The Book of Ptath
Novel 1943 60,000 words
Alternate Titles

Two Hundred Million A.D.     (1964, etc.)

Ptath     (1976)

  • Although this book and his other fantasy works have been highly praised even among his harshest critics, this is the only fantasy novel van Vogt ever wrote. Despite having a clear talent in this area, he did not care much for the genre. Regarding The Book of Ptath, van Vogt wrote in his autobiography: "I didn't particularly like it. It was weird and not for me." He found writing the novel to be a difficult and time-consuming task — correspondence between van Vogt and Campbell indicates that work began perhaps as early as 1940 — and after its publication van Vogt believed it was not worth the small amount of money he received as payment. Campbell was continually urging him to write more, but in vain. The demise of Unknown Worlds can, in part, be attributed to van Vogt's difficulty in writing fantasy.

Included In
A Van Vogt Omnibus 1967
English
Unknown Worlds magazine
1943 October Street & Smith
pulp Vol 7, No 3 164 pages $0.25

(no cover art)

First appearance

This issue also contained "The Patient."

(no illustration images available)

16 illustrations by
F. Kramer

Cover image: Showcase Data: ISFDB
1947 Fantasy Press
hardback code: ? 227 pages $3.00

cover art by
A.J. Donnell

First edition

Sources are conflicted about the exact details of this book. The first edition seems to have been about 3,000 copies, around 500 of which are autographed by van Vogt.

This edition was reprinted an indeterminate number of times (details uncertain). There may also have been a very limited number of leather-bound copies.

The Fantasy Press edition was reprinted as a facsimile by Garland Press in 1975 as part of their 45-volume "Garland Library of Science Fiction." The books were all picked by Lester del Rey, and he wrote an introductory volume that chronicled the history of SF from 1926 to 1976. The illustration scans below were all made from this Garland reprint.

6 illustrations by
A.J. Donnell

Cover image: Axelsson
Illustration images: Walwyn
Data: ISFDB
Two Hundred Million A.D. (alternate title)
1964 July Paperback Library
paperback 52-304 159 pages $0.50

cover art by
Jack Gaughan

Back Cover

First Paperback Library printing.

Cover & other images: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
Two Hundred Million A.D. (alternate title)
1967 January Paperback Library
paperback 52-406 159 pages $0.50

cover art by
Jack Gaughan

Second Paperback Library printing.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1969 April Panther
paperback 02753X 157 pages 5/-

cover artist: unknown

First British edition.

First Panther printing.

Oddly, this novel first appeared in Britain as part of an omnibus volume (apparently using the plates of an American edition). This Panther edition was its first UK-specific solo publication.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: Master of Null-A
1969 May Paperback Library
paperback 63-092 159 pages $0.60

cover art by
Jeff Jones

Back Cover

Third Paperback Library printing.

Cover & other images: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1969 Panther
paperback 02753X 157 pages £0.25

cover artist: unknown

Second Panther printing.

  Data: ISFDB
Two Hundred Million A.D. (alternate title)
1971 October Paperback Library
paperback 62-718 159 pages $0.50

cover artist: unknown

Fourth Paperback Library printing.

Ironically, after printing the book the first two times as Two Hundred Million A.D., Paperback Library switched back to the original title in 1969, then reverted to the new title here in 1971.

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1973 July Panther
paperback 0-586-02753-X 157 pages £0.30

cover artist: unknown

Third Panther printing.

Month from Master of Null-A.

Ski-Ffy speculates that the artist might be Bob Haberfield.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1975 July Panther
paperback 0-586-02753-X 157 pages £0.40

cover artist: unknown

Fourth Panther printing.

Month from Master of Null-A.

Ski-Ffy speculates that the artist might be Bob Haberfield.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1975 October Garland
hardback 0-8240-1440-5 227 pages $11.00

(no cover art)

Spine

A facsimile reprint of the Fantasy Press first edition. No dust jacket.

This facsimile reprint was part of Garland's 45-volume "Garland Library of Science Fiction." The books were all picked by Lester del Rey, and he wrote an introductory volume that chronicled the history of SF from 1926 to 1976. The illustration scans below were all made from this Garland reprint.

6 illustrations by
A.J. Donnell

Cover & other images: ISFDB
Illustration images: Walwyn
Data: ISFDB
Ptath (alternate title)
1976 March Zebra
paperback 0-89083-172-6 204 pages $1.25

cover art by
D.A. Daily

First Zebra printing.

This is the only time this novel appeared under this specific title. Completely pointless as well as crazy!

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
Two Hundred Million A.D. (alternate title)
1978 June Zebra
paperback 0-89083-357-5 204 pages $1.75

cover artist: unknown

Second Zebra printing.

Here, Zebra continues the longstanding tradition of arbitrarily flip-flopping the title each time they reprint the novel.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1979 July Panther
paperback 0-586-02753-X 157 pages £0.75

cover artist: unknown

Fifth Panther printing.

Month from Master of Null-A.

Ski-Ffy speculates that the artist might be Bob Haberfield.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1979 Panther
paperback 0-586-02753-X 157 pages £1.50

cover artist: unknown

Re-pricing of the fifth Panther printing?

According to the ISFDB entry, "A variant of the 5th Panther printing with price zone overprinted in black."

Ski-Ffy speculates that the artist might be Bob Haberfield.

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1984 Panther
paperback 0-586-02753-X 157 pages £1.95

cover art by
Peter Elson

Wallpaper

Sixth Panther printing.

Wallpaper image courtesy of PeterElson.co.uk

Cover & other images: ISFDB, PeterElson.co.uk Data: ISFDB
1984 May DAW Books
paperback 0-87997-930-5 160 pages $2.50

cover art by
Ken W. Kelly

First DAW printing.

DAW Collector #580

UE1930

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
1984 May DAW Books
paperback 0-87997-930-5 160 pages C$2.95

cover art by
Ken W. Kelly

Second DAW printing.

Canadian printing.

DAW Collector #580

UE1930

Cover image: ISFDB Data: ISFDB
1992 January Carroll & Graf
paperback 0-88184-788-7 159 pages $3.95

cover art by
Paul Lehr

Month from Master of Null-A.

Cover image: Walwyn Data: Walwyn
2013 July Agency Editions
ebook - - $3.99

cover artist: unknown

Formats:

Cover image: Amazon Data: Walwyn