Archive for March, 2014

Shoegazer Sunday: Center of the Sun’s “Home”

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

There’s still some Sunday left, so here’s Center of the Sun again with “Home”.

Science Fiction Collector’s Watch: Gardner Dozois’ Personal Archive Offered Up for Sale

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Bookseller James Cummins is offering up Gardner Dozois’ personal archive for sale for a mere $150,00:

35 linear feet (17 standard archive boxes and 11 letter files). The Science Fiction Archive of Gardner Dozois. Generally very good to fine (some early note books and letters with toning or crumpling). References: Encyclopedia of Science Fiction Item #262493

Papers and correspondence of science fiction author, editor, and anthologist Gardner Dozois, whose early stories established him as one of the most talented writers of the American New Wave (though at first perhaps better known to his fellow authors than to a wide readership) and whose subsequent work as editor and anthologist has shaped the field of science fiction more than anyone since John W. Campbell. His stories were collected in The Visible Man (1977), Strange Days: Fabulous Journeys with Gardner Dozois (2001) and When the Great Days Come (2011); many of his story collaborations (with Jack Dann, Michael Swanwick, and others) were collected in Slow Dancing through Time (1990) and The Fiction Factory (2005). Dozois twice won a Nebula Award, for his stories “The Peacemaker” (1983) and “Morning Child” (1984). “Counterfactual” (2006) won the Sideways award for works of alternate history. His first novel, Nightmare Blue (1975) was an adventure tale co-written with George Alec Effinger; his novel Strangers (1978), a love story between human and alien, like his fiction and the anthologies he produced, challenges many of the earlier notions of science fiction. Another novel, Nottamun Town remains unpublished; it is present in the archive in many draft forms and in a finished typescript.


For nearly twenty years (from 1985 to 2004) Dozois was editor of Asimov’s Science Fiction, where he discovered and encouraged many new talents in the field. He won 15 Hugo Awards during this period. Dozois’ circle of personal and professional correspondence has been wide ranging and it documents the changes in the genre over more than four decades. He was an early and clear-headed reader of James Tiptree, Jr., and the introduction Dozois wrote for the Gregg Press edition of Ten Thousand Light-Years from Home (1976) presented an analysis that was psychologically acute and was in no way overturned by the revelation the next year that Tiptree was Alice Sheldon. Tiptree letters in the archive (12 T.L.s., 1974-1977, and 9 postcards) include Tiptree’s reponse to the introduction and the letter in which Alli Sheldon reveals her identity to Dozois in advance of the public acknowledgment.


The correspondence also documents long friendships with Pat Cadigan, Eileen Gunn, Howard Waldrop, Mary Rosenblum, Joe Haldeman, Jack Haldeman; the long connection with agent Virginia Kidd; and working relationships with Gene Wolfe, Ursula K. Le Guin, Robert Silverberg, and almost every notable science fiction author and editor of the late twentieth century and into the new century. Since 2005, an increasing portion of Dozois’ correspondence has been electronic, and the archive includes a digital file of approximately 35,000 e-mails (sent & received) and 2,250 electronic documents.

$150,000 is:

A. Too rich for my blood.
B. Probably a comparative bargain for an institution or serious SF collector who has everything else (“Just put it over there between the first edition Alice in Wonderland and all those Lovecraft manuscripts.”)

Library Additions: Eight Signed Jack Vance Books

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

The most numerous books I bought from that 70% off sale were signed Jack Vance:

