Archive for the ‘Science Fiction’ Category

Library Additions: Two Michael Swanwick Chapbooks

Friday, December 29th, 2017

Put in my yearly order to Dragonstairs Press:

  • Swanwick, Michael. Midwinter Fables. Dragonstairs Press, 2016. First edition chapbook original, #22 of 110 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy, new and unread. Four short recastings of classic fables (“The Boy Who Cried Wolf,” “The Fox and the Crow,” “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” “The North Wind and the Sun”) and a frame story (“Midwinter Fables”).

    Midwinter Fables

  • Swanwick, Michael. Touchstones. Dragonstairs Press, 2017. First edition chapbook original, #9 of 50 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy, new and unread. Three one page stories: “Lovers and Lunatics,” “Bradbury Jar 2.0” and “A Jarful of Keys,” as well as an Afterword. Related to Swanwick’s trip to China in 2017.

    Swanwick Touchstones

  • I’ll have copies of both of these available through the next Lame Excuse Books catalog.

    Library Additions: Two Signed Harlan Ellison Firsts

    Thursday, December 28th, 2017

    Two more books bought relatively cheap off ebay:

  • Ellison, Harlan. Brain Movies: The Original Teleplays of Harlan Ellison Volume One. Edgeworks Abbey, 2011. First edition trade paperback original (no hardback state), the “Babylonian Limited Edition,” a Fine copy signed by both Ellison and introduction author J. Michael Straczynski. In addition to many of Ellison’s most celebrated teleplays (“Soldier,” “Demon With a Glass Hand,” etc.), it also includes “Memos From Purgatory” featuring numerous holographic corrections in Ellison’s hand. Not in ISFDB. Edgeworks Abbey is Ellison’s own press and he’s issued a whole lot of trade paperback books through it of previously unpublished or uncollected material. (The Brain Movies series alone is now up to six volumes.) Bought for $29.99 (the opening bid) off eBay.

    Brain Movies

  • Ellison, Harlan. Dreams With Sharp Teeth. Quality Paperback book Club, 1991. First edition paperback original, a Very Good+ copy with spine slightly concave, light crease across entire front cover, wear at points, and wrinkling to first few pages. Signed by Ellison. Omnibus edition of the collections I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream, Deathbird Stories and Shatterday, minus duplicated stories between the volumes plus an original introduction by Ellison and slightly revised texts and story introductions. Bought off eBay for $12.50. Below the condition I usually collect, but there were no other signed copies online at all…
  • Library Addition: Signed/Limited Edition of Jack Vance’s Ecce and Old Earth

    Wednesday, December 27th, 2017

    I’d picked up the other two signed/limited Cadwell books cheap, but I needed this middle book to complete the trilogy.

    Vance, Jack. Cadwell II: Ecce and Old Earth. Underwood/Miller, 1991. First edition hardback, #107 of 500 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket in a Fine- slipcase with one 1/8″ square spot of soiling to spine rear. Hewett, A84. Bought from a fellow Jack Vance collector who was downsizing for $75.

    Library Additions: Two Dan Simmons Lord John Press Books

    Friday, December 22nd, 2017

    Lord John Press was an odd press, ranging from small-run SF first editions by Ray Bradbury, Ursula K. Le Guin and Stephen King to books by John Updike and Gerald R. Ford.

    The two Dan Simmons books listed here (of four they did total) were the right author with the wrong titles at the wrong time at the wrong price points and the wrong print runs. Simmons was a hot writer at the time, but these books came after his “miracle year” duo of Carrion Comfort and Hyperion, were not nearly as well-regarded, were post-first limiteds (they didn’t beat the Putnam edition out) at high price points (starting at $125 and going up to $800) in too large a print run for too many states (500 quarter-leather, 250 half-leather, and 26-lettered copies in full leather). And they both came out the same year. They’re nice, but not so awesome as to inspire bibliolust in casual collectors. When I saw those price points and print runs, I went “Gonna pass,” and a lot of other collectors evidently said the same, as these limiteds have littered bookdealer inventories ever since.

    I do like and collect Simmons, and I always thought I would pick them up when they got cheap enough. That finally happened.

  • Simmons, Dan. The Children of the Night. Lord John Press, 1992. First limited edition hardback, #221 of 500 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine slipcase, sans dust jacket, as issued. Bought for $35 from a fellow collector who was downsizing.
  • Simmons, Dan. The Hollow Man. Lord John Press, 1992. First limited edition hardback, #324 of 500 signed, numbered copies, a Fine copy in a Fine slipcase, sans dust jacket, as issued, with errata slip laid in. Bought for $35 from a fellow collector who was downsizing.
  • Lord John Simmons

    I also have Entropy’s Bed at Midnight and Summer Sketches, his other two Lord John Press books.

    Library Addition: Signed First of Brain Aldiss’ Billion Year Spree

    Monday, December 18th, 2017

    This is one of those books I thought I already had, but didn’t.

    Aldiss, Brain W. Billion Year Spree. Wiedenfield & Nicolson, 1978. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket with a touch of edgewear at bottom front. Non-fiction history of science fiction. Signed by Aldiss. Bought from Cold Tonnage Books for £12 plus shipping.

