fix-up n.

a novel constructed from shorter material written separately

SF Encyclopedia

SF Criticism

  • 1975 A. E. Van Vogt Reflections 85 A. E. van Vogt

    My next work was a fix-up novel, The War Against the Rull.

  • 1975 A. E. Van Vogt Reflections 135 A. E. van Vogt

    Fix-up novel consisting of Film Library, The Search, Far Centaurus, and 50% new material.

  • 1979 J. Clute Fix-Up in P. Nicholls Encyclopedia of Science Fiction 627/2 John Clute

    In his autobiographical Reflections of A.E. van Vogt (1975 ), AEVV uses the term ‘fix-up’ in the same sense in which it has been taken over for use in this Encyclopedia—to define a book made up of stories previously published, but altered to fit together, usually with the addition of new cementing material; the end product is generally marketed as a novel, though it tends to read more episodically than most novels. It is possible that AEVV invented the term, for although fix-ups are not unknown outside sf, the peculiar marketing circumstances of the genre in America encouraged their creation, and it is certainly the case that AEVV has written (or compiled) more fix-ups than any other sf writer of stature.

  • 1988 J. Clute Strokes 6 John Clute

    I retain this awkward formulation as a minor historical note. In 1976 when, with Peter Nicholls as General Editor, I began to think about how to organize information for The Science Fiction Encyclopedia (1979), I came across A E van Vogt’s term for assembled books of the sort described; and in the Encyclopedia, and in any other piece I wrote after 1976, the term fixup is always used 1986.

  • 1989 A. Panshin & C. Panshin World beyond Hill 470 Alexei Panshin Cory Panshin bibliography

    That this indeed was the point implicit for van Vogt in ‘Black Destroyer’ and ‘Discord in Scarlet’ would be confirmed in 1950 when he put these stories together with two others and added new material to make what he would call a ‘‘fix-up’ novel’—The Voyage of the Space Beagle.

  • 1990 M. Bishop More Than a Masterpiece? in Quantum — Science Fiction & Fantasy Review Spring 6/1 Michael Bishop

    First, it became a ‘novel’ by a route often pursued by genre science fiction writers in those days, namely, the route of the ‘fix-up.’

  • 1997 J. Lethem in Locus Oct. 72/2 Jonathan Lethem

    Just after that, I learned to write short stories proper, but those first four or so eventually became parts of Amnesia Moon, which is a book that is a fix-up, though no one knows it. It’s a fix-up of unpublished short stories.

  • 2002 G. Jones Re:Views in 3SF Dec. 64/1

    Ray Bradbury’s From The Dust Returned is billed as a new novel from the grand master. In reality it’s a fix-up of several stories featuring Ray Bradbury’s 'Addams Family'—the Elliotts, assorted children of the night; and the spooky great house they inhabit in up state Illinois (a Gormenghast of the prairies).

  • 2002 U. K. Le Guin Birthday of World Foreword p. xi Ursula K. Le Guin

    There’s a sneering British term ‘fix-up’ for books by authors who, told that collections ‘don’t sell’, patch unconnected stories together with verbal duct tape.


Research requirements

antedating 1975

Earliest cite

A.E. van Vogt, 'Reflections of A.E. van Vogt'

Research History
Jeff Prucher submitted a 1997 cite from a Locus interview with Jonathem Lethem. Matt Freestone submitted a 1988 cite from John Clute's "Strokes". Treesong submitted a 1979 cite from John Clute in the "Encyclopedia of Science Fiction". Cory Panshin submitted a 1975 cite from A.E. van Vogt's autobiography, "Reflections of A.E. van Vogt", which is widely thought to be where the term originated. Cory Panshin submitted a 1989 cite from Alexei and Cory Panshin's "The World Beyond the Hill". Jeff Prucher submitted a 2002 cite from Ursula Le Guin's "The Birthday of the World and Other Stories". Jeff Prucher submitted a 2002 cite from Gwyneth Jones in 3SF.

Last modified 2021-01-05 18:24:45
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.