Tuesday, November 15, 2011
But I digress. When it comes to fantasy I have to make do with what I can find. Much as I would love to acquire an early hardcover edition of The Worm Ouroboros like the one I first found at the library, these are invariably bought and sold by collectors and other people with money. But nearly as good are the old Adult Fantasy trade paperbacks from Ballantine.
A while back I decided to acquire Evangeline Walton’s retelling of the Mabinogion. I ordered the four Adult Fantasy paperbacks on Amazon. One of them, The Children of Llyr, did not match the image shown by the seller; it was an edition from the period after Ballantine was acquired by Del Rey. It features a bold, hirsute, dwarfish character sporting a horn-hat, a shield, and a shirt with those little X’s that they used back before buttons were invented. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the actual book, of course, and to me it is much more dated than the psychedelic Ballantine covers. And then there were the other three, which come as close to timeless fantasy as the cover of a trashy trade paperback ever could.