The first novel in the Discworld Series
Chosen as a representative text for the British National Corpus
For Innovation’s graphic novel, The Colour of Magic, click here
UK hbk: Colin Smythe (jacket illus. Alan Smith), c.506 copies Thursday 24 November 1983 (0-86140-089-5) [Originally intended to be published on 10 November, I delayed publication to have labels printed to cover over the embarrassingly inaccurate blurb written by the US publishers, who printed our copies. Copies would have been on sale at least three weeks prior to that date]
2nd edition (jacket illustration: Josh Kirby), with an additional introduction, 1033 copies published in November 1989 (0-86140-324-X)
A facsimile edition originally announced as being of 500 copies, but later increased to at least 1,000, was published by Hill House Publishers (without a contract), in 2005. This edition has two jackets, one copies the original 1983 version, the other the 1989 Kirby version, both being wrapped around the book. It is slightly larger than the original – page height 21.5cm to 20.9cm.
Compact edition: Gollancz, c.20,000 copies on 16 November 1995 (0-575-06165-0)
Discworld Collector’s Library: The Unseen University Collection (hbk, cover engraving by Joe McLaren): Gollancz, August 2014 (978-1-473-20532-1)
Large print edition: Isis, hbk, c.400 copies in October 1994 (1-85695-324-6); pbk, c.400 copies in August 1995 (1-85695-364-5)
BCA’s Unseen Library: 7,000 copies in November 2001 (CN7198) Although noted on copyright page as ‘By arrangement with Victor Gollancz Ltd’, it was licensed to BCA by Colin Smythe Ltd.
Commemorative 21st Anniversary Edition: Doubleday, in association with Colin Smythe, 1 September 2004 (0-385-60864-0) [for sale for 12 months from publication only]
One thousand numbered, slip-cased copies (without dust-jacket) signed by Terry Pratchett, were issued with no change to the ISBN.
Pbk (with Josh Kirby cover): Corgi, 26,000 copies on 15 January 1985 (0-552-12475-3), reprinted 1985, 1987 (twice), 1988 (twice), 1989 (twice), 1990 (twice), 1991 (twice), 1992 (thrice), 1993, reissued (reset) 1993, increasing pagination from 240 to 288, reprinted 1994 (twice), 1995 (twice), 1996 (thrice), 1997 (twice), 1998, and so on.
Issued with ‘Vitruvian Turtle’ cover by Stephen Player, Corgi, c.15,800 copies 11 February 1993 (0-552-13893-2) not reprinted. (Prior to the choice of the Player cover a trial design with an illustration by Chris Brown was also printed, but rejected. A few copies of this cover exist.)
New issue, B-format, with black/gold photographic design cover, as used on the 21st anniversary edition, above, placed on sale at the same time as the Kirby edition, April 2005 (0-552-15292-7)
Reissue: B-format with revised Kirby cover: Corgi, 21 June 2012 (978-0-552-16659-1)
Unabridged poster edition: Spineless Classics, 1 December 2014, SP197 (EAN 0639767956291)
USA hbk: St Martin’s Press (with the Alan Smith jacket illustration) c. 4,000 copies in November 1983 (0-312-15084-9) Simultaneous publication was intended but St Martin’s sent out copies to booksellers which were sold prior to publication ?21 October 1983 has been mentioned. At least two copies were evidently bound containing the Smythe bookblock and the St Martins Press casing and jacket.
US book club: Science Fiction Book Club, Main Selection, May 1984 (with Alan Smith jacket illustration) ?May 1984 (ref. 06199). The first printing was in quarter deep green cloth with cloth-pattern embossed boards, and blocked gold on spine. The title verso gives the printer/binder as the Maple-Vail Book Manufacturing Group. Later printings lack the name of the printer and were bound in dark greenish-blue paper-covered boards, with printed blue-green lettering on spine. The text for the book club edition was reset, and has 184 pages as opposed to the St Martin’s Press (and Smythe) edition, which has 206pp.
After the first UK edition sold out and before producing the 1989 printing, Smythe imported a total of 400 copies of this book club edition for sale in the UK. These would have normally had a Smythe price sticker on them, and some – I am uncertain how many – had the label to cover the offending blurb.
Since St Martin’s licence terminated, Dufour Editions, Chester Springs PA, have been importing copies of the Smythe edition.
