A fix-up (or fixup) is a novel created from short stories that may or may not have been initially related or previously published. The stories are edited for consistency, and sometimes new connecting material—such as a frame story—is written for the new novel. The term was coined by the science fiction writer A. E. van Vogt, who published several fix-ups of his own, including The Voyage of the Space Beagle, but the concept (if not the term) exists outside of science fiction. (Cf. clip show.) The use of the term in science fiction criticism was popularised by the first (1979) edition of the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction, edited by Peter Nicholls, which credited Van Vogt with the creation of the term.
The name comes from the modifications that the author needs to make in the original texts to make them fit together as though they were a novel. Foreshadowing of events from the later stories may be jammed into an early chapter of the fix-up, and character development may be interlarded throughout the book. Contradictions and inconsistencies between episodes are usually worked out.
Fix-ups first became an accepted practice in the 1950s, when science fiction and fantasy were making the transition from being published mostly in pulp magazines, to being published mostly in book form. Many authors went through old stories, creating new manuscripts and selling them to book publishers.
Science Fiction and Fantasy fix-ups: