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Binocular Astronomy, Second Edition

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#1 Mihai

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 10:59 AM

I went to WillBell site today to order my first binocular book "Binocular Astronomy" by Crossen and Tirion,and I just noticed that they intend to release a second edition of the book.What shold I do?..whait till 30 June,or order now?..Will the second edition be just a cosmetic change of the first one?...Thanks
 

#2 BobinKy

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 11:07 AM

This is good news indeed.

The page count increases from 184 (1st edition) to 224 (2nd edition)--that's an increase of 40 pages (21.7%). :)

Maybe we will hear more about ancient constellations and star names--the research which took author Craig Crossen to Vienna, according to the back cover of the 1st edition.

And the big question--[b]What binocular models will be recommended in the text? [b]
 

#3 Wes James

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 12:31 PM

Whoooo, boy- another book! :jump: Placed my name on the wait list for it...
 

#4 Mihai

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 02:48 PM

Mister Tirion was kind enough to reply to an email I have wroted to him:

"Binocular Astronomy is not a book I have written. I only did the
illustrations. Craig Crossen is the writer.
For the second edition all the star maps have been re-done on the
computer. I know that there are changes in the text, but I do not know
exactly how different the text is from the first edition. You better
aks the publisher,Willmann-Bell (Richmond Virginia, USA).

Best wishes,

Wil Tirion"
 

#5 SkyG

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 04:59 AM

Thanks for the info, I love this book (the first edition)it's totally responsible for me falling back into astronomy after many years when I took it to crete with some 15 x 70's.

I don't think that owning both will do any damage at all!

G
 

#6 edwincjones

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 05:27 AM

.....wait ...or order now?

I would suggest waiting-the 2nd addition should be better or at least more up to day AND the first edition should also be cheaper (or maybe the 2nd will be more expensive).

this is the most extensive binocular telescope book that I know

edj
 

#7 Mr Q

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 01:35 PM


I bought the 1st edition a few years ago and it blew the doors of binocular observing wide open for me. Before, I used to just half-hazzardly scan the sky but with its wealth of info on bino objects, the book was awesome. Looking forward to the 2nd edition. Mr Q
 

#8 EdZ

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 01:52 PM

FYI,

this is a re-release of the first Binocular Astronomy. What specific edits or updated information it will contain I cannot say. (Stephen Tokin's book released Nov 2006 by Springer Verlag, London, is also called Binocular Astronomy, adding to some confusion).

The edits for the second edition were completed several years ago. Craig states; "Its text has been updated (badly needed: I wrote much of the book in the mid-1980s) and expanded (more objects; and more on constellation history); there are more photos by Robert Reeves; and Wil has made more charts for it....The observing I did for those two books (Binocular Astronomy and Sky Vistas) are among the most pleasant experiences of my life, and it's nice to know that my books are giving readers the same pleasure in discovery that I felt.
Yours gratefully,
Craig Crossen"

However, I'm a bit confused over this release. I've been having discussions for about a year now with Craig Crossen, the author of the original Binocular Astronomy by Crossen and Tirion. Based on some of those discussions, I'm not sure this release by Wilmann Bell is the authorized release of the second edition edits of this book. Unless there are some developments that I am not aware of, (and that may very well be the case, our last correspondence was some time ago), I would think this would not be the authorized version.

I've emailed Craig to see if I can clear up any confusion.


edz


What binocular models will be recommended in the text?


AFAIK, Craig doesn't make binocular model recommendations. He may however include some binocular size recommendations.

edz
 

#9 rookie

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 06:43 PM

As fate would have it I ordered this book from the publisher May 19th and received it the May 23rd. (You can laugh.) I could not believe I had just missed the new edition announcement. :flame: I was ready to ship it back today and called Willmann-Bell to see if they would accept a return. Mr. Willmann answered the phone and talked to me at length about the changes in this book. He could not have been nicer. He told me that they decided to print a new edition because they were running low on copies. Rather than reprint the old edition, he asked the author (Crossen) to review the content for improvements. He said he also gave him a very heavy, large aperture WWII warship binoculars. Much of the new information centers around use of those binoculars. The cover and some of the pictures have been changed, but essentially the content of the book is the same. They decided not to do a major overhaul of the book since it has received such good reviews. They were fearful that a major re-write could ruin it.