    Library Additons: Two Signed Lettered Hardbacks of Postscripts

    Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

    In addition to having stories there, I used to have a subsciption to the signed hardback version of Postscripts magazine Back In The Day. Now I pick up individual issues to round out my collection when I find them cheap. Like these two, which I bought for $25 each from Camelot Books:

  • Crowther, Pete and Nick Gevers. Postscripts 18: This Is The Summer of Love. PS Publishing, 2009. First edition hardback, Letter D of 26 signed, lettered copies, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued.
  • Crowther, Pete and Nick Gevers. Postscripts 19: Enemy of the Good. PS Publishing, 2009. First edition hardback, Letter D of 26 signed, lettered copies, a Fine copy in decorated boards, sans dust jacket, as issued.
  • Unlike my contributor copy of Postscripts 24/25: The New And Perfect Man, these lettered copies did not come in a traycase, and indeed are not readily distinguishable from the regular signed/numbered editions

    I now have signed, numbered copies of all of Postscripts 1-19, 24/25, and 30/31. Which means I’m missing 20/21, 22/23, 26/27, 28/29, 32/33, 34/35, and 36/37.

    Sad News: Bill Crider Enters Hospice Care

    Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

    Well this plain sucks. Bill Crider’s cancer has stopped responding to treatment:

    Things could change, but I suspect this will be my final post on the blog. I met with some doctors at M. D. Anderson today, and they suggested that I enter hospice care. A few weeks, a few months is about all I have left. The blog has been a tremendous source of pleasure to me over the years, and I’ve made a lot of friends here. My only regret is that I have several unreviewed books, including Lawrence Block’ fine new anthology, Alive in Shape and Color, and Max Allan Collins’ latest collaboration with Mickey Spillane, The Last Stand, which is a collection of two novellas, “A Bullet for Satisfaction,” an early Spillane manuscript with an interesting history, and “The Last Stand,” the last thing that Spillane completed. It saddens me to think of all the great books by many writers that I’ll never read. But I’ve had a great life, and my readers have been a big part of it. Much love to you all.

    Bill is a prince among men, a fixture at Texas science fiction conventions, and beloved by all. He will be deeply missed…

    IMG_1576

    Library Additions: Several Hippocampus Press Books

    Monday, December 4th, 2017

    These actually came in several months ago, I’ve just been too busy to catalog them. Most of these are still available through Lame Excuse Books.

  • Lovecraft, H.P. (edited by David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi). Letters to C.L. Moore and Others. Hippocampus Press, 2017. First edition trade paperback original, a Fine copy, new and unread. Non-fiction.
  • Lovecraft, H.P. (edited by S. T. Joshi). H. P. Lovecraft’s Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition: Volume 4: Revisions and Collaborations. Hippocampus Press, 2017. First edition trade paperback original, a Fine copy, new and unread. Companion to the three volume hardback Variorum edition volumes (but no hardback edition for this one, alas).
  • Lovecraft, H.P. and Clark Ashton Smith (edited by David E. Schultz and S. T. Joshi). Dawnward Spire, Lonely Hill: The Letters of H. P. Lovecraft and Clark Ashton Smith. Hippocampus Press, 2017. First edition hardback, one of 500 copies, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Huge 800 page non-fiction volume of Lovecraft/Clark letters.
  • (Shea, Michael). Shea, Linda, and S. T. Joshi. And Death Shall have No Dominion: A Tribute to Michael Shea. Hippocampus Press, 2017. First edition trade paperback original, a Fine copy, new and unread. A miscellany related to Shea, including short stories, novel segments, verse, unpublished work, and several tributes to him by other writers.
  • Library Additions: Random Interesting SF First Editions

    Monday, November 6th, 2017

    The only theme here is that all these books were at the same Half Price Books I previously found notable Chad Oliver and Frederik Pohl first editions at, and that I bought all the books below for less than $10:

  • Bester, Alfred. The Deceivers. Severn House, 1984. First hardback edition, a Fine copy in a Fine, plastic-protected dust jacket. $5.
  • Carr, Charles. Colonists of Space. Ward Lock, 1954. Presumed first edition hardback (states “First published..1954,” but the ISFDB lists two states of that HB, with differing prices, but this dust jacket, while intact, has no price whatsoever; if I had to guess, I would say this is a first edition with a variant dust jacket for the library trade), a Near Fine- copy with slight bumping at head and heel in a Near Fine- dust jacket with very shallow chipping at head, slight dust soiling to white rear, and wear at points, in plastic dust jacket protector. Bought for $5.

    Colonists of Space

  • Del Rey, Lester, editor. Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year: Third Annual Collection. Dutton, 1974. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with slight crimping at head and heel in a Near Fine dust jacket with significant sun-fading to red portion of the spine. Currey, page 145. Gardner Dozois would later take over this series as editor for volumes six through ten, before beginning his own Year’s Best Science Fiction series in 1984. Bought for $6.

    Del Rey Best 3

  • Elliot, H. Chandler. Reprieve from Paradise. Gnome Press, 1955. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with a bit of crimping at the head and heel and a touch of spotting along inner join margin on front free endpaper, in a Near Fine dust jacket with usual age darkening and slight spotting on lower half of front spine join, in the first binding state (green boards lettered in maroon). Chalker/Owings (1991), page 202. Kemp, page 242. Bought for $9.99.
  • Harrison, Harry. Backdrop of Stars. Dennis Dobson, 1968. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with age darkening to pages in a Very Good+ dust jacket with rubbing (heaviest along spine join) and moderate dust soiling. Bought for $5.99.
  • Norton, Andre. Ordeal in Otherwhere. World Publishing, 1964. First edition hardback, a Near Fine copy with patterning on spine in a Near Fine+ dust jacket with edgewear at head and heel and some blind-side transfer from spine (but no sun