Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Brian Aldiss, RIP

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Science fiction writer Brian Aldiss has died just after turning 92.

Aldiss was an acquaintance rather than a friend. I got him to sign things at the two UK Worldcons I attended (2005 in Glasgow and 2014 in London), and we may have talked briefly at other Worldcons; I don’t actually remember.

He was an extremely important, but also extremely variable, writer. His good stuff was really good, but his bad stuff was really bad. When I brought him a copy of Cracken at Critical to sign, he said “Oh God, this piece of crap!” Highpoints include Nonstop and “The Saliva Tree.” He was much admired by a wide range of science fiction’s best talents, including Neil Gaiman, Michael Moorcock and Bruce Sterling (the latter of whom I bought an Aldiss chapbooks off of when he was culling his library).

Lacking much in the way of additional personal contact to pad out this obituary, here are some of the Brian Aldiss items in my own collection.

  • Aldiss, Brian. Brothers of the Head Pierrot Publishing Ltd., 1977. First edition hardback (simultaneous with the much more common trade paperback edition), oversized and illustrated, a Fine copy in a VG+ dust jacket with light wrinkling, wear to extremities, and some age toning to white flaps of the dust jacket. Signed by both Aldiss and illustrator Ian Pollock. The hardback edition was already uncommon, but became more so after an art house movie based on it came out a few years ago. Bought this from a dealer in France, of all places.

  • Aldiss, Brian. Bury My Heart at W. H. Smith’s. Avernus, 1990. First edition hardback, #104 of 250 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, with newspaper clipping (also signed by Aldiss) from the Times Literary Supplement of August 8, 1986 of a piece by Eric Korn that briefly quotes Aldiss on H. G. Wells laid into the pocket formed by the dust jacket protector at the back as an “Association Item,” as issued. And is listed as such on page 274-275. In The Science Fantasy Publishers, Jack Chalker labeled the “association items” as “an attempt to clean out Aldiss’ attic.” Chalker/Owings (1991), page 58.
  • Aldiss, Brian. The Creten Teat. House of Stratus, 2002. First hardback edition (according to Aldiss’ site, the trade paperback version preceded), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. I have heard, second-hand, that House of Stratus went into receivership about the time this came out, and that very few hardback copies actually made it out into the world. Bought off Amazon for $9.94.
  • Aldiss, Brian. Cultural Breaks. Tachyon, 2005. Advanced reading copy, trade paperback format, with packet of review material.
  • Aldiss, Brain W. Excommunication. Post Card Partnership, 1975. First edition postcard, a Fine copy. Bought for £2.50 after discount.
  • Aldiss, Brian. Jocasta. The Rose Press, 2004. First edition hardback, #420 of 750 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued.

    Jocasta

    As far as I can tell, The Rose Press did this and Avram Davidson’s The Scarlet Fig, and then fell off the map…

  • Aldiss, Brian. Moreau’s Other Island. Jonathan Cape, 1980. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, signed by Aldiss on the front free endpaper.
  • Aldiss, Brian. Science Fiction Blues With Brian Aldiss. Avernus, 2000. First edition oversized chapbook original (A4 sized), a Fine- copy with a slight bit of bend on the left side. Program for some sort of Aldiss reading or performance, which also happens to contain three original Aldiss stories as well as other material. Odd little item. Bought for £3. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 58.

    Aldiss SF Blues

  • Aldiss, Brian. Sex and the Black Machine. Avernus, 1990. First edition chapbook, a Fine- copy with slight wrinkling and inevitable page darkening to newsprint pages and self-wrapper. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 59.

