These are materials I purchased from Charles Miller, of Underwood-Miller publishing fame. I received them on Jan 10, 1999. Mr. Miller was kind enough to provide a signed letter of authentication with each group of items. I think they illuminate an interesting era in small-press publishing, just prior to the computer age.


[Tschai] [Big Planet] [The Blue World] [The Languages of Pao] [Showboat World] [Madouc] [Rhialto the Marvellous] [Miscellaneous]


Tschai Notes

An intriguing note. "Two mysteries"; what could this mean? Is this the genesis of the Planet of Adventure limited editions?


David Ireland 'Postcards'

This is a montage of four 'postcards' that were to be pasted onto the front covers of the books, or in the case of the numbered copies, also as the frontispiece. Three sets were included in the materials. For those of you interested, "Barge all-purpose cement" was used to attach the cards, according to a letter from the publisher to the book manufacturer.


David Ireland 'Postcards' Proof

This is one of four 'proof sets', each containing one full-color image, one very light grey-scale image, one red image and one green-and-blue image. I would assume these are "color separations"; more info would be appreciated. Not shown is the envelope they came in; apparently these were printed in Spain.


Tschai Order Card

This is one of two postcards apparently sent with some or all of the first volumes.


Additional material:

  • Four original two-page contracts, "Reprint Agreements" between Tim Underwood ("publisher") and Jack Vance ("author"), all four signed by both on April 19, 1977.

  • Nine pages of correspondence between David Ireland and Tim Underwood regarding artwork for the books. At one point Tim had planned on two volumes, each containing two novels. Details about the drawings are discussed, as our prices and payments. The letters from Tim Underwood are carbon copies.

  • Eleven pages of contracts, estimates and letters to and from Braun-Brumfield, book manufacturers for City of the Chasch. The original estimate included 4-color process dust jackets on all copies. One letter from Tim Underwood compliments them on the work they did on Fantasms.

  • Two invoices from and a copy of a letter to Donald Unger of Monarch Graphics regarding the "redo" of 49 pages of the first volume, and the designs for the title pages and spine for the first two books.

  • Four pages of invoices and letters regarding the incorrect assembly of the cards, resulting in a binding delay and wasted materials. Apparently a lot can go wrong when trying to get a book printed.

  • Two customs forms, one from Spain, the other from the United States, apparently regarding the importation of the card 'proof sets'.

  • Six pages of correspondence between Tim Underwood and Tom Nesbitt regarding line illustrations and possible comic form for some of Vance's work.

  • Three 8.5" by 11" sheets of illustrations; not originals, but nicely printed. One is from City of the Chasch, the other two are the two sides of the map of Tschai, pasted onto graph paper with alignment holes at top and bottom.

  • One limitation page signed by Vance and David Ireland, with the number left blank.

  • Three single-color frontispiece illustrations

Big Planet

Big Planet brochure

A single sheet on semi-glossy paper describing the upcoming publication of the limited edition. A half-tone rendering of the cover artwork is printed on the reverse side. This copy has been tri-folded.


Big Planet limitation page

Two copies of the limitation pages, each signed but not numbered. (Partial view.)


Big Planet edition info

A single 8.5" by 11" sheet containing information about the numbered editions. This sheet was folded once and inserted into the books. This sheet has not been folded. (Partial view.)


Additional material:

  • Typed oversize postcard signed from Michael Moorcock, undated (11p postage airmail from U.K.), commenting on the fine production of Big Planet and the bibliography.

  • Very brief TLS from Michael Moorcock, apparently sent with a private press publication mentioned in the postcard.

  • A flat-folded dust jacket.

The Blue World


  • Color separations (3 sheets stapled together) for the dust jacket artwork.

  • Half-tone negative for the frontispiece artwork.

  • Five single-page TLS of correspondence between Tim Underwood and Cathy Hill, the artist for the dust jacket and frontispiece, dated between April and June 1979, and detailing the financial arrangements and artwork specifications. Ms. Hill apparently had less than a month to prepare both pieces. The letters from Tim are xerox copies. Interestingly, some of the copies were made on the back of used paper; in this case, one is a layout of the title page of the 1978 Vance bibliography by Daniel Levack and Tim Underwood, containing handwritten annotations regarding the font sizes and styles.

  • Signed confirming order dated April 13, 1979 from Braun-Brumfield, book manufacturers, verifying the receipt of camera-ready copy and a signed estimate for The Blue World and The Languages of Pao.

  • A flat-folded dust jacket.

The Languages of Pao

Geography of The Languages of Pao

A typewritten sheet indicating the important aspects of Pao geography. Many places are checkmarked, but then others are not. A few other places are listed in pencil on the reverse. There's no indication of who might have used this list.


Additional material:

  • An original single-page contract, "Reprint Agreement" between Tim Underwood and Jack Vance, signed by both on June 1, 1979.

  • Two typed letters, correspondence between artist Joe Pearson and Tim Underwood regarding payment for the reprint rights for the cover and frontispiece artwork.

  • Cancelled check for a payment refund.

