets were part of the original press run. In fact even the unbound copy of the book that my editor gave me immediately after the book was printed also had the dust jacket.

Craig Crossen


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5680153 - 02/14/13 08:17 PM

Several weeks ago, I ordered a copy of Sky Vistas on the French site of Amazon.

My copy has no dust jacket, and no red pages inside cover. The pages are thicker than ordinary paper, but I wouldn't call them glossy (the ink is glossy !). I don't think the book is "very hefty", although it's very subjective.

On the other hand, the overall quality is very good, and it is marked "printed in Austria". The price was attractive, so even if it's not an original copy, I can't say I am shocked by what I received.

Jean-Charles


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5680383 - 02/14/13 11:04 PM

Quote:

Maya, I think Powells has a copy... at least was still there last time I looked.




Thanks for the info Jim! I checked at Powells and then at Biblio and decided to roll the dice on the Biblio offering (from Cold Books) with the written stipulation about the red endpapers and glossy pages. Now the big "wait and see." I hope the book is a decently printed copy worth keeping. I am really looking forward to having one to enjoy with my wide field scopes.
---Maya


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5680561 - 02/15/13 01:44 AM

Quote:

If there are any other viewers of this forum besides Mountain Monk and DrAl who have received poorly printed and bound copies of "Sky Vistas", or know of anyone else who has, it would be very helpful if they would tell me about it, either here on the forum or via personal message. My co-author Gerald and I are considering various courses of action we might take, and it would be helpful to know the extent of the problem.

Craig Crossen



Dear Mr. Crossen,

I ordered my brand new copy of Sky Vistas (paid about USD$80) direct from Amazon.com on November 2011, precisely with the intention to get a mint one, since this was an important book for me. But when I received the book, I couldn't help but notice that it was definitely not printed on glossy paper, most noticeable on the color pictures. I was a bit disappointed because I recalled your remarks about the fine quality of the printing, but I thought it was just me. Now that I see other people complaining about the same issue and the comparisions with the genuine book, it's clear that it was not just my perception.

The copyright of my book reads: "2004 Springer-Verlag/Wien Printed in Austria". ISBN 3-211-00851-9 Springer-Verlag Wien New York. Pages on the inside cover (which is the only glossy part on the whole book) are white (not red) and the book is not heavy -no thick paper here. No dust cover was included with my book.

More than a year has passed from the date of purchase, so I don't think there is anything I can do anything about, but I thought I should mention it here. Thank you very much for your concern! I am an fan of your work and also have an original copy of Binocular Astronomy.

Warm regards,


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Castor]
      #5680659 - 02/15/13 04:00 AM

I checked my genuine copy of Sky Vistas:

It has the red endpapers at beginning and end of book.

The following info is found at the beginning:
Copyright 2004 Springer Verlag/Wien
Printed in Austria
ISBN 3-211-00851-9 Springer-Verlag Wien New York

Oddly, the ISBN on back cover and back side of dust jacket differs from above ISBN and says ISBN 3-211-00851-7

The genuine edition is sewn-bound, the white filament is well visible in the fold, for example in the fold between pages 134/135.

One of the most helpful identification characteristics of the genuine Austria-printed edition is to know its exact weight. I just weighted it (including dust cover) on a precise digital balance, it says 1,627 grams (changes in air humidity may cause very slight differences from this reading, let's say up to about +/- 5 grams).

Hope these infos are helpful.

Stephan


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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5681820 - 02/15/13 03:45 PM

Quote:

I checked my genuine copy of Sky Vistas:

It has the red endpapers at beginning and end of book.

The following info is found at the beginning:
Copyright 2004 Springer Verlag/Wien
Printed in Austria
ISBN 3-211-00851-9 Springer-Verlag Wien New York

Oddly, the ISBN on back cover and back side of dust jacket differs from above ISBN and says ISBN 3-211-00851-7





This is very observant of you. I checked the one remaining bound copy of those I received from Springer just after the original first printing and it has the same discrepancy in ISBN numbers in the front pages and on the back cover and back dust jacket as yours. I had never noticed this before.

