Triumphs, My Mistakes” – a Publishing History
to you by the BSG Fandom House Press Corp.
Fox News First Edition
The BSG Fandom House Press Corporation was the first publishing house
to release a professionally bound and typeset version of Giaus
Baltar’s infamous autobiography: “My Triumphs, My
Mistakes.” Prior to its publication, various attempts to ban
black market copies of the book by the Roslin Administration only meant
that there was a lucrative publishing venture to be had for anyone
willing to buck the tide of public opinion. For better or ill, Fandom
House was the first bona fide publisher to step into the breach.
To avoid controversy, the first print edition of “My
Triumphs, My Mistakes” was completely unabridged, copied
word-for-word from the original (unbound) computer printout version of
the book which had been circulated anonymously throughout the fleet.
However, this certainly didn’t stop the Fandom House
editorial staff from attempting to imbue the cover jacket with a
controversy all its own. Also known as the “ménage
a trios” cover, the Fandom House graphic design department
claimed that it had received a compromising picture of Dr. Baltar from
the Cylon Basestar upon which he was held captive for a time.
In the grand tradition of press freedoms granted by the Colonial
Constitution, the editorial staff of Fandom House refused to reveal the
actual source of the photo, hence the fanciful picture of Dr. Baltar
literally “lying in bed” with the enemy has never
been fully authenticated. Subsequently, the first edition cover
completely sold out its initial print run and was never reprinted.
PBS Frontline Edition
Also known as the
“Little Blue Book,” the second Fandom House edition
of “My Triumphs, My Mistakes” eventually went on to
out-sell all other print versions of the book, including print runs by
rival publishers. The original text was still presented in unabridged
from, but the chapter structure was slightly altered from the first
edition so that Baltar’s various essays and musings could be
grouped together thematically rather than in chronological order. While
this editorial decision was not without its detractors, it should be
noted that this is the only edition of the book officially endorsed by
the Cult of Baltar, and the only reprinted version of the book which
Dr. Baltar himself ever claimed authorship. Initially the Cult of
Baltar threatened to sue Fandom House for copyright infringement until
an out-of-court settlement decreed that Dr. Baltar’s estate
would receive residual royalty checks from Fandom House in subsequent
The portrait on the
left side of the cover jacket for this edition was derived from actual
surveillance footage of Dr. Baltar during his imprisonment aboard
Battlestar Galactica. The picture was taken shortly after President
Roslin had confiscated Batar’s only pen, obviously hoping to
forestall the book’s completion. The fact that Baltar managed
to finish his book despite Roslin’s repeated attempts at
interference is hailed by many of Baltar’s more religiously
devout followers as a sign that the finished tome must have been the
result of divine providence.
Bill Moyers Deep
Often derided as the “Copy-Cat” edition, this
version of “My Triumphs, My Mistakes” is actually a
bit of a collector’s item amongst Baltar purists since it is
comprised entirely of photo-copied prints of Dr. Baltar’s
original hand-penned notes for the book. Notoriously difficult to read
and structurally baffling, this is the only version of the book which
academic scholars have come to rely on as
“authentic” insofar as it’s as close to
the original source material to which they can possibly aspire.
Of course, the main reason this book sold particularly well in its
initial print run is due in no small part to the comprehensive
afterword written by Baltar’s former legal counsel, Romo
Lampkin. This is where Lampkin famously claimed that he was the primary
supplier of pens to Dr. Baltar during his imprisonment. As one of the
foremost legal scholars of his day, Mr. Lampkin certainly attracted a
long list of strident critics, most of whom decried his
sensationalistic “confession” as a cheap publicity
stunt. That being said, it’s no small irony that the most
often quoted portions of Mr. Lampkin’s vast body of work are
usually borrowed from the afterword to a book he never actually wrote.
Book of the Month Club Edition
attempted to market the fourth print edition of “My Triumphs,
My Mistakes” to a readership openly sympathetic to Dr. Baltar
and his various causes (hence the subtitle: “One
Man’s Journey”). It was also the first book
published by Fandom House to receive an open endorsement from the Cylon
The edition itself
is essentially the same unabridged version as the second printing, but
the afterword by D’anna Biers does cast some of Dr.
Baltar’s more extravagant behavior in a whole new light. It
came as surprising news to most that Baltar was treated with suspicion
and contempt even during his extended stay amongst the Cylons.