  • A flat-folded dust jacket.

Showboat World


  • Two single-page ALS from Ned Dameron (jacket art) regarding payment for artwork, and personal messages.

  • A four-page typed letter dated June 7 1981 from Margaret W. Howes to Tim Underwood detailing discrepencies between the original published map and the text of the story, with corrections to the map in red ink.

  • A single page typed letter dated August 17 1981 from Margaret W. Howes expressing delight at having her map used for the Underwood-Miller edition, along with a full-sized corrected map.

  • What looks to be the paste-up of the map for the book, with margins and page information written in ink along the edges. Includes a credit for Howes. Dreams can come true!

  • A flat-folded sample of the dust jacket.

  • A single-page ALS from Norma Vance dated January 28, 1982, containing personal and financial information.


Madouc Limitation Page

One of three loose signed limitation pages, this one from the lettered edition. The other two were for the numbered edition.


Additional material:

  • Three TLS dated 1989 and 1990 from the publishing director of Grafton Books to Chuck Miller regarding the use by Grafton of the camera-ready pages. Also included is the personal order of the leather editions by the director; evidently a Vance fan.

  • A copy of a single-page confirming the book order from Donnelley & Sons Company; 1500 copies on 50# 426 Penntech Blue/White paper, with the deletion of "First edition - 650 copies" from the copyright page. Slipcase is Kenneth Emerald cloth with Permalin Fern Antique endsheets.

  • Signed copy of an interoffice memorandum regarding increasing the book order to 2000 copies.

  • Two page typed text of the dust jacket copy, with extensive ink annotations regarding fonts and layout.

  • A flat-folded dust jacket.

Rhialto the Marvellous


  • Four pieces of what looks like camera-ready artwork for interior illustrations (and gorgeous.)

  • An autograph statement (invoice) from Stephen E. Fabian to Underwood Miller for "19 pages of interior art plus color transparency of wrap-around dust jacket painting", dated 4/10/84 and signed.

  • One envelope postmarked 16 Apr 1984 from Stephen Fabian to Tim Underwood, with "Photos, Do Not Bend" written in ink on the front (alas, the photos are not present.)

  • Six pages of correspondence (two signed by Stepehen Fabian) discussing the artwork requirements in some detail, dated 12/29/83, 3/11/84 and 4/15/84.

  • A flat-folded dust jacket.


Underwood-Miller Card 1984

One of two copies of the cards mailed to those who had ordered copies of Cugel's Saga, reassuring them that their order was not forgotten. The reason for the delay is given that "Vance made a few small changes in the text, so our edition will be definitive." It also mentions the upcoming Rhialto The Marvellous.


Sixth World Fantasy Convention pocket program

The Sixth World Fantasy Convention Pocket Program. Twelve pages saddle-stitched. Judging by the guest list, that must've been quite a convention. The only scheduled event with Vance was Saturday Nov 1st (1980), 11am-12noon, "Jack Vance interviewed by Charles N. Brown." Chairmen for the event were Chuck Miller and Tim Underwood. Two copies. Laid into each copy is a business card that says "Sixth World Fantasy Convention", with the same artwork as the front cover.


Stephen Fabian Portfolio

A Portfolio by Stephen E. Fabian. Subtitled "Crystal of a Hundred Dreams", published in 1979 by Underwood/Miller. This is an eight-page saddle-stitched chapbook containing a four page listing of plates, with descriptions. I assume the plates were loose; any info appreciated. Two copies.



What appears to be camera-ready artwork. Please let me know what book this appeared in.


Additional material:

  • Cancelled check from Chuck Miller payable to Jack Vance, dated April 13, 1987, signed by both.

  • Cancelled check from Tim Underwood to artist George Barr, dated 10-11-1980, signed by both.

  • Cancelled check from Tim Underwood to David Russell, dated 12-31-1980, signed by both.

  • Two cardboard inserts for the signed and limited edition of The Last Castle, signed by artist Alicia Austin.

  • Three cardboard inserts for the signed and limited edition of Morreion, signed by artist Stephen E. Fabian.

  • Two copies of "The Song of the Darsh" broadsides on rag paper, laid into the signed and numbered copies of The Face.

  • 14" by 10.5" stiff, green, textured paper with a map of The Elder Isles printed on it. This is the same map as used for endpapers in the Lyonesse books, but the sheet is larger (1" margins all around), and the endpapers are not textured. Two copies.

  • 15" by 10.3" print on textured paper of the dust jacket art for Cugel's Saga. The paper is the same as used for the dust jacket, but the artwork was apparently cropped to fit the jacket. Two copies.

Last updated 15 Jan 1999


In case you are wondering (and you should be), these materials are now stored in buffered (acid-neutralized) file folders. I am willing to provide information about the content of the unscanned material for valid research purposes. Contact me at If you are one of the artists mentioned here, I would be pleased to receive permission to post scans of your artwork.


Page contents copyright 1999 by Mike Berro. All rights reserved.

Do not copy or link to any images or text on this website without explicit permission (which will likely be granted.)