7

At the end of the last Animorphs book, Applegate writes (emphasis mine):

Well, here it is at long last: the final chapter in the Animorphs story. It began in the summer of 1996. It ends in the summer of 2001. Five years, 54 regular titles, 4 Chronicles, 5 Megamorphs and 2 Alternamorphs. An amazing number of you have read all those books. I am deeply grateful.

Those who don't have access to the book can read this passage on page 157 in the preview on Amazon.com.

As far as I can see, there are only four Megamorphs books. Is this a typo or mistake?

Maybe she considers 54 The Beginning a Megamorphs book (since it has a style somewhat like that, alternating between POV of the different Animorphs.) But it doesn't say "Megamorphs" on the front of that book (like the Megamorphs titles do). Also, if Applegate considers that book a Megamorphs, she'd be counting it twice in the quote above, as she also says there are 54 regular titles.

Is this just a typo?

  • KAA had said she was contracted to write fifty-four main books and eleven megamorph/chronicles books. While obviously something must have changed, she may have been thinking of that number when writing the epilogue. – ibid Aug 28 '17 at 7:20
  • @ibid You mean she might originally have been planning to write five Megamorphs books? – Revetahw Aug 28 '17 at 7:29
  • @ibid I am not sure what you mean. – Revetahw Aug 28 '17 at 18:44
  • @ibid Alright. Yeah, maybe that's the reason for the quote. – Revetahw Aug 28 '17 at 20:45
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    @Thomas I am not sure which question you are referring to, but this particular question is not something that can just be looked up on Wikipedia. Of course, I was well aware of the official list of Animorphs books, and that there are only four. The reason I still asked this question is because there was an official quote from the author claiming there were five such books, and I wanted to sort out the discrepancy. – Revetahw Sep 17 '17 at 17:25
7

K.A. Applegate - It's all about contracts

Jeff Sampson, (owner of MORPHz.com) relayed the following quote from K.A. Applegate about the mysterious Megamorphs #5:

This is what K.A. told me about the cutting of Megamorphs #5 on October 17, 2000:

"Anyway, on to the saga of the missing MEGA. It's all about contracts, actually. I had signed a contract for 6 ANI long-form books, meaning Megas or Chrons. And I had, at a different point, signed a contract for the last bunch of regular-length ANI's. But the two contracts weren't synchronized, so the due dates of the long forms extended well out beyond the due dates of the regular-length books. Then I decided to pull the plug on the series, leaving Scholastic in something of a quandary as to 3 long-form books.

"One of the long books we agreed to make a series bible. Another one was going to be a 'whatever happened to . . .' kind of book to be published a year out in the future. And the third one would be a final Mega to be published (according to the regular schedule) at the same time as 53. Fine, but then I realized 53, 54 and the Mega were all going inevitably to be one, continuing storyline. So how do we get kids to realize Mega and 53 were in sequence when they were published at the same time? We then agreed to move Mega to run at the same time as 54, hoping that would clarify things. But Scholastic sales and marketing guys had different plans already in the works. And let me say that I love Scholastic sales and marketing, they have done very, very well for me.

"Anyway, I think (though I do not know) that sales was concerned that two ANI books in June would step on the release of REMNANTS at the same time. These plans are all made long, long in advance and involve all sorts of details and arrangements, and my messing with the sequence wasn't helping their lives any. So we all jointly decided to take BOTH the final Mega and the 'Whatever happened to . . .' books and add them to the REMNANTS contract.

"I am not personally at all upset. I think the finale is fine the way it's going, though I understand that some readers may have wanted one big, final MEGA. Still, I think they'll get some of that in 54."

Orginally posted here [deadlink]. Referenced here July 2002

Michael Grant - It's all about math

However, co-author Michael Grant says that the preceding story is not true, and that the answer was really just bad math.

Why does the 'A Letter to Fans' in Animorphs #54 say that there are five Megamorphs books?

That's because neither @kaaauthor nor I should ever be trusted where numbers are concerned.

Does it have anything to do with cancelled books? (I read somewhere that there was a 5th Megamorphs planned that got turned into a Remnants)

No, that's def not true. Our EVERWORLD contract for 20 books was turned into REMNANTS 'cuz EVER was hard to write.

Don't know how accurate this is, but Jeff Sampson had quoted @kaaauthor as saying that Megamorphs #5 got added to the Remnants contract.

I think it's just confusion over the conversion of the EVERWORLD contract. At least to the best of my memory.
Twitter

  • But when she wrote the passage quoted in OP, she already knew how all this had turned out, right? – Revetahw Sep 17 '17 at 7:42
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    @Revetahw - Probably, but this would explain where the confusion came from. It isn't a case of JKR maths, it's just difficulty remembering the difference between what was on the paper she signed and what ended up happening in reality. – ibid Sep 17 '17 at 8:46
  • Cool. Makes sense. – Revetahw Sep 17 '17 at 8:57
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    @Revetahw Not necessarily; in the form letter she sent out to fans that wrote to her, back during Animorphs, she makes a point of being a very slow typist, and 53 was the first one she did after the long string of ghost writers. It's possible she'd written this note to the readers early and forgotten to go back and change it. – Izkata Sep 17 '17 at 17:02
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    @Revetahw - Updated my answer to include my recent correspondence with Michael Grant. (I'm personally more inclined to believe what Katherine said, but I think it's good to have them both out there.) – ibid Sep 17 '17 at 18:40
5

There are only four Megamorphs books

This is easily confirmed by checking the Wikipedia page for the List of Animorphs Books, where only four such books are listed. The four books in question are:

Whether this is simply a typo, or a mathematical mistake worthy of J.K. Rowling, is unclear. However, there is some reason for a possible mistake: the first Megamorphs book was originally split into two separate volumes, which may have either contributed to some fuzzy memories on the part of K.A. Applegate, or simply been considered as two books by her. The latter explanation seems unlikely, however, as The Andalite Chronicles was originally split into three volumes, but the count of Chronicles books in the afterword is accurate.

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    Personally, I knew this fact because I noticed there were a total of 64 Animorphs books if you included the companion books, and the number 64 was a rather significant number to many kids in the late 90s to early 2000s. – Mike Kellogg Aug 30 '16 at 21:22
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    I also distinctly remember Megamorphs 2 getting the same 2-volume treatment, but the Wikipedia page on that book didn't say anything about it, so I left it off just to be safe. – Mike Kellogg Aug 30 '16 at 21:36

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