Friday, December 5, 2014

In which other things lurch out of the past

TL;DR for this one: Forty-eight almost-like new (not yet certain about condition of all of them) hardcover first editions of Orbital Resonance (first pubbed in December 1991) have just emerged from storage, to my deep surprise. So I can offer a few dozen fans a chance at a really good condition signed first edition of one of my most popular novels. Go to catalog page (on right) for details.


This year I'm resuming the backlist signed editions business in earnest, which is why I've posted a catalog as a page off to the side of this blog (see listed pages at right, or I think below if you're reading this on mobile).

In December 2012 I was walled in finishing The Last President and in December 2013 I had a truly massive load of teaching, exam-giving, and grading to do, so for the two most recent Christmases,  I just couldn't handle the order taking, signing, packing, and shipping.  Therefore I let the business dwindle to only longtime customers (and people wise enough to subscribe to the newsletter ).

Newsletter, did I hear you say? Well, there was just a new edition of that, and if you didn't get it it's because you are not on the subscription list.  If you just tell me that you want to subscribe (use the email link at right, the same one people use to complain about my not maintaining a comments section) and I shall dispatch the newsletter to you forthwith.  Each newsletter contains some sales stuff and special offers, whatever publishing news about me there may be,  and an essay never to be published anywhere else.  (I think of it as successively flogging the product, the career, and my favorite dead horses).

The newsletter is free, very easy to unsubscribe from,  and will arrive whenever a combination of news and time permits, which is to say that the schedule is irregular beyond belief.  But if you think getting email from me now and then would be interesting, as opposed to "disturbing unfortunate electrons for no good reason," drop me a note, I'll send you the latest one, and you'll get the others whenever they come out from then on.

Now, back to the archeological find .... it came from the mists of time and an obscure warehouse near the Port of Los Angeles .... the first book of mine that ever got much attention beyond a few warm reviews and just enough sales to convince the publishers that my mother couldn't be all of them was Orbital Resonance, which is still the favorite Barnes sf novel of a largish fraction of Barnes fans. (Note: that's a largish fraction of a smallish absolute number). 

My agent at the time, Ashley Grayson, put a lot of effort into the book. He thought it was remaindered too early (because Tor somewhat hurried it into paperback even though it was a Nebula finalist -- in those long ago days, publishers were supposed to wait because if it won, there'd be a few months of elevated hardcover sales. Sigh. Those were the days, my friends...) So he bought up some copies in the pre-remainder sales, in hopes that a first edition might be worth some extra money some day.

Well, that's not quite how it turned out; it didn't win. But it did hold a special place in some people's hearts (in various guises as the last time Barnes wasn't a complete pervert, that Barnes book where the most violent act is a punch in the nose, the book Barnes did for people who like teenage girls with funny names, etc.) and Ashley was able to unload large numbers of first edition hardcovers.

More recently, as he's been clearing out his own storage, he's been sending me agent copies of my books, and in this case he hit a sort of jackpot: not only 48 copies of Orbital Resonance, but they were still all packed on 4 minipallets (that's a sheet of heavy cardboard with a pile of 12 books on it shrinkwrapped, and it preserves books beautifully), still in original boxes.

There are not going to be any more first editions in as good condition as these; a really good condition first edition of a 23-year-old book does not come along often. 

THEREFORE ... if you have any interest, now is the time to hasten over to the catalogue page (again, just off to your right) and drop me a note ordering one. When they're gone, they're gone (and I never expected them to exist in the first place). 

For those of you who would like to have the whole Century Next Door set -- Orbital Resonance, Kaleidoscope Century, Candle, and The Sky So Big and Black -- in first edition hardcover: Buy one Orbital Resonance 1st edn HC signed at full price, and I'll take off $3.00 from the price of any 1st edn HC of the other three in the same order.  Buy a complete set and I'll take off a total of $10.00 from the other three.

There were quite a few people who liked the Century Next Door books in their heyday; I'm going to try to come up with a blog entry about them someday soon (as in, sometime in the next very few days).