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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 Feb 19 2007, 11:42 PM   #1
Becky
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Default Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

As some of you know, I recently won a Walker and Co Ship Who Sang on eBay. So I decided to make The Ship Who Sang my next collecting highlight. (This is also dedicated to our resident Ship Who Sang 'fan'atic, Lady Maelin!)

Condition of books we collect is very important. You want to buy the best copy you can for the money you have to spend. I don't have the $1200 or more a Fine copy brings but managed to win a copy on eBay for a decent amount of money. It is not an ex-library copy which is a major plus as the ex-libraries are all I had been seeing recently. So I'm very happy with my copy.

Anne's father, Colonel the Honourable Doctor George Herbert McCaffrey, was diagnosed with TB and his passing was the most traumatic experience of her life. To this day she cannot hear taps, or see a flag-drapped coffin, without weeping. In 1958 (though the story wasn't submitted until 1961), his death influenced the story, The Ship Who Sang. It still provokes the same emotion, in Anne and in other readers: tears of grief. It is one of Anne's most reprinted stories, certainly one of her most effective ones. She says every time anyone reads it, she thinks: "Here's to you, Dad!"
"Ship" taught her to use emotion as a writing tool. And she does, with neither apology nor shame, even though she's writing science fiction, a genre not often noted, in those days, for any emotions, only intellectual exercise and scientific curiosities. Anne says that if a writer feels some genuine and deep emotion when writing a manuscript, by some strange alchemy, that emotion is transmitted to the reader.

The book is dedicated to him. (my copy has a signed bookplate covering it, but only one edge is afixed to the page.) The dedication is as follows:
to the memory of
the Colonel, my father
GEORGE HERBERT MCAFFREY
citizen soldier patriot
for whom the ship first sang


The Walker and Co hardcover was issued in 1969. It is the US hardcover edition. The Ship Who Sang is comprised of several short stories written from 1961 - 1969. The stories are as follows: The Ship Who Sang - 1961; The Ship Who Mourned - 1966; The Ship Who Killed - 1966; The Ship Who Dissembled - 1969 and finally, The Dramatic Mission - 1969.





The front and back flaps of the dustjacket....



The photo of Anne is when she won the Nebula in 1969 for Dragonrider, the second half of the book Dragonflight. The first half, Weyr Search, won a Hugo in 1968.



Entire dustjacket.

The UK hardcover was published in 1971 by Rapp and Whiting Ltd. The cover doesn't have anything to do with the book at all, unless it's a representation of a ship. But at least it isn't like any of the UK Pern dust jacket art.





The picture below shows both hardcover books without dust jackets. White being the Walker and Co and the green the Rapp and Whiting.


The only other hardcover copy available has been thru the Science Fiction Book Club. It's cover has always been a favorite of mine.


Original price for the Walker and Co was $4.95 and the Rapp and Whiting was 1 Pound .80P. (sorry don't know how to make it show Pounds Sterling) As I stated earlier a signed copy of the Walker and Co is priced around $1200 and an ex-library is priced around $400. The copy I purchased was $225, so this can be used as a guide for an acceptable price for a copy of the book. The Rapp and Whiting is priced from $500 - $700. The book club can be found on eBay for as little as $15 and on up.

Now a request for your opinion.......
If I should find a better dust jacket, should I purchase it and swap out the one I have? I am considering it, if I should run across a dust jacket. What do you think?
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Old Feb 20 2007, 01:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

I'd say keep the ones that you have, as they illustrate in their own ways (as do all the covers and dustjackets of Anne's -- and other authors' -- books) the changing representations of literary artwork through the years.

The British one is a fine example of the more abstract representations of the late 60s and early 70s, that you find with a number of publishers. I thrill to see some of their versions of Jack Vance, as they were the editions in the local library when I started to read him, and I am always interested to see how various books and series are illustrated. Especially Anne's.

In some respects, the are more intriguing than the usual representationalist style of our contemporaries.
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Old Feb 20 2007, 10:54 AM   #3
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

Thanks Ghyle!
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Old Feb 20 2007, 11:32 AM   #4
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

I have a feeling that the UK cover is actually using a musical symbol - the pause I think, and, though I don't own the book, I've seen a larger picture of the cover, there's a few bars mixed in with the picture.
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Old Feb 21 2007, 12:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

Edi, thanks so much for your input. I can see where the diagonal lines could be music bars and that the dot could be a rest. Interesting! I've learned a lot today!
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Old Feb 22 2007, 08:03 PM   #6
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

Fantastic Highlight Becky, I think that everyone that comes to MoM, finds out in short order that "The Ship Who Sang" is my favorite book. I have collected "28" (so far) different publication with Anne's lovely story in it, including all three of the books that you showed... all graciously signed to me by Anne.
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Old Feb 22 2007, 08:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

I interpreted the R&W cover as a tubular "ship" inside which is a singing head (red circle with black mouth) and two raised arms in black.
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Old Feb 23 2007, 12:48 AM   #8
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

P'ter - I like your interpretation too. I think it's interesting to get everyone's input on what they think of the cover. Thank you for sharing.
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Old Jun 15 2008, 09:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

When considering what to do as my next collector's highlight I wondered if I'd done Ship Who Sang and found that indeed I had, but I went ahead with my thoughts as I had found something I missed when I originally did the highlight.

