Three Days To Never
"Tim Powers has long been one of my absolutely favourite writers, those whose new books I snatch up as soon as they appear, and Three Days to Never puts on display all the qualities I most admire in him: intelligence, narrative sparkle, great dialogue, speculative imagination, and emotional power. This is a wonderful novel." — Peter Straub
Powers fans had an interminable wait for a new novel following the release of Declare back in January 2001 – over five and a half years in fact! I asked Powers why there had been such a delay. Here's what he had to say…
"Oh, a couple of reasons! I wish I could say it was because I did years of research, but actually it's just been mundane obstacles. My vision has been deteriorating, so that I have to read with a magnifying glass — very awkward to hold a book, a magnifying glass, a cat, and a pencil, without dropping one — and I've been teaching a lot of high school and college classes during these last several years. Lately it's been two three-hour high school classes and one three-hour college class each week. And they're both two counties away from where I live, so the drive-time is substantial too! Add in my natural laziness, and you get a disgraceful lag between books."
In August 2006 however, with the release of Three Days To Never, came a novel that was ultimately well worth the wait.
The Subterranean Press Limited Edition
A numbered state was issued (above left) in hard cover in August 2006. The release was limited to 474 individually numbered copies signed by Powers. The cover art was by J.K Potter, who also provided illustrated endpapers and internal illustrations. The edition carried the ISBN 1-59606-049-2 and was priced on issue at $80.00. Copies of this edition can still be sourced from Amazon.com. Alternatively, you may find copies offered on eBay.
A lettered state followed some months later. This edition was quarter bound in blue silk boards and white plastic and was housed in a custom made slipcase. Copies contained additional Potter artwork and carried the same ISBN as their numbered counterpart. The issue price was $600.00. Both these limited states were issued with copies of Nine Sonnets.
This additional book contained – as the title suggests – nine sonnets, apparently written by the protagonist of Three Days to Never, who, like Powers, is a literature professor. A slim volume, it was issued in three states – the first being a paper bound chapbook that was issued along with copies of the Subterranean edition of Three Days to Never. This chapbook edition was unsigned and carried no ISBN.
A hard cover state of 52 was also issued, and sold by Subterranean as a separate collectable. This state was priced at $100.00 and was signed twice by Powers, once under his own name and once under that of Francis Thomas Marrity.
A third "super deluxe" state of Nine Sonnets was also produced – this consisted of nine individually lettered hard cover copies, bound in cloth and housed in a matching slip case. Each copy contained a hand written copy of one of the sonnets and these were issued at $750.00. Copies were signed twice by Powers as above.
An additional tenth sonnet was written by Powers and sent out to those folks who has purchased the Subterranean lettered state of Three Days to Never. Two copies of this final Marrity sonnet were issued, one a printed version and one written out by hand by Powers and it is likely that this was a response by the publisher to the less than enthusiastic reception that the lettered stated received when it was finally released. It had been described by some as an $80 book in a $520 tray case!
I've not seen copies of Nine Sonnets offered for auction as yet, but they are bound to appear on the market at some point. Check this link to eBay to see if any are now being offered, or take a look on ABE, where copies are now starting to appear.
The trade edition of Three Days to Never was published by William Morrow in August 2006. This was a hard cover release, was priced at $25.95 and carried the ISBN 978-0-380-97653-9. An uncorrected proof copy (above left) was also produced.
This edition received at least one reprint and is it still easy to locate copies online. Try this link to Amazon.com. For copies of the uncorrected proof (note prices of this proof have been creeping upwards), you'll need to go to the dealer market – this link to ABE will help you see who currently has copies on offer.
The Science Fiction Book Club produced an edition of Three Days to Never which followed quite soon after the Morrow edition. This is, essentially a scaled down version, very similar to the Morrow book except for having black boards and slightly smaller dimensions. Additionally it has the SFBC identifying number 1213739 on the rear cover. Rarely offered, you might get lucky with this link to ebay.
The mass market paperback edition of Three Day To Never will be published in December 2007 by HarperCollins and will carry a cover price of $7.99.
This edition is now available for pre-order at Amazon.com and further details will be posted here in due course.
To date there have been no UK or foreign language editions of Three Days to Never.