Friday, September 19, 2008

Aaron's Book of the Week :: The Folk of the Fringe by Orson Scott Card

The Folk of the FringeThe Book of the Week is The Folk of the Fringe by Orson Scott Card, cover art by Carl Lundgren. This is copy #159 out of the 475-copy special limited first edition with slipcase, published by Phantasia Press in 1989. The Folk of the Fringe is a collection of beautifully written short stories all set in near-future Utah, where Americans attempt to rebuild after the collapse of civilization due to biological war and global climate change. (Ironically, Card is today an outspoken global warming skeptic.)

This slipcovered limited edition was issued simultaneously with a much less expensive trade hardcover edition. The bookseller from whom I acquired the Book of the Week apparently did not realize that he had the far more valuable limited edition, perhaps because the signed limitation page is inserted at the back of this book instead of in the front. And so I got to add to my collection a book I had coveted but for which I hadn't been prepared to cough up full price. Of course, the bookseller gets the last laugh. The bread and butter of the used book trade is taking advantage of us poor suckers who hang out at bookshops hoping to find a rare first edition, but buying out the rest of the booksellers' stock while we look.

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