    Aldiss Sex Black Machine

  • Aldiss, Brian. This World and Nearer Ones. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1979. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Aldiss. Bought for $8 from a notable SF book dealer. Non-fiction.
  • (Aldiss, Brian) Aldiss, Margaret. Item Eighty-Three: Brian W. Aldiss: A Bibliography: 1954—1972. SF Horizons, (1973). Chapbook, Fine. Non-fiction.
  • That’s not everything I own by Aldiss, but I’m far from having a complete Aldiss collection. The man was extremely prolific…

    Library Addition: Ray Bradbury’s Christmas Wishes 1986

    Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

    Slowly but surely collecting all of these:

    Bradbury, Ray. Christmas Wishes 1986. Self-published, 1986. First edition 8 1/2 x 11″ broadsheet, folded once (as mailed), otherwise Fine- with slight wrinkling. inscribed by Bradbury: “Hans N!/Ray Bradbury”. A one page poem, like all Bradbury’s Christmas broadsheets. This one says “From Maggie & Ray Bradbury,” but I’m not sure it was actually co-written by his wife. Bought off eBay for about $35.

    Bradbury Christmas 1986

    Hail the Departing Godzilla

    Monday, August 7th, 2017

    Haruo Nakajima, the original actor inside the Godzilla suit for the first twelve Toho films, has died at age 88.

    The suit was so hot and heavy that Nakajima evidently fainted several times during the making of the original Godzilla.

    Here are some video tributes:

    Library Additions: Three Half Price Books Purchases

    Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

    Here are three random library additions, the only common denominator of which was that I picked all of them up at Half Price Books.

  • Leckie, Ann. Ancillary Justice. Orbit, 2013. First edition trade paperback original, a Fine, new and unready copy. Hugo and Nebula Award winner. Bought for $7.99 at Half Price Books. Supplements the later Gale/Thorndike Press large print hardback edition and the Subterranean Press signed/limited edition.
  • Pohl, Frederik and Lester Del Rey (as Edson McCann). Preferred Risk. Simon and Schuster, 1955. First edition hardback, a Near Fine- copy with page block spotting at heel, in a Near Fine dust jacket with traces of wear at points and moderate soiling to white rear panel. Inscribed by Pohl: “To Rick—/With all good/wishes—/”Edson”/or/Fred Pohl.” Currey (1979), page 404. Bought for $8, down from $10 with a 20% off coupon. This is a case of knowing more than the bookseller, since I knew this was a Pohl/Del Rey pseudonym and what Pohl’s signature looks like. As for the book itself, evidently Galaxy magazine and Simon and Schuster ran a contest for an SF novel, didn’t like any of the submissions, and got Pohl and Del Rey to write this under a pseudonym for the contest.

    Preferred Risk

    IMG_1405

  • Vachess, Andrew, Geoff Darrow, Michael Black and Gary Gianni. The Shaolin Cowboy Adventure Magazine No. 1. Dark Horse, 2012. First edition trade paperback original, a Near Fine+ copy with a small scrape at heel and just a trace of wear. Signed by Vachess, Darrow and Black. Pulp fiction homage that looks like fun. Bought for $7.99.

    Shaolin Cowboy

    IMG_1408

  • Sharknado 5: Global Swarming Trailer

    Saturday, July 29th, 2017

    It would be remiss of me not to share this…

    Premiering on SyFy August 6.

    Library Additions: Two Signed Philip Jose Farmer First Editions

    Thursday, July 27th, 2017

    Two signed Philip Jose Farmer firsts I got off eBay:

  • Farmer, Philip Jose. Red Orc’s Rage. Tor, 1991. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with slight spine fading. Signed by Farmer. Bought off eBay for $14.99.

    IMG_1393

  • Farmer, Philip Jose. The World of Tiers Volume Two. Nelson Doubleday, Inc. (SFBC), no date (but 1981). First edition hardback thus (first printing has gutter code “L44” on page 531, as per the ISFDB), an omnibus edition of A Private Cosmos, Behind the Walls of Terra and The Lavalit World, a Fine copy in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with edgewear at head and heel and a few small rubs. Signed by Farmer. Bought off eBay for $15.99.

