Posts Tagged ‘Science Fiction’

Library Addition: First Edition of Samuel Butler’s Erewhon

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

I ignored a couple of my own collecting rules when picking this up, namely picking up a book from before my usual collecting period, and picking up a rebound copy. However, the book in question was important enough, and the price I paid cheap enough, that I don’t mind.

(Butler, Samuel). Erewhon or Over the Range. Trübner & Co., 1872. First edition hardback, a rebound copy in modern full leather (at least according to the auction description, but “modern” is a relative term; the new binding is worn enough that it appears to be at least 50 years old), original covers bound in rear of textblock, with heavy rubbing on joints and corners, hinges starting, minor scattered foxing on preliminary and terminal leaves, pages characteristically brittle, overall a Very Good rebind copy. Published anonymously, Erehwon (“nowhere” spelled backwards) is satire in the mode of Gullivers Travels, and one of the most important 19th century Utopian/Dystopian novels. Bleiler Checklist (1978), page 36. Bleiler Checklist (1948), page 68. Bleiler, SF: The Early Years, page 113. Reginald (Volume I), page 84. Barron, Anatomy of Wonder 4, 1-19. Magill, Survey of Science Fiction Literature Volume Two, page 729. Bought for $75 (including buyer’s premium) from Heritage Auctions.

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And here’s a picture of the original boards bound into the back:

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Note that E. F. Bleiler in SF: The Early Years says there was a second, corrected state printed the same year as the first edition. I have been unable to find points that distinguish between the first and second state, and the original boards bound into my edition seems to match those first editions copies I’ve been able to locate online.

I believe this is now the oldest book in my library, replacing a first edition of Camille Flammarion’s Urania (1890). Next oldest would be my first editions of Robert W. Chambers’ The King in Yellow and H. G. Wells’ Select Conversations with An Uncle (Now Extinct), both 1895.

Library Addition: Orbit 9 Inscribed to Robert and Virginia Heinlein

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

This is somewhere halfway between a mere curiosity and a really interesting association copy:

Knight, Damon, editor (Leon Stover, Gene Wolfe, R. A. Lafferty, etc.). Orbit 9. Putnam, 1971. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with a touch of edgewear at points in a Near Fine- dust jacket with slight edgewear and very slight darkening to white rear jacket. Inscribed by contributor Leon Stover: “For Robert & Virgina Heinlein/with thanks for/9 June 1984/Leon Stover.” Stover would not only later publish a critical book on Heinlein from Twayne, but was working on the official authorized biography of Heinlein before the latter’s death, a project cancelled after a falling out with Virginia Heinlein. Bought for $6.50 from Houston bookstore Kaboom Books.

Orbit 9

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Library Addition: Jay Franklin’s The Rat Race

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Picked up another FPCI volume:

  • Franklin, Jay (AKA John Franklin Carter). The Rat Race. Fantasy Publishing Co. Inc., 1950. First edition hardback, one of 1,200 hardback copies (per Chalker/Owings), a Fine- copy in the second state (gray boards, red titling, per Kemp) binding, with slight bend at head and heel in a Near Fine+ second state (per Kemp) dust jacket that’s slightly misaligned (about 1/4″ more on rear than front flap), slight wear at extremities, and some indentations along rear spine gutter. Chalker/Owings, The Science-Fantasy Publishers (1991), page 171. Kemp, The Anthem Series, page 79. Bought for $19 (including dealer discount), plus a $5 show credit coupon, at the Austin Book and Paper Show.

    Franklin Rat Race

    I’m not actively targeting FPCI titles, per se, though I do pick them up as targets of opportunity. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the first state dust jacket offered for sale. I wonder what the story is behind the different jackets, but FPCI did a lot of odd things…

  • RIP: David Hartwell, 1941-2016

    Thursday, January 21st, 2016

    I’ve been holding off on this until I received final word that David Hartwell had indeed died, but Kathryn Cramer has now confirmed his death. He was reported as being at death’s door following a serious brain injury (whether from an aneurysm first, then a fall down stairs, or vice versa) Tuesday, but only passed yesterday.

    David was a friend, albeit one I only saw at science fiction conventions. He came to one of the pre-Armadillocon pizza lunches I used to throw, and we dined together at more than one Worldcon (where he usually picked up the bill, because That’s What Editors With Expense Accounts Do). I’ll miss his irreplaceable deep insights into the field.

