‘The Sleeping Sorceress’

The Sleeping Sorceress

London:  New English Library, 1971 (May) hardcover;
sub-titled “An Elric Novel” on title page;
alternatively sub-titled “The New Elric Novel” on front cover;
original price:  £1·40;
140 pages;
I.S.B.N.:  450-00747-2;
cover artist:  James Cawthorn.

Elric of Melniboné — proud prince of ruins, kinslayer — call him what you will. He remains, together with maybe Jerry Cornelius, Moorcock’s most enduring, if not always most endearing, character…

The Sleeping Sorceress slots  in terms of the overall saga’s internal narrative chronology — between The Weird Of The White Wolf (1977) and The Revenge Of The Rose (1991). Expanded from a novella of the same name, it was originally commissioned as a serial for Kenneth Bulmer’s magazine, Sword And Sorcery, which never appeared. In 1977, The Sleeping Sorceress was retitled, with minor textual amendments, as The Vanishing Tower. It has been collected variously (under each title) in The Elric Saga Part Two (1984), the Stormbringer omnibus (1993, retitled and revised as Elric: The Stealer Of Souls in 1998), Elric: The Sleeping Sorceress (2008), Elric: The Sleeping Sorceress And Other Stories (2013) and The Elric Saga Volume Two: Stormbringer (2022). One of its sections retells, from Elric’s viewpoint, a part of the Corum novel, The King Of The Swords.

First edition

First paperback edition: New English Library, 1972 (April) mass-sized paperback;
original price:  30p;
140 pages;
I.S.B.N.:  450-01126-7 (as -00997-1 on copyright page);
cover artist:  Jan Parker.

London: Quartet, 1973 (November) mass-sized paperback;
original price:  35p;
160 pages;
I.S.B.N.:  0-704-31069-4;
cover artist:  Patrick Woodroffe.

Reprinted 1974 (40p), 1975 (50p).

London: Futura (Quartet), 1977 (July 5th) mass-sized paperback;
original price:  65p;
160 pages;
I.S.B.N.:  0-704-31069-4.

First American edition: New York: Lancer, 1972 (September) mass-sized paperback;
no sub-title;
original price:  95¢;
192 pages;
I.S.B.N.:  447-75375;
cover artist:  Charles Moll.

Lakewood, CO: Centipede Press, 2020 (February 12th) hardcover;
a limited edition of “300 [numbered] signed copies for sale, plus extras for contributors, and a special deluxe edition”;
edited by John Davey;
original price:  $150·00;
287 pages;
I.S.B.N.:  978-1-61347-219-4;
cover artist:  Tyler Jacobson
(also interior);
introduction (‘My Eternal Champion’ [pp. 7 & 8]) by Walter Mosley;
signed by Moorcock, Jacobson & Mosley.

Includes additional short fiction: ‘While The Gods Laugh’ (pp. 11–54) & ‘The Singing Citadel’ (pp. 55–97).
Lakewood, CO: Centipede Press “special oversize deluxe edition”, 2022: details T.B.C.

N.B. Most British editions (as The Sleeping Sorceress [see above]) contain the following: note to the reader: The events described in this book occur between those described in the short stories ‘The Singing Citadel’ and ‘The Stealer of Souls’. M.M.”, as was the case at the time of first publication.

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