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Elric Books Reprinting in US

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  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    I think London Bone has been out of print for some years now. Mother London and King of the City are still available as far as I can tell, as they tend to get mentioned in most literary round-ups of books about/set in the city - British newspaper and book editors (and bookshops) regularly run 'London Books' lists and promotions and tere are of couse literary/cultural guides tio London appearing every now and again in book form. They just haven't caught up with London Bone yet.

    Considering the British reading public's general antipathy to short stories though, the book could stay OP, unfortunately.

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  • Pietro_Mercurios
    replied
    Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
    Just to rub salt into the wound, there's been a spate of new French editions of Mike's books in the last few years.

    ... .... ... ...

    I have a credit note for a local bookshop (a book for my daughter I had to swap for, 'How to dump a Prince', at another shop), so I tried to order a copy of 'London Bone' last week, only to discover it's apparently in line to be reprinted and therefore not presently available.

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  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    Thanks for the hyperlink, David. It's an interesting thread. The cover design issue aside, I think that Gollancz' failure to reprint the Elric series completely (not to mention Corum, Bastable etc) - thus enabling new readers who might like a 'linear plot' approach - remains the basic problem.

    Will post in the other thread where appropriate from now on.

    Leave a comment:


  • David Mosley
    replied
    Just to rub salt into the wound, there's been a spate of new French editions of Mike's books in the last few years.



    Last edited by David Mosley; 02-02-2009, 02:07 PM.

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  • David Mosley
    replied
    There's a thread on the 'white' Elric here, Stephen. In brief, Gollancz thought it would be a good idea to retitle the Elric Fantasy Masterworks edition as Elric of Melniboné despite there already being one novel and one omnibus with that title already. They didn't think it might be an idea to check with the author first and it was largely thanks to the sterling efforts of our own Guy Lawley in bringing this to Mike's attention that Gollancz was eventually persuaded to the the title alone.

    Guy's corresponded with Jo Fletcher at Gollancz touches upon the multiple editions of the same title thing that you mentioned (bizarrely as a defence for renaming the Elric collection).

    The thread also contains some fun alternative covers to Mike's books by members of this forum.
    Last edited by David Mosley; 02-02-2009, 01:53 PM.

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  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    sorry, duplicate post !
    Last edited by Stephen_E_Andrews; 02-02-2009, 11:14 PM.

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  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    My theory -I usually have one for most things once I start actually thinking about things - is that they are hanging on in the hope that when the Elric film finally appears, Gollancz will be able to reissue all the core Eternal Champion series and make lots of money off the increased sales that will inevitably result from a film release. I rekcon they are sitting on the OP titles hoping for this scenario to transpire.

    Recently, they reissued the Fantasy Masterworks Elric selection in a white jacket livery, along with some of the other classic fantasy previous released in masterworks - The Broken Sword, Lyonesse, Amber. They've done similar things with a limited number of SF and Horror titles (the former in paperbacks with bevelled edges and minimalist design to attract general readers, and the latter in black jackets). But they focus on the same old books with these repackages, meaning you get two simultaneously available editions of (for example) The Dispossessed and I Am Legend - one in masterworks and one in the alternative livery. Other books remain neglected and left OP on their list - such as the Corum novels.

    I hope you and your agent can sort them out - best of luck.

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    Thanks, Steve. Your letter is about the best breakdown of the situation I've had. I needed something like this to begin an attempt to get the rights of the books back.
    Who knows, maybe we WILL see those Roberts covers on some hardbacks again! Sales of new editions of books have been very good in the US at what's considered a bad situation, same in France, so I'm pretty sure the same could be true of the UK. Mostly, the problem has been M. Edwards's refusal to answer any of my correspondence. I really have nothing but contempt for him.

