Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

John Clute’s Library Going to Telluride Institute

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

I had no idea when I posted that tardy donation news for Allen Lewis’ library yesterday that this would be Great SF Collections Ending Up In Libraries Week.

Critic John Clute’s considerable SF library is ending up at the Telluride Institute, where Clute is a trustee.

Allen Lewis Donates His Entire Collection to The University of Iowa

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Well, how did I miss this news? Science fiction collector Allen Lewis donated his entire collection of science fiction first editions to the University of Iowa. Here’s another story on the donation, with a few more quotes and pictures of Al in front of his library. (Sadly, the pictures are not large enough to read the titles.)

I’ve sold many a book of Al over the years (and bought one or two from him). Al was famous for hauling a minivan’s worth of books to get signed at SF conventions. He would frequently get a dealer’s table, less to sell a few extras, but to have a base to store his own books from which to hit the autographing lines.

It would be nice to browse through the list of what he donated, if they ever get it online…

Library Addition: Kirk Hammett’s Too Much Horror Business

Monday, August 17th, 2015

Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett is one of the world’s premiere collectors of horror movie posters and memorabilia (toys, games, masks, etc.). After reading about the Hammett collection in Heritage Auction’s Intelligent Collector magazine, I’d been interested in the book documenting it, so I picked one up from the Cold Tonnage 40% off sale.

Hammett, Kirk. Too Much Horror Business. Abrams, 2012. First edition oversized hardback, a Fine- copy with wear at points, sans dust jacket, as issued. (Note: The wear on the front cover lettering is faux-wear, as you can tell from the same faux-wear on the title and half-title page.) Hammett has a truly amazing poster collection, possibly on par with that of Robert V. Borst (documented in Graven Images), whose range of collection included more science fiction and fantasy than Hammett. Bought for £12 marked down from £20.

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Here’s a video on the book and Hammett’s collection:

Library Addition: Signed Edition of Horror: 100 Best Books

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

This is another book I bought in the Cold Tonnage 40% off sale.

Jones, Stephen and Newman, Kim. Horror: 100 Best Books. Xanadu Publications, Ltd., 1988. First edition hardback, #214 of 300 numbered copies signed by both the editors and almost every living one of the 100 (!) contributors, including Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Harlan Ellison, Basil Copper, Karl Edward Wagner, Jack Williamson, etc. etc etc. (though not by Stephen King), a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Bought for £30 off Cold Tonnage, marked down from £50.

Horror 100 LTD

I tried to take pictures of the signatures on the endpapers, with varying results. Click to embiggen:

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I already had the trade edition, but the limited’s binding is quite different from the trade edition, as the picture below illustrates:

Horror 100 Both

(Ignore the grid lines, which are a scanner artifact.)

Library Addition: Bob Shaw’s The Palace of Eternity

Tuesday, August 11th, 2015

Cold Tonnage was having it’s annual 40% off sale (Andy Richards says he uses the sale to pay his taxes every year), so I picked up several books I’ll be listing over the next week or so.

Shaw, Bob. The Palace of Eternity. Gollancz, 1970. First hardback edition, a Near Fine copy with one small spot to page block edge and bumping to bottom points, in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with with small dust blemish to spine near Gollancz “SF” logo, a few tiny dust spots elsewhere, and a slight bumping at bottom tips. Inscribed by the author: “To Brian,/with best wishes/Bob Shaw.” Currey (1979), page 431. Pringle SF 100, 61. Barron, Anatomy of Wonder 4, 4-391. Bought for £120, marked down from £200.

Palace of Eternity

Library Addition: Signed Harlan Ellison Cassette Tape Pack

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

Sometimes you stumble across something not really on your collecting radar, but if it’s cheap enough, you go “What the hell?”

Ellison, Harlan. A Boy & His Dog & “Repent, Harlequin” said the Ticktockman. Warner Audio Publishing, no date (but 1985). Presumed first edition, a pair of cassette tapes of Ellison reading his two stories, a Fine- copy with small cracks to the clear cassette tape case plastic, in blister pack. Signed by Ellison on the back of the front cover insert. Bought for $2 off eBay.

Ellison Cassette Front

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(Not having a cassette tape player it wouldn’t be a pain to hook up, I’m just assuming it still has Ellison’s stories on it, and it hasn’t been taped over with a copy of, say, Frampton Comes Alive…)

Amazing Book Find: Ballantine Hardback of Chad Oliver’s Shadows in the Sun

Monday, August 3rd, 2015

I’d been having a dry spell searching the local Half Price Books locations. I wasn’t find much terribly interesting in their stacks (a few signed paperbacks here and there), and I either had everything I wanted in their collectable shelves, or they were asking too much money for marginal works.

Saturday’s find made up for many, many years of dry spells, and is hands-down the best find I’ve ever made at Half Price Books:

Oliver, Chad. Shadows in the Sun. Ballantine Books, 1954. First edition hardback (Currey state A, tan cloth lettered in black, no priority), a Near Fine+ copy with slight bumping at head and heel and usual age-darkening to pages), in a Near Fine- dust jacket with a 1 1/2″ closed tear to rear dust jacket flap, slight spotting to top of white rear cover, and a few small rubs. Hall, Hal W., The Work of Chad Oliver: An Annotated Bibliography & Guide, A2. Currey (1979), page 397. Locke, Spectrum of Fantasy, page 169 (an ex-library copy; his description of the dust jacket matches (down to the H-91 code on the front flap), but his description of the book itself as “gray cloth in dark blue lettering” doesn’t match either this copy or the Currey B state (blue cloth lettered in black); Locke’s copy was possibly a library rebind or another binding variant). Barron, Anatomy of Wonder 4, 3-138. Bought for $3 from the Half Price Books in Cedar Park.

