The Omnibus Volumes of Daniel Abraham: The Long Price Quartet

Saturday, December 1st, 2018 | Posted by John ONeill

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Daniel Abraham is the author of The Dagger and the Coin five-volume fantasy series, five books in the Black Sun’s Daughter horror series (as M. L. N. Hanover), and a pair of Star Wars novels. With Ty Franck he is the author of the breakout hit The Expanse, under the name James S. A. Corey. But before all that he created a four-volume fantasy series called The Long Price Quartet that helped cement his rep as a rising young star. The first book, A Shadow in Summer, appeared in 2006 from Tor, and the three sequels arrived almost exactly a year apart.

When I was in Barnes & Noble last week I saw a handsome omnibus volume, and I was very happy to pick it up. It contains all four novels:

A Shadow in Summer (331 pages, $24.95 hardcover, $7.99 paperback, March 7, 2006)
A Betrayal in Winter (317 pages, $24.95 hardcover, $7.99 paperback, August 2007)
An Autumn War (366 pages, $25.95 hardcover, $7.99 paperback, July 2008)
The Price of Spring (348 pages, $27.99 hardcover, $7.99 paperback, July 2009)

The Long Price Quartet was published by Tor Books on November 13, 2018. It is 975 pages, priced at $19.99. There is no digital edition. The cover is by Getty Images.

Believe it or not, we’ve covered dozens of omnibus paperbacks just like this one, from authors like C.J. Cherryh, Jack Vance, H. Beam Piper, P.N. Elrod, Steven Brust, James H. Schmitz, Murray Leinster, Andre Norton, Robert Silverberg, and many others. Check them out here.


Future Treasures: Rogue Trader: The Omnibus by Andy Hoare

Wednesday, December 27th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Rogue Trader the Omnibus-smallFantasy Flight released the epic Rogue Trader role playing game in 2009. One of the early fruits of their Warhammer 40,000 license, Rogue Trader allowed players to play intrepid merchant princes buying and selling outside the legal boundaries of the Imperium. I became a fan immediately, and it quickly became my favorite science fiction RPG.

Fantasy Flight lost the Warhammer 40K license last year, and the game is now out of print. I thought that would be the end of the brand, so I was pleased to see Black Library put Rogue Trader: The Omnibus on their schedule for next month. It’s a compilation of three novels and two short stories by Andy Hoare. Rogue Star (2006) and Star of Damocles (2007) chart the fortunes of rogue trader Lucian Gerrit on the Imperium’s fringes, and Savage Scars (2011) picks up the tale as the White Scars battle the T’au on the planet Dal’yth. Rogue Trader: The Omnibus arrives in trade paperback on January 23.

Explore the stars and the farthest reaches of the galaxy with the complete Rogue Trader omnibus, containing the novels Rogue Star, Star of Damocles and Savage Scars.

Licensed by ancient charter, Rogue Traders explore the uncharted regions of the galaxy, seeking new worlds to exploit on behalf of the Imperium. The fortunes of Rogue Trader Lucian Gerrit and his family are in decline, and his inheritance amounts to little more than a pile of debt and misery. In a final, desperate gamble to restore his family’s former glory, Gerrit strikes a deal on a forgotten Imperial world in the Eastern Fringe, but his timing could not be worse. The alien tau are seeking to expand their empire across the Damocles Gulf, and soon Gerrit is caught in the middle of a clash between two mighty star-spanning empires, neither of which is willing to back down.

Rogue Trader: The Omnibus will be published by Games Workshop/Black Library on January 23, 2018. It is 800 pages, priced at $21 in trade paperback. Read more at the Black Library website.


No Slimy Monsters, No Princesses: The Bantam Spectra Omnibus Robert Silverberg

Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Robert Silverberg The Masks of Time Born With the Dead Dying Inside-small Robert Silverberg Three Novels The World Inside Thorns Downward to the Earth-small

Robert Silverberg practically introduced me to science fiction. His novel Collision Course was one of the first SF novels I ever read, and he’s one of the first authors I collected. Like a lot of Campbell-era SF, Collision Course is about humans thrusting out into space in an aggressive age of empire-building, and our first encounter with an equally aggressive alien race with the same dreams. The copy I read was the 1977 Ace edition with a cover (by an uncredited artist) that casually gave away the ending.