    There’s plenty of testament to what a fine editor David Hartwell is (Gene Wolfe said he was the best editor he ever worked with), and he won (and deserved) his Hugo for Best Editor. Chris Brown’s Tropic of Kansas was one of the last novels he bought for Tor before his untimely death.

    His indefatigable work as Editor and Publisher of The New York Review of Science Fiction is well known, and he was very appreciative of what we were trying to do at Nova Express back in the day. He also ran Dragon Press and was editor of the Gregg Press science fiction line.

    David was a great creator of science fiction institutions: He had a hand in creating not just NYRSF, but also the World Fantasy Convention, Sercon, the Philip K. Dick Award, etc. Anyone could have come up with this ideas, but it took David Hartwell to actually create them and make them stick.

    David was also one of the field’s greatest science fiction first edition collectors, and we often talked about collecting first editions over dinner. He said the pride of his collection was the first American edition of Frankenstein (in two volumes), and he also owned a first of Symzonia. He also owned a bookstore in Westport, NY.

    David was deeply involved in just about every facet of literary science fiction except writing fiction. He was, more than anyone else, Mr. Science Fiction, and his death is a terrible blow to the field.

    Alan Rickman, RIP

    Thursday, January 14th, 2016

    British actor Alan Rickman has died at age 69.

    I’ve never seen the Harry Potter films, and while I enjoyed him as Hans Gruber in Die Hard and the Metatron in Dogma, my favorite of his roles was Galaxy Quest, as a British stage actor trapped into pretending he was an alien by the beliefs of other aliens.

    Alas, he shall not be avenged by Grabthar’s Hammer…

    Library Addition: Kuttner Times Three

    Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

    Though much of Kuttner is coming back into print thanks to Haffner Press, the following item dates from a period when most (if not all) of it was out of print:

    Kuttner, Henry. Kuttner Times Three. Virgil Utter, 1988. First edition chapbook original, one of 200 copies, a Fine- copy with a light crease at head and a thin line of fading along spine, with Erratum slip inserted before the introduction. Contains the stories “The Old Army Game,” “Bamboo Death” and “The Wolf of Aragon.” Bought off the Internet for $10.

    Kuttner 3

    Library Additions: July 1 through December 31, 2015

    Thursday, January 7th, 2016

    Here’s a list of all the books I picked up between July 1 and December 31 of 2015.

    Many of the paperback originals here were bought for approximately 25¢ each from Houston bookstore Twice Told Tale’s going out of business sale in November, where prices were $15 a paper grocery sack full of books.

    For some reason, the last half year of book purchases has been heavy on Normans. Go figure…

  • Anderson, Poul. The Unicorn Trade. Tor, 1984. First edition paperback original (PBO), a Near Fine- copy with light crease along front spine join. Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • Armstrong, Anthony. Wine of Death. Stanley Paul & Co. (London), no date [1925]. First edition hardback, a Very Good copy with moderate bend at head and heel at head and slight spotting to page block edges and first few pages, and slight foxing to front and rear free endpapers, with 32 page catalog dated 1924-1825 at rear, lacking the dust jacket. Tietler & Locke, By the Book World Remembered, pages 37 and 119. Locke, Spectrum of Fantasy, page 22. Tietler, By the World Forgot, 55 (where it’s compared to Robert E. Howard’s Conan tales). Not in either edition of the Bleiler Checklist. Bought for $32.04 plus transatlantic shipping. Last year Lloyd Currey listed a better (but not perfect) copy, still lacking the dust jacket, for $1,250, and noted it was “Rare.”

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  • Asimov, Isaac. Gold. HarperPrism. One of 1226 copies (though, despite the statement of the limitation page, this one is not numbered), Fine copy in a Fine slipcase, sans dust jacket, as issued. Posthumous short story collection.
  • Asimov, Isaac. Three By Asimov. Targ Editions, 1981. First edition hardback, one of 250 signed copies, a Fine copy in a Near Fine- tissue paper dust jacket with a 7/8″ semi-closed tear on the top right front cover, with associated wrinkles (the white streaks at left and top are reflection glare from the dust jacket protector). All the pages seem to be made of hand-made paper with ragged edges. Bought for $107.79 off eBay.

