Posts Tagged ‘Richard Matheson’

Science Fiction Necrology: 2013–2014

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Joe Pumelia asked me to put together a quick necrology of notable science fiction figures who have died over the last 18 months for his forthcoming fanzine, a roll-call which is depressingly extensive and filled with world-class talent. Here’s a quick and dirty list that just hits the highlights of writers (and one artist) who have died in that time, along with select top works for those unfamiliar with their output to pursue.

  • Aaron Allston (December 8, 1960 – February 27, 2014): Texas writer best known for his gaming and media tie-in work. See: Doc Sidhe (a Doc Savage homage).
  • Iain Banks (16 February 1954 – 9 June 2013): Notable Scottish writer who penned both celebrated mainstream novels and (as Iain M. Banks) swell science fiction. Died entirely too young from cancer. See: The Wasp Factory, The Bridge, Player of Games.
  • Neal Barrett, Jr (November 3, 1929 – January 12, 2014): The dean of weird Texas science fiction writers. See: The Hereafter Gang and the stories in Perpetuity Blues.
  • Tom Clancy (April 12, 1947 – October 1, 2013): Bestselling technothriller writer, some of whose work qualified as near-future SF. See: The Hunt for Red October and Red Storm Rising.
  • Basil Copper (February 5, 1924 – April 3, 2013): English horror writer who had four books published by Arkham House.
  • H.R. Giger (February 5, 1940 – May 12, 2014): Brilliant and darkly disturbing Swiss artist. Responsible for the Xenomorph creature design in the movie Alien.
  • Rick Hautala (February 3, 1949 – March 21, 2013): Prolific horror writer who had many books published by Zebra, and was a recipient of the Horror Writers of America Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • James Herbert (8 April 1943 – 20 March 2013): British horror writer. His novel The Fog was made into the John Carpenter movie.
  • Daniel Keyes (August 9, 1927 – June 15, 2014): Writer famous for only one work, but it was a doozy: “Flowers for Algernon”.
  • Jay Lake (June 6, 1964 – June 1, 2014): A young writer who exploded in a supernova of productivity, only to be struck down in his prime by the recurring cancer whose fight he documented in his blog. See: Mainspring and the stories in The Sky That Wraps.
  • Doris Lessing (October 22, 1919 – November 17, 2013): Nobel Prize-winning writer, some of whose books used genre settings or tropes.
  • Richard Matheson (February 20, 1926 – June 23, 2013): A writer with a long and illustrious career in science fiction and horror, most famous for works adapted for TV or movies, including numerous scripts for the original Twilight Zone. See: I Am Legend (filmed three times, and they still haven’t gotten it right), The Shrinking Man, The Night Stalker, “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet,” “Little Girl Lost,” “Duel,” and “He Who Kills” (the Zuni fetish doll segment of Trilogy of Terror).
  • Andrew J. Offutt (or andrew j. offutt, as he preferred to spell it) (August 16, 1934 – April 30, 2013): Prolific SF/F writer, including work in the Thieves World shared-universe.
  • Frederik Pohl (November 26, 1919 – September 2, 2013): A giant from the golden age who had a career revival in the 1970s. Wrote collaborations with C.M. Kornbluth and Jack Williamson, and was a noted editor. See: Gateway, Man Plus, The Space Merchants (with Kornbluth), and “Tunnel Under the World.”
  • Nick Pollotta (August 26, 1954 – April 13, 2013): Writer who did humorous SF and fantasy under his own name, and series men’s adventure novels under house pseudonyms.
  • Frank M. Robinson (August 9, 1926 – June 30, 2014): Writer who compiled an illustrated history of science fiction, as well as collaborating on the novel that was made into the movie The Towering Inferno.
  • Alan Rodgers (August 11, 1959 – March 8, 2014): Horror writer and former editor of Night Cry magazine. See: “The Boy Who Came Back From the Dead.”
  • Michael Shea (July 3, 1946 – February 16, 2014): The finest dark fantasy prose stylist of his generation. See: Nifft the Lean, the stories in Polyphemus.
  • Lucius Shepard (August 21, 1943 – March 18, 2014): One of most important science fiction writers of the 1980s, winning Hugo and Nebula Awards for his short fiction. See: The stories in The Jaguar Hunter.
  • Steven Utley (November 10, 1948—January 12, 2013): Texas science fiction writer, known for his time travel tales and his stories in collaboration with Howard Waldrop. Died of an aggressive cancer less than a month after first diagnosis. See: “Custer’s Last Jump” and “Black as the Pit, From Pole to Pole” (both with Waldrop).
  • Jack Vance (August 28, 1916 – May 26, 2013): One of the all-time great science fiction writers, and arguably the finest prose stylist the field has ever produced. See “The Dragon Masters,” the stories in The Dying Earth, and the four Planet of Adventure books.
  • Colin Wilson (June 26, 1931 – December 5, 2013): British writer who wrote science fiction and horror. His novel The Space Vampires was turned into the movie Lifeforce.
  • Library Additions: January 1—June 30, 2014

    Monday, July 7th, 2014

    Here’s all the books I added to my professional science fiction library over the first half of the year. All these are Fine first edition hardbacks in Fine dust jackets unless otherwise noted.

  • Allston, Aaron. Doc Sidhe. Baen, 1995. First edition paperback original, Very Good with multiple spine creases and spine lean. Signed and dated 5/25/01 by Allston. His Doc Savage homage. Found at a Half Price Book for half cover price a couple of months after he died.
  • (Anderson, Poul) Gardner Dozois and Greg Bear, editors. Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds. Subterranean Press, 2014. First edition hardback, one of 250 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and Fine slipcase, new and unread. Poul Anderson tribute anthology, including stories using his characters and settings.
  • (Anderson, Poul) Gardner Dozois and Greg Bear, editors. Multiverse: Exploring Poul Anderson’s Worlds. Subterranean Press, 2014. One of 1,500 copies trade copies.
  • (Ballard, J. G.) Baxter, John. The Inner Man: The Life of J. G. Ballard. Weidenfield & Nicolson, 2011. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Critical biography.
  • (Bester, Alfred) Wendell, Carolyn. Alfred Bester: Starmont Reader Guide 6. Starmont House, 1982. First edition hardback, a Fine copy- copy with slight rubbing, sans dust jacket, as issued. Signed by Wendell.
  • 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

  • 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.
  • Bradbury, Ray. Bradbury Speaks: Too Soon from the Cave, Too Far From the Stars. William Morrow, 2005. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a tiny bit of spine-join haze rubbing. Signed by Bradbury: “MARK!/Ray/Bradbury”. Collection of essays.
  • (Bradbury, Ray). Nolan, William F. and Martin H. Greenberg, editors. The Bradbury Chronicles: Stores in Honor of Ray Bradbury. Roc, 1991. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a tiny bit of wrinkling at head. Signed by Bradbury. Anthology.
  • Burroughs, William S. Interzone. Viking, 1989. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy in a Fine- dust jacket with traces of wear and slight dust soiling along spine join. Shoaf, Collecting William S. Burroughs in Print, 60.
  • Card, Orson Scott. The Folk of the Fringe. Phantasia Press, 1988. First edition hardback, #140 of 400 signed numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and Fine slipcase, new and unread. Supplements a trade copy. Bought for $10. (Original list price was $75.)
  • De Camp, L. Sprague and Fletcher Pratt. Wall of Serpents. Avalon, 1960. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with some bending at head and heel in a Very Good+ dust jacket, with crimping and rubbing at head and heel and slight dust staining to back cover. Signed by De Camp. Currey (1979), page 135. Supplements an unsigned copy. Bought for $17.50
  • (Clement, Hal) Hassler, Donald M. Hal Clement: Starmont Reader Guide 11. Starmont House, 1982. First edition hardback, a Fine copy- copy with slight rubbing, sans dust jacket, as issued. Signed by Hassler.
  • Coover, Robert. A Child Again. McSweeney’s, 2005. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket (as issued), still in shrinkwrap with cards attached. Bought at Half Price Books for $6.99.
  • (Delany, Samuel R.) Weedman, Jane Branham. Samuel R. Delany: Starmont Reader Guide 10. Starmont House, 1982. First edition hardback, a Fine copy- copy with slight rubbing, sans dust jacket, as issued. Signed by Delany: “Samuel R. Delany/Madison/2006”.
  • Del Rey, Lester. The World of Science Fiction, 1926-1976: The History of a Subculture. Garland, 1980. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with slight crimping at head and heel, sans dust jacket, as issued. A history of science fiction fandom by someone who witnessed it.

    Del Rey World of SF

  • Denton, Brad. Sergeant Chip and Other Novellas. Subterranean Press, 2014. First edition hardback, one of 750 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread.
  • Diaz, Junot. The Brief Wonderful Life of Oscar Wao. Inscribed by the author: “To Lance/Oscar Wao.”
  • 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 Coburn’s Derek Flint character.


  • Farmer, Philip Jose. The Dark Heart of Time: A Tarzan Novel. Del Rey, 1999. First edition paperback original, a Fine copy, new and unread. Evidently this is pretty hard to find…
  • Farmer, Philip Jose. River of Eternity. Phantasia Press, 1983. First edition hardback, #81 of 500 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and slipcase, new and unread.
  • (Farmer, Philip Jose) Brizzi, Mary T. Philip Jose Farmer: Starmont Reader Guide 3. Starmont House, 1980. First edition hardback, a Fine copy- copy with slight rubbing, sans dust jacket, as issued.
  • Gaiman, Neil (illustrated by Eddie Campbell). The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains. Morrow, 2014. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Illustrated story.
  • (Gilliam, Terry) McCabe, Bob. Terry Gilliam, The Brothers Grimm, and other cautionary tales of Hollywood. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with what appears to be “delamination” of otherwise shiny area at base of the spine, in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Book on the making of the Terry Gilliam film The Brothers Grimm.
  • (Haldeman, Joe) Gordon, Joan. Joe Haldeman: Starmont Reader Guide 4. Starmont House, 1980. First edition hardback, a Fine copy- copy with slight rubbing, sans dust jacket, as issued. Signed by Haldeman (and also an unreadable signature that I take to be either Gordon’s or the cover artist).
  • Howard, Robert E. and Richard A. Lupoff. The Return of Skull Face Fax Collector’s Editions, 1977. Lupoff’s expansion of an unfinished Howard manuscript.
  • Griffith, Nicola. Hild. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2013.
  • (Heinlein, Robert A.) Thorner, J. Lincoln. A Guide Through the Worlds of Robert A. Heinlein. Gryphon Books, 1989. First edition trade paperback chapbook original, a Fine- copy with touches of wear along the spine. 48 pages critical guide, including a small bibliography of reference works in the back.

