The one other item I bought from L. W. Currey’s most recent sale was William Sloane’s The Edge of Running Water, a science fiction novel about a machine to contact the dead that I’ve heard good things about. Firsts have gotten a bit hard to find in recent years.
Sloane, William. The Edge of Running Water. Farrar and Reinhart, 1939. First edition hardback, a Very Good+ copy with slight bumping at head and heel, foxing to gutters, darkening of endpapers and slight age darkening to pages, in a Good only dust jacket with a 1/2″ to 1/4″ loss at head, loss at points, long thin crease, 2″ closed tear, dust staining and wrinkling to rear panel, creasing and tear at bottom front edge, and additional shallow chipping at edges and general wear. Bleiler, Guide to Supernatural Fiction, 1482. Bleiler, Checklist of Science Fiction and Supernatural Fiction (1978), page 181. Crawford, Donahue and Grant, 333, page 56. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy I, page 200. Barron, Horror Literature, 3-181. Bought from Currey for $50.
Here are are several Arkham House books I’ve bought over the last couple of months. All except The Dark Man are widely available titles I picked up at bargain prices.
(Cave, Hugh B.) Thomas, Milt. Cave of a Thousand Tales: The Life and Times of Hugh B. Cave. Arkham House, 2004. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Non-fiction biography. Bought for $14 off eBay.
Derleth, August. Dwellers in Darkness. Arkham House, 1976. Octavo, cloth. irst edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Bought from L. W. Currey for $17.50
Eisenstein, Phyllis. Bork to Exile. Arkham House, 1978. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Bought from L. W. Currey for $12.50.
Howard, Robert E. The Dark Man and Others. Arkham House, 1963. First edition hardback, a Near Fine- copy with crimping at head and heel, previous owner’s bookplate on FFE, and a drop of dampstaining that affects the FFE and the first few pages, in a Very Good+ dust jacket with slight creasing at head and heel, slight wear along spine, slight dust staining to white rear cover. The second Arkham collection of Howard’s short stories, all but one from Weird Tales. Won off eBay for $60.
Page, Gerald W. (editor). Nameless Places. Arkham House, 1975. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a touch of wear at extremities. Bought from L. W. Currey for $12.50.
Smith, James Robert and Stephen Mark Rainey, editors. Evermore. Arkham House, 2006. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Edgar Allen Poe tribute anthology. Bought for $14 off eBay.
I recently picked up a lot of Olaf Stapledon books from an Australian book auction, for AUD$119.50 plus shipping. For that I got imperfect firsts of two of Stapledon’s novels (plus a second printing of Odd John that will go in the next Lame Excuse Books catalog).
Stapledon, Olaf. Last and First Men. Methuen, 1930. First edition hardback, first state, as per Currey (2002), with 8-page publisher’s catalog at rear dated 630, a Very Good- copy with FFE excised and slight loss to paper at gutter, foxing to gutter, moderate spotting to outer page block edges, a small circular stamp reading “Dempsters Clenferrie” (possibly an Australian bookstore stamp) on half title page, and a few sports to first few pages, lacking the dust jacket. His acclaimed epic novel describing several million years of future human evolution.
Stapledon, Olaf. Odd John. Methuen, 1935. First edition hardback, first state binding (light blue binding lettered in dark blue) in Currey (2002) A2 issue (catalog at rear dated 835, no priority between issues 1 and 2), a Very Good- copy with lightened spots on spine, slight spine lean, modest wear at heel and points, and spots of foxing to first few pages, lacking the dust jacket. His celebrated novel of a mental superman.
While I was in London for last year’s Worldcon, I dropped by Peter Harrington’s main bookstore, which had a number of lovely items far out of my price range. Among them was a set of inscribed Olaf Stapledon books in dust jacket they hadn’t finished cataloging yet, including at least one with a multi-page letter from Stapledon laid in, that I think they were going to price between £5,000 and £10,000 each…
My signed Ray Bradbury first edition buying spree continues apace, and I picked up a Stanley B. Weinbaum first I’d been wanting to buy for a long time.
Bradbury, Ray. The Cat’s Pajama’s. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Bradbury. Short story collection. Bought off eBay for $21.50.
Weinbaum, Stanley G. A Martian Odyssey and Others. Fantasy Press, 1949. First edition hardback (trade state), a Near Fine- copy with one small indention to top edge of front board, faint dust staining to top page block, and slight foxing to gutters, in a Very Good dust jacket with about 1/16th inch chipping loss at head, heel and pint, a thin 1/4″ nick in the middle of the spine, one closed 1/4″ tear to top rear, and a tiny bit of dust soiling to rear cover. Actually a very presentable copy of a key small press collection of one of the most important pre-Golden Age SF writers, and a book I’ve wanted for quite a while. Currey (1979), page 511. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 159. Kemp, The Anthem Series, page 27. Bought for $34.66 off eBay.
Some people seem to think I collect every damn SF/F/H book that comes down the pike, but this simply isn’t true. There are large swathes of horror I don’t read or collect and I’ve skipped the vast majority of bug-crushing high fantasy.
Finally, there are books that are just too ridiculously expensive for me to pick up.
The Martian Legion is a Tarzan/John Carter crossover book authorized by the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate created, backed and penned by longtime Texas SF writer and comic books dealer Jake “Buddy” Saunders. It’s a very elaborate, lavishly illustrated production, with five different states, the most expensive of which comes in an edition of three, with a commemorative platinum coin, for a cool $15,000. (The cheapest is $200, and the only edition without a presentation box.)
Will they sell? Dunno. The Burroughs collector market is a world unto itself. They may fly off the shelves at the next Dum Dum…