Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Library Additions: Two Arkham House Books

Monday, November 17th, 2014

I picked up two early Arkham House books from two different sources:

  • Hodgson, William Hope. The House on the Borderland and Other Novels. First edition hardback, a Very Good+ copy with bumping at corners, small dust print at bottom page block outer edge, and faint foxing to gutters, in a Very Good+ dust jacket with 1/16″ chip at heel, wear at points (including a pinhead hole at lower front edge), and extremely mild sun-fading to the spine; it’s actually a wonderfully bright example of the Hannes Bok dust jacket, and the only better copies I’ve seen were at least three times the price. Includes the title novel, plus The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’, The Ghost Pirates, and The Night Land, all of which were previously published individually (and all of which now go for well over a grand). One of the four large-format Arkhams, the other being H.P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider and Others and Beyond the Wall of Sleep, and Robert E. Howard’s Skull-Face and Others, all three of which I still lack. Joshi, Sixty Years of Arkham House, 16. Derleth, 30 Years of Arkham House, 16. Jaffrey, Horrors and Unpleasantries, 19. Nielsen, Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide, 16. Blieler, Checklist of Science-Fiction and Supernatural Fiction (1978), page 101. Blieler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, 821. Bought for £220 plus shipping off eBay.

    House Borderland Arkham


  • Walton, Evangeline. Witch House. Arkham House, 1945. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Joshi, Sixty Years of Arkham House, 11. Derleth, 30 Years of Arkham House, 11. Jaffrey, Horrors and Unpleasantries, 11. Nielsen, Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide, 11. Blieler, Checklist of Science-Fiction and Supernatural Fiction (1978), page 202. Blieler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, 1655. Crawford, Donahue and Grant, 333, page 67. Barron, Horror Literature: A Reader’s Guide, 3-203. Tymn, Horror Literature: A Core Collection and Reference Guide, 4-216. Bought for $47 off the Internet. It seems that every time I would see a copy at auction, I’d ask myself “Do I already have a copy of that?” Now I know the answer to that question…

    Witch House

  • Library Addition: First Edition of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

    Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

    I picked this up at Half Price Books on Tuesday using one of their 40% off coupons:

    Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged. Random House, 1957. First edition hardback (“First Printing” stated), a Fine- copy with just a tiny bit of bend at head and a tiny bit of pulling away of just the center of the top page block, and a tiny dust print at the outer bottom near page block edge, in a Very Good- first printing ($6.95 price and 10/57 code on front flap) dust jacket with shallow chipping at extremities (most notable at head and heel, perhaps 1/8″ at front and rear spine join points) and associated abrading, and blind-side age darkening, but otherwise an intact and fairly attractive example of the dust jacket. With clipping of a letter from Rand from the March 21, 1960 issue of Time magazine laid in. The novelistic summation of Rand’s Objectivist philosophy, Atlas Shrugged is one of the bestselling books (and most important political novels) of the 20th Century, and a central document for the Libertarian political movement. It’s also science fiction, not only featuring political and economic upheaval in a dystopian future, but also a new super-strong metal alloy and a hidden valley protected by a force field. In college, it took me two weeks to read the first 200 pages of Atlas Shrugged, and two days to read the last 800 pages. A personal favorite of both myself and my father. Bought for $270, marked down from $450.

    Atlas Shrugged

    Library Additions: Three Lovecraft Titles From Hippocampus Press

    Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

    Got in three Lovecraft-related new books by Hippocampus Press, all of which I have available through Lame Excuse Books as well:

  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Joshi, S. T. Lovecraft and a World in Transition. Hippocampus Press, 2014. First edition hardback, one of 500 copies signed by Joshi (the only edition), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Collection of Joshi’s most important essays on Lovecraft (of which there have been many). List price $65.

  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Derie, Bobby. Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos. Hippocampus Press, 2014. First edition trade paperback original, Fine. Gahan Wilson cover. Non-fiction work examining sexual themes in a wide variety of Cthulhu Mythos-related work. List price $20.

  • Webb, Don. Through Dark Angles: Works Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft. Hippocampus Press, 2014. First edition trade paperback original, Fine. List price $20.

  • Also, not in yet but forthcoming: H. P. Lovecraft’s Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition, a three volume set of the definitive texts of all Lovecraft’s fiction, showing all the different edits made in his stories either by Lovecraft or his various editors. This will be a three volume set limited to 500 copies with a list price of $180.

    E-mail me at if you’re interested in picking any of these up.

    Library Additions: Six Signed First Editions

    Monday, November 10th, 2014

    The only unifying theme is that all of these are signed first editions:

  • Buckley, William F. Marco Polo, If You Can. Doubleday, 1982. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with slight bending at head and heel in a Very Good price-clipped and spine-faded dust jacket with shallow chipping at head. Inscribed by the author: “For Roger Birk/Warm regards/Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.” Blackford Oakes spy thriller. Bought for $5.99 at Half Price Books; I only checked it because it had a Mylar dust jacket protector on it. Actually the second signed Buckley I have, along with the copy of Right Reason he signed for me my senior year in college.
  • Clement, Hal. Half Life. Tor, 1999. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Clement: “”Hal Clement” (Harry C. Stubbs)”. Bought for $19 from an eBay seller.
  • Gibson, William. The Peripheral. Putnam, 2014. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed to me by Gibson at BookPeople on November 2, 2014: “TO LAWRENCE/WM GIBSON”. Near-future SF that sounds interesting. About a hundred people turned out for the Gibson signing, which is the second biggest crowd I’d seen there next to Neil Gaiman’s signing for Anansi Boys. I’ll have several signed William Gibson items available in the next Lame Excuse Books catalog.
  • Knight, Damon. Why Do Birds Tor, 1992. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Knight: “for Mark/Damon Knight”. With review slip laid in. Bought for $12.50 from an eBay seller.
  • Morgenstern, Erin. The Night Circus. Doubleday, 2011. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by the author. Fantasy, a first novel that got a lot of positive buzz. Bought for $27 (including buyer’s premium) off Heritage Auctions.
  • Noon, Jeff. Vurt. Crown, 1993. First hardback and first American edition, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Noon: “To Shirley/Good Feathers/Jeff Noon” (with a drawing of a feather). Supplements an unsigned edition.