    IMG_1394

  • Library Additions: January 1—June 30, 2017

    Thursday, July 6th, 2017

    Here it is, the big roll-up post of all the books I added to my library in the first half of this year. My purchases actually slowed down some over the last six months.

  • Aldiss, Brain W. Excommunication. Post Card Partnership, 1975. First edition postcard, a Fine copy. Bought for £2.50 after discount.
  • Atwood, Margaret. The Year of the Flood. Bloomsbury (UK), 2009. First edition hardback, # 653 of 1,000 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in decorated boards with silver gilt edges, in a Fine slipcase, sans dust jacket, as issued. Bought for $7.50 at Half Price Books, marked down from $15 with a 50% off coupon. According to the ISFDB, this limited edition is a true first (simultaneous with the trade hardback and trade paperback states), and was originally issued at £75, so I got it for less than 1/10th cover price…

    Atwood Flood

  • Banks, Iain M. Cleaning Up. Birmingham Science Fiction Group, 1987. First edition chapbook, a Fine- copy with one small phantom indentation to top rear and a touch of soiling. Issued for Novacon 17. Bought online for £24.99 plus shipping.

    Cleaning Up

  • Beukes, Lauren. Zoo City. Angry Robot, 2010. First hardback edition and first UK edition, one of 100 signed copies (the only hardback edition), a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a very slight wrinkle at rear heel join, otherwise new and unread. Preceded by the Jacana Media (South Africa) paperback edition. Bought off eBay for $99 (the opening bid).

    Zoo City

    IMG_1117

    IMG_1122

  • Bix, Cynthia Overbeck, editor. Sunset Home Repair Handbook. Sunset Publishing, 1994. Trade paperback reprint, a Very Good+ copy with book slightly concave and touches of wear. Picked out of a box of free books out on a curb.
  • Crowther, Peter and Nick Gevers. Postscripts 30/31: Memoryville Blues. PS Publishing, 2013. First edition hardback, #173 of 200 copies signed by all the contributors, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and a Fine slipcase, new and unread. Bought off eBay for $15, which works out to less than a dollar a signature…
  • Cruz, Ted. A Time for Truth. Broadside Books, 2015. Signed by the author.
  • Drake, David. Codex. Sidecar Preservation Society, 2003. First edition chapbook original, #83 of 175 numbered copies, a Fine copy. According to Chalker & Owings Supplement 12, there were 25 copies bound in hardback (not seen). Bought for £2.50 after discount.

    Drake Codex

  • Ellison, Harlan. Alone Against Tomorrow. Macmillan, 1971. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Ellison: “For Don—/Harlan Ellison”. Currey (1979), page 177. Slusser (see below) 19. Bought off eBay for $35.
  • Ellison, Harlan (edited by Andrew Porter). The Book of Ellison. Algol Press, 1975. First edition hardback, one of only 200 hardbacks, a Near Fine copy with bumping at head and heel, sans dust jacket, as issued. Inscribed by Ellison: “For Malcolm, Friend, from/Harlan Ellison.” Collection of essays. Bought from a UK dealer for £33.
  • Ellison, Harlan. Edgeworks 1: Over the Edge/An Edge in My Voice. White Wolf, 1996. First edition hardback thus (and first hardback edition of Over the Edge, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket.
  • Ellison, Harlan. Edgeworks 3: Harlan Ellison’s Hornbook/Harlan Ellison’s Movie. White Wolf, 1997. First edition hardback thus, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Supplements the two-volume Mirage Press set of these same titles.
  • Ellison, Harlan. Edgeworks 4: Love Ain’t Nothing But Sex Misspelled/The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World. White Wolf, 1998. First edition hardback thus, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket.
  • (Ellison, Harlan) Segaloff, Nat. A Lit Fuse: The Provacative Life of Harlan Ellison. NESFA Press, 2017. First edition hardback, #238 of 500 copies signed by Segaloff, a Fine copy in decorated boards, in a Fine slipcase, sans dust jacket, as issued. Authorized biography. The pic below is from the front of the slipcase.

