The Phoenix won't be rising this year: the fourth edition of Leonard Herman's legendary book, possibly the first written History of videogames, was postponed to 2010. The original edition was released in 1994 by Rolenta Press, the dedicated publisher founded by Herman specifically because of this book, at a time when editors discredited this variety of work - little did they know that videogame-related books would become a whole genre years after. In spite of the continued editions, Phoenix The Fall & Rise of Home Videogames is a rare book that is sold for high prices in a few bookstores and websites all around the world. I sent Mr. Herman an e-mail this week asking for news concerning this printing and got a rather disappointing, yet enlightening answer from his part:
Although I was working on the book earlier this year, events beyond my control stepped in and forced me to work on a new project. Happily, that project is near completion and it will allow me to resume work on Phoenix 4, but I still have no idea yet as when it will be available. It definitely will not be available this year.
Last year I had the pleasure to be shown the prototype cover for this new edition (shown above) that will include not only the original text, but also new chapters and other surprising features that the videogame historian has been preparing for the last years. If you can't afford to wait, here is a link to a well-known online store where you can purchase some brand new copies of the second edition. It is indeed worthy of every penny if you're looking for a serious and reliable account of the genesis of the videogame business.