Saturday, December 17, 2005
The Einstein Intersection
It can sometimes be difficult telling which is the first edition of some early SF books. Unlike most mainstream books, many SF books were first published in paperback and, during the 1960s in the reign of Ace Books this is made even more difficult by the fact that they employed a tortuous and seemingly ever-changing numbering system which started off as a letter followed by numbers (a system which was roughly predicated on the cover price of the book) and then moved into an even more complicated system of numbering towards the end of the sixties. I am forever seeing copies of The Einstein Instersection by Samuel R Delany wrongly advertised as a first edition. The correct first edition had a red minotaur figure on the cover (designed by Jack Gaughan) and the mainly white cover with an orange minotaur's head is a later printing. This is confirmed by the price difference between the two. The mainly white cover printing includes inside the claim that Gaughan also did that cover although it has been suggested to be that this might simply have been laziness on Ace Books' part in not changing the attribution - as, for example, the words 'first book publication' often appear on later editions of Ace Books simply because no one took them out after the first printing. If anyone who surfs this way has more information on who really did the white cover I'd love to hear about it.