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Like The Stars My Destination, Stephen Gould's Jumper (New York: Tor, 1992;
ISBN: 031285272X) is a story of teleport fueled by revenge. Davy Rice, a boy abused by his father
and abandoned by his mother, discovers the ability to teleport in a moment of extreme physical
danger. A decent, mixed-up teenage kid who's had more than his share of bad luck, Davy mirrors
the anger, hurt and confusion shared to some degree (and for different reasons) by all teenagers,
and surely his desires - to escape, get revenge, grow up - are, at one time or another, the desires
of all teenagers. Heck, it sounds really attractive to me, and I'm well past my teen years. For
a review of Steven Gould's Jumper and the forthcoming sequel, Reflex, go to
Looking Back At Jumper, Forward to Reflex.
The first printing of the Tor hardback first edition of Jumper is fairly scarce. A book club edition was issued (no price on the DJ) as well as at least one additional printing (indicated on the copyright page by a number line counting down to 2 or higher). First printing designations are as follows: $21.95 on the front inner flap, ISBN 031285272X, "First Edition: August 1992" on the copyright page, and a number line counting down to 1. Recent Abebooks listings show two $100+ copies - one priced at $175, signed, stated first edition; another at $125, also a stated first edition, presumably a first printing. The remaining 19 copies, most of them under $15, are almost certainly BCE's or later printings, whether so specified or not. Several descriptions reference Sagebrush Education Resources (formerly a Sagebrush Econo-Clad) with an ISBN of 0613460812. This is a rebinding of a paperback edition in a hard cover, intended for sale to libraries. I would place a reasonable value of $100+ on a Fine/Fine copy of the first printing of this title. Demand for Jumper may very well go up if it is well-received and garners any awards.
Alexander Key's The Magic Meadow (Philadelphia: The Westminster Press, 1975; ISBN: 0664325610) is another good example of teleportation expressed as youth-oriented wish fulfillment.
It is the story of five handicapped children who have grown up together in the confines of a medical ward. The children learn that their hospital has been condemned and they will soon be separated. One of the children discovers that he can teleport himself to a beautiful meadow full of wildflowers, and while he is there, his body is cured. Soon, the entire group of children teleports to the magic meadow, and there they find both joy and danger.
Alexander Key is the author of numerous youth-oriented magic/mystery/SF/fantasy novels,
including Escape to Witch Mountain, Return From Witch Mountain,
Flight to the Lonesome Place,
The Incredible Tide, and many more. Most of these titles are very desirable to collectors,
even as ex-library copies. For example, there are 14 copies of The Magic Meadow currently
available at Abebooks, twelve of them ex-library's priced from $50 to $150. The first
of the remaining two is listed at $170 and is described as Very Good+ with no dust jacket,
gift-inscribed. The final copy, priced at $350, is described as Near Fine in a Near Fine dust jacket. Note that many of Key's books have never been issued in paperback, which increases demand for the long OOP hardbacks significantly. Key's books reinforce one of my favorite flashpoints: collectors will pay top dollar to recapture books of great emotional significance from their childhood and adolescence.
Finally, there are two notable SF series that feature teleportation. Anne McCaffery's Pern novels are peopled in part with descendents of human colonists on the planet Pern who have forgotten their off-world origins. The humans form a partnership with intelligent, dragon-like creatures that not only fly but can also teleport themselves and their riders. Together they fight the deadly Thread that falls from the sky whenever the Red Star approaches. Also of note is Kevin O'Donnell Jr.'s
The Journeys of McGill Feighan, a series comprised to date of four books -
Caverns, Reefs, Lava and Cliffs. A fifth book, Plains,
was ostensibly scheduled to be released from Tor in 1996 but I wasn't able to confirm an
actual release in my research - in fact, there is a conspicuous absence of information about
O'Donnell and the fate of Plains, though I am sure many of us would like to see a concluding volume to the series published.