    A Lit Fuse

  • (Ellison, Harlan). Slusser, George Edgar. Harlan Ellison: Unrepentant Harlequin. Borgo Press, 1977. First edition chapbook original (“First Edition———April 1977”), a Fine copy. Signed and dated (“4/18/95”) by Ellison. Critical work on Ellison. “The Milford Series Popular Writers of Today: Volume Six.” Bought of eBay for $13.05.

    Unrepntent Harlequin

  • (Ellison, Harlan) Slusser, George Edgar. Harlan Ellison: Unrepentant Harlequin. Borgo Press, 1977. First edition chapbook, a Near Fine- copy with rubbing and a sticker pull to front cover. Inscribed by Ellison, with a drawing, in two colors: (In blue ink) “For Daniel Traeger The “Mom” (in rust-colored ink) That’s supposed to/say “The Man” — But/I messed up. Sorry/Harlan Ellison/”The Inept.” Currey (1979), page 180. Another copy, bought for $1.98 at Half Price Books after I bought the one above.

    Slusser Ellison Sig

  • Eggers, Dave, editor. McSweeney’s 15. McSweeney’s, 2004. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued, still in shrinkwarp, with Icelandic tabloid included. Bought for $2 from half price Books.
  • Fabian, Stephen. Crystal of a Hundred Dreams: A Portfolio by Stephen E. Fabian. Underwood/Miller, 1979. First edition oversized softbound art portfolio, one of 550 sets produced, a Fine copy, still in shrinkwrap. Illustrations from the U/M Jack Vance books The Eyes of the Overworld, The Seventeen virgins and The Bagful of Dreams. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 431 (where they note it’s “Uncommon,” most sets having been broken up and framed). Bought for $55 from a fellow Jack Vance collector.

    IMG_1215

  • Farmer, Philip Jose. The Classic Philip Jose Farmer: 1954—1962. Crown, 1984. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Farmer. Volume 4 in the Crown SF Classics series. Bought for $21.50 off eBay.

    Classic Farmer Sig

  • Foster, Alan Dean (writing as George Lucas). Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker. Ballantine Books, 1976. First edition paperback original (as indicated both by the “First Printing 1976” statement on the copyright page, and by the original Ralph McQuarrie artwork on the cover, which was dropped from all subsequent reprints), a Very Good copy with cover creasing, bottom front corner crease, and general wear.

    Star Wars PB

  • Freas, Frank Kelly. The Art of Science Fiction. Donning, 1977. First edition hardback, #234 of 1,000 copies with a signature plate signed by Freas pasted inside the front cover, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Bought for $50 off eBay.

    Art Freas

  • Hill, Joe. A Little Silver Book of Sharp Shiny Slivers. Borderlands Press, 2017. First edition hardback, #439 of 500 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Part of the Borderlands Little Book series.

    Joe Hill Silver

  • Jacobi, Carl. The Smoke of the Snake. Fedogan & Breamer, 1994. Bought for $7.99 at Half Price Books.
  • Lafferty, R.A. The Man With the Speckled Eyes: The Collected Short Fiction Volume Four. Centipede Press, 2017. #40 of 300 signed, numbered copies, matching the number I have for the other volumes.
  • Lee, Tanith. Mortal Suns. Overlook Press, 2001. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with slight bend at head and heel and a touch of wear. Signed and date by Lee “2004/London.” Bought for £7.50.
  • Lee, Tanith. Wolf Wing. Dutton, 2003. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a very slight bump at head and a few faint, non-breaking scratches to rear cover. Signed and dated 2008 by Lee. Bought for £7.50.
  • Le Guin, Ursula. To Siva the Unmaker. Science Fiction Poetry Association, 1980. First edition postcard, a near Fine copy with a faint dime-sized stain. Signed by Le Guin. Bought for $15 off eBay.