    Worlds of Heinlein

  • Lafferty, R. A. The Man Who Made Models: The Collected Short Fiction Volume 1 Centipede Press, 2014. First edition hardback, one of 300 copies signed by Michael Swanwick, John Pelan, and cover artist Jacob McMurray, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. The Ape Man’s Brother. Subterranean Press, 2014.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. The Drive-In: The Bus Tour. Subterranean Press, 2005. First edition hardback, #223 of 350 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and slipcase, new and unread. Supplements a signed trade edition.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. Hot in December. Dark Regions Press, 2013 (though I don’t believe it was released until 2014). First edition hardback, one of 300 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread.
  • Le Guin, Ursula K. Four Different Poems. Longhouse, 2007. First edition chapbook original, a 3″x5″ card with an accordion foldout attached and a title band signed by Le Guin wrapped around, one of only 24 signed copies, a Fine copy. An odd item with a very small limitation. Bought for $20 off the Internet.

    Le Guin 4

  • Leiber, Fritz. Gummitch and Friends. Donald M. Grant, 1992. First edition hardback, #237 of 1000 signed, numbered copies (though not signed by Leiber, who died before the book was finished), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and slipcase, new and unread. Contains both Leiber’s cat stories, as well as memorial appreciations of Leiber by Stephen King, Robert Bloch, etc. bound at the front of the volume. Also, for some reason, an unsigned limitation number plate for the Grant edition of Stephen King and Peter Straub’s The Black House is also laid in.
  • 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

  • Ligotti, Thomas. The Spectral Link. Subterranean Press, 2014. First edition hardback, #333 of 400 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread.
  • Ligotti, Thomas. The Spectral Link. Subterranean Press, 2014. Trade edition.
  • Lovecraft, H.P. (S.T. Joshi and David E. Schultz, editors. O Fortunate Floridian: H.P. Lovecraft’s Letters to R. H. Barlow. University of Tampa Press, 2007. First edition hardback (stated), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread.
  • 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. Bought for $328 off eBay. More details here.

    Lovecraft Envelope Front

    Lovecraft Envelope Back

  • MacDonald, John D. The Girl, The Gold Watch, & Everything. Robert Hale, 1974. First hardback edition, a near Fine+ copy with a ex-ownership plate inside the front cover, in a Fine dust jacket. Pringle, Modern Fantasy 100 26. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, page 146.

    Girl Gold Watch

  • Matheson, Richard. Matheson on Matheson: A Conversation With Dennis Etchison. Bad Moon Books, 2013 (actually 2014). First edition hardback, #22 of 100 copies signed by Etchison and Richard Christian Matheson, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued.
  • Matheson, Richard. 7 Steps To Midnight. Tor Forge, 1993.
  • Moskowitz, Sam. The Immortal Storm. The Atlanta Science Fiction Organization Press, 1954. First hardback edition, a very good+ copy with slight rubbing to spine ends, slight bump at top rear board, and slight crimping at head and heel, in very good dust jacket with shallow chipping at head, heel and top front, and slight age-darkening to white areas. His acclaimed book on the early history of science fiction fandom. This is the first hardback edition, having been preceded by a mimeographed edition. Currey (1979), page 380. Chalker/Ownings (1991), page 51. Interestingly, Currey and Chalker/Ownings disagree on the print run, with Currey citing 1000 copies printed, but Chalker/Owings saying only 500. Bought for $36 off a major SF book dealer.

    Immortal Storm

  • (Moskowitz, Sam) The Sam Moskowitz Collection of Science Fiction b/w Comic Books and Comic Art. Southbys, 1999. First edition oversized trade paperback original, Fine. Auction catalog for the Sam Moskowitz’s science fiction collection held June 29, 1999 (plus a collection of rare comics sold the next day).
  • Pohl, Frederik. The Early Pohl. Doubleday, 1976. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with remainder speckling at heel in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Pohl: “To Fred—/Cordially/Fred Pohl/(No relative!)/Fred Pohl/198-” Bought for $10.
  • (Pohl, Frederik) Clareson, Thomas D. Frederik Pohl: Starmont Reader Guide 39. Starmont House, 1987. First edition hardback, a Fine copy- copy with slight rubbing, sans dust jacket, as issued. Signed by Pohl.
  • Powers, Tim. The Anubis Gates. Centipede Press, 2014. First edition hardback thus, a Fine copy save two flaws (the slipcase keyhole cutout is about 1/4″ misaligned between the two halves, and it lacks the signature page) bound in decorated red and black velvet with a lenticular image embedded in the front cover, in a Fine slipcase. The thing is ginormous, resting in a 2-half red velvet slipcase which houses the book and an accordion portfolio of the color art plates in the book, and includes an appendix of deleted scenes from the original manuscript and a fold-out map of 1810 London.

    Anubis Case



  • Radner, Gilda and Alan Zweibel. Roseanne Roseannadanna’s Hey, Get Back to Work! Book. Long Shadow Books, 1983. First edition trade paperback original, a Near Fine copy with a few small sports to page block edges. Inscribed by Radner and Zweibel: “Thanks/a lot to/Tim/Gilda Radner” and “”To Tim-/You just brought back/a million great/memories when you/handed me this book./Al”

    Roseanne Roseannadanna's

    Radner Sig

  • Bought in a lot with:

  • (Radner, Gilda) Zweibel, Alan. Bunny Bunny: Gilda Radner: A Sort of Love Story. Villard Books, 1994. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with a clipped price. Early Saturday Night Live writer’s memoir of working with Radner. Bought for $40.49 for the pair.
  • Resnick, Mike. Adventures. Signet, 1985. First edition paperback original (PBO), Near Fine with interior stamps.
  • Reynolds, Mack. Looking Backward From the Year 2000. Elmsfield Press, 1973. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Pringle, SF 100 70. Currey (1979), page 417.
  • Roberts, Keith. The Passing of the Dragons. Signet, 1977. First edition paperback original (PBO), Near Fine with light yellow line at head and traces of wear. Short story collection. Currey (1979), page 419. Short story collection. Bought from Half Price Books for 49¢.
  • 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.

  • Shepard, Lucius. The Jaguar Hunter. Kerosina, 1988. First edition hardback thus (contents differ from the Arkham House edition), #128 of 250 signed numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and Fine slipcase, new and unread. Supplements a signed copy of the Arkham House first edition. Bought for $22.50. (Originally issued at £40.00.)
  • Shepard, Lucius. Life During Wartime. Bantam Books, 1987. Uncorrected proof, trade paperback format, of the trade paperback original, a Fine- copy with the title and author written on the spine in ballpoint pen, with a proof of the cover laid in. Signed by Shepard. I have the UK first hardback edition, but I never picked up the TPO when it came out because I had already read most of the stories that make it up in Asimov’s
  • Shepard, Lucius. The Scalehunter’s Beautiful Daughter. Mark V. Ziesing, 1988. First edition hardback, a #104 of 300 signed numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread. Supplements a signed trade copy. Bought for $10.
  • Shirley, John. Demons. Del Rey, 2002. Novel-length expansion of the earlier novella (which I also have). Bought for $7 at the Austin book show.
  • Silverberg, Robert. Thebes of the Hundred Gates. Axolotl Press/Pulphouse, 1991. First edition hardback, a #78 of 300 signed numbered hardbacks, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread. Supplements a signed trade copy. Bought for $10. Pulphouse wildly overpriced a number of titles, including this one, but $10 (down from the initial list price of $35) seems about right…
  • (Silverberg, Robert) Gardner Dozois and William Schafer, editors. The Book of Silverberg: Stories in Honor of Robert Silverberg. Subterranean Press, 2014. First edition hardback, #165 of 250 signed, numbered copies, signed by all contributors except the late Kage Baker, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread. Tribute anthology.
  • (Silverberg, Robert) Gardner Dozois and William Schafer, editors. The Book of Silverberg: Stories in Honor of Robert Silverberg. Subterranean Press, 2014. trade edition.
  • (Silverberg, Robert) Clareson, Thomas D. Robert Silverberg: Starmont Reader Guide 18. Starmont House, 1983. Second Printing hardback, a Fine copy- copy with slight rubbing, sans dust jacket, as issued. Signed by Silverberg.
  • Simmons, Dan. Prayers to Broken Stones. Dark Harvest, 1990. First edition hardback, #329 of 500 signed numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket and Fine slipcase, new and unread. Supplements a signed trade copy. Bought for $37.50. (Originally issued at $75.)
  • Smith, Edward E., PhD. The Skylark of Space. Buffalo Book Company, 1946. First edition hardback, a VG+ copy with slight bumping at head, heel and corners and faint dust staining at heel, in a VG- dust jacket missing a small 1/4″ triangular chip from center of dj spine, plus about 1/4″ of chipping loss at head and heel, and slight overall rubbing, otherwise intact with $3.00 price on flap. The very first of Doc Smith’s famous space operas. Currey (1979), page 457. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 78. One of two books done by the Buffalo Book Company (the other of which, John Taine’s The Time Stream, I picked up in December). Bought for $237 from Heritage Auctions.

    Smith Skylark

  • Stephenson, Neal. In the Beginning was the Command Line. Avon Books, 1999. First edition trade paperback original, a Fine copy. Long essay on the history of computing, the Internet, and cyber culture.
  • Straub, Peter. Mrs. God. Donald M. Grant, 1990. First edition hardback, #179 of 600 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket (as issued) in a Fine slipcase, new and unread.
  • (Tiptree, Jr., James) Siegel, Mark. James Tiptree, Jr.: Starmont Reader Guide 22. Starmont House, 1986. First edition hardback, a Fine copy- copy with slight rubbing, sans dust jacket, as issued.
  • 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, 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


  • Vance, Jack. Minding the Stars: The Early Jack Vance Volume Four. Subterranean Press, 2014. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket, new and unread.
  • Vance, Jack. Son of the Tree. Underwood/Miller, 1983. First hardback edition, #183 of 200 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with just a tiny bit of wrinkling at head and heel. Hewett, A13g.