    Asimov3

  • Bacigalupi, Paolo. The Drowned Cities. Little Brown, 2012. Signed by Bacigalupi.
  • Baker, Denys Val. The Face in the Mirror. Arkham House, 1971. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with just a trace of wear at bottom edge (probably do to an old fold-around dj protector that doesn’t encase the edges). Joshi, 60 Years of Arkham House, 112. Jaffery, Horrors and Unpleasantries, 118. Nielsen, Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide, 118. Chalker & Owings (1991), page 39. Not in Bleiler’s Guide to Supernatural Fiction (an odd omission). Bought for $12.50
  • Ballard, J. G. Super-Cannes. Flamingo, 2000. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with bumping at points, a 1/8″ closed tear at bottom rear fold point, and very slight haze rubbing to reflective silver dust jacket. Inscribed by Ballard: “To Jane,/J.G. Ballard”. Bought for £24 plus shipping.
  • Beagle, Peter S. The Innkeeper’s Song. Roc, 1993. Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • Benford, Gregory. The Best of Gregory Benford. Subterranean Press, 2015. #124 of 250 signed, numbered copies.
  • Benford, Gregory. The Best of Gregory Benford. Subterranean Press, 2015. Trade edition.
  • Bishop, Michael. Eyes of Fire. Pocket Books, 1980. First edition paperback original (PBO) this, a revision of A Funeral for the Eyes of Fire, a Fine copy. Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • Bradbury, Ray. The Cat’s Pajamas: Stories +5. Hill House Publishers, 2004. First limited edition and first edition thus (containing five stories not in the trade edition), #352 of 1,000 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine die-cut cloth slipcase with an extraction ribbon to pull out the book. Contains five stories not found in the William Morrow trade edition. Bought for $35 off eBay.

    Bradbury Cat's LTD

    Cat's Pajamas 2

  • Bradbury, Ray (illustrated by Gary Gianni). The Nefertiti-Tut Express. The RAS Press, 2012. First edition oversized oblong (9″ x 12″ long) chapbook edition, a Fine copy, new and unread. Oversized illustrated edition of a longish poem. Signed by Gianni. Bought for £12.
  • Bradbury, Ray, editor. Futuria Fantasia. Graham Publishing/Blood and Guts Press, 2007. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Bradbury, and containing a picture of him signing copies laid in. Reprints four issues of the fanzine of the title Bradbury produced just after graduating high school. Includes contributions from Robert A. Heinlein, Henry Kuttner, Hannes Bok, Damon Knight, Forrest J. Ackerman, etc. A fascinating glimpse into Bradbury’s early life, and the beginnings of several illustrious science fiction careers. Bought off eBay for $30. Replaces an unsigned copy.

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  • Breen, Walter. The Darkover Concordance: A Reader’s Guide. Pennyfarthing Press, 1979. A Fine copy, in decorated boards, as issued. Non-fiction reference guide to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Darkover books. Despite the fact that this used to go for several hundred dollars, I bought this for $1 (plus buyer’s premium and shipping) off Heritage Auctions. Funny how accusations of (Bradley) and convictions for (Breen) pedophilia will drive down the value of a book…
  • Brunner, John. Times Without Number. The Elmsfield Press, 1974. First hardback edition, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed and dated by Brunner in 1987, with his usual peace symbol. Currey (1979), page 24. Bought for £18.

    Brunner Times Without Number

  • Bujold, Lois McMaster. Memory. Baen, 1996. Bought for $5.99 at a Half Price Books in Houston.
  • Clarke, I. F. Voices Prophesying War. Oxford University Press, 1990. First edition hardback (of this new expanded and updated edition), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket with slight wear on rear points. Non-fiction. The standard reference on future war fiction. Bought for £10.8.
  • Davidson, Avram and Grania Davis. Marco Polo and the Sleeping Beauty. Baen, 1988. First edition paperback original (PBO), a Very Good copy with spine wrinkly and slight front cover creasing. Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • De Vet, Charles V. Special Feature. Avon, 1975. First edition paperback original (PBO), a Near Fine- copy with small bottom front corner crease. Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • Dick, Philip K. World of Chance. Rich and Cowan, 1956. First hardback edition and first thus under this title (the first hardback edition of Dick’s first published novel, published earlier in the U.S. as the paperback original Solar Lottery), an Ex-Library copy with tape ghosts to inside covers, slight signs of pocket removal from FFE, inner front hinge half-cracked, slight dust staining to page block edges, in a dust jacket that has about 1/8″ trimmed from top and bottom, and a larger amount (possibly 1/4″ to 1/2″) trimmed from inner flaps, not removing any text, but trimming the flap edges right to the edge of the text block, plus tape ghosts and a touch of edgewear; call it a Very Good-/Good+ Ex-Library copy, though it presents much better than that list of flaws would lead you to believe. Currey (1979), page 159. Levack, 38b. One of the rarest Dick hardcovers.

