I cover here some ephemera related to the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. First, the boxed sets. I know of three of them.
The first is The World of Lovecraft (SBN 345-01300-X, $3.80). It contained four books, The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, The Survivor and Others, The Fungi from Yuggoth and Other Poems, and The Doom That Came to Sarnath. I understand it contains (though I don't have this set myself) the Second Printing, July 1971, of Dream-Quest; the First Printing, February 1971, of Doom; the Second Printing, February 1971, of The Survivor; and the Second Printing, February 1971, of Fungi. I suspect that the boxed set came out in July 1971, with the new printing of Dream-Quest.
The second is The Gormenghast Trilogy (SBN 345-23525-8, $3.75). This came out in September 1973, containing Fourth Printings of all three volumes.
The third is the Evangeline Walton set (SBN 345-24208-4, $6.00). This came out in November 1974, when Prince of Annwn was first published. It contains a Second Printing of The Island of the Mighty, a Second Printing of The Children of Llyr, a Third U.S. Printing of The Sword of Rhiannon, and a First Printing of Prince of Annwn, all dated November 1974. Technically, this boxed set post-dates the series proper.
Interestingly, Ballantine published three posters related to the series. These all showcase artwork by Gervasio Gallardo, but his illustrations for the Lovecraft covers are not really his best work. I have somewhat shabby copies of all three posters, and have (with difficulty) photographed them. All three were issued in the Spring of 1971, priced $2.50 each.
An another front, my copy of Excalibur by Sanders Anne Laubenthal has a review slip in it:
And finally, some of the file copies owned by Betty and Ian Ballantine were sold in the past, and my Cabellian friend Bill Lloyd (see The Silver Stallion website) sent me this scan:
Does anyone know of further Ballantine Adult Fantasy series ephemera? I'd be glad to hear of any such items.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Friday, June 1, 2018
The iconic list (or at least the starting point) for a definitive bibliography of all of the titles in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series is the one by Lin Carter which appears as “Bibliography II” in his book Imaginary Worlds, published in June 1973, itself a volume of the series. Carter lists 57 numbered volumes of the series, as published from May 1969 through May 1973. The series would officially last one further year, bringing the official total to 65 volumes.
But Carter’s list, even when extended with the further official titles, doesn’t cover outliers that, for one reason or another, seem like they should be considered as part of the series. There are three main types of potential outliers—fantasies published by Ballantine 1) before the series; 2) during the series, and 3) after the end of the series. Carter began his Bibliography in Imaginary Worlds by listing sixteen such precursors, noting “they are all books I would certainly have urged Ballantine to publish.”
I will consider these sixteen titles first, and list them here with Carter’s numbering.
1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit [published August 1965]
2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
5. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Tolkien Reader
6. E.R. Eddison, The Worm Ouroboros
7. E.R. Eddison, Mistress of Mistresses
8. E.R. Eddison, A Fish Dinner in Memison
9. J.R.R. Tolkien and Donald Swann, The Road Goes Ever On
10. Mervyn Peake, Titus Groan
11. Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast
12. Mervyn Peake, Titus Alone
13. David Lindsay, A Voyage to Arcturus
14. Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn
15. J.R.R. Tolkien. Smith of Wootton Major & Farmer Giles of Ham
16. E.R. Eddison, The Mezentian Gate [published April 1969]
The J.R.R. Tolkien books (nos. 1-5, 9 and 15) were never published under the imprint of the unicorn’s head logo, but some of the others were.
|Seventh Printing: September 1973|
Of the E.R. Eddison books (nos. 6-8, and 16), the U.S. “Seventh Printing (September 1973) of The Worm Ouroboros is the only printing of any of the titles with the unicorn’s head logo. The first U.S. printing of The Mezentian Gate, however, is marked “A Ballantine Adult Fantasy” in small print running up the spine on the upper cover (it appeared in April 1969, the month before the series proper started). All four Eddison titles were advertised and sold in their Pan/Ballantine editions as part of the Pan/Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, though they did not have the unicorn’s head logo.
