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This question: Story about aliens nicknamed 'Eechees' who have created a network of tunnels on Mars, raised an issue about duplicates. (The querent has not confirmed/accepted an answer yet, but there can hardly be doubt that they are asking about Pohl's Heechee Saga.)

The reason that I saw fit to write a whole new answer was that, while most of what the question describes is pretty clearly from Gateway, the last two points are not. At least in the English edition, they refer to content from the second book in the series, Beyond the Blue Event Horizon. As I state in my answer, the most likely explanation is that there was a French edition of La Grande Porte that included additional "teaser" material at the end, drawn from the final chapter of Beyond the Blue Event Horizon. (Alternatively, they may have forgotten about reading the second book, but that seems less likely, since they did not mention anything about the main plot of Beyond the Blue Event Horizon in the question.)

Should this still be considered a duplicate, if it can eventually be documented that it came from an edition of La Grande Porte that actually different in terms of the material covered from the English Gateway? (Adding to the complication, there are already different versions of the English Gateway. As described here: How do the versions of Frederik Pohl's Gateway differ?, some editions include a final denouement that was not there in the first novel printing.)

  • Can you offer another example? – Valorum Oct 17 '18 at 6:48
  • The Hardback Edition of Temeraire in the UK includes additional content taken from the in-universe work by Sir Edward Howe. It's a really distinctive part of the book describing differences between dragons worldwide and discussing categorisation and sizing methodology. It's not present in the eBook or Paperback versions I've seen. I can't say if it is in foreign language versions. But I could definitely see it coming up in a Story ID question and then not being present in whatever version is sitting in your local library or bookshop. – Jontia Oct 17 '18 at 8:35
  • Related, but with no clear consensus: scifi.meta.stackexchange.com/q/10051/31394 – Rand al'Thor Oct 17 '18 at 13:43
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    As the one who asked that question, I can confirm that I did read only one book, and the ending had that sort of teaser. I ended up closing it as a duplicate because it was the right answer anyway. – Sava Oct 17 '18 at 14:53
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We treat them on a case-by-case basis

There's no way to really do it other than that. Some new edition merely fix a couple of typos and some add chapters of new content, the only way to treat these is to work out the differences, how they apply to the question and answers and go from there. For some basic guidelines I'd propose the following:

Only minor editing changes

Here there have only really been typo and small restructure changes and nothing to do with the plot really alters. I'd say close them as a duplicate since the essence of the story is the same.

Major changes but not mentioned in the question/OP's description

This one is more of a judgement call by looking at the answers and seeing if what they say of the edition changes. However, the most likely course of action would be to dupe close them. There will be cases where a duplicate closure isn't really preferable so, as said before, treat it on a case-by-case basis.

Major changes that are mentioned in the question/OP's description

In this case it is most likely best to not close the questions as a duplicate but this does come down to what the OP remembered. Say they remember something that is part of an edition change but "aren't sure if it is part of this book or not" (i.e. it could be from a sequel) it might be preferable to close the question as a duplicate. However, if they are confident that this detail was in this book it is best not to duplicate close.

So, what about this specific case?

I'm not at all familiar with the work but from looking over it I'd imagine not to close as a duplicate, when accepted, because of the edition changes. A few bullet points relating to a different edition/work that aren't mentioned on the target is enough for me to believe the questions are sufficiently different.

  • This got messy quickly when thinking about it so I may have muddled my words a bit... I'll check it over later when I get a bit of time. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 17 '18 at 9:37
  • In this instance, the difference seems to be that they added a teaser for the sequel, something that's very common in edited later editions. – Valorum Oct 17 '18 at 14:21
  • @Valorum Aye which to me means that question is likely about 2 works so closing to 1 work (the first book) is not desirable... unless the target mentions the second work/the edition's additions. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 17 '18 at 14:23
  • Surely better then to simply edit the target to mention the fact that it was part of a serial of books, then close the dupe? – Valorum Oct 17 '18 at 14:24
  • @Valorum Case-by-case but I'd imagine closing to one that just says "it was part of a series" isn't always the best option. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 17 '18 at 14:25
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    @Valorum Though closing the older one about the specific to the "series" one might be an idea. – TheLethalCarrot Oct 17 '18 at 14:26
  • Either way, I don't think we need two almost entirely identical questions when the answer to the second one is the same, just a different edit. – Valorum Oct 17 '18 at 14:28

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