Getting There?

Today was the first morning in which there was almost no hacking/coughing at all. Could I actually be on the mend? I sure do hope so, that would be nice. I might go to the gym tomorrow morning for a little bit and see what happens. But we’ll see.

Last night, having officially given up hope of it ever being reprinted, I broke down and bought a used copy of Sheri S. Tepper’s The End of the Game, an old Science Fiction Book Club omnibus of three of her novels (Jinian Footseer, Dervish Daughter, and Jinian Star-Eye). I absolutely adored Tepper’s True Game books when I was growing up, of which there were nine in all. The initial three (King’s Blood Four, Necromancer Nine, and Wizard’s Eleven) were published by Ace and reprinted ages ago in a big The True Game omnibus. The books were all marketed as YA novels, but there’s an increasing complexity with each new installment. I often joke about re-reading King’s Blood Four years later and nearly falling over in shock at having completely missed as a teenager what was clearly a post-sex/afterglow scene very early on, but there’s more to the books’ adult nature than just that.

Anyway, the other six books (three Mavin Manyshaped books which were a prequel, and then the three Jinian books) were published by Tor, who let them all go out of print years ago and have shown no signs of bringing them back into print. I regularly see individual copies of Jinian Star-Eye going for $60, $80, $100 a pop. And of course, I somehow lost my old copy of The End of the Game about 15 years ago and have given up hope of it ever, impossibly re-appearing. So when I saw copies of the omnibus going for less than $20, well, I bit.

I absolutely cannot wait to re-read these books. The imagery in them has stuck with me for years, from the living pathways that once webbed across the land, to the twin bells that create light and darkness when they ring, to the planet’s desperate dreams of warning appearing in jewels that you allow to dissolve on your tongue. Hopefully some day I’ll find a reasonable price for the Mavin books (which I read from the library as a child but have never owned), or against all odds they’ll be reprinted. But until then, I will treasure my hopefully-arriving-quickly copy of The End of the Game. I’ve read and enjoyed other books by Tepper since then, but she never hit the sheer wonder that these always evoked in me. Hopefully someday I can create something that does similar things to other readers.

Do you have books like that in your past? Ones you haven’t read for decades but which will always stick with you?

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