While reading over the copyright pages of the hard cover editions I have found a bit of discrepancy with the stories they list as compared to the magazine stories. So I'll need some help from you all to straighten it out or confirm what I've found out.
The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction published.................The Ship Who Sang - April 1961
Galaxy published............The Ship Who Killed - October 1966
Analog published two stories..........The Ship Who Mourned - March 1966 and Dramatic Mission - June 1969
Worlds of IF published...............The Ship Who Disappeared - March 1969
Both hard cover copyright pages indicate the following stories........
The Ship Who Sang 1961 - Mercury Press, Inc
The Ship Who Mourned 1966 - The Conde Nast Publications Inc
The Ship Who Killed 1966 - Galaxy Publishing Corp
The Ship Who Dissembled 1969 - Galaxy Publishing Corp
The Dramatic Mission 1969 - The Conde Nast Publications Inc

Now I'm guessing that Galaxy Publishing and Worlds of IF are connected in some way for it to copyright the story as Galaxy but publish in Worlds of IF. My main question is regarding the title of the story. In Worlds of IF it's listed as The Ship Who Disappeared and in the novel it's listed as The Ship Who Dissembled. I had never noticed this until now. Or am I missing a different story in my collection??? Is there a Galaxy magazine from 1969 that I don't know about??? If anyone has any information regarding this, please post!

Helva's stories led to a whole series of novels that Anne co-wrote with other authors and a couple of newer short stories........The Ship Who Searched, Partnership, The Ship Who Won, The City Who Fought and short stories Honeymoon and The Ship Who Returned. There were even two spin off books by the co-authors...The Ship Avenged by SM Stirling and The Ship Errant by Jody Lynn Nye.

The Ship Who Searched is my next favorite ship book, Tia and Ted Bear touch my heart strings. Michael Whelan has a painting that reminds me of Tia and I've always wondered if he had her in mind when he did it. The painting is actually a portrait of his daughter, I found out when searching for it to post. It's not exactly Tia's situation as I can't picture her making 'sand' castles, only making her pretend digs, but I always think of her when I see it.


So now I'm off to decide what my next highlight will be about!
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Old Jun 15 2008, 09:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

I'm pretty sure that it is just a re-titling of the story...I know I've read that somewhere...

Ah, it's in the Hargreaves biblio:

The Ship Who Dissembled is not a new story but a retitling of "The Ship Who Disappeared". The title was changed by the author when the story was included in The Ship Who Sang.

The Ship Who Disappeared was printed in the French version of Galaxy, Galaxie, in Apr 1970, so clearly the Worlds of If and Galaxy share content. Checking the contents page of a copy of both Galaxy and World of If reveals they are both owned by the same publishing house, Universal Publishing and Distributing Corporation. So it seems your surmise there was correct!
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Old Jun 16 2008, 12:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

Thanks so very much for the confirmation, Cheryl! I figured that the title was a change that was made, but just had to be sure. I always forget to check Hargreaves.
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Old Jun 16 2008, 03:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

Yes, I had read about the retitling, too.

And that picture of Whelan is one of my favourites too and, like you, it reminds me of Tia every time I see it!
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Old Jun 16 2008, 04:34 PM   #13
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

It's a lovely portrait of Whelan's daughter, but Tia?

Tia's carefully described as elfin with DARK hair and blue eyes.
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Old Jun 16 2008, 04:49 PM   #14
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang



It's the idea, P'ter, the idea of the little girl playing alongside the dig her parents were so busy with
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Old Jun 16 2008, 10:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

Yes, thanks Hans. Sorry for any confusion P'ter.
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Old Jun 16 2008, 10:54 PM   #16
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

*nods in agreement with Hans and Becky*
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Old Jun 21 2008, 02:09 AM   #17
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (44) - The Ship Who Sang

Very nice addition to your original *The Ship Who Sang* Highlight Becky...I have always figured that the title was a simple misprint in the magazine, although that didn't stop me from looking for a new story that I hadn't read...glad to know the truth about it now. I really enjoyed this highlight...as I do any attention or information about Anne's *Ship* stories.

P.S. I have a copy of that painting from Whelan's site...I have aslo always seen Tia sitting there with her own little dig. I also love this story very much, as I do all of them.
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