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Elric: The Dreaming City; Lancer and Magnum books

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  • Elric: The Dreaming City; Lancer and Magnum books

    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 |I’ve seen this same edition on eBay.

    At the top of the front cover it says “A Lancer Science Fiction Original�. At the bottom right it says “Never before published.�

    My copy has the identical cover design and blurb, except it says “A Magnum Science Fiction Original.� It also says “Never before published.� (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 – the Magnum edition.
    [link expired]
    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?

    We’d both like to know more.

  • #2
    A bit more info from Science Fiction Collector. Prestige books seems to have had some involvement by the ex-president of Lancer. 'Prestige also published many books formerly published by Lancer... and this caused some hard feelings on the part of the authors', it says. As I mentioned to Guy there was another imprint associated with Lancer called Lodestone. Both Lodestone and Magnum books seem to have been sold in general US discount stores rather than bookstores. The Lancer edition of Dreaming City is definitely the first issue of the retitled/re-edited version of Elric Of Melnibone.
    'You know, I can't keep up with you. If I hadn't met you in person, I quite honestly would NOT believe you really existed. I just COULDN'T. You do so MUCH... if half of what goes into your zines is to be believed, you've read more at the age of 17 than I have at the age of 32 - LOTS more'

    Archie Mercer to Mike (Burroughsania letters page, 1957)

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    • #3
      Hi!

      As far as I know, the Lodestone and Magnum editions are generally thought of as pirated (or certainly unauthorised) editions, both were definitely after their Lancer counterparts -- 'Jewel...' 1967/'72; 'Dreaming...' 1972/'75 -- and 'Dreaming...' (in any edition) is apparently cut, although I've never compared editions.

      Best,


      John.

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      • #4
        That's right, John. Lancer went bankrupt but then one of the founders brought out those editions without paying anyone. Their bankruptcy tied up my books for a while, which is why there's a gap in publication until DAW started doing them. It meant I got no money, but the ex-Lancer guy made some illegally. Too hard to track down.

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        • #5
          Thanks, as ever, for that, John and Mike.

          So, Lancer was an important part of the Moorcock story; Lancer sold a fair few Elrics and Kanes; Hawkmoon was commissioned by Lancer; just maybe there wouldn't have been Corum without the success of Hawkmoon (?)...

          ... but Lancer went bankrupt and at least one of its people did some dodgy dealing with Moorock and other books.

          So it goes, as Kurt V might put it.

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