My efforts to collect all of Robert A. Heinlein in first edition continue apace. Here are two Heinlein first editions, as well as an important related critical work.
Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category
From Michael Swanwick comes the sad news that Rosemary Wolfe, Gene Wolfe’s wife of more than 50 years, has died.
I don’t have a lot to add to Michael’s write-up. I knew that she had been suffering for ill health for some time, and had been confined to 24-hour care for over a year.
My condolences to Gene and the rest of the Wolfe family on her passing.
Here’s a scanned picture of Gene and Rosemary on their wedding day from A Wolfe Family Album:
And here’s a picture of Gene and Rosemary (with Elizabeth Hand in-between) at the 2009 Readercon:
Another notable book from the golden age of the genre small press:
Moore, C.L. Judgment Night. Gnome Press, 1952. First edition hardback, a Near Fine+ copy with slight crimping at head and heel, mild foxing to inner gutters, and a few tiny spots of wear to bottom boards, in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with 1/4″ closed tear at heel, slight wrinkling at rear head, and a touch of edgewear. A truly superb, bright example of the dust jacket. Collection of five longer stories. Currey (1978), Page 377. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 199. Anatomy of Wonder 4, 3-130. Bought for $65 off eBay.
There’s a new Godzilla trailer out:
Mood: Cautious Optimism.
I’ve been busy and have gotten slightly behind in cataloging books that have come in. In the interests “some content is better than no content,” I’m going to catalog the more interesting ones one at a time until I catch up with the backlog.
Up first: One of the few Gene Wolfe chapbooks I didn’t already own:
Wolfe, Gene. A Wolfe Family Album. United Mythologies Press, 1991. First edition chapbook original, a Fine copy. Signed by Gene Wolfe. Chapbook of mostly Wolfe family photos, evidently issued with the hardback edition of Letters Home (which I’ve owned for some time, but which didn’t come with the chapbooks when I bought it).
I knew that dealing books at Worldcon would eat up a lot of time, but I had no idea just how much time it would take me to not only get all the books back on the shelf, but to catch up on everything I set aside while getting ready for, then recovering from, Worldcon.
Which explains why I’m just now putting up the pictures I took there. Here are the handful of pictures I took at Worldcon that came out decent.
Clotheshorse that she is, the lovely and talented Gail Carriger kicks off our review with the first of three outfits I managed to photograph.
And a third.
And here’s the same outfit she insisted I snap with her own camera. “You’ve got to include the shoes!”
Stina Leicht, sitting next to me at the Rayguns Over Texas event at the San Antonio Library.
Scott Cupp and Josh Rountree at the same event. The other photos I took there came out crappy.
Bookseller and con chair Mike Walsh.
Lou Antonelli channels Flavor-Flav.
Howard Waldrop and Eileen Gunn, just before Howard went three rounds with a concrete step.
And here’s Howard just after that bout.
Andrew Porter, now free of the terrible burden of publishing a semi-prozine.
Pat Murphy, back again.
Ex-NASA employee Al Jackson.
Ex-Austinite Maureen McHugh.
Kim Stanley Robinson, back from whatever frozen locale he’s visiting this time. Possibly Iapetus.
Gardner Dozois at full rant.
Gardner Dozois at full rest. The two modes are deceptively similar.
In 2012, Pat Cadigan asked me to take down one of her pictures. So this year I made sure that this picture with Robert Silverberg was 100% flattering.
I think this is a very good picture of Dwight Brown.
Rich Simental, who spent much of the con in his room working on a completely different con.
Ben Yalow. Or possibly one of those hundreds of Ben Yalow impersonators you hear so much about.
Max Merriwell, in a very clever diusguise.
David Kyle, who I think has passed the late Forrest J. Ackerman for Most Worldcons Attended.
I’m sorry that I didn’t get pictures of Alastair Reynolds, David Brin, Jack McDevitt, Joe and Joy Haldeman, and Lois McMaster Bujold (among others I missed), who were all kind enough to come by the Lame Excuse Books booth.
Over on my post about the first hardback edition of Texas Night Riders, reader Jason Bovberg asked for a scan of Joe’s rarest book, the pseudonymous porn novel Molly’s Sexual Follies, since he had never seen one before. I chcked online, and indeed there seem to be no scans of this book’s cover, so here’s a scan of my copy.
Lansdale, Joe R. (with Brad Foster) (as Mark Simmons). Molly’s Sexual Follies. Beeline Books, 1982. First edition paperback original, a VG- copy with considerable creasing and 1/2″ of separation between front cover and spine at heel.
Any other rarities from The Person Collection (he said vaingloriously) people want to see?
Some more library additions, with no particular theme except books signed by the author.
By accident I tuned into Fox just as Almost Human was premiering, expecting to watch The Simpsons, and actually got sucked in, almost against my will, since I had zero initial interest in a cop/robot buddy series.
But what what the show is actually doing is broadcast American TV’s first serious attempt to rip-off Blade Runner and much of the entire cyberpunk canon for a cop show, and it actually does (considering the constraints of the form) a halfway decent job of it. The cop/robot interaction is (thus far) only a subplot to the main story of an injured cop returning to the force just as the powerful criminal syndicate that killed his partner and blew off his leg has returned to the scene. Surprisingly, none of the science fiction elements struck me as egregiously stupid, and they actually seem to have put some thought into the near-future setting of the show. Michael Ealy (Dorian the robot partner) hits the underplayed robot cop part very well, Mackenzie Crook brings brings some Whovian British Geek charm to the department’s robot specialist, and Karl Urban is pretty good as the lead; he needs to dial back his Gruff Stoic setting about 15%, but is otherwise fine. I could do without the “look, here’s a flying whatsit at the edge of the scene-bump just to say it’s SF” trope, but it’s not annoying.
Actually, the most problematic bits are on the police procedural end rather than the SF end. The building they work in looks entirely too clean, sparse and modern to be a real police office (like everything else, Blade Runner did it better with a real lived-in look); it’s too clean even for the already too clean CSI look. Ditto the “look at my spacious, open city apartment on a cop’s salary.” And you can already tell which characters (“Hi there, I’m the love interest!”) are going to be doing which buddy cop cliches. You have bits of The Dark Knight and (I’m guessing) Saw in the “over-complicated villain plotting” device. And it has the “lots of shoot-outs” modern cop/action show trope going on, which may or may not be a problem, depending on the direction they take.
I’m actually planning on watching this, which may be my first regular non-animated US broadcast series since, geeze, maybe Homicide: Life on the Streets. (I’m not much of a TV watcher, what with all the writing and book buying and Internetting and the Glavin!)
But despite that, it blends the cyberpunk and police procedural bits pretty (plus obvious dollops of The Caves of Steel and Starsky & Hutch). It’s obviously got money behind the production, which goes pretty far in TV. J.J. Abrams is the executive producer, so it’s possible the characters will turn into idiots further down the line. And it’s not as a good a cyberpunk police procedural as Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. But for now I actually think it may be worth your attention.