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Miscellany / Curiosities #2

Powers has, over the years, contributed many introductions, afterwords and suchlike to works by other authors. Here is a selection…


Axolotl Press Titles

John Pelan's Axolotl Press was active in the mid-to-late 80s and was a small press publishing house with which Powers had a close working relationship. As well as publishing some of the first limited editions of Powers's' work, Pelan published a number of other titles that Powers contributed to.

  • Introduction to Paper Dragons by James P. Blaylock. Published in 1985 by The Axolotl Press, Seattle, Washington. This was issued as follows – 28 lettered copies in green leather, 100 numbered copies in green cloth, 300 copies in paper and 6 in red leather not offered for sale. This ABE link will help you locate copies.
  • Introduction to Trilobyte by Edward Bryant. Published in 1987 by The Axolotl Press, Seattle, Washington. Bound back-to-back with Blaylock's The Shadow On The Doorstep and issued in three states – 75 numbered copies bound in leather, (ISBN 0939879158 Deluxe), 300 numbered copies bound in cloth and issued in a dust jacket and 500 unnumbered perfect-bound copies- I am not sure if this release was issued in the super deluxe red leather states. The cover art is by Donna Gordon and each edition is signed by the contributors – Bryant, Powers, Blaylock and Lewis Shiner who introduced the Blaylock story. This ABE link will help you locate copies.
  • Introduction to Escape From Kathmandu by Kim Stanley Robinson. Published in 1987 by The Axolotl Press, Seattle, Washington. Bound back-to-back with the Blaylock stories Two Views of a Cave Painting and The Idol's Eye to which Dean R Koontz wrote an introduction. This edition was released as follows – 75 numbered copies in blue leather, 300 numbered copies in blue cloth, 500 paper-bound unnumbered copies and 25 copies bound in red leather that were not offered for sale. See this ABE link for availability.

Books by James P. Blaylock

No other writer is more closely associated with Powers than his long time friend and collaborator James P. Blaylock. The two met at college in the early seventies and the influence that each has had on the writing and career of the other is indisputable. Over the years Blaylock has contributed many pieces about Powers and his work that have appeared in various editions all over the world. Powers has likewise reciprocated. In addition to the piece by Powers in Paper Dragons detailed above, here is a further selection of Powers's Blaylock-related writings…

  • Jim Seels' ASAP published another Blaylock work The Old Curiosity Shop in 1998. The story had previously appeared in Feb 98 issue of The Magazine Of Fantasy and Science Fiction. This gorgeous limited edition was released in two states – 150 numbered hard cover copies were bound in soft brown leather and 26 collectors copies bound in black. A further 10 PC copies of this lettered state were produced. With an introduction by Powers entitled Not With the Empty Metaphor, a particularly noteworthy afterword by Dean R Koontz dedicated "In Honor of James Blaylock and as Homage to Tim Powers" and illustrations by Phil Parks, all copies are signed by the contributors. Very collectable, this edition has become scarce and quite pricey – try this link to ABE to see if anyone is currently offering a copy..

  • In 2002, Subterranean Press released The Man in the Moon, one of the Blaylock's earliest complete novels, previously unpublished in this form. Essentially this was a prototype version of Blaylock's The Elfin Ship. Powers provided a an introduction to this smart limited edition, of which 1000 numbered and 52 lettered copies were issued (the limitation page erroneously states there were only 26 lettered copies produced). All copies were signed by both authors. Here's the ABE link to help you locate a copy. You might also find a copy via Amazon.com.

Selected other Writing and Ephemera

The October 1996 (Volume 6, Number 10) issue of Firsts – The Book Collector's Magazine contains three articles of interest to Powers fans. The first is by Powers and is entitled Some Notes on Collecting James P Blaylock, the second by Blaylock himself is entitled Minted Money in Bread Bags: Collecting Tim Powers and the third by Lucius Shepard is entitled Why I Don't Collect Blaylock and Powers.

Back issues may still be available. Follow this link to the Firsts.com website to see.

  • In 1995 and 1997 the two writers collaborated on libretto and lyrics for a couple of plays put on by the Orange County Children's Theatre. Of this Powers says …

"Yes, the "Snow White" and "Peter Pan" things! Our theatrical efforts! Blaylock's two sons were involved in local children's theatre… and twice Blaylock called me up and said, "They need a complete play" — or "a complete set of song lyrics" — "by tomorrow! Can you drive down here _right now?_" — and we wrote them. And they're not bad, considering they were written from conception-to-finished-draft in about six hours! Sounds like an old Busby Berkeley plot!"

An introduction entitled Running Away with the Circus by Powers appeared in a limited edition of Michael Shea's Nifft the Lean, the winner of the 1983 World Fantasy Award. Published in 1995 by Darkside Press, this release featured illustrations by Alan M Clark. 400 copies bound in "demon skin" were issued and additionally 52 copies bound in full leather were slip cased with a mini portfolio of Clark's art work. Copies were signed by all the contributors. This ABE link shows you copies currently offered.

The Powers piece was reprinted in Shea's 1997 sequel to Nifft the Lean entitled The Mines of Behemoth. Published by Baen Books, this title carried the ISBN 0671878476 and was priced at $5.99. It can still be purchased from Amazon.com.

  • Imagination Fully Dilated is a Cemetery Dance Publications anthology edited by the Alan M Clark and Elizabeth Engstrom. Published in 1998, this was collection of short stories inspired by Clark's artwork. Powers contributed an introduction was was, along with all the other contributors, a signatory to both the numbered and lettered states. Further details on the book can be found here and this ABE link will help you locate a copy.
  • Sudden Fear: The Horror and Dark Suspense Fiction of Dean R. Koontz has an introduction by Powers. Edited by Bill Munster it was published in 1988 by Starmond Press – for availability, see this ABE link. A revised and updated version of this work was published by the Borgo Press in 1998. Retitled Discovering Dean Koontz, the Powers introduction was retained. This re-release was issued in as both hard cover and trade paperback.

  • 2005 saw the prestigious UK small press PS Publishing published a revised and illustrated hard cover edition Ray Bradbury's classic 1966 collection S is for Space. This was released alongside an accompanying edition of another classic Bradbury collection, R is for Rocket. S is for Space featured a foreword by Sir Arthur C. Clarke and an introduction by Powers.

500 numbered, unsigned trade hard covers were released. A further 200 copies were slip cased and signed by Bradbury, and an additional 100 copies were slip cased with the accompanying edition and signed by all contributors – Bradbury, Clarke, Powers, Ray Harryhausen and Michael Marshall Smith. Copies of the trade can be found fairly easily, but the signed copies, unsurprisingly, now command high prices when they change hands. Check this ABE link for availablity.