Kurt Roithinger sent us some interesting commentary on the pricing of End Run -- read on if you're still trying to locate a copy of the novel (or if you're curious as to what these high prices mean).
While doing one of my semi-regular used book crawls, I decided to lug in 'End Run', mainly to see if the (quite insane) level of pricing you guys described on the auction websites existed elsewhere as well.
TC has found two more Wing Commander references in the latest issue of CGW.
Bottom line: if it was a spectacularly mint copy, $85 likely isn't terribly much overpriced, but never the less still rather high.
If one goes to http://www.bookfinder.com and enters 'End Run' as the title (no authors, some list the book as written by Forstchen only, others by Stasheff only), the general price range for what amounts to some less-than-mint books is between $20 and $35.
One is for $2.50, but don't ask me what a 'readers copy' is. Might be all f'd up, might be in superb condition (in which case reader = moron).
Half.com, which also can have some nice used stuff up at any given time has what sounds like a very clean copy for $32 (straight up, no auction nonsense) at:
Based on these somewhat lesser grade books going in the $20-35 range, I suspect a truly immaculate copy (no yellowing, no creasing, no wear, pages still very crisp, etc) is worth roughly $65-70 or so, with most any other near-mint book probably around $45-55.
Which really is an amazing yield for what amounts to a media-based book and as well as a mass market trade paper back. The fact that the market *HAS* escalated upwards like this shows that there is a pretty sizeable following of WC out there that has continuously sought after these books, thereby stimulating the market and driving the prices up. It may all sound kind of silly, but y'know...that's kind of how folks kept star trek going way back when. Once you convince the boffins in the suits that there are people out there shelling out some serious bucks to get some of this stuff, they usually have some sort of marketing epiphany eventually...
Figured i'd share.
Gaming Moments (p. 74) includes the following letter:
While Playing Ultime VII. I came across a crashed spaceship in a farm field. When questioning the farmer about the ship, he recalled a stranger mumbling something about "killing someone named Rathy." Obviously a reference to Wing Commander and the Kilrathi. I felt a certain kinship with Origin and gamers everywhere that shared a little world (at that time) known as Computer Gaming. - Jesse Olivo.And in 'Under the Hood' (p. 124) by Dave Salvator:
Ad Lib Sound Card/Sound Canvas. The original PC had a speaker, but it lacked an audio processor and so was limited to "squeak, honk, and fart" audio. But along came a little game called WING COMMANDER that suddenly made it loud and clear that game audio didn't have to squeak, honk, and well, you know. WING COMMANDER's soundtrack also showed the power of a good General MIDI synthesizer, and the Roland SoundCanvas suddenly found a home in gamers' systems. Special mention should go to the Sound Blaster sound card for creating an industry-wide PC audio standard, and to John Miles and company for creating the much-needed development tools."