Just finished re-reading (for the nth time) Masque World, the third volume of Alexei Panshin’s Anthony Villiers tetralogy (starting with Star Well and The Thurb Revolution). Looking forward to reading the concluding volume, The Universal Pantograph.
Problem is, that book has never been published. Panshin is still alive and writing. According to Wikipedia, The Universal Pantograph was held up by “conflicts between the writer and his publisher.” The publisher was Ace, the same outfit that pirated The Lord of the Rings, so it’s easy to imagine that they tried to cheat Panshin somehow and he put his foot down.
It’s also easy to believe that Panshin found he couldn’t deliver on the tremendous promises he’d effectively made in the first three volumes. (Cf. Roger Zelazny, whose reputation would be higher if he’d dropped the Amber series after Nine Princes. “Better to remain silent …” .) But if the book exists in any form, there would have to be a substantial market for it, and of course the cost of on-line publication is epsilon. Now that Ace is part of Penguin, perhaps the instinct to chisel has subsided.
Surely there’s a back-story here. Does any reader know what it is?
Update Answered. See comments. The series was outlined at seven books. There’s a manuscript of the fourth, but apparently it’s not much good, and Panshin gave up. Too bad!