Library Addition: Signed/Limited Edition of Lansdale’s Dark at Heart

April 17th, 2019

Another addition to the Lansdale collection:

Lansdale, Joe R. and Karen, editors. Dark at Heart. Dark Harvest, 1992. First edition hardback, #120 of 400 copies signed by all the contributors, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with just a couple of touches of edgewear at top front (and a $45 price sticker on inside front flap, as per Chalker/Owings), in a Fine slipcase. Anthology of “dark suspense.” Includes some signatures I didn’t have in my collection heretofore, like Ardath Mayhar’s. Chalker/Owings (2002), page 1049. Nova Express Lansdale Bibliography, 1A.2. Hankow, A Checklist of Joe R. Lansdale, AA4a. Bought for $17.26 plus shipping off eBay, less than half the publication price of $45.

Chalker/Owings noted that the move into mystery is what killed off Dark Harvest, though I suspect they did OK on this (Lansdale’s a strong seller).

Gene Wolfe, RIP

April 16th, 2019

Science fiction writer Gene Wolfe died on Sunday. If you know who Gene Wolfe was no explanation is necessary, and if you don’t no explanation is possible.

He was the best of us all: the cleverest, trickiest science fiction writer alive, capable of carrying off narrative gambits the rest of us could barely conceive of. And this was not just my opinion: it’s all but universally held in the field, from Neil Gaiman to Howard Waldrop.

In The Book of the Short Sun, protagonist Horn sets off to retrieve Patera Silk, the protagonist of The Book of the Long Sun. He comes back thinking he’s failed. The great tragedy of the work is that he hasn’t. In Return to the Whorl, there comes a line of just two words: “Silk nodded.”

And it’s absolutely heartbreaking.

Gene Wolfe was a Korean War veteran, a fact that greatly shaped The Book of the New Sun, whose last volume features protagonist Severian gradually being drawn into a distant war. He was also a working engineer, and helped develop the cooking portion of the machine that makes Pringles potato chips. He was also an editor on Plant Engineering magazine, where he handled (among other things) robotics and cartoons.

Gene was a friend, albeit one I saw only every half a decade or so. I interviewed him for Nova Express at the 1998 Worldcon, bringing a box of his books with me to sign. (Since then, of course, I’ve picked up many more.) We had lunch together at the 2012 Chicago Worldcon, by which time his beloved wife Rosemary was dying of Alzheimer’s.

Here’s a scanned picture of Gene and Rosemary on their wedding day from A Wolfe Family Album:

Wolfe Wedding

And here’s a picture of Gene and Rosemary (with Elizabeth Hand in-between) at the 2009 Readercon:

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And here are some pictures of Gene’s books from my library:

Wolfe Family Album

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He will be deeply missed.

Library Addition: Signed/Limited Edition of C. L. Moore’s The Scarlet Dream

March 30th, 2019

Slowly but surely I’m filling in the gaps of my complete Henry Kuttner/C. L. Moore collection:

Moore, C.L. The Scarlet Dream. Donald M. Grant, 1981. First edition hardback, one of 220 copies signed by Moore and illustrator Alicia Austin, a Fine- copy with a few pinhead spots of light staining at head, in a Fine- dust jacket with just a trace of wear at head and points, and very slight edge wrinkling at rear flap top, in a Near Fine slipcase with two tackhead sized abrasions to bottom. All the Northwest Smith science fiction adventure stories, including one (“Song in a Minor Key”) not in Northwest of Earth or Shambleau. Chalker/Owings, page 221. Bought for $60 from an internet dealer.

This is the fourth signed Moore first I’ve picked up, along with The Best of C. L. Moore, Black God’s Shadow, and Mutant. I’m still looking for a nice Northwest of Earth that’s both affordable and not horribly spine-faded…

Shoegazer Sunday: Broken Little Sister’s “Blue”

March 24th, 2019

Enjoy Broken Little Sister, another obscure Japanese Shoegazer band, which supposedly includes members of Civic. “Blue,” off their Memories, Violet & Demons album, sounds a little bit like Presents for Sally’s “When We All Move Away.”

