Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Library Additions: Two Michael Swanwick Chapbooks

Wednesday, 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

    Monday, 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.


    Library Addition: The H. P. Lovecraft Companion

    Thursday, 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

    Monday, 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…

    Library Addition: Philip K. Dick’s Young Author’s Club

    Monday, April 20th, 2015

    Here’s an odd Philip K. Dick item it took me a bit of effort to track down:

    Dick, Philip K. (Frank T. Hollander, editor). Young Author’s Club: The Wartime Adolescent Writings of Philip K. Dick. Frank T. Hollander, 2014. First edition trade paperback original, #58 of 100 copies signed by the editor/publisher, a Fine copy. A 94 page chapbook containing Dick’s published writings from 1942 to 1944 in the Berkeley Daily Gazette newspaper, consisting of fiction and poems, some of which are fantasy. Includes bibliographic information and story notes. Something likely to drive Dick completists crazy. I’ll have one copy available in the next Lame Excuse Books catalog.

    Dick Young Authors

    Shadows are, as usual, a scanner artifact.

    New Star Wars: The Force Awakens Trailer Drops

    Thursday, April 16th, 2015

    Not seeing it on YouTube just yet…

    Shoegazer Sunday: Echodrone’s “Glacial Place”

    Sunday, April 12th, 2015

    Echodrone’s new album Five is now out, which is cause enough for Shoegaze fans to celebrate.

    The video below is for the song “Glacial Place”:

    The footage in the video is taken from the Philco Ford Corporation’s 1967 industrial futurist film The Home Of The Future: Year 1999 A.D.:

    As glimpses of retrofuturism go, it hits a lot closer to the mark than most, offering a central home computer (“which is secretary, librarian, banker, teacher, medical technician, bridge partner and/or all-around servant”), computerized learning, bookeeping, etc., and lots of glowing screens. It even predicts online shopping! As always, the hairstyles immediately tell you the film’s actual era.

    Philco actually manufactured the Mission Control monitors NASA used well into the 1990s. Ford sold Philco to GTE, and since then the brand has been broken up and licensed to various companies around the world.

    Library Addition: Future War Novel From 1909

    Monday, April 6th, 2015

    I saw this on eBay, put in a lowball bid and picked it up cheap.

    Fitzpatrick, E. H. The Coming Conflict of Nations, or the Japanese American War. H.W. Rokker, 1909. First edition hardback, a Very Good copy in black cloth boards stamped in gold, stamping on spine dulled bit still present, a few spots of wear or discoloration, slight bends at head and heel, newspaper review clipping pasted in on inside front cover, resulting in considerable foxing to front free endpaper. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper: “Professor John Syphers/with the best wishes/of the author./Ernest Hugh Fitzpatrick/L.R.C.P., Ed./Pontiac, Illinois/March 5, 1910.” There’s also a long inscription by the recipient of the inscription on the other side of the front free endpaper. Bleiler, Checklist (1978), page 73. Bleiler, Science Fiction: The Early Years, page 247. Reginald, page 188. Possibly the first novel to predict a war between the United States and Japan. Bought off eBay for $10.50. Given that Currey has an unsigned copy that looks a bit worse at $350, I think it was a good buy…

    Conflict of Nations

    Fitzpatrick 1

    Fitzpatrick 2

    You may be cool…

    Friday, March 13th, 2015

    …but you’ll never be “Robert Downey, Jr. as Tony Stark delivering a bionic arm to a seven year old boy” cool…

    Sold My Story “Saul’s Diary” to Galaxy’s Edge

    Thursday, March 12th, 2015

    I just sold my most recent story, “Saul’s Diary,” to Mike Resnick for Galaxy’s Edge.

    This is the second story I’ve sold to Mike, following “Huddled Masses” to the Alternate Presidents anthology way back in the dim mists of the 1990s.