Since Google image search brings up no copies of the hardback dust jacket (only the paperback edition, which has a different cover, as they frequently did), I’ve done several scans of it.

Shadows in the Sun BBHB

Shadows Sun Back

Shadows Sun whole dj

Shadows Sun dj flaps

Shadows Sun Book

Chad Oliver was the Grand Old Man of Austin science fiction writers. In addition to writing important works of anthropological SF in the 1950s, he was Dean of the University of Texas’ anthropology school for a while, and was an all-around swell guy. I knew him, but he was really more of a mentor to my mentors (Howard Waldrop, Bruce Sterling, Lewis Shiner, etc.), and had stopped going to the Turkey City Writer’s workshop by the time I started attending. He died in 1993.

Ballantine Books was one of the first mainstream publishers to move into science fiction in the 1950s. They published a prestigious SF line that came out in two formats: A paperback edition for readers, and a hardback edition, scarcely larger than the paperbacks, primarily for the library market. The paperbacks had print runs in the hundreds of thousands, while I’ve heard 600 as a typical print run for the hardbacks. Among the most desirable titles are Fahrenheit 451 (including the asbestos-bound state, which is insanely expensive), Childhood’s End (which I have an Ex-Library of), Hal Clement’s Cycle of Fire, and Green Odyssey, Philip Jose Farmer’s first published book. I’ve seen multiple copies of all those (even the asbestos Fahrenheit 451) offered up for sale or auction, but never Shadows in the Sun (Heritage offered up a jacketless copy a few years back). I don’t think seen a jacketed copy for sale or auction anywhere in the last 20 years.

Hell, as far as I can tell, Texas A&M’s Cushing library, to which Chad donated his books and papers, doesn’t even have a copy of the hardback listed among the donated material.

A conservative estimate of value is probably $2,000…

Library Addition: Proof of George R. R. Martin’s Never-Published John W. Campbell Awards Volume 6

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Finally obtained a book I’ve been trying to get for over 20 years, ever since hearing about it while compiling Bruce Sterling’s bibliography for Nova Express in the early 1990s:

Martin, George R. R. The John W. Campbell Awards Volume 6. Bluejay Books, 1986. Uncorrected proof, trade paperback format, of the never-published hardback first edition, a Very Good- copy, being well-read with creasing along front and back spine joins, bottom of front spine join starting to split, a few spots of staining (including one to the edge of side/bottom page block), and general wear, with note on front cover stating “To/Shelia/Williams/Isaac/Asimov” and a note on the table of contents saying the Orson Scott Card story listed was going to be replaced with another Card story. Never produced because Bluejay Books went out of business in 1986. Copy on the back covers states the book was to be produced in both hardback and trade paperback formats.

The contents are as follows:

  • Page 1: “Preface” — George R. R. Martin
  • Page 9: “On John Campbell” — Jack Williamson
  • Page 17: “The Djinn Who Watches Over the Accursed” — Stephen R. Donaldson (Published in Word Tales, the book published for the 1985 World Fantasy Convention in Tucson.)
  • Page 41: “Angel Engines” — Bruce Sterling (Note: This story is present in the book, but is missing from the the (probably hastily typed) Table of Contents.) (Remains unpublished.)
  • Page 57: “The Necropolis at Fang Shang” — Bruce Sterling (Remains unpublished.)
  • Page 71: “Adrift Among the Ghosts” — Jack L. Chalker (Appeared as an original story in the Chalker collection Dance Band on the Titanic in 1988.)
  • Page 89: “The Red Hawk” — Elizabeth A. Lynn (Had previous appeared as a stand-alone Cheap Street chapbook in 1983.)
  • Page 123: “Unwyrm” — Orson Scott Card (Never published in this form, a novella that takes up half the book, but evidently incorporated into Card’s 1987 novel Wyrms.)
  • Page 251: “The John W. Campbell Award Winners: 1973—1985” (No author listed, just a list of winners and nominees by year.)
  • Bought for $100 from an editor who was downsizing his library as part of moving.

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    JWCA#6 Back Cover

    Library Addition: Signed First Edition of Jack Vance’s The Dragon Masters

    Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

    Picked up the hardback first edition of one of my favorite Jack Vance works.

    Vance, Jack. The Dragon Masters. Dennis Dobson, 1965. First hardback edition, a Fine- copy with usual page darkening, in a Fine, bright, unclipped dust jacket. Signed by Vance. Bought for $120 from L. W. Currey.

    Dragon Masters

    Library Addition: Michael Swanwick’s Meditations on Meditations on Oysters

    Tuesday, July 14th, 2015

    Another weird Swanwick chapbook from Dragonstairs:

    Swanwick, Michael, and Christophe Morley. Meditations on Meditations on Oysters (Swanwick) b/w Meditations on Oysters (Morley). Dragonstairs Press, 2015. First edition sewn chapbook with decorative beadcultured pearl*, #24 of 50 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy. Swanwick’s observations on a 1917 free-form rumination on oysters.

    Swanwick Oysters

    Scan is extra wide to show the bead pearl…

    *Correction via Michael Swanwick.