Particularly moving was D’anna visceral description of Cylon
invasive interrogation techniques and how she eventually came to think
of Giaus Baltar as a fellow soul mate who was on a parallel track to
While most serious
scholars are dismissive of Ms. Biers’ unusual point of view,
her essay describing the short time she spent with Dr. Baltar proved
extremely popular amongst certain female members of Baltar’s
cult following. In fact, many cultists in Baltar’s
“inner circle” claim to strongly identify with
D’anna’s spiritual struggle for self knowledge and
her ultimate epiphany of Baltar’s strangely benevolent
presence in her life. The most hotly contested portion of
D’anna’s ramblings center around her complaints
that she often had to share Baltar’s bed with someone named
“Caprica” (this revelation may lend credence to the
sensational “ménage a trios” picture on
the cover of the first edition – or not). Strangely enough,
most female cultists seem to be able to identify with this peculiar
aspect of D’anna’s strained relationship with
Baltar as well.
CBS Dan Blather Edition
As if in response to the “One Man’s
Journey” edition, the Command Staff of the Colonial Fleet
insisted on a fifth reprinting of “My Triumphs, My
Mistakes,” this time with an afterword from Admiral William
Adama himself. Admr. Adama claimed to have a unique insight into Dr.
Baltar’s frame of mind if only because he had been the senior
interrogation specialist present during Baltar’s initial
debriefing shortly after the Temple of Five conflagration (hence the
subtitle: “A Plea From a Troubled Mind”).
Literary critics and legal scholars alike complained that Admr. Adama
was attempting to retro-actively justify Blatar’s acquittal,
a blatant attempt to re-argue the case with a “criminal
insanity defense” long after the final verdict had already
been declared. No one bought it, literally or philosophically. This is
the only publication of “My Triumphs, My Mistakes”
upon which Fandom House ultimately lost revenue. As a historical
footnote, this was also the last unabridged edition of the book to be
released by Fandom House.
House’s sixth reprinting of “My Triumphs, My
Mistakes” was released in conjunction with the six-part GTV
documentary, the first episode of which was televised on the third
anniversary of Baltar’s trial verdict. Hosted Playa Palacois,
this immensely popular TV series proved to be the most highly rated
documentary in the annals of GTV broadcast history, thus propelling Ms.
Palacois from obscure celebrity gossip columnist to overnight news
The GTV documentary
consisted primarily of celebrity interviews regarding various passages
from Baltar’s original manuscript, so Fandom House decided to
publish only the relevant portions of the text in this first abridged
edition. Since the most controversial and provocative sections of the
manuscript ended up being the only ones selected for the abridgment,
the Cult of Baltar created a media firestorm by attempting to purchase
the book in bulk quantities so as to prevent the truncated version of
their sacred texts from reaching the general public. This tactic
backfired, however, not only in that it prompted those who might
otherwise have been indifferent to the book to make a first-time
purchase, but also in that they unintentionally drove sales of the book
back onto the bestseller lists for the first time in years.
When asked whether
or not sales of the book had been helped or hurt by Baltar Cultist
machinations, Playa Palacois famously quipped that the sixth edition of
“My Triumphs, My Mistakes” was “probably
the best-selling unread book of all time."
MSNBC Paranoid Rant Edition
In a direct response to GTV’s six-part documentary, President
Laura Roslin allegedly misused some of her campaign finance
contributions to issue a government sponsored rebuttal: “My
Triumphs, My Mistakes: Confessions of a Mass Murderer.” This
was a word-for-word reprint of the abridged text from the GTV edition,
but with additional commentary (and occasional snide remarks) by Roslin
herself interspersed throughout. When word got out that the Roslin
Administration had paid a flat fee to have the book published,
President Roslin tried to pin all of the blame on her undersecretary,
Felix Gaeta, claiming that Gaeta had rigged the finances himself
– completely unbeknownst to her!
On the same afternoon that Mr. Gaeta tendered his resignation, GTV
filed a lawsuit against the Roslin Administration for copyright
infringement, claiming that the picture used on the seventh edition
cover jacket was merely an inverted negative of the image GTV had used
for the sixth edition. While GTV and the Roslin Administration waged
and all-out media war in the popular press, the copyright infringement
case was quietly dismissed. The courts ultimately ruled that the
copyright of the original text still belonged to Giaus Baltar, and
since the cover art for both books had in fact been provided by Fandom
House Press, the publisher could not be held liable for infringing
VH1 CelebReality Edition
The eighth edition
of “My Triumphs, My Mistakes” was published with a
specifically Cylon readership in mind. Often cited in Fandom House
publicity literature as the “best selling” edition
of the book in Cylon-controlled space, this was in fact the ONLY
edition of the book ever marketed in Cylon-controlled space.
with the Cylon Weekly World News distribution network, Fandom House was
able to finesse a fairly lucrative publishing contract, the primary
drawback being that the Cylons would be afforded complete editorial
control. The end result was a book actually quite similar to the
abridgment of the “Gaeta-gate” edition, but rather
than snide political commentary scrawled in the side margins, crude
attempts at comedy by a former cabinet minister in the Baltar
Administration: Aaron Doral.