He would have been happy for me to return the book, but his personal opinion was that I would not have any advantages with the new edition. He promised me that if I looked at the new edition and was sorry I had not returned mine, he would take it any time in the future and make the exchange. So, I'm taking him at his word and keeping the one I have. :gotpopcorn:
 

#10 edwincjones

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 08:23 PM

"a very heavy, large aperture WW11 warship binoculars"

:question:

like my 25x150 fujis? --this is reason enough for me to get the 2nd addition to add to my 1st edition copy.

edj
 

#11 EdZ

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 05:51 AM

As fate would have it I ordered this book from the publisher May 19th and received it the May 23rd. (You can laugh.) I could not believe I had just missed the new edition announcement. :flame: I was ready to ship it back today and called Willmann-Bell to see if they would accept a return. Mr. Willmann answered the phone and talked to me at length about the changes in this book. He could not have been nicer. He told me that they decided to print a new edition because they were running low on copies. Rather than reprint the old edition, he asked the author (Crossen) to review the content for improvements. He said he also gave him a very heavy, large aperture WWII warship binoculars. Much of the new information centers around use of those binoculars. The cover and some of the pictures have been changed, but essentially the content of the book is the same. They decided not to do a major overhaul of the book since it has received such good reviews. They were fearful that a major re-write could ruin it.

He would have been happy for me to return the book, but his personal opinion was that I would not have any advantages with the new edition. He promised me that if I looked at the new edition and was sorry I had not returned mine, he would take it any time in the future and make the exchange. So, I'm taking him at his word and keeping the one I have. :gotpopcorn:


This information seems to conflict with what I've been told by the author.

edz
 

#12 EdZ

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 09:32 AM

I've just received a correspondence from the original author Craig Crossen.
I will limit information provided here until I get full permission for discussion, but I can tell you this,

this is not an original author authorized publication of a second edition of this book.

edz
 

#13 edwincjones

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 03:53 PM

I've just received a correspondence from the original author Craig Crossen.
I will limit information provided here until I get full permission for discussion, but I can tell you this,

this is not an original author authorized publication of a second edition of this book.

edz



:question: this raises a lot of questions. hope that you get permission for a more detailed followup.

edj
 

#14 Wes James

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 04:24 PM

this is not an original author authorized publication of a second edition of this book.

edz


Thanks for the word... was enough for me to write and cancel my "pre-order" on the book until we hear more.
Wes
 

#15 EdZ

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 11:49 AM

I have received extensive correspondence from the original author, Craig Crossen. At the risk of not getting all the facts precisely as they may have occured, I will be brief in what I will say on this topic.

Binocular Astronomy had been considered for a rewrite for nearly a decade. Quite a few years ago (early 2000s), several manuscripts, some pertaining to this book, were delivered. However, for much of the last several years there has been some disputes over materials, editing, royalties and contracts.

The status for much of the last several years has been such that there does not appear to be an amicable agreement between author and publisher. Several manuscripts, not only for this book update, but also for other work, tip in the balance. With no contract agreement to publish the manuscripts or without any arrangement to return them to the author, it would seem there are a few issues at stake.

It may be possible the publisher is employing a third party to facilitate the update of this book. I cannot know for certain. The original author is currently not engaged in updating this book, nor has he been in the last several years. There is also a question of whether or not any other author was willing to engage in re-writing someone else's work. So it is indeed possible, if the publisher does release this so-called second edition, it may be based on update manuscripts provided by the original author quite a number of years ago or it may be rewritten by someone else.

As to the remark about the large Russian binoculars. Craig did receive from Perry Remaklus (Willmann-Bell) a large pair of 15x100 Russian binoculars. He received those binoculars in 1998-99, and by his recollection, there was no agreement to use observations from those binoculars as material for a book.

Craig Crossen does not have a current agreement with the publisher, Willmann-Bell, to release a second edition of Binocular Astronomy.

If you enjoy Craig Crossen's work, search out his most recent book that we have discussed here on this forum over the past year. You will find it an excellent read.
"Sky Vistas: Astronomy for Binoculars and Richest-Field Telescopes" by Craig Crossen and Gerald Rhemann. Springer-Verlag/Wien, New York; 1st edition (January 27, 2004), printed in Austria.

Craig is currently working on a book about the ancient Babylonian constellations. He has also begun work on a book about the Milky Way.

edz
 

#16 Wes James

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:34 PM

Is it legal for another author to come along and update someone elses work without the original author's express permission??? I would think (unless copyright privelages have run out) that would be a case for a lawsuit.
Wes
 

#17 EdZ

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 12:37 PM

I won't even speculate.

edz
 

#18 KennyJ

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 02:50 PM

Thank you for this update and clarification , Ed.

