Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tim Powers & Pirates (& More)

I can't speak for the entire Catholic blogsphere, but everyone in my own little corner of it (do spheres have corners?) is all a-twitter at the recently confirmed report that Disney has optioned Tim Power's novel, On Stranger Tides, and will be using elements from it in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

I'm always delighted when an author I like encounters good fortune. Especially when it is likely to include tie-in editions of his novels (More people discovering his work -- yay!) and, hopefully, an incentive for his publishers to keep his other novels in print.

As an added bonus, while clicking around on related links, I discovered news of even more interest to a bibliophagist. Earlier this year PS Publishing released Powers: Secret Histories by John Berlyne. Described by the publisher as "a bibliographical cornucopia,"
. . . Secret Histories has been nearly ten years in the making and brings together an astonishing range of Powers ephemera - a huge treat and a remarkable resource for both fans and collectors alike.

As well as a complete, illustrated reference of every Tim Powers book published to date, . . . Secret Histories offers an extraordinary insight into the stories behind the stories, collecting together in a single volume Powers material previously seen only in private collections.

Here - in print for the very first time - you'll find poetry, drawings, research and plotting notes, novel outlines, early drafts, out-takes and an excerpt from the author's unpublished 1974 novel, To Serve in Hell.

Supporting these riches are story notes and commentary by Powers himself and you'll also find articles and essays from collaborators, friends and renowned Powers aficionados . . .

The book was published in three separate editions. The regular signed edition (limited to 1,000 copies) costs £40. The two volume slipcased edition (£195), which includes an unfinished novel which Powers wrote in the early '70s, The Waters Deep, Deep, Deep, has been illustrated by the author. The deluxe edition (£495) also includes a third volume: "a full colour facsimile edition of the original handwritten manuscript of The Anubis Gates, complete with doodles, crossings out, dog-eared corners and even coffee stains! Only twenty-six copies of this facsimile, signed by Powers and individually lettered, will be available . . ."

After adding postage and packing from the U.K., I doubt that even the least expensive of these in within my book budget. But it's nice to know they're out there.


Sherwood said...

They are finally acknowledging how much they ALREADY lifted from his novels.

I bet that PS Publishing volume will be available for us poor folk in a year or two, through more conventional means.

John Berlyne said...

Thanks for your kind comments regarding POWERS: SECRET HISTORIES. It's true, alas, that it is a pricey volume, not helped by it's weight - we used premium grade paper to get the best from the litho print - the idea being that you didn't spend all that money to have the amazing colour illustrations fade within eighteen months due to cheap digital printing! A number of dealers are stocking the book in the US, so it's worth shopping around to see who offers the best shipping rates.

Alas I think it is unlikely that the book will ever be published in a mass market edition given the full colour production costs - but I can, at least, guarantee that the PS edition is one of the most gorgeous books produced by anyone in recent years.