Bob Pylant is a major Roger Zelazny collector in Austin to whom I had sold the odd item to (like the NESFA Press Collected Zelazny volumes) over the years. Unfortunately, he suffered a car accident and had to sell some of his collection. So I went over to his house on June 13, made an offer on some choice items, and we reached an agreement.
Which is how I spent $5,000 on Roger Zelazny books in a single day. (An amount that would go up to $5,400 when I won another item he had listed on eBay.) Several were upgrades of signed first edition hardbacks where I had either unsigned copies or Ex-Library copies.
Currey, L.W. Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction. G. K. Hall, 1978.
Chalker, Jack & Owings, Mark. The Science Fantasy Publishers: A Critical and Bibliographic History. Mirage Press, 1991 (“Third Edition Revised and Enlarged”).
Kovacs, Christopher S. The Ides of Octember: A Pictorial Bibliography of Roger Zelazny. NESFA Press, 2010. (Note: Kovacs lists proofs, ARCs, etc. when known, so many hardback firsts are designated with the a “b” rather than an “a”.)
Levack, Daniel J. Amber Dreams: A Roger Zelazny Bibliography. Underwood/Miller, 1983.
For bibliographic details and first edition verification, I cite the following reference books:
The Zelazny Books
Zelazny, Roger. And the Darkness is Harsh. Pretentious Press, 1994. First edition chapbook, one of only 85 copies (of which 70 were given away for free) signed by Zelazny, with photo of the young Zelazny pasted in at front, and one sheet chapbook catalog laid in, a Fine copy. Contains the title story, “Mr. Fuller’s Revolt,” and the poem “Diet,” all taken from his high school literary magazine, where they were published when he was 16. Virtually impossible to find these days. Kovacs, VIII-1-a.
Zelazny, Roger and Fred Saberhagen. The Black Throne. Baen Books/SFBC, 1990 (stated; Kovacs says it actually came out in 1991). First edition hardback (book club, and the only hardback) a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, inscribed by Zelazny: “For Scott,/Best, ever/Roger Zelazny/ 11/30/91″. Supplements my unsigned copy. Kovacs, I-1-c.
Zelazny, Roger, and Robert Sheckley. Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming. Bantam Spectra, 1991. Uncorrected proof (trade paperback format) of the first edition, a Fine copy with slight bumping at head, with signature plate by Zelazny affixed to blurb page. Kovacs, I-14-a.
Zelazny, Roger, and Robert Sheckley. Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming. Bantam Spectra, 1991. First edition trade paperback original (simultaneous with the hardback), a Fine- copy with slight bumping at head, inscribed by Zelazny: “To Shirley,/Roger Zelazny.” Supplements my signed hardback copy. Kovacs, I-14-c.
Zelazny, Roger. The Changing Land. Del Rey, 1981. Uncorrected Proof of the paperback original first edition, a Near Fine- copy with what appears to be glue staining to the front cover (possibly from a publicity department sticker or attached sheet), and pinpoint spots of other staining, but otherwise square and unread. Supplements my signed, read paperback, and my signed/limited Underwood/Miller edition. Levack, 4a (for the PBO), Kovacs I-6-a (for the proof). See also the manuscript section below.
Zelazny, Roger. Creatures of Light and Darkness. Doubleday, 1969. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a tiny bit of age-darkening and dust staining, inscribed by Zelazny: “For Larry Woods/Roger Zelazny”. Levack, 8a. Kovacs, I-9-a. Currey, P. 570.
Zelazny, Roger. Damnation Alley. Doubleday, 1969. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Zelazny: “All best-/Roger Zelazny/ 10/6/79″. Levack, 9a. Kovacs, I-10-b. Currey, P. 570. Naturally I’d pick this up just after I picked up a nice unsigned copy.
