By now you should have figured out that book collectors are insane. If not, what I paid for the following item should convince you:
Lovecraft, H. P. Envelope Addressed to Robert Barlow, with Lovecraft’s return address on the back, in Lovecraft’s own handwriting. Postmarked December 4, 1931.
Barlow was a longtime correspondent of Lovecraft’s. The envelope itself bears the return address for another Lovecraft associate, bookseller George W. Kirk, a fellow member of the “Kalem Club,” a group of close friends from the time he lived in New York City from 1924-1927.
Bought for $328 off eBay.
Pretty much all books Lovecraft signed in his lifetime, as well as letters, postcards, etc., have commas in the price. This struck me as a way I could afford a Lovecraft signature.
Now I just need those James Tiptree, Jr. and Thomas Pynchon signatures…
It’s been another landmark year for adding books to my library of science fiction first editions. This post documents everything I bought after my big Zelazny acquisition on June 13, including some books that have been covered in posts since, and many that haven’t. (What I bought earlier in the year before the big Zelazny purchase can be found here.) All are first edition hardbacks, Fine copies in Fine dust jackets, unless otherwise noted.
Adams, Douglas. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Harmony Books, 1979. First U.S. edition.
(Adams, Douglas) Gaiman, Neil. Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Titan Books, 2003. First hardback edition and first edition thus (revised and updated), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Non-fiction reference work.
Aldiss, Brian. Moreau’s Other Island. Jonathan Cape, 1980. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, signed by Aldiss on the front free endpaper.
Aldiss, Brian. This World and Nearer Ones: Essays Exploring the Familiar. Weidenfield and Nicolson, 1979. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket.
(Aldiss, Brian) Aldiss, Margaret. Item Eighty-Three: Brian W. Aldiss: A Bibliography: 1954—1972. SF Horizons, (1973). Chapbook, Fine. Non-fiction.
Asimov, Isaac. Nemesis. Doubleday, 1989. First edition hardback, number 485 out of 500 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine slipcase, sans dust jacket, as issued. This was a serendipitous find. I wasn’t looking for it (since I’m not generally a big fan of Asimov’s later work), but merely entered “signed limited edition” in Amazon’s books section just to see what I would find and this came up at $80. Given that it was originally issued at $125, and given that copies on Bookfinder start at $150, I thought it was a good price. Asimov isn’t actually a hard signature (especially compared to verified Philip K. Dick or Robert A. Heinlein signatures), but he has become fairly pricey one for his first editions.
Asimov, Isaac, edited by Stanley Asimov. Yours, Isaac Asimov. Doubleday, 1995. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with one tiny black remainder mark I missed, otherwise apparently new and unread, in a Fine dust jacket. Non-fiction collection of Asimov’s letters.
Ballard, J. G. Myths of the Near Future. Jonathan Cape, 1982.
Ballard, J. G. The Disaster Area. Jonathan Cape, 1967. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a near Fine dust jacket with edgewear and a few tiny spots of rubbing to dust jacket rear. Replaces a copy with a far more worn dust jacket. Bought for $100 at Half Price Books during a coupon sale.
Ballard, J. G. The Drought. Jonathan Cape, 1965. First hardback edition and first complete edition, a Near Fine+ copy, with spine of book itself slightly discolored and small sticker for London bookseller Foley’s on inside cover, in a Fine dust jacket. Currey, page 22. Goddard and Pringle, J. G. Ballard: The First Twenty Years, item 59. Bought for $212.50, marked down from $425.
Ballingrud, Nathan, and Eileen Gunn. North American Monster Stories. Small Beer Press, 2013. Paperback chapbook original, Fine.
Banks, Iain. The Quarry. Little Brown, 2013.
Bear, Elizabeth. Book of Iron. Subterranean Press, 2013. Number 65 of 250 signed, numbered copies.
Bear, Elizabeth. Book of Iron. Subterranean Press, 2013. Trade edition.
Bear, Greg. Early Harvest. NESFA Press, 1988. First edition hardback, #173 of 250 signed, numbered copies (800 print run total), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and slipcase. Supplements a signed trade copy. Bought off the Internet for $37.50.
Beaumont, Charles. The Intruder. Centipede Press, 2013. First edition thus, one of 200 copies signed by editor Roger Anker, William F. Nolan, and J.K. Potter. Basis of the Roger Corman film starring William Shatner.
Beaumont, Charles and John Tormerlin. Run From the Hunter. Centipede Press, 2013. First edition thus and first edition under authors’ actual names, one of 200 copies signed by John Tomerlin and J.K. Potter.
Beyer, William Gray. Minions of the Moon. Gnome Press, 1950. First edition hardback, a Very Good+ copy with small spotting to front and rear boards and wear at top and bottom boards, in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with wear along spine and front panel join and slight edgewear elsewhere; a really nice example of the Edd Cartier dust jacket. The eighth Gnome Press book. Chalker/Ownings (1991), page 198. Kemp, The Anthem Series, page 197. Trying to collect the entire Gnome Press line…
Blaylock, James P. with Kim Stanley Robinson. Two Views of a Cave Painting b/w Escape From Kathmandu. Axolotl Press, 1986. First edition hardback, #43 of 300 signed, numbered hardback copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket.
Bleiler, Richard. Supernatural Fiction Writers. Charles Scribner’s Sons/Thomson/Gale, 2003. First edition hardbacks of the Second Edition (stated inside, not on the cover), a two volume set, Fine- copies with slight dust soiling at heel in decorated boards with slight haze rubbing, sans dust jacket, as issued. Non-fiction reference work. Bought for $40, including dealer discount, which I though was a pretty good price, since non-Ex-Library copies list in the multiple hundreds. Note that the first edition was edited by the late E. F. Bleiler, while this second edition is edited by his son (who I’ve sold many a book to over the years…)
(Blish, James) Stableford, Brian M. A Clash of Symbols: The Triumph of James Blish. Borgo Press, 1979. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket (somewhat uncommon for Borgo, who usually went for plasticized decorated boards for their hardbacks), #17 of 62 signed/numbered copies signed by Stableford. Bought for $28. Non-fiction critical work, part of the Milford series, which I pick up in hardback when I chance across them for authors I’m interested in.
