Posts Tagged ‘J. R. R. Tolkien’

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Sunday, September 11th, 2016

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Book Auction Watch: Bonhams June 18 Book Auction

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Auction houses other than Heritage do occasionally offer up notable science fiction first editions. On June 18, Bonhams is offering up:

  • A first edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit in a tattered dust jacket. Copies in dust jacket are not unknown, but they do come on the market fairly infrequently, so even one (like this) with significant chips is likely to go for a pretty penny.
  • The first U.S. edition of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth.
  • However, the most expensive item in the auction is probably not SF, but one of the 150 signed oversized arches paper first editions (out of a total of 1,000 copies for all states) of James Joyce’s Ulysses, once owned by a friend of Vladamir Nabakov. These were rare enough to begin with, but the oversized paperback nature pretty much guarantees it’s designed to fall apart over time, so even remotely intact copies are very expensive when you find them. A comparable copy of this edition in a more common binding state sold for $35,000 at Heritage in 2012, and James Cummins has a copy of the arches paper edition that once belonged to composer Virgil Thomson listed for $75,000. It wouldn’t surprise me to see some collector of modernist highpoints go bonkers over this…
  • Book Acquisitions: July 1—December 31, 2012

    Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

    Time for another roundup of what additions I’ve made to my library of science fiction first editions. This is what I’ve picked up in the last six months. All are Fine/Fine hardback first editions unless otherwise noted.

  • Adams, Douglas. Mostly Harmless. Harmony Books, 1992. First U.S. edition, a Fine hardback in a Fine- dust jacket with a trace of haze rubbing along the spine join. Inscribed by Adams: “To Bev + Bill/Douglas Adams.” Bought for $7.99 at Half Price Books on University in Houston.

  • Aldiss, Brian. Summer 1773. The Bellevue Press, 1976. Postcard first edition, Fine.
  • Anderson, Poul. Fantasy. Tor/Pinnacle, 1981. Paperback original, Near Fine+ with faint spine crease.
  • Barnes, Steven. Assassin and Other Stories. ISFiC Press, 2010. Signed by Barnes.
  • Barrett, Neal, Jr. Other Seasons. Subterranean Press, 2012.
  • Bishop, Michael. White Power Poem. The Bellevue Press, 1977. Postcard first edition, Fine.
  • Blaylock, James P. The Shadow on the Doorstep. ISFiC Press, 2011.
  • Blaylock, James P. Zeuglodon (with Hans Clinker). Subterranean Press, 2012. One of 250 signed and numbered copies (with a signed and numbered chapbook).
  • Blaylock, James P. Zeuglodon. Subterranean Press, 2012. Trade edition.
  • Bradbury, Ray. Greentown/Tinseltown. Stanza Press, 2012. First edition hardback, Fine in decorated boards, sans dj, as issued. Miscellaneous collection of Bradbury material (stories, poems, essays, holographic material, etc.) about growing up on both a small town and (later) Los Angeles.
  • Bradbury, Ray. The Last Circus & The Electrocution. Lord John Press, 1980. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Bradbury. Two stories and an afterword, plus an introduction by William F. Nolan.

  • Carr, James and Archana Kumar. Hipster Hitler. Feral House, 2012. Advanced copy of trade paperback first edition. Cartoon collection.
  • Carroll, Jonathan. The Woman Who Married a Cloud. Subterranean Press, 2012. One of 350 signed, numbered, leatherbound copies.
  • Carroll, Jonathan. The Woman Who Married a Cloud. Subterranean Press, 2012. Trade edition.
  • Chambers, Robert W. 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. Full details here.

  • [Coen, Joel & Ethan] Luhr, William G. The Coen Brothers’ Fargo. Cambridge University Press, 2004. First edition hardback, Near Fine with remainder mark to head, sans dust jacket, as issued. Non-fiction.
  • Cowper, Richard. The Story of Pepita & Corindo (with The Young Student). Cheap Street, 1982. First edition chapbooks, both Fine copy in wraps, each #15 in a signed edition of 75 slipcased copies.

