Archive for June, 2012

Still More Poking Holes in Prometheus

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

Do we need really another go-round explaining all the problems with Prometheus?

Why, yes. Yes we do.

Which is why I’m linking to this Prometheus Captain’s Log, not least for this line: “Weyland Corporation must not give a crap about this mission since they hired Insane Clown Posse to be our science team.”

More Poking Holes in Prometheus

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

If the review Howard and I did of Prometheus wasn’t enough to warn you away, here’s a spoiler-filled and NSFW list of all the questions regarding various plot idiocies in the movie, some we covered, some we haven’t. ENjoy!

Shoegazer Sunday: Black Tamborine’s “By Tomorrow”

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

I see that some online sources are calling Maryland’s Black Tamborine (active during the first wave of Shoegaze in the 1990s) “Twee Pop.” Screw that. Sounds like Shoegazer to me.

Recent Library Acquisitions: 12 Volumes in the Stellar Publishing Science Fiction Series

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

I picked up an interesting lot in a recent Heritage auction: 12 of the 18 volumes in the Stellar Publishing Corporation Science Fiction Series. SF pioneer Hugo Gernsback formed Stellar Publishing Corporation in 1929, and I’m given to understand that many volumes were available for sale for decades in the back of various science fiction magazines.

Alas, there seems to be a dearth of information about Stellar Publishing itself out on the Internet. Fortunately, I have the very first science fiction bibliography ever published, Science Fiction Bibliography, VOL 1, NO 1 (and only), published by the “Science Fiction Syndicate” right here in Austin, Texas in 1935. Let’s see what it has to say about the series:

The titles and authors of these eighteen booklets are too well known to enumerate.

Well, thanks a lot, long-dead dumbasses!

All of these (except the Manly Wade Wellman volume) can only be considered VG (at best) because the previous owner punched a set of small binding holes near the spine, presumably to store them all in one binder. Still, I only paid $38 for the entire set.

All of these have browned pages due to the paper used, but the scanner slightly exaggerates the shading variation. List numbers are the number each volume comes in the series.

  1. Michelmore, Reg. An Adventure in Venus. Stellar Publishing Corporation, 1929. First edition chapbook original, VG, with punch holes and usual page browning.

  2. Stone, Leslie F. When the Sun Went Out. Stellar Publishing Corporation, 1929. First edition chapbook original, VG, with punch holes and usual page browning.

  3. Lorraine, Lilith. The Brain of the Planet. Stellar Publishing Corporation, 1929. First edition chapbook original, VG-, with punch holes and usual page browning, and a few stray black marks to cover.

  4. Colladay, Morrison. When the Moon Fell. Stellar Publishing Corporation, 1929. First edition chapbook original, VG, with punch holes and usual page browning.

  5. Bourne, Frank/Long, Amelia Reynolds. The Thought Stealer (Bourne) and The Mechanical Man (Long). Stellar Publishing Corporation, 1930. First edition chapbook original, VG, with punch holes and usual page browning.

  6. Bradley, Jack. The Torch of Ra. Stellar Publishing Corporation, no date (1930). First edition chapbook original, VG, with punch holes and usual page browning.

  7. Eberle, Merab/Mitchell, Milton. The Thought Translator (Eberle) and The Creation (Mitchell). Stellar Publishing Corporation, 1930. First edition chapbook original, VG, with punch holes and usual page browning.

  8. Higginson, H. W. The Elixir. Stellar Publishing Corporation, 1930. First edition chapbook original, VG, with punch holes and usual page browning.

  9. Black, Pansy E. The Valley of the Great Ray. Stellar Publishing Corporation, 1930. First edition chapbook original, VG, with punch holes and usual page browning.

  10. Farrar, Clyde/Sharp, D.D. The Life Vapor (Farrar) and Thirty Miles Down. Stellar Publishing Corporation, no date (1930). First edition chapbook original, VG-, with punch holes and usual page browning, slight staining to top back corner near spine, and initials to very bottom of cover.

  1. Wellman, Manly Wade. The Invading Asteroid. Stellar Publishing Corporation, 1932. First edition chapbook original, a Near Fine copy with usual page browning (and unlike the above, no side hole punching).

Generally, the Wellman is (along with Clark Ashton Smith’s The Immortals of Mercury and Jack Williamson and Dr. Miles J. Breuer’s The Girl From Mars, neither of which I’ve picked up yet) considered among the more desirable titles in the series. But the Lorraine and Bourne/Long titles are also getting somewhat hard to find as well.