Craig Crossen


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Stellarfire]
      #5682097 - 02/15/13 06:12 PM

Quote:

One of the most helpful identification characteristics of the genuine Austria-printed edition is to know its exact weight. I just weighted it (including dust cover) on a precise digital balance, it says 1,627 grams (changes in air humidity may cause very slight differences from this reading, let's say up to about +/- 5 grams).




Mine weights 1210 grams, +/- 10 grams
The info at the beginning is the same…

Jean-Charles


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auriga
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5700751 - 02/25/13 11:02 PM

Hi, Craig,
As an author, I can sympathize with you. These are an author's lot: pseudo editions, pseudo printings, catty reviews, publishers who take a year to make a decision, wacky editors, everything.

But I hope that now things will go more smoothly for you,

All the best,
Bill


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: auriga]
      #5701574 - 02/26/13 12:27 PM

It appears I got lucky with my beautiful, red-pages-inside-covers, sewn-pages copy. I bought it last August through Amazon marketplace, from seller "valn8tor". The condition was accurately described as "Used-Good". A sticker on the title page reads, "Metropolitan Library System." I like the heavy-duty library dust cover!

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Crossen
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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: auriga]
      #5703652 - 02/27/13 02:48 PM

Quote:

As an author, I can sympathize with you. These are an author's lot: pseudo editions, pseudo printings, catty reviews, publishers who take a year to make a decision, wacky editors, everything.

But I hope that now things will go more smoothly for you.




Thanks for the encouragement, Bill. But the fact of the matter is that even from the first (1982-1983, and the article on the Milky Way that appeared in "Astronomy" magazine) I expected publishing would turn out to be a rose-garden--a garden with more thorns than roses.

I enjoy writing, and I write for a lot of reasons: I write to consolidate and extend my understanding of some subject (such as the structure of the Milky Way; or the history of Babylonian temple architecture). I write to capture and preserve my own experiences. I write to preserve aspects of more general history (such as that of the rural Midwestern culture in which I grew up--a culture that no longer exists). But publishing is well down the list of my motivations for writing, and there are a lot of manuscripts lying around the place here that I don't try to get published because the process of publishing is such a bother and there are so many other things I would rather spend my time on.

And from a purely practical point of view, I make a lot more money editing than I do publishing. But I like editing. It's a very creative thing to take another person's haltingly-expressed thought (English is not the first language of most of my clients) and put it into English prose that rings with clarity. And I like interacting this way with first-rate minds (and some second-rate minds--but every job has its drawbacks). And I learn a great deal from my clients' articles, dissertations, and books. One doctoral dissertation I edited was by a European journalist who had a great deal of insider information about the International Atomic Energy Agency's search for Saddam's Bomb during the 1990s--some information of which was so confidential that it had to be cut from the final draft of the dissertation!

I believe it was the English mystery writer Dorothy Sayers who said, "I hate the writing, but love the having written." I think she was in the wrong line of work. The whole process begins with an interest in some subject for its own sake. This is true even of creative writing: Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer" and Jame Joyce's "Portrait of the Artist" are the result of their authors' nostalgia for their youths. To write to be A WRITER is simply to set yourself up for disappointment. If you write because you want to write about something specific, then you are immune to the shady publishers and book-sellers. T. E. Lawrence said that, "The only books worth reading are those which had to be written." His "Seven Pillars" is a prime example of that. Another example--one which we all know and read--is "Burnham's Celestial Handbook." Unfortunately Robert Burnham Jr couldn't keep in mind the fact that it is the journey itself (that is, the writing on a subject), not the arrival into print, that is the most enjoyable thing about the whole process for an author.

Craig Crossen


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Crossen]
      #5923056 - 06/15/13 11:46 PM

I just bought Sky Vistas in the Kindle edition from Amazon for my Mac for about $80. All the photos are in black and white. Is that normal? I was expecting colour plates.
Very disappointing. Is this another Amazon scam? For an $80 e-book!

