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(Companion thread) All the different omnibusi

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  • (Companion thread) All the different omnibusi

    This is a companion to my previous thread, which asked about the reading order of Elric. This asks in general about the Eternal Champion omnibus editions. I realized that perhaps Elric isn't all that I would be interested in by this guy, and that I might not even need to start with Elric.

    I have discovered that there are two massive omnibus series of his work, one for US and one for UK.

    According to the Multiverse wiki, the US (White Wolf) one is both out of print and also the most definitive-awesome-best-text-least-typos-with-a-new-introduction version ever. Damn it.

    Should I seek these out? Apparently the UK versions were published in Mass Market paperback, maybe they would be easier to find... are they "good enough"? Or are the US, corrected versions just plain better?

    Or rather than obsessively try to get it all in omnibus format, should I just say screw it, and start buying the $2 paperbacks from the 70's at my local used bookstore? (There's something about omnibuses that I love, though.)

  • #2
    I think you should go and get what you can right away and start reading it today.

    Comment


    • #3
      Supposedly, the trade paperback editions of the White Wolf books are the most definitive text, because they could incorporate corrections from both the UK Millennium editions and the WW hardcovers.

      I agree that you should just get your hands on whatever's out there and read.

      I like both the internal chronology order of the White Wolf/Millennium (and individual paperbacks that preceded them) and the order of the Del Rey series, but I think the Del Rey series is really more appropriate for the longtime fan.

      That having been said, I think the novel Elric of Melnibone is one of the weaker parts of the series (though still excellent), so if you can't get into it, don't be discouraged, skip ahead to maybe "The Dreaming City" and continue from there.

      Your mileage may vary.

      Comment


      • #4
        Yeah. The more I think of it, the better than sounds. I'm pretty sure the bookstore has almost the complete Elric saga.

        So lets say that's what I'm going with (and hey, they're TWO BUCKS. If someday, I see the cool omnibuses on sale, I can get them. But for now, I think this is fine.):
        I assume Elric is a good starting place? Is he one of Moorcocks earliest characters or storylines? (Not that that matters, as long as it's not in the middle of some continuity or something.)

        Thank you.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Gibush View Post
          I assume Elric is a good starting place? Is he one of Moorcocks earliest characters or storylines? (Not that that matters, as long as it's not in the middle of some continuity or something.)

          Thank you.
          Yes. Elric is where most readers in North America I know seem to have started with Moorcock. In the UK, the Dancers trilogy and Jerry Cornelius seem to be more popular; others may of course feel free to correct me if this is not their experience.

          Nothing would be lost by starting with Hawkmoon or Corum either, if Sword and Sorcery is specifically what you're after.

          If you do get into Hawkmoon, just be aware that the Count Brass books are also about Dorian Hawkmoon.

          $2 a copy for individual paperbacks is hard to argue with. Here in NZ it's very easy to come by the UK omnis for very little money, so I have done that; I also have about 2/3 of the US White Wolf hardcovers in first eds, and a couple of book club editions.

          If you're having trouble finding reasonable rates on shipping, have a look at The Book Depository.

          Comment


          • #6
            According to John Davey - who should know, because he edited the Eternal Champion omnibuses - the UK mass-market paperbacks are the slightly most definitive versions of the text because they picked up some of the errors that crept into the White Wolf volumes. They're also probably the most easy to get hold of since some of them are still in print. (That said, all the omnibuses are getting on a bit and the days of high quality, dirt cheap editions (as opposed to high quality, high cost or poor quality dirt cheap editions) are probably behind us.)

            If you do decide to go down the WW omnibus path however, bear in mind a) the hardcovers apparently had some manufacturing problems - people have mentioned the pigment on the boards coming off on fingers - and b) the final three WW omnibuses* were never published in trade paperback editions and consequently the respective hardcovers go for silly money.

            *Legends from the End of Time, Earl Aubec and Other Stories, and Count Brass.
            _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
            _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
            _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
            _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Gibush View Post
              I assume Elric is a good starting place? Is he one of Moorcocks earliest characters or storylines? (Not that that matters, as long as it's not in the middle of some continuity or something.)
              Elric is 50 years old this year, which if it doesn't quite make him the earliest of Mike's Eternal Champions - Erekosë pre-dates him by a few years in conception - still makes him one of the oldest.

              Roofdrak mentioned skipping ahead to 'The Dreaming City' if you couldn't get into Elric of Melniboné and it's perhaps worth mentioning that a) it's the very first Elric story ever published and b) it does start in medias res, that is, in the middle of the story. In other words, I wouldn't worry too much about continuity.

