Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Library Addition: Philip K. Dick’s World of Chance

Monday, November 16th, 2015

I picked the following up as part of a swap:

Dick, Philip K. World of Chance. Rich and Cowan, 1956. First hardback edition and first thus under this title (the first hardback edition of Dick’s first published novel, published earlier in the U.S. as the paperback original Solar Lottery), an Ex-Library copy with tape ghosts to inside covers, slight signs of pocket removal from FFE, inner front hinge half-cracked, slight dust staining to page block edges, in a dust jacket that has about 1/8″ trimmed from top and bottom, and a larger amount (possibly 1/4″ to 1/2″) trimmed from inner flaps, not removing any text, but trimming the flap edges right to the edge of the text block, plus tape ghosts and a touch of edgewear; call it a Very Good-/Good+ Ex-Library copy, though it presents much better than that list of flaws would lead you to believe. Currey (1979), page 159. Levack, 38b. One of the rarest Dick hardcovers.

World of Chance

Library Addition: Signed Isaac Asimov Limited Chapbook

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

This is one of the many things on my want list, since I always thought it was a neat little book, and I finally found a copy I could afford.

Asimov, Isaac. Three By Asimov. Targ Editions, 1981. First edition hardback, one of 250 signed copies, a Fine copy in a Near Fine- tissue paper dust jacket with a 7/8″ semi-closed tear on the top right front cover, with associated wrinkles (the white streaks at left and top are reflection glare from the dust jacket protector). All the pages seem to be made of hand-made paper with ragged edges. Bought for $107.79 off eBay.


William Targ was a former editor at Putnam who ran a one-man small press in his retirement. This and the Ray Bradbury book Beyond 1984 were, as far as I know, the only SF Targ Editions published.

Library Addition: H. P. Lovecraft’s Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition

Monday, October 26th, 2015

This came in recently:

Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi). H. P. Lovecraft’s Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition, a three volume set consisting of Volume 1: 1905—1925, Volume 2: 1926—1930, and Volume 3: 1931—1936. Hippocampus Press, 2015. First edition hardbacks, one of only 750 sets, all Fine copies in Fine dust jackets and shrinkwrap, new and unread. “For the first time, students and scholars of Lovecraft can see at a glance all the textual variants in all relevant appearances of a story—manuscript, first publication in magazines, and first book publications. The result is an illuminating record of the textual history of the tales, along with how Lovecraft significantly revised his stories after initial publication. Along the way, Joshi has made small but significant revisions to his earlier corrected texts. He has determined, for example, that Lovecraft slightly revised some stories when a reprint of them was scheduled in Weird Tales, and he has altered some readings in light of a better understanding of Lovecraft’s customary linguistic usages.” So not only do these three volumes represent the complete and super-duper definitive edition of Lovecraft’s work, hardcore Lovecraft fans can see how both Lovecraft and others revised his work over the years.


I’ll have one of these for sale through the next Lame Excuse Books catalog, which should actually go out via email tonight…

Guillermo del Toro Has A Pretty Awesome Prop Collection

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

The New York Times offers up a look at Guillermo del Toro’s collection of horror movie props, which is fairly impressive.

Who else do you know has a lifesize figure of H.P. Lovecraft reading one of his own books?

His library also includes at least one book with one of my stories in it (Horrors: 365 Scary Stories)…

(Hat tip: Liz Hand’s Facebook page.)

A Chance to Own a Stephen Hawking Signature

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Right now a book signed by Stephen Hawking be yours for only a bit over 20 grand, but expect that to go up.

And it’s not even one of Hawking’s own books, but a farewell gift for a co-worker who was leaving the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy at Cambridge University signed by the faculty, including Hawking.

“Hawking autographs are of the utmost rarity.” Indeed, though it’s already too rich for my blood, and I suspect it could easily go for 3-4 times the current price…

Library Additions: Two Horror First Editions

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

The only thing tying these two books together is that they’re both horror and I bought both from Lloyd Currey at 50% off:

