"A Time When"
by Cheryl Miller
A Time When
(being a tale of young Lord Jaxom, his white dragon, Ruth and
various fire-lizards.) is a novelette that was published in
limited numbers, preceding the publication of The White
Dragon by three years. Because the events of A Time When
were expanded upon in The White Dragon, it was never
republished and many fans have never heard of it -- though any
that have looked at the copyright page for The White Dragon
should have noticed it's mention there and been curious.
Conversely, A Time When's copyright page notes that it
comes from the forthcoming White Dragon.
A Time When cover, 2nd binding state
A Time When copyright page
The White Dragon copyright page
A Time When
is a hardcover book published by Nesfa Press (Nesfa being the
New England Science Fiction Association) in 1975, in conjunction
with Anne's Guest of Honor appearance as Boskone 12, which was
held Feb 28th to Mar 2nd, 1975 in Boston, Massachusetts. The
cover and three interior illustrations were done by Bonnie
Dalzell, who was the official artist of the convention.
Two binding states
were made, as follows:
lettered A through T, signed by both Anne and the illustrator,
bound in leather (three quarter leather, on spine and corners)
and marbled paper. Gold foil was used for text lettering and a
decorative design on the spine and boards. Hargreaves reports
that brown leather was used, while
NESFA's site states that some copies had blue leather rather
than brown. These 20 copies were sold for $40 US to persons with
advanced subscriptions only.
numbered, signed by Anne (though perhaps not all copies were
signed, according to the NESFA site). Bound in blue cloth with
silver foil lettering, and a dust jacket. Any of the 935 guests
at the con that purchased the book for the original price of $6
US will have had their purchase appreciate in value
approximately 50 times! (Those that didn't bother buying one
must be kicking themselves now!) The book didn't sell out at the
convention as NESFA's website states that the price was raised
to $7 US in December 1975.
Besides being the
first published story centered on Jaxom, A Time When also
marks the first appearance of a Dragondex within a Pern book.
The Dragondex was compiled and designed by Wendy Glasser, from
the data in Dragonflight and Dragonquest. More information on
Glasser's Dragondex will be given in my next Collecting
by Bonnie Dalzell. I read a description somewhere that called
this a picture of a firelizard in distress. Certainly he doesn't
look happy -- perhaps because of the that paintbrush tip about
to tickle his belly?
As of 6/1/2006 I
can find 7 copies for sale, for prices ranging from $295-800
(US). For tips on locating copies of this or other items, email
Cheryl (address in page footer) or post a message at
A Meeting of Minds.
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