Library Addition: Signed Philip K. Dick Reference Work

March 22nd, 2019

Here’s another Philip K. Dick reference work to add to all the rest:

(Dick, Philip K.) Mckee, Gabriel. Pink Beams of Light from the God in the Gutter: The Science-Fictional religion of Philip K. Dick. University Press of America, 2004. First edition trade paperback original, #68 of 100 copies signed and dated by the author on the date of publication (1-6-04). Bought from an online book dealer for $35.

Library Addition: Michael Moorcock’s Caribbean Crisis

March 21st, 2019

I picked up a better copy of this to replace one I picked up a few years back:

Moorcock, Michael, with James Cawthorn, as Desmond Reid. Caribbean Crisis. Sexton Blake Library 501/Fleetway Publications, 1962. First edition (“First Printing” stated) trade paperback original (digest format), a Very Good+ copy with small stains to front and rear cover from rusting staple bleed-through (a common flaw for this title), with very slight wrinkling along spine, slight wear at points, a touch of soiling to white cover and the usual age-darkening to the pages. 62 double-column pages, plus a two page “mailbag” at rear. Not sure if this counts as a book serial or a magazine, but it features an English detective who first made his debut in 1893. Currey, page 368. Tanelorn Archives, page 12. An online Sexton Blake bibliography says that W. Howard Baker also did some revisions on this. Bought online for $8.25.

Library Additions: Two Signed/Limited Pulphouse Issues

March 20th, 2019

I have a complete run of the trade edition of Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine I picked up as they were coming out. Recently I saw a couple of issues of the signed edition of same cheap, so I picked them up at prices that were actually less than what the trade edition retailed for.

  • Rusch, Kristine Kathryn, editor. Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine Issue Three: Fantasy. Pulphouse, 1989. First edition hardback, #170 of 250 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine slipcase, sans dust jacket, as issued. Signed by contributors Avram Davidson, Harlan Ellison, Jack Williamson, Charles De Lint, Michael Bishop, Don Webb, etc. Bought off eBay for $22.99.
  • Rusch, Kristine Kathryn, editor. Pulphouse: The Hardback Magazine Issue Five: Horror. Pulphouse, 1989. First edition hardback, #36 of 250 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine slipcase, sans dust jacket, as issued. Signed by contributors George Alec Effinger, Ed Bryant, Elizabeth Hand, etc. Bought off eBay for $19.99.
  • Pulphouse wildly overproduced and over-saturated the market in the early 1990s, but I always thought the hardback magazine itself featured solid stories.

    Shoegazer Sunday: Stepdad’s “Must Land Running”

    March 17th, 2019

    This is more noisepop than Shoegaze, but it’s similar to some songs I’ve put up, so here it is:

    Library Addition: Signed Willis/Felice Light Raid First

    March 14th, 2019

    Another ex-Meschke/Duarte book:

    Willis, Connie, and Cynthia Felice. Light Raid. Ace, 1989. First edition hardback, a Very Good+ copy with rubbing along gilt of spine and bumping at head and heel, in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by both the authors: “To Meschke,/The elegeantly/written half is by me./Connie/Willis” “To Meschke/The fun stuff is all/by me! Cynthia Felice.” Karen Meschke was con chair of the 1997 San Antonio Worldcon, where Willis won the Hugo for Best Short Story. Bought from Half Price Books for $13.50.

    Library Additions: Signed Editions of Two H. G. Wells Classics

    March 7th, 2019

    Not signed by H.G. Wells, alas, (I have one of those) but by the illustrator.

    Wells, H. G. The Time Machine with The War of The Worlds. Limited Editions Club, 1964. First edition thus, #1327 of 1500 numbered sets signed by illustrator Joseph Mugnaini in each book, each Fine copies, sans dust jackets (as issued), in a Very Good+ slipcase with abrasions along the top and other touches of wear. Mugnaini is probably most famous to SF readers for his illustrations of Ray Bradbury books, especially the first edition of The Halloween Tree. This is a handsome set that usually lists for 2-3 times what I paid, and it’s possible I’ll never own nice copies of the true first editions of either. Bought off eBay for $50 for the set.