    World of Chance

  • (Dick, Philip K.) Williams, Paul. Only Apparently Real: The World of Philip K. Dick. Arbor House, 1986. First edition trade paperback original, a Near Fine+ copy with some non-breaking indentations on the cover, as the book were used underneath a piece of paper someone wrote or scribbled on, otherwise apparently unread. Signed by Williams (the signature matches those found online for the limited edition of Ubik: A Screenplay). The biography of Dick by his close friend and designated literary executor. Supplements a Fine unsigned copy. Bought for $3.98 at a Half Price Books in Houston.

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    (Dick, Philip K.) Wintz, Henry and David Hyde. Precious Artifacts: A Philip K. Dick Bibliography: United States of America and United Kingdom Editions 1955-2012. Wide Books, 2012. First edition hardback, #77 of 100 signed, hardback copies, a Fine- copy with slight delamination lift along top front spine join gutter, in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued, with errata slip and related postcards laid in. Bought off eBay for $26.

    Precious Artifacts

  • Di Filippo, Paul (illustrated by Jim Woodrung). Cosmocopia. Payseur & Schmidt, 2008. First edition hardback, one of 500 copies with a band signed by Di Filippo and Jim Woodrung around the box, in a decorated cardboard box with a cardstock illustration and a Jigsaw puzzle in the case as well as the book, sans dust jacket, as issued. Paul Di Filippo alerted me to the fact that Fantagraphics bookstore had copies on hand for Jim Woodrung’s signing there at $30 a pop and I managed to call and snag the last copy.

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  • Disch, Thomas and Charles Naylor. Neighboring Lives. Scribner’s, 1981, First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with slight bumoing at head in a Near Fine- dust jacket with one 1/8″ by 1/4″ triangular chip at top front cover ner head and wear at points. Signed by both Disch and Naylor. Bought for £18.

    Neighboring Lives

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  • Dozois, Gardner, editor. The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Thirty-Second Annual Collection. St. Martin’s, 2015.
  • Engh, M. J. Arslan. First edition paperback original (PBO), a Fine- copy with a touch of glue bunching and age darkening. I already owned a first edition of the later hardback edition.
  • Ellison, Harlan. Angry Candy. Easton Press, 1988. First edition hardback (at least Barry Levin, relying on information from Ellison, has stated; other sources list the trade edition as first), one of 3,500 copies signed by Ellison, a Fine leatherbound copy, sans dust jacket, as issued.
  • Ellison, Harlan. Can & Can’tankerous. Subterranean Press, 2015. Short story collection.
  • (Ellison, Harlan) Priest, Christopher. The Book on the Edge of Forever. Fantagraphics Books, 1994. First edition trade paperback format (perfect-bound with the look and feel of a short graphic novel, which is Fantagraphics primary line), a Fine- copy. Non-fiction. An inquiry into the non-appearance of Harlan Ellison’s massive, long-delayed anthology The Last Dangerous Visions, expanded from an earlier fanzine titled The Last Deadloss Visions. Hugo Award nominee for best Non-Fiction. Bought for £15. Not particularly a Priest fan (I had lunch with two of his ex-wives at the 2014 London Worldcon), but when you’re right…

    Book Edge Forever

  • Etchison, Dennis. The Dark Country. Scream Press, 1982. Supplements a signed copy with a poorer dust jacket.
  • Gardner, James Finn. Politically Correct Bedtime Stories. Macmillan, 1994. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Near Fine dust jacket with wrinkle to back cover. Formerly my father’s copy, which I bought for him as a gift many years ago.
  • Haldeman, Joe. Work Done for Hire. Ace, 2014. A Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with 1/4″ tear at top rear point. Bought for $1 at a Half Price Books in Houston.
  • Harrison, Harry. Stainless Steel Visions. Tor, 1993. Something of a best of Harrison short story collection (not just Stainless Steel Rat stories). Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • (Heinlein, Robert A.) Olander, Joseph and Martin Harry Greenberg, editors. Robert A. Heinlein (Writers of the 21st Century Series). Taplinger, 1978. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Non-fiction. Bought for £12.
  • Jablokov, Alexander. Brain Thief. Tor, 2009. Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • Jeter, K.W. Death Arms. Morrigan Publications, 1987. First edition hardback, #99 of 250 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Contains an Afterword, “The Young Man Comes to The City,” not found in the trade edition. Supplements a signed trade edition.
  • Jones, Stephen and Newman, Kim. Horror: 100 Best Books. Xanadu Publications, Ltd., 1988. First edition hardback, #214 of 300 numbered copies signed by both the editors and almost every living one of the 100 (!) contributors, including Neil Gaiman, Clive Barker, Harlan Ellison, Basil Copper, Karl Edward Wagner, Jack Williamson, etc. etc etc. (though not by Stephen King), a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Bought for £30 off Cold Tonnage, marked down from £50.

