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To be a continuation of Patrick’s Yearbook it would have to be called ‘Patrick Moore’s Yearbook of Astronomy’ and to be called that it would have to have written permission from Patrick’s solicitor. Following Patrick’s death 4 years ago it was not until March 2013 that his solicitor gave MacMillan permission to proceed with more ‘Patrick Moore’ Yearbooks. Clearly this newcomer is *A* proposed Yearbook but not *THE* Patrick Moore Yearbook! Without that name, and without John Mason editing the Yearbook (which would have been Patrick’s wish) this is an entirely different proposed publication. There are plenty of other Yearbooks around with a proven quality. The best selling of these is the Couper/Henbest Philip’s ‘Month-by-Month Stargazing’ which, at £5, is hard to beat in terms of value for money. Indeed, it has outsold Patrick’s Yearbook for many years. Another low-priced Yearbook is the Dunlop/Tirion Collins’ Guide to the Night Sky, again, well-established names with good sales….
Both of these publishers, especially Philip’s, have massive ‘clout’ when it comes to placing books in highstreet shops and online. They can print thousands of books and know that they will sell them all. Any newcomer, if it succeeds, will be a digital or print-on-demand publication and, being realistic here, will probably sell less than a hundred paper copies unless the
price is just a few quid. To be viable, a newcomer would have to be affordable and/or have a huge name associated with it, such as Brian Cox or Stephen Hawking.
A number of regular Patrick Yearbook contributors had already written their 2017 contributions for Patrick’s Yearbook. Myself, and Richard Baum…. and Dave Rothery had almost completed an article about Pluto & Charon. The BAA Comet Section recently put my 2017 Comet ramblings online. I cannot see any link at all between this proposed new publication and Patrick’s Yearbook.
It’s just, potentially, yet another 2017 observing guide with no connection to the much loved Patrick/John Mason edited books.
On a related topic, I was amused to see a reference to Patrick in the latest edition of Amazon Prime’s Clarkson, Hammond & May ‘Grand Tour’ episode, streamed yesterday! Jeremy Clarkson attempted to carry out star recognition in Namibia to get them through the desert, to which Hammond quipped ‘we are trusting our lives to an Orangutan who thinks he’s Patrick Moore!’ Hilarious!