    Son of the Tree

  • 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.
  • (Wolfe, Gene) Borski, Robert. Solar Labyrinth: Exploring Gene Wolfe’s BOOK OF THE NEW SUN. iUniverse, 2004. First edition hardback (no additional printings listed, though I believe iUniverse is a POD outfit), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Critical guide to Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun. Supplements a trade paperback edition in my library. Bought for $20 off an Internet bookseller.
  • 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.
  • Zelazny, Roger. A Rose for Ecclesiastes. Rupert Hart-Davis, 1969. First edition thus and first hardback edition, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with very slight spine fading. First hardback edition of Four For Tomorrow. Levack, 17b. Kovacs, V11c/V20. Zelazny’s first short story collection.

    Rose for Ecclesiastes

  • A Richard Matheson TV Obscurity

    Monday, July 8th, 2013

    Here’s a science fiction TV show episode, “Young Couples Only,” I’ve never heard of, based on a Richard Matheson story, and starring…Peter Lorre!

    One reason I haven’t heard of it was that it was part of the Studio 57 anthology series, which aired on The DuMont Television Network, the ill-fated network that folded before I was born.

    Like almost everything else in the world, it’s on YouTube:

    Richard Matheson, RIP

    Monday, June 24th, 2013

    Dead at 87.

    It’s been a bad year for legendary SF/F/H writers dying, and it’s only half over.

    Library Additions: August 8—December 31, 2011

    Sunday, January 8th, 2012

    Despite this big-ass list, I think my book buying is actually slowing down a little. It’s getting harder to find things that I want (and don’t already have) at Half Price Books or eBay. Despite that, I always seem to have a surprisingly large number of books every time I do one of these roundups, mainly due to new small press offerings. (And speaking of small presses, many of the books listed below from Subterranean, Golden Gryphon, Haffner, etc. will be on sale through Lame Excuse Books, so drop me a line if you want to be on the mailing list.)

  • Allston, Aaron. Doc Sidhe. Baen, 1995. First edition paperback original.
  • Anderson, Poul. Fire Time. Doubleday, 1974. Fine in a Near Fine dust jacket, inscribed to Locus editor Charles N. Brown.
  • Anonymous. Man Abroad. Gregg Press, 1978. First hardback edition, a reprint of the 1887 paperback, one of only 257 copies printed, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued. From the Jerry Weist collection.
  • Bailey, Dale and Jack Slay. Sleeping Policemen. Golden Gryphon, 2006.
  • Beagle, Peter S. Strange Roads. Dreamhaven, 2008. First edition chapbook original, signed by Beagle and artist Lisa Snellings.
  • Bennett, Robert Jackson. The Company Man. Orbit, 2011. Trade paperback original.
  • Bester, Alfred. Virtual Unrealities. Vintage, 1997. Trade paperback original, NF- with 1/4 sticker pull at bottom of front cover.
  • Bester, Alfred, and Roger Zelazny. Psychoshop. Vintage, 1998. Trade paperback original (TPO) first edition, a Fine- copy with slight edgewear.
  • Bloch, Robert. Yours Truly, Jack the Ripper. Subterranean Press, 2011. Expanded from the Belmont paperback edition.
  • Bowes, Richard. From the Files of the Time Rangers. Golden Gryphon, 2005.
  • Brackett, Leigh. Shannach: The Last Farewell to Mars. Haffner Press, 2011.
  • Brown, Eric. Threshold Shift. Golden Gryphon, 2006.
  • Campbell, Ramsey. The Inhabitant of the Lake and Less Welcome Tenants. Arkham House, 1964. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Near Fine dust jacket with slight darkening to spine, and slight edgewear at heel and fold points.
  • Carroll, Jonathan. The Ghost in Love. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008.
  • Chayefsky, Paddy. Altered States. Harper & Row, 1978. A Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a few touches of wear.
  • Datlow, Ellen, and Terri Windling. The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror: Sixteenth Annual Collection. St. Martins Griffin, 2002. Inscribed to me by Datlow.
  • Diaz, Junot. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Riverhead Books, 2007.
  • Dick, Philip K. The Early Work of Philip K. Dick Volume One: The Variable Man and Other Stories. Prime Books, 2009.
  • Dick, Philip K. (edited by Pamela Jackson and Jonathan Lethem) The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011. Non-fiction.
  • Dozois, Gardner. When the Great Days Come. Prime Books, 2011.
  • Donaldson, Stephen R. The Best of Stephen R. Donaldson. Subterranean Press, 2011. One of 250 numbered, leatherbound copies signed by the author.
  • Donaldson, Stephen R. The Best of Stephen R. Donaldson. Subterranean Press, 2011. Trade edition.
  • Farmer, Philip Jose. The Keeper of the Secrets. Severn House, 1985. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a tiny bit of haze rubbing to the rear cover. First hardback edition of The Mad Goblin.
  • Farmer, Philip Jose. Love Song. Brandon House, 1970. Paperback original. Full details here.

  • Gaiman, Neil. Melinda. Hill House, 2004. Full details here.

  • Graham, H. E. The Battle of Dora William Clowes & Sons, Ltd. 1931. First edition hardback, a Very Good copy in a Good+ dust jacket with three 1/4″ chips at edges. Future war book set in an imaginary European country concerned with primarily with the evolving tactics of mechanized warfare. With fold-out maps!

  • Haldeman, Joe. A Tool of the Trade. Morrow, 1987.
  • Haldeman, Joe. World’s Apart. Viking, 1983. With review slips laid in.
  • Heinlein, Robert A. Podkayne of Mars. Putnam, 1963. Full details here.

  • Howard, Robert E. The Coming of Conan. Gnome Press, 1953. First edition hardback, a Near Fine+ copy with slight bends at head and heel and slight foxing to strip along front and back gutters, in a Near Fine dust jacket with slight dust staining to white rear cover and a few touches of rubbing to spine panel (but no spine fading). This completes my Robert E. Howard Gnome Press Conan collection. (At some point I suppose I’ll pick up the De Camp volumes but, eh. what’s the rush?)

  • Howard, Robert E. Marchers of Valhalla. Donald M. Grant, 1971. Bought from a notable SF book dealer for $8.
  • Hubbard, L. Ron. Final Blackout. Hadley Publishing, 1948. Full details here.

  • Leyner, Mark. My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist. Harmony Books, 1990. First edition trade paperback original, Near Fine+ with a crease to bottom front corner.
  • (Lovecraft, H. P.) Lockhart, Ross E. The Book of Cthulhu. Night Shade Boooks, 2011. First edition trade paperback original.
  • Lynch, Scott. The Lies of Locke Lamora. Gollancz, 2006. A Fine copy in a Near Fine dust jacket, signed by the author.
  • Martin, George R. R. GRRM: A RRetrospective. Subterranean Press, 2003. First edition hardback, Letter B of 52 signed, lettered, leatherbound copies, housed in a handcrafted traycase, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket; however, the traycase housing the book has a cracked bottom outer hinge, as well as a tiny bit of bend at the top front traycase tip.

  • Martin, George R. R., editor. Wild Cards: Marked Cards. Baen, 1994. First edition paperback original. Second book in the Baen Wild Cards series, and the Fourteenth overall.
  • Matheson, Richard. Born of Man and Woman. Chamberlain Press, 1954. Details here.

  • Matheson, Richard. The Shrinking Man. David Bruce & Watson, 1973. First hardback edition. Details here.

  • McCammon, Robert. The Hunter from The Woods. Subterranean Press, 2011. One of 1,000 signed, numbered copies.
  • Miller, Warren. Looking for the General. McGraw-Hill, 1964. Bought for $8 from a notable SF book dealer. Howard Waldrop recommended this.
  • Miyabe, Miyuki. Brave Story. Viz, 2007. First English-language edition.
  • Moon, Elizabeth. Lunar Activity. First edition paperback original (PBO), a near Fine+ copy with invisible spine creasing and slight edgewear. Signed by Moon.
  • Moorcock, Michael. Dr. Who: The Coming of the Terraphiles. BBC Books, 2010. Signed by Moorcock.
  • Moorcock, Michael. The Runestaff. White Lion, 1974. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with just a tiny bit of wear in a Fine dust jacket. First hardback edition.
  • Moorcock, Michael. The Sleeping Sorceress. New English Library, 1971. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with color loss along inner flaps edges (possibly a printing flaw). First hardback edition of The Vanishing Tower.
  • Niffenegger, Audrey. The Time Traveler’s Wife. McAdam Cage, 2003. First edition hardback, a near Fine copy with slight lean in a Near Fine- first state (no logo) dust jacket with several long creases.
  • Niven, Larry. Strange Light. Dreamhaven, 2010. First edition chapbook original.
  • Niven, Larry. A World Out of Time. Holt Reinhart Winston, 1976. Bought from a notable Sf book dealer for 48. Review slip laid in.
  • Niven, Larry, and Steve Barnes. Dream Park. Phantasia Press, 1981. One of 600 signed, numbered copies in slipcase. From the Jerry Weist collection.
  • Novik, Naomi. Victory of Eagles. Del Rey, 2008. Fifth Temeraire book.
  • Oliver, Chad. Another Kind. Ballantine Books, no date (1955). First edition hardback (an unrecorded variant binding of green boards with red lettering), a Near Fine copy with slight age-darkening to page (most noticeable in one signature) and slight bending at head and heel in a Near Fine dust jacket with slight age darkening and touches of wear at extremities. Actually quite nice. All of the Ballantine SF hardbacks if this era are hard to find.

  • Paltock, Robert. The Life & Adventures of Peter Wilkins. Hyperion Press, 1974. Reprint of the 1928 edition, which in turn reprints a novel first published in 1750 or 1751 (sources differ; Bleiler’s Checklist (1978 edition) says 1753, which I believe is the publication year for the second volume). Fine- copy, with trace of wear along bottom board, sans dust jacket, as issued.
  • Pohl, Frederik, and C. M. Kornbluth. The Space Merchants. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martins, 2011. “Revised 21st Century Edition,” trade paperback original thus.
  • Powers, Tim. The Bible Repairman and Other Stories. Subterranean Press, 2011. One of 500 signed, numbered copies.
  • Resnick, Mike. Blasphemy. Golden Gryphon, 2010.
  • Rickert, M. Holiday. Golden Gryphon, 2010.
  • Rochelle, Warren. The Called. Golden Gryphon, 2010.
  • Rochelle, Warren. A Harvest of Changelings. Golden Gryphon, 2007.
  • Rusch, Kristine Kathryn. Recovering Apollo 8. Golden Gryphon, 2010.
  • Sargent, Pamela. Thumbprints. Golden Gryphon, 2004. Signed by Sargent.
  • Scalzi, John. Fuzzy Nation. Tor, 2011.
  • Serviss, Garrett P. Edison’s Conquest of Mars. Carcosa House, 1947. Full details here.

