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Thursday, 15 February 2007
EXPENSIVE SF & F genre books
Mood:  incredulous
Now Playing: The Venture Brothers
Topic: Literary Survey

AbeBooks' sends me a genre related email list every once in a while.  I was amused at this recent topic.  Here are the top prices paid for SF & F books in 2006.

* Book images are not of those that actually sold.

1. 1984

George Orwell

First edition, first impression of this 1949 dystopian classic. There were two versions of the dustjacket issued, one green and one red. There is no priority between them. Copies in this condition are deeply uncommon. The jacket has a nick or two at the odd corner and a trace of rub but is one of the best copies. Sold for $8,258.40

2. (tied) Neuromancer (2), Count Zero, Mona Lisa Overdrive

William Gibson

Three first edition Gollancz hard covers and one Ace paperback of Neuromancer. The Gollancz copies are in fine, unread condition in fine unclipped dust jackets, and all are signed by Gibson. Sold for $7,500

2. (tied) The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger

Stephen King

First edition. One of 500 numbered copies signed by King and artist Michael Whelan. This copy, #97, sold for $7,500


4. (tied) I, Robot

Issac Asimov

A very fine copy with a very fine dust jacket of this 1950s collection of short stories. Review slip laid in. Sold for $4,500


4. (tied) The Healer's War

Elizabeth Scarborough

Signed original manuscript with corrections by the author and notations by the copy editor. The 1989 Nebula award winner for best novel, this draft was written in the third person. The author abandoned this method of writing when she found that it removed her too far from her characters. The later drafts are all written in first person. Sold for $4,500

6. Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

Very good to near fine example of this 1932 dystopian novel. The true first edition, preceding the American in original yellow cloth with blue gilt-lettered spine label. Sold for $4,025

7. The Ship That Sailed to Mars

William Timlin

First edition of this 1923 novel about a group of dwarves and elves who join together to build a ship and go to Mars. Includes forty-eight mounted color plates and forty-eight mounted pages of calligraphy-like printed text, both by Timlin, on gray background paper. Sold for $3,995

8. Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang

Kate Wilhelm

Near fine original manuscript package of this 1976 Hugo award winning novel. Contains: Original ribbon copy and carbon-copy typescript, final draft, setting copy. Signed with a few corrections in authors hand. Also containing file folder with maps, charts, diagrams, rewritten section and correspondence, all pertaining to the novel. Sold for $3,975


9. Brave New World

Aldous Huxley

First edition. Limited issue; one of 324 numbered and signed copies. Sold for $3,250

10. The Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkien

This second impression published 1937, same year as the first. It is important for the addition of the 4 color illustrations by the author. This is the first and only early UK edition published with four of Tolkien's color illustrations. One of only 1877 copies of the original 2300 that survived the bombing of London in November 1940. Sold for $3,000

No huge surprises here; except for the Kate Wilhelm and Elizabeth Scarborough.  I well recall the buzz created when THE DARK TOWER was new; those limited edition copies were snapped up quickly and they only rarely resurface.  The other books on the list are a mixed bag; I'd never pay that much for 1st ed. Gibson, but that's me.  I just don't want it that badly.

Posted by mrnizz at 2:13 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 15 February 2007 2:18 PM EST
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