Series:The Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories

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Bibliographic Comments for the series: The Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories

AbeBooks dealer listings with cover photos show:

  • The Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories
  • The Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories (3rd printing - has a different cover)
  • Second Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories (Yes, there is no leading "The". One copy has a clear 3/6 in the lower right though that looks like a sticker. Another copy has "85¢" in the same area and it too looks like a sticker.)
  • The 2nd Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories (different cover than "Second Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories". Reported as 2nd and 6th printing)
  • The Third Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories (no cover image on AbeBooks but verified on ISFDB for 2nd printing and also as not having a price implying the sticker was removed. The same editor confirmed that at least with his copy that the title on the front cover matches what's stated on the spine and title page.)
  • The 3rd Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories (no cover but dealer listings for 4th through 10th printing tend to use "3rd")
  • The 4th Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories
  • The 5th Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories (The Beagle 95199 reprint uses the same cover as Fontana and has 80¢ printed on the upper/right corner)
  • The 6th Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories
  • The 8th Fontana Book of Great Horror Stories

It seems that by the time Fontana got to the 4th book that they had standardized on decimal numbering and that the reprints of the second and third book used decimal numbering. With at least the second and third books they were priced using stickers in the lower right corner for both the US and UK markets. Thus copies exist with no stated price.

Gloomy Sundae has details on all these titles, plus volumes 7 and 9-17, and other Fontana series like "The Fontana Book(s) of Great Ghost Stories". (Actually, why is THIS series named in the singular?) It's useless to verify against as they're careless about Author or Title regularisation, don't state which printing or edition the cover is for, don't justify pseudonyms, have page numbers, etc, but it's a good basic check as to roughly what stories were in which book, and they are generally better at that than Amazon at least. And for the Post-Tuck/Pre-Locus books, better than many other sources (IMNSHO). BLongley 22:39, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with the conclusion that "by the time Fontana got to the 4th book that they had standardized on decimal numbering" unless you are referring to front covers only (which are of course not the source of canonical titles in ISFDB). Cover titles are often compressed if there's large cover-art to fit in too, and spine titles are compressed even more frequently. Title pages are often the only place to have SPACE for the full title. Yes, it's possible that title-page names for series books switch from Roman to Arabic numbering (I'm pretty sure the "Spectrum" Series did) and many will change abbreviations, spacings and/or hyphenations ("New Writings in [SF/S.F./S. F.][ ]-[-][ ](number)" comes to mind). Some will only change when the series and therefore the names get too long - e.g. "Four" may fit but "Fourteenth" doesn't. I'd rather we had a stub we can work with than ban such entries from secondary sources though, but until verified they should all be questionable and never canonical. BLongley 22:39, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
This page is the "stub" with the weakness being it's about the front cover while we care about the title page. FWIW, the verifier of the #3, 2nd printing, confirmed that at least for his book that the title on the front cover (and spine) matched the title page. We have no idea if Fontana was always this consistent but it gives some value to making a list based on cover images. Marc Kupper (talk) 07:33, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
I also disagree with the conclusion that "copies exist with no stated price" from the data so far. It's not uncommon for UK books to be published in the US with stickers over the UK price, or vice versa. The presence of a sticker doesn't mean that there isn't a price under it. BLongley 22:39, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
The editor that triggered this page had book #3 with no price visible and when looking at the AbeBooks listings I believe there were covers for #2 with no sticker and no visible price while the other images showed covered with a sticker for either a U.S. proce or a U.K. one. From what I recall, by the time they got to book #4 then were printing the price on the cover and must either have dropped the sticker system entirely or only used it for exported books. Marc Kupper (talk) 07:14, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Update - I took a look at the dealers covers for the 2nd printing again. With most of the them the dealer provided a decent sized scan and the sticker is clearly visible. Image 669269474.jpg does not have a sticker but seems to have 3S in the price area meaning the sticker was to increase the price to 3/6. I wonder if the guy with book # 3 would recognize "3/6" as a price. I've posted the question on his page. Marc Kupper (talk) 08:23, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Still, I've only got ONE of these books ("Horror" is generally not my cup of tea) and I'm drawing on past experiences with other British series and publications and sources of questionable (but better than nothing) data. BLongley 22:39, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and finally - I think we're both treating this like a discussion page. Which is fine by me, if it's about what gets into the database in the end. If it's intended to be a permanent page, then please move all unverifiable content to somewhere more suitable. ;-) BLongley 22:39, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I did cite a source and you are free to click the link to verify that what I wrote is an accurate description of the dealer cover images. None of the material I added was intended to be "discussion." The comment at the end was deliberately worded so that people would understand that it's "opinion." I should add the bit the editor with book #3 that has no price and use that as the the source-ref for "Thus copies exist with no stated price". Marc Kupper (talk) 07:23, 23 September 2008 (UTC)