              Originally posted by Roofdrak View Post
              If you do get into Hawkmoon, just be aware that the Count Brass books are also about Dorian Hawkmoon.
              I will just say it's probably helpful if you've at least read the first two Erekosë novels - The Eternal Champion and Phoenix in Obsidian* - and both Corum trilogies before you read the Count Brass trilogy, or at least the final two volumes - The Champion of Garathorm and The Quest for Tanelorn - because they tie in with both Erekosë and Corum. (The first volume in the trilogy - Castle Brass - is more of a straight-forward sequel to the Hawkmoon quartet, although by the end it does expand the world of Hawkmoon out into the Multiverse preparing the ground for the next volumes.)

              *sometimes The Silver Warriors in the US
              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

              Comment


              • #8
                I should also point out that the WW omnibus editions do not include The New Nature of the Catastrophe that the UK editions do, so JC is not part of the internal chronology of the poorly manufactured set. (sorry for the additional editorial about their production quality )

                Having said that, my biggest problem with either set of the omnibus editions is that their internal chronologies leave out the what I see as more complete resolutions in the trilogies concluded by The White Wolf's Son and The War Amongst the Angels, respectively. Or the Multiverse comic, for that matter...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                  According to John Davey - who should know, because he edited the Eternal Champion omnibuses - the UK mass-market paperbacks are the slightly most definitive versions of the text because they picked up some of the errors that crept into the White Wolf volumes. They're also probably the most easy to get hold of since some of them are still in print. (That said, all the omnibuses are getting on a bit and the days of high quality, dirt cheap editions (as opposed to high quality, high cost or poor quality dirt cheap editions) are probably behind us.)

                  If you do decide to go down the WW omnibus path however, bear in mind a) the hardcovers apparently had some manufacturing problems - people have mentioned the pigment on the boards coming off on fingers - and b) the final three WW omnibuses* were never published in trade paperback editions and consequently the respective hardcovers go for silly money.

                  *Legends from the End of Time, Earl Aubec and Other Stories, and Count Brass.

                  Oh, I had no idea the definitive versions...or do you mean more definitive than the UK hardcovers, but less definitive than the WW trades? The Multiverse Wiki didn't mentioned the Mass Markets.

                  Secondly, I just saw a comment about "Jayde Design" on the website. Is he only for rare or collectible books, or does he sell omnibuses? I think I might email him for a catalogue... Are his prices/shipping reasonable?

                  EDIT: Excellent - I just found on the Awesomebooks website - they're from the UK but shipping to Canada is only $1.53! - Elric of Melnibone (The Tale of The Eternal Champion) For a total of $5 and change (includes shipping), and it's in "Good" condition. That's actually slightly cheaper than buying the first 3 ACE books at the bookstore (assuming they're all 2 dollars, and that this omnibus is the first 3-in-1.

                  DOUBLE EDIT: There is more confusion abroad. I just realized that you mentioned the UK omnibuses were re-done in Mass Market paperbacks. That usually means small or like a "regular" paperback, right? Let me get my measuring tape from betwixt my keychain - about seven inches high (or about eighteen centimeters) and about four and a quarter (or about 11 centimeters) wide?

                  Confusion: I saw a picture of Elric of Melnibone (Eternal Champion UK edition) on eBay and it was the size of a big, trade edition. How can I tell from the cover? The Awesomebooks entry for $5 lists the book as "Paperback" (doesn't say Trade or Mass Market) and the page count as 704. As does Amazon.com. Perhaps I should check Amazon.co.uk?
                  Obviously, I would rather have the Mass Market as it would surely be cheaper, and as you said - the better text.

                  Thanks everyone and sorry for the many long winded and obsessive posts.

                  EDIT THE THIRD: More information on the book. It says the publication date is 2001. Would that be the trade or mass-market? One site says it's Orion, one says Gollancz.
                  Last edited by Gibush; 09-19-2011, 09:33 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hoo boy, it's clear like mud, isn't it?

                    Okay, taking your points in order:

                    1. I mean more definitive than the WW editions. John Davey says: "Generally, speaking, the White Wolf editions have the more definitive texts, having (in most instances) received an additional and thorough copy-edit. The W.W. trade-sized paperbacks are also very slightly more definitive than the hardcovers, having allowed correction of anything erroneous occurring first time 'round. (This is only approaching substantial in 'Hawkmoon', where the hardcover had a few layout problems.) Also, the 'Stormbringer' novel, in 'Elric: The Stealer Of Souls', was fairly substantially worked on, to ensure inclusion of the best of all previous versions." However, I understand that the mass-market paperbacks benefited from the WW hardcovers (if not the WW trade paperbacks) and since the WW trade paperback series is (forever) incomplete would be my preferred choice for a full set.