USA pbk: Signet (NAL) (name of cover artist not given, but it was Vicente Segrelles), May 1985 (0-451-13577-6);
Their fifth printing, was issued with the Kirby cover, 1987 (0-451-15705-2);
The 6th printing was issued under the Roc imprint (0-451-45112-0)
Massmarket: HarperPrism[HarperPaperbacks], cover illus. Ben Perrini, February 2000 (0-06-102071-0)
First HarperTorch printing November 2000; first Harper paperback printing December 2007. Copies of this printing were also bound up in a library binding and sold by Turtleback Books (0-613-27773-2), and also by Paw Prints, with a seal on front cover ‘celebrating 25 extraordinary years of discworld’ (978-1-4352-7458-7). Those I’ve seen have been of the 32nd and 34th printings (Turtleback) and 34th (Paw Prints). This edition also contains the 16 page section entitled ‘The World of Terry Pratchett’ that appears at the end of the advance reader’s edition of The Fifth Elephant.
Trade pbk: Harper Perennial, October 2005 (0-06-085592-4)
Part of a reissue of the first three Discworld novels to coincide with the publication of Thud! This includes ‘Inside – a sneak peek at Terry Pratchett’s new novel, Thud!’, the opening 12 pages of the novel, followed by the next 8 in The Light Fantastic, and then 12 in Equal Rites. The cover designs used photos provided by Getty Images.
Premium pbk: Harper Premium, 29 January 2013 (978-0-06-222567-2)
Bahasa Indonesian: The Colour of Magic, trs. Michael D Elwin Setiadi, Penerbit PT Elex Media Komputindo/Kompas Gramedia, ?September 2010 (978-979-27-8127-4)
Brazilian/Portuguese: A Cor da Magia, trs. Márcio Grillo El-Jaick, Conrad Livros, October 2001 (85-87193-39-2)
Bulgarian: Цветът на Магията, trs. Mirela Khristova, Vuzev, 15,000 copies in December 1992 (954-422-005-4)
Chinese mainland (simplified): 1. Science Fiction World Magazine, 6,000 copies in 2007 (978-7-5364-6255-7)
2. Dook Shanghai [contracted but not yet published – expected June 2017]
Croatian: 1. Boja Magije, trs. Predrag Raos, Bakal, 3,000 copies in May 1993 (953-6117-00-2) With a translator’s note and guide, pp. 231-234, as to how names were translated from English to Croatian.
2. Boja Magije, trs. Drago tajduhar, Marjan Tisak, 2002 (953-213-046-2)
Czech: Barva Kouzel, trs. Jan Kantůrek, Talpress, 15,000 copies in July 1993 (80-85609-28-2)
Also published as a double volume, with The Light Fantastic. See here
Bilingual edition English/Czech: Talpress, March 2011 (978-80-7197-417-8)
Danish: 1) Når Magien Bliver for Broget, trs. Hans Palle Mortensen, Host, 1992 (87-14-19137-7)
2) Magiens Farve, trs. Hans Palle Mortensen, Borgen, 9 March 2004 (87-21-02186-4)
Dutch: De Kleur van Toverij, trs. Venugopalan Ittekot (pseud. of Ruurd Groot), Prisma/Het Spectrum, 5,000 copies in 1991 (90-274-2757-7)
Reissue: Mynx, 2008 (978-90-225-5113-4)
Schijfwereldomnibus nr.1 (omnibus edition with The Light Fantastic and Equal Rites), Het Spectrum, 4,000 copies in 1998 (90-274-6338-7)
Reissue: De Boekerij/M, cover illus. Paul Kidby, 11/02 (90-225-3385-9)
Omnibus edition, with The Light Fantastic: M [not yet seen]
Estonian: Võlukunsti Värv, trs. Urmas Alas, jacket illus. Kirke Kangro, Varrak, 1500 copies on 30 October 1997 (9985-3-0088-2)
Reissue: with new cover illus. Hillar Mets, Varrak, December 2001 (9985-3-0560-4)
Finnish: Magian Väri, trs. Marja Sinkkonen, Karisto, December 1999 or in 2000 (951-23-4106-9)
Pbk: Karisto, February 2004 (951-23-4475-0)
French: 1. Le Huitième Couleur, trs. Patrick Marcel, L’Atalante, February 1993 (2-905158-67-0)
2. New translation: trs. Patrick Couton, L’Atalante, September 1996 (2-84172-039-X)