  • Shute, Nevil. On the Beach. Heinemann, 1957. First edition hardback, a near Fine plus copy with dust staining to top page blocks and touches of wear to boards at heel, in a Near Fine dust jacket, with slight edgewear at head and heel and a few very short, closed tears.
  • Silverberg, Robert. The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg Volume Six: Multiples 1983-87. Fine, sans dj, as issued.
  • Skillingstead, jack. Are You There. Golden Gryphon, 2009.
  • Skipp, John and Cody Goodfellow. Spore. Morning Star Press, 2011. Signed PC copy; the regular edition was 150 signed, numbered copies.
  • Smith, Clark Ashton. The Collected Fantasies Volume 5: The Last Hieroglyph. Night Shade Press, 2010.
  • Stross, Charles. Palimpsest. Subterranean Press, 2011.
  • Twain, Mark (edited by Harriet Elinor Smith). The Autobiography of Mark Twain: Volume 1. University of California Press, 2010. Non-fiction, and large enough to stun an ox.
  • (Vance, Jack) Andre-Driussi, Michael. Vance Space. Sirius Fiction, 1997. First edition chapbook, a Fine copy in self-wraps. Signed by Vance. Non-fiction.

  • Willis, Connie. All Clear. Ballantine Books, 2010. Signed.
  • Williamson, Jack. At the Human Limit: The Collected Stories of Jack Williamson, Volume Eight. Haffner Press, 2011.
  • Wilson, Robert. Julian Comstock. Tor, 2009.
  • Wolfe, Gene. The Sorcerer’s House. Tor, 2010. Read this in ARC, and sort-of reviewed it here.
  • Zelazny, Roger. Unicorn Variations Timescape, 1983. Supplements an inscribed book club edition.
  • Related Topics

    Other science fiction book collecting topics you might find of interest:

  • A description of my own library of science fiction first editions (a couple of years out of date; I need to update this)
  • My Books Wanted List
  • Lame Excuse Books, my own side SF/F/H book business, where a discerning collector may find several first editions of potential interest.
  • Other book related posts
  • New Book Acquisitions: Two Richard Matheson First Editions

    Sunday, September 25th, 2011

    I managed to pick up two notable Richard Matheson first editions in the last month or so:

  • Matheson, Richard. Born of Man and Woman. Chamberlain Press, 1954. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Near Fine- dust jacket with rubbing to front and rear, but less than the usual fading. Matheson’s first hardback book and first SF book (preceded by two mystery paperback originals). Some science fiction small presses have had trouble with floods, and others with fires, but Chamberlain Press may be the only one that suffered from both; a flood destroyed most of the remaining bound copies of this book (the only one they published), and a fire destroyed the remaining unbound sheets. About 650 copies are believed to have distributed, thus escaping both catastrophes. (See Jack Chalker & Mark Ownings, The Science Fantasy Publishers: A Critical and Bibliographic History (Third Revised and Enlarged Edition), Mirage Press, 1991, pages 97-98 for more details.) L.W. Currey, Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction, G.W. Hall, 1978, page 358.

  • Matheson, Richard. The Shrinking Man. David Bruce & Watson, 1973. First hardback edition, an Ex-Library copy with the usual marking, and a clipped price, otherwise a VG copy in a Near Fine- dust jacket (would be fine if not for the corner-clip). Currey, Page 358. Obtained from the auction of the Jerry Weist collection. See here for details.

  • After Action Report on Heritage Auction’s Sale of the Jerry Weist Collection

    Monday, September 19th, 2011

    Every year or two, Heritage Auctions in Dallas conducts a big auction of a major science fiction book collection. In 2007, it was the Ventura Collection.

    The Ventura Collection auction was very successful, and since it occurred right before the advent of The Great Recession, many of the prices achieved in that auction have not since been equaled. (It may also be the first auction catalog Heritage mass-mailed to prospective SF collectors; I had not received any before then.)

    In 2008, it was The Robert and Diane Yaspan collection, which included a vast array of SF firsts as well as several SF manuscripts and a few select non-SF firsts, such as many firsts by mystery writer Earle Stanley Gardener.

    Later in 2008 was the auction of The Frank Collection, which was mainly SF art, but included a number of notable SF first editions as well.

    The just completed auction of the Jerry Weist collection was of the same caliber. There was some original art and pulp magazines in the collection, but the bulk of it was collectible SF/F/H first editions. The auction realized more than $1 million (though a significant fraction of that was for the artworks).

    I’m going to talk about some of the more interesting items sold, and how the prices realized compared to comparable copies of the same firsts in previous years. I’ll also mention when I have a copy of the first edition discussed in my own library.

    A few general observations:

  • Unlike previous Heritage SF Auctions, there were very few multi-volume lots of less desirable titles. I think Heritage will be selling those books individually on their weekly Internet book auctions.
  • Weist, like myself, settled for less than perfect copies of many difficult titles, including some worn, corner-clipped, or ex-library copies. (By contrast, the vast majority of the Ventura collection were pristine copies.)
  • The Weist collection was very strong in Golden Age and pre-Golden Age authors, but very weak in Hypermodern SF.
  • It was strong in Ray Cummings and Edgar Rice Burroughs (neither of which I collect), Isaac Asimov, John W. Campbell, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, William Hope Hodgson (many if not all of the firsts published in his lifetime), Robert E. Howard, Curt Siodmak (more about which anon), Clark Ashton Smith, and Olaf Stapledon.

  • Conversely, assuming the volumes presented in the auction do constitute the cream of the crop and nothing has been held back, it was weak in Jack Vance, Stephen King, Avram Davidson, R. A. Lafferty, Gene Wolfe and (save the two Fahrenheit 451s) Ray Bradbury.
  • I’ve tried to do some trending for various titles here, but there’s a lot of volatility at the high of the market. A book that normally goes for $100-200 might hit $2,000 for a signed copy at auction If two deep-pocketed collectors each need it to complete their collection.
  • Holy Grails

    To me, far and away the most interesting and desirable item was one of only five copies of Stanley G. Weinbaum’s Dawn of Flame to have the unsigned introduction by Amazing editor Ray Palmer. Weinbaum’s widow evidently objected to the introduction, which is why only five copies were so produced. Even the 245 copy Currey B state (with Lawrence Keating’s introduction replacing Palmer’s) is rare enough, and the book is widely considered the first true SF small press book. I don’t believe I’d seen a copy of the Palmer state for sale before, but I think one was sold when the Sam Moskowitz collection was auctioned off (they didn’t send me a catalog). Moreover, this particular copy once belonged to legendary collector and fan Forrest J. Ackerman, and was inscribed by him to Weist. Counting the buyer’s premium (a little shy of 20%, and which I’m going to include for all the other prices listed here), it went for $9,560.00; it wouldn’t have surprised me to see it go for twice that much.

    There were some other SF collecting “holy grails” sold there:

  • One of 50 copies of the signed, presentation hardback state of Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which went for $8,365.00. This represents an increase over the $5,377 a copy fetched in the Yaspan auction.
  • One of 200 asbestos bound copies of Fahrenheit 451 graded Very Good, went for $5,975.00. This represents something of a decline; a Fine copy went $15,535 in the Ventura Collection auction, a Very Good copy in the Yaspan collection went for $8,962, and a Near Fine copy in the Frank auction went for $9,560.
  • To me one of the most surprising outcomes was seeing a signed copy of Philip K. Dick’s Confessions of a Crap Artist go for $5,078.75, since there’s at least one signed copy from the 90 copies originally signed by Dick available online for $1,500. (And I think there were two copies for well under $5,000 when the auction commenced…) I have one of the unsigned firsts, which goes for considerably less.
  • Speaking of Dick, a copy of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? went for $6,572.50, despite tape stains on the jacket folds. I thought the $9,560 fetched by a Near Fine copy in the Ventura auction was outrageous at the time, but the value seems to have held up. (I have an ex-library copy myself, and even Ex-Lib copies list online for two to four grand.)
  • One of only 75 sets of E. E. “Doc” Smith’s History of Civilization, the six volume signed, leatherbound Fantasy Press set (in box, but without lid) went for $5,377.50. A set with the lid went for $5,676.25 in the Yaspan auction.
  • Other Notable Books

    From Holy Grails we move on to books that are merely Really Freaking Expensive. There are usually a few copies of these bumping around on, albeit with a comma in the price.