Shoegazer Sunday: Curve’s “No Escape From Heaven”

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

The thing about Curve’s “No Escape From Heaven” that strikes me as I listen to it now is just how much it sounds like 1991. There was a huge amount of change going on that year, both grunge (Nirvana, Pearl Jam) and otherwise (Slowdive, Tori Amos), but there was a particular style of female lead vocals that featured bright, upbeat, autoharmonized choruses with a lush, vibrant, full sound, as though all the girl groups of the 1980s (Go Gos, Bananarama, etc.) were distilled into their essence, with an assist from the very latest recording technology. You could hear it everywhere, including bands people have completely forgotten about. (When is the last time you heard Voice of the Beehive on the radio?) Even though this is definitely Shoegaze, you can still hear the same tonalities to it.

Howard Waldrop and I Review Prometheus

Monday, June 11th, 2012

Over at Locus Online. It wasn’t as good as we hoped it would be.

The Trailer for Django Unchained is Out

Friday, June 8th, 2012

And it looks every bit as much fun as it sounded:

Library Acquisition: Philip K. Dick’s Counter Clock World

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

I’m in the process of acquiring a complete collection of Philip K. Dick’s first editions in hardback, including those books first published as paperback originals. Some of these are fairly hard to find, among them the UK White Lion edition of Counter Clock World. It came out in 1977, preceding the Gregg Press hardback by two years. I finally found an acceptable Ex-Library copy I could afford, thanks to a private seller who contacted me about after seeing it on my books wanted list.

Dick, Philip K. Counter Clock World. White Lion, 1977. First hardback edition, an Ex-Library copy with remnants of pocket removal on inside front cover, FFE excised, and small stamps on title and copyright pages, otherwise VG, with signatures slightly shaken, 1/4″ cloth wear-through on rear board edge at heel and general wear, in a VG dust jacket with extremely shallow chipping at head and heel, wrinkling to bottom edge of front flap, and haze rubbing to black back panel, but otherwise intact and not price-clipped. Currey, p. 156. Not in Levack, which is the only omission I’ve found in PKD.

Non Ex-Library copies tend to list around two grand.

That leaves three UK Dick hardback firsts I still need:

  • Philip K. Dick’s A Handful of Darkness (Rich & Cowan, 1st state in blue boards stamped in silver, in first state dj (no mention of World of Chance))
  • Philip K. Dick’s The World Jones Made (Sidgwick & Jackson)
  • Philip K. Dick’s World of Chance (Rich and Cowan)
  • Sad News: Ray Bradbury RIP

    Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

    I’m seeing reports that science fiction legend Ray Bradbury has passed away at 91.

    Bradbury was one of the few unquestioned giants of the field. Personally, if I hadn’t read The Illustrated Man at an early age, I may never have become a science fiction writer. I corresponded with him a tiny bit, and once I got a phone call from him (in response to a letter) talking about meeting in person at the Anaheim Worldcon in 2006. Alas, my flight flew out before his one appearance at the convention, so I never got a chance to meet him face-to-face.

    Rest in Peace.

    Lawrence Person’ Library: Reference Books (Part 4: H. P. Lovecraft)

    Sunday, June 3rd, 2012

    Don Webb once said that “If you are obsessed with a writer, you own more in print about him than the total number of words in print by him.” In which case I guess I’m obsessed by H. P. Lovecraft (who is also who Don was talking about). However, while I do like Lovecraft, it’s really only because I’m obsessed about books in general, part of which is obtaining reference books about authors I like. Is it my fault there are just so many books on Lovecraft out there? I don’t have all of them, but I do have a goodly number.

    For In-print items, I’ve provided links to either the Lame Excuse Books page for things I have in stock, or Amazon links for those I don’t.

    Here’s a long view of everything that would fit laid out on a single tabletop:

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  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Bell, Joseph. Les Bibliotheques Volumes 1-8. Soft Books, 1984-1987. Eight side-stapled A4-sized chapbooks, featuring a miscellaneous selection of Lovecraft material (including fiction, poems, letters, etc. from Lovecraft), the bulk of which is taken up by a chronology of his publications.
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  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Migliore, Andrew, and John Strysik. The Lurker in the Lobby: A Guide to the Cinema of H.P. Lovecraft. Night Shade Press, 2010. First printing trade paperback original of this enlarged and updated edition. Normally sits among my film reference works.
  • Next comes a few Arkham House-related books I’m including here. (I already covered S. T. Joshi’s Sixty Years of Arkham House during my first reference book roundup.)