Best regards
Heinz

Edited by Ryuno (06/16/13 12:39 AM)


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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Ryuno]
      #5923075 - 06/16/13 12:10 AM

Actually I wish they were all black&white personally but that's just me. The ones in the book are color and B&W. Regardless, enjoy what you got, it's an absolutely beautiful piece of work.

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Re: Sky Vistas by Craig Crossen new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #5923080 - 06/16/13 12:17 AM

Thanks, Daniel.

I just returned the book to Amazon for a refund.
Will try to find a real good quality paper copy in Vienna.
I am shocked about all the terrible things I read here about Amazon's practices. Until now my experiences were only positive.

I found your post with the photos of the actual book. Looks really beautiful. I found none of this in the Kindle edition. Only small black and white photos embedded in the text.

I am not paying $80 for this.

Interestingly, at www.springer.com, it says that the e-book version is not even ready yet. What is this dubious Amazon Kindle version then?

Heinz

Edited by Ryuno (06/16/13 12:48 AM)


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auriga
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Re: Early Ersatz Copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #5924275 - 06/16/13 07:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

I checked my genuine copy of Sky Vistas:

It has the red endpapers at beginning and end of book.

The following info is found at the beginning:
Copyright 2004 Springer Verlag/Wien
Printed in Austria
ISBN 3-211-00851-9 Springer-Verlag Wien New York

Oddly, the ISBN on back cover and back side of dust jacket differs from above ISBN and says ISBN 3-211-00851-7





This is very observant of you. I checked the one remaining bound copy of those I received from Springer just after the original first printing and it has the same discrepancy in ISBN numbers in the front pages and on the back cover and back dust jacket as yours. I had never noticed this before.

Craig Crossen




Hello, Craig,
I just checked my cope of Sky Vistas, which I bought very soon after itr was published It is evidently an ersatz copy, probably the same as Castor's copy: 1056 grams, no dust covers, no red pages, no evidence of sewn binding, only semi-gloss paper, Rhemannn's pnotos are on dull paper not glossy paper, two different ISBN codes. So ersatz copies date from soon after publication.

This is disappointing given my long-term enthusiasm for the book dating from when it was almost unknown. Now that it has become intensely popular, my chances of getting an authentic copy have dwindled to zilch.

On the other hand, while I like books as artistic objects, what I love about Sky Vistas is the text, which is outstanding.

Congratulations on your new series in Sky & Tel, long over-due. I see they have a deep sky article by Steve Gottlieb, also overdue.


Regards,
Bill Meyers


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Crossen
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Re: Early Ersatz Copy new [Re: auriga]
      #5925530 - 06/17/13 01:20 PM

Quote:


I just checked my cope of Sky Vistas, which I bought very soon after it was published It is evidently an ersatz copy, probably the same as Castor's copy: 1056 grams, no dust covers, no red pages, no evidence of sewn binding, only semi-gloss paper, Rhemannn's photos are on dull paper not glossy paper, two different ISBN codes. So ersatz copies date from soon after publication.





Bill, does your copy explicitly say "Printed in Austria" on page iv?

Other information on page iv of the two authentic copies I have in hand is:

"Typesetting and Printing: Theiss GmbH, A-9431 St.Stefan
Printed on acid-free and chlorine-free bleached paper
SPIN: 10920541"

Theiss GmbH was the company that did the actual physical printing, and St Stefan is a town in Austria. Do the ersatz and POD copies of the book also have this in the front material?

Craig Crossen


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auriga
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Re: Early Ersatz Copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #5925578 - 06/17/13 01:46 PM

Quote:

Quote:


I just checked my cope of Sky Vistas, which I bought very soon after it was published It is evidently an ersatz copy, probably the same as Castor's copy: 1056 grams, no dust covers, no red pages, no evidence of sewn binding, only semi-gloss paper, Rhemannn's photos are on dull paper not glossy paper, two different ISBN codes. So ersatz copies date from soon after publication.





Bill, does your copy explicitly say "Printed in Austria" on page iv?

