For Auction: Queen Victoria’s Lacy Underthings

May 20th, 2015

Finally something for the ultimate Steampunk enthusiast/Queen Victoria fetishist: an auction lot of her underwear.

Yes, for a mere £1,500 starting bid, you can own Her Majesty’s Bloomers.

The Dreweatts & Bloomsbury auction takes place on May 21 BST, which means you’ll either need to place a bid online or get up fairly early in the morning (if you’re in the U.S.) to bid…

Shoegazer Sunday: The Hope Slide’s “The Prince William Sound”

May 17th, 2015

The Hope Slide is a Canadian Band named after a natural disaster and, like Great Northern, has a name that make it hard to search for information about them on Google. Evidently the two principles were previously in a different Shoegaze band called Hinterland. Here’s “The Prince William Sound.” (Speaking of songs that are hard to Google…)

For Your Enjoyment: A Chicken Sneezing

May 16th, 2015

You really have to turn the sound on for this one…

Library Additions: Two Michael Swanwick Chapbooks

May 13th, 2015

I recently obtained two Michael Swanwick chapbooks, at least one of which is bound to drive Swanwick completists bonkers:

  • Swanwick, Michael. Hunting the Phoenix. Dragonstairs Press, 2015. First edition hardback (“archival board wrappers covered with hand-dyed rice paper, with a stab binding ornamented with a single aventurine bead”), #6 of 30 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued, new and unread. Sort of an in-progress illustrated sketchbook for a Swanwick novel, more impressionistic colored line art than narrative. If it’s not the strangest Swanwick item yet, it’s tied with the hardback state of Puck Aleshire’s Abecedary. Bought for $30 from the publisher.
  • Swanwick, Michael. Season’s Greetings. Dragonstairs Press, 2014. First edition chapbook original, #18 of 100 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy. I should be able to pick up copies of this to sell through Lame Excuse Books later in the year.

    Swanwick X 2

  • Library Addition: Clifford Simak’s City

    May 11th, 2015

    I picked up one of the key Gnome Press titles at a Heritage auction:

    Simak, Clifford. City. Gnome Press, 1952. First edition hardback, a Near Fine- copy with slight spine lean and previous owner’s name and date on front free endpaper) in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with a few pinhead sized spots of discoloration on dust jacket flaps and along top flap edges, and extremely slight dust-staining to white rear panel; an exceptionally nice example of the dust jacket. One of Simak’s key works, and one of the more desirable Gnome Press titles. Chalker & Owings (1991), page 199. Currey (1979), page 446. Kemp, The Anthem Series, page 208. Won for $200 from Heritage Auctions.


    Shoegazer Sunday: Thee Heavenly Music Association’s “Trip Seat”

    May 10th, 2015

    The opening of “Trip Seat by Thee Heavenly Music Corporation (yes, two “E”s in Three) reminds me of both REM’s “Finest Worksong” and A Beautiful Machine’s “Home.”

    Library Addition: The H. P. Lovecraft Companion

    May 7th, 2015

    My quest to pick up just about every damn H. P. Lovecraft reference work in the world continues apace:

    (Lovecraft, H. P.) Shreffler, Philip A. The Lovecraft Companion. Greenwood Press, 1977. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. One of the first broad critical companions to Lovecraft’s work, offering an in-depth summary of Lovecraft’s literary theory, plot summaries of all his stories, an encyclopedia of characters and monsters, and an in-depth look at Cthulhu Mythos monsters. An interesting high-level overview and “first cut” of Lovecraft criticism, from before S. T. Joshi turned it into a cottage industry, and pretty much all the topics covered here have been examined at much greater depth since. Currey (1979), page 332. Joshi, Lovecraft Bibliography, I-C-158. Tymn Schlobin Currey, 294. Bought off the Internet for $42.50.

    Lovecraft Companion

    Scan shows surface wear to the dust jacket protector.

    Library Addition: Larry McMurtry’s Copy of H. G. Wells’ First Literary Work

    May 4th, 2015

    Heritage Auctions sold Larry McMurtry’s collection of H. G. Wells books in early April. There were lots of fabulously rare things that were far to pricey for me to even lowball (like the Henry Holt edition of The Time Machine, which was the true first, that went for $6,875), but I put in bids on about a dozen items, but I only won one. However, it is Wells’ very first book of fiction, preceding The Time Machine by a day.

    Wells, H. G. Select Conversations With an Uncle (Now Extinct). John Lane, 1895. First edition hardback (sixteen pages of ads inserted at back, as per Currey), a Very Good copy with wear to bottom boards, wear at head and heel, a thin 1″ white line (possibly white out or white paint) across top rear, and slight wear along font boards, otherwise fairly nice, with gilt scratched but otherwise complete at head. Includes Larry McMurtry’s ownership plate, which features the brand from his father’s ranch. Twelve conversations (all fictional) and two short stories. Currey, page 522. H. G. Wells: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 3. Bought at auction for $6, or $20 with buyer’s premium.




    I include this fairly unexciting close up picture of the front boards so you can see the patterning on the boards. Neither picture shows the true color of the boards, which are a grayish brown…

    Shoegazer Sunday: Tears Run Rings’ “Mind the Wire”

    May 3rd, 2015

    It’s been a couple of years since I posted something from Tears Run Rings, so here’s “Mind the Wire.”

    Highland Mall Closes Tonight

    April 30th, 2015

    Tonight the curtain falls on Austin’s Mall of the Living Dead. Highland Mall will close tonight to complete the conversion over to an ACC campus.

    Once Austin’s premier mall, Highland was killed by changing demographics, bad management, online shopping, and the inexorable march of time. I worked retail sales there my last year in college, and pretty much all the stores were leased out then. It’s been a shell of itself since the last anchor stores closed in 2011, and the last time I visited it only seemed to be 1/4th full.

    Sic transit gloria mundi.