  • Crowley, John. Beasts. Doubleday, 1976. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Crowley: “June 1988 4th St/To Scott/John Crowley.” Supplements a copy inscribed by Crowley to me which has a weird spine defect.
  • Dann, Jack. Borges. The Bellevue Press, 1977. Postcard first edition, Fine.
  • Dann, Jack. Hallways. The Bellevue Press, 1974. Postcard first edition, Fine.
  • Datlow, Ellen and Terri Windling, editors. The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Fifteenth Annual Collection. St. Martin’s, 2002.
  • Datlow, Ellen, Kelly link and Gavin Grant, editors. The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Nineteenth Annual Collection. St. Martin’s, 2006.
  • Dick, Philip K. The Selected Letters of Philip K. Dick, 1980-82 (Volume Six). Underwood Books, 2005. Nonfiction.
  • Disch, Tom. The West Coast. The Bellevue Press, 1977. Postcard first edition, Fine.
  • Dorman, Sonya. Pomegranate. The Bellevue Press, 1977. Postcard first edition, Fine.
  • Dozois, Gardner. The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Ninth Annual Collection. St. Martins, 2012.
  • Eugenides, Jeffrey. Middlesex. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2002. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with slight bumping at heel in a Near Fine dust jacket with a 1″ closed tear along bottom rear spine join. Pulitzer Prize winner.
  • Grant, Mira. When Will You Rise: Stories to End the World. Subterranean Press, 2012.
  • Hamilton, Peter F. Manhattan in Reverse Subterranean Press, 2012. First limited edition one of 250 signed, numbered copies.
  • (Heinlein, Robert A.) William H. Patterson & Andrew Thronton. The Martian Named Smith: Critical Perspectives on Robert A. Heinlein’s Stranger in a Strange Land. Nitrosyncratic Press, 2001. Trade paperback original. Picked up at the Heinlein Society party at the Chicago Worldcon for free.
  • (Howard, Robert E.) Herron, Don, editor. The Dark Barbarian: The Writings of Robert E. Howard: A Critical Anthology. Greenwood Press, 1984. First edition hardback, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued.

  • (King, Stephen) Beahm, George. Knowing Darkness: Artists Inspired by Stephen King. Centipede Press, 2009. First edition oversized hardback (slipcase is 15 3/4″ high by 11 1/2″ wide), a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, in fine, illustrated slipcase.

  • Kushner, Ellen. Swordspoint. Unwin Hyman, 1987. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by the author: “To Scott/Best Wishes/Ellen Kushner.” Supplements my inscribed American first edition.
  • Lake, Jay. Escapement. Tor, 2008. Signed by Lake.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. All the Earth Thrown to the Sky. Delacorte Press, 2011. Signed by Lansdale.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. The Cases of Dana Roberts. Subterranean, 2011. First edition chapbook, Fine in wraps. Originally published to accompany the limited edition of Subterranean: Tales of Dark Fantasy 2. This copy signed by and purchased from the author.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. Edge of Dark Water. Mulholland Books/Little Brown, 2012. Signed by Lansdale.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. Trapped in the Saturday Matinee. PS Publishing, 2012.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. with Karen Lansdale and Keith Lansdale. In Waders From Mars. Subterranean Press, 2012.
  • Le Guin, Ursula K. From Hsin Ch’i-chi 1140-1207. The Bellevue Press, 1977. Postcard first edition, Fine.
  • Le Guin, Ursula K. Travelling. The Bellevue Press, 1977. Postcard first edition, Fine.
  • Leicht, Stina. And Blue Skies From Pain. Night Shade Books, 2012. Trade paperback original, a Fine copy. Inscribed to me by the author after purchase.
  • Lichtenberg, Jacqueline. Unto Zeor, Forever. Doubleday, 1978. First edition hardback, a Fine-/Fine- copy with slight bumping at head and heel. Full page inscription by the author.

