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Old Feb 9 2007, 03:58 PM   #1
Hans
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Post Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

One of the best companion atlases ever made is the Atlas of Pern by Karen Wynn Fonstad. There's several version, including both US and UK editions, first in hardcover as well as in paperback, and I'll conclude this Collecting Highlight with some special promotion material.

Let me first tell you of the author. Unfortunately the remarkable Karen Fonstad, who made such wonderful atlases for Tolkien's Middle Earth, the Dragonlance world and of course Pern, is no longer with us. She died on March 11, 2005 of complications from breast cancer. She was 59. Karen Lea Wynn was born April 18, 1945 in Oklahoma City to James and Estis Wynn. She graduated from Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma, and then earned a B.S. degree in Physical Therapy and an M.A. in Geography, specializing in cartography, from the University of Oklahoma. While attending Oklahoma University she met her husband to be, Todd A. Fonstad. They married on March 21, 1970 and had two children.
As far as I know The Atlas of Pern (1984) was her second endeavour in the field of cartography of imaginary worlds. It was successful and followed in 1985 by The Atlas of The Land (covering the world of my next favourite fantasy author Stephen Donaldson; which is surely a coincidence). These were followed by The Atlas of the Dragonlance World (in 1987) and The Forgotten Realms Atlas (in 1990). Her career both began and ended (a revised edition was published in 2001) with was probably her most successful atlas: The Atlas of Middle-Earth.

The Atlas of Pern outdates those other great companion books, The Dragonlovers Guide to Pern and The People of Pern, by four and five years respectively! It not only provides wonderful general and detailed maps of Pern and many of its geographical as well as political, social and many other aspects, it also provides many references and a reasonably good timeline for all the books up to and including Moreta, Dragonlady of Pern.

From email correspondence between Karen and Anne I was privileged to use for my research I know that there were plans to publish a second, revised edition for the world of Pern, too. Alas, it was not to be… Special maps were going to be included for the books published after Moreta; Dragonsdawn, Chronicles of Pern : First Fall and Dragonseye, in a whole new section chapter. For the insatiable curious fans among us I can reveal that among the maps for this chapter new/revised maps were planned for the whole of Pern and the Southern Continent (of course), Landing, Drake’s Lake Mining Camp, Calusa and Honshu, to name a few. Nerilka’s Story would be incorporated in the chapter on Moreta (with no change in maps) and Masterharper of Pern would be added to the chapter on the Harper Hall novels with revision planned for Telgar Hold, Harper Hall, Robinton’s apartment and Southern Hold. Another new chapter would have dealt with The Renegades of Pern, The Dolphins of Pern and All the Weyrs of Pern with a total new introduction and maps of Thella’s Hold, Igen Cave Complex, Benden Hold, Benden Caves (Aramina’s Cave), Paradise River Hold, Dolphin Hall, the proposed Hold boundaries of the Southern Continent, Landing (Ancients Plateau Hold), Admin building, the Catherine Caves, the Yokohama and the surface of the Red Star! The fact this project never materialised may also have been influenced by the original Alliance Atlantis plans for Pern on the big screen and TV as well as Karen being diagnosed with breast cancer (for which I don’t know the year).

The US edition of the Atlas of Pern was simultaneously published by Del Rey/Ballantines books in hardcover as well as paperback in 1984. The hardcover is bound in brown cloth with gold foil lettering stamped on the spine. The large size paperback (I still can’t call letter sized paperbacks trade paperbacks) had red foil lettering on the front cover (see picture). The ISBN for the hardcover is 0-345-31432-8 and for the paperback 0-345-31434-4. A year later (1985) The Science Fiction Book Club published their edition as a hardcover. Hargreaves notes that this edition seems to have been bound from the second printing sheets for the Ballantine trade paperback (because of the “printing line” on the title page reading: “10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2”. He also gives a number (with SFBC edition often found somewhere on the dustjacket or the cover) 039115 for it. Among my copies I have one that only has “03911” on the back of the cover and an actual ISBN on the copyright page: 1-56865-263-1, despite the fact it only gives © 1984. According Hargreaves it was bound in brown paper boards with orange lettering on the spine. The bookclub edition has been reprinted several times (at least five) and my bookclub copy has black paper boards with orange lettering.



