‘The Distant Suns’

The Distant Suns

Carmarthen:  Unicorn, 1975 (March) trade-sized paperback;
by Michael Moorcock & Philip James (a.k.a. James Cawthorn);
original price:  75p;
45 pages;
I.S.B.N.:  0-85659-021-5;
cover artist:  Cawthorn (also interior).

Jerry Cornelius — the ambiguous, amoral, androgynous English Assassin — or not, as the case may be. Although featuring Cornelius, et al., The Distant Suns has no direct link, as such, with that series. It was first serialised in The Illustrated Weekly Of India (q.v.) in 1969 as by Moorcock alone, who “was approached by the London editor who told me that he and his colleagues in the firm were very concerned about the slowness of Indian society’s acceptance of practical science and its benefits. He asked me if I would be interested in writing a serial for the weekly whose huge audience was unfamiliar with science fiction as a moral or didactic medium The use of various characters from the Cornelius stories was inspired by the notion of putting the same characters in thoroughly different periods and backgrounds and seeing what happened. As a novel it was collected in Sailing To Utopia (1993) with The Ice Schooner, The Black Corridor and ‘Flux’.

The Illustrated Weekly Of India Vol. 90
No. 26, June 1969 (not to scale [with 1st ed. (right)]).

London: New English Library, 1989 (August 3rd) trade-sized paperback;
original price:  £2·99;
x + 171 pages;

includes introduction by Moorcock (pp.viiix);
I.S.B.N.:  0-450-50104-3;
cover artist:  unknown;

illustrated by James Cawthorn (as per 1st ed.).

First American edition:  Blacksburg, VA: Fantastic Books 2010 (May) hardcover and simultaneous trade-sized paperback;
original prices:  $24·99 (h/c), $14·99 (p/b);
136 pages;

no introduction, no illustrations;
I.S.B.N.s:  978-1-61720-025-0 (h/c) & 978-1-61720-050-2 (p/b)

cover artist: unknown.

First hardcover edition

London: Gollancz/Gateway e-book, 2013 (April 11th);
part of the Michael Moorcock Collection (one of five electronic-only titles in the series);
edited by John Davey;
original price:  £2·99;
includes ‘Introduction To The Michael Moorcock Collection’ by John Clute;
also includes ‘Introduction To The Michael Moorcock Collection’ by Moorcock;
I.S.B.N.:  978-0-575-07408-8;

illustrated by James Cawthorn (with a selected mixture of 1st-ed. artwork & some from The Illustrated Weekly Of India, not seen since serialisation in 1969).

First edition, 1975, with new Cawthorn illustrations.
Trade paperback (simultaneous, not to scale).