    Le Guin Postcard

  • Mieville, China. The Last Days of New Paris. Subterranean Press, 2017. First limited edition hardback (the Del Rey trade edition precedes), #322 of 500 signed, numbered copies.
  • Nevins, Jess. The Encyclopedia of Fantastic Pulp heroes. Lulu Press, 2017. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Non-fiction reference work covering fantastic pulp heroes from 1902—1945. Bought for $22.49 the first week of publication.

    Fantastic Pulp Heroes

  • Partridge, Norman. Spyder. Subterranean Press, 1995. First edition chapbook original, a PC copy of 500 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy. Bought for £2.50 after discount.

    Partridge Spyder

  • Powers, Tim. Poems. Charnel House, 2016 (actually 2017). First edition hardback, #54 of 200 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued.

    Powers Poems

  • Rajaniemi, Hannu. The Quantum Thief. Gollancz, 2010. First edition hardback, an Ex-Library copy with pocket and stamps, in a Fine-, protected dust jacket with a bit of curl at head. Presents well. Bought off eBay for £19.99 plus shipping.

    Quantum Thief

  • Tem, Steve Rasnic. Fairytales. Roadkill Press, 1990. First edition chapbook original, #352 of 400 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy. Bought for £2.50 after discount.

    Tem Fairytales

  • Spencer, William Browning. The Unorthodox Dr. Draper. Subterranean Press, 2017. #169 of 750 signed, numbered copies. I’ll have copies for sale in the forthcoming Lame Excuse Books catalog.
  • Tessier, Thomas. Lulu and one other. Subterranean Press, 1999. First edition chapbook original, a PC copy of 250 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy. Bought for £2.50 after discount.

    Tessier Lulu

  • Library Addition: Signed First of The Classic Philip Jose Farmer

    Friday, June 30th, 2017

    Another signed eBay purchase:

    Farmer, Philip Jose. The Classic Philip Jose Farmer: 1954—1962. Crown, 1984. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Farmer. Volume 4 in the Crown SF Classics series. Bought for $21.50 off eBay.

    Classic Farmer Sig

    Library Addition: Iain M. Banks’ Cleaning Up

    Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

    Tracked down an Iain Banks chapbook I lacked.

    Banks, Iain M. Cleaning Up. Birmingham Science Fiction Group, 1987. First edition chapbook, a Fine- copy with one small phantom indentation to top rear and a touch of soiling. Issued for Novacon 17. Bought online for £24.99 plus shipping.

    Cleaning Up

    Library Additions: Three Signed Harlan Ellison Items

    Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

    Three items, all picked up separately, all by or about Harlan Ellison, and all signed.

  • Ellison, Harlan. Alone Against Tomorrow. Macmillan, 1971. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Ellison: “For Don—/Harlan Ellison”. Currey (1979), page 177. Slusser (see below) 19. Bought off eBay for $35.
  • (Ellison, Harlan) Segaloff, Nat. A Lit Fuse: The Provacative Life of Harlan Ellison. NESFA Press, 2017. First edition hardback, #238 of 500 copies signed by Segaloff, a Fine copy in decorated boards, in a Fine slipcase, sans dust jacket, as issued. Authorized biography. The pic below is from the front of the slipcase.

    A Lit Fuse

  • (Ellison, Harlan) Slusser, George Edgar. Harlan Ellison: Unrepentant Harlequin. Borgo Press, 1977. First edition chapbook, a Near Fine- copy with rubbing and a sticker pull to front cover. Inscribed by Ellison, with a drawing, in two colors: (In blue ink) “For Daniel Traeger The “Mom” (in rust-colored ink) That’s supposed to/say “The Man” — But/I messed up. Sorry/Harlan Ellison/”The Inept.” Currey (1979), page 180. Bought for $1.98 at Half Price Books. Oddly enough, I recently bought another signed copy of this, but since that one has a better cover and this one a better inscription, I’m inclined to keep both…

    Slusser Ellison Sig