View Single Post
Old Jul 1 2008, 09:45 AM   #1
Master Archivist
Hans's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Netherlands
Gender: M
Fan of: Pern!
Default Collecting Highlight (68) - UK Dragondrums proof (with side notes on UK hardcover)

I recently got a chance to buy something I had not had the pleasure to see before. I actually must admit I didn't even knew it existed: an uncorrected proof of the UK Sidgwick & Jackson edition of Dragondrums. When I mentioned it to Cheryl she replied there must be uncorrected proofs of almost all books. I am not sure about that but somehow it does stand to reason that, in regards to Anne McCaffrey there probably are. I mean if late seventies books have printed proofs, virtuall all her titles must.
Although a small time and specialised publisher myself I normally don't have my printer make proofs. I correct from the galleys or even sometimes from manuscript only but that's more because I'm into low number editions I guess.

Anyway, a Sidgwick & Jackson uncorrected proof copy I said. It's about the same size as the later hardcover and has, as is usual with proofs, a simple cover. It's glued and counts 240 pages, the same number as the later hardcover (this might mean no big changes, like cutting sections) were made. I haven't done a comparison yet. The light bkue cover appears to be 240 grams heavy stock paper and what struck me when I ooked at the pages is that the quality of printing is poor. The print is not always black (light gray at times) and often the characters/letters are broken. Margin has been kept to a minimum. My copy has some spots and discolouration on the cover and remains of some mold on the back.
The cover of the proof reads at the bottom: "This is an uncorrected advance proof and its appearance is nit expected to resemble the finished book. Provisional publication date: January 4th 1980. Provisional price Lb 5.95". Well, the UK edition was preceded by the US edition but not by much, both were published in 1979, so the UK book was published earlier than originally expected.
The price was high (for my standards) 25 UK pounds (almost $50). Some time ago we had that incredible lot with a Dragondrums manuscript plus some extra goodies popup on eBay of which the price was way out of my budget, this is the next best thing

I don't own a first edition of the UK Dragondrums hardcover but a second printing, from 1980. But then, I collect for cover art and not for value, so I often pass by the more expensive true first editions.
I don't need to go into the Uk hardcover itself since Cheryl already did a Collecting Highlight on that, and the F'nor and Canth poster that was made of the cover, some time ago (to be found here).
The first thing I noticed however was that the ISBN's were different. But it does say "Saildean bookproofs" on the back of the proof, so I suppose that 689 is the Saldean pblisher number, where 283 is the Sidgwick & Jackson one. The numbers are: 0-689-30685-7 for the proof and 0-283-98569-0 for the hardcover 2nd printing.

The cover art for the hardcover is by Colin Saxton, the Jacket design by Bartholomew Wilkins and Partners. The hardcover seems to be getting cheaper at times lately (as opposed to prices mentioned by Cheryl in her Highlight) ad it is available without much trouble and regularly offered on eBay. If you get lucky you can get it really cheap (as for about 5 pounds) but prices can go up to about 70 pounds (and even higher).

Covers of both proof and the later published hardcover:

Cover of the proof copy

Copyright page of the proof copy

Copyright page of my 1st edition, 2nd printing hardcover

Hans, also known as Elrhan, Master Archivist

Visit The Pern Museum & Archives for all your Pern and Anne McCaffrey News and Resources!
The Pern Museum & Archives is the home of the Pern Encyclopedia and the Pern Bloodlines.
Hans is offline   Reply With Quote