Other information on page iv of the two authentic copies I have in hand is:

"Typesetting and Printing: Theiss GmbH, A-9431 St.Stefan
Printed on acid-free and chlorine-free bleached paper
SPIN: 10920541"

Theiss GmbH was the company that did the actual physical printing, and St Stefan is a town in Austria. Do the ersatz and POD copies of the book also have this in the front material?

Craig Crossen




Hi, Craig,
It does say:

"Typesetting and Printing: Theiss GmbH, A-9431 St.Stefan
Printed on acid-free and chlorine-free bleached paper
SPIN: 10920541"

but it does not say "Printed in Austria."

Mine has 281 pages, not 303 pages.

This is like a detective story.

I would very much like to have an authentic 2003 edition but it appears to be unavailable anywhere, new or used.

Best,
Bill


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auriga
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Original authentic copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #5926380 - 06/17/13 09:25 PM

Hi, again Craig,

Well, dredging into my library more deeply, I found, in an obscure corner, protected from damage and prying hands, an original copy of Sky Vistas, with the original dust jacket, red paper inside the front cover, very glossy paper, weight 1630 grams. It does say "Printed in Austria" on page iv. Each of these characteristics itself is sufficient to set it apart from my ersatz copy.

I am really pleased to have found it. I had not recalled having two copies, but I had recalled a dust jacket, so I kept looking until I found this one, hidden safely away, a real collector's item and coffee table book.

The ersatz copy I can use for continuing consultation; I am glad at least that it is easily available if supplies of the original edition have indeed run out.

It is a shame though that the ersatz copies are not of better quality.

Best regards,
Bill


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CounterWeight
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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: auriga]
      #5926701 - 06/18/13 12:37 AM

I have a good number of the Springer-Verlag pubs in other topics - they are top quality. oddly they have different colophon, one is a horsehead silhouette and the other a double inverted version. Great paper and printing, signature sewn bindings, and more importantly $cha-ching$ ! (for those that remember what a cash register is)

Edited by CounterWeight (06/18/13 12:38 AM)


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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: CounterWeight]
      #5927803 - 06/18/13 03:49 PM

Quote:

Congratulations on your new series in Sky & Tel, long over-due. I see they have a deep sky article by Steve Gottlieb, also overdue.




Indeed!


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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Spaced]
      #5930281 - 06/19/13 11:00 PM

I ordered a copy of this book after reading Craig's excellent article in Sky and Tel. I paid about $80 including shipping from Barnes and Noble.

The book is another of the lesser quality printings mentioned here. I can't see how Amazon is the culprit, since this came from B&N. I thought booksellers ship what the publisher gives them, or gives them permission to do. Perhaps the publisher itself is to blame here? I can see where the high quality version would be worth the price, but I didn't receive the quality version. It's a shame that Rhemann's images aren't being shown in their best light.

That said, I bought the book because of the author's perspective. I don't need another coffee table book. This will be a constant companion at the eyepiece as I explore the night sky with a new 4-inch refractor after using only a large dob for years. Time to view the forest too and not just the trees. :-)

Alex


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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Aleko]
      #5962227 - 07/09/13 01:46 PM

I finally had the time to go to Springer-Verlag here in Vienna and discuss the matter of the lesser quality copies of "Sky Vistas" that are being sold. The people here were, as always, very helpful--and indeed anxious to help.

According to their records, the original print run of "Sky Vistas" has been sold out since 2008. Beginning in that year POD versions of the book have been sold at the rate of between about 1 dozen and 2 dozen per year. However, my royalties statements show a range of prices for the book in the US between 2008 and 2010 of $99, $89.95 (the most common), $79.95 (the least common) which are more typical of the original US prices for the book right after publication (from $90 to $100, as I recall).

The data on the original print run is at Springer Heidelberg, and Springer Vienna has promised to get that data to me in a couple days. My recollection is that the original print run of "Sky Vistas" was 2000 copies: I'm sure I remember this correctly because of how unusually high that is for a specialty astronomy book. However, the fact that this original printing was officially designated as "sold out" in 2008 suggests that the original print run may have actually been only 1000. I will post that information as soon as I receive it from Springer.

