This term is borrowed from the science fiction community.  It describes a book that resembles a novel that was assembled from previously published short material.  Often there are editorial changes made to suit the publication length and change characters or themes to be suitable for the book form.

Stratemeyer Fixups

Edward Stratemeyer wrote many serials and short stories for newspapers and story papers. Some of these were reused in fixup volumes.  As he was preparing several books for the Bound to Win library published by W.L. Allison in 1897, some were long serial stories and others were fixups from short stories or serials that were not quite long enough for a book-length publication.

These volumes were published under Stratemeyer’s own name and his two principal personal pseudonyms, “Capt. Ralph Bonehill” and “Arthur M. Winfield.”  While the latter was made famous for its use on the Rover Boys series, the “Bonehill” name volumes in the Bound to Win series were frequently assembled as fixups.

After the initial Bound to Win publication which included the 12 Stratemeyer stories and one Horatio Alger, Jr. story, Slow and Sure, the books were broken up into smaller publisher libraries according to the pseudonym and the general themes.

Determining textual sources of Fixups

When the source periodicals are available, it can be possible to trace the selections made.  A good example of this is the book Leo the Circus Boy. Portions of “Leo the Circus Boy,” “Carl the Juggler,” and “The Balloon Boys” were selected, adapted, and interwoven to meet the needs of the new narrative.  Not all of the issues of Bright Days are at hand so it is not completely certain the issues and chapter names in all cases.  Some new material was added to frame or connect the stories.

Stratemeyer used his experience with this to help Street & Smith take their story paper serials, dime novel and nickel library stories and produce book-length stories for the Boys’ Own LibraryFrank Merriwell series and other series which were initially issued by them in 1902.  In some examples a given Frank Merriwell book volume can contain story elements written by two or perhaps even three contributing writers.

Ch.Book ChapterSerialSerial ChapterSource
1A Row and Its ResultLeoA Row and Its ResultBD3
Capturing a Runaway LionLeoCapturing a Runaway LionBD3
3Leo Leaves the FarmLeoLeo Leaves the FarmBD3
4Leo Joins the Greatest Show on EarthLeoLeo Joins the Greatest Show on EarthBD3
5A Leap of Great PerilLeoA Leap for LifeBD3
6Leo Asserts His RightsLeoLeo Asserts His RightsBD4
7Leo Gains His LibertyLeoLeo Gains a ReleaseBD4
8Among the Clouds in a ThunderstormBalloonAmong the Clouds in a ThunderstormBD12
9The Mad ElephantLeoThe Mad ElephantBD4
10Capturing the ElephantLeoCapturing the ElephantBD4
11A Criminal CompactLeoA Criminal CompactBD5
12The Stolen Circus TicketsLeoThe Stolen Circus TicketsBD5
13Leo Makes a ChangeLeoLimber Leo Clears Himself *BD5
14Leo Makes a New FriendCarl  
15An Act Not on the BillsCarl  
16An Unpleasant PositionCarl  
17Carl Shows His BraveryCarl  
18A Wonderful Trick ExplainedCarl  
19Wampole’s New SchemeCarl BD10
20Another Stop on the RoadCarlMore Tricks ExposedBD10
21An Unexpected BathCarlCarl Leaps to the RescueBD10
22Wampole Shows His HandCarl BD11
23The Greatest Show on Earth Once MoreLeoLimber Leo Clears Himself *BD5
24In the Circus Ring AgainLeoBD5
25Another Balloon TripBalloonAdventures Amid the FlamesBD13
26Adventures Amid the FlamesBalloonAdventures Amid the FlamesBD13
27Escape from the Burning ForestBalloonEscape from the Burning ForestBD13
28The Rival BalloonistsBalloonThe Rival BalloonistBD13
29Porler’s MoveBalloon  
30Mart Keene’s StoryBalloon  
31A Fall From the CloudsBalloon  
32Mart a PrisonerBalloon  
33Leo to the RescueBalloon  
34The End of PorlerBalloon  
35A Cowardly AttackLeoLeo Hears a ConfessionBD6
36On the Elevated TracksCarlThe Peril of a Moment Another MysteryBD12, BD 13
37The Capture of GriswoldCarlCarl’s Escape–The Fortune–ConclusionBD14
38Good-bye to the Circus BoyLeoGood-bye to the Circus BoyBD6

Of course, the result of this kind of copy-paste editing can lead to episodic stories and occasionally a confused character name or plot hole.  Sports, outdoors, and hunting stories can use this technique with minimal damage since the books are often a series of contests or scenes.

Boy Scout Life Series Fixups

An example that is not from the Stratemeyer Syndicate is in the Boy Scout Life series that was produced by and approved by the Boy Scouts of America.  One of the volumes, Boy Scouts on the Trail (Barse & Hopkins, 1920) by “John Garth” contains parts of at least seven stories by Joseph Bushnell Ames under his own name and two personal pseudonyms, “John Garth” and “Lynn Gunnison.” One of the stories, “The Shark,” was used in an earlier volume in the series which was a short story collection.

1-3AmesThe SharkMay 1917
5-7GarthWho Goes There?May 1918-June 1918
8-10AmesThat Tallerico KidFeb. 1918
13-14GunnisonRed Garrity—RoughneckFeb. 1920
16-19GarthGood Turns Like ChickensNov. 1918
21-27GarthBlack Walnuts and WirelessFeb. 1919-Mar. 1919
28-31GarthLeft BehindDec. 1918

Boys’ Life Magazine Story Fixup into Mutiny in the Time Machine

A more modern non-Syndicate example of a fixup is Mutiny in the Time Machine (Random House, 1963) by “Donald Keith” (a joint pseudonym for a father and son). The story contains episodes that were first published as short stories and short serials in Boys’ Life magazine.

Ch.Boys’ Life Story TitleDate
1-3The Time Machine Flies BackwardsFeb. 1960
3-4Marco and Our Time MachineOct. 1961
5Our Time Machine at the JamboreeJuly 1960
6-8The Time Machine Slips a CogFeb. 1962
8-10How We Got the Mind-Reading PillsJune 1960
11-13The Time Machine Cracks a SafeJune 1964
13-14Call to CourageFeb. 1957
15-16Time Machine to the RescueOct. 1964