This Case of the Overturned Garbage Can, that is.
Archive for September, 2011
Here’s a version of “Curtains” Gabriel did for the game Myst IV.
This version is available on iTunes, but only off a compilation album for a foundation supporting Transcendental Meditation. Since I hated my parents dragging me off to TM as a child (it was the 70s; normally rational people did crap like that then…), I’m going to have to pass.
I’ve seen some people claiming that the original version of “Curtains” itself is unreleased, which is not true, since it was included on the CD single of “Big Time.”
I’m in the process of putting together a new Lame Excuse Books catalog I hope to be able to send out via email next week. if you’re not already on my mailing list and want to receive a copy, drop me a line.
From the Alternative Hair Show in Moscow. Does it count as science fiction if one of them is sporting H. R. Giger’s alien on their head?
But that’s sedate next to the florescent palm tree:
I managed to pick up two notable Richard Matheson first editions in the last month or so:
Via Bill Crider comes yet another Top 100 Movie Comedies list. There is much to quibble with on this list (Brazil is way too low, Annie Hall is way too high, too few silent films and Eeling Comedies, Hot Fuzz should be higher, etc.), but given that it kicks the ass of that wretched College Humor list, I’m inclined to cut it some slack.
And they got #1 right.
“We don’t allow faster than light neutrinos in here” said the bartender.
A neutrino walks into a bar.
(Stolen from NRO)
I forgot exactly what I was looking for, but I came across this interview UK talk show host Michael Parkinson did with Peter Sellers in 1974. Sellers was, of course, one of the great comic actors, but according to this backstory, Sellers did very few interviews, and was very hard to interview in his own personality, as opposed to the many characters and impressions he did.
Anyway, the interview is a bit choppy in YouTube format (there’s a lot of overlap between the first two videos), but is full of fascinating Sellers impressions and bits, some Pink Panther outtakes, as well as a pinch of pathos about his failed marriages toward the end.
Seller died in 1980, but Michael Parkinson is still alive.
The Ventura Collection auction was very successful, and since it occurred right before the advent of The Great Recession, many of the prices achieved in that auction have not since been equaled. (It may also be the first auction catalog Heritage mass-mailed to prospective SF collectors; I had not received any before then.)
In 2008, it was The Robert and Diane Yaspan collection, which included a vast array of SF firsts as well as several SF manuscripts and a few select non-SF firsts, such as many firsts by mystery writer Earle Stanley Gardener.
Later in 2008 was the auction of The Frank Collection, which was mainly SF art, but included a number of notable SF first editions as well.
The just completed auction of the Jerry Weist collection was of the same caliber. There was some original art and pulp magazines in the collection, but the bulk of it was collectible SF/F/H first editions. The auction realized more than $1 million (though a significant fraction of that was for the artworks).
I’m going to talk about some of the more interesting items sold, and how the prices realized compared to comparable copies of the same firsts in previous years. I’ll also mention when I have a copy of the first edition discussed in my own library.
A few general observations:
To me, far and away the most interesting and desirable item was one of only five copies of Stanley G. Weinbaum’s Dawn of Flame to have the unsigned introduction by Amazing editor Ray Palmer. Weinbaum’s widow evidently objected to the introduction, which is why only five copies were so produced. Even the 245 copy Currey B state (with Lawrence Keating’s introduction replacing Palmer’s) is rare enough, and the book is widely considered the first true SF small press book. I don’t believe I’d seen a copy of the Palmer state for sale before, but I think one was sold when the Sam Moskowitz collection was auctioned off (they didn’t send me a catalog). Moreover, this particular copy once belonged to legendary collector and fan Forrest J. Ackerman, and was inscribed by him to Weist. Counting the buyer’s premium (a little shy of 20%, and which I’m going to include for all the other prices listed here), it went for $9,560.00; it wouldn’t have surprised me to see it go for twice that much.
There were some other SF collecting “holy grails” sold there:
Other Notable Books
From Holy Grails we move on to books that are merely Really Freaking Expensive. There are usually a few copies of these bumping around on Bookfinder.com, albeit with a comma in the price.
One of the most puzzling results of the auction was a signed first of Curt Siomdak’s Skyport was initially reported going for a stunning $8,611.17. That’s only about $8,500 more than it’s worth. But now when you go to the auction page for the item itself, it shows a far saner $101.58. I’m assuming there was some sort of glitch.
Slightly less puzzling was a signed, Near Fine copy of L. Sprague de Camp’s The Wheels of If (which has one of Hannes Bok’s most famous dust jacket illustrations) went for $717, which is a good bit more than it usually goes for; Lloyd Currey has a comparable-to-better signed copy online right now for $150. Before this I had the impression de Camp was out of fashion among collectors (and thus I have been able to pick up a number of signed copies of his work pretty cheap). I suspect this is an outlier.
Although I bid on several items, I only won one: an Ex-Library first of the UK David Bruce & Watson (first hardback) edition of Richard Matheson’s The Shrinking Man for $95.60. Fine copies go for over a grand.
Other science fiction book collecting topics (and glimpses into my own bibliomania) you might find of interest:
Just a handful, as I left my camera recharging for the con itself, so all of these are from the dead dog party.
Lou Anders’ wife makes him presentable.
Willie Siros, Scott Bobo and Emma Bull get their Shiner on.
Emma Bull fiddles with a confounding electronic device.
Willie listens to Bobo tell the punchline. “And that’s when I gave him back the duck.”
Another Armadillocon survived.