Aral Vilsn and I have been discussing the first editions of The Runestaff series
(Lancer paperbacks, late 60s) and this led on to The Dreaming City
, the Lancer paperback first US edition of Elric Of Melnibone.
Aral has a copy published by Lancer, and |Iâ€™ve seen this same edition on eBay.
At the top of the front cover it says â€œA Lancer Science Fiction Originalâ€?. At the bottom right it says â€œNever before published.â€?
My copy has the identical cover design and blurb, except it says â€œA Magnum Science Fiction Original.â€? It also says â€œNever before published.â€? (Exactly the same blurb as part of the same cover design.)
Inside it says it is copyright 1972, and published by Prestige Books and gives a New York address (different address from Lancer books). This is the cover seen in our own Image Gallery, BTW â€“ the Magnum edition.
Curious. And leaves me wondering which came first; which is the true first edition? (Looks like the Lancer; see below.)
Aral knows this much:
The Lancer/Magnum business is confusing. According to Science Fiction Collector, when Lancer were going bankrupt in the early 70s some of their titles were issued under different imprints (there's another, Lodestone, which printed an edition of Jewel In The Skull). The Lodestone titles were apparently never sold in bookstores, but was a special line for discount stores in the States. Similarly some of the Lancer titles were re-issued as Magnum titles. I'm not totally clear on all the ins and outs myself.
Anyone else have any more gen?
Weâ€™d both like to know more.