  • Lovegrove, James. Diversifications. PS Publishing, 2011.
  • Matheson, Richard. Other Kingdoms. Tor, 2011.
  • McAllister, Bruce. Humanity Prime. Ace, 1971. Paperback original, Fine- with name inside cover.
  • McDonald, Ian. The Twenty Five Mile High Club. Birmingham Science Fiction Group, 2002. First edition chapbook, #283 of 325 copies.
  • Moody, David. Trust. Infected Books, 2012. One of 500 signed, numbered hardback copies.
  • Lumley, Brian. No Sharks in the Med and Other Stories. Subterranean Press, 2012.

  • Moorcock, Michael. The Jade Man’s Eyes Unicorn Bookshop, 1973. First edition paperback original, a Fine copy, new and unread. An original Elric novella. An odd trim size, being wider than the standard mass market paperback. Currey (1978), p. 370.

  • Novik, Naomi. Tongues of Serpents. Del Rey, 2010.
  • Pohl, Frederik. Star Science Fiction Stories No. 2. Ballantine Books, 1953. First edition hardback, a VG copy with dust-staining along top page block edges and wear along bottom boards in a VG dust jacket with slight sun-fading to spine and dust staining to white rear cover.
  • Powers, Tim. Hide Me Among the Graves. Charnel House, 2012. First limited edition, one of 124 signed, numbered copies in mica-flecked boards, a Fine copy, sans dj, as issued. The usual oversized, elaborate Charnel House production, ordered pre-publication.

  • Reeves, Michael and John Pelan, editors. Shadows Over Baker Street. Del Rey, 2003.
  • Resnick, Mike. Stalking the Zombie. American Fantasy, 2012. One of 250 signed, numbered copies.
  • Resnick, Mike. Stalking the Zombie. American Fantasy, 2012. Trade edition.
  • Resnick, Mike, et. al. Win Some, Lose Some. ISFiC Press, 2012. First edition hardback, Fine-/Fine- with a bumped corner. Signed by Resnick and several other contributors.
  • Resnick, Mike, editor. Alternate Warriors. Tor, 1993. PBO, Fine-.
  • Resnick, Mike and Joe Siclari, editor. Worldcon Guest of Honor Speeches. ISFiC Press, 2006. Non-fiction.
  • Reynolds, Alistair, and Liz Williams. Odyssey 2010 Souvenir Book. Contains original Reynolds/Williams novelette “Lune and the Red Empress”.
  • River, Uncle. Counting Tadpoles. PS Publishing, 2009. Fine in decorated boards, sans dj, as issued.
  • Silverberg, Robert. The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg Volume Seven: We Are for the Dark 1987-90. Subterranean Press, 2012. Fine, sans dj, as issued.
  • Smith, Clark Ashton. The City of the Singing Flame. Timescape, 1981. Paperback original thus (though I believe all the stories appeared previously in various Arkham House collections), Near Fine+ with one 1/4″ stray brown mark to page edges.
  • Stross, Charles. The Apocalypse Codex. Ace, 2012. The fourth Laundry novel.
  • Sturgeon, Theodore. Case and the Dreamer: Volume XIII: The Complete Stories of Theodore Sturgeon. North Atlantic Books, 2010.
  • Tidhar, Lavie. Osama. PS Publishing, 2011. One of 100 signed, numbered copies.
  • Tidhar, Lavie. Osama. PS Publishing, 2011. Trade edition. Fine, sans dust jacket, as issued.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume V: The Lost Road and Other Writing. Houghton Mifflin, 1987. First American edition, Fine-/Fine. See here for details for this and the following Tolkien books.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume IV: The Shaping of Middle Earth. Houghton Mifflin, 1986. First American edition, Fine-/Fine.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume VI: The Return of the Shadow: The History of the Lord of the Rings Part One. Houghton Mifflin, 1988.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume VII: The Treason of Isengard: The History of the Lord of the Rings Part Two. Houghton Mifflin, 1989.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume VIII: The War of the Ring: The History of the Lord of the Rings Part Three. Houghton Mifflin, 1990.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume IX: Sauron Defeated: The History of the Lord of the Rings Part Four. Houghton Mifflin, 1992.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume X: Morgoth’s Ring: The Later Simarillion Part One. Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume XI: The War of the Jewels: The Later Simarillion Part Two. Houghton Mifflin, 1994.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume XII: The People of Middle Earth. Houghton Mifflin, 1994.

