Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Gold Medal 417 - The First Edition

I thought I'd use the blog to introduce the full collection in greater detail than I've been able to do on the website previously. I hope to provide valuable reference information about each edition. You can use the labels to quickly find and identify a particular edition.

To kick things off, we look at the original Gold Medal paperback original, number 417, published in July of 1954, weighing in at 160 pages with a cover price of 25 cents. (Click on images to load larger versions.)

The first science-fiction novel from a publisher known primarily for their crime fiction, I Am Legend was successful enough to warrant a second printing - under a new number (Gold Medal 643) that saw unique US and Canadian printings. Those editions will be photographed and indexed separately. The haunting cover painting is by artist Stanley Meltzoff (1917-2006).

Here's the descriptive text on the inside front cover:

I still recall the first time I met Richard Matheson, at an HWA convention in Redondo Beach, CA, where I had him sign my first edition. I have had the honor to meet a great number of the people who have inspired me through the years, and meeting Matheson was the first time I was at a loss for words. I'm sure I stammered something about how much this book and his others meant to me, and how it changed my life (at the ripe old age of 20). I've since had the opportunity to speak with him at subsequent appearances, where I think I've more successfully retained my composure.

As was customary for Gold Medal, the end of the book includes a brief note clarifying theirs is the first publication of this book. I can only imagine what an unsuspecting reader felt upon reaching this in the summer of 1954.


Karol Wisniewski said...

Great book, great site.

Ronald M. Criss said...

Great to see an I Am Legend blog! Hope you keep it up. I mentioned you over at the I Am Legend yahoo group where we also have a link to your website:


Anyway, great blog! And I look forward to future installments.


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