Brackett, Leigh. The Sword of Rhiannon. Boardman, 1955. First hardback edition (“First published in Great Britain, 1955″, as per Currey), a Fine- copy with slight bend at head and heel and foxing to interior gutters, in a Very Good dust jacket with 1/4″ of wear rubbing/chipping (dust jacket is present, but image has been worn away) at head, a similar, smaller amount of wear at heel, a shallow chip with associated wear at top rear, and crease along front cover spine join running the entire length of the jacket, and wear along extremities; despite all that, the rest of the jacket is quite bright and attractive. Currey, page 53. Cawthorn & Moorocock, Fantasy: The Hundred Best Books 75. A fairly uncommon book these days.
Bradbury, Ray. Collected Short Stories. Petersen Publishing Company (The Great Author Series), 2002. Presumed first edition hardback (no additional printings listed), a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, presumably as issued.
Bradbury, Ray. The Dragon. Footsteps Press, 1988. First edition chapbook, #72 of 300 signed, numbered copies, Fine. Has affixed wrappers with a transparent blue Mylar window (there were evidently also red and yellow window variants).
Bradbury, Ray. Driving Blind Avon Books, 1997. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Bradbury: “Marilyn! /Onward!/Ray Bradbury/Oct. 18, ’97″. Bought for $20 off eBay.
Bradbury, Ray. The Homecoming. Collins Design, 2006. First edition hardback in decorated boards, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, signed by Bradbury. Illustrated by Dave McKean. Short story done as a short illustrated book. Bought for $30.51 off eBay.
Bradbury, Ray. The Veldt. The Perfection Form Company, 1982. (Possible) First edition chapbook original, a Fine copy in stapled wraps, inscribed by Bradbury on the cover. Reading comprehension questions at the back.
Bradbury, Ray. With Cat for Comforter. Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1997. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, signed by Bradbury. Illustrated by Louise Reinoehl Max. Short poem turned into an illustrated children’s book. Replaces an unsigned copy in my library. Bought for $16.66 off eBay.
Bradley, Marion Zimmer. The Sword of Aldonis. Gregg Press, 1977. First hardback edition, Fine- with a trace of wear at tips, sans dust jacket, as issued. Darkover novel. Currey (1978), page 61.
Bradley, Marion Zimmer. The Heritage of Hastur. Gregg Press, 1977. First hardback edition, Fine- with a trace of wear at tips, sans dust jacket, as issued. Darkover novel. Currey (1978), page 62. Bought more as part of my long-term goal of collecting all the Gregg Press first editions…
Bramah, Earnest. The Moon of Much Gladness. Cassell & Company, 1932. First edition hardback (Berro A17, a Fine- copy with slight bends at head and heel in a VG+ dust jacket with a 1/8″ chip at rear head join, slight cracking at top edge of front cover, and dust soiling to rear, otherwise a fairly bright and attractive copy of a book seldom offered in dust jacket. Bought for $300 off the Internet from a major SF book dealer. (What appear to be tiny spots of white rubbing to the black dj are in fact scanner artifacts.)
Brundage, Margaret (edited by Stephen D. Korshak and J. David Spurlock). The Alluring Art of Margaret Brundage, Queen of Pulp Pin-Up Art. Vanguard Productions/Shasta Phoenix, 2013. First edition hardback, slipcased limited edition with 16 additional pages of art, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread. Brundage was the woman who did all those great “damsel in distress” covers for Weird Tales in the 1930s, and it’s great to finally have a book of her art.
Brunner, John. The Man Who Was Secrett and Other Stories. Ramble House/Dancing Tuatara Press, 2013. First edition POD hardback, Fine/Fine.
Budrys, Algis. Cerberus. Pulphouse, 1989. First edition hardback, #53 of 100 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Part of the “Pulphouse Convention Series.” Fourth book Pulphouse did, and the first one that wasn’t an issue of their namesake hardback magazine.
Campbell, Ramsey. Scared Stiff: Tales of Sex and Death. Scream Press, 1987. First edition hardback, #130 of 250 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued, in a Fine slipcase. Bought for $20. I’m sort of collecting a complete Scream Press collection, but it’s fairly low on my list of priorities…
Carriger, Gail (pen name of Tofa Borregaard). Heartless. Orbit, 2011. Paperback original, a Fine- copy. Parasol Protectorate #4.
Chabon, Michael. Fountain City: A Novel Wrecked. McSweeney’s, 2010. First edition paperback original, a small, slightly oblong format, roughly 5 1/4″ high, by 6 1/4″ long, a Fine- copy in Fine- fold over wrappers (which fold out into a sort of map picture), with a tiny, 1/16″ cut to top font cover. The opening chapters of a novel Chabon abandoned. Bought for $22.50, down from $45.
Clarke, Arthur C. Imperial Earth. Gollancz, 1975.
Clement, Hal (writing name of Harry C. Stubbs). Fossil. DAW, 1993. First edition paperback original, Fine- with a tiny bit of edgewear.
Clement, Hal. Small Changes. Doubleday, 1969. First edition hardback, a Near Fine+ copy with blindstamp on title page and crimping at head and heel, in a Near Fine- dust jacket with dust soiling to white background and a small closed tear and associated wrinkle to top front flap. Signed “”Hal Clement” (Harry C. Stubbs)”. Not overly common these days. Bought for $28.
Dick, Philip K. The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick Volume 4: Minority Report. Subterranean Press, 2013. First thus.
Dick, Philip K. A Handful of Darkness. Rich & Cowan, 1955. First edition hardback, Currey binding A (blue boards lettered in silver) in a first state dust jacket (no mention of World of Chance), an Ex-Library copy with most of the usual flaws, including protected dust jacket flaps taped to boards (and inner cardboard sleeve additionally taped) and stamp for Eeeling Science Fiction Postal Library on inner cover; dust jacket is completely intact, the only flaws being “D11/2″ written in white on bottom spine just above publisher, and slight dust staining to white rear cover; call it a VG/NF Ex-Lib copy. Levack, 21a. Currey (1978), page 157. Dick’s first short story collection and first hardback book. (Hairline crack on left is a scanner artifact.)
(Dick, Philip K.) Peake, Anthony. A Life of Philip K. Dick: The Man Who Remembered the Future. Arcturus, 2013. Non-fiction.
Di Filippo, Paul. Time’s Black Lagoon. DH Press, 2006. Paperback original, a Fine, unread copy. Sequel to the movie The Creature From the Black Lagoon.