  • A signed copy of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation and Empire ($1,912) went for more than a signed (via bookplate) I, Robot ($1,553.50), probably due to some mild water damage to the latter. A Fine but price-clipped copy of I, Robot went for $2,270 in the Ventura auction, while another imperfect copy went for $1,434 in the Yaspan auction. I, Robot has become by far the hardest to find among the Gnome Press Asimovs.
  • A signed, Near Fine copy of Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man went for $872.35. I have a Fine copy, but not signed.
  • A merely Very Good copy of Bester’s Tiger! Tiger! (the hardback first of The Stars My Destination) went for $1,015.75, which is probably about market. A Fine copy in the Ventura auction went for $1,792.
  • The late Jack Chalker’s inscribed copy of Hal Clement’s Cycle of Fire went for $1,015.75. The title is harder to find than most of Ballantine Books SF hardbacks of the fifties.
  • Bob Weinberg’s inscribed ex-library copy of Philip Jose Farmer’s Green Odyssey went for a relatively modest $334.60. Like Cycle of Fire, this is one of the most difficult Ballantine Books hardbacks to find, especially for non-ex-library copies. Despite that, a Very Good signed copy failed to sell in the Yaspan auction, while a restored ExLib copy went for $448.13 in the Ventura auction.
  • A Fine, signed copy of the Gollancz (first hardback) edition of William Gibson’s Neuromancer, probably the essential novel of Hypermodern Science Fiction, went for $1,553.50. This is one of the few items for which you can see a clear, unambiguous decline across auctions, as a similarly Fine, signed copy went for $2,695 in the Ventura auction, while a similarly Fine, signed copy went for $2,151 in the Yaspan auction. I have a signed Fine- copy.
  • A copy of Robert A. Heinlein’s Podkayne of Mars went for $985.88. I don’t think it’s quite as good as the copy I just picked up last month for $235.
  • A Very Good+ copy of Heinlein’s Starship Troopers went for $2,270.50. A Fine copy fetched $4,780 in the Ventura auction. I have a very nice Ex-Library copy.
  • A Near Fine copy of Frank Herbert’s Dune went for $4,780. A Fine- copy (a rating I thought was a bit generous, given the rubbing along the dj spine) in the Ventura auction went for $10,755. I have a very worn Ex-Library copy.
  • An inscribed, Near Fine copy of Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon went for $2,390. A similar copy (though with a tipped-in signature rather than an inscription) went for $1,434. My copy is a bit less fine, and unsigned.
  • A copy of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider and Others (the first Arkham House book and a cornerstone for both SF and horror collections) went for a healthy $3,883.75.
  • Another rare Lovecraft item, an exceptionally nice copy of the Visionary Publishing edition of The Shadow Over Innsmouth, went for a hefty $7,170.00. That’s toward the high end for an unsigned copy (since it was published in Lovecraft’s lifetime, signed copies do exist, and can be had for less than the price of a new Lexus), but there’s a dizzying number of variant states, and I’m not sure which are considered the more desirable among high-end Lovecraft collectors.
  • A Very Good+ copy of Walter M. Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz went for $2,031.50, mainly because it has the rare orange promotional band. I have an Ex-Library copy.
  • An inscribed, conservatively graded Very Good copy of the Gollancz (first hardback) edition of Larry Niven’s Ringworld went for $2,390.00. In the Ventura auction, a Fine signed copy went for $5,206.25, while in the Yaspan auction, the better of two copies (not signed) went for $1,792. I have an unusually clean Ex-Lib Gollancz Ringworld, which might pass for Fine save an excised front free endpaper. (Did you know there was an unused dust jacket state for the Gollancz Ringworld? Lord knows how this guy (who I believe also owns this amazing Jack Vance collection) got a copy of it…)
  • A price-clipped copy of Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book went for $507.88. One of the more interesting outliers at the Ventura collection was a Fine signed copy going for an eye-popping $1,912. I have a Fine copy Connie inscribed to me after she attended Turkey City I picked up when it came out at cover price.
  • One of the most puzzling results of the auction was a signed first of Curt Siomdak’s Skyport was initially reported going for a stunning $8,611.17. That’s only about $8,500 more than it’s worth. But now when you go to the auction page for the item itself, it shows a far saner $101.58. I’m assuming there was some sort of glitch.

    Slightly less puzzling was a signed, Near Fine copy of L. Sprague de Camp’s The Wheels of If (which has one of Hannes Bok’s most famous dust jacket illustrations) went for $717, which is a good bit more than it usually goes for; Lloyd Currey has a comparable-to-better signed copy online right now for $150. Before this I had the impression de Camp was out of fashion among collectors (and thus I have been able to pick up a number of signed copies of his work pretty cheap). I suspect this is an outlier.

    Although I bid on several items, I only won one: an Ex-Library first of the UK David Bruce & Watson (first hardback) edition of Richard Matheson’s The Shrinking Man for $95.60. Fine copies go for over a grand.

    Related Topics

    Other science fiction book collecting topics (and glimpses into my own bibliomania) you might find of interest:

  • A description of my own library of science fiction first editions
  • My Books Wanted List
  • Lame Excuse Books, my own side SF/F/H book business, where a discerning collector may find several books of potential interest.
  • Other book related posts (including new acquisitions to my library)
  • My Updated Books Wanted List

    Thursday, August 11th, 2011

    I may have mentioned that I have a large library. I started out collecting first edition hardbacks of “hypermodern” (which in my case meant “post-Neuromancer“) science fiction (with some fantasy and horror works and authors thrown in for good measure), and once I had collected everything I wanted there, I started going after every important post-World War II SF work, toward which I’m making significant progress. Hence this list of books I’m still looking for.

    By and large, I don’t buy later printings, copies without dust jackets, copies with price-clipped dust jackets (unless all copies of the true first edition were released that way), copies with facsimile dust jackets, or overly crummy copies. Most of the books I buy are in Fine/Fine condition, but that relaxes a bit the older (and pricier) books become. I have picked up Ex-Library copies in dust jacket when the better copies of the true first can’t be found under a grand. I also only buy first state bindings and dust jackets, unless there’s no priority, or the true first state is insanely rare (such as with Stanley G. Weinbaum’s Dawn of Flame).

    With that in mind, I compiled a list of first editions on my want list, so here’s a significant portion of that list (omitting things available relatively cheap, or hideously expensive), listed alphabetically by author. I also put down all the Manly Wade Wellman and Jack Vance books I was looking for, since I have so many I was having a hard time keeping track of what I had and what I was still missing.

  • Douglas Adams’ The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Arthur Baker)
  • Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot (Gnome Press)
  • J. G. Ballard’s Crash (Cape)
  • J. G. Ballard’s The Drowned World (Gollancz)
  • Alfred Bester’s Tiger! Tiger! (Sidgwick & Jackson)
  • James Blish’s A Case of Conscience (Faber & Faber)
  • Robert Bloch’s The Opener of the Way (Arkham)
  • Philip K. Dick’s Dr. Bloodmoney (Gregg Press)
  • Philip K. Dick’s Counter-Clock World (White Lion)
  • Philip K. Dick’s Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said (Doubleday)
  • Philip K. Dick’s A Handful of Darkness (Rich & Cowan, 1st state in blue boards stamped in silver, in first state dj (no mention of World of Chance))
  • Philip K. Dick’s The World Jones Made (Sidgwick & Jackson)
  • Philip K. Dick’s World of Chance (Rich and Cowan)
  • Harlan Ellison’s The Fantasies of Harlan Ellison (Gregg Press)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s Between Planets (Scribner’s, unclipped $2.50 dj)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s Beyond This Horizon (Fantasy Press)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s The Door Into Summer (Doubleday)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s Farmer in the Sky (Scribner’s)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s Glory Road (Putnam)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s Methuselah’s Children (Gnome, 1st state binding, 1st state dj)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s The Puppet Masters (Doubleday)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s Red Planet (Scribner’s)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s Rocket Ship Galileo (Scribner’s, unclipped $2.00 dj)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s The Star Beast (Scribner’s, unclipped $2.50 dj)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag (Gnome)
  • Robert A. Heinlein’s Waldo & Magic Inc. (Doubleday)
  • Robert E. Howard’s The Coming of Conan (Gnome Press)
  • Robert E. Howard’s The Dark Man (Arkham House)
  • Robert E. Howard’s Skull-Face and Others (Arkham House)
  • R. A. Lafferty’s Horns on Their Head (Pendragon Press HB)
  • R. A. Lafferty’s Funnyfingers & Cabrito (Pendragon Press HB)
  • Joe R. Lansdale (as Ray Slater)’s Texas Night Riders (Chivers)
  • Fritz Leiber’s Two Sought Adventure (Gnome)
  • Fritz Leiber’s The Secret Songs (Rupert Hart-Davis)
  • H. P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider and Others (Arkham House)
  • Richard Matheson’s Born of Man and Woman (Chamberline Press)
  • Richard Matheson’s The Shrinking Man (David Bruce and Watson)
  • Chad Oliver’s Another Kind (Ballantine HB)
  • Chad Oliver’s Shadows in the Sun (Ballantine HB)
  • Mervyn Peake’s Titus Groan (Eyre & Spottiswoode)
  • Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast (Eyre & Spottiswoode)
  • Mervyn Peake’s Titus Alone (Eyre & Spottiswoode)
  • Jack Vance’s Araminta Station (Underwood Miller)
  • Jack Vance’s The Deadly Isles (Bobbs-Merrill)
  • Jack Vance’s The Dragon Masters (Dennis Dobson)
  • Jack Vance’s Ecce and Old Earth (Underwood Miller)
  • Jack Vance’s Four Men Called John (Gollancz)
  • Jack Vance’s The Houses of Iszm (Underwood Miller)
  • Jack Vance’s The House on Lily Street (Underwood Miller)
  • Jack Vance’s The Eyes of the Overworld (Gregg Press)
  • Jack Vance’s The Last Castle (Underwood Miller)
  • Jack Vance’s The Many Worlds of Magnus Ridolph (Dennis Dobson)
  • Jack Vance’s Monsters in Orbit (Dennis Dobson)
  • Jack Vance’s Seventeen Virgins/A Bagful of Dreams (Underwood Miller HB)
  • Jack Vance’s Showboat World (Underwood Miller)
  • Jack Vance’s Son of the Tree (Underwood Miller)
  • Jack Vance’s Strange Notions/The Dark Ocean (Underwood Miller)
  • Jack Vance’s To Live Forever (Ballantine Books HB)
  • Jack Vance’s Vandals of the Void (Winston)
  • Jack Vance (as Alan Wade)’s Take My Face (Mystery House)
  • Jack Vance (as Peter Held)’s Isle of Peril (Mystery House)
  • Stanley G. Weinbaum’s A Martian Odyssey and Others (Fantasy Press)
  • Manly Wade Wellman’s Carolina Pirate (Washburn)
  • Manly Wade Wellman’s Clash on the Catabwa (Washburn)
  • Manly Wade Wellman’s The Ghost Battalion (Washburn)
  • Manly Wade Wellman’s Gray Riders (Aladdin)
  • Manly Wade Wellman’s Haunts of Drowning Creek (Holiday House)
  • Manly Wade Wellman’s Jamestown Adventure (Washburn)
  • Manly Wade Wellman’s Mystery at Bear Paw Gap (Washburn)
  • Manly Wade Wellman’s Napoleon of the West (Washburn)
  • Manly Wade Wellman’s The South Fork Rangers (Washburn)
  • Manly Wade Wellman’s The Specter of Bear Paw Gap (Washburn)
  • Gene Wolfe’s The Grave Secret (Portentous Press chapbook)
  • Gene Wolfe’s The Old Woman Whose Rolling Pin Was the Sun (Cheap Street chapbook)
  • Roger Zelazny’s Damnation Alley (Putnam)
  • If you have nice copies any of the above, and if you’re willing to sell it to me considerably cheaper than can be found on, drop me an email at and I’ll consider it.

