"The White Dragon" (US 1st
by Cheryl Miller
Dragon is the coming-of-age story of Jaxom and his white
dragon Ruth. This novel is an expansion of Anne's earlier
novelette A Time When, and it was Anne's first book to
make the New York Times Bestseller list -- making it the first
book by an avowed science fiction author to do so.
The first US mass
market paperback was published in May 1979 by Del Rey in New
York, with cover art by Michael Whelan. It sold for $2.25 US.
The first US mass
market paperback printing of this book is of interest because
there were two states due to numerous printing errors and typos
in the first state, the most notable of which is detailed below.
When the errors were discovered Del Rey made an attempt at
recalling the entire production run, but it was already on
bookstore shelves so they were not all that successful. The
errors were corrected and a new book printed to replace the
first edition -- with no notation on the copyright page to
indicate that it was a new print run of the book.
which is identical for either state. The highlighted section is
where you determine what printing version you have (for later
printings, a second line will show stating the printing and the
The largest error
was that a block of text a couple pages long was shifted out of
place, and checking for this error will let you determine
whether you have the first or second state of the first printing
of this edition. On page 143, the fourth paragraph starts:
"Will she let
them Impress, sir?" Jaxom asked the
In the second
state this sentence correctly continues as:
momentarily forgetting his awareness of the man's mortality.
In the first state
with the printing error, the sentence continues nonsensically
head from side
On page 144 the
first state jumps back to the proper end of the sentence about
halfway down the page. Then on page 146 you reach the point
where the block of text was meant to be, again about halfway
down the page.
Because the two
states to this first printing can only be distinguished by this
error and not by the printing statement on the copyright page,
it can be a bit tricky to try to collect a specific one through
an online bookstore, as most won't mention which state -- if the
seller is even aware that there are two. Numerous copies of both
states can be had for prices as low as $1 US (and up to over $15
US, which is outlandishly high). This is a book you'll do better
to search for the old-fashioned way, or spend time
emailing/calling the online stores and hope they're willing to
check for you!
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