Nevertheless, as posts on this and the other threads about "Sky Vistas" in the forum have indicated, original 1.7-kilogram, sewn-bound copies of "Sky Vistas" with the hallmark red end-papers are still out there to be purchased. My guess is that the designation "sold out" is applied when there are no more copies of the book in some central warehouse. How many of the original-print copies are still out there depends on the original print run. These remaining original-print copies seem to be widely scattered throughout the wholesale book distribution network. This is at least in part the consequence of how large and complicated Springer's own distribution network is.

Craig Crossen


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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #5963401 - 07/10/13 01:25 AM

Quote:

I finally had the time to go to Springer-Verlag here in Vienna and discuss the matter of the lesser quality copies of "Sky Vistas" that are being sold. The people here were, as always, very helpful--and indeed anxious to help.

According to their records, the original print run of "Sky Vistas" has been sold out since 2008. Beginning in that year POD versions of the book have been sold at the rate of between about 1 dozen and 2 dozen per year. However, my royalties statements show a range of prices for the book in the US between 2008 and 2010 of $99, $89.95 (the most common), $79.95 (the least common) which are more typical of the original US prices for the book right after publication (from $90 to $100, as I recall).

The data on the original print run is at Springer Heidelberg, and Springer Vienna has promised to get that data to me in a couple days. My recollection is that the original print run of "Sky Vistas" was 2000 copies: I'm sure I remember this correctly because of how unusually high that is for a specialty astronomy book. However, the fact that this original printing was officially designated as "sold out" in 2008 suggests that the original print run may have actually been only 1000. I will post that information as soon as I receive it from Springer.

Nevertheless, as posts on this and the other threads about "Sky Vistas" in the forum have indicated, original 1.7-kilogram, sewn-bound copies of "Sky Vistas" with the hallmark red end-papers are still out there to be purchased. My guess is that the designation "sold out" is applied when there are no more copies of the book in some central warehouse. How many of the original-print copies are still out there depends on the original print run. These remaining original-print copies seem to be widely scattered throughout the wholesale book distribution network. This is at least in part the consequence of how large and complicated Springer's own distribution network is.

Craig Crossen




Craig,
Something else to think about is how many copies may be sitting at public libraries. The copy I got to thumb through and have looked at several times since came from The Birmingham Public Library. I really wish I had heard of this book earlier, it really is worth the price.


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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #5963488 - 07/10/13 04:14 AM

Quote:


Craig,
Something else to think about is how many copies may be sitting at public libraries. The copy I got to thumb through and have looked at several times since came from The Birmingham Public Library. I really wish I had heard of this book earlier, it really is worth the price.




One of the advantages for me as an author to be in print with Springer-Verlag is their name recognition with librarians and those who purchase books for libraries: such individuals may not know much about astronomy, but they do know that Springer publishes high-quality science books of all sorts. This was especially important because I knew the price of "Sky Vistas" would discourage many individual purchasers--at least at first.

During the first year many of the book's purchasers were German and Austrian amateur astronomers who knew Gerald Rhemann's work. But there were also a lot of US library sales, and US libraries dominated the sales of the book during the next two or three years. I was able to follow this on worldcatlibraries.org, and it was very gratifying to me to see the book being listed in the libraries of first scores, then hundreds, of US academic and public libraries. In Alabama, for example, it was listed in the Birmingham Public Library and the Jefferson County Library Cooperative, as well as in the libraries of Auburn University, Birmingham Southern College, Redstone Scientific Information Center, and the University of Alabama. And of course not all US libraries are in WorldCat.

It's also been a pleasure to see the foreign libraries that have "Sky Vistas". Outside of Europe these include St. John's and St. Mary's Institute of Technology in Taiwan, Zayed University Library in the United Arab Emirates, and the Centro de Provisao de Temp and Estudios Climáticos in Brazil. I have Springer to thank for this kind of library access for "Sky Vistas". I'm a Minnesota farm boy, and I never dreamed that I would write a book that would end up in libraries like those!