    Lawrence Person’s Library of Science Fiction First Editions

    Thursday, December 31st, 2009

    I’ve been meaning to take pictures of my library for quite a while, and I finally got around to doing it. These are just the ones in my fiction library; I haven’t taken pictures of the non-fiction up in my office yet.

    I started collecting hypermodern (i.e., post-Neuromancer) science fiction first editions in the late 1980s, concentrating on hardbacks of works and authors I felt were important. I have essentially completed that collection (though I am always adding new books as they come out), and am now trying to amass a collection of first editions of every important post-WWII work of science fiction, as well as selected fantasy and horror authors, which should keep me busy quite a while. Save one Stephen King ultralimited I bought pre-publication, I have never spent more than $400 for any single book (and precious few over $300). I won’t settle for later printings or copies with corner-clipped dust jackets, but my price ceiling has forced me to settle for ex-library copies of a handful of key works (for example, Dune and The Man in the High Castle). When I refer to an “imperfect” first, it’s generally (but not always) an Ex-Library copy. The rest tend to be Fine/Fine or gently read copies, though with a bit more flexibility for older titles. I am one “difficult” book away from having a complete collection of Hugo winners, and save the most recent one, have a complete collection of Nebula Winners, as well as many World Fantasy and Bram Stoker award winners, plus a smattering of literary firsts and prize winners picked up when I chanced across them.

    Mine is a very extensive SF collection, but far from the largest or most valuable, even in private hands. I’m sure there are many old fans whose libraries would (or may still) put mine to shame. Before being broken up, the legendary collections of Sam Moskowitz and Forrest J. Ackerman would have easily blown mine away. Although David Hartwell has started selling pieces of his, from talking to him I’m sure what remains of David’s collection still exceeds mine by a good measure. Kurt Baty has assembled very close to a complete collection of all science fiction works ever published, but has not concentrated on first editions. Given the number of auctions I’ve lost to him over the years, I’m sure Larry Bigman’s collection leaves mine in the shade. Allen Lewis’ collection of hypermodern science fiction has a breadth that far exceeds my own. Mike Berro and Jerry Hewett have collections at least comparable to my own (and far more complete when it comes to Jack Vance). If I had to guess, my collection might sneak into the top 50 in private hands, but that may be too high.

    Previous and far less complete attempts to document my library are here and here.

    Unless otherwise noted, all the volumes listed under highlights are either the true first edition, or the first hardback edition (frequently British) when the true first was a paperback original. If the UK edition preceded the American, then the true first is the one I have, unless otherwise indicated.

    These pictures were taken with a Kodak EasyPic V803 and edited in iPhoto. The gaps visible on shelves are what I call “expansion joints,” and are there so I can add new acquisitions. Caveats: I don’t have a tripod, and I don’t know how to do keystone correction for camera angle (especially apparent on the eight-high bookshelves). Still, an acute observer should be able to pic out numerous individual volumes…

    Note: This is my personal/professional library, and none of these are for sale. For science fiction books I do have for sale, please see the Lame Excuse Books website.


    • Some Isaac Asimov, including a complete Gnome Press Foundation trilogy, plus The Gods Themselves and imperfect copies of many of his early novels and short story collections.

    • A. A. Attanasio’s Radix.
    • Nicholas Baker’s Mezzanine.
    • Some signed J. G. Ballard, including The Atrocity Exhibition (the true UK first, not the later but rarer pulped US edition) and some later books, plus unsigned copies of High Rise and Empire of the Sun, and an imperfect Crystal World.
    • A complete Iain Banks collection (save his most recent one), including The Wasp Factory and Use of Weapons.
    • A nearly-complete Clive Barker collection (missing some of the graphic novel and illustration stuff, as well as a recent book or two), including copies of The Damnation Game, various states of The Books of Blood, Cabal and the UK Weaveworld, the last two signed.
    • An nearly complete Neal Barrett, Jr. collection (discounting the media tie-in stuff).
    • A signed copy of Stephen Baxter’s The Time Ships, plus Timelike Infinity and imperfect firsts of Raft, Anti-Ice, and Ring. My Baxter collection is collection is complete up to the point (sometime shortly after 2000 or so) when he started cranking them out so fast I couldn’t even hope to keep up with him.
    • A nearly complete Greg Bear collection (missing the Cheap Street Sleepside Story and one or two recent ones), including Blood Music, Eon, The Wind from a Burning Woman, Darwin’s Radio and Early Harvest, most signed or inscribed.


    • Gregory Benford’s Timescape.
    • A mint copy of Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man with his business card laid in, as well as an imperfect but inscribed copy of Who He?.
    • A complete Michael Bishop collection, including No Enemy But Time, several inscribed to me.
    • A nearly complete James P. Blaylock collection (missing one or two of the recent ones), including one of 100 hardback copies of the Axolotl Paper Dragons, as well as the signed, limited editions of The Last Coin and The Magic Spectacles.
    • A mostly complete Robert Bloch collection, including an imperfect copy of Psycho.
    • A woefully incomplete Ray Bradbury collection, some signed.
    • A true (UK) first of Ernest Bramah’s Kai Lung Unrolls His Mat in dust jacket.
    • David Brin’s Startide Rising and Uplift War.
    • A mostly complete Poppy Z. Brite collection, including the hardback of Plastic Jesus.
    • Peter Currell Brown’s Smallcreep’s Day
    • An imperfect first of John Brunner’s Stand on Zanzibar, as well as a signed first of The Sheep Look Up, and an inscribed copy of The Stone That Never Came Down that formerly belonged to Christopher Priest.
    • Stephen Brust’s To Reign in Hell.
    • The Easton Press signed first hardbacks of Lois McMaster Bujold Barryar and The Vor Game, as well as the hardback first of Mirror Dance and The Paladin of Souls.
    • A complete Octavia Butler collection (several signed), including Survivor, the rarest of her books.


    • A complete Pat Cadigan collection (discounting some media tie-in stuff).
    • Something like a complete Jack Cady collection.
    • Inscribed firsts of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, as well as Songmaster, A Planet Called Treason and Cardography; indeed, all Card’s fiction hardbacks up to Xenocide; I read that and Prentice Alvin, and after that I stopped buying his books.
    • A complete Jonathan Carroll collection, all signed or inscribed, including The Land of Laughs.
    • Angela Carter’s The Passion of New Eve and copy of The Infernal Desire Machines of Dr. Hoffman that formerly belonged to Carter.
    • Inscribed firsts of Michael Chabon’s The Yiddish Policeman’s Union and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.
    • A signed copy of Suzy McKee Charnes’ The Vampire Tapestry.
    • C.J. Cherryh’s Cyteen and an inscribed SFBC (first hardback) Downbelow Station.
    • An imperfect Ballantine Books hardback of Arthur C. Clarke’s Childhood’s End, a decent Earthlight, a very nice Against the Fall of Night, an imperfect Rendezvous With Rama, a nice The Fountains of Paradise and the signed, slipcased PS Publishing edition of Tales from the White Hart.
    • Some Hal Clement, including a signed, imperfect Mission of Gravity and a nice Iceworld.
    • An extensive Storm Constantine collection.
    • A nearly complete John Crowley collection, including signed or inscribed copies of Little, Big (reportedly Gollancz only did 300 hardbacks), The Deep and Engine Summer.
    • A complete run (at least up through issue 17) of the signed hardback state of Postscripts (including Ray Bradbury, Stephen King, Joe Hill, etc.).
    • A bunch of Jack Dann.


    • Closing in on a complete Avram Davidson collection, including one of only 25 hardback copies of El Vilvoy de las Islas
    • An extensive Samuel R. Delany collection up to 1980 or so, all signed, including solid (but not pristine) Gollancz hardback firsts of Babel-17 and The Einstein Intersection.
    • A complete Bradley Denton collection, all signed or inscribed, including The Calvin Coolidge Home for Dead Comedians/A Conflagration Artist and Blackburn’s Lady.
    • August Derleth’s Someone in the Dark (the second Arkham House book), sadly lacking the dust jacket, and a signed copy of The Mask of Cthulhu
    • A not-yet complete Philip K. Dick collection, including Imperfect firsts of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Time Out of Joint, The Man in the High Castle, The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch, Ubik, and The Penultimate Truth, a nice set of The Collected Stories of Philip K. Dick, nice copies of The Man Whose Teeth Were Exactly Alike, Martian Time Slip, The Game Players of Titan, Confessions of a Crap Artist, A Scanner Darkly and the slipcased Valis set with Cosmogony and Cosmology. (A number of paperback firsts appear on the paperback shelf, and a number of non-fiction works are upstairs in my reference library.)
    • A complete Paul Di Filippo collection, including one of 100 signed hardback copies of Ciphers.
    • An extensive Thomas Disch collection, including Camp Concentration, 334 and Torturing Mr. Amberwell.
    • A complete hardback set (save a few of the most recent volumes) of Gardner Dozois’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction, including the very rare first three Bluejay Books editions, several signed by many of the contributors.


    • A complete Greg Egan collection, including a copy of Axiomatic inscribed to his editor David Pringle (Egan signatures, much less inscriptions, are vanishingly rare), as well as firsts of An Unusual Angle (only 100 hardback copies), Quarantine, and Permutation City.

    • A complete George Alec Effinger collection, many inscribed to me.
    • A nearly-complete Harlan Ellison hardback collection (though I lack several of the most difficult paperbacks).
    • A fair amount of Philip Jose Farmer, including a beautiful copy of To Your Scattered Bodies Go (formerly Buck and Juanita Coulson’s copy), plus signed copies of Doc Savage: His Apocalyptic Life, Love Song, The Adventure of the Peerless Peer and Up from the Bottomless Pit.
    • The first English-language edition of Camille Flammarion’s Urania and the first U.S. edition of Lumen.
    • A not-quite complete Neil Gaiman collection, including 1/26 signed, lettered, traycased copies of M is for Magic (with an original drawing by Gahan Wilson on the limitation page), one of 500 signed, numbered copies of Neverwhere, Murder Mysteries: A Play for Voices and Snow Glass Apples: A Play for Voices (both signed and limited in slipcase), Angels and Visitations, the signed/limited editions of American Gods and Anansi Boys, as well as signed copies of the trade state, plus a bunch of other signed Gaiman (not shown: hardback collections of the complete run of Sandman (both the first and the four-volume Absolute Sandman), plus a bunch of other Gaiman graphic novels, most signed, up in the graphic novel section on the second floor).
    • An extensive John Gardner collection, including Grendel.
    • A bunch of Ray Garton, including the Charnel House (true first) signed/limited edition of The New Neighbor.
    • A nearly complete Jane Gaskell collection, including Strange Evil and King’s Daughter.
    • A complete Mary Gentle collection (discounting her pseudonymous porn novels), including Ash: A Secret History.