Dozois, Gardner and George R. R. Martin, editors. Songs of Love & Death. Gallery Books, 2010.
Egan, Greg. The Eternal Flame (Orthogonal Book 2). Night Shade Books, 2012.
Ellison, Harlan. All the Lies That Are My Life. Underwood/Miller, 1980. First edition hardback, one of 400 unsigned trade hardcover copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Chalker/Owings, page 432.
Ellison, Harlan. Harlan Ellison is Watching. Underwood/Miller, 1989. First edition hardback, #46 of 600 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and slipcase. Chalker/Owings, page 440.
Ellison, Harlan. Stalking the Nightmare. Phantasia Press, 1982. First edition hardback, #240 of 700 signed hardback copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and slipcase. Supplements a copy of the trade edition. Chalker/Owings, page 340.
Farmer, Philip Jose. Lord Tyger. Doubleday, 1970. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with slight crimping at head and heel and trace of foxing along gutters, in a Fine- dust jacket with slight darkening to spine and a few traces of dust soiling. Signed by Farmer. Farmer’s SF take on Tarzan. Currey (1979), page 153. Bought for $60.
Gaiman, Neil. Fortunately the Milk…. HarperCollins (UK), 2013. First edition hardback (the UK and U.S. edition were evidently simultaneous), slipcased limited edition (“with exclusive bookmark”) sold by UK bookstore chain Foyle’s signed by Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddle, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued, still in shrinkwrap. I think this state came out about a month after the trade edition. Young adult novella. Bought for £19.99 plus shipping off eBay.
Gaiman, Neil, with David McKean. Mythological Creatures. The Royal Mail, 2009. First edition folded broadside, legal-paper sized printed cardstock, two-sided, with six stamps in attached Mylar pouches, Fine. Collectable stamp folder with six mini-stories by Gaiman, one for each mythological creature on the stamps, with Dave McKean art. An odd item I only recently became aware of, and one that may frustrate Gaiman completists a few years hence…
Gibson, William. Zero History. Putnum, 2010. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Gibson. Bought for $12 (marked down from $20) at a Half Price Books during a coupon sale.
Haldeman, Joe. A Separate War and Other Stories. Ace, 2006.
Harrison, Harry. Skyfall. Faber & Faber, 1976. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, signed and dated (“82″) by Harrison. Bought for $20.
Heinlein, Robert A. The Number of the Beast. New English Library, 1980. First hardback edition, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Reportedly Heinlein’s worst novel, but if you’re collecting the whole set…
Heinlein, Robert A. The Puppet Masters. Doubleday, 1951. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with slight foxing to endpapers and tiny touches of wear at heel in a in a Near Fine- dust jacket with extremely shallow surface chipping at head and slight fading of purple coloring on spine. A very nice copy of one of Heinlein’s most important early novels. Currey (1978), page 233. Pringle, SF 100 4.
(Heinlein, Robert A.) Patterson, William H. Robert A. Heinlein in Dialogue With His Century Volume 1: Learning Curve: 1907-1948. Tor, 2010. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Non-fiction biography.
Hill, Joe. Locke & Key 3: Crown of Shadows. Subterranean Press, 2013. #31 of 250 signed, numbered copies, in slipcase. Graphic novel.
Howard, Robert E. Cormac MacArt Baen, 1995. First edition paperback original, Fine- with a tiny bit of edgewear, foxing inside covers, and a phantom crease along rear cover. Mostly reprints Howard stories from Tigers of the Sea, but adds a new Cormac MacArt story by David Drake.
Howard, Robert E. Kull Baen, 1995. First edition paperback original thus (“First Complete Edition”), a Fine copy.
Howard, Robert E. Kull: Exile of Atlantis. Subterranean Press, 2013. Hardback first edition thus, #305 of 1,500 copies signed by artist Justin Sweet, a Fine copy in a Fine dustjacket and slipcase.
Howard, Robert E. The Sower of Thunder. Donald M. Grant, 1975. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, signed by illustrator Roy G. Krenkel. Currey (1978), page 252.
Howard, Robert E. (edited by Robert M. Price). Nameless Cults: The Cthulhu Mythos Fiction of Robert E. Howard. Chaosium, 2001. Trade paperback original, Fine. Includes four Howard story fragments finished by others.
Hubin, Allen J. Crime Fiction, 1749-1980: A Comprehensive Bibliography with 1981-1985 Supplement to Crime Fiction, 1749-1980: A Comprehensive Bibliography. Garland, 1984/1988. First edition hardbacks, Near Fine copies with dust staining at head and traces of wear at points and heel, sans dust jacket, as issued. Bought from Half Price Books for $5 for the set (marked down from an original price of $60). I’m a sucker for comprehensive bibliographies…
(Jeter, K. W. and Ferret, as Dr. Adder and Mink Mole). Alligator Alley. Morrigan Books, 1989. First edition hardback, copy #104 of 210 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and slipcase, as well as a cassette tape of material related to the novel. Does not include the T-shirt that was sold with some of the slipcased copies. Supplements my trade edition. Jeter told me he actually had very little to do with the novel…
Jones, Sergent Morgan, and Damien Lewis. The Embassy House. Threshold Editions, 2013. Non-fiction on Benghazi embassy attack. Withdrawn by the publisher under political pressure.
Klaw, Rick, editor. Rayguns Over Texas. Fandom Association of Central Texas, 2013. First edition trade paperback original, a Fine copy, new and unread, signed by 13 of the contributors. Anthology of SF stories from Texas writers published for the 2013 Worldcon in San Antonio. I have a story in here, “Novel Properties of Certain Complex Alkaloids,” that’s like a Greg Egan story by way of H. P. Lovecraft and Timothy Leary. Introduction by Bruce Sterling. This copy signed by myself, editor Rick Klaw, cover artist Rocky Kelly, Don Webb, Chris Brown, Matthew Bay, Stina Leicht, Nicky Drayden, Rhonda Eudaly, Derek Austin Johnson, Marshall Maresca, Sanford Allen, and Josh Roundtree. I also have an additional copy inscribed to me by several of the contributors in my contributor copy library.
(Koontz, Dean R.) Kotker, Joan G. Dean Koontz: A Critical Companion. Greenwood Press, 1996 (stated; probably more recent). Reprint hardback, Fine, sans dust jacket, as issued. Non-fiction.