    Horror 100 LTD

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  • Joyce, Graham. The Limits of Enchantment. Gollancz, 2005. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Joyce. Bought for £9.
  • Kuttner, Henry. Murder of a Wife. Garland, 1983. First hardback edition (originally a PBO by Permabooks in 1958), a Fine- copy with slight bend at head and heel, sans dust jacket, as issued. Number 26 of Garland’s 50 Classics of Crime Fiction: 1950—1975 series. I’m not sure what the print run was, but if they were anything like Garland’s 50 Classics of Science Fiction runs, it was probably quite small. Hubin, Crime Fiction, 1749—1980: A Comprehensive Bibliography, page 236 (for the PBO). Bought for $30 online.

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  • Lansdale, Joe R. Fender Lizards. Subterranean Press, 2015. #235 of 400 signed, numbered copies.
  • Lansdale, Joe R. and Stephen Mertz. M.I.A. Hunter. Subterranean Press, 2015. First hardback edition and first edition thus, an omnibus of three paperback original M.I.A. Hunter men’s adventure novels (Hanoi Deathgrip, Mountain Massacre, and Saigon Slaughter) Lansdale wrote under the pseudonym of Jack Buchanan, #376 of 500 signed, numbered copies.
  • Le Guin, Ursula K. From Elfland to Poughkeepsie. Pendragon Press, 1973. First edition paperback chapbook original, #49 of 100 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy. Non-fiction. Currey (1979), page 306. Bought for £18.
  • Lovecraft, H. P. (edited by S. T. Joshi). H. P. Lovecraft’s Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition, a three volume set consisting of Volume 1: 1905—1925, Volume 2: 1926—1930, and Volume 3: 1931—1936. Hippocampus Press, 2015. First edition hardbacks, one of only 750 sets, all Fine copies in Fine dust jackets. “For the first time, students and scholars of Lovecraft can see at a glance all the textual variants in all relevant appearances of a story—manuscript, first publication in magazines, and first book publications. The result is an illuminating record of the textual history of the tales, along with how Lovecraft significantly revised his stories after initial publication. Along the way, Joshi has made small but significant revisions to his earlier corrected texts. He has determined, for example, that Lovecraft slightly revised some stories when a reprint of them was scheduled in Weird Tales, and he has altered some readings in light of a better understanding of Lovecraft’s customary linguistic usages.”

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  • Lupoff, Richard. Space War Blues. Dell, 1978. First edition paperback original (PBO), a Near Fine- copy with slight creasing. Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • Martin, George R. R. The John W. Campbell Awards Volume 6. Bluejay Books, 1986. Uncorrected proof, trade paperback format, of the never-published hardback first edition, a Very Good- copy, being well-read with creasing along front and back spine joins, bottom of front spine join starting to split, a few spots of staining (including one to the edge of side/bottom page block), and general wear, with note on front cover stating “To/Shelia/Williams/Isaac/Asimov” and a note on the table of contents saying the Orson Scott Card story listed was going to be replaced with another Card story. Never produced because Bluejay Books went out of business in 1986. Copy on the back covers states the book was to be produced in both hardback and trade paperback formats. Includes two never-published Bruce Sterling stories. Bought for $100 from an editor who was downsizing his library as part of moving. Now signed by Sterling.