In addition to being an outstanding writer , with a tremendous knowledge of astronomy ,the author Craig Crossen comes across as being a most honest , honourable and likeable gentleman .

I sincerely hope that readers choose to buy publications written and authorised by the man himself , rather than any publication of spurious origin .

Regards
Kenny
 

#19 Wes James

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 03:19 PM

Kenny-
I agree with you 100%. I don't believe in supporting anything in any form that has any semblence of infringement of the originators rights.
Wes
 

#20 edwincjones

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Posted 03 June 2008 - 07:51 PM

I guess that I can put up my credit card for now-and wait for the 2nd edition to appear at the local bookstore to decide.

edj
 

#21 BobinKy

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Posted 21 June 2008 - 06:49 PM

EdZ wrote:

Craig is currently working on a book about the ancient Babylonian constellations. He has also begun work on a book about the Milky Way.



This looks very interesting. Can you tell us more?
 

#22 btschumy

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Posted 22 June 2008 - 08:04 PM

I have also been in contact with Craig Crossen and I can confirm what Ed says. There is indeed some disagreement between Mr. Crossen and Willmann-Bell. Crossen believes this book to be unauthorized. I'm a big fan of Crossen's books but I will not be purchasing this edition.
 

#23 Rick Woods

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 08:21 AM

This subject has also come up on the Stellar Media forum. Rather than repeat things we've been told, I wonder if we could persuade Mr. Crossen to comment in his own words on the legitimacy (or lack thereof) of the "Second Edition" of Binocular Astronomy? If, as I understand to be the case, the new book is being misrepresented as a work of his, then his side of the story should be told.

Mr. Crossen, what's the deal with this new book? And will there be a genuine second edition that IS authorized?
Thanks!
 

#24 Crossen

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 10:32 AM

I have had nothing to do with the preparation of the book Willmann-Bell is advertizing as a 2nd edition of "Binocular Astronomy". The reason is simply that Willmann-Bell stopped paying my royalties on the original edition of the book in the autumn of 2005 (though, I've been told, Wil Tirion has continued to receive his half of the royalties). There is a contract; but if Willmann-Bell took a legal action to set its provisions aside, I wasn't informed--let alone given a chance to defend myself.
In April of last year (2007) Willmann-Bell sent an e-mail message to me (copying Wil Tirion and Robert Reeves) stating their intention of doing a 2nd edition of Binocular Astronomy with or without me. In that message they explained to Wil and Robert that they were withholding my royalties because they believe "Sky Vistas" is a competing book with "Binocular Astronomy." Anticipating my response, they said that if I did not cooperate, they would hire what they called "highly competent talent" to redo the book, charging the expense to me--which, because they were already confiscating my royalties, was an empty threat.
Now, I have not seen this so-called 2nd edition of Binoc Astro and therefore cannot make any statements about it. The old edition, having been written in the mid-to-late 1980s, was badly out-of-date in both astronomical data and in constellation history (though not in the basic observations, of course). The same would be true of any old manuscripts of mine that were still sitting around Willmann-Bell's offices: the most recent astronomical data in those texts dates to the late 1980s and early 1990s before Hubble and Hipparcos flew; and the constellation history material in them has been outdated by my own more recent research in that area. Willmann-Bell announced this unauthorized 2nd edition in May of this spring, barely a year after threatening to get "highly competent talent" to redo the book. It is my opinion that it would be impossible for any mercenary to do all the research necessary to update Binoc Astro, and then rewrite the book, in a year. But I suppose anything is possible. However, there is a good deal on constellation history that would be out-of-date or incomplete anyway since that material has not yet been published by me.
To answer Mr. Woods question about an authorized 2nd edition of Binoc Astro: Yes, one is in the process of being written: the Autumn Chapter has been completed and several people have already seen and commented upon it. Gerald Rhemann has agreed to supply photos for it in B&W (to keep the cost of the book down). However, under the present circumstances I doubt that any American publisher, fearing a nuisance law-suit from Willmann-Bell, would publish it. That means that it will have to be published abroad.
I hope these statements will clarify the status of "Binocular Astronomy." From the reactions of the readers of my sample chapter on the Autumn Constellations, I believe that the authorized 2nd edition of "Binocular Astronomy" will have all the virtues of the first edition but plenty of new virtues of its own.

Craig Crossen
 

#25 EdZ

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Posted 11 August 2008 - 11:43 AM

Thanks Craig for your first hand response. In the mean time, forum members might seaarch out a copy of "Sky Vistas", by Crossen and Rhemann. Not similar to Binocular Astronomy, but outstanding in its own right.

edz
 


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