Here I am, flouting social convention and breaking the rules once again. So The Dragon Waiting isn’t a book yet to be released. But I am waiting on it. And I can’t wait.
(Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Thinking.)
It all started when I read this Black Gate article. How can you pass on a cover like this?
Here is the back cover copy.
In a snowbound inn high in the Alps, four people have met who will alter fate: a noble Byzantine mercenary; a beautiful Florentine woman physician; an ageless Welsh wizard; and a German vampire. In a world ruled by sorcery, war, treachery, and passion, they have joined forced against the serpentine evil rising to vanquish a young Plantagenet prince—who now has been marked for a glorious new destiny as England’s King Richard III.
I’ve been on a bit of a vampire kick lately—watching the Blade trilogy and finishing the last two seasons of True Blood. Vampires and the Wars of the Roses? You had better believe that I’m in.
So I swing by my local used bookshop on the way home. They do not have any copies of The Dragon Waiting. But they do have one John M. Ford book. And that book has this blurb.
Vampires and the Wars of the Roses and Robert fricking Jordan loves the author? I am so in. (That World Fantasy Award, by the way? It was for The Dragon Waiting.) I have got to find this book, but it needs to have that cover.
Amazon is garbage for finding a particular edition.
I knew I needed the 1985 Avon Books paperback edition, not the 1983 Timescape Books hardcover or the 2002 Gollancz reprint. I found several copies from Avon Books on a couple used book sites. I checked the ISBN—right ISBN. But the cover is wrong. Just an image, not a picture of the actual book, but my students’ experience has shown that the right ISBN and the wrong cover image rarely leads to the right book.
So I moved on to that indispensable resource, the Internet Speculative Fiction Database. It turns out that Avon Books used two covers. Avon replaced the first printing cover art by Sanjulian with cover art by Ken Barr. The copies I had seen were presumably second printings.
My final stop was eBay. There I found what better damn well be a first printing. There were pictures of the actual book, so I feel pretty good about it. I skipped right past bidding and hit Buy Now. But I’m long since spoiled by two-day shipping on Amazon, and I. Can’t. Wait.