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The Averoigne Chronicles
Posted by: Ron Hilger (IP Logged)
Date: 21 July, 2002 01:21PM
Originally the Averoigne collection was conceived as a centennial tribute to Smith, to be issued in 1993 in a similar format as "At the Mountains of Madness". With a leather cover, and a full page color illustration for each story by Fernando Duvall, this would indeed have made an aesthetically beautiful book. However, over the years it seems that every time progress is made on the book, Stephen King comes out with another "Dark Tower" book and Robert Wiener drops everything to produce it. I'm not really knocking the "Dark Tower" series (I actually enjoy these books, even if I don't read anything else by King) But after TEN YEARS it is obvious that Wiener places such a low priority on the Smith book that there is absolutely no telling when he might actually bring the thing out. I did suggest to Robert Wiener that we do away with the Deluxe centennial format and simply issue a regular trade edition of which he could produce far more books for perhaps $30.00 to $40.00 dollars apiece. He seemed to like the idea, but is so wrapped up in producing "The Black House" at the moment that further plans will have to wait until after that book comes out around Sept.
Regarding Jim's suggestion that "A Night in Malneant" would fit into the series better as an epilogue rather than a prologue, I went back and forth on this idea several times before including it at the beginning. I agree that the atmosphere of that "old world city" seems like it could easily be 18th century, but if you compare it to the first tale in the series, "The Maker of Gargoyles", they both seem to be set in a similar time period, both having Inns and Cathedrals at approximately the same level of civilization. It could have gone either way, but I really liked ending the series with "The End of the Story", and in the end that is what decided the matter.
Regarding Scott's mention of the forthcoming edition of Stephen King's neighbor's grocery list; while this may at first seem somewhat trivial, I have it from a reliable source that the milk and eggs on that list are actually meant for Stephen and Tabitha, so this is in fact a "must have" for the King collector!

Re: The Averoigne Chronicles
Posted by: Scott Connors (IP Logged)
Date: 21 July, 2002 02:00PM
I stand corrected on the grocery list. I just sold my Smith paintings and autographed first editions and have invested in several copies which I will store hermetically sealed in a mayonaise jar on Funk and Wagnall's porch. This may be the best investment I've made since I sank my life savings into K-Mart, Enron, and Worldcom stocks!

Re: The Averoigne Chronicles
Posted by: Jim Rockhill (IP Logged)
Date: 21 July, 2002 04:04PM

Ending the collection with "The End of the Story" makes excellent sense, in which case your anchoring the other end of the book with "A Night in Malnéant" is a much better idea than merely tagging it on at the end, as I had suggested.

I do wish they would finally publish the book, and I would rather have a durable trade hardcover at roughly $40.00 than a huge deluxe volume at three times that price which I would be afraid to ruin by reading. Do you know whether the illustrations were ever completed? Jon Stewart's partial series of illustrations to the Averoigne cycle in WHISPERS many years ago were my first introduction to these tales, and I am still very fond of them.


Re: The Averoigne Chronicles
Posted by: Ron Hilger (IP Logged)
Date: 22 July, 2002 12:06AM
The illustrations have been done for many years, and although I've never seen them I understand they are quite good. The only thing left to be completed is the design to be embossed on the front cover as well as some interior art that Thomas Canty was supposed to do. Last I heard he had yet to complete these items.
I'm not familiar with Jon Stewart's artwork, I'd be very interested to see it, though. I've often imagined how impressive a depiction of the Colossus of Y'lourgne might be, or something from the Beast of Averoigne.

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