Do you think it's possible to be nostalgic for an entire line
This probably seems very weird since Del Rey is still around, and their general aesthetic has not changed that much -- though their pricing
I have always been a fantasy fan, ever since I first read Tolkien as a youngster. I was into it seriously in high school, though I also branched out into horror. Though I still like fantasy, I haven't seriously read it in a long time.
George R.R. Martin and Terry Pratchett novels being the exception.
I'm talking about total brand recognition -- where I'd see DEL REY and Fantasy on the cover and instinctively grab it off the shelf.
Many of the fantasy books in my high school library were Del Reys. That distinctive publisher's logo on the spine. The covers, which were invariably a painting, instead of a Photoshop job.
The little cockatrice logo in the upper front corner with Fantasy
under it, and the American and Canadian prices.
This was in the days when books weren't taxed in Canada, so when you were buying a book, and the price said $3.50 in Canada, you were paying just that
-- $3.50, which meant you could count your remaining change to the penny, and know you'd have enough to get bus fare home.
I found three Del Reys recently -- publication dates, 1980, 1983, and 1982 respectively -- on our 25-cent sale shelf at work. These weren't discarded library copies, they were donations: and for books that are over twenty years old, they were in remarkably good condition -- one's spine wasn't even broken!
Two of them, as it turns out were the first and third books of a series I'd never completed -- Lawrence Watt-Evans's The Lords of Dus
I'd found and read the second
-- The Seven Altars of Dusura
in that high school library I'd mentioned, but for whatever reason had never tracked the last of them down.
Now I'm going to have to go out and hope I can snag the final fourth
book, The Book of Silence
somewhere. The only paperback copy is in a specialist collection in Toronto that doesn't interloan, and no one seems to have the 2003 omnibus edition.
Now, though, I'm working through Where the Evil Dwells
by Clifford D. Simak. Fantay set in Roman Europe.
After Game of Thrones
, it's kind of funny reading a fantasy novel that's not only comparatively light in tone, but written in plain 20th Century American English without archaic flourishes or dialect, despite the time it's supposedly set in.
Literary comfort food, if you will.