Ace Books, run by Jim Baen and publisher Tom Doherty, was Silverberg’s paperback publisher in the US for many years. By the 80s, however, Silverberg had been lured over to the Bantam Spectra line under Lou Aronica. Bantam pulled out all the stops for Silverberg, reprinting much of his vast backlist with gorgeous new artwork by Welsh artist Jim Burns. My collection includes over a dozen Bantam Silverberg’s, including his Majipoor novels, Gilgamesh the King (1984), To Open the Sky (1984), and many others,

But it was only a few months ago that I discovered that Bantam produced two omnibus Silverberg collections in 1988. It was purely by luck, as I was hunting down a copy of Downward to the Earth, and instead found a seller offering something called Three Novels: The World Inside, Thorns, Downward to the Earth for just $3. I quickly searched around and found there was a least one earlier volume, collecting The Masks of Time, Born With the Dead, and Dying Inside. I expect they had very low circulation, because I’ve never seen them before.

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The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes – A New Solar Pons Omnibus

Monday, January 23rd, 2017 | Posted by Bob Byrne

Copper_OmnibusIf you want to read my thoughts on the season four (and hopefully series) finale of BBC’s Sherlock, click on over and read it at my blog. Because today The Public Life of Sherlock Holmes is going to talk about Solar Pons.

August Derleth, the creator of Solar Pons, passed away in 1971. Derleth’s final collection, The Chronicles of Solar Pons, a mix of previously released stories and ones never published, came out in 1973. Surprisingly, Pons would be back within a decade! In 1979, Basil Copper would release three collections of tales: The Dossier of Solar Pons, The Further Adventures of Solar Pons and The Secret Files of Solar Pons. There would be three more collections, as well as a novella. Copper had written horror books for Derleth’s Arkham House imprint and he seemed like a good choice for continuing the stories.

Unfortunately, Copper’s Pons connection did not have a happy ending. He helped Arkham House editor Don Turner compile an omnibus edition of all of Derleth’s released Pons stories. However, Copper chose to do some ‘corrective editing’ of the originals, which caused a furor among the Pontine faithful. You can read Jon Lellenberg’s essay on this topic in The Solar Pons Gazette (page 45). Peter Ruber also wrote an excellent account, but I don’t have permission to reprint that.

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The Omnibus Volumes of Cassandra Rose Clarke: Magic of Blood and Sea and Magic of Wind and Mist

Monday, January 16th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

Magic of Blood and Sea-small Magic of Wind and Mist

Angry Robot is one of the most innovative (and successful) new genre publishing houses in the last decade. Not every aspect of its journey has been equally successful, however. Its Strange Chemistry imprint, launched in 2011 to publish young adult SF and fantasy, shut down in 2014… but not before publishing highly acclaimed new work by Martha Wells, Jonathan L. Howard, and three early novels by Cassandra Rose Clarke: The Assassin’s Curse (2012) and its sequel The Pirate’s Wish (2013), and The Wizard’s Promise (2014). A fourth novel, The Nobleman’s Revenge, the sequel to The Wizard’s Promise, was never published.

Clarke was nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award for her first novel for adults, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, in 2013, and late last year Saga Press reprinted the book in a new trade paperback edition. Now they’re doing the same with Clarke’s Strange Chemistry novels. The Assassin’s Curse series will be reprinted in a handsome omnibus edition, Magic of Blood and Sea, arriving in hardcover in early February. And The Wizard’s Promise and the previously unpublished The Nobleman’s Revenge will appear in Magic of Wind and Mist in 2018.

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Check Out the Serial Box Omnibus Collections from Saga Press

Friday, January 6th, 2017 | Posted by John ONeill

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Over in their own corner of the internet, Serial Box is conducting a quiet little revolution in modern fantasy. Tapping into the power and availability of digital readers, Serial Box has brought a very old concept — serialized fiction — into the 21st Century.

Although maybe television is a better comparison. Like TV, Serial Box offers multiple stories in a rich variety of genres, and they release new episodes every week. Each of their serials typically runs for a “season” of 10-16 weeks, and each is written by a team of talented writers. The stories are easy to jump into, the individual episodes are standalone (but contribute to a larger story arch), and each episode is available in both digital and audio formats. There are five ongoing series so far:

Tremontaine — The prequel to Ellen Kushner’s famed Riverside series (Swordspoint, The Privilege of the Sword, The Fall of The Kings)
Bookburners — A secret team of agents hunts down dangerous books containing deadly magic
ReMade — 23 teenagers all die the same minute, and wake up in a world of robots, space elevators, and dense jungle
Whitehall — An historical tale of Catherine of Braganza, filled with Intrigue, romance, and scandal
The Witch Who Came In From the Cold — Spies and sorcerers battle for home and country in Cold War Prague

Now Saga Press has created omnibus collections of Bookburners (coming January 31) and Tremontaine (May 2), as well as The Witch Who Came in from the Cold (June 13). Here’s all the deets.