  • Jaffery, Sheldon. Horrors and Unpleasantries: A Bibliographical History and Collectors Price Guide to Arkham House. Popular Press, 1982. First edition hardback. Largely superseded by Joshi’s Sixty Years, it still has information not replicated there, including how the secret reprint edition of August Derleth’s own Someone in the Dark came to pass.
  • Nielsen, Leon. Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide. McFarland & Company, 2004. Trade paperback original. Goes a little farther than Joshi. Mostly superfluous if you have Joshi and Jaffrey, but useful if you don’t.
  • Derleth, August. Thirty Years of Arkham House: 1939-1969. Arkham House, 1970. First edition hardback. The official history up to that date. (I do not own a copy of Derleth’s Arkham House: The First 20 Years; it’s pretty pricey for a superseded paperback reference work, and insanely pricey for one of the 80 hardback copies…)
  • Finally, we get to the actual Lovecraft section, which starts off with several titles by HPL himself:

  • Lovecraft, H. P. Supernatural Horror in Literature. Ben Abramson, 1945. First separate edition, hardback (Currey A), sans dust jacket, as issued. His famous essay.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz) Lord of a Visible World: An Autobiography in Letters. Ohio University Press, 2000. Hardback first edition. What the title says: chronological autobiographical information culled from Lovecraft’s voluminous correspondence.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi) Collected Essay Volume 1: Amateur Journalism. Hippocampus Press, 2004. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi) Collected Essay Volume 2: Literary Criticism. Hippocampus Press, 2004. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi) Collected Essay Volume 3: Science. Hippocampus Press, 2005. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi) Collected Essay Volume 4: Travel. Hippocampus Press, 2005. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi) Collected Essay Volume 5: Philosophy, Autobiography & Miscellany. Hippocampus Press, 2006. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei) Selected Letters I. Arkham House, 1965. Hardback first edition. Many later Lovecratt scholars have criticized the way the letters in these and subsequent volumes have been edited.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei) Selected Letters II. Arkham House, 1968. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by August Derleth and Donald Wandrei) Selected Letters IIII. Arkham House, 1971. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by August Derleth and James Turner) Selected Letters IV. Arkham House, 1976. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by August Derleth and James Turner) Selected Letters V. Arkham House, 1976. Hardback first edition.

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  • Lovecraft, H. P. and Donald Wandrei (edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz) Mysteries of Time and Spirit: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Donald Wandrei. Night Shade Books, 2002. Hardback first edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi and David E. Schultz) Letters from New York. Night Shade Books, 2005. Hardback first edition.
  • Howard, Robert E. and H. P. Lovecraft. A Means to Freedom: The Letters of H.P. Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard. Hippocampus Press, 2009. First edition hardbacks, two volumes. Shelved in my Robert E. Howard section.
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  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by L. Sprague de Camp) To Quebec and the Stars. Donald M. Grant, 1976. Hardback first edition. (Out of order in the pictures because it’s oversized and shelved one shelf down from where it should be.)
  • Next comes books about Lovecraft by other authors.