Lake, Jay. Dogs in the Moonlight. Prime Books, 2004. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a bit of wear at the tips. Signed by Lake. Missed this when it came out, mainly because Prime was still part of Wildside. Bought for $24 off the Internet.
Lake, Jay. Endurance. Tor, 2011. Signed by Lake. Bought for 20% off cover at the San Antonio Worldcon.
Lansdale, Joe R. Bleeding Shadows. Subterranean, 2013. Short story collection.
Leiber, Fritz. The Moon is Green and Other Tales. Armchair Fiction, 2013. First edition trade paperback original (POD), a Fine copy, new and unread.
(Leiber, Fritz) Morgan, Chris. Fritz Leiber: a bibliography, 1934—1979. Morgenstern, 1979. Chapbook original, one of 1000 copies, a Near Fine+ copy with spots of age darkening to cover.
Leinster, Murray and Charles L. Fontenay. Planet of Dread b/w Twice Upon a Time. Armchair Fiction, 2010. First edition trade paperback original (POD), a Fine copy, new and unread. Honestly, I just picked this up for the cool, retro giant spider cover.
Lem, Stainslaw. A Perfect Vacuum. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1979. First English language edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with small closed tear at bottom front and a few touches of wear. Reviews of imaginary books. Replaces an Ex-Library copy in my library.
Lethem, Jonathan. Chronic City. Doubleday, 2009.
Littell, Jonathan. The Kindly Ones. Harper, 2009. First U.S. edition of a book original published in French as Les Bienveillantes, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a few touches of wear at edges. In 1989 Littell published a 3rd-generation cyberpunk PBO called Bad Voltage, then slipped from public view until he published Les Bienveillantes, a novel about the Holocaust, in France in 2006 (he’s a dual U.S. French citizen), which won the prestigious Prix Goncourt literary award.
(Lovecraft, H.P.) Lockhart, Ross E., editor. The Book of Cthulhu II. Night Shade Press, 2012. Trade paperback original. Anthology.
Martin, George R. R. and John J. Miller. Wild Cards Volume VII: Dead Man’s Hand. Bantam Spectra, 19990. First edition paperback original, a Fine- copy with a trace of edgewear.
(Martin, George R. R.) Samuelson, Todd, Editor. Deeper Than Swords: Celebrating the Work of George R. R. Martin. Texas A&M University Cushing memorial Library and Archives, 2013. Oversized trade paperback, a Fine copy. Illustrated critical companion to Martin’s work, published as part of an event at the library with Martin on March 22, 2013.
Matheson, Richard. The Memoirs of Wild Bill Hickock. Jove, 1996. Paperback original, VG with creasing.
Matheson, Richard. The Shrinking Man. Gregg Press, 1979. First Gregg Press edition, Fine, sans dust jacket, as issued.
Mieville, China. London’s Overthrow. The Westbourne Press, 2012. First edition trade paperback original, Fine, new and unread. Non-fiction. Appears to be a political rant with pictures.
McDevitt, Jack. Echo. Ace, 2010. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a tiny bit of wrinkling at top edge.
Moorcock, Michael. Sailor on the Seas of Fate. Quartet Books, 1976. First edition hardback, a near Fine copy with a chip out of the corner of the front free endpaper, in a Fine dust jacket. Currey, page 372.
Moore, C.L. Judgment Night. Gnome Press, 1952. First edition hardback, a Near Fine+ copy with slight crimping at head and heel, mild foxing to inner gutters, and a few tiny spots of wear to bottom boards, in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with 1/4″ closed tear at heel, slight wrinkling at rear head, and a touch of edgewear. A truly superb, bright example of the dust jacket. Collection of five longer stories. Currey (1978), Page 377. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 199. Anatomy of Wonder 4, 3-130. Another notable book from the golden age of the genre small press. Bought for $65 off eBay.
Picacio, John. John Picacio 2014 Calendar. Lone Boy, 2013. First edition, Fine, signed by the artist, with Kickstarter specials, including six oversized loteria cards, a sketcbook, and a signed pencil.
Pohl, Frederik, with Jack Williamson. The Saga of Cuckoo. Nelson Doubleday (SFBC), 1983. First edition thus and first hardback (a book club omnibus edition of Farthest Star and A World Around a Star, both previously published only in paperback), code “N34″ on page 433 (as per ISFDB), a Fine- copy with a tiny bit of crimping at head and heel, in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by both Pohl and Williamson. Bought for $22.50 off eBay.
Powers, Tim/James P. Blaylock. The Way Down the Hill/The Pink of Fading Neon. Axoltl Press, 1986. First Edition hardback, #178 of 300 hardback copies by both authors and introducers Ed Bryant and Charles De Lint, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Bought for $30 plus shipping from Heritage Auctions. One of those books I wasn’t sure whether I owned or not, since I had the other Axolotl Press Powers and Blaylock books…
Rainey, Stephen Mark. Song of Cthulhu. Chaosium, 2001. Trade paperback original, Fine. Anthology.
Reynolds, Alastair. Dr. Who: Harvest of Time. BBC Books, 2013. Signed by Reynolds at the 2013 San Antonio Worldcon.
Roberts, Adam (as A. R. R. R. Roberts). The Soddit, or Let’s Cash In Again. Gollancz, 2003. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Roberts. Parody of The Hobbit.
Robinson, Kim Stanley. 2312. Orbit, 2012. First UK edition (I think the U.S. precedes by two days), a Fine- copy with slight wrinkling to top of dust jacket.
Sennholz, Mary. On Freedom and Free Enterprise. Von Nostrand, 1956. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with slight dust-staining to head and crimping at head and heel in a very Good+ dust jacket with 1/4″ tears at head and heel. Collection of free market essays, published in honor of the 50th anniversary of Ludvig von Mises’ receiving his doctorate. Bought for $5 at Half Price Books.
Shaver, Richard S. The Shaver Mystery, Book One. Armchair Fiction, 2011. First edition trade paperback original, Fine, new.
Shaver, Richard S. The Shaver Mystery, Book Two. Armchair Fiction, 2011. First edition trade paperback original, Fine, new.
Shaver, Richard S. The Shaver Mystery, Book Three. Armchair Fiction, 2012. First edition trade paperback original, Fine, new.