|Fourth Printing: September 1973|
Mervyn Peake’s books (nos. 10-12) have the unicorn’s head logo only on two U.S. printings of each of the three books: the “Fourth Printing: September, 1973” and the “Fifth Printing: January, 1974”. The Peake titles were not published in the Pan/Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, because the U.K. rights were held by another publisher, Penguin Books, who published editions of all three books in 1968, 1969 and 1970, respectively. The Penguin editions were reprinted a number of times over the next several years.
|Second Printing: April 1973|
Two U.S. printings of David Lindsay’s A Voyage to Arcturus have the unicorn’s head logo on the cover, the “Second Printing: April, 1973 (SBN 345-03208-X) and the “Third U.S. Printing: September, 1973” (SBN 345-23208-9). The Pan/Ballantine edition of March 1972 (SBN 345-09708-4) has the unicorn’s head logo on the front cover; the second U.K. printing from 1974 (330-24057-9) has not been seen.
|Fourth Printing: October 1972|
As for Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn, the unicorn’s head logo appeared on the “Fourth Printing: October, 1972”, probably on the “Fifth Printing: February 1973” [not seen], and definitely on the “Sixth Printing: September, 1973” and “Seventh Printing: February, 1974.” Also, the phrase “A Ballantine Adult Fantasy” appears in small print running up the spine on the upper cover, on the first printing (February 1969) through the third printing (November 1970).
|First Printing: February 1969|
The Ballantine edition of Peter S. Beagle’s novel A Fine and Private Place also preceded the series proper. It came out in February 1969, but that the author was Beagle and that the cover art is by Gervasio Gallardo make it of interest to fans of the series. Also, as with The Last Unicorn and Eddison’s Mezentian Gate, the words “A Ballantine Adult Fantasy” appear in small print running up the spine on the upper cover.
|First Printing: March 1969|
Carter’s list excluded his own Tolkien: A Look Behind “The Lord of the Rings,” “First Printing: March, 1969,” which came out just before the series started. It is not usually considered to be part of the series, but it is probably of interest to most fans of the series.
|First Printing: February 1971|
H.P. Lovecraft. Fungi from Yuggoth and Other Poems. “First Printing: February, 1971”
This is a retitling of Lovecraft’s Collected Poems (1963), as edited by August Derleth and published by Arkham House. The Ballantine Adult Fantasy series published other Lovecraft title, with cover art (as here) by Gervasio Gallardo.
|Second Printing: February 1971|
H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth. The Survivor and Others. “Second Printing: February 1971” This title was first published by Arkham House in 1957, and Ballantine published a first printing in mass market paperback in August 1962. For this Second Printing, a new cover was commissioned from Gervasio Gallardo. That these stories are bylined as “by H.P. Lovecraft and August Derleth” is a fraud. They were entirely written by Derleth, who claimed them to be “posthumous collaborations” based on notes by Lovecraft, but these notes were (when discernable) minor idea fragments that barely resemble the stories Derleth wrote.
|Fourth Printing: November 1971|
Sometime, Never (“Fourth Printing: November, 1971”) was originally published by Ballantine in June 1957. It consists of three tales of “science Fantasy” by William Golding, John Wyndham, and Mervyn Peake. It was reprinted in September 1957, November 1962, and in November 1971 when it was given a new cover by Gervasio Gallardo. The classic Peake story, “Boy in Darkness,” and the Gervasio Gallardo cover make it of special interest to fans of the series.
|First Printing: November 1971|
Isidore Haiblum. The Tsaddik of the Seven Wonders. “First Printing: December, 1971”. This title is occasionally erroneously included in lists of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, but it had only one printing, and it never had the unicorn’s head logo on it. It is called by the publisher on the cover a Science Fantasy Novel. The cover art is by David McCall Johnston, who did other covers in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series proper.
|First Printing: February 1972|
Lin Carter. Lovecraft: A Look Behind the “Cthulhu Mythos.” “First Printing: February, 1972” Of Carter’s three works of nonfiction published by Ballantine, his Tolkien book preceded the Adult Fantasy series proper, and his Imaginary Worlds book was included as part of the series. Why his book on Lovecraft was not included in the series is unknown, but beside Carter’s authorship, and the subject, the cover art is by Gervasio Gallardo, and these three points make it of interest to fans of the series.