Craig Crossen


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Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #6061399 - 09/03/13 05:47 PM

I apologize to the followers of this forum for not posting this sooner. I have had a rather stressful, but busy and interesting, late summer.

Anyway, according to Springer-Verlag's records at Heidelberg, the original printing of "Sky Vistas" in the autumn of 2003 was 1200 copies--rather lower than the 2000 I think I was told at the time, but greater than the usual first printing of an expensive specialty book. I assume, but cannot be certain, that they all were exactly the same, weighing about 1.6-1.7 kilograms, with red end papers, and of course with sewn binding and glossy paper. The numbers on my royalties statements totalled over the past ten years imply that something like 300 original-print copies must still out there somewhere waiting to be sold.

The question is, Where? Springer-Verlag by itself has a huge distribution network worldwide. And then there are numerous secondary distributors who might be holding copies. The best way of tracking down original-print copies seems to be by specifying the features of that printing when ordering--that is, a weight of 1.6 kg, red end-papers, sewn binding, and glossy paper.

"Sky Vistas" was printed before the POD culture had begun--or at least before that culture had really taken off. It was designed as a showcase book, with every physical aspect of the highest quality to show Gerald Rhemann's outstanding astrophotos to best advantage. Even my text can be thought of as in some sense an extended caption to Gerald's 96 color and black-and-white photos. The basic purpose of "Sky Vistas" therefore is incompatible with POD publishing.

However, I as text author have no real objection in principle to the selling of POD copies of the book if (1) it is plainly stated by the seller that these are POD, not original, printings, and (2) if there is a discount in the price of the POD copies that reflects the difference in their quality from that of the original printing. I've never actually seen a POD copy so I cannot say whether or not I think they are adequately discounted.

But even if they are adequately discounted, much of the beauty of Gerald Rhemann's outstanding astrophotos apparently is lost in the POD process. And this is a great pity because those astrophotos are both works of art and works of science, and I selected those that are in the book because their very beauty is so revealing of the actual astrophysical nature of the objects or fields they show, and I attempted to bring that out both in the captions to the individual photos and in the text as a whole.

Craig Crossen


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Daniel Mounsey
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Reged: 06/12/02

Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Crossen]
      #6063415 - 09/04/13 09:28 PM

Craig,

Thank you for updating us all on this. I'm plenty happy with Sky Vistas amazing content.

Clear Skies!


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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
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Reged: 06/12/02

Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #6633250 - 07/14/14 01:46 PM Attachment (14 downloads)

Since Sky Vistas and Burnham Celestial Handbook are my favorite observing companions, I had no choice but to bound my copy of Sky Vistas. Unfortunately the pages were falling out and replacing it was too much hassle. This is not typical of Springer. Nevertheless, I can't stress enough how much I love this companion.

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Daniel Mounsey
Vendor (Woodland Hills)
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Reged: 06/12/02

Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #6633251 - 07/14/14 01:46 PM Attachment (25 downloads)

Pic2

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davidpitre
Post Laureate
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Reged: 05/10/05

Loc: Central Texas
Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #6643111 - 07/19/14 09:58 PM

While the images in the original edition are great, it is the Mr Crossen's text that makes this a classic, first rate book.

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LivingNDixie
TSP Chowhound
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Reged: 04/23/03

Loc: Trussville, AL
Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: Daniel Mounsey]
      #6643598 - 07/20/14 09:00 AM

Quote:

Since Sky Vistas and Burnham Celestial Handbook are my favorite observing companions, I had no choice but to bound my copy of Sky Vistas. Unfortunately the pages were falling out and replacing it was too much hassle. This is not typical of Springer. Nevertheless, I can't stress enough how much I love this companion.




I don own a copy but my local library does. The binding seemed pretty good. Did you have a Print on Demand or a original run edition?


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rookie
Good Night Nurse
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Reged: 01/14/06

Loc: St. Petersburg, FL
Re: Original authentic copy new [Re: LivingNDixie]
      #6644392 - 07/20/14 05:08 PM

Are there any rumors about the completion and publication of his new book on ancient Babylonian Constellations?

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