    • A complete William Gibson book collection (discounting Agrippa), all signed, including a Fine Gollancz Neuromancer (one of the highpoints of the entire collection) and a copy of Gibson and Bruce Sterling’s The Difference Engine signed by both.
    • William Goldman’s The Princess Bride.
    • Alasdair Gray’s Lanark.
    • A signed copy of Curme Gray’s Murder in Millennium VI.
    • Signed copies of Ken Grimwood’s Elise and The Voice Outside.
    • U.S. first edition of General Sir John Hackett’s The Third World War: August 1985, with a signed typed letter by Hackett laid in.
    • Inscribed firsts of Joe Haldeman’s Forever Peace, The Accidental Time Machine and Camouflage, plus an inscribed, imperfect first of The Forever War.
    • Peter F. Hamilton’s first ten or so phone books, including an inscribed first of The Reality Dysfunction.
    • A fair amount (but by no means a complete collection) of Robert A. Heinlein, including imperfect firsts of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Double Star, Stranger in a Strange Land, and Starship Troopers (the last rather nice), and a pristine first of Sixth Column.
    • A very imperfect true first of Frank Herbert’s Dune.
    • Two different states of the signed, limited edition of Joe Hill’s 20th Century Ghosts.
    • The Gnome Press editions of Robert E. Howard’s Conan the Barbarian, Conan the Conqueror and King Conan.
    • Barry Hughart’s Bridge of Birds, The Story of the Stone, and Eight Skilled Gentlemen, plus the signed Subterranean press omnibus.
    • One of less than 100 copies of the H. P. Lovecraft/Russ Meyer crossover anthology, Hastur, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!


    • An essentially complete Shirley Jackson collection, including The Haunting of Hill House, The Road Through the Wall, Hangsaman and an imperfect copy of The Lottery.

    • A complete K. W. Jeter collection (save the media tie-in work), including the signed, limited hardback of Dr. Adder.
    • Ha Jin’s Waiting.
    • One of 52 signed hardback copies of Graham Joyce’s Leningrad Nights, the second PS Publishing novella.
    • Essentially complete James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel collections, including Freedom Beach, one of only 100 hardback copies, signed by both.
    • Daniel Keyes’ Flowers for Algernon.
    • I have a fair amount of Stephen King, but nothing approaching a complete collection (I may be an insane collector, but I’m not that insane), including one of 99 copies total (and one of only 33 with this cover art) of the PS Publishing (first hardback edition) signed, limited, tray-cased edition of Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid, plus a copy of the signed, limited edition of same, one of 1,250 signed, limited copies of the Mark V. Ziesing (true first) edition of Insomnia, the first four Donald M. Grant Dark Tower books, the signed, limited edition of Under the Dome (reportedly 1,500 copies, all of which were sold out within a day of being available for order), and an imperfect first of The Shining.
    • A complete Russell Kirk fiction collection (including The Surly Sullen Bell, Old House of Fear, and his two Arkham House Books, The Princess of All Lands and Watchers at the Straight Gates, most signed.
    • Henry Kuttner’s Robots Have No Tails.
    • A complete R. A. Lafferty hardback collection (save the two Pendragon Press chapbooks I have in wraps), including Tales of Chiacago, Tales of Midnight, and Argo, and the Gregg Press The Devil is Dead.
    • An essentially complete Joe R. Lansdale collection (see if you can spot the oddball exception), all signed, including the lettered edition of For a Few Stories More (with a young-adult vampire novel, Shadow Time, found only in this edition), the signed/limited edition of The Bottoms, one of only 26 signed, hardback copies of My Dead Dog Bobby and Triple Feature, one of only 100 signed hardback copies of Veil’s Visit (with Andrew Vachess) and Private Eye Action, As You Like It (with Lewis Shiner), inscribed copies of The Magic Wagon and The Nightrunners.
    • Imperfect firsts of Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed, and A Wizard of Earthsea.
    • Something approaching a complete Fritz Leiber collection, including the Gregg Press (first hardback) editions of The Big Time and The Sinful Ones, as well as Nights Black Agents, The Wanderer, and Manly Wade Wellman’s copy of Rime Isle, inscribed to him by the publisher.
    • The first English-language edition of Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris.
    • Being only slightly insane, I don’t have a complete H. P. Lovecraft collection, but I do have several of the latter Arkham House books, including The Horror in the Museum. (I also have the complete Letters and Essays up in my non-fiction library.)
    • A complete Ken MacLeod collection.
    • A complete George R. R. Martin (discounting some Wild Cards SFBC hardbacks), including the signed/limited edition Songs the Dead Men Sing, plus A Game of Thrones and GRRM.
    • I’m closing in on a complete Richard Matheson collection, including the signed, slipcased state of Collected Stories, Hell House and an imperfect first of I Am Legend (though I do still need the Chamberlain Born of Man and Woman, Stir of Echoes, and the UK Shrinking Man).
    • A complete Paul J. McAuley collection, save for a few recent ones.
    • A complete Robert R. McCammon collection (including Blue World) save the UK Baal and a couple of recent ones.
    • Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.
    • A complete Ian McDonald collection.
    • Vonda McIntyre’s Dreamsnake and The Sun and the Moon.
    • Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove.
    • A complete China Mieveille collection, including Perdido Street Station and one of 400 signed, numbered hardbacks of The Tain.
    • An imperfect first of A Canticle for Leibowitz.
    • A few Yukio Mishima firsts (or rather, first American/English Language editions).
    • David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas.
    • An inscribed copy of Elizabeth Moon’s The Speed of Dark.
    • A somewhat random assortment of Michael Moorcock firsts, including Glorianna, all signed or inscribed.
    • Signed copies of C. L. Moore’s Mutant and Black God’s Shadow.


    • A complete Richard Morgan collection, most signed, including Altered Carbon.
    • Some David Morrell, including First Blood.
    • A good bit of James Morrow, many signed.
    • Signed copies of Haruki Murakami’s A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.
    • Pat Murphy’s The Falling Woman.
    • John Myers Myers’ Silverlock in a rubbed dust jacket.
    • Something approaching a complete collection of Kim Newman’s works under his own name (don’t have the Jack Yeovil/GDW stuff), including Anno Dracula.
    • Complete set of the Night Visions series, some (Barker, Lansdale, Martin) signed or inscribed.
    • I don’t have a complete Larry Niven collection, but I do have a fair amount, including a Gollancz Ringworld, marred only by an excised front free endpaper, as well as an imperfect first of The Mote in God’s Eye.
    • A complete Jeff Noon collection.
    • The first three Naomi Novik books.
    • A nearly complete Chad Oliver collection, including Mists of Dawn.
    • Alexi Panshin’s Rite of Passage.


    • Some Frederik Pohl, including signed or inscribed firsts of The Space Merchants, Man Plus and Gateway.
    • Charles Portis’ True Grit.
    • A pretty completely Tim Powers collection, including The Anubis Gates, the Charnel House Stress of Her Regard and Where They Are Hid, the Subterranean Press Declare, Three Days to Never and Ten Poems, the Hypatia Press The Drawing of the Dark, the Cahill The Skies Discrowned, and the NESFA An Epitaph in Rust.
    • Christopher Priest’s The Prestige.
    • A complete run of Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine.
    • Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 (however, the Gravity’s Rainbow is, alas, a book club edition).
    • A complete Alastair Reynolds collection, including Revelation Space.
    • Some early Anne Rice, including Interview With a Vampire and The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty, and a signed copy of Queen of the Damned.
    • Maurice Richardson’s The Exploits of Engelbrecht.


  • A complete Kim Stanley Robinson collection (save a few recent books), including the true UK first editions of Red Mars, Green Mars, and Blue Mars, as well as The Blind Geometer.
  • A mostly complete Rudy Rucker collection (I lack a couple of the recent ones), including 1 of 200 signed, numbered copies of Transreal!
  • An imperfect first of Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children and a U.S. first of The Satanic Verses.
  • A bunch of Geoff Ryman.
  • A complete John Scalzi collection (save, I think, the hardback state of the first Subterranean Press chapbook), including Old Man’s War, all of it signed or inscribed.
  • Elizabeth Ann Scarborough’s The Healer’s War.
  • Complete David J. Schow collection, including The Shaft.
  • A complete Michael Shea collection, including Polyphemus and the Hypatia edition of Nifft the Lean.
  • The Collected Stories of Robert Sheckley.
  • A complete Lucuis Shepard collection (save that poetry collection he did way back when), including The Jaguar Hunter, Nantucket Slayrides, Barnacle Bill the Spacer, and The Last Time.


    • A complete Lewis Shiner collection, some inscribed to me.
    • A complete John Shirley collection (save a few recent books and some of the paperback pseudonyms), including one of only 50 signed hardback copies of Black Glass, and one of 100 signed, slipcased copies of Really, Really, Really, Really Weird Stories.
    • A small collection of Robert Silverberg (especially compared to his overall output), including Dying Inside, A Time of Changes, and The Book of Skulls.
    • A complete Dan Simmons collection (save a few recent ones), many signed or inscribed, including Hyperion, Song of Kali, Carrion Comfort and Entropy’s Bed at Midnight.
    • Closing in on a complete John Sladek collection, including Roderick.
    • Some Clark Ashton Smith, including some later Arkham Houses, including Collected Poems.
    • A complete Cordwainer Smith collection, including Atomsk, Ria, and Carola. (I also have Psychological Warfare and The Political Doctrines of Sun Yat San upstairs in the non-fiction library.)