  • Vance Jack. Araminta Station. Tor, 1988. First U.S. trade hardback, a Fine- copy with pinhole cracks to front gutter in a Fine- dust jacket with slight dust soiling to rear cover. First book in the Caldwell Chronicles. Signed by Vance. Hewett, A79c.
  • Vance Jack. Ecce and Old Earth Tor, 1991. First trade hardback, a Fine copy in a Near Fine dust jacket with crinkling and wrinkles along extremities. Second book in the Caldwell Chronicles. Signed by Vance. Hewett, A84b.
  • Vance Jack. Throy. Tor, 1992. First trade hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Third book in the Caldwell Chronicles. Signed by Vance. Hewett, A85b. Price for all three Caldwell volumes: $52.49.
  • Vance Jack. The Five Gold Bands. Underwood/Miller, 1993. First hardback edition and first edition thus, originally published in pulp paperback as The Space Pirate, a Near Fine copy with small orangeish spots to all three page block edges, in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Vance. Hewett, A2k. Price: $37.49.
  • Vane, Jack. Galactic Effectuator. Underwood/Miller, 1980. First edition hardback, one of 800 trade copies, a Fine- copy with slight spotting at head in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Vance. Hewett, A63. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 432. Price: $26.24.
  • Vance Jack. Vandals of the Void. John C. Winston, 1953. First edition hardback, Very Good- with a two inch split to outer back spine join and dust soiling to page edges, lacking the dust jacket. Signed by Vance. Hewett, A3. Currey (1979), page 501. Price: $29.99.
  • Vance, Jack, and Tony Russell Wayman. The Last Castle b/w World of the Sleeper. Ace Books, 1967. First edition paperback original (H-21 and 60¢ on cover, as per Currey and Hewett), a Very Good+ copy with long faint crease on the Russell side and slight overall wear. Signed by Vance. Hewett, A30. Currey (1979), page 499. Price: $8.99.
  • Vance, Jack (edited by Miguel Lugo). The Wit and Wisdom of Jack Vance. AuthorHouse, 2011. First edition trade paperback (POD) original, a Fine copy. Selection of excerpts from Vance’s works. Signed by Vance (though the signature (see below) is very shaky, as Vance was pretty much completely blind by the time this book came out). I was unaware of this before I saw the listing for it, and I can’t imagine that Vance signed terribly many. Price: $29.99.

    Wit Wisdom Vance


  • Hayajan Covers Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” in Arabic

    Monday, March 24th, 2014

    It’s taking me some time to catalog those signed Jack Vance book and do my taxes, so here’s a musical oddity: a Jordanian band covering Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb” in Arabic. Enjoy!

    Shoegazer Sunday: Stumbleine Covers “Fade Into You”

    Sunday, March 23rd, 2014

    Yet another cover, this one UK’s Stumbleine covering Mazzy Star’s “Fade Into You.”

    Books Signed by Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch and Fritz Leiber

    Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

    Three more books from that big 70% off purchase:

  • (Bradbury, Ray) Borst, Ronald V. Graven Images. Grove Press, 1992. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Oversized art book reprinting science fiction, fantasy and horror movie posters, production art, etc., from Borst’s own extensive collection. Signed by Ray Bradbury, who provided the introduction to the chapter on the 1930s. Amount paid: $26.24. This is actually not hard to find signed by Bradbury, but it usually goes for about twice that.
  • Bloch, Robert. American Gothic. Simon and Schuster, 1974. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with a couple of large, faint light brownish stains on front free endpaper and one much smaller one on the rear free endpaper, in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Bloch, who actually mentions the stain: “Clean up this page/immediately! ——->/ Robert Bloch” (with the arrow pointing toward one of the stains). Replaces an unsigned ex-library copy in my collection. Price paid: $30.00.

    Bloch Inscription

  • Leiber, Fritz. Our Lady of Darkness. Berkley Putnam, 1977. First edition hardback (no statement of printing on copyright page, as per Currey), a Near Fine copy with slight dust staining and wear to bottom boards and small white abrasion to bottom rear boards, in a Near Fine, price-clipped dust jacket. Inscribed by Leiber in purple ink: “For my Dear Friend/Doris Cornejo with/my very best/wishes. Enjoy!/Fritz Leiber/March 4, 1977”. At the bottom of the name Grace Cornejo has been written in red ink, possibly by a different hand. Supplements an unsigned copy (also, alas, with an imperfect dust jacket) in my library. Price paid: $33.74.