  • Vance, Jack. The House on Lily Street. Underwood/Miller, 1979. First edition hardback, one of 450 copies, a Fine copy in a Fine- dustjacket with 1/2″ closed tear at head. Signed by Vance. Hewett A55.

  • Vance, Jack. Monsters in Orbit b/w The World Between and Other Stories. Ace Books, 1965. paperback original, Fine. Hewett A20a/A21a. Currey (1978), page 499.
  • Vance, Jack. The Seventeen Virgins & The Bagful of Dreams. Underwood/Miller, 1979. One of only 111 signed hardback copies, a Fine- copy with a tiny bump to bottom front boards in a Fine dust jacket. Hewett A58b and A59b.

  • Vinge, Joan D. There Are Songs. Science Fiction Poetry Association, 1980. First edition postcard.
  • Walton, Jo. Among Others. Tor, 2011. Signed by the author.
  • Wells, Martha. The Serpent Sea. Night Shade Books, 2012. Trade paperback original.
  • Westerfeld, Scott. Leviathan. Simon Pulse, 2009.
  • Willis, Connie. Blackout. Ballantine Books, 2010. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a tiny bit of crimping at the top of the dust jacket.
  • Williams, Tad. A Stark and Womry Knight. Subterranean Press, 2012. One of 250 signed, numbered, leatherbound copies.
  • Williams, Tad. A Stark and Womry Knight. Subterranean Press, 2012. Trade edition.
  • Wolfe, Gene. Home Fires. PS Publishing, 2011. First limited and first UK edition, one of 300 hardback copies signed by Wolfe.
  • Wolfe, Gene. On Lyra III. Science Fiction Poetry Association, 1980. Postcard first edition, Fine.
  • Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn. Constellations. The Bellevue Press, 1977. Postcard first edition, Fine.
  • Zelazny, Roger (created by). Ever After. Baen, 1995. Paperback original, Fine.
  • Galadriel As You’ve Never Seen Her Him Before

    Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

    Earlier this year, science fiction writer and North Carolina State University professor John Kessel declared that “I know the world does not care, but nobody could pay me enough money to go see The Hobbit. Well, maybe someone could, but nobody is going to.”

    The Internet knows how to respond to such statements.

    Soon a fundraiser for the SFWA Emergency Medical fund was launched, with various levels of funding support:

    $250 — Prof. Kessel goes to see The Hobbit (the upcoming Peter Jackson version, in a movie theater before the end of the year, no cop-out home screenings of the Bass-Rankin animated classic)
    $750 — Prof. Kessel will either before or after the film eat Denny’s The Hobbit-themed Ring Burger
    $1000 — Prof. Kessel will dress as Gandalf when watching the film
    $2500 — Prof. Kessel will dress as Galadriel when watching the film

    And the result?

    Well, feast your eyes:

    The last picture is with John’s “Hobbit escort” Kate Maddalena, who took these pictures.

    Click any picture to embiggen and more fully display all of John Kessel as Galadriel’s, um, glory.

    If you’re impressed by this outstanding display of selflessness (or else you have a fetish for really tall, butch trannies), you too can donate to the SFWA Medical Fund.

