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Il Codice

April 27, 2023

I just returned from a vacation in Tuscany, Italy, and picked up an Italian copy of Elsewhere. Sadly, this was the only Koontz book I could find in the several bookstores I stepped into.

Dean’s High School Yearbooks

December 8, 2019

Once you know what to look for, they weren’t actually all that hard to find online. (Now, why hadn’t I thought to look before is a question I can’t answer.) I’ve also put my hands on an original physical copy of the 1962 yearbook from Bedford (PA) High School, which should be in my hands in a week or so. Of course, a photo will be posted. I’ll also be adding all of these to Appendix A shortly.

Regarding Certain Fanzines and Piers Anthony

September 28, 2019

Here’s what Dean has to say about letters with his name on them in Fanzines:

“In the earliest couple of years of his career, Dean wrote a few letters and articles for science-fiction fanzines. He was not prolific in this area because he was too busy writing fiction to pay the bills and to learn his craft. Therefore, in 1991, Dean was shocked to learn that a person he had previously worked with professionally had, beginning in 1969 and continuing at least through the early 1970s, been writing letters in Dean’s name to individuals and had submitted letters, and even some articles, in Dean’s name to fanzines. The name “X” will do until the full story can be told in Dean’s memoirs. All of this information was first disclosed to Dean in 1991 when X provided a written admission of these activities, although he could not remember everyone to whom these forged letters and articles had been sent. Consequently, any fanzine appearances by Dean after 1968 are highly suspect unless they were submitted with a cover letter on his own letterhead of that time.”


Several of those letters involve author Piers Anthony. Here’s what he’s had to say about the matter over the years both in print and in an email to me:

“Sometimes they [authors] escape by writing the same material, but getting the genre label removed; Dean Koontz’s sales took off when he finally prevailed on his publisher to do that…”
“These were by no means the only writers with whom I interacted: in the course of my career I brushed with most of the figures of the field, and some who are on the fringes, like Stephen King, whose daughter was a fan of mine, and Dean Koontz, with home I used to battle in the fanzines, before we both got too successful to have time for that sort of thing…
“Once Dean Koontz wrote [in Fosfax], commenting on something I had said. He and I had fought savagely in bygone days, but had no wish to do so now…”

Piers Anthony, How Precious Was That While, TOR, July 2001, p185,241,246

I [interviewer Charles Platt] manage to break in here to ask if his wife doesn’t mind this non-stop work obsession.
“No, my wife understands, I mean, she had to quit her job because it got to the point where her total wages went to pay the tax on my income, and she got disgusted with that. You see, I used to earn $500 a year, $1,000, and then $5,000, but when I started earning $70,000, and then $100,000, and I suspect it’ll be about $150,000 this year, I have launched into the big time. I used to have arguments, I had one with Dean Koontz, he was saying he was earning almost $100,000, and he didn’t need to pay attention to nitwits like me. Well, I don’t know how Dean Koontz is doing now, he’s writing cheap novels pseudonymously, so I suspect the positions are reversed. I am now earning it, but I don’t make any claims to being suddenly a genius because I make a lot of money. The money, as you know, is likely to be inversely proportional to merit, and my most thoughtful pieces are likely to earn less than my least thoughtful. When I’m doing a Xanth novel, I go through it about double the rate of anything else. For Avon Books.I write science fiction, for Del Rey Books I write fantasy, I wrote A Spell for Chameleon for them, it won the British Fantasy Award, and then the subsequent one started selling better and better, and started paying. It’s nice to write what you like, but you don’t necessarily get rich on it. I may be one of the most commercial writers you’ll interview, in the sense that I write the cheap stuff that sells big…”

Dream Makers Volume II by Charles Platt, Berkley, 1983, p105, and
Dream Makers: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers at Work, New and Revised Profiles by Charles Platt, Ungar, 2007, p223

“That’s interesting. He must have forgotten. He did have letters in fanzines, and he and I interacted, sometimes sharply, there. As I recall, he even published a short-lived fanzine of his own. I sent a review of one of his early books to it, but it folded before that saw publication.
“If you want to be accurate you will need to check with some old-time fanzine collector who can show you those interactions. There was one where I commented that even Dean Koontz had achieved good success and he responded with four pages of vilification of me. I think he was not proud of that, especially after my published response. I really pasted him back. I wonder whether anyone would have scanned old fanzines into the Internet? That might be an avenue to explore. Your guide will be seriously incomplete without that information.”

Email response from Piers Anthony when asked about those letters by the author of this site, 18 July 2008

Songs of the Dying Earth

July 20, 2019

Just got this beauty in the mail. Not signed by Dean but still way cool.

Songs of the Dying Earth autographed PBK

Human Behavior: An Inventory of Scientific Findings

February 2, 2019

This book by Bernard Berelson & Gary A. Steiner also has an obscure connection to Dean’s writings. Hint: It’s the same connection as the issue of Science Digest I posted about a few days ago. The answer will be included in this Monday’s site update but guesses are welcome.

Third pre-signed edition of The Forbidden Door found

December 28, 2018

It’s December 26th and I find myself in a local Barnes & Noble wondering what they’ve got on post-Christmas sale. I see that they have one pre-signed copy of The Forbidden Door left on a display (sadly not on sale) and, for reasons I can’t quite figure out, I decide to check the ISBN against my collection and oddly enough it doesn’t match. So of course, I immediately purchase it and bring it home with me.