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  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    Looking on Amazon.co.uk - and based on my own behind-the-counter experience - I can confirm that with a few exceptions, the Orion Eternal Champion sequence has been out of print for many years, with the possible exceptions of Von Bek and Elric, which I believe have been reprinted a few times due to sales demand. It's been many years since all of the series was in print, and few of them have been repackaged as Fantasy Masterworks (apart from Hawkmoon, Dancers and a selection of Elric stories). I'm sure you know all this, but the biggest problem for UK booksellers with your work for many years now has been patchy availability. I have to say that back when Grafton owned the rights to the core Eternal Champion series (Hawkmoon, Elric, Corum, Erekose, Bastable, Dancers), the books were easy for UK readers to find and easy for booksellers to stock and sell, as they stayed in print.

    Speaking as a bookseller, I've never been happy with the Orion editions in terms of availability (except at the very beginning back in 1993) and Orion/Gollancz' failure to present the books in a uniform manner by keeping them in print is an enormous commercial failure on their part. Normally, I'm full of praise for Gollancz, as they are now the only major UK house showing full support for backlist titles in SF and Fantasy (HarperCollins have concentrated almost entirely and increasingly on new Fantasy, publishing little new SF after Jane Johnson had been on the case for a few years and dropping backlist titles, and Orbit are almost as bad in this respect).

    As they have the original hardcover rights to so much superb international SF and Fantasy, Gollancz now have a near-monopoly on backlist paperback reissues. Younger readers now look at the Fantasy and SF Masterworks series as the gold standard. I have always been baffled as to why they don't release more of your titles from the original 14 volume sequence in Masterworks livery. Apart from the exceptions mentioned above (and Behold The Man), I can't understand why any commercially-minded publisher would let Corum, The New Nature of the Catastrophe, Bastable and singletons like The Black Corridor languish out of print. Your books have a consistent, proven sales record for decades and Gollancz have dropped the ball. It makes me angry when I can't turn to young and new readers of Fantasy when I'm behind the counter, easily pick a pile of your books off the shelves and say 'Read these!'.

    I really hope you can reacquire the rights for the UK one day and place them with a publisher who recognises what a valuable property your core works are- it would be great to see your ouevre filling shelves again in the way Terry Pratchett's does, instead of being represented by a handful of titles. Not only that, we booksellers would have some proper Sword and Sorcery to point devotees too.

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  • Michael Moorcock
    replied
    I didn't know the Elric books sandf others were OP in the UK. If so, I could do something about it. Orion/VG have had a stranglehold on publication for many years now and it's been very hard to deal with them -- in fact they won't deal with me most of the time. When he came to Orion Malcolm Edwards promised to sort things out. Instead he merely continued with what is essentially a very crooked policy of exploiting a loophole in a contract made between my old agent and Anthony Cheetham of Orion. The contract was iffy and I'd asked for an amendment letter clarifying certain issues., This was promised. I signed the contract, and then the amendment never materialised. Later agents have been defeated by the contractual complications. It means that for the first time (i.e. the last ten years or so) I have had no control over my own work. I find this Orion's behaviour contemptible, since they won't keep books in print and won't release them (the contract allows them to cross account on books that haven't sold as well as others). Edwards promised many things when he first took over and has proved himself weak and devious. But there it is.

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  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    Selling MMs books was always a joy for me when most of his backlist was in print in the UK, despite the Elric of Melnibone issue. I think I'd like to see omnibus editions of what I always think of as 'the big four (Elric, Corum, Hawkmoon, Erekose) back in print in Britain as this was a good way to pakcage and market them - although length is no indicator of quality as regards most Genre Fantasy, the fact is that for most readers under 35, 'Fantasy' means Very Big Books. So to be competitive and satisfy expectation while converting readers to high quality Fantasy writing, I think omnibus editions are the most attractive to novices, who think they're buying one big novel. It worked for Tolkien in the USA, as the individual volumes didn't do so well originally - it was the omnibuses that really took off mid-sixties over there.

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  • David Mosley
    replied
    Originally posted by Stephen_E_Andrews View Post
    ...back in the mid eighties young fans were going nuts because they couldn't get Elric of Melnibone. Granada/Grafton were publishing all the other Elric books, so if one wanted to read them in order of internal chronology, you had to start with Sailor on the Seas of Fate.