    Leiber Inscription

  • Library Additions: Two Books Signed By Michael Shea

    Friday, March 21st, 2014

    More from the big 70% off sale purchase:

  • Shea, Michael. The Mines of Behemoth. Baen Books, 1997. First edition paperback original, a Fine copy, new and unread. Signed by Shea. Price paid: $4.49.
  • Wolheim, Elizabeth (Betsy), and Sheila Gilbert, editors. DAW 30th Anniversary Box Set (including 30th Anniversary DAW Science Fiction and 30th Anniversary DAW Fantasy). DAW, 2002. First edition hardbacks, Fine leatherbound copies with gilt endpapers, #312 of 350 sets so produced, in a Fine slipcase, sans dust jackets, as issued. (I have not been able to determine if the leather binding state is simultaneous with the trade editions or not.) Signed by editor Sheila E. Gilbert and contributors Michael Shea, Tad Williams, C.S. Friedman, Melanie Rawn, Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon, Kate Elliott, and Irene Radford. This set was originally offered at $125 (though copies can now be found on Amazon for considerably less). The sets were not, as far as I can tell, offered in a signed state; these were signed independently by the contributors. Price paid: $59.99.
  • DAW

    Michael Shea was probably the finest dark fantasy stylist of his generation, and Nift the Lean is a classic work that I expect to be read for years to come. He died unexpectedly on February 16th at age 67. I never had a chance to meet Shea in person.

    Library Additions: Chacal #1 Signed by Tom Reamy

    Thursday, March 20th, 2014

    I just got a big box of books from a dealer holding a 70% off sale, which I’ll probably be cataloging for the next week or so. This is the item that made me start piling things in the virtual basket for immediate purchase:

    Chacal No. 1. First edition magazine original, a Fine- copy with slight bumping to top of spine. Signed by contributors Tom Reamy, Howard Waldrop, Richard Corben, Tim Kirk, and publisher Arnie Fenner.


    Reamy Sig

    Tom Reamy was widely acclaimed as the very best SF writer in Texas, winning a John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer as well as a Nebula Award for “San Diego Lightfoot Sue.” Reamy died of a heart attack on November 4, 1977 at the horrifically young age of 42. Reamy had no books of his own published during his lifetime, and things signed by him are genuinely rare and seldom come on the market.

    Chacal was Arnie Fenner’s first magazine, a big color glossy magazine featuring first-rate fantasy fiction and art. (After two issues this would be followed up by Shayol, which had more of a science fiction focus, co-edited with Fenner’s then-wife Pat Cadigan.)

    Howard believes that this was almost certainly signed at the 1976 Worldcon in Kansas City, which is the only time he recalled all of them being together at the same place and time after it was published.

    Price paid: $29.99.

    RIP: Lucius Shepard, 1947-2014

    Thursday, March 20th, 2014

    Though I have seen no official word, people on Lucius Shepard’s Facebook page are mourning his death this morning.

    Shepard was one of the most important new writers of the 1980s, with most of the stories in The Jaguar Hunter nominated for or winning major awards. His output fell off in the 1990s, then came back in the 21st century. He was certainly one of the finest prose stylists of his generation.

    Shepard suffered a stroke while in the hospital in August of 2013.

    It looks like the terrible year for deaths in the field that was 2013 is extending into 2014…

    Library Addition: Harlan Ellison’s Flintlock

    Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

    It’s not so much that I’ve been on a crazy buying spree of these last few books as that: A.) I bought a few things between January and now I hadn’t had time to catalog yet, B.) I paid for pre-publication books a while back that just now showed up (as with this book), or C.) Actually, I did go on a crazy buying spree last week, and I have to catalog stuff before those books show up.


    Ellison, Harlan. Flintlock. Charnel House, 2013 (actually 2014). First edition hardback, #55 of 274 signed and numbered copies, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Unproduced screenplay for James Cobrun’s Derek Flint character.


    I have one additional copy for sale at $145 ($5 off cover price).