Now the research begins.

It turns out that Barnes & Noble offered two versions of the pre-signed book. The first was the one for sale online on the original release date of September 11, 2018 (ISBN 978-1-984-1767-9). The second, and this one I’d just picked up, was part of their Black Friday Weekend Special (ISBN 978-1-984-1769-3) available only in stores starting on November 23, 2018 (and then online for in-store pickup on November 24, 2018.)

It pays to notice the little things. Or be a bit obsessive. I’ll let you decide.

Check out the full edition details here.

What’s missing from Stalkers?

December 6, 2018

I was looking at my Dark Harvest ARC of Stalkers the other day and noticed that one entry on the copyright page is crossed out. So the question is, what story by what author was going to be included but ended up not, and why? If you have any information on this please let me know in the comments.

Turns out I made an assumption and, aia Facebook, Yankton D. Robins didn’t. I assumed that since it was cut from the ARC of the original publisher’s version, it also didn’t show up in subsequent publications. This is incorrect. The Malzberg story was, for some reason, cut from the Dark Harvest edition, but did appear in the later ROC publication. Why it was cut was still unknown, but this seems to be the general answer to my question. Thanks Yankton!

Oh so Harlan

August 2, 2018

Today I received what is my third copy of Harlan Ellison’s Mefisto in Onyx. Of which this is my second copy of the first printing of the trade edition. (Sadly, I’ve yet to add a limited edition to my collection.)

Why a second copy of this particular edition/printing you may ask? Well, it is an autographed by Mr. Ellison. So that’s cool.

But to be honest, I’ve got other signed Ellison’s in my collection so that wouldn’t have been enough to cause me to buy another copy. The real reason is what Harlan decided to do on the dedication page…

Looks like he decided to make an editorial correction. How cool is that?

One small but significant hole in my collection has been filled!

August 1, 2018

One of the 26 copies of the lettered edition of Lightning from Ultramarine Publishing is now safely ensconced in my collection. Copy P to be exact.

Original Demon Seed script

May 24, 2018

Look what arrived in my mail today!

MP3-CD Audiobooks

May 13, 2018

A few I originally missed back when they were released in 2016…

Seize the Night Lettered Edition

May 12, 2018

I received this lovely in the mail today. Picked it up for the original cover price too. Full details in the Seize the Night guide entry.

When Should You Put Yourself in an Agent’s Hands?

May 7, 2018

I’ve been looking for the original publication of this essay for quite a while now. Well, thanks to the Lincoln City Libraries and Ball State University, I was able to get my hands on a copy of The Basics of Writing & Selling Fiction, vol. 2 from 1984. Sadly, I do need to return it, but at least I now have a good scan in my files and a cover image in the guide.

I've got my work cut out for me

November 2, 2017

I recently received a CD containing what ended up being a 1.5″-high pile of pages of Koontz-related material from a super wonderful person who’s gone above and beyond to help me with this project. (I’m only being non-specific so people don’t just start contacting them for their own set.)

Anything of interest I find (starting with the the page on the top of the pile) will be added to the finished product. Of which, news should be coming relatively soon.

The City #119

June 23, 2017

Also in today’s mail: The City, copy #119 of 150 from Charnel House.

The Silent Corner – Barnes & Noble autographed edition (take 1)

June 23, 2017

Today I received my autographed copy of The Silent Corner from Barnes & Noble. Like previously autographed B&N copies, this one is a typical trade hardcover edition with a tipped-in autograph page and a different ISBN on the dust jacket; 9781101966198 in this case.

But, when I went to verify that, as with previous editions of this type, the ISBN on the copyright page is the same as the standard trade hardcover(9780345545992) I was in for a bit of a shock…
The first page after the autograph sheet is page 423, not a half title, full title, or copyright page. Continuing to flip through the book I found pages 424-452 then the “About the author” page. Next up: page 23 through the correctly placed pages 423-452 & “About the author.”

What it looks like is that the first signature has been accidentally replaced with the last signature; a total mis-binding of pages. (Please click on the link on the first “signature” in this paragraph if you’re not familiar with this term from the book binding world since what I don’t mean in this case is an autograph.)
In the end, I’ve ordered another copy and here’s hoping that this is a one-off and not something that was carried through a whole print run.
Of course, if anyone else has a copy like this, I’d love to know about it.

Two more Chinese editions added to my collection

May 8, 2017

Eyes of the Virgin blurb

March 5, 2017

Found another new (to me) Koontz blurb yesterday on the 2003
paperback edition of  Eyes of the Virgin by Thomas F. Monteleone.

Beastchild film that never happened & "House of Night"

March 4, 2017

Digging though Locus #82 from 1971 I found this little gem. First the fact that Beastchild had been optioned for either film or TV. (I’d previously not known that.) Second, Dean had sold the title House of Night to Bantam. In the end, House of Night was re-titled. Do you know what it ended up being published as? (This I did know.)

Side note: Notice the bit about Harlan Ellison working on a “film” of Demon With a Glass Hand? That ended up being a classic episode of The Outer Limits.

More old magazines added to the collection today

March 3, 2017

Today was a good mail day. Three (very) old issues of Locus and Bill Munster’s Footsteps #8.