    • A complete William Browning Spencer collection, all signed or inscribed, including Resume With Monsters.
    • Some Brian Stableford, including Empire of Fear and all three of The Werewolves of London trilogy.
    • L. Sprague De Camp’s copy of Olaf Stapledon’s To the End of Time, with his ownership plate pasted in.
    • A nearly complete Neal Stephenson collection, most signed or inscribed, including Snow Crash and The Diamond Age.
    • A nearly complete Sean Stewart collection (lacking his most recent and a media tie-in novel), including Nobody’s Son, Resurrection Man and Mockingbird, most signed.
    • A complete Bruce Sterling collection, including The Artificial Kid, all signed or inscribed to me. (I also have one of only 200 hardback copies of Shaping Things up in the non-fiction library. When I had Bruce sign it, he said he had never seen the hardback edition before…)
    • A complete Charles Stross collection, many signed.
    • The Collected Stories of Theodore Sturgeon.
    • A complete Michael Swanwick fiction collection, including one of only 30 signed hardbacks of Puck Aleshire’s Abecedary, as well as Stations of the Tide.
    • Bernard Taylor’s Sweetheart, Sweetheart inscribed to his niece.
    • Wilson Tucker’s The Long, Loud Silence (formerly Bruce Pelz’s copy).
    • I’m working on a complete Jack Vance collection, but still have many gaps. One thing I do have is The Jack Vance Integral Edition, containing all his works (except, I think, the Ellery Queen mysteries) with the original text and titles restored, in a uniform edition of 44 volumes; because I was one of the first 200 subscribers, the last volume (which contains previously uncollected material) is signed by Vance. I also have the Underwood/Miller firsts of many Vance works, including Night Lamp and Ports of Call.
    • A. E. van Vogt’s World of Null A and The War Against the Rull.
    • A signed copy of Joan D. Vinge’s The Snow Queen.
    • A complete Vernor Vinge collection, including A Fire Upon the Deep and A Deepness in the Sky, all but The Witling and Rainbows End inscribed.
    • A complete Howard Waldrop collection, including both Cheap Street books (the traycased You Could Go Home Again and Flying Saucer Rock and Roll), as well as All About Strange Monsters of the Recent Past, all signed or inscribed to me (Howard rented out a spare room in my house for a little over six months in 2007).
    • Alice Walker’s The Color Purple.
    • A complete Don Webb collection, save one of the 15 hardback copies of When They Came.
    • Closing in on a complete Manly Wade Wellman collection, including Who Fears the Devil? and the the two Carcosa House collections, Worse Things Waiting and Lonely Vigils, and a copy of Third String Center inscribed to his brother, western writer Paul I. Wellman, noting that he “should recognize some of the players.” I lack the Avalon Giants from Eternity and a few of the juveniles. (I also have a collection of Wellman non-fiction upstairs.)

    Oversized Hardbacks
    Some Ray Bradbury, Richard Matheson, etc. I think this photo is large enough that you can easily read the titles…


    • A complete Martha Wells collection (Save the media-tie-in novels), all inscribed to me, including An Element of Fire.

    • A complete Edward Whittimore collection.
    • Kate Wilhelm’s Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang.
    • Some Jack Williamson, including Darker Than You Think.
    • A complete Connie Willis collection, most inscribed to me, including Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog.
    • A complete Robert Charles Wilson collection (including Spin), save his most recent.
    • A complete Gene Wolfe collection, including Shadow of the Torturer, The Castle of the Otter the two Cheap Street hardbacks, Empires of Flowers and Foliage and Biblioman, and the hardback states of The Young Wolfe and Letters From Home, many signed or inscribed to me.

    W-Z, and Trade Paperbacks (including chapbooks, proofs, etc.)

    • Closing in on a complete Roger Zelazny collection, including a very clean, signed ex-library copy of Lord of Light, This Immortal, an Ex-Library Nine Princes in Amber, etc., some signed or inscribed to me.

      Trade Paperbacks

    • One of 100 signed copies of J. G. Ballard’s News from the Sun
    • A proof of David Brin’s The Tides of Kithrup, the name of which was later changed to Startide Rising.
    • Greg Egan’s Our Lady of Chernobyl, Quarantine and An Unusual Angle.
    • An inscribed copy of George Alec Effinger’s Maureen Birnbaum, Barbarian Swordsperson.
    • Matthew Hughes’ The Farouche Assemblage
    • An ARC of the Random House edition of Sherry Jones’ The Jewel of Medina, the publication of which was canceled by that publisher.
    • Both blue and green variant covers of Neil Gaiman and Gene Wolfe’s A Walking Tour of the Shambles, inscribed to me by both.
    • Numerous R. A. Lafferty chapbooks, some signed
    • Proofs of Joe R. Lansdale’s The Drive-In and The Drive-In 2, plus the original publication of Dead in the West, various chapbooks, and a copy of Cross Plains Universe (which I have a story in) inscribed to me by most of the contributors.
    • Signed copies of Michael Moorcock’s The Great Rock-and-Roll Swindle (printed in tabloid newspaper format) and the festschrift Moorcock@60, signed by Mike as well as contributors Rick Klaw and Howard Waldrop.
    • James Morrow’s The Adventures of Smoke Baily, a novella only included as part of the packaging for a video game.
    • A proof of Chad Oliver’s last novel, The Cannibal Owl.
    • A proof of Susan Palwick’s Chambers of the Blood, the title of which was changed to Flying in Place for publication.
    • A copy of Lewis Shiner’s one-off fiction fanzine Modern Stories signed by contributors William Gibson, Joe R. Lansdale, Howard Waldrop, Steven Utley, and Walton Simons.
    • Dan Simmons’ Banished Dreams
    • Inscribed copies of Neal Stephenson’s The Big U and Zodiac, as well as signed proofs of Interface and The Cobweb.
    • Jack Vance’s The Space Pirates.
    • Some signed Howard Waldrop, including one of only 25 copies of The Soul-Taker, self-published as from “The Vorpal Press” in 1966.
    • Manly Wade Wellman’s The Invading Asteroid.
    • Several Gene Wolfe volumes, including three Cheap Street chapbooks, a proof of The Island of Dr. Death and Other Stories and Other Stories and several more recent proofs.
    • Roger Zelazny’s Poems and A Rhapsody in Amber.

    Mass Market Paperbacks

    • All six volumes of Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, first editions, first printings, first states, signed by Barker.

    • A copy of John Brunner’s pseudonymously published porn novel The Incestuous Lovers.
    • All Neal Barrett Jr.’s non-media tie-in paperbacks, signed or inscribed by Neal.
    • PBOs of Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Vor Game and Barrayar.
    • Several inscribed Pat Cadigan PBOs.
    • Several A. Bertram Chandler PBOs.
    • Several C. J. Cherryh PBOs.
    • Several Avram Davidson PBOs.
    • Several Philip K. Dick PBOs.
    • Several Harlan Ellison PBOs.
    • Several Ray Garton PBOs.
    • Several K. W. Jeter PBOs, including Seeklight, The Dreamfields and Morlock Night, all signed or inscribed.
    • Several R. A. Lafferty PBOs, including Ringing Changes.
    • Several Joe R. Lansdale PBOs, including pseudonymous porn novel Molly’s Sexual Follies, signed by both Lansdale and co-author Brad Foster, the three MIA Hunter books he wrote, and Texas Night Riders, all signed or inscribed.
    • A fair number of Tanith Lee PBOs.
    • Jonathan Littell’s Bad Voltage.
    • Some H. P. Lovecraft, including the Avon edition of The Lurking Fear.
    • All Daniel Keyes Moran’s PBOs.
    • A complete collection of Tim Powers’ PBOs, including An Epitaph in Rust and The Skies Discrowned, all signed or inscribed.
    • Spider Robinson’s Antimony.
    • Most of Rudy Rucker’s PBOs, including White Light and The Sex Sphere.
    • All Michael Shea’s PBOs, including Nifft the Lean.
    • A lot of signed John Shirley PBOs, including City Come A’Walkin and The Brigade, plus several books he wrote in the Traveler series of post-apocalyptic men’s adventure novels.
    • Complete set of John Skipp & Craig Spector PBOs.
    • Several Brian Stableford PBOs.
    • Bruce Sterling’s Involution Ocean, signed.
    • Several Thomas Burnet Swann PBOs.
    • Some Manly Wade Wellman PBOs, including the rare movie novelization A Double Life.
    • A complete collection of Nichola Yermakov books, up until he changed his name to Simon Hawke.
    • Several Roger Zelazny paperbacks, including some PBOs, several signed.
    • Several Zoran Zivkovic books printed by his press in Belgrade.
  • The Top Ten Books on my “Books Wanted” List

    Wednesday, November 25th, 2009

    I may have mentioned that I have a large library. I started out collecting “hypermodern” (which in my case meant “post-Neuromancer“) science fiction (with some fantasy and horror works and authors thrown in for good measure), and once I had collected everything I wanted there, I started going after every important post-World War II SF work. That collection is by no means complete, but I’ve made considerable progress toward it.

    With that in mind, I recently compiled a list of the top ten hardback first editions on my (considerably larger) want list that I was most interested in picking up. Here it is:

    1. James Blish’s A Case of Conscience (Faber & Faber)

    2. Robert E. Howard’s The Sword of Conan (Gnome Press)
    3. Robert E. Howard’s The Coming of Conan (Gnome Press)
    4. Alfred Bester’s Tiger! Tiger! (Sidgwick & Jackson)
    5. Philip K. Dick’s Dr. Bloodmoney (Gregg Press) >R. A. Lafferty’s With Horns on Their Head (Pendragon Press HB)

    6. R. A. Lafferty’s Funnyfingers & Cabrito (Pendragon Press HB)
    7. Jack Vance’s Book of Dreams (Underwood/Miller)
    8. Manly Wade Wellman’s Giants from Eternity (Avalon)
    9. Richard Matheson’s Born of Man and Woman (Chamberline Press)

    These are all books that I not only want, but think I have a reasonable shot at picking up at a price I can afford. There are lots of first editions priced like Unobtanium (Stanley G. Weinbaum’s Dawn of Flame, H. P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider and Others, the Unwin-Hyman true firsts of all three books in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, etc.) that i would pick up if I saw cheap, but don’t expect to come across.

    Anyway, if you have nice copies any of the above, and if you’re willing to sell it to me considerably cheaper than can be found on, drop me an email at and I’ll consider it.