Finally, the last of the outliers come from June to November 1974, and comprise two books published after retirement of the unicorn's head logo. These were originally intended for the series before it was cancelled. The first has a Carter introduction and the second completes a set of four begun during the series proper.
|First Printing: June 1974|
H. Warner Munn. Merlin's Ring. “First Printing: June, 1974” Munn’s book was clearly intended for the series, as it has the usual Lin Carter introduction proclaiming it to be in the series, and the wraparound cover art is by Gervasio Gallardo. It is among Gallardo’s very best. There remains a small white circle on the front cover, here filled with the words “First Time in Print” but which was likely intended to house the usual unicorn’s head logo. A volume of associational interest, Merlin’s Godson by H. Warner Munn, came out as a “Ballantine Fantasy” with a gryphon logo on the cover in September 1976. It contains two prequel novellas, “King of the World’s Edge” and “The Ship from Atlantis,” originally published in 1939 and 1967 respectively.
|First Printing: November 1974|
Evangeline Walton. Prince of Annwn. “First Printing: November, 1974” This is the final volume of Walton’s reworkings of the four branches of the Mabinogion. The first three were published as part of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series proper, and doubtless the fourth volume would have been too, if the series hadn’t ended some six months earlier. And instead of an introduction by Lin Carter, Prince of Annwn has a puff piece from an article by Patrick Merla published in a November 1972 issue of The Saturday Review, that was also used to replace Carter’s introductions in the other three volumes as they had been reprinted. The cover art is by David McCall Johnston, who also did the cover art for the second and third volumes of Walton’s series.
|First Printing: July 1975|
Also of interest to readers and collectors of the series is the one-volume edition of William Morris’s The Well at the World’s End which was published in July 1975 (345244826 $2.95), and reprinted in May 1977 (now labelled a “Ballantine Fantasy Classic,” 0345272390 $2.95), which uses two panels of Gervasio Gallardo’s art from covers of the two volume edition.
Any one care to suggest other possibilities? Please do so in the comments below.
Thursday, May 10, 2018
The history of Ballantine Books publishing the works of E.R. Eddison (1882-1945) is rather complicated, especially as one delves into the Pan/Ballantine editions and Canadian printings. It involves only four books: The Worm Ouroboros (originally published in 1922), followed by the three volumes of Zimiamvia, Mistress of Mistresses (1935), A Fish Dinner in Memison (1941), and The Mezentian Gate (1958). The Ballantine Books editions of Eddison’s four novels came out in the U.S. between 1967 and 1969. Interestingly, the first edition of A Fish Dinner in Memison had been published only in the U.S., so the Pan/Ballantine edition of 1972 is the first edition of the book published in the U.K. Conversely, The Mezentian Gate, originally published only in the U.K., had its first American edition in the 1969 Ballantine paperback.
Does one consider any of the Eddison books as part of the Ballantine Adult Fantasy Series? That depends, for when the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series began officially in the U.S. in May 1969, all four Eddison volumes had already been published. Yet for The Mezentian Gate, which was published in April 1969, one month before the official start of the series, the phrase “A Ballantine Adult Fantasy” runs up the spine (in small type) near the top of the front cover, and there is an advertisement on the final page of the book for “Great Masterpieces of Adult Fantasy” which includes four of the titles soon to be published as part of the series proper. And all four of the Eddison titles are definitely part of the U.K. Pan /Ballantine Adult Fantasyseries.