Zelazny, Roger. The Dream Master. Ace, 1966. First edition paperback original, a Near Fine- copy with “ZELAZNY DREAM MASTER” printed at heel, previous owner’s small ownership stamp on inner cover, two small pieces of tape at same spot, bookstore stamp at rear, and the usual age darkening to pages and foxing to inner covers, otherwise tight, square and apparently unread. Signed by Zelazny. This was in a picture frame, so I missed the stamps. Supplements my signed UK hardback first. Levack, 14a. Kovacs, I-18-a. Currey, P. 570.
Zelazny, Roger, and Robert Sheckley. A Farce to Be Reckoned With. Bantam, 1995. First edition trade paperback original, a Fine copy, new and unread. Not signed, alas. Third in the series that started with Bring Me the Head of Prince Charming. Kovacs, I-20-b.
Zelazny, Roger. For a Breath I Tarry. Underwood/Miller, 1980. First edition hardback, #65 of 200 signed, numbered hardback copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, with publisher’s letter included. One of my favorite Zelazny novellas. Supplements my trade paperback copy. Levack, 16a. Kovacs, VI-3-a-i. Chalker/Owings, P. 432.
Zelazny, Roger. The Guns of Avalon. Doubleday, 1972. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket that is ever so slightly spine-faded, but much less than usual for this orange spine, and slight wrinkling. Signed Twice by Zelazny, once on title page and once on signature plate affixed sideways on FFE. The second Amber novel. Supplements my signed Ex-Library copy. Levack, 18a. Kovacs, I-22-a. Currey, P. 570.
Zelazny, Roger (& Kate Wilhelm). He Who Shapes b/w The Infinity Box. Tor, 1989. First separate edition and first edition thus, a paperback original, a Fine- copy, new and unread. Signed by Zelazny. Kovacs, VI-5-a.
Zelazny, Roger (& Samuel R. Delany). Home is the Hangman b/w We, In Some Strange Power’s Employ, Move On a Rigorous Line. Tor, 1990. First separate edition and first edition thus, a paperback original, a Fine copy, new and unread. Signed by Zelazny and inscribed by Delany: “Samuel R. Delany/N.Y.C./’91″. The Delany story is also something of a Zelazny pastiche, with a disguised Zelazny (“his last name was Z-something unpronounceable”) as one of the main characters. Kovacs, VI-8-a.
Zelazny, Roger. The Last Defender of Camelot. Underwood/Miller, 1980. First edition hardback, #5 of only 35 numbered hardbacks with a signed bookplate pasted onto the copyright page, a Fine- copy with wear at edges. Just the story (making it different from the next item), and far and away Zelazny’s scarcest hardback (even more so than Nine Princes in Amber). This is the one I bought for $400 off eBay. Levack, 23b. Kovacs, VIII-4-b (also II-132-d). Chalker/Owings, P. 432. See also the manuscript section below.
Zelazny, Roger. The Last Defender of Camelot. Pocket Books, 1980. Uncorrected proof of the paperback first edition, a Fine copy. Levack, 24a (for paperback edition). Kovacs, V-15-a (for proof).
Zelazny, Roger. The Last Defender of Camelot. Underwood/Miller, 1981. First limited (and non-book club) hardback edition, #6 of 333 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Short story collection. Includes stories not in the Pocket Books or SFBC editions. Supplements my signed SFBC edition. Levack, 24c. Kovacs, V-16-a-i. Chalker/Owings, P. 433.
Zelazny, Roger (as editor). Nebula Award Stories Three. Doubleday, 1968. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine-, completely unfaded white dust jacket with extremely minor wrinkling at head, with small Zelazny signature plate affixed to bottom inner flap of dust jacket. Nigh on impossible to find with the dust jacket this bright, much less signed. And most of the stories are pretty good as well!
Zelazny, Roger, and Alfred Bester. Psychoshop. Vintage, 1998. Uncorrected proof of the trade paperback first edition, a Fine copy. Kovacs, V-36-a.