Shaver, Richard S. The Shaver Mystery, Book Four. Armchair Fiction, 2013. First edition trade paperback original, Fine, new. The four volumes collect stories and ancillary material from the “Shaver Mystery,” Shaver’s weird, strangely compelling conspiracy theory/alternate reality in which a hateful race of “deros” (“detrimental robots”) lived inside he earth, beaming mind-control rays at surface dwellers (and occasionally kidnapping them for torture, food, or sport). Shaver’s elaborate, unhinged vision brought a vast legion of cranks out of the shadows and onto the subscriber ranks of Amazing, whose editor Ray Palmer started publishing Shaver’s stories in the 1940s, which was to have a considerable impact on SF fandom. I doubt much of this has seen print since it’s original appearance in Amazing, or in Palmer’s subsequent The Hidden World. If you’re a connoisseur of crank literature, Shaver is up there with the whackiest.
Shea, Michael. Assault on Sunrise. Tor, 2013. Sequel to The Extra.
Shea, Michael. The Incomplete Nifft. Baen, 2000. First edition paperback original thus, an omnibus edition of Nifft the Lean and The Mines of Behemoth, a NF copy, with a crease on the bottom back cover.
Silverberg, Robert. Capricorn Games. Random House, 1976. Signed by Silverberg. Currey (1979), page 436.
Silverberg, Robert. The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg Volume 8: Hot Times in Magma City: 1990-1995. Subterranean Press, 2013. Fine, sands dust jacket, as issued.
(Simak, Clifford D.) Becker, Muriel R. Clifford D. Simak: a primary and secondary bibliography. G. K. Hall, 1980. First edition hardback, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued. Non-fiction. I do wish the books were separated from the short fiction listings…
Smith, Clark Ashton. Lost Worlds. Arkham House, 1944. First edition hardback, a Near Fine+ copy with slight crimping at head and heel, bump to top front corner, usual age darkening to pages, and a trace of foxing to gutters, in a Near Fine dust jacket with age darkening to light-colored portion of spine, short closed tear and associated 1/2″ wrinkle crease at head, a tiny bit of rubbing at heel, and age darkening around edges and crease folds. Smith’s second prose collection and the seventh Arkham House book published. Currey (1978), page 453. Locke, Spectrum of Fantasy One, page 200. Bleiler, Guide to Supernatural Fiction, 1485. Tymn, 4-202. Joshi, Sixty Years of Arkham House 7. Derleth, 30 Years of Arkham House, 7. Jaffery (1982), 7. Nielsen, 7. Bought for $172 off the Internet.
Smith, Edward E., Ph.D. Skylark Three. Fantasy Press, 1948. First edition hardback, one of 500 subscriber copies with a signature page inscribed by Smith bound in: “To Hugh F. Henry—/Three in a row — Hot dog!/And thanks a million for/the compliment./Edward E. Smith, Ph.D.” (Doc Smith had marvelously clear handwriting), a Fine- copy with a tiny bit of crimping at head and heel and faint foxing to gutters, in a Near Fine dust jacket with slight rubbing to top 1/2″ of front, slight edgewear at head, and slight dust soiling to rear cover. E. E. “Doc” Smith is someone I only pick up as a target of opportunity, but I couldn’t pass up a chance to pick up a very attractive example of one of the Fantasy Press subscriber copies for one of their most popular writers for approximately $150 after sale discount.
Smith, George O. The Brain Machine. Garland Press, 1975. First hardback edition, Fine, sans dust jacket, as issued. Originally a paperback original under the title The Fourth “R”. Currey (1979), page 458. Garland, like Gregg Press, usually did interesting hardback reprints.
Smith, George O. Hellflower. Abelard Press, 1953. First hardback edition, a Fine copy in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with slight spine fade to red portions and tiny traces of wear, otherwise a complete, bright and attractive dust jacket. Currey (1979), page 458.
Stephenson, Neal. Some Remarks. Atlantic Books, 2012. First UK edition. Non-fiction.
Sturgeon, Theodore. A Touch of Sturgeon. Simon & Schuster (UK), 1987. Fine-/Fine- with sight crimping at head.
Swainston, Steph. The Modern World. Inscribed by the author: “S. Swainston/12.05.07/’All things from eternity are of like forms/And come round in a circle.’ — Marcus Aurelius”. With photograph of the author laid in. Bought for $24. I should really get around to reading The Year of Our War some day…
Swanwick, Michael. Moon Dogs. NESFA Press, 2000. First edition hardback, one of 175 signed slipcased copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Supplements an inscribed trade copy.
Swanwick, Michael. Tumbling. Dragonstairs Press, 2013. First edition micro-chapbook original, 3″ x 2 3/4″ inches, #10 of 50 signed, numbered copies, Fine, new and unread.
Taine, John. The Time Stream. Buffalo Book Company, 1946. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with foxing to inside covers and a few faint pinpoint spots on boards, in a VG- dust jacket with uneven loss to top edge, mostly 1/16″ but occasionally as much as 1/4″. According to Chalker/Owings (1991), page 78, only 500 copies were ever bound, and half of those were lost in a rainstorm. Currey (1979), page 29. Bleiler Checklist, 1978, page 191. Locke, Spectrum of Fantasy One, page 211. 333, page 63. An important early SF specialty book.
Tucker, Wilson. Ice and Iron. Doubleday, 1974. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with edgewear at head and heel, with review slip laid in. Inscribed by Tucker: “For Dave, at Nashville,/Wilson Bob Tucker/May 19, 1979″. Tucker was famous both as a writer and as a noted fan. Bought for $20.
Turner, Gary, and Marty Halpern. The Silver Griffith. Golden Gryphon, 2003. First edition hardback, #34 of 100 numbered copies signed by all the contributors, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, in slipcase.
Vance, Jack. Araminta Station. Underwood Miller, 1987. First edition hardback, #443 of 500 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and Fine slipcase. First book of the Caldwell Chronicles. Precedes both the NEL and Tor editions by six months. Hewett, A79. Chalker/Owings (1991), pages 437-438. Bought for $120.
Vance, Jack (as John Holbrook Vance). The Deadly Isles. Bobbs-Merrill, 1969. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with a tiny bit of crimping at head and heel in a Fine- dust jacket with a few bare traces of dust soiling and a tiny bit of rubbing at extremities. Overall a beautiful copy of this Vance mystery. Currey, p. 497. Hewett, A33.
Vance, Jack. Gold and Iron. Underwood/Miller, 1982. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a slight wrinkle at rear heel. Previously published in paperback as Slaves of the Klau. Hewett, A9e.