    <snip>

    Then Arrow reissued Melnibone and kept it in print for about a year and my life was a lot easier. Soon afterward Grafton finally got rights to it and for another year everything was plain sailing.
    I remember that period well. The Great Melniboné Famine of '82.

    My mates and I used to badger the shop assistants at Hammicks in Harrow on a monthly basis to see whether Elric was coming back into print. Great was our rejoicing when one day when she announced "Computer says 'Yes'".

    We used to see these lists in the front of the Grafton/Granada paperbacks with titles like The Deep Fix, The LSD Dossier and The Swords of Heaven, The Flowers of Hell and wonder what secrets those 'lost' stories held, little thinking that we would ever get to hold them let alone read them.
    Last edited by David Mosley; 01-26-2009, 04:41 AM.

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  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    Originally posted by The Bishop Swine View Post
    I would love to see a real nice edition done in buckskin, after all these "works" are part of our Tradition, a legacy. I am way to engrossed in my own vision to digest every letter of every book but I have read a fair few. Maybe somebody like Brock could cut a deal to get a "nice edition". Short of the original paperbacks a high quality library in bound leather with lovely tooling, is likely to be seen by many of a certain age, a "great investment". I believe that you are as important in your own way as William himself.


    I love full leather bindings, but they are really expensive to produce and therefore at retail would be pretty pricey, which is why you don't see them very much. Easton Press ( a subscription based bookclub in the USA) has done some nice classic SF and Fantasy in full leather and on abebooks you can usually pick them up for between £20-£50, excepting signed copies).

    Mike once signed a couple of skivertex-bound slipcased copies of Elric of Melnibone and The Vanishing Tower for me (skivertex is a kind of synthetic, smelly faux-leather). Nice books, nonetheless. Does Mike's work deserve fine binding? Of course! But it's tough to get publishers to even shell out for cloth these days. Instead we get grubby boards and bad paper.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    Originally posted by The Bishop Swine View Post
    I would love to see a real nice edition done in buckskin, after all these "works" are part of our Tradition, a legacy. I am way to engrossed in my own vision to digest every letter of every book but I have read a fair few. Maybe somebody like Brock could cut a deal to get a "nice edition". Short of the original paperbacks a high quality library in bound leather with lovely tooling, is likely to be seen by many of a certain age, a "great investment". I believe that you are as important in your own way as William himself.


    I love full leather bindings, but they are really expensive to produce and therefore at retail would be pretty pricey, which is why you don't see them very much. Easton Press ( a subscription based bookclub in the USA) has done some nice classic SF and Fantasy in full leather and on abebooks you can usually pick them up for between £20-£50, excepting signed copies).

    Mike once signed a couple of skivertex-bound slipcased copies of Elric of Melnibone and The Vanishing Tower for me (skivertex is a kind of synthetic, smelly faux-leather). Nice books, nonetheless. Does Mike's work deserve fine binding? Of course! But it's tough to get publishers to even shell out for cloth these days. Instead we get grubby boards and bad paper.

    Leave a comment:


  • Stephen_E_Andrews
    replied
    Originally posted by The Bishop Swine View Post
    I would love to see a real nice edition done in buckskin, after all these "works" are part of our Tradition, a legacy. I am way to engrossed in my own vision to digest every letter of every book but I have read a fair few. Maybe somebody like Brock could cut a deal to get a "nice edition". Short of the original paperbacks a high quality library in bound leather with lovely tooling, is likely to be seen by many of a certain age, a "great investment". I believe that you are as important in your own way as William himself.
    I love full leather bindings, but they are really expensive to produce and therefore at retail would be pretty pricey, which is why you don't see them very much. Easton Press ( a subscription based bookclub in the USA) has done some nice classic SF and Fantasy in full leather and on abebooks you can usually pick them up for between £20-£50, excepting signed copies).

    Mike once signed a couple of skivertex-bound slipcased copies of Elric of Melnibone and The Vanishing Tower for me (skivertex is a kind of synthetic, smelly faux-leather). Nice books, nonetheless. Does Mike's work deserve fine binding? Of course! But it's tough to get publishers to even shell out for cloth these days. Instead we get grubby boards and bad paper.

    Leave a comment:

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