‘The Stealer Of Souls’

The Stealer Of Souls

London:  Neville Spearman, 1963 (October 25th) hardcover;
as “The Stealer Of Souls and other stories” on title page;
original price:  15s;
215 pages;
I.S.B.N.:  none;
cover artist:  Guy Nicholls.

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 Stealer Of Souls was the very first Elric book to be published, and the first full-length book to appear as by Michael Moorcock. It contained the first five (of nine) Elric novellas which originally appeared in Science Fantasy (q.v.) between June 1961 and April 1964. These five were later split up and re-collected in, or absorbed into, The Weird Of The White Wolf and The Bane Of The Black Sword (both 1977) and were also, as a result of this assimilation, slightly revised. In more recent years, The Stealer Of Souls (or its component parts) was collected in the omnibuses Elric (2001) and Elric: The Stealer Of Souls (2008).

It should be noted that the first edition of The Stealer Of Souls (sub-titled by its publishers as “…and other stories”, against Moorcock’s wishes) was bound in orange boards; an otherwise identical second printing had green boards (see below)…

First edition (in dust-wrapper)
First edition (boards)
First edition (second-printing boards)

London: Mayflower, 1968 (December) mass-sized paperback;
original price:  5/-;
173 pages;
I.S.B.N.:  none (code: 113443);
cover artist:  Bob Haberfield.

Reprinted 1969

St Albans:  Mayflower, 1974 (October 10th) mass paperback;
original price:  40p;

I.S.B.N.:  583-11344-3.

Reprinted 1975, 1977 (Mayflower/Granada, 60p, 0-583-11344-3 [on copyright page]).

St. Albans: Granada, 1981 (August) mass paperback;
original price:  £1·25;
I.S.B.N.:  0-583-11344-3.

First American edition: New York: Lancer, 1967 mass-sized paperback;
original price:  60¢;
190 pages;
I.S.B.N.:  none (code: 73-545);
cover artist:  Jack Gaughan.

Lancer, 1973 (September) mass paperback;
original price:  $1·25;
I.S.B.N.:  447-78751;
cover artist:  Jeff Jones.

Contents (First edition):-
p. 9: ‘The Dreaming City’;
p. 49: ‘While The Gods Laugh’;
p. 90: ‘The Stealer Of Souls’;
p. 141: ‘Kings In Darkness’;
p. 178: ‘The Flame Bringers’.

(Click here for Foreign Edition)