Uncorrected Proofs: Part Two


These images were chosen not for any intrinsic value or rarity, but because they illustrate different types of proofs, and the variations among the same types. I've tried to point out the interesting features in the supplied descriptions. I will be adding to the image collection in time, and I welcome any corrections and additions to my descriptions.


Click on an image to see the larger view. Please do not reproduce these images or descriptions without my explicit approval.


[ Part One ] [ Part Two ]



Zodiac - frontZodiac - back

Zodiac by Neal Stephenson
1988 Atlantic Monthly Press


Uncorrected proof of the first edition, which was a trade paperback. The author's second book (see The Big U above), it is fairly easy to find. This is the only copy of the proof that I know of (please let me know if you've seen one; they must be out there!)


The Reality Dysfunction - frontThe Reality Dysfunction - back

The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton


Uncorrected proof of the first edition, which was a British hardcover. This is number 005 of 371 signed and numbered copies. The limitation page is the first page, which is also the half-title page. The signed and limited proof is a relatively new phenomenon; one of these days I'll find out who did it first.


Full Spectrum 4Full Spectrum 4

Full Spectrum 4 edited by Lou Aronica, Amy Stout and Betsy Mitchell
Bantam Books


Fourth in the series of excellent science fiction anthologies. What makes this copy interesting is that it was Michael Bishop's copy, and contains extensive annotations in his hand throughout the book. He has also signed and dated the table of contents. I don't know if this was perhaps for a review he wrote, or for his own use. This is not the only such uncorrected proof I have seen; apparently Mr. Bishop did this regularly.


Salome Proof CoverSalome Proof Interior

Salome: My First Two Thousand Years of Love by George S. Viereck and Paul Eldridge
Horace Liveright


This is one of the most interesting proofs I've ever seen, and my oldest by far. It is the first part of George S. Viereck's Salome: My First Two Thousand Years of Love, but with Moon Challenge instead of Salome (which, if you've read the book, is fascinating right there.) It is apparently a proof of the first edition, from Horace Liveright in 1930. It is an odd size, 7.5" wide and 7.75" tall, plain brown wraps, the pages are "quarter-bound" in linen with three huge staples. Pages are printed on one side only, are unnumbered, and the pages end about halfway into the book. Click on the image for a more detailed description.


The Truth Machine

The Truth Machine by James L. Halperin
Del Rey


There's an interesting story behind this book. James L. Halperin is an expert numismatist, and co-owns a publishing company that published books about coins. This is his first novel, and he self-published it (by Ivy Press) in hardcover, reportedly in a run of 12,000 copies, for a cover price of $22. It garnered a fair amount of attention online (I was one of the first to mention it on the newsgroups), and Del Rey decided to buy it and publish it themselves, which they did so for $24 each. I presume it sold well, as Del Rey also published his second book. In this case, since Del Rey had bought all of the remaining Ivy Press hardcovers, for the advance reading copies they simply printed up some new dust jackets (glossy like ordinary ones), and wrapped them around the Ivy Press books, and also razored out the title/copyright page. If you didn't remove the DJ, you wouldn't notice the it. This is the first and only such example I've found.


Bridge of Birds

Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
Del Rey


This is a "proof cover flat" for the first paperback edition. Proof covers are usually sent to bookstores to promote the upcoming release; they are often posted on bulletin boards or displayed on the wall. The publisher hides the price with a hole punch. Sometimes these are supplied with the proof of the book, but these usually do not have the price removed, and are often folded. These are great for display, and generally very inexpensive.


Mindstar Rising Proof

Mindstar Rising by Peter F. Hamilton
1993 Pan


The uncorrected proof of the first edition consists of a "proof cover flat", a letter from the publisher, and a set of photocopies of the galley sheets. Click on the thumbnail to view these materials.


Lo, The Former Egyptian!

Lo, The Former Egyptian! by H. Allen Smith
1947 Doubleday


The uncorrected proof of the first edition. "Tall proofs", with the pages printed on one side only.


House of Leaves

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
2000 Pantheon


Uncorrected proof of the first edition, which was published simultaneously in hardcover and trade paperback. I suspect the hardcover was not in the original plans, since only the paperback is mentioned on the cover.


The Porcelain Fish Mystery

The Porcelain Fish Mystery by Harriette R. Campbell
1937 Knopf


Advance reading copy (but not an uncorrected proof) of the first edition. All are the sewn signatures bound in plain wrappers, with the dust jacket pasted to the covers and the flaps removed. Laid in is a red 3x5 card with the publication info hand-typed on it. It is dated March 25 1937, with a publication date of April 26th. It states that her first book "had a sale of 3,000 copies."


Last CallLast Call

Last Call by Tim Powers
1992 William Morrow


The uncorrected proof of the first trade edition (preceded by a limited edition from Charnel House). An ink date written across the front cover is very common, and usually indicates when the proof was received for review by an organization. This copy has written in pencil "(name) -- Is this fantasy? / If not, ditch! / from Francis." It was fantasy, and apparently not "ditched." Later, Powers inscribed the front cover, assuring Francis it was indeed fantasy. Inside, he inscribed it to me, insisting that it was all true, though.


Worse Than Death

Worse Than Death by Sherry Gottlieb
2000 Tor Books


Two proofs for the same book. One is copyright 1999, and to be published under the "Forge" imprint. The other is copyright 2000, with a publishing date of January 2000, without the "Forge" imprint.


Nile Shadows

Nile Shadows by Edward Whittemore
1982 Holt Rinehart & Winston


A scarce proof indeed. Plain wrappers, with blank spine and rear panel.

Page updated: 4 May 2002