    You might also pick up one of John’s swell books, like Good News From Outer Space, Corrupting Dr. Nice, or his short story collection The Pure Product.

    (And thanks to John and Kate Maddalena for permission to use these photos.)

    Howard Waldrop and I Review The Hobbit

    Monday, December 17th, 2012

    Over at Locus Online.

    I liked it more than Howard did.

    Book Auction Watch: Graham Greene’s Inscribed First Edition of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies

    Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

    Bloomsbury Auctions is offering up several notable modern first editions on Thursday, October 25th. Among the items offered: Graham Greene’s inscribed first edition of Lord of the Flies. That’s not quite in the same league as Lord Byron’s inscribed copy of Frankenstein, but it’s still an impressive association copy.

    There are a few other SF/F/H first editions of note: A nice set of J. R. R. Tolkein’s The Lord of the Rings (all first printings, but the last a 3rd state book and 2nd state dust jacket), a signed first of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange, Richard Adams’ Watership Down, Robert Bloch’s Psycho, Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 (not stated, but Currey D binding) and Dark Carnival, an inscribed copy of Roald Dahl’s first book The Gremlins, Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World, Stephen King’s Carrie (signed), and several other King books, George Orwell’s Animal Farm and both cover variants of Nineteen Eighty-Four, the UK first of John Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids (the U.S. Doubleday edition actually precedes) and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

    Other notable first editions include Samuel Beckett’s first published work, Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, Agatha Christie’s most famous novel (in its original, politically incorrect title), F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, Ian Fleming’s Casino Royal (as well as the rare first-state binding of The Man With the Golden Gun, plus Hemingway’s first two books, and bunches more.

    Forged Book Signatures in the UK?

    Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

    One problem book collectors face in assembling a collection is the possibility that some books sold as signed by the author actually have forged signatures. (This is why I won’t buy a book with a Philip K. Dick or Robert Heinlein signature unless it’s a dealer I trust or has some sort of providence.) Because such fraud is hard to prove, and the average amount lost to any single book signature fraud is probably well south of $2,000, I imagine the crime ranks only slightly higher for police fraud squads than busting counterfeit Pog rings, and such fraud is seldom prosecuted.

    But “seldom” doesn’t mean “never.” In England, book dealer Allan Formhals has gone on trial for 15 counts of fraud, “accused of selling books on eBay signed with fake autographs of public figures including Winston Churchill, Robert Louis Stevenson and Pablo Picasso…Police also found the forged signatures of JRR Tolkien, Oliver Cromwell, Elizabeth I and Marie Antoinette at Mr Formhal’s home, the court was told.”

    This is why you should be suspicious of anyone who promotes “flatsigned” books (i.e., only a signature and no inscription) as being superior, since such signatures are easier to forge. “The longer the author inscription the better” has been the usual tradition in bookselling, and I see no reason to abandon it now.

    But at least science fiction collectors should take heart that it could be worse, as fake signatures are a much greater problem in the realm of sports memorabilia, where such fraud is a constant problem.

    The Formhals trial is still ongoing.

    Book Acquisitions: The History of Middle Earth Volumes IV—XII

    Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

    The week before Armadillocon, Half Price Books had their usual coupon sale, which starts out with a coupon for 40% off one item Monday-Tuesday, 30% Wednesday Thursday, etc., ending with a 50% off coupon on Sunday.

    While shopping there Tuesday, I noticed that someone had sold them what appeared to be almost all of the Christopher Tolkien-edited The History of Middle Earth volumes. I asked management if they could apply my 40% coupon to all books in the series, and after looking at them they agreed. I ended up taking Volume IV-XII, because the earlier volumes either had some wear or were later printings. In fact, at the register they ended up taking 50% off each volume, each of which were $14.99, so I think I bought all of them at $7.49 each.

    The UK editions precede, but the American editions aren’t particularly easy to find either. All of these are either Fine/Fine or Fine/Fine-, with some minor dust jacket wrinkles.