Yet nearly all of these printings of Eddison do not have the unicorn’s head logo on the cover. The one exception to this is the “Seventh U.S. Printing: September, 1973” of The Worm Ouroboros (345-22001-3 $1.25), which has the unicorn’s head logo on the front cover. So whether one counts the Eddisons as part of the series really depends upon how you define the series itself.
The cover art for three of the four books was done by Barbara Remington, who did the similarly psychedelic covers for the first Ballantine editions of Tolkien’s The Hobbit and the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings. She was unavailable to do The Mezentian Gate, so another artist, William Benson, was hired to do the cover in a style like Remington’s. Beginning in 1977, the original Ballantine covers were replaced with new covers by Murray Tinkleman.
It is sad to note the decreasing number of printings of the successive books by Eddison. While The Worm Ouroboros achieved twelve U.S. printings between 1967 and 1981, Mistress of Mistresses saw four, A Fish Dinner in Memison four or five, and The Mezentian Gate only two.
If any reader of this blog has any of the below printings of The Worm Ouroboros marked “not seen” and can supply scans of the covers, title and copyright pages, I’ll be grateful. Contact me at nodens100 at gmail dot com.
Readers of Eddison will be interested to know that the omnibus Zimiamvia (Dell, 1992), containing Mistress of Mistresses, A Fish Dinner in Memison, and The Mezentian Gate, published for the first time some additional parts Eddison wrote of The Mezentian Gate. This includes a large section of chapter 30, and other passages in chapters 8, 12, and 31-33.
My thanks go to Trevor Livelton, Bill Lloyd, and Jon Preece for assistance with this post.
The Ballantine Printings of E.R. Eddison
The Worm Ouroboros
New York: Ballantine Books, [April] 1967 [cover art by Barbara Remington]
“First Printing: April, 1967” on copyright page
Second Printing: April 1967 [3rd & later printings say May] [not seen?]
“Third American Printing: October, 1967” [printings listed as “First American
Printing … Third American Printing”]
“Fourth American Printing: May, 1968”
“Fifth Printing: August, 1970”
“Sixth Printing: March, 1972” [printed in England; 7th says January 1972]
[NB: This copy has U.S. price of $1.25 printed on the cover, and no
“Seventh U.S. Printing: September, 1973” [Unicorn Mast on front cover]
[Beginning with the 7th printing, the list of printings on the copyright
page has been reset so that each line reads “First U.S. Printing” /
“Second U.S. Printing” / etc.]
Eighth U.S. Printing: October, 1974
“Ninth U.S. Printing: February, 1976”
“Tenth U.S. Printing: November 1977” [cover art, by Murray Tinkelman]
“Eleventh U.S. Printing: June 1978”
“Twelfth U.S. Printing: December 1981” [cover border color changed from
green to light orange]
First Canadian Printing: September 1967
Second Canadian Printing: November 1967
London: Pan/Ballantine, [June 1971] [not seen] Printed in Canada. Price
U.K. 40p [0 345-02001-4]
[2nd printing] 1972, [not seen] Price U.K. 50p [0-345-09740-8]
“3rd printing 1973” [0-330-23841-8 “Printed in Great Britain by Richard
Clay” Prices on rear cover: U.K. 50p, plus Australia and New Zealand.
“Not for sale in Canada.”
“4th printing 1975” [0-330-23841-8 Prices on rear cover: U.K. 75p, plus
Australia and New Zealand. “Not for sale in Canada.”
|10th and 12th printings|
Mistress of Mistresses: A Vision of Zimiamvia
New York: Ballantine Books, [August] 1967 [cover art by Barbara Remington]
“First Printing: August, 1967” on copyright page
Second Printing: September 1967
Third Printing: May 1968
“Fourth Printing: January 1978” [cover art by Murray Tinkelman]
First Canadian Printing: November 1967
[U.K. edition:] New York: [Pan/]Ballantine, [June, 1971] [have] “Printed in
Canada” on copyright page. “Cover printed in Canada” on rear cover.