Zelazny, Roger. Today We Choose faces Signet, 1974. First edition paperback original (and trickier than usual to identify; it says “First Printing, April, 1973″ at the bottom, but “FIRST PRINTING/SECOND PRINTING/”etc. through “TENTH PRINTING” above it), a Fine- copy with a touch of edgewear. Signed by Zelazny. Supplements a signed copy of the UK hardback first. Levack, 35a. Kovacs, I-41-a. Currey, P. 571.
Zelazny, Roger. To Die in Italbar. Doubleday, 1973. First edition hardback, a Near Fine+ copy with foxing along gutters and in a large rectangle on FFE where I presume the signed bookplate of the exact same size and shape now affixed to the title page once resided, in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with slight dust staining to rear white cover, and a bit of wear at points. Sequel to Isle of the Dead, and one of my least favorite Zelazny novels (which is why I waited until I had pretty much everything else to pick it up). Levack, 37a. Kovacs, I-42-a. Currey, P. 571.
Zelazny, Roger and Neil Randall. Roger Zelazny’s Visual Guide to Castle Amber. Avon/SFBC, 1988. First edition hardback (book club; the only hardback edition), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, signed by Zelazny. What the title says. Lots of illustrations and maps. Kovacs, X-14-b.
Zelazny, Roger. This Immortal. Ace, 1966. First edition paperback original, a Near Fine+ copy with small phantom creases to font and rear cover, a trace of edgewear along spine, and usual slight age darkening to pages and foxing of interior covers, otherwise square. Signed by Zelazny. Hugo Winner for Best Novel (tied with frank Herbert’s Dune), Nebula finalist. Levack, 34a. Kovacs, I-40-a. Currey, P. 571.
Zelazny, Roger. Wizard World. Baen, 1989. First edition paperback original thus, being an omnibus edition of Changeling and Madwand, a Fine copy, new and unread. Signed by Zelazny and cover artist David Mattingly. Kovacs, I-5-e-1
(Zelazny, Roger) Levack, Daniel J. Amber Dreams: A Roger Zelazny Bibliography. Underwood/Miller, 1983. First edition hardback, one of 200 signed hardbound copies, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued. Comparing the signed edition (left) to the unsigned edition (right), they seem printed in slightly different colors; the signed is more green, and the unsigned more yellow. The uniformity of tone in each makes me doubt either is the result of fading. Kovacs, XIII-1-a-1. Chalker/Owings, P. 435.
Note: Bob carefully inserted each page of manuscript or correspondence into clear page protectors with 2-ring binder tabs.
Zelazny, Roger. The Changing Land. 340 page typesetting copy of the original manuscript for the Del Rey edition, with Zelazny’s hand corrections and typesetting notes, as well as ancillary editorial material, original bill of sale, catalog description, and letter of provenance from L. W. Currey.
Zelazny, Roger. “The Last Defender of Camelot”. Roger Zelazny’s original story manuscript, 24 pages typed (many of which are typed on the back of sheets of scrap paper), with numerous hand corrections by Zelazny, along with a few pages of ancillary material. Each sheet is in a plastic sheet protector in a three-ring binder. Also in the binder is what appears to be a copy of the hand-corrected manuscript for “Stand Pat, Ruby Stone.”
Zelazny, Roger (adapted and illustrated by James Zimmerman). The Last Defender of Camelot. Zim Graphics, 1993. First edition of the graphic novel adaptation in cardstock covers, #5 of 25 copies signed on the cover by Roger Zelazny, and #5 of 200 copies signed by Zimmerman, a Fine copy. Something to drive Zelazny completists crazy! Kovacs, II-133-a and VI-10-a.
Zelazny, Roger. “Unicorn Variations”. Zelazny’s original story manuscript, 37 typed pages, with hand corrections by Zelazny and type-setting instructions undoubtedly added by the staff of Isaac Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine, where the story appeared (the manuscripts for my own stories that appeared in Asimov’s came back marked up the same way). Each sheet in a plastic sheet protector in a three-ring binder, along with a few pages of ancillary material.
