After Knight of Ghosts and Shadows, the immediate follow-up has to be Summoned to Tourney, the continuing adventures of Eric Banyon as written by Mercedes Lackey and Ellen Guon. This book is from 1992 (it’s predecessor was published in 1990) and so I generally take it to be the very dawn of the nineties, as opposed to still in the eighties. Not that it makes a big difference. Floppy disks are still a thing regardless.
Seeking out books that are almost thirty years old is always a bit haphazard, and my own reluctance to look things up means I’m never quite certain how many books are in a series (or part of a series). I had a copy of Bedlam’s Bard for a while, but it was just an omnibus of Knight of Ghosts and Shadows and Summoned to Tourney. Therein lies the other problem of older books – a lot of them get rereleased in omnibi, and I really don’t like discovering I paid for a new copy of books I already own. It’s one thing if I deliberately invest in a second copy. It’s another to make a dumb mistake. And it wouldn’t be the first time either.
As you can assume from what I’ve just written, I much prefer to have separate volumes of books instead of omnibi. In most cases, I may not always choose to reread all the books. Not to mention that omnibi of late tend to be hardcover or oversized, and so much more of a pain to drag around. For example, I wouldn’t own a copy of Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice if it wasn’t in an omnibus of the first three books. The same for Black Powder War by Naomi Novik in the Temeraire series.
On the other hand, I have The Annotated Chronicles and The Annotated Legends from Dragonlance, which are large omnibi (with a LOT of commentary) that weigh in at five and four pounds respectively. They’re up on the left end of the cover photo above, though that shot really doesn’t do them justice. When Margaret Weis was at one of the local cons, I brought her a stack of books to sign (the Dragonvarld trilogy) and then, after those, I said “wait a minute” and reached into the bag sitting on the floor to bring out the other two. “Ah,” she said, “the doorstops,” and signed those too. Seriously, if one of the authors is calling them “doorstops”, we’re talking large, heavy books.
Plus I find it easier to take stock of what books I actually have by collecting individual volumes. Then again, I enjoy being able to see all of my books easily, hence I will not ever put books in front of books. I can live with turning them sideways so I can fit more on a shelf. I can’t stand not being able to see titles. Except for manga. I do have a significant collection that is jammed in with more consideration for space and less for viewing. But, then again, manga series are a bit different, and I’m only rarely going to pick up a single volume to reread. Since they’re shorter, I’ll probably pull out the whole stack of a series anyway, and sit there reading next to the cupboard they came out of. Even manga come in omnibus volumes nowadays though. Viz calls them “VizBig” editions, and they combine three of the shorter volumes into one. I guess they’re more cost effective, but those are usually reprints of series that, if I wanted them, I already collected individually when they were new.
Anyway, I started Beyond World’s End during lunch today. Still Eric Banyon, but a lot has changed…which I’ll tell you about tomorrow. See you then!