While much of Mr.
Doral’s toiletry-obsessed humor probably rubs most (if not
all) humans the wrong way, “My Triumphs, My
Mistakes” was a perennial best seller for CWWN. Though it
lacked the staying-power of such well-known classics as
“Downloading For Dummies” or “2001
Pop-Tart Recipes,” paper-back editions of “My
Triumphs, My Mistakes” can still be found in almost every
air-port terminal gift-shop within the Cylon Collective –
though you may have to search for it in the “humor”
In the waning years of her life, President Laura Roslin felt compelled
once again to “set the record straight” concerning
the Baltar presidency and the occupation of New Caprica. Once again,
Roslin had to rely on third-party financing to get the book published,
in this instance: a generous donation from the Pythia Foundation, a
quasi-religious political action group with deep financial ties to the
Fandom House took the money and ran, basically allowing Roslin complete
editorial control. But much to everyone’s disappointment,
“His Mistakes, Period: The Unauthorized Biography of Gaius
Baltar” was a critical and financial flop. With a lengthy
preamble explaining how Oracle Selloi had helped her to obtain
privileged information by ingesting huge amounts of camalla extract,
even ardent Roslin supporters had to admit that none of
Roslin’s fanciful hallucinations would ever be admissible in
appellate court, let alone the court of public opinion.
While “His Mistakes, Period” probably
didn’t sway anyone who had already made up their minds about
Baltar’s culpability, in a special twist of irony, by quoting
large portions of “My Triumphs, My Mistakes” in
order to sate her case, Dr. Baltar’s estate actually earned
royalties from sales of Roslin’s final tome.
Dog Has His Day Edition
Many members of the
Cult of Baltar (most notably former members of the
Spacehookers’ Guild) still regard Baltar’s short
and troubled presidency as a “Golden Age” of peace
and prosperity. A small (but growing) sect of Baltar cultists now point
to “Jake the Dog” as the primary culprit behind the
demise of the Baltar Administration. Dismissed by academic scholars as
a pathetic attempt to scapegoat an errant pet for the ultimate undoing
of one man’s presidency, leaders within the Cult of Baltar
have also publicly denounced such notions as heretical, if only to stem
the tide of derision from outsiders to their faith.
heretics’ primary claim to fame is that their
“Additional Testament of Baltar” was handed down to
them from on high by unimpeachable Cylon sources “close to
the Administration” during the Occupation of New Caprica.
These records have never been made available to public scrutiny (for
obvious reasons), but the heretics insist that the original data
recordings were left for them to find in a Cylon database listed under
the title of “Abandonment Issues: A Story of a Dog, His Dish,
and His Ultimate Rise to Power - by Jake 4.0 (Transcribed by
D’anna Biers).” Conveniently enough,
D’anna Biers has been incommunicado for several years now
still isn’t returning anyone’s calls for further
The basic format of
the text itself is a nigh-unreadable stream-of-consciousness type
poetry which seems to have been structured by some poor benighted soul
who either desperately misses their deceased pet, or someone who
totally overdosed on camalla extract and has never fully recovered. The
preamble intended to clarify the authorship of the book is actually one
of the most confusing passages, wherein “D’anna
Biers” claims to have spent a great deal of quality time with
“projected versions” of a Dog named Jake, or more
specifically, “Jake 4.0” – the first
fully successful “downloaded” version of Jake which
could fully participate in a “Cylon-projected
environment” (whatever that means).
What it meant to
the Fandom House Press Corp. is that they demanded a pretty hefty fee
before committing these unabashedly weird heretical ramblings to print.
In a move that surprised everyone (including the heretics), the Cult of
Baltar took up a donation drive to have these heretical musings
published, if only to demonstrate to the general public how impossibly
silly they were. “Abandoment Issues” went on to
sell surprisingly well considering the topical categories listed on the
- What REALLY went on outside people’s tents on New Caprica.
- The secret life of dog dishes.
- Jake's surprisingly crucial role in bringing the Baltar
Administration to its knees.
– Reclaiming lost priorities: the proper feeding and grooming
regimen for dogs named Jake.
- Shouting down idiots: a barking dog’s journey toward
- How to make the perfect ham and peanut-butter mushroom omelet.
- What to do when Baltar’s ghost invades your
“projection space” and refuses to leave –
or shut up!
- How to embrace the Cylon “downloading” process
and enjoy the unavoidable side-trips to the Netherworld.
- Why dogs are immune to the “Jazz Hands”
phenomenon and what impact this might have on the viability of human
As of this writing,
“Abandonment Issues” has been translated into 27
different languages and is the best selling book to which a canine
companion has ever been credited authorship. Go figure.