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    JWCA#6 Back Cover

  • McDonald, Ian. The Broken Land. Bantam Spectra, 1992. First U.S. edition hardback and first edition thus, re-titled from UK hardback first Hearts, Hand and Voices (which I also have). Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • O’Leary, Patrick. The Black Heart. PS Publishing, 2009. Unnumbered copy of 100 copy limited edition signed by O’Leary and introduction author James Morrow, in standard blue PS Publishing traycase. Bought for $4.99 at a Half Price Books in Houston.
  • Oliver, Chad. Shadows in the Sun. Ballantine Books, 1954. First edition hardback (Currey state A, tan cloth lettered in black, no priority), a Near Fine+ copy with slight bumping at head and heel and usual age-darkening to pages), in a Near Fine- dust jacket with a 1 1/2″ closed tear to rear dust jacket flap, slight spotting to top of white rear cover, and a few small rubs. Hall, Hal W., The Work of Chad Oliver: An Annotated Bibliography & Guide, A2. Currey (1979), page 397. Locke, Spectrum of Fantasy, page 169 (an ex-library copy; his description of the dust jacket matches (down to the H-91 code on the front flap), but his description of the book itself as “gray cloth in dark blue lettering” doesn’t match either this copy or the Currey B state (blue cloth lettered in black); Locke’s copy was possibly a library rebind or another binding variant). Barron, Anatomy of Wonder 4, 3-138. Bought for $3 from the Half Price Books in Cedar Park. A conservative estimate of value is probably $2,000

    Shadows in the Sun BBHB

    Shadows Sun Back

    Shadows Sun whole dj

    Shadows Sun dj flaps

    Shadows Sun Book

  • Pangborn, Edgar. The Company of Glory. Pyramid, 1975. First edition paperback original (as per Currey, page 398), a Fine- copy. Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • Partridge, Norman. Dark Harvest. Cemetery Dance, 2006. One of 2,000 signed, numbered copies.
  • Partridge, Norman. Johnny Halloween. Cemetery Dance, 2010. One of 1,500 signed, numbered copies.
  • Partridge, Norman. Mr. Fox and Other Feral Tales. Subterranean Press, 2005. Inscribed by Partridge: “For [Joe?]/Hope you enjoy these old/short stories & tales from/the writing trenches!/All the best to/a guy with /[major pain?] of his own!/Norman Partridge.” Additionally signed as a PC copy of 750 signed, numbered copies. Can scan the inscription is someone is really interested…
  • Randall, Marta. A City in the North. Warner Books, 1976. First edition paperback original (PBO), a Very Good copy with black marks at head and heel.
  • Reynolds, Alastair. Poseidon’s Wake. Gollancz, 2015.
  • Reynolds, Alastair. Slow Bullets. Tacyhon, 2015. Trade paperback original. Bought for $7.49.
  • Reynolds, Alastair. Slow Bullets. WSFA, 2015. First hardback edition (and first signed edition), #37 of 1,000 signed, numbered copies. Copies available through Lame Excuse Books.
  • Rusch, Kristine Kathryn, editor. Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine: Issue Eight: Summer 1990. Hardback first edition, #50 of 250 numbered copies signed by all the contributors, a Fine copy, sans dust jacket, as issued, in a Fine slipcase. Signed by Greg Egan at the title page for his story “The Moral Virologist.” Also signed by George Alec Effinger, Jack McDevitt, Jonathan Lethem, etc. Chalker/Owings (1991), page 364. Supplements an unsigned copy (I have the entire 12 issue run in the regular edition.) Bought off eBay for $39.95.

    Pulphouse 8

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  • (Shaver, Richard) W. Michael Moore. This Tragic Earth: The Art and World of Richard Sharpe Shaver. Grave Distractions Publications, 2006. Trade paperback original. Shaver Mystery non-fiction.
  • Sheckley, Robert. Shards of Space. Bantam, 1962. First edition paperback original (PBO), a Very Good+ copy with slight spine creasing and wear. Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • Silverberg, Robert. The Collected Stories of Robert Silverberg Volume Nine: The Millennium Express. Subterranean Press, 2014. Sans dust jacket, as issued.
  • Smith, Michael Marshall. More Tomorrow & Other Stories. Earthling, 2003. #174 of 1,000 signed, numbered copies.
  • Shaw, Bob. The Palace of Eternity. Gollancz, 1970. First hardback edition, a Near Fine copy with one small spot to page block edge and bumping to bottom points, in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with with small dust blemish to spine near Gollancz “SF” logo, a few tiny dust spots elsewhere, and a slight bumping at bottom tips. Inscribed by the author: “To Brian,/with best wishes/Bob Shaw.” Currey (1979), page 431. Pringle SF 100, 61. Barron, Anatomy of Wonder 4, 4-391. Bought for £120, marked down from £200.

