Lynda Williams is the author of the Okal Rel Saga (Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing) and editor of the Okal Rel Legacies series (Absolute Xpress). Part 7 of the Okal Rel Saga, Healer's Sword, arrives in 2012. Lynda's work features moral dilemmas in a character-driven, multi-cultural setting with radically different attitudes to sex and social control surrounding space warfare and bio-science. She also works as Learning Technology Analyst for Simon Fraser University and teaches a introductory web development course at BCIT.
Is the ORU becoming collectable?
Every now and then I spot one of the older editions of Okal Rel titles showing up on Amazon for more than the original cover price. I asked around the first time I saw this happen, and found out it's a wonky phenomenon. If you are still turning out new books, and have old titles that are out of print, now and then the booksellers will hike the price for your old titles to see if they'll sell as artifacts. I checked back a few weeks later and decided that was it. The crazy high prices had flatlined again. (The original blue cover Guide to the Okal Rel Universe published by Windstorm Creative peaked at something around $200 but I don't know if anyone ever bought it at that price.)
Lately, however, I've noticed there are fewer numbers of old editions available. Like the original Windstorm Creative edition of Kath, with cover art by Yukari Yamamoto. There used to be a few more of these on Amazon, for lower prices. Now it says there is one and it's being offered for $49.47.
I'm starting to wonder if I should hang onto the two or three Windstorm Creative editions I still have in pristine covers. Or the battered original Guide to the Okal Rel Universe. Or even my copy of The Courtesan Prince, from Edge, signed by my publisher Brian Hades and containing the edits recommended by myself and a half dozen other people over the years since publication in 2005. Edits which I'm thrilled to declare will be going into the Kindle edition! (Goodbye evil 'Delm spluttered' on pg. 57 where it should have been H'Reth spluttering. Groan.)
I don't know if ORU artifacts are becoming collectable. But it's a delicious idea, because there are so many, with such interesting histories. From buttons by Kathy Plett, to Lisa O.'s wooden plaque made in wood working class. There are probably a few people in Prince George who might have my first ever copy of Mekan'stan, sold at Studio Fair, and embarrassing in terms of the number of typos, the production quality and the cover art. And just this December, there's Angela's present to me: Diff the Dragon, a novella from Amel's envoy period, written by herself, illustrated by Mel, and published by OkalRelsDaughter Press. (See Angela's vlog on Youtube.) There's the original, orange-cover-edition of Throne Price that came out pre-publication in a small print run. Brianna's draft art for the House of Em comic that floundered in the middle of my amiable separation from Windstorm Creative. Who knows. In the meantime, guess I won't throw out my copy of Richard Jansen's edits for Part 8: Gathering Storm ... although I don't know. Brian photocopied Richard's lovely hand-edited print out so perhaps the only collectible would be pages Richard wrote on, personally.
What makes something an artifact in a digital world? Interesting thoughts.