Reissue, with new introduction by Terry Pratchett (dated September 2014), 21 November 2014 (978-2-84172-689-9)
Pbk: Pocket, September 1997 (2-266-07156-4)
Promotional edition, not for sale: Pocket, 9,000 copies in ?December 2003 (2-266-11140-X)
Pbk with Marc Simonetti cover: Pocket, January 2011 (978-2-266-21181-9)
Georgian (Mkhedruli script):: Magiis p‘eri, trs. ?, Ilia State University Press, 2010 (978-9941-18-018-7)
German: 1. Die Farben der Fantasie, trs. Dagmar Hartman, Goldmann (cover illus. Greg Hildebrandt), December 1985 (3-442-23869-2)
2. Die Farben der Magie, trs. Andreas Brandhorst, Heyne (06/4912), 1992 (3-453-05860-7)
Republished: Piper, August 2004 (3-492-28510-4)
Piper Boulevard, December 2005 (3-492-29144-9)
25th Discworld anniversary hbk edition, April 2008 (978-3-492-28627-5)
Reissued with new cover design by Katarzyna Oleska, Piper, May 2015 (978-3-492-28062-4)
All nine Piper Discworld titles were d in a box, with spines combining to create a single image by Katarzyna Oleska, illustrator of all the covers, Piper, 8 June 2015 (978-3-492-28080-8)
Bookclub hbk: derclub, 2001 (00204 8)
Issued as an ebook: 16 July 2012
Special newspaper edition, Bild am Sonntag special offer December 2006 (3-89897-529-0) This edition contains four colour reproductions of details of Kirby pictures.
Illustrated edition, illus Stephen Player, Piper, November 2009 (978-3-492-26716-8) This uses the illustrations commissioned from the artist by Gollancz for its 25th Anniversary edition of The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic (The First Discworld Novels).
Double volume with Der Zauberhut [Sourcery], no. 23/117 in Heyne’s Tip des Monat series, 1995 (3-453-08974-X) using a cover illustration Josh Kirby painted for Robert Rankin’s Brentford Trilogy novel, The Sprouts of Wrath, complete with English policemen, a Morris Minor, part of a gasometer and other uniquely English images. On being reproached for its use, Heyne maintained that this was not a breach of contract as they considered it to be of a relevant subject (possibly because it also contained a man with a pointy red hat).
Bookclub edition of above: Boulevard Taschenbuch (Bertelsmann) May 1998 (00539 7) but with Kirby’s illustration for the cover of Sourcery.
Rincewind der Zauberer, an omnibus containing the first four Rincewind titles, Die Farben der Magie, Das Licht der Phantasie, Der Zauberhut and Eric, Heyne, cover illus. Tom Kidd , July 2001 (3-453-18942-6).
Republished by Piper, January 2005 (3-492-28500-7)
Die Magie der Scheibenwelt, Piper, December 2002 (3-453-86367-4; 06/9300) The first three novels in one – with foreword by Neil Gaiman. Revised cover design on 4th printing October 2009 (978-3-492-28519-3)
‘Der Zauber des Wyrmbergs’ [‘The Lure of the Wyrm’] in Tolkiens Erbe, trs. Erik Simon & Friedel Wahren, Piper, 2005 (3-492-70115-0)
Reissued: Piper, July 2007 (978-3-492-28589-6)
Unabridged reissue; Piper November 2012 (978-3-492-26909-4)
Greek: Το Χρωμα Τησ Μαγειασ, Το Φωσ Τησ Φαντασιασ, trs. LilÂ Ioannidou, Para Pente, 1992 (99-8007-443-4) the first two Discworld novels in one book.
Το ΧρωμαΤησΜαγειασ, Alter Para Pente, 1994 (no ISBN given)
Hebrew: צשע הבשף, trs. Aya Bar, Kinneret, 1992 (965-286-266-5) In spite of contractual agreement to use the Kirby design, an inappropriate local one was used.
Larger format reprint: Kinneret, 1997 using same ISBN as first printing but with the correct cover illustration.
Hungarian: 1) A Mágia Színe, trs. Zsolt Kornya and István Nemes, Pendragon Könyvkiadó, 1992 (963-8017-02-3) Used Josh Kirby’s cover illustration for The Light Fantastic.