    Palace of Eternity

  • Spinrad, Norman. Russian Spring. Bantam, 1991. Bookplate signed by Spinrad affixed to half title page, with a copy of a letter from Spinrad to bookdealers laid in. Reportedly a good novel depicting the fall of the Soviet Union which had the misfortune to come out as it was already dissolving.
  • Spinrad, Norman, editor. Modern Science Fiction. Gregg Press, 1976. First hardback edition, a Near Fine copy with two small, dust spots on bottom of side page block and rubbing to bottom rear edge of boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Anthology. Not a particularly important book, but it does seem to be one of the more uncommon Gregg press titles these days. Bought off eBay for $35.
  • Straub, Peter. Ghost Story. Cowan, McCann, and Geoghegan, 1979. First hardback edition, a Near Fine copy with slight discoloration at the very top edge of the boards and slight bumping at points, in a Near Fine dust jacket with wear at points.
  • Straub, Peter. Perdido: A Fragment. Subterranean Press, 2014. #207 of 400 signed, numbered copies.
  • Swanwick, Michael, and Christophe Morley. Meditations on Meditations on Oysters (Swanwick) b/w Meditations on Oysters (Morley). Dragonstairs Press, 2015. First edition sewn chapbook with decorative cultured pearl, #24 of 50 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy. Swanwick’s observations on a 1917 free-form rumination on oysters.

    Swanwick Oysters

  • Tenn, William. Time in Advance. Bantam, 1958. First edition paperback original (PBO), a Very Good copy with spine creasing. Twice Told Tales purchase
  • Tidhar, Lavie. A Man Lies Dreaming. Hodder & Stoughton, 2014. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Novel featuring Adolf Hitler as a hardboiled PI by this Israeli-born/UK-resident writer.
  • Vance, Jack. The Dragon Masters. Dennis Dobson, 1965. First hardback edition, a Fine- copy with usual page darkening, in a Fine, bright, unclipped dust jacket. Signed by Vance. Bought for $120 from L. W. Currey.

    Dragon Masters

  • Vance, Jack. Grand Crusades. Subterranean Press, 2015.
  • Vance, Jack. Lurulu. Tor, 2004. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with a small remainder mark at heel in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Jack Vance. Bought off eBay for $25. Vance’s last novel.
  • VanderMeer, Jeff. Secret Lives. Prime Books, 2008. #299 of 1000 signed copies.
  • VanderMeer, Jeff and Ann. The Kosher Guide to Imaginary Animals. Tachyon, 2010.
  • Wagner, Karl Edward. Why Not You and I? Dark Harvest, 1987. First edition hardback, #252 of 300 copies signed by Wagner, a Fine copy in a Near Fine dust jacket with waviness to dust jacket rear, in a Near Fine paper slipcase. I also have a copy of the trade edition inscribed to me by Wagner at the 1988 Worldcon in New Orleans. Bought for $32.50.
  • Wellman, Manly Wade. Battle in the Dawn: The Complete Hok the Mighty. Planet Stories, 2011. Trade paperback original, Fine. Twice Told Tales purchase.
  • Wellman, Manly Wade. The South Fork Rangers. Ives Washburn, 1963. Ex-Library copy, with usual flaws, otherwise nice and square, with complete dust jacket. Juvenile historical novel.
  • Wells, Martha. Emilie & The Hollow World. Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry, 2013. Trade paperback original. I’m a sucker for Hollow Earth novels…
  • Wells, Martha. Emilie & The Sky World. Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry, 2014. Trade paperback original. Sequel.
  • Williamson, Jack. Manseed. Del Rey, 1982. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Williamson. Bought for £9.
  • Zelazny, Roger. Trumps of Doom. G. K. Hall & Co., 2000. Large print edition, a Fine copy in a near Fine- with faint scratches to rear cover and slight crimping at head and heel. I’m not fanatical about collecting every edition of every Zelazny book, but it was only $3…
  • Zelazny, Roger, editor. The Williamson Effect. First hardback edition, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with just a trace of haze rubbing. Bought off Amazon for $8.75 plus shipping.
  • RIP: Murray Wayne Person, Jr. (1943—2016)

    Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

    My father, Murray Wayne Person, Jr. (May 1943—January 3, 2016) passed away in his sleep this morning in Houston after a two-and-a-half year battle with cancer. He had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer in July of 2013, and after surgery to remove it doctors discovered it had spread to his lymph nodes. In early December 2015 scans showed it had stopped responding to the chemotherapy that had previously kept it in check and he was put on hospice care in his own home, as per his wishes.

