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A Curious Find

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  • peter d sippel
    I made an interesting find at a used book store today; I m not 100% certain of it, but I m pretty sure that I am now the dubious owner of the complete set of
    Message 1 of 5 , May 28, 2004
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      I made an interesting find at a used book store today; I'm not 100%
      certain of it, but I'm pretty sure that I am now the dubious owner of the
      complete set of the first, barely legal, unauthorized and pirated
      American edition of Lord of the Rings, published by Ace Books.

      There are three volumes, all published by Ace Books, without dates,
      though the advertizing in the back of one of them lists as one of their
      other books The Year's Best SciFi, dated 1965. Price on each is 75 cents;
      cover and title page art by a Jack Gaughin. Vol. I shows what I assume is
      supposed to be Gandalf, though in yellow instead of gray, and a blurb by
      Anthony Boucher; Vol. II one of the Nazgul riding a winged horse, and a
      blurb from the NY Times; Vol. III a towering figure in black with one red
      eye, and a blurb from the NY Herald-Tribune. There is a front page in the
      first volume by "D.A.W." (Donald A. Wolheim?) and a paragraph on the back
      cover stating it is the first low priced edition available to the general
      public.

      I should note I got these as potential collectibles and curiosities,
      intending no disrespect for Tolkien, and I still do have the authorized
      edition that was published in his lifetime with his note to the American
      reader.

      Questions: is this the edition I'm pretty sure it is? The value, if any?
      I paid 3.00 U.S. Dollars a piece for them. Is Christopher Tolkien going
      to come knocking on my door demanding I surrender them? ;-)

      peter d sippel
      Warminster, PA USA

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    • Amalee
      Take them to a book dealer. One who deals in antique books, and he/she can give you an idea, of the books worth..peter d sippel wrote:I
      Message 2 of 5 , May 28, 2004
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        Take them to a book dealer. One who deals in antique books, and he/she can give you an idea, of the books worth..peter d sippel <quakerpages@...> wrote:I made an interesting find at a used book store today; I'm not 100%
        certain of it, but I'm pretty sure that I am now the dubious owner of the
        complete set of the first, barely legal, unauthorized and pirated
        American edition of Lord of the Rings, published by Ace Books.

        There are three volumes, all published by Ace Books, without dates,
        though the advertizing in the back of one of them lists as one of their
        other books The Year's Best SciFi, dated 1965. Price on each is 75 cents;
        cover and title page art by a Jack Gaughin. Vol. I shows what I assume is
        supposed to be Gandalf, though in yellow instead of gray, and a blurb by
        Anthony Boucher; Vol. II one of the Nazgul riding a winged horse, and a
        blurb from the NY Times; Vol. III a towering figure in black with one red
        eye, and a blurb from the NY Herald-Tribune. There is a front page in the
        first volume by "D.A.W." (Donald A. Wolheim?) and a paragraph on the back
        cover stating it is the first low priced edition available to the general
        public.

        I should note I got these as potential collectibles and curiosities,
        intending no disrespect for Tolkien, and I still do have the authorized
        edition that was published in his lifetime with his note to the American
        reader.

        Questions: is this the edition I'm pretty sure it is? The value, if any?
        I paid 3.00 U.S. Dollars a piece for them. Is Christopher Tolkien going
        to come knocking on my door demanding I surrender them? ;-)

        peter d sippel
        Warminster, PA USA

        ________________________________________________________________
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      • cleidoic
        Well, 1965 is the right date and I do believe it was Ace that made the pirate version. If I remember correctly, the author s notes should be copied exactly -
        Message 3 of 5 , May 28, 2004
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          Well, 1965 is the right date and I do believe it was Ace that made
          the pirate version. If I remember correctly, the author's notes
          should be copied exactly - including the one apologizing for the
          lack of an index of names and promising it in an upcoming
          edition. Check for that note in Vol. 3. But definitely take them to a
          knowledgable expert. You'll need to find a book dealer who
          specializes in science fiction. Online, I can recommend Willie
          Siros of Adventures in Crime and Space. He is an expert at all
          things literary in the science fiction field. If he can't help you, he
          can point you to a dealer in your area.