Roger Zelazny’s Professional Correspondence Archive. Two huge three-ring binders containing copies of all Zelazny’s outgoing letters, from about 1970 through 1981, plus the originals of incoming correspondence to him. Includes letters to him from Robert A. Heinlein, Thomas Disch, Lloyd Biggle, Jr., Marion Zimmer Bradley, George R. R. Martin, Fredric Pohl, Connie Willis, Pat Cadigan, Jack Dann, Lisa Goldstein, David Bischoff, John F. Carr, Ellen Kushner (rejecting a story!), Bruce McAllister, Victor Milan, Michael Stackpole, Reginald Bretnor, Phyllis Eisenstein, Thomas Canty (plus art proofs), Judy-Lynn Del Rey, Jim Baen, Byron Preiss, Jim Turner, David Hartwell, Jim Frenkel, Mike Ashley, George Scithers, Gerry de la Ree, Glenn Lord, Bob Frazier, (among many others), and a telegram from Philip K. Dick (with Zelazny’s scrawled notes from the ensuing telephone conversation). Plus other letters from agents, editors, academics, Hollywood functionaries, and random fans. Plus some SFWA Forums and convention program books Zelazny had material in. According to Bob, L. W. Currey got the archive as part of a purchase from the Zelazny estate. Since Bob had bought a number of expensive items from him in the past (some listed here), he said “Look, Bob, I don’t want to catalog all this. Let me sell it to you as a lot.” Which is how Bob got it.
Bob did have a few non-Zelazny books I picked up.
Banks, Iain. Against A Dark Background. Orbit, 1993. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Banks. Replaces an unsigned copy.
Banks, Iain. Consider Phlebas. Macmillan, 1987. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Banks. Replaces an unsigned copy.
Powers, Tim. The Anubis Gates. Mark V. Ziesing, 1989. First American hardback edition, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Already had inscribed firsts of the PBO, and the UK first hardback editions, as well as the copy of the original hand-written manuscript in the ultralimited edition of the Berlyne Power bibliography. I picked up this to complete my Mark V. Ziesing collection…
Vance, Jack. The Best of Jack Vance. Taplinger, 1978. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Near Fine, slightly dust soiled/age darkened dust jacket.
I also made two mistakes: Picking up a proof of Zelazny and Thomas T. Thomas’ The Mask of Loki (forgot I already had a signed proof) and a signed hardback first of Iain Banks’ Excession (already had one). Those will be offered in the next Lame Excuse Books catalog, which I’ll start working on right after I post this.
Roger Zelazny Books I Still Lack
Believe it or not, this doesn’t actually complete my Zelazny collection, as there are still a few odds and ends I don’t have, mainly in edited works and works about Zelazny. Some aren’t particularly hard to find, I just haven’t picked them up yet.
The Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth (Pulphouse hardback of just that story)
Home is the Hangman (SFBC, 1996)
Trumps of Doom (Underwood Miller, 1985)
(with Thomas T. Thomas) Flare (Baen, 1992, paperback original)
(as editor) The Williamson Effect (Tor, 1996)
(as editor) Wheel of Fortune (AvoNova, 1995, paperback original)
Greenberg, Martin H., editor. Lord of the Fantastic: Stories in Honor of Roger Zelazny (Avon Eos, 1998)
Lindskold, Jane. Roger Zelazny. Twayne, 1992.
Sanders, Joseph L. Roger Zelazny: A Primary and Secondary Bibliography (G. K. Hall, 1982)
Yoke, Karl B. Roger Zelazny: Starmont Reader’s Guide (Borgo Press (Library binding hardback), 1979)
Yoke, Karl B. Roger Zelazny and Andre Norton: Proponents of Individualism (State University of Ohio, 1979)