  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Joshi, S. T. H. P. Lovecraft and Lovecraft Criticism: An Annotated Bibliography. Kent State University Press, 1981. Hardback first edition, sans dust jacket, as issued. If you haven’t figured out already by the number of times his name has already appeared on this list, Joshi is the Lovecraft obsessive that puts all the other Lovecraft obsessives in the shade. I have several criticisms of his Sixty Years of Arkham House, and disagree with significant bits and pieces of his critical approach to Lovecraft’s. But when comes to excessive knowledge of Lovecraft’s life and work, he has no equal, and this bibliography is ridiculously comprehensive up through the period covered. There were 14 Lovecraft books (including some chapbooks, pamphlets, etc.) printed before The Outsider and Others, each of which is either insanely expensive or simply not available anywhere at any price.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Joshi, S. T. I Am Providence: the Life and Times of H P Lovecraft. Hippocampus Press, 2010. First edition hardback, two volumes. Back in 1996, Necronomicon Press published Joshi’s H. P. Lovecraft: A Life, a definitive biography which was about 700 pages long, with very small margins, in a hardback edition of 250 copies which went out of print before just about anyone knew about it. (You can still get the trade paperback edition.) Well, guess what? Joshi had to leave out about 150,000 words of material for space constraints. That, plus everything he’s learned since 1996, is packed into these two volumse. (I see some people online are asking $550 for this set. I have sets available for $95, which is half-off cover price. [Sorry, sold out. - LP])
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Joshi, S. T. and David E. Schultz. An H. P. Lovecraft Encyclopedia. Greenwood Press, 2001. Hardback first edition, in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Includes things both in Lovecraft’s fiction and his life.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) de Camp, L. Sprague Lovecraft: A Life. Doubleday, 1975. Hardback first edition, inscribed by de Camp, remainder speckling at heel, otherwise Fine in a Fine dust jacket. Considered the standard biography before Joshi went to work; not so much anymore.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Long, Frank Belknap. Howard Philips Lovecraft: Dreamer on the Night Side Arkham House, 1975. Hardback first edition. Biography of Lovecraft by a close friend and fellow writer.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Cannon, Peter, editor. Lovecraft Remembered. Arkham House, 1998. Hardback first edition with review slip laid in. Collection of remembrances of both Lovecraft and his writing by numerous contemporaries, much of it original published in very obscure journals or small-run pamphlets.
  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Carter, Lin. Lovecraft: A Look Behind the Cthulhu Mythos. Starmont House/Borgo Press, [1992]. First hardback edition, Fine in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued.
  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Cannon, Peter. H. P. Lovecraft. Twayne, 1989. Hardback first edition (a reasonably clean ex-library copy). Part of the Twayn’s United States Authors Series.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Joshi, S. T. H. P. Lovecraft: Four Decades of Criticism. Ohio University Press, 1980. Hardback first edition. Variety of essays on Lovecraft’s work.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Mark Owings and Irving Binkin, catalogers. A Catalog of Lovecraftiana: The Grill Binkin Collection. Mirage Press, 1975. Hardback first edition, Fine sans dust jacket, as issued. Catalog of perhaps the most extensive Lovecraft collection ever in existence.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) St. Armand, Barton Levi. The Roots of Horror in the Fiction of H. P. Lovecraft. Dragon Press, 1977. Hardback first edition, Fine sans dust jacket, as issued. Critical work.
  • And a few works on the Cthulhu Mythos more generally:

  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Jarocha-Ernst, Chris. A Cthulhu Mythos Bibliography and Concordance. Armitage House, 1999. First edition trade paperback original.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Harms, Daniel. Encyclopedia Cthulhuiana. Chaosium, 1994. Trade paperback original.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Harms, Daniel. The Cthulhu Mythos Encyclopedia. Elder Signs Press, 2008. First edition hardback, one of 200 signed, numbered copies. “Updated and Expanded Third Edition,” and the first hardback edition.
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    And here are some chapbook that you can’t tell what they are from the spine. I pick up those Necronomicon Press chapbooks when I find them cheap, but usually not otherwise.

  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) St. Armand, Barton Levi. H. P. Lovecraft: New England Decadent. Silver Scarab Press, 1979. Perfect-bound chapbook.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Barlow, R. H. On Lovecraft and Life. Necronomicon Press, 1992. First edition chapbook.

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  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Cook, W. Paul. In Memoriam: Howard Phillips Lovecraft. Necronomicon Press, 1991. Chapbook, second edition.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. A History of the Necronomicon. Necronomicon Press, 1992. Chapbook, sixth printing.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Barrass, Glynn. A Cthulhu Mythos Bibliography & Checklist: Second Edition. Blackgoat Books, 1996. An extremely barebones checklist (title, publisher, and whether it was issued in hardback). Probably the last thing you would reach for, but it does have a few obscure listings.

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  • Lovecraft, H. P. and Anthony Raven. The Occult Lovecraft. Gerry de la Ree, 1975. First edition chapbook.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) H. P. Lovecraft: A Symposium. The Los Angeles Science Fiction Society/The Riverside Quarterly, [1964]. First edition chapbook, with Errata sheet laid in.
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    Related Posts

  • Lawrence Person’s Library of Science Fiction First Editions
  • Lawrence Person’s Reference Books Part 1
  • Lawrence Person’s Reference Books Part 2
  • Lawrence Person’s Reference Books Part 3