          Clei

          P.S. Don't worry about the legality or lack thereof of your books.
          Ace and Tolkien came to a settlement over royalties after the fact.
          Due mainly to pressure from fans who would go into bookstores
          and demand the pirate copies (which were technically legal
          then) be taken off the shelves. SFWA played a big part in getting
          the information out and coordinating protests.

          peter d sippel <quakerpages@j...> wrote:
          > I made an interesting find at a used book store today; I'm not
          100%
          > certain of it, but I'm pretty sure that I am now the dubious owner
          of the
          > complete set of the first, barely legal, unauthorized and pirated
          > American edition of Lord of the Rings, published by Ace Books.
          >
          > There are three volumes, all published by Ace Books, without
          dates,
          > though the advertizing in the back of one of them lists as one of
          their
          > other books The Year's Best SciFi, dated 1965. Price on each
          is 75 cents;
          > cover and title page art by a Jack Gaughin. Vol. I shows what I
          assume is
          > supposed to be Gandalf, though in yellow instead of gray, and
          a blurb by
          > Anthony Boucher; Vol. II one of the Nazgul riding a winged
          horse, and a
          > blurb from the NY Times; Vol. III a towering figure in black with
          one red
          > eye, and a blurb from the NY Herald-Tribune. There is a front
          page in the
          > first volume by "D.A.W." (Donald A. Wolheim?) and a paragraph
          on the back
          > cover stating it is the first low priced edition available to the
          general
          > public.
          >
          > I should note I got these as potential collectibles and
          curiosities,
          > intending no disrespect for Tolkien, and I still do have the
          authorized
          > edition that was published in his lifetime with his note to the
          American
          > reader.
          >
          > Questions: is this the edition I'm pretty sure it is? The value, if
          any?
          > I paid 3.00 U.S. Dollars a piece for them. Is Christopher
          Tolkien going
          > to come knocking on my door demanding I surrender them? ;-)
          >
          > peter d sippel
          > Warminster, PA USA
          >
          >
          __________________________________________________
          ______________
          > The best thing to hit the Internet in years - Juno SpeedBand!
          > Surf the Web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER!
          > Only $14.95/ month - visit www.juno.com to sign up today!
        • peter d sippel
          I did some more research, and I definately have found the pirated, unauthorized version. In brief: Ace Books published the trilogy in a mass market paperback
          Message 4 of 5 , May 29, 2004
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            I did some more research, and I definately have found the pirated,
            unauthorized version. In brief: Ace Books published the trilogy in a mass
            market paperback edition in 1965, which was actually the first mass
            market American edition (more expensive hardcovers had been available as
            had imported copies but no cheap American paperbacks.) Alas, they did
            this without J.R.R.T.'s consent or permission, and apparently with no
            intent on paying him royalties for it either, exploiting an obscure
            loophole in the then American copyright law. It was taken from an
            inferior and uncorrected proof. Tolkien naturally and quite justifiably,
            I think, objected to it, calling Ace Books the pirates, and tried to
            rally support from other writers and fans, with success. Ultimately he
            signed an "amicable agreement" in which Ace "voluntarily" agreed not to
            reprint it when their stock was depleted without his permission, and to
            pay him royalties of 4%, which he did receive, though the Queen took a
            lot of it out in taxes. The good thing to come out of it is that it
            finally prompted him to produce an authorized and corrected American
            version, published by Ballentine, which I also have. Value--prices for it
            on abebooks.com range from $10.00/volume up to $300.00 for the set, the
            latter end being clearly out of line. Most seem to run between
            $15.00-$25.00 depending on the local market and the condition of the
            book, so I did well at $3.00 a volume. Not that I buy books for their
            value as a rule, but for their reading value or, in this case, as a
            curiosity show and tell piece, since I obviously don't have enough
            clutter already. --Bad as a hobbit sometimes, we is, my precious, bad as
            a hobbit we is with our stuff.

            ________________________________________________________________
            The best thing to hit the Internet in years - Juno SpeedBand!
            Surf the Web up to FIVE TIMES FASTER!
            Only $14.95/ month - visit www.juno.com to sign up today!
          • geltharin2003
            Not that I buy books for their ... bad as ... Oh yes, to me the reading value in a book is priceless. As to the clutter thing.....yessss my precioussss, we
            Message 5 of 5 , May 31, 2004
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              Not that I buy books for their
              > value as a rule, but for their reading value or, in this case, as a
              > curiosity show and tell piece, since I obviously don't have enough
              > clutter already. --Bad as a hobbit sometimes, we is, my precious,
              bad as
              > a hobbit we is with our stuff.


              Oh yes, to me the reading value in a book is priceless. As to the
              clutter thing.....yessss my precioussss, we isss very bad about it,
              yesss we issssssss....

              Robert/Eol
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