Prices and ISBN on reader cover: 345-02006-5 U.K. (8/-) 40p, plus
Australia, New Zealand, South Africa. The copyright page lists the
Third Printing: May 1968 as the latest printing, but this must be an
unacknowledged Canadian printing made for distribution in the U.K.
“Pan” as publisher and the 1971 date of first U.K. publication do not
appear anywhere on the book.
A Fish Dinner in Memison
New York: Ballantine Books, [February 1968] [cover illustration by Barbara
Remington.] “First Printing: February, 1968” on copyright page
Second Printing: September 1970
“Third Printing: April 1978” [cover art by Murray Tinkelman]
Fourth Printing: May 1978 [mentioned in the “Special Printing” below]
First Special Printing: July 1978 [This is apparently a printing for the U.K.
market, with a price of £1 on rear cover. Also, this has a different
[Fifth?]: July 1979 [not seen]
London: Pan/Ballantine, [July] 1972 [345-097410-6 “Printed in Great Britain
by Richard Clay” Prices on rear cover: U.K. 40p, plus Australia and
New Zealand. “Not for sale in Canada.”]
The Mezentian Gate
New York: Ballantine Books, [April 1969] [uncredited cover illustration by
William Benson, in the style of Barbara Remington]
“First American Printing: April, 1969” on copyright page
“Second Printing: May 1978” [cover art by Murray Tinkelman]
London: Pan/Ballantine, [July] 1972 [345-09742-4 “Printed in Great Britain by
Richard Clay” Prices on rear cover: U.K. 40p, plus Australia and New
Zealand. “Not for sale in Canada.”]
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
It was Paul Spencer, an acquaintance of Lin Carter’s in the James Branch Cabell Society, who recommended The Virgin and the Swine (1936), by Evangeline Walton (1907-1996), for the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series. Lin Carter and Betty Ballantine read it and approved of it, and they sought the author about reprint rights, initially thinking that she might be dead. But they found that she had renewed the copyright in 1964, and contact was made, and a contract secured.
Both were happily surprised to learn that Walton had further unpublished manuscripts reworking other branches of the Mabinogion. She had initially planned to do only the fourth branch, but after it was published in 1936, she received a fan letter from John Cowper Powys, who encouraged her to continue with the other branches. Walton reworked the second and third branches into one huge novel of one hundred and eighty thousands words called The Brothers of Branwen, but she had troubles finding a publisher. Powys suggested she use his own literary agents in London (Pearn, Pollinger and Higham), and in July 1940 they nearly succeeded in selling The Brothers of Branwen to the Bodley Head, but the publisher got cold feet because of the size of the book and the paper shortages in England during the Second World War. After this, Walton ceased offering the manuscript to publishers.
After The Island of the Mighty (retitled from The Virgin and the Swine) was re-published by Ballantine in 1970, Walton returned to the manuscript of The Brothers of Branwen and split it into two books. In revised form these were published as The Children of Llyr and The Song of Rhiannon. In his introduction to The Children of Llyr, Carter noted that “as with the previous book, we decided to change the original title. Miss Walton had suggested The Doom of the Dark Woman, but the original tale upon which it was based was known widely in studies of Welsh and Irish mythological literature as ‘the tale of the children of Llyr.’ ”
After The Song of Rhiannon was published, Walton returned to the first branch of the Mabinogion, which she had left unfinished after The Brothers of Branwen had failed to achieve publication, and the resultant Prince of Annwn was published by Ballantine in 1974, several months after the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series had ended. Thus Prince of Annwn is not officially part of the series proper, and it (unlike the other three volumes) has no introduction from Lin Carter. After an article by Patrick Merla appeared in the 4 November 1972 issue of The Saturday Review, Carter’s introductions were replaced in most printings with an extract from Patrick Merla’s piece (the extract is identical in all books).