Vance, Jack. Lyonesse: Suldrun’s Garden. Underwood/Miller, 1983. First hardback edition, #78 of 500 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. (Note: Unlike the signed, numbered edition of Lyonesse: The Green Pearl, this was not issued in a slipcase.) Hewett, A70b. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 436. Supplements my copy of the unsigned library edition in decorated boards issued without a dust jacket. Bought for $100.
Vinge, Joan D. World’s End. Bluejay Books, 1984. First edition hardback, #127 of 750 signed numbered copies in slipcase, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. This copy has been additionally inscribed by Vinge: “”To Marcia Adams/-with all my best wishes-!/Joan D. Vinge/2005.” There was a PBS cooking show host and cook book author by that name who died in 2011; not sure if that’s who it’s inscribed to or not. I do wonder how many of these slipcased hardcovers Bluejay Books did. I have their slipcased edition of K. W. Jeter’s Dr. Adder, and I know they did a few others, but there does not appear to be a list online. I’ll write Jim Frenkel and ask…
Waldrop, Howard. The Horse of a Different Color. Small Beer Press, 2013. Inscribed to me to by the author.
Webb, Don. The War With The Belatrin/A Velvet of Vamphyres. Wildside, 2012. Trade paperback original, a Fine copy, inscribed by Webb.
Webb, Don & Gary Lovisi. Do the Weird Crime, Do The Weird Time/Gargoyle Nights. Wildside, 2012. Trade paperback original, a Fine copy, inscribed by Webb.
Weinbaum, Stanley G. Dawn of Flame. Ruppert Printing Service (for The Milwaukee Fictioneers), 1936. One of only 245 copies of the Currey B state (with the Lawrence A. Keating introduction), a Near Fine+ copy with very faint spine creasing and slight gray staining to bottom page block (or possibly where the red page block staining has worn away), sans dust jacket, as issued. Currey, page 510. Chalker/Owings, page 279. Bleiler, Checklist (1978), page 204. Locke, Spectrum of Fantasy (I), page 224. Bought at the San Antonio Worldcon for $1,200 (negotiated down from $1,500) from Erle Melvin Korshak. And if I’m remembering correctly, it was on consignment from Sam Moskowitz’s widow through Robert Weinberg to Korshak.
Wellman, Manly Wade. The Ghost Battalion. Ives Washburn, 1958. First edition hardback, most likely a repaired Ex-Library copy, Very Good with tape ghosts on boards, front free endpaper excised and another attached in it’s place, slight wear at heel, dust soiling at head, and slight crimping at head and heel, in a Near Fine dust jacket with edgewear and about 1/16″ inch of color loss at heel, and possible spine fading (hard to tell, since it’s a different color than the front and back covers). Second book in the Iron Scouts Civil War YA trilogy. Bought for $18 off eBay.
Wellman, Manly Wade. What Dreams May Come. Doubleday, 1983. First Edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, with signature plate signed by Wellman attached to front free endpaper. Features supernatural detective John Thundstone. Replaces an Ex-Library copy in my collection. Bought for $20 from a major SF book dealer.
Wellman, Manly Wade. Worse Things Waiting. Carcosa, 1973. First edition hardback, Trade Edition issue, a Fine- copy with a couple of pinpricks of wear, in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed to fellow horror writer Dennis Etchison: “Better Things Waiting/for/Dennis Etchison/Manly Wade Wellman/Dec 7, 1979″. Being a Wellman collector, I could hardly pass up an associational copy of this, his best and most important collection, inscribed to another top horror writer. (This is the second Wellman-inscribed association copy I own along with Third String Center inscribed to Wellman’s own brother, western writer Paul I. Wellman.) Currey (1979), page 515. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 87. Bleiler, Guide to Supernatural Fiction, 1672. Jones/Newman, Horror 100, 70. Bought for $100.
Wells, H. G. (edited by Robert Philmus and David y. Hughes). Early Writings in Science and Science Fiction by H. G. Wells. University of California Press, 1975. Presumed first edition hardback (no additional printings listed), a Fine- copy with slight crimping at head and heel and trace of foxing to inside front covers, in a VG- dust jacket with a 1/2″ square chip missing from bottom front cover and a 3/8″ chunk tapering to a point over 3″ missing at top rear. Not in Currey. Reginald, 1975-1991, 36697. Dictionary of Literary Biography: Volume 178: British Fantasy and Science-Fiction Writers Before World War I, page 242. Not a great dust jacket, but it was only $8, and copies online are somewhat pricey…
Wolfe, Gene. Home Fires. Tor, 2010. Already read it in ARC.
Wolfe, Gene. A Wolfe Family Album. United Mythologies Press, 1991. First edition chapbook original, a Fine copy. Signed by Gene Wolfe. Chapbook of mostly Wolfe family photos, evidently issued with the hardback edition of Letters Home (which I’ve owned for some time, but which didn’t come with the chapbooks when I bought it).
Wolfe, Gene (Mooney, J. E. and Bill Fawcett, editors. Shadows of the New Sun: Stories in Honor of Gene Wolfe. Tor, 2013. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread. A tribute anthology.
Zelazny, Roger. Home is the Hangman. SFBC, 1996. First separate hardback edition. Kovacs, VI-7-a.
Zelazny, Roger. Knight of Shadows. Ultramarine Press, 1989. First limited hardback edition, #20 of 40 signed, numbered copies, bound in quarter leather, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued. Kovacs, 27-d-i. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 612. Proof that being a collector drives you slightly insane. (“Slightly?” asks the peanut gallery.) Ultramarine Press would take the sheets of the trade edition, then add a signed limitation page and leather binding. Honestly, I’m less than impressed with both their business model and most of the books produced, and I’m not too wild about post-first edition limiteds, but this edition seems nicer than many, 40 is a pretty low limitation for a Zelazny limited, and since I have such an extensive Zelazny collection, I decided to pony up for it. Bought for $240.
Zelazny, Roger, and Thomas T. Thomas. Flare. Baen, 1992. First edition paperback original, Fine.
(Zelazny, Roger) Kovacs, Christopher, compiler. The Ides of Octember: A Pictorial Bibliography of Roger Zelazny. NESFA Press/Camelot Books, 2011. First hardback edition, letter M of 21 lettered copies with a Zelazny signature sheet (taken from unused Ultramarine press Zelazny books), a Fine copy in three-quarters bound leather, in a Fine patterned traycase with the pictorial cover from the trade paperback edition, sans dust jacket, as issued. An elaborate aftermarket edition of this Zelazny incorporating unbound NESFA sheets obtained by the compiler. I paid $191 for it, considerably less than the $500 list price it was offered at.
