Epitaph In Rust
"When Bother Thomas tries sky-fishing from the monastery roof he knows he is breaking the law, but the few risks seem a small price to escape the stifling boredom of his cloistered life. What he doesn't understand is why his insignificant brush with the law makes him the object of a massive manhunt and triggers off such a dramatic chain of events. Certainly he achieves his aim and finds the excitement he craves – but in the process the lives of everyone around him change as well." — Cover blurb from 1976 Laser Edition.
Laser Books #47
Tim Powers's second novel was published in November 1976, hot on the heels (in publishing terms) of The Skies Discrowned as part of the same Laser Books (Toronto) series.
Still listing the author as Timothy Powers, this release was number #47 in the collection and carried the ISBN 0-373-72047-5. Following the same format as the entire series, the cover art was by Frank Kelly Freas. One difference between this release and The Skies Discrowned was that the asking price went up to $1.25!
Though now over thirty years old, copies of Epitaph in Rust are still readily available. Try this link to Advanced Book Exchange to see if any dealers are offering copies at the moment. Alternatively, eBay may have copies on offer.
NESFA Press Limited Edition
This novel got another outing when it was released as a limited hard cover edition by the NESFA Press in February 1989.
This edition featured a forward by Powers in which he highlights the frustrations he felt when the original Laser edition had been published twelve years earlier. Restored to its original title of An Epitaph In Rust, (it had been the Laser editors that had shortened it back in 1976 and it had been they who had insisted that this and The Skies Discrowned be published under the name Timothy Powers), this edition features the original text exactly as Powers intended it.
This NESFA edition was launched at the Boskone XXVI convention at which Powers was Guest of Honour. 1000 copies were produced, 775 of which were individually numbered (ISBN 0-915368-40-4). The remaining 225 were slipcased and specially bound. They were also autographed by Powers and Jim Gurney who did the artwork (ISBN 0-915368-93-5). The edition also featured an article on the novel and the Laser series by Tom Whitmore, special guest speaker at the convention.
Copies of both states are available though from specialist book dealers. with prices ranging from around $50.00 for the unnumbered state to beyond $200.00 for the slipcased edition. Try this link to the Advanced Book Exchange to see what's currently on the market. Alternatively, eBay may have copies on offer.
Foreign Language Editions
- French – Les Pecheurs Du Ciel – Published by J'ai Lu in 1997. A mass market edition, this translation of the revised NESFA text was translated by Michel Deutsch. It carries the ISBN 2-290-04512-8 and had cover art credited to "de Caza.
The edition still seems to be available online from Amazon.fr for 5.70 Euro – excluding shipping.
I am not aware of any other foreign language translation of this novel.
An Epitaph in Rust was published alongside Power's début novel The Skies Discrowned in this omnibus edition entitled Powers of Two. For further details on this book, take a look at The Skies Discrowned page of this web site.