Pan/Ballantine U.K. editions of the first three volumes were published in 1972 and 1973, but they did not publish the fourth book. Ballantine reprinted each of the four volumes a number of times (including Canadian printings), and a boxed-set of all four volumes was issued in November 1974.
The original cover artists were Bob Pepper (for the first book) and David McCall Johnston (for the subsequent three), and Walton liked these covers very much. But she disliked the new covers by Howard Koslow put on all four volumes in 1978-79. The printings with the Koslow covers were distributed in the U.K. in April 1980.
Ballantine tinkered with the original covers as they reprinted the books, sometimes adding black or white spines, sometimes reversing the wrap-around cover art (making what had been on the reverse of the book into the front cover and vice versa).
I have marked the printings that I am missing as “not seen.” If any reader of this blog has any of these printings and can supply scans of the covers, title and copyright pages, I’ll be grateful. Contact me at nodens100 at gmail dot com.
The Island of the Mighty
“First Printing: July, 1970” [Cover by Bob Pepper.]
“Second Printing: November, 1974” [Cover reversed, white spine.]
“Third Printing: November 1975”[Cover identical to Second Printing.]
“Third Printing: July 1977” [Actually the Fourth Printing.] [Cover orientation
matching Third Printing, but now has a black spine, and the Del Rey
logo on the upper cover.]
“Fifth printing: February 1979” [Cover by Howard Koslow.]
London: Pan/Ballantine, [May] 1972
[The Lin Carter Introduction is only in the First Printing (and in the Pan/Ballantine printing). The Second through Fifth printings contain: “On Evangeline Walton and Magic” by Patrick Merla, reprinted from The Saturday Review, 4 November 1972.]
|2nd and 3rd printings|
The Children of Llyr
“First Printing: August, 1971” [Cover by David McCall Johnston.]
“Second Printing: November, 1974” [Reverses cover illustration, white spine.]
“Third Printing: November, 1975” [Cover identical to Second Printing.]
Third Printing: July 1977 [Actually the Fourth Printing.] [Not seen.]
“Fifth Printing: December 1978” [Cover art by Howard Koslow.]
London: Pan/Ballantine, [May] 1972
[The Lin Carter Introduction is only in the First Printing (and the Pan/Ballantine printing). The Second through Fifth printings contain: “On Evangeline Walton and Magic” by Patrick Merla, reprinted from The Saturday Review, 4 November 1972.]
|2nd and 3rd printings|
The Song of Rhiannon
“First Printing: August, 1972” [Cover by David McCall Johnston.]
“Second U.S. Printing: September, 1973” [Cover identical to First Printing.]
“Third U.S. Printing: November 1974” [Reverses cover illustration, white spine.]
Fourth Printing: November 1975 [Not seen.]
“Fifth Printing: January 1979” [Uncredited cover art by Howard Koslow.]
First Canadian Printing: September, 1972 [Noted in the “Second U.S. Printing:
London: Pan/Ballantine, [December] 1973
[The Lin Carter Introduction is only in the First and Second printings (and the Canadian and Pan/Ballantine printings). The Third through Fifth printings contain: “On Evangeline Walton and Magic” by Patrick Merla, reprinted from The Saturday Review, 4 November 1972.]
|1st and 2nd printings|
Prince of Annwn
“First Printing: November, 1974” [Cover by David McCall Johnston.]
“Second Printing: May, 1975” [White spine.]
Third Printing: January 1977 [Not seen.]
Fourth Printing: November 1977 [Not seen.]
“Fifth Printing: November 1978” [Uncredited cover art by Howard Koslow.] [All copies seen are priced $1.75, but it is reported that some “Fifth Printing” copies are priced $1.95. This has not been seen by me.]
[All printings of Prince of Annwn have an introduction “On Evangeline Walton and Magic” by Patrick Merla, reprinted from The Saturday Review, 4 November 1972.]
Thanks to Jon Preece, Bill Lloyd, and Trevor Livelton for assistance on this entry.