  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume V: The Lost Road and Other Writing. Houghton Mifflin, 1987. First American edition.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume IV: The Shaping of Middle Earth. Houghton Mifflin, 1986. First American edition, Fine/Fine.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume VI: The Return of the Shadow: The History of the Lord of the Rings Part One. Houghton Mifflin, 1988.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume VII: The Treason of Isengard: The History of the Lord of the Rings Part Two. Houghton Mifflin, 1989.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume VIII: The War of the Ring: The History of the Lord of the Rings Part Three. Houghton Mifflin, 1990.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume IX: Sauron Defeated: The History of the Lord of the Rings Part Four. Houghton Mifflin, 1992.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume X: Morgoth’s Ring: The Later Simarillion Part One. Houghton Mifflin, 1993.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume XI: The War of the Jewels: The Later Simarillion Part Two. Houghton Mifflin, 1994.
  • Tolkien, J. R. R. (edited by Christopher Tolkien) The History of Middle Earth Volume XII: The Peoples of Middle Earth. Houghton Mifflin, 1996.
  • You Could Own John Wayne’s Copy of The Lord of the Rings

    Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

    Heritage Auction is auctioning off tons of items from the estate of John Wayne. Being the canny man he was, he saved just about everything from his movie career: scripts, outfits, awards, you name it. There’s a treasure-trove of Hollywood memorabilia going under the hammer, including letters from Ronald Reagan, Katherine Hepburn, Steve McQueen, Frank Sinatra, and about a hundred other luminaries.

    I did take a look at the books being sold from his library, but all of them have opening bids substantially above market minus the Wayne connection. However, I did want to point out his owning copies of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Not firsts, of course (Wayne seemed to be an avid reader, but not a book collector), but that beautiful second edition Houghton-Mifflin LOTR set done to bring the books back into copyright after the unauthorized (but borderline legal) Ace books edition. This is the edition my father read to me from as a child, and it’s the edition I own.

    Heritage sends out a Heritage Magazine for the Intelligent Collector as a freebie to people who bid in their auctions, and they had a fascinating interview with his son Ethan Wayne about growing up living with his father, and about how random people would come around. One time John Wayne saw some guys coming up his dock, grabbed a gun and said “Who are and what do you want?” “Golly, Mr. Wayne, we’re Marines. We just heard that you lived here.” “Well then come on up and have a drink.” And they sat around drinking until 1 o’clock in the morning.

    Sounds like he was a swell guy.

    Recent Book Auction Results of Note

    Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

    You may already have noticed that I buy a lot of books. Many I buy direct from the publisher (many of which I also sell copies of through Lame Excuse Books), some I buy from other book dealers, either off the Internet or at cons, some I buy off eBay (although that’s a lot less common since they drove away a goodly portion of the most interesting items by hiking fees into the stratosphere in their effort to turn themselves into an inferior Amazon clone), and a few I buy through auction houses, like PBA Galleries or Heritage Auctions.

    Heritage just completed their 2010 June Signature Rare Books Auction, which, while not focused on science fiction the way the The Ventura Collection auction back in 2007 was, still had a number of notable science fiction and fantasy books up for auction, including a few titles made of Unobtanium. The interesting thing is that the three most notable fantasy titles didn’t sell:

    I thought the price estimate on the Lord of the Rings set was unrealistically aggressive, as decent sets in dust jacket can be had in the $10,000-20,000 range. Nice firsts of The Hobbit in dust jacket are very rare, but I’m seeing a few copies of that available in the $20,000 range as well. (If memory serves, several years ago L. W. Currey had, I think, a signed Fine/Near Fine+ copy in dust jacket listed for $68,000.)

    What does all this mean? Who know? Up at the very highest end of the book market, auction prices can be extremely volatile depending on who’s bidding. Maybe the prices were just too high. Or maybe the big money is sitting out in anticipation of prices dropping due to a double-dip recession.