    Jeff noon Sig

  • Ultimate Anime Hero

    Monday, November 3rd, 2014

    I know several people who will find this amusing…

    First spotted on Fox’s Animation Domination High Def, which I’d feel more comfortable recommending if it weren’t currently 85% Axe Cop by volume….

    Why Austin Traffic Will Suck This Weekend (Plus: William Gibson Signing at BookPeople)

    Friday, October 31st, 2014

    If you were planning on driving anywhere near downtown or the airport this weekend, be aware that Formula 1 is in town. That also includes Fanfest downtown, so expect major street closures. Plan accordingly.

    And speaking of downtown, William Gibson will be signing his new book The Peripheral at BookPeople at 5 PM on Sunday, November 2. Hopefully the traffic won’t be too horrible on that side of town…

    Library Addition: Lord John Film Festival

    Friday, October 17th, 2014

    This is one of those cases of coming across something on eBay and going, “Yes, I do want that.”

    Yellin, Herb. Lord John Film Festival. Lord John Press, 2006. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread. Signed by Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, Ramsey Campbell, Dennis Etchison and Janet Leigh.

    Lord John Film

    Lord John Film sig

    Yellin was the owner of Lord John Press, and this book is a miscellanea of remembrances and appreciations of various films interspersed with examples from his large collection of signed movies photos, posters, lobby cards, etc.

    I was briefly worried when I realized that Bloch died in 1994, and Janet Leigh in 2004, but the book has evidently been in production for quite a while. A copy up on Amazon is signed by the same five people, but the signatures look slightly different.

    Lord John was an interesting, eclectic press, with both genre and mainstream books (along with signed Gerald R. Ford books). I have a significant fraction of their SF/F/H output, but don’t have Stephen King’s Dolan’s Cadillac.

    Library Addition: Rare Hardback Lafferty Chapbook

    Monday, October 13th, 2014

    I’m one step closer to having a complete R. A. Lafferty collection in hardback, having picked up this:

    Lafferty, R. A. Horns On Their Heads. Pendragon Press, 1976. First edition hardback, #Q of 50 signed hardback copies, a Near Fine copy with 1/2″ inch of darkening around the top and outer edge of the rear panel, and darkening to spine, sans dust jacket, as issued.

    Lafferty Horns

    Supplements the signed wrappers edition, which I already had. The only Lafferty hardback I now lack is the Pendragon Press companion to this volume, Funnyfingers and Cabrito. (I’m excluding those POD hardbacks of two Lafferty stories that fell into the public domain.)

    The Lame Excuse Books Page Has Been Updated

    Friday, September 19th, 2014

    I’ve updated the Lame Excuse Books web page with a number of new books from the August catalog. Includes a number of tasty books (many signed) for your reading and collecting pleasure…

    Library Additions: Several Random Interesting Books

    Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

    There is no theme, only Zuul interesting stuff that’s come in after I got back from Worldcon.

  • Asprin, Robert and Jody Lynn Nye. Myth-Told Tales. Meisha Merlin, 2003. First edition trade paperback original, a Fine copy, signed to a Jennifer by both authors on August 31, 2003 (when I believe they attended Dragoncon). I haven’t read Asprin’s work in quite a while, but this was only $3 at Half Price Books.

    Myth Told Tales

  • Haldeman, Joe, editor. Study War No More. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with crease to FFE and a BB-sized outward bump (probably a binding flaw) near top of spine, in a Near Fine+ slightly spine-faded dust jacket. Signed by Haldeman and contributors Harlan Ellison, Poul Anderson and George Alec Effinger. Anthology. Bought off eBay for $24.99.

    Study War

  • Pohl, Frederik, and Jack Williamson. Land’s End. Tor, 1988. First edition hardback, a Very Good+ copy with slight crease to spine, slight bend at head and heel, and a trace of lean, in a Near Fine- dust jacket with 1″ x 1/8″ crease at top dj rear and wear at extremity points. Inscribed by both authors: [In Williamson's hand] “For/Debbie/with the very best/Jack Williamson/[in Pohl's hand] and/Fred Pohl.” Bought for $20 off eBay.

    Land's End Sig

  • Smith, Clark Ashton. The Immortals of Mercury. Stellar Publishing Corporation, 1932. First edition chapbook original, Very Good only, more browned than usual. Probably the most expensive of all the Stellar series, as it frequently lists for over $100. Bought for $29.99 off eBay. For more on the Stellar series, see here.

    CAS Immortals Mercury

  • Tuttle, Lisa. A Spaceship Built of Stone and Other Stories. The Women’s Press, 1987. First edition trade paperback original, a Fine copy, new and unread. Inscribed to me by the author: “For Lawrence/A spaceship built of stone/should not fall apart. I/hope this one lasts/All the best/Lisa Tuttle/20 Aug 2014″. (An additional personal postcard to me is laid in as well.) Sent to me by the author. The story is that I found a less perfect copy of this book at an Oxfam shop for £1.50, and bought it with the intention of having Lisa sign it at Worldcon. However, when I did so, the first leaf of the book fell out! At which point Lisa said she’d mail me a copy…