(Zelazny, Roger) Yoke, Karl. Roger Zelazny/Andre Norton: Proponents of Individualism State library of Ohio, 1979. First edition chapbook original, Near Fine+ with some age toning. Non-fiction.
Dwight and I were watching episodes of Night Gallery, and in addition to the extremely good “They’re Tearing Down Tim Riley’s Bar” (with a fine turn by the late William Windom), we also watched “The Last Lecture of Mr. Peabody,” in which a professor of comparative religion lectures on The Great Old Ones, including reading aloud from the Necronomicon, with somewhat predictable results. The Mythos is mostly played for laughs and in-jokes (including students named Lovecraft, Bloch and Derleth), but it may be the first time the name Cthulhu was ever mentioned on network television.
It’s a little broad, but it does have its charms:
The episode was written by Jack Laird, who seems to have adapted a number of Lovecraft stories for Night Gallery.
Nineteen times out of twenty, when you put in a lowball “what the hell” bid at an auction, you don’t win. You keep doing it because of that twentieth time.
This was one of those twentieth times.
Robert W. Chambers. The King In Yellow. F. Tennyson Neely (as part of their Neely’s Prismatic Library series), 1895. First edition, first printing of green cloth with brown lettering, with lizard design on cover and review of In the Quarter at rear. Rubbing and soiling to cloth with front hinge cracked, top front corner and bottom rear binding soft, and lacking front free endpaper. The auction description said fair, but save the front free endpaper, the book looks intact, so I would grade this Good only. Jones & Newman, Horror: 100 Best Books, item 19 (appreciation by H. P. Lovecraft). Beliler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, item 364. Bleiler, The Checklist of Science Fiction and Supernatural Fiction (1978), page 41. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, page 49. Barron, Horror Literature, item 2-12.
Short story collection, roughly half of which are weird tales, most of which reference the play The King in Yellow, which drives people mad. (If memory serves, those stories also count as science fiction, being set in a future dictatorship.) One of the most important supernatural works of the late 19th century, and a huge influence on H.P. Lovecraft, who incorporated elements from it into the Cthulhu Mythos.
Bought for just over $60 (including buyer’s premium and shipping) at auction. Earlier than the period I usual collect for, but i couldn’t pass up the chance to pick up a keystone work (even a considerably less than perfect copy) at a bargain price.
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:
(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.
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. (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 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.
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.
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 beforeThe 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.)
(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, . 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. 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.
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.
(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.
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, . First edition chapbook, with Errata sheet laid in.
For a while now, I’ve been posting about various Halloween horrors, real or imagined. Now I’d like to take you back to a time when the world went crazy, when paranormal phenomena entered the mainstream and the most ludicrous crap was fervently believed by otherwise normal and intelligent people.
I’m speaking of…
Having lived through the 1970s, I can assure you that it was a very strange time indeed, and not just for Nixon, Carter, disco and mood rings. It was also a golden age for paranormal crackpottery breaking into the mainstream.
Below is a roundup of all the paranormal beliefs I could remember that achieved a larger measure of widespread acceptance in the 1970s than any time before or since.
And remember: No matter how strange or bizarre some of the beliefs below, there were otherwise perfectly logical, rational people in the 1970s that believed in each of them…
Alien Abductions have been part of UFO lore for a while, and John G. Fuller’s book Interrupted Journey, about Betty and Barney Hill’s purported abduction by a flying saucer, came out in the 1960s, but the alien abduction phenomena only really took off with a TV movie based on the Hill book called The UFO Incident in 1974. (This will not be the last time that TV crops up on this list.) It’s available on YouTube, cut into non-embeddable segments, if you’re interested in viewing it. The story is told mostly through the hypnotism sessions of the Hills remembering the abduction, and James Earl Jones is very good as Barney Hill.
I can also assure you that for a 9 year old, it was terrifyingly convincing. I remember reading somewhere that the people who made The Blair Witch Project said that it was inspired by “based on real life” movies like this, because they were much more terrifying than anything you knew was fiction. I should also point out that American society as a whole was not nearly so jaded at the words “based on a true story” for a TV movie in the 1970s. Why would one of the only three broadcast networks want to lie to you?
Ah, the innocent days of youth.
Interestingly, the pictures Betty Hill drew (or, in the case of the one below, I think had drawn based on her “recovered” memories) don’t look particularly close to your standard “alien Grays”.
The 1970s were also when painter and sculptor Budd Hopkins got interested in UFOs. Later he would start to hypnotize people complaining about “missing time,” only to discover that (surprise!) all of them were victims of alien abductions. What are the odds?
Philip Klass’ UFO Abductions: A Dangerous Game would pretty definitively demolish the whole shebang, but not before the alien abduction phenomena would claim it’s most famous victim:
Erich von Daniken’s book Chariots of the Gods came out in 1968, but I remember its popularity really taking off in the 1970s, especially with an NBC documentary In Search of Ancient Astronauts in 1973.
Back in the 1970s, this all seemed eerily convincing.
Von Daniken’s shtick was pretty simple: “See these cool things ancient civilizations built? It must have been aliens!” Time has not been kind to Von Daniken’s theories, as the last 40 years has seen no shortage of demonstrations of exactly how ancient men might have built things such as the Pyramids and Stonehenge, and with a good deal less manpower than previously believed:
Von Daniken also scoured ancient art for figures that might be vaguely related to space travel. One-eyed guy with leaves on his head?
That’s a space helmet!
Did you know there’s a Erich von Daniken’s Center for Ancient Astronaut Research? This guy is the director:
I guess it’s easier to believe in aliens when you actually look like one…
Here’s a skeptic that traces the true lineage of von Daniken’s ideas to…H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos! Which seems only fair, given the huge amount Lovecraft borrowed from various 19th century psuedoscientific beliefs like Theosophy.
Today you mainly get Ancient Astronauts mixed in with every other alien conspiracy theory floating around: Reptoids, secret alien bases, Atlantis, etc.
