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Collecting Highlights Archives Past issues of the Collecting Highlights column for Anne McCaffrey Fans. Posts are open for reply, so feel free to add a comment about what you own or would like to!

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Old Jul 1 2008, 09:45 AM   #1
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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

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Old Jul 1 2008, 10:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (68) - UK Dragondrums proof (with side notes on UK hardcover

Yours is about as beat up looking as mine. People should take better care of books. Still. That's what, 30-something years old so I guess we should just be glad they lasted as long as they have.

Not all uncorrected proofs were bound into books either. I have one that is just loose sheets held together with a rubber band. And you got to know that a lot of that sort of uncorrected proofs have not made it thru time intact.
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Old Jul 1 2008, 01:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (68) - UK Dragondrums proof (with side notes on UK hardcover

Really nice find, Hans.
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
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Old Jul 1 2008, 05:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (68) - UK Dragondrums proof (with side notes on UK hardcover

Hans...WOW !!!! You are soooooooooo lucky in finding this treasure...it makes a fantastic addition to your ever growing and extreemly interesting collection.
"To the Horsehead Nebula and back we shall make beautiful music"..."Together!"

The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression,and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cut out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived........Howard Pyle
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Old Jul 2 2008, 09:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (68) - UK Dragondrums proof (with side notes on UK hardcover

Great addition to your collection, Hans! I'm glad that it's in good hands now and will be properly taken care of, tho its condition isn't too bad when you consider its travels!
It's interesting that the publication date is different. Wonder what decided the earlier publication date? Very interesting highlight, Hans! Thanks!
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