                    2. John sells Moorcock books of all rarities - assuming he has them in stock - not just the rare or collectible kind (although he obviously does those as well). Requesting a catalogue is probably your best bet and he can give you some idea of shipping to Canada at the same time I should think.

                    3. UK Mass-market paperbacks are the small paperback size books, that would fit in your pocket if they weren't so thick. (So, same proportions as the Ace paperbacks you've seen but thicker.) Don't have my ruler to hand at present but I assume you know what I mean.

                    4. Covers:

                    These are the covers of the UK hardcover/trade paperback omnibuses:


                    (There's some extra cover blurb on the trade pbks but essentially if they look like the above, they're the big books.)

                    These are the UK mass-market paperbacks:

                    Look nice, don't they?

                    These are the US hardcover omnibuses:

                    Visually there's no discernible difference between the US hardcover and trade paperback omnibuses, so there's no much point showing you the trade covers, but if you're curious you can see them here.

                    If it helps, you can see my collection of the UK trade pbks in this picture:

                    (As you can see, I've merged the two series into one but that's just me.)

                    These are (some of) the mass-market paperbacks (vols. 12-15 obscured):


                    What you can (just) see is that the trades were all published by Millennium (the 'ant' logo) while the mass-markets were originally published by Millennium (vols 1-4 & 15) and Orion (vols 5-14) (the 'dog' logo). In due course however, later printings of the mass-markets were published by Gollancz (with a 'star' logo). Millennium/Orion/Gollancz are all the same publisher just different imprints. Any omnibus published by Gollancz will be the most recent edition but textually identical to the earlier mmpbks.

                    Does that make things clearer or are they just as muddy?
                    Last edited by David Mosley; 09-19-2011, 10:35 AM. Reason: replaced images
                    _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                    _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                    _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                    _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Actually, that helped a lot. The ones I've found are definitely the Mass Market ones. (Nice collection by the way! I have book lust when I see such a nice looking shelf of books.)

                      So I think I will order the Elric volume for the $5 or whatever it is, and hope it's in decent shape (I have had good luck buying from Awesomebooks before, through eBay.)

                      If I like that, the second Elric one (being out of print) seems harder to find, but I'll think of something when the time comes.

                      Would it be worth "bothering" the Jayde Design guy? Do you (or anyone here reading this) have any idea of his general prices or shipping? Should I just send him an email?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gibush View Post
                        Would it be worth "bothering" the Jayde Design guy? Do you (or anyone here reading this) have any idea of his general prices or shipping? Should I just send him an email?
                        I don't think John would mind being 'bothered' by a potential customer. :) can't give you any idea of his shipping prices I'm afraid, you're best asking him that yourself. Generally John's prices reflect the market value of specific titles rather than 'cheap as chip' or 'bargain bucket' type prices but as specific editions become less common Jayde Design will often be a good source of product.
                        _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                        _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                        _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                        _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by David Mosley View Post
                          Originally posted by Gibush View Post
                          Would it be worth "bothering" the Jayde Design guy? Do you (or anyone here reading this) have any idea of his general prices or shipping? Should I just send him an email?
                          I don't think John would mind being 'bothered' by a potential customer. :) can't give you any idea of his shipping prices I'm afraid, you're best asking him that yourself. Generally John's prices reflect the market value of specific titles rather than 'cheap as chip' or 'bargain bucket' type prices but as specific editions become less common Jayde Design will often be a good source of product.
                          Thanks. I've emailed him.

                          Lastly, and please tell me if this is pushing it, or infringing on your (very helpful and gracious) help:
                          I did a forum search and found others asking very similar questions to myself, and happened upon the information that, perhaps, as recent as 2011, you, David Mosley, might be selling certain books? Is this true? I feel a bit guilty bringing it up, as you did not yourself. (Sorry about that.) Like I said above, I don't want to make a nuisance of myself on this very welcoming forum.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Gibush View Post
                            Like I said above, I don't want to make a nuisance of myself on this very welcoming forum.
                            Obviously I can only speak for myself, but it does not seem to me that you are making a nuisance of yourself. I have found your enquiries interesting, and the responses to them enlightening. Moreover, posting stuff is what a forum is about - if people don't post there is no forum.

                            Like you, I have found this place to be very welcoming.
                            "Never get so attached to a poem
                            you forget truth that lacks lyricism"
                            Joanna Newsom

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gibush View Post
                              Like I said above, I don't want to make a nuisance of myself on this very welcoming forum.
                              I'd agree with Brewster - I'd say trying to get to grips with the complexities of Mike's bibliography is a very legitimate use of the Miscellany!

                              Comment

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