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Finding a decent edition of Chambers' The King in Yellow


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#1 SavageBob

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 04:27 PM

So, I recently checked out Robert Chambers' The King in Yellow from my public library. To my dismay, I found it was a cheap, print-on-demand edition with terrible layout and barely readable text. Searching Amazon suggests that, because Chambers' book is now in the public domain, this type of edition is now the standard edition, unfortunately.

 

I searched the archives here, and I couldn't find any thread on this topic, so I thought I'd ask: Does anyone have a suggestion for a decent, affordable, print edition of Chambers' work? One with some production value behind it? Is the secret perhaps to find one from the 1980s or 1970s, before the era of print-on-demand?

 

By the way, I tried Abebooks to find a vintage edition, but they seem to go for hundreds of dollars! I also noticed a Dover edition, but I was curious if anyone had any experience with it.

 

Thanks for any pointers!




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#2 Dabbler

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 05:12 PM

Are you British? I make frequent use of the Inter Library Loans service. It is a poor thing really, as at least half the time they refuse to lend the work (this may be because my requests are often obscure) but it is worth trying.


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#3 hamster

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 07:02 PM

So, I recently checked out Robert Chambers' The King in Yellow from my public library. To my dismay, I found it was a cheap, print-on-demand edition with terrible layout and barely readable text. Searching Amazon suggests that, because Chambers' book is now in the public domain, this type of edition is now the standard edition, unfortunately.

I searched the archives here, and I couldn't find any thread on this topic, so I thought I'd ask: Does anyone have a suggestion for a decent, affordable, print edition of Chambers' work? One with some production value behind it? Is the secret perhaps to find one from the 1980s or 1970s, before the era of print-on-demand?

By the way, I tried Abebooks to find a vintage edition, but they seem to go for hundreds of dollars! I also noticed a Dover edition, but I was curious if anyone had any experience with it.

Thanks for any pointers!

You could try this...

https://www.chaosium...he-yellow-sign/

I've got a copy, the production values are ok and it contains all the 'weird' fiction of Chambers.

Some of that is a bit rubbish though.....

Edited by hamster, 21 July 2017 - 07:04 PM.


#4 SavageBob

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 10:58 PM

Are you British? I make frequent use of the Inter Library Loans service. It is a poor thing really, as at least half the time they refuse to lend the work (this may be because my requests are often obscure) but it is worth trying.

I'm in the U.S., but inter-library loan is still a possibility. I'm in the middle of a move, though, so I'll first get to see what my new public library has on offer before having to ask them to borrow from another institution on my behalf.

 

You could try this...

https://www.chaosium...he-yellow-sign/

I've got a copy, the production values are ok and it contains all the 'weird' fiction of Chambers.

Some of that is a bit rubbish though.....

 

Ah, that looks promising. The reviews on Amazon seem to suggest that most of Chambers' other fiction was dreck, but I could at least get this for the Yellow Sign stuff. Thanks for pointing it out.


Edited by SavageBob, 21 July 2017 - 10:58 PM.


#5 carpocratian

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 01:35 AM

If you use Interlibrary Loan, you can ask for a specific version of the book by giving the librarian the ISBN number.  If it's not a really rare one, chances are they can get it fairly easily.  You can also go to worldcat.org and see which libraries in your area have copies of it, and what editions they are.



#6 JeffErwin

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 03:53 AM

I'm in the U.S., but inter-library loan is still a possibility. I'm in the middle of a move, though, so I'll first get to see what my new public library has on offer before having to ask them to borrow from another institution on my behalf.

 

 

Ah, that looks promising. The reviews on Amazon seem to suggest that most of Chambers' other fiction was dreck, but I could at least get this for the Yellow Sign stuff. Thanks for pointing it out.

 

Some was passable or entertaining but ruined by appalling racism (moreso than Lovecraft I think). The KiY really stands heads and shoulders above the rest of his oeuvre. The Mystery of Choice comes closest, particularly "The Purple Emperor".



#7 hamster

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Posted 22 July 2017 - 06:50 AM

Some was passable or entertaining but ruined by appalling racism (moreso than Lovecraft I think). The KiY really stands heads and shoulders above the rest of his oeuvre. The Mystery of Choice comes closest, particularly "The Purple Emperor".


Apart from the KiY stuff I found most of his stuff really hard work to read, not sure if it was the semi archaic language or that it just compared badly with the KiY 'mythos' tales.....

#8 cjearkham

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Posted 27 July 2017 - 09:28 PM

I really like the pulpiness of The Stealer of Souls, even when it degenerates into a matchmaking exercise. Unfortunately, this was omitted from Chaosium's collection (in favor of things like Police! , for goodness sakes) so I had to find an "after-market" paperback edition.


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#9 Wembley

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Posted 01 August 2017 - 03:50 PM

I read him on Kindle which seems to solve the problem. And is cheap...



#10 numtini

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 01:28 AM

Try a hardcover. Not a lot of indies do hardcovers and the ones who do are usually not the "get rich quick from out of copyright books" types. As an indie publisher, I hate that people don't put out a professional product. You can't do much about Pod binding, but you can at least do a good job typesetting.

#11 SavageBob

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Posted 02 August 2017 - 02:08 AM

Try a hardcover. Not a lot of indies do hardcovers and the ones who do are usually not the "get rich quick from out of copyright books" types. As an indie publisher, I hate that people don't put out a professional product. You can't do much about Pod binding, but you can at least do a good job typesetting.

 

Ah, I wouldn't have thought about the hardcover trick. Good tip, thanks.



#12 Nescio

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Posted 11 August 2017 - 02:36 PM

I've got a Wordsworth paperback (ISBN 1840226447), it's entirely adequate.



#13 wcburns

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 02:05 AM

This is the version I have. Looking at google now I can see that there are nicer looking covers, but this one was a hardcover with a dust-jacket that could be removed.

https://www.goodread..._King_in_Yellow

 



#14 Taavi

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Posted 20 August 2017 - 12:24 PM

Pagan Publishing has been making noises about issuing a new edition with commentary by Ken Hite.


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#15 DrMonster

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Posted 21 August 2017 - 04:40 AM

I've seen a hardback version in Barnes and Nobles' discount and coffee table books area

#16 GBV

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 12:16 AM

Not sure if this is any help but at the start of some editions of The King in Yellow there is a typo in "Cassilda's Song" so any version that has the second line as "The twin suns sink beneath the lake," is rather suspect as the correct version should be "The twin suns sink behind the lake,". The Wordsworth paperback mentioned above apparently has this error in it.



#17 GBV

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Posted 23 August 2017 - 12:25 PM

You should probably also avoid this one which seems to have been edited by someone driven mad from editing it! : https://www.amazon.c...ader_B074ZPVT4V



#18 SiderealWisdom

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:13 AM

You could try this...

https://www.chaosium...he-yellow-sign/

I've got a copy, the production values are ok and it contains all the 'weird' fiction of Chambers.

Some of that is a bit rubbish though.....

 

I was going to suggest this too. It's a decent edition (quite thick compared to most books in that series) and has a few other stories in there that are worth a read. Some of them are pretty bad though - I've had the book for years and still haven't been able to get around to finishing it. Still, I like to think of it as "All the Chambers You'll Ever Need (possibly a bit more) in One volume"