    He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Delois Person (who cared for him in his final illness and was at his side when he passed), his sister Sharon Evans, his son Lawrence Person, his daughter Camille Person Prevo, and his granddaughter Lyric Prevo. He was a member of Unity Church of Houston, where he managed ushering until stepping down due to his illness.

    My father was a smart, stubborn, and occasionally difficult man. He obtained an accounting degree from night school at the University of Houston, and spent his life supporting his family working as a CPA and comptroller for a variety of companies. He had interests in science fiction (and read The Hobbit and part of The Lord of the Rings to me at bedtime when I was a child), astronomy and coin collecting. I generally got along well with him, the only difficulties arising because we were entirely too much alike.

    My father had competed in football and track in high school, but his terminal illness gradually robbed him of his strength, as the aftermath of the surgery (including a return stay for an infection) and the regular visits to MD Anderson wore him down. During his own father’s terminal illness, he said “There comes a point when a dying man needs to die like a tired man needs to sleep,” and he had finally reached that stage and was ready to go. Assistance from Houston Hospice (including an in-home hospital bed and liquid morphine) greatly eased the difficulties of his final days.

    I came home for Christmas and said goodbye to him on December 29, while he was still (intermittently) lucid.

    As he donated his body to science there will be no funeral, but will likely be a memorial service in Houston later this month.

    Library Addition: Limited Hardback of Precious Artifacts PKD Bibliography

    Thursday, December 24th, 2015

    Here’s a Philip K. Dick bibliography I tried to order copies of for Lame Excuse Books when it came out back in 2012, but the publisher didn’t want to deal wholesale.

    (Dick, Philip K.) Wintz, Henry and David Hyde. Precious Artifacts: A Philip K. Dick Bibliography: United States of America and United Kingdom Editions 1955-2012. Wide Books, 2012. First edition hardback, #77 of 100 signed, hardback copies, a Fine- copy with slight delamination lift along top front spine join gutter, in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued, with errata slip and related postcards laid in. Bought off eBay for $26.

    Precious Artifacts

    This is not a review, since I haven’t read all of the book, but flipping through it, there’s been something to irritate me on almost every page:

  • The books are split into four categories (science fiction novels, mainstream novels, short story collections, and non-fiction) rather than (as with Levack’s PKD) including all the book-length fiction is one listing.
  • Within those sections they’re arranged alphabetically, but not the alphabetical order every single other bibliography in the world uses. Looking for A Maze of Death under M? Sorry, not there. It’s under A. Likewise every book that starts with The is found under T.
  • Within the listings for individual books, the various editions are not listed in a single list of chronological order, but broken up into U.S. and UK editions, making it harder to tell at a glance the true first edition, the first hardback edition, etc.
  • There’s an overall chronology of when books were written and published at the back, but it only covers books published during Dick’s lifetime.
  • The collector’s notes for individual titles are incomplete and infuriatingly random; the “Quick Guide to Collectable Editions of Philip K. Dick” by Frank Hollander is considerably better, but still a bit vague in places.
  • Etc.
  • That said, there’s still a lot of good information found nowhere else on various PKD editions, including thumbnail color pictures of editions (including one showing the different SFBC spine colors for The Man in the High Castle, covering the books published after Levack, etc. But organization is so poor that it makes it far more difficult to find anything than it should be…

    “A Great Artistic Endeavor”

    Friday, December 18th, 2015

    What’s a great artistic endeavor? Why that would be The Star Wars Holiday Special! Or at least the artistic challenge of same, in the eyes of one of the writers, namely the difficulty on writing for wookies to seal-honk inscrutably to each other for 20 minutes.

    Also: Suspicions confirmed!

    All right, so at this point, I’m going to quote The Onion’s A.V. Club, who wrote about the show — this is a quote — “I’m not convinced the special wasn’t ultimately written and directed by a sentient bag of cocaine.”

    Is that what was going on with that scene?

    Bruce Vilanch: Well, there was a lot of that. Absolutely, yeah. I mean, it was 1977! I think after 40 years, probably the statute of limitations has run out, as well as the cocaine.

    Also this:

    “I know it’s one of the worst television shows of all time. And I’ve written… Listen, I wrote “Wayne Newton at Sea World.” So I know whereof I speak.”

    (More on The Star Wars Holiday Special.)