  • Baker, Denys Val. The Face in the Mirror. Arkham House, 1971. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with just a trace of wear at bottom edge (probably do to an old fold-around dj protector that doesn’t encase the edges). Joshi, 60 Years of Arkham House, 112. Jaffery, Horrors and Unpleasantries, 118. Nielsen, Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide, 118. Chalker & Owings (1991), page 39. Not in Bleiler’s Guide to Supernatural Fiction (an odd omission). Bought for $12.50
  • Wagner, Karl Edward. Why Not You and I? Dark Harvest, 1987. First edition hardback, #252 of 300 copies signed by Wagner. a Fine copy in a Near Fine dust jacket with waviness to dust jacket rear, in a Near Fine paper slipcase. I also have a copy of the trade edition inscribed to me by Wagner at the 1988 Worldcon in New Orleans. Bought for $32.50.
  • Library Addition: Paul Di Filippo’s Cosmocopia

    Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

    When this cool novel/art assemblage was announced in 2007 at a price of $50 (I think it was listed at $65 on publication), I thought two things about it:

  • That’s cool, and I want one.
  • I don’t want to pay $50 (or $65) for it.
  • They were even offered at a slightly short discount for dealers, which is why I passed on it. When it came out in late 2008, neither I (nor anyone else) was buying much of anything, and I’m sure the lavish nature of the production helped contribute to Payseur & Schmidt’s demise.

    Di Filippo, Paul (illustrated by Jim Woodrung). Cosmocopia. Payseur & Schmidt, 2008. First edition hardback, one of 500 copies with a band signed by Di Filippo and Jim Woodrung around the box, in a decorated cardboard box with a cardstock illustration and a Jigsaw puzzle, in the case as well as the book, sans dust jacket, as issued. Paul Di Filippo alerted me to the fact that Fantagraphics bookstore had copies on hand for Jim Woodrung’s signing there at $30 a pop and I managed to call and snag the last copy.




    Library Addition: Limited Edition of Pulphouse 8 Signed by Greg Egan

    Monday, September 21st, 2015

    You may be aware that I’m one of the few book collectors that has an inscribed associational copy of one of Greg Egan’s books (Axiomatic, inscribed to his editor David Pringle). These days, Egan doesn’t do signings, doesn’t attend conventions, and refuses to do signed limited editions of his work. However, before he instituted this policy, he did sign one limited edition toward the beginning of his career, and I recently picked that up:

    Rusch, Kristine Kathryn, editor. Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine: Issue Eight: Summer 1990. Hardback first edition, #50 of 250 numbered copies signed by all the contributors, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued, in a Fine slipcase. Signed by Greg Egan at the title page for his story “The Moral Virologist.” Also signed by George Alec Effinger, Jack McDevitt, Jonathan Lethem, etc. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 364. Supplements an unsigned copy (I have the entire 12 issue run in the regular edition.) Bought off eBay for $39.95.

    Pulphouse 8


    His signature here is actually neater than the one on the inscribed Axiomatic.


    I may not be the only Sf collector with two Greg Egan signatures, but there can’t be many…

    Library Addition: Signed First Edition of J. G. Ballard’s Super-Cannes

    Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

    Pick up another signed J. G. Ballard first edition:

    Ballard, J. G. Super-Cannes. Flamingo, 2000. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with bumping at points, a 1/8″ closed tear at bottom rear fold point, and very slight haze rubbing to reflective silver dust jacket. Inscribed by Ballard: “To Jane,/J.G. Ballard”. Bought for £24 plus shipping.

    I think I have a total of six signed Ballards, including the News From the Sun chapbook and the limited edition of his autobiography, Miracles of Life: Shanghai to Shepperton.

    Library Addition: Anthony Armstrong’s Wine of Death

    Monday, September 14th, 2015

    Someone put in a want for this book so long ago I apparently no longer have the email they sent about it, which I think may have been some 15-20 years ago. But it popped up at a reasonable price so I picked it up.

    Armstrong, Anthony. Wine of Death. Stanley Paul & Co. (London), no date [1925]. First edition hardback, a Very Good copy with moderate bend at head and heel at head and slight spotting to page block edges and first few pages, and slight foxing to front and rear free endpapers, with 32 page catalog dated 1924-1825 at rear, lacking the dust jacket. Tietler & Locke, By the Book World Remembered, pages 37 and 119. Locke, Spectrum of Fantasy, page 22. Tietler, By the World Forgot, 55 (where it’s compared to Robert E. Howard’s Conan tales). Not in either edition of the Bleiler Checklist. Bought for $32.04 plus transatlantic shipping. Last year Lloyd Currey listed a better (but not perfect) copy, still lacking the dust jacket, for $1,250, and noted it was “Rare.”