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(Fwd) a message from Don Glut

>This is where I need the help of those of you who liked the original
>book and would like to see this "encyclopedia" continue as an open
>ended series of books. I need you to write to the publisher and
>politely say that the supplements would be supported, and would
>neither denigrate nor hurt sales of the original book. Please
>explain why, in your opinion, this series should go on and why this
>project is a viable one. Write to: Mr. Robert M. Franklin, Publisher,
>McFarland & Company, Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640.

Folks, let's put away are differences, get out our stamps and 
envelopes, and send in our support.  I've been dreaming of a 
renewable reference since I got my first Glut dictionary at the 
tender young age of ten.  Even if you are totally indifferent, please 
consider writing in on behalf of the rest of us.  It won't hurt, and 
you'll rack up a ton of karma points for your next life.  I promise.

Thanks in advance,

Matt Wedel

P.S.  Do Franklin and company have an E-mail address?  I'll bet we 
could get one heck of an E-mail campaign going.

P.P.S.  For those who are intested, my letter is reproduced 

Dear Mr. Franklin:

I am writing to you regarding Dinosaurs:  The Encyclopedia, by Donald F. Glut, 
which your company recently released.  First, I would like to congratulate all 
on a job well done.  Dinosaurs is by far the most up to date and complete 
work on dinosaurs ever published.  The field of vertebrate paleontology has 
been in 
need of such a book for some time.  

I have received word from Mr. Glut of his desire to produce an ongoing series 
supplemental volumes to update Dinosaurs:  The Encyclopedia.  I must tell you 
I have the greatest possible enthusiasm for such a venture.  The most serious 
plaguing all dinosaur references to date is their tendency to get outdated so 
New discoveries and theories are changing the face of paleontology so quickly 
that by 
the time a book hits the shelves, it will already be at least partially 
obsolete.  In the past, 
the only recourse paleontologists have had is to wait several years until a new 
comes out, aware that the new edition itself will be out of date by the time 
they receive it.  
I am sure that you are aware of the series of dinosaur encyclopedias that Mr. 
Glut has been 
producing since the 1970's.  They are perfect examples of the phenomenon I'm 
each new encyclopedia was quickly outdated and replaced with the next edition, 
of equal or 
greater cost, which was in turn replaced, ad nauseum.

The plan to produce supplemental volumes for Dinosaurs:  The Encyclopedia is 
the best 
alternative I've yet encountered.  To produce an entirely new edition of 
Dinosaurs every few 
years would be impractical.  The field of dinosaur paleontology has reached a 
milestone:  a 
competent reference work on the Dinosauria can no longer be contained in a 
single volume.  
Dinosaurs:  The Encyclopedia is already at the upper limit for size and cost, 
if it is to be useful 
for more than a handful of the most serious (and well-funded) professionals.  
New species are 
being discovered and described at such a furious pace that if a second edition 
of Dinosaurs was 
to be published in five years, it would have to be at least half again as large 
to accomodate all of 
the relevant information.  The time has come to view dinosaur encyclopedias not 
as simple 
books about dinosaurs, but as true encyclopedias.  Not even the most annoying 
salesman would suggest that the buyer obtain an entirely new set every few 
years; similarly, I 
would view an attempt to produce a completely new edition of Dinosaurs:  The 
as absurd.

Mr. Glut mentioned that there has been some concern that supplemental volumes 
will interfere 
with sales of the original by implying that it is out of date or full of 
errors.  On the contrary, the 
people who will be purchasing these books are smart enough to differentiate 
between a 
supplement and a list of errata.  In my opinion, the proposed supplements would 
only increase 
the value and marketability of the original.  Rather than succumbing to 
extinction like all of its 
forefathers, this dinosaur encyclopedia could remain a useful reference for 
years to come.

Please do everything in your power to see that subsequent volumes of Dinosaurs: 
Encyclopedia are approved and published.  Thank you for your consideration.


Mathew Wedel