Newsletter – 30th Oct 98

(This should have gone out yesterday just before the copies were sent to the discussion groups but a software problem meant the server didn’t appear to accept them. I don’t think there’ll be duplicates but apologies if there are any.)

Greeting from a cold wet and stormy Scotland – whatever happened to “mists and mellow fruitfulness” in the Autumn?

Didn’t expect to be doing another newsletter quite so soon but have just had word of a number of new editions of various books that you’ll be interested in.

The UK ones first of all:

Caprice and Rondo is coming out in Penguin paperback on the 3rd December – ISBN 0140252304 Price UKP 7.99
I’ve been trying to find out from the editor whether it will match the first 5 in the series or the odd-one-out TLWL but no luck getting hold of her as yet.

The Lymond Chronicles are also coming out in Penguin paperback – starting with Ringed Castle on 28th January 99 (014027989X UKP 7.99) This is probably because the trade paperback of RC is out of print and they wanted to get a replacement available. The rest of the schedule reverts to the correct order with Game of Kings (0140282394 UKP 7.99) and Queens’ Play (0140282408 UKP 7.99) coming next at the end of February, and Disorderly Knights (0140282459 UKP 7.99) at the end of March. Incidently the trade paperback of Checkmate is also now out of print but there are still a fair number of copies around of it.

Moving to the US:

The rumoured Vintage paperback editions of Niccolo seems to be confirmed now. Niccolo Rising and Spring of the Ram are both scheduled for May 99 according to US Books in Print. There is also a suspicious entry for Race of Scorpions for February 99 but I’d be very surprised if that is true as it wouldn’t make sense to bring out the 3rd volume ahead of the first two like that. Maybe it’s really Feb 2000 and they’ve been hit by the millenium bug 😉 I’ll try and find out more although it’s never easy getting info from the US side. If anyone has any contacts at Random House you could maybe do some digging and let me know what turns up.

Some strange anomalies in Books in Print

It’s amazing how often databases get mixed up and often generate strange rumours. This month’s Books in Print on both sides of the Atlantic had me doing some chasing around in the last couple of days. In the British version I first noticed that the entries for the old Arrow editions of Lymond finally had Out of Print against them (only a few years late!!) – good I thought, we’re making progress at last. Then I noticed that the dates against the prices quoted on their old editions of Moroccan Traffic and Tropical Issue – which have also remained listed – had been updated to 9/98. Since they’ve been unavailable for a couple of years that didn’t make sense so I had to phone them up and confirm that they really hadn’t reprinted them and they had no plans to. I’m still not sure if they even still have the rights to the JJ series or whether they have reverted to Dorothy herself. I plan to ask her next time I’m in touch as it will be important as regards who, if anyone, publishes the final JJ that she plans to write after Niccolo 8 is finished. I don’t think Michael Joseph have picked up the rights but they may have an option to do so.

I also solved a puzzle that one of the discussion group members spotted recently when she noticed that Amazon were advertizing an untitled Dunnett “Novella” due out in 1999. I managed to trace that to Arrow/Hutchinson as well and phoned them again. Puzzled sounds from the other end of the line as the girl tried to work out how to pronounce novella and then how a hardback could be 6.99 and then finally turned up the fact that the title had been cancelled. I suspect that this may have been an old entry in the Arrow schedule that was long ago intended for a JJ book but was dumped when Dorothy moved her historical fiction titles to Michael Joseph.
Oh yes, if you want another good laugh at daft data look up Amazon again and you’ll find an entry for a 1994 hardback Unicorn Hunt marked “not yet published”! You’ll also notice that according to them Judith Wilt co-authored Caprice and Rondo!

Other strange goings on in British Books in Print – the hardbacks of Niccolo Rising and To Lie with Lions, which haven’t been available for quite some time, suddenly made a reappearance as being supposedly in print. Complete rubbish of course as a call to Michael Joseph soon confirmed.

Just to prove that they weren’t to be left out, US Books in Print have suddenly got a listing for a trade cloth edition of Send a Fax to the Kasbah (spelled Kashbah) published by Harcourt Brace in 1992. Strangely enough they don’t quote a price!! 😉

However I think we may have solved the mystery of the Amereon and Buccaneer editions that very few people could ever find in the US. A couple of their editions now have the Bowker Class “Large Type Books” against them, so they may in fact be Large Print editions for people with impaired eyesight – or it could be just Books in Print talking nonsense again! 😉

So, as I said to someone on one of the lists recently – trust our Dunnett web pages rather than anyone else’s search system – at least they’ve had human intervention in their creation 😉

On the subject of the web pages, with all the work on the search engine I’ve been forced over the last few months to neglect the Dunnett pages a little compared to the previous continual updates and new features, and of course as they’ve grown it’s become harder to drop in revisions without rewriting half the text. I also wasn’t sure what to do about including a tribute to Alastair. I’ve just added all the news mentioned above and rearranged things a little, but they really need a complete redesign. So if you see some odd changes back and forth in the next few weeks it’ll probably be me experimenting with different layouts. I still try to keep them as accessible to all browsers as possible, but it’s getting harder to do that and still have any sort of modern look and feel to them. If you’ve any strong views on this let me know.
Recently quite a few of you have been talking about Patrick O’Brien – the historical nautical writer, so I’m planning to put up a page about his books shortly. A complete rewrite of the Science Fiction pages is also long overdue. Looks like I’m going to be busy for a while longer!

Between work and the beginning of the chess season I haven’t been able to read any more of Spring of the Ram since the last newsletter so no “Confession of a Dunnett Reader” this time.

One more item that some of you may be interested in. Bob Gordon has asked me if we would be able to carry his calendar – The Book of Fictional Days – for 1999. This is a ring-bound book-style calendar which “records when things that did not happen occurred”. He’s collected the identifiable dates from a great many fictional books and films and songs and made them into a literary calendar. Naturally there are some entries from our favourite author. Would any of you be interested in this? If you would, get back to me and I’ll get in touch with Bob about taking some.

best wishes to you all


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