"DECLARE is a tour de force, a brilliant blend of John le Carre spy fiction with the otherworldly, packed with historical fact, dazzling flights of imagination, and wonderful suspense." — Dean R Koontz
Declare is perhaps Powers's most ambitious project to date. It is a huge novel, both in length and scope, weighing in at over 500 pages, spanning decades in the telling and transporting the reader all over Europe and the Middle-East.
An audacious mix of fantasy and historical fact, Powers really shows off his extraordinary skills as a novelist with Declare , centering his story around Kim Philby, who was the head of counter-espionage for the British Secret Service – but who was also in the pay of the KGB for almost fifty years.
Powers has said of this novel "…it's taking Kim Philby's story and weaving a supernatural hidden story into it; it winds up involving Philby's father, St. John Philby, and T. E. Lawrence to some extent, as well as the SIS, MI5, the KGB and GRU, and the French SDECE. And it takes place in London, Kuwait, Berlin, Paris, and on Mount Ararat. I've always been a big fan of John Le Carre, and this is sort of 'Tradecraft Meets Lovecraft'."
"I am taking the whole intricate history of the Cold War and cooking up a supernatural secret explanation for everything … it is sort of Le Carre characters in a sorcerously torquered spy setting."
This is clearly a project that Powers had been contemplating for some time. Way back in 1986, he gave an interview that appeared in the June edition of Locus (#305) in which he said " …sometime I'd like to write an espionage novel, a real murky, tangled, Le Carre-Forsythe-type thing."
A sampler of Declare consisting of the first two chapters appeared on the previous version of this web site many months before the novel's actual publication.
The Subterranean Press Limited Edition
Declare was first published by Subterranean Press as a signed limited edition. Released in May 2000 in two separate states, this issue preceded the US trade edition by nearly ten months.
This is the true first edition of Declare. The numbered state (above left) was released first and consisted of 474 "…autographed and numbered copies fully bound in fine [light blue] cloth, with an illustrated autograph page, and dustjacket artwork by J.K. Potter." This edition carries the ISBN 1-892284-79-0 and was priced at $75.00.
There followed 26 deluxe lettered copies (above right), described thus by Subterranean Press in their marketing blurb – "…bound in leather and premium cloth, with a satin ribbon page marker. Each copy will be protected by a hand crafted tray case, which will house an original matted illustration by the author, making each copy truly one of a kind." When finally delivered, the book lacked the advertised satin ribbon page marker. These lettered editions were issued with a cover price of $500.00 and reportedly all 26 copies sold out within 48 hours!
Copies of the numbered limited state are available on the collectors market – try this link to ABE to see which dealers are currently offering copies. Alternatively, try this link to eBay. The lettered editions do change hands but only very rarely and for sums generally two or three time their issue price.
Artwork from the Subterranean Lettered Edition
As stated above, Powers provided around thirty original drawings that were set into the traycases of the Subterranean lettered state. Click this link to see a gallery of images from the lettered edition of Declare.
The trade edition of Declare was published in hard cover (above centre) in January 2001 by William Morrow. This edition has brown and orange boards with red guilt lettering on the spine, 517pp and carried the ISBN 0-380-97652-8. The cover price was $25.00. There were three subsequent reprints of this hard cover edition which can be identified via the number string on the copyright page. An uncorrected proof copy was produced (above left) prior to publication.
The Science Fiction Book Club also released a hard cover edition of Declare only a few months after the Morrow edition was issued. This edition has slightly smaller dimensions when compared to the Morrow release (8.5" x 5.5") and has black boards with guilt lettering on the spine. The dust jacket features the same artwork as the Morrow trade edition but shows no cover price instead displaying the SFBC identifier #34917 on the lower right hand corner of the rear cover.
A mass market paperback edition was published by HarperTorch in June 2002. Priced at $7.99, it carries the ISBN 0-380-79836-0. The front cover shows images of both Red Square (photo by Christina Dittman) and Paris (photo by Kamil Vojnar). The composite image was created by "Electric Soup". 591pp.
The trade hard cover and mass market edition of Declare are very easy to find – follow the embedded links to locate copies at Amazon.com. If you're after a first edition of the Morrow hard cover, try this link to ABE. The SFBC edition is much harder to find – copies very rarely come up for sale. Your best bet if want one of these is to check on eBay at regular intervals.
Declare was showered with much critical praise upon its release and received two major awards. The first was the International Horror Guild's Best Novel of 2001. The announcement was made on September 5th at Dragoncon, 2001 in Atlanta, GA and the author was on hand to accept the award in person. "It's a cool award, a gargoyle on a black block."
Declare was also awarded the highly coveted World Fantasy Award for Best Novel tying in first place with Sean Stewart's novel Galveston. The award was presented at the 2001 World Fantasy Convention in Montreal, Canada. Powers was present to accept the honour – see picture.
Declare came second (behind George R.R. Martin's A Storm of Swords) in the best fantasy novel section of the 2001 LOCUS Poll, and though it was nominated in that same year for the Nebula award, it was ruled ineligible due to the Subterranean Press edition having been released before the relevant judging period. The novel was also nominated for the 2002 Mythopeoic Award and in 2005, for a major German award, the "Phantastik Preis" in the best foreign novel category.
Foreign Language Editions
- French – Les Puissance Des L'Invisble – this French edition was released by Denoel in 2003 in time to coincide with the author's appearance as GOH at Utopialis, a convention that takes place annually in Nantes, France. This edition (shown above) was a trade paperback release in two parts. It features split cover art by Manchu and was translated by Michelle Charrier.
A further French edition (below left) was published in mass market paperback by J'Ai lu in 2007. This was a reprint of the Charrier translation, but featured new cover art by Benjamin Carre This edition is currently available online from Amazon.fr.
- Spanish – Declara – a trade paperback published by Gigamesh in 2002. This translation was by Albert Sole and the cover art was by Corominas. This edition contained an introduction by John Berlyne. ISBN 84-932250-7-X.
- German – Declare: Auf dem Berg der Engel – this German edition, a sturdy hard cover release was published by Festa in 2004. It carries the ISBN 3-935822-53-7, was translated by Alfons Winkelman and features a cover by BabbaRammDass.
- Dutch – De Openbaring – A large format trade paperback edition published by Luitingh in 2007. ISBN 978-90-245-5007-4. Translation by Ellis Post Uiterweer.