Speaking of Atlantis…
I don’t actually remember this one myself, but Howard Waldrop tells me there were people in the 1970s who actually expected Atlantis to rise above the waves and usher in a new golden era thanks to the wise ancient masters who lived there. This probably had something to do with it. Naturally ancient astronauts were involved.
See? Even back in the 70s, various pseudoscientific and paranormal beliefs were already breeding with one another…
These were supposedly outline glows around people, which other people could supposedly “read” to deduce emotional states. Howard Waldrop tells me that there were even “aura fluffers” in the 1970s that would “balance” your auras using their presumably awesome psychic powers.
For a while, some people claimed that Kirlian photography (in which, if you place an image on a photographic plate and pump electricity through it, by golly, it produces a coronal image around the thing being zapped) “proved” that auras were real.
In truth, “real” auras were much more subtle things, and you had to concentrate hard to imagine see them.
I was wondering how many people still believe in auras today. Given that most hits point to either About.com pages, or pages that look like they were designed in the era of Geocities, I would say not many.
While researching auras I came across this page on “Thiaoouba Prophecy.” It’s like someone dumped every current crackpot belief in a blender, along with generous doses of Scientology and Theosophy, and set it to puree. But you know it has to be TRUTH, because it has RANDOM words in ALL CAPS!
The Bermuda Triangle
There is a region of the Atlantic ocean where thousands of planes and ships have disappeared mysteriously in fair weather. And by “thousands” I mean “15″ (or possibly more, but you can’t know exactly how many unless you buy the book; how convenient). And by “fair weather” I mean “in storms and rough seas” and by “mysterious,” I mean “just about all have normal, prosaic explanations.” Namely, that anyplace on the deep ocean is a dangerous place if something goes wrong.
Certainly the last 2,000 years has seen no shortage of Christians predicting the end of the world. But the current round of American “The rapture’s right around the corner, better get ready” eschatology didn’t get started with Tim LaHaye’s Left Behind, but with Hal Lindsey’s The Late Great Planet Earth. Lindsey explained in some detail how the founding of Israel in 1947 set the clock ticking, drawing parallels between current events and biblical prophecy. There was even a movie narrated by no less a luminary than Orson Welles (so no, the animated Transformers movie was not the worst piece of crap he was ever involved in). However, this is one case where the book was far more influential than the movie, since the movie bombed and the book sold a zillion copies. Lindsey was confident that the whole Rapture/Apocalypse enchilada would happen in our lifetimes.
And now, with the thinnest of possible justifications, here’s Orson Welles bitching about the ad copy in a frozen peas commercial.
While there have been a lot of sasquatch sightings throughout history (1958 and 1967 were particularly big bigfeet years), the 1970s are when Bigfoot Mania hit its peak. Bigfoot sightings were already on the rise when, on February 1, 1976, these guys kicked it into overdrive:
After the two part Secret of Bigfoot episode of The Six Million Dollar Man (never has one TV show owed so much to a single sound effect), Bigfoot sightings soared around the country.
(I had forgotten Sandy Duncan (a very 1970s name) was in that Six Million Dollar Man episode. That, and her role in Roots, were the last non-Wheat Thins contexts I can remember her in.)
Here’s another roundup of 1970s Bigfoot Mania from a kidvid and toy perspective. Somehow I missed Bigfoot and Wildboy, though lord knows I watched plenty of other crappy (and not entirely crappy) Sid & Marty Krofft TV shows in the 1970s…
There’s still no end to people who believe in bigfoot these days, despite the fact that two of the most famous pieces of evidence for modern bigfoot, the Wallace footprints and the Patterson film have been fairly conclusively debunked. And despite a nation filled with digital cameras and video phones, videos of bigfoot have only gotten less and less convincing…
While you would be hard-pressed to find any decade of American history that was completely free of strange cults, the 1970s were something of a “Onyx Age” for weird cults, beginning with the trial of the Manson Family and ending (just about) with the mass suicide of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple in Guyana.
I smell an enduring metaphor coming on.
Jones was an ardent Communist and member of CPUSA right up until they started to dis one of his heroes: Joseph Stalin. Looking for a way to put his Marxism into action, he hit upon the bright idea of founding a religion to bring in money, and founded the People’s Temple Christian Church Full Gospel. His strong commitment to integration made him a favorite of liberals like Indianapolis’ Democratic Mayor Charles Boswell, who appointed him director of the city’s Human Rights Commission. Then he moved to California, where he discovered (to quote Wikipedia) “he was the reincarnation of Jesus of Nazareth, Mahatma Gandhi, Buddha, Vladimir Lenin, and Father Divine.” Which is a neat trick, given that Lenin, Gandhi and Father Divine were all alive at the same time, and that the lifespans of the latter two overlapped with Jones’. Strangely enough, this (and his increasing tendency to bang both male and female members of his congregation) did not seem to slow down Jones’ acceptance among the liberal establishment, since Jones moved to San Francisco, helped out the Mayoral campaign of George Moscone (who then put him in charge of the San Francisco Housing Authority), and hobnobbed with the likes of Harvey Milk (who spoke at the Temple), Angela Davis, Walter Mondale and Rosalynn Carter.
In 1970, Jones had formed a People’s Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, where he would spend increasing amounts of time. On November 18, 1978, Jones’ personal Red Brigade bodyguards ambushed and killed California Democratic congressman Leo Ryan (who was visiting to investigate reports of human rights abuses and take defectors from the People’s Temple home), along with one defector and three journalists. Jones then announced to the Temple that the Soviet Union would not be granting them asylum, and they should all commit suicide instead. Which 909 of them did. There’s an audio tape of the suicide, in which Jones’ is heard proclaiming “Stop this…hysterics. This is not the way for people who are Socialists or Communists to die. No way for us to die. We must die with some dignity…We didn’t commit suicide; we committed an act of revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.”
Certainly there were other cults active in the 1970s; Scientology, the Nation of Islam (tangentially involved in the Zebra murders), The Process Church of the Final Judgment, and possibly the shadowy Four Pi movement, were all active in the 1970s, experiencing either rapid growth or violent upheaval. But none racked up the sheer body count of the People’s Temple.
In the 1970s, there were people that could bend spoons with their minds! And by people, I mean “Uri Geller,” and by “minds” I mean “fingers.”
Geller is still around, hawking stuff from his website, despite the fact that James Randi not only comprehensively debunked Geller’s fakery, but had all of Geller’s lawsuits dismissed and Geller was forced to pay the court costs.