2) Cherubion 2,000 copies [uncertain if ever issued: rights reverted in November 2003]
3) Delta Vision
Icelandic: Litbrigđi Galdranna, trs. Jón Daníelsson, Tónleikur, 2007 (978-9979-70-354-9)
Italian: 1. Il Colore di Magia, trs. Natalia Callori, Mondadori, 24 April 1989 (no ISBN, listed as issue no. 11 (April 1989) of their monthly Urania Fantasy series)
I Colori della Magia (with The Light Fantastic and Equal Rites), Mondadori, 1991 (88-04-35085-7)
2. Tea (Salani/Longanesi), February 1998 (88-7818-267-2)
Hbk: Salani, June 2016 (978-88-6918-788-9)
Japanese: [Disuku Warudo Sodoki] trs. Hitoshi Yasuda, illus. Masanori Nisikiori, Haruki, Kadokawa/Kadokawa Shoten, 1992 (4-04-274501-6)
Korean: trs. Su-Hyen Lee, Sigongsa, 3 May 2005 (89-527-4195-1; set 89-527-4194-3)
Macedonian: Бојата на магијата, trs. Aneta Mostrova-Jovanova, Ars Lamina, 500 copies in 2014 (978-608-229-702-6)
Norwegian: Magiens Farge, trs. Rolf Andersen, Tiden Norsk, 2,500 copies on 16 April 1998 (82-10-04217-3)
Pbk: Tiden Norsk
Polish: Kolor Magii, trs. Piotr W. Cholewa, in Nowa Fantastyka, April-July 1994, nos. 4 (139), p. 25-56; 5 (140), pp. 29-41; 6 (141), pp. 25-39; 7 (142), pp. 25-42.
Pbk: 1. Fantastyka S-ka/Prószyński i S-ka, 1994 (83-85661-65-4)
2. Prószyński i S-ka, 2003 (83-7337-125-7)
Hbk: Prószyński i S-ka, 2001 (83-7337-024-2)
Special supermarket edition: Prószyński i S-ka, May 2004 (83-7337-726-3)
Portuguese: 1. A Cor da Magia, trs. Mário Dias Correia, Temas & Debates, c. 3,000 copies in March 2003 (972-759-554-5)
Bookclub: Circulo de Leitores, December 2003 (972-42-3091-0; 1017152)
Romanian: Coloarea Magiei, trs. Domnica Macri, S.C.Noesis, 2002 (973-85637-0-4)
Russian: 1. Цвет Волшебства, trs. Iryny Kravtsova, Azbuka/Terra, 25,000 copies in 1997 (5-7684-0345-0)
2. Eksmo, 10,100 copies in July 2001 (5-04-007995-8)
reissue, Eksmo, 9 November 2011 (978-5-699-61267-3) [not yet seen]
Double volume with The Light Fantastic: Eksmo, 5,000 copies printed on 14 May 2003 (5-699-03074-3)
Serbian/Yugoslav: Boja Magije, trs. Dejan Papić, Laguna/ReVision in their Octarin series, 1000 copies on 23 September 1998 (86-7304-011-6)
Slovakian: Farba Mágie, trs. Vladislav Gális, Talpress, 2003 (80-7197-230-4)
Slovenian: Barva Magije, trs. Maja Novak, Vale-Novak, 2004 (961-6221-73-6)
Spanish: El Color de la Magia, trs. Cristina Macía, Martínez Roca, 1989 (84-270-1341-8)
Pbk: Plaza & Janés, January 1998 (col.Jet 84-01-46161-8; vol.342/1, 84-01-47943-6)
Reissued (8th printing) by Debols!llo [Plaza & Janés], April 2003 (84-9759-679-X)
First printing with a new cover, May 2012 [now 978-84-9759-679-4],
€1.95 offer, Debols!llo, June 2011 (978-84-9989-284-9)
Kiosk edition: Altaya, 2008 (978-84-487-2291-3)
Swedish: 1). Magins Färg, trs. Olle Sahlin, Target Games, 1989 (91-7898-062-3)
2). (pbk): BW-Pocket/Wahlströms, 1995 (91-32-42992-4)
Turkish: 1). Büyünün Rengi, trs. Ümit Tosun, Ithaki, October 1999 (975-6902-33-7)
2). Büyünün Rengi, trs. Niran Elçi, Delidolu/Tudem, 3,000 copies in March 2016 (978-605-5060-206)
Ukrainian: Old Lion [contracted, but not yet published]
Background illustration © and by courtesy of Marc Simonetti