Dustjacket of the hardcover (in this case: bookclub) edition



Front of the cover of the first edition paperback US edition

All copies, including the UK edition described below, have a facsimile of Anne’s autograph in the lower right hand corner on the introduction page; an autograph that looks pretty real in the non-bookclub editions because it is printed in another colour than the text!



Detail photograph of the introduction page (pictured is the paperback one) with Anne's printed signature in a brownish colour also used for the maps

In the same year the American bookclub edition was issued, Corgi published a paperback version of the Atlas with a new and most wonderful cover by Steve Weston, the man who had also done much of the cover art for Anne’s UK Pern novels. ISBN for the UK paperback is 0-552-99148-1.



The cover of the UK paperback edition with wonderful artwork by Steve Weston

Last but not least… for the Corgi paperback posters were made for book sellers to promote the book. These posters measure 29,6 x 39,4 cm (11,65 x 15,51 inch) and feature the art of the actual book cover with a white border all around which has the line “out now in Corgi paperback” and the Corgi logo at the bottom. I think these posters are pretty rare, I’ve never seen any for sale but that doesn’t mean much. If they were actually distributed there must surely be quite a lot around.



Picture of the promotional poster for the UK Corgi paperback edition of the atlas;
this is a unique copy in the sense that it is signed to me (To Elrhan, Anne McCaffrey) by Anne "between the clouds over Nerat Bay"

The Atlas is to be found for sale regularly on eBay (all three versions), where the UK paperback version surprisingly is often the cheapest one to obtain. The bookclub edition is, of course, the most common (although I have no idea of how many were actually printed) but at times still fetches a relatively high price. In general one may say that prices vary incredibly for this book, from under ten dollars to over fifty dollars for a bookclub edition (!) to an idiotic high of $ 259 for a soft cover with slightly loose binding… On the other hand, a good watcher-collector might score a first edition for about 20-25 dollars on occasion!

I haven’t seen any ARC of proof reading copies but am assuming there might be a few out there.
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Old Feb 9 2007, 04:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

Beautiful, Hans! My copy is like the first one pictured. I just might have to start looking for one of those with the colorful dragon on the cover! It's sad that the later versions never came into being, though.
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Old Feb 10 2007, 01:03 AM   #3
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

Hans, Very interesting reading about Karen, and how the book came to be. I sure wish the second book would have been made, as I certainly would have been happy to add it to my collection, as I am sure so would have many other fans. I would love to find one of the posters one of these days, but I don't think I would ever be lucky enough to add a signed one to the rest of my Anne signatures....sigh!!!
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Old Feb 10 2007, 10:38 AM   #4
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I have the US Paperback. I love it!!
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Old Feb 11 2007, 02:32 PM   #5
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I need to find and buy one of these U.K editions either in hardcover or soft paper cover. It might be the only way for me to have that lovely cover in my collection.
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Old Feb 11 2007, 02:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

Maelin, the UK edition is only published as a softcover and they are regularly found on British eBay for reasonable prices. So finding yourself a copy shouldn't be too hard
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Old Feb 11 2007, 03:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

Actually, Maelin, I have an extra copy of the UK version, though I'm not sure what the average going price is for these days...
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Old Feb 11 2007, 04:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

I'd say... check eBay UK (that rhymes)
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Old Feb 11 2007, 04:17 PM   #9
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There weren't any yesterday- under various names
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Old Feb 11 2007, 04:52 PM   #10
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You can get a UK edition on E-bay for between £5 - £20, depending on how desperate you are They come up fairly regularly, so patience can be a virtue in this instance
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Old Feb 11 2007, 06:21 PM   #11
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

OH WOW!!! Thank You all for the information...and helpfull ideas on finding and buying one of these books for myself. Both my husband and I have gone looking for one of these today after this reading this discussion. There doesn't seem to be any available on either the U.S. or U.K. ebay sites.... but we did find a small pile of them offered on bookfinder and through them several other companies that have a few of them for sale. We have found that the price range for a softcover edition ranges from $10.04 to over $15.00 and shipping cost from $7.99 to $11.70...so not to expencive and I think I have a few to choose from now. Maybe if anyone else is looking perhaps this discussion will help them to find one also.
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Old Feb 11 2007, 06:24 PM   #12
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Jax, Thank you so much for mentioning your second copy of this book...I will be sending a PM in answer to you about your kind offer.
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Old Feb 11 2007, 06:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans View Post
I'd say... check eBay UK (that rhymes)
Hans, you're rhyming again! Come on back to WotD and do some more Lymericks!
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Old Feb 13 2007, 08:04 AM   #14
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

I have both paperbacks, but my US edition is a 3rd printing.
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Old Feb 20 2007, 01:50 PM   #15
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

I have two first editions (UK, Corgi editions that is). Both I got through second hand book dealers. The first one I paid £30 for - must have been 15 years ago, and it turned up in a box, in peices. I managed to find a binder to secure the pages in, but it was in a horrible condition, and had been written all over.

The second one I managed to pick up (again) through a second hand book dealer, a year later - and is in mint condition. I paid £8 for it. I was very surprised at it's condition (very cheap considering). That one graces my shelf. The other a friend has on permanant loan...
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Old Feb 21 2007, 11:25 AM   #16
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

I have a UK first ed paperback that I picked up from a second hand book place near Aylesbury, Bucks about 15 years ago. I'd say it was in fair condition, it's been well used over the years.
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Old Feb 21 2007, 04:04 PM   #17
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Several people mentioned having a first edition UK paperback version. I don't know whether there have ever been later editions and/or printings that also mention their state.

Could people please check for me to see if they have, by any chance, a version that doesn't state it's a first?
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Old Feb 21 2007, 04:41 PM   #18
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

I checked mine, it didn't say that it was a reprint or anything. I assumed, therefore, that it was a 1st, perhaps it's an only?
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Old Feb 21 2007, 04:54 PM   #19
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Might be, Rho, I must admit to not knowing whether the UK Atlas had more than one edition.
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Old Feb 22 2007, 05:40 PM   #20
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

I have the US paperback, it's my favorite cover (not a Weston fan). One of my most prized Pern possessions

Well... actually they're almost all equally prized
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Old Feb 22 2007, 08:12 PM   #21
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

Spiff, I have two copies of the U.S atlas, and have always found it extremly fasinating. I do think Weston is a wonderful artist although his Dragons are a bit different looking for my idea of Pern, but I love his atlas cover.
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Old Feb 24 2007, 10:47 AM   #22
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

I'm not sure what it is about Weston... other than his dragons not being my vision of accuracy, I just prefer Whelan's greater realism to Weston's more stylized art.

The Atlas itself though is excellent, I really love its use of references, which make it lightyears more accurate and reliable than the DLG. However, some of the measurements are wrong due to the meters concept of Dragonlengths, at 20 meters or so when they should be 20 feet as Anne has revised.

I really hope it is used in the creation of the Pern movie, since many of my visualizations come from the Atlas. Though I have to wonder... MANY of the things looked different (and sometimes fortunately better) in the Lord of the Rings films than in the Atlas of Middle Earth.
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Old Feb 24 2007, 01:46 PM   #23
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I just hope that the Movie people don't go making up a lot of their own things that Anne never mentioned in her books or that were never put into the atlas or the DLG. I would love to see Karen's Atlas used and brought to life somehow. Oh and I also like Whelan's concepts of Pern much better than anyone else's... and his dragons are beautiful...but he still didn't get the dragons right in my opinion.
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Old Feb 25 2007, 09:30 PM   #24
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (43) - The Atlas of Pern c.s.

I brought a copy of the first one in the late 1985 and had it for close to five to six years before someone I thought I could trust borrowed it and disappeared with it. I picked up my present copy, which is the second one shown, in 1995 from a Secondhand Bookshop. I got lucky as he didn't know the rarity value of what he head, as it was by now well out of print, and I picked it up for around $10 -15. Both copies I had were the paperback version.

It's a pity that she died before she could finish updating the Atlas, as I was alway hopeful of an updated version. Who knows, with the possibility of a Movie/TV Series in the works, maybe someone will come along and do an updated version.

One can only hope.
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