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The Omnibus Volumes of C.J. Cherryh, Part IV: The Complete Morgaine

Friday, June 3rd, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

The Complete Morgaine CJ Cherryh-smallLast year, in my series on The Omnibus Volumes of C.J. Cherryh, I mentioned The Morgaine Saga, a collection of the first three novels in her classic sword-and-sorcery series. That’s a fine book, but there are two problems with it. One, it doesn’t include the final novel, Exile’s Gate, and two, it’s been out of print for over a frickin’ decade.

Ah well… I guess when you’re a vintage paperback collector, you shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth. The Morgaine Saga was a terrific book, and collectors were glad to get it (when we could find it). Gate of Ivrel, Cherryh’s first novel, and the first book in the series, was a breakout book for her. She won the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer the year after it appeared, and it helped launch her entire career (for the intimate details of her start in the business, watch CJ’s talk at 2016 the Nebula Awards last month.)

In honor of CJ’s Grand Master at the Nebula’s, DAW gave out samples of her work to all the attendees. And I was surprised and delighted to find a copy of The Complete Morgaine among the giveaways. Published in trade paperback last year, it contains all four books for the first time in a single volume:

Gate of Ivrel (1976)
Well of Shiuan (1978)
Fires of Azeroth (1979)
Exile’s Gate (1988)

I guess it’s true what they say… good things come to he who waits. The Complete Morgaine was published in September 2015 by DAW Books. It is 816 pages, priced at $20, with a cover by Michael Whelan. It also contains an introduction by Andre Norton. We previously surveyed The Omnibus Volumes of C.J. Cherryh (and there’s more than you think): Part I, Part II, and Part III.


The Omnibus Volumes of Andre Norton, Part One

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

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If you’re like me, you enjoy vintage science fiction and fantasy, and tracking down old paperbacks to add to your collection. But nothing beats the convenience of having those fragile old books available in a modern reprint. Unless it’s having multiple books in a single omnibus volume, under a great new cover, for the price of a single paperback. When that happens, we like to make some noise about it here — especially when the books involved are true classics of the genre.

That’s why we end up talking about Baen so much. Last week it was the trio of Baen’s Murray Leinster omnibus volumes; before that it was their seven volumes featuring James H. Schmitz. Today, I’d like to take a look at three of the many omnibus volumes collecting some of the best work of Andre Norton, published by Baen last decade.

First up is Darkness and Dawn, which collects perhaps the first Andre Norton book I ever laid eyes on, in my elementary school library in Kentville, Nova Scotia: Daybreak—2250 A.D.

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The Omnibus Volumes of Murray Leinster

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

Med Ship-small Planets of Adventure-small A Logic Named Joe-small

Last week, in my article on The Omnibus Volumes of James H. Schmitz, I noted how Eric Flint edited seven omnibus volumes collecting the science fiction of James H. Schmitz, starting in 2000. Those books were successful enough that Eric expanded his project to include other great SF and fantasy writers of the mid-20th Century.

And boy, did he expand it. By the time he was done, Baen had published volumes dedicated to A. E. Van Vogt, Michael Shea, Howard L. Myers, Keith Laumer, Randall Garrett, Christopher Anvil, Cordwainer Smith, Lois McMaster Bujold, A. Bertam Chandler, P.C. Hogdell, Andre Norton, and many others. Today I want to look at the three volumes dedicated to Murray Leinster, “The Dean of Science Fiction,” whose work I think still has enormous appeal even today.

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The Omnibus Volumes of James H. Schmitz

Sunday, July 5th, 2015 | Posted by John ONeill

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We continue to survey the best omnibus volumes for collectors out there. And at long last, we come to one of my favorite short story writers, and one of my favorite omnibus sets: the seven volumes collecting the science fiction and science fantasy of James H. Schmitz, published by Baen Books.

Baen Books, and especially its long-time editor Eric Flint, have done some really extraordinary work collecting classic SF and fantasy in handsome and highly affordable mass market editions, and they’ve been doing it for decades. Baen has published omnibus collections featuring Andre Norton, P.C. Hogdell, Murray Leinster, A. Bertam Chandler, Lois McMaster Bujold, Cordwainer Smith, Christopher Anvil, Randall Garrett, Keith Laumer, Howard L. Myers, Michael Shea, A. E. Van Vogt, and countless others.

The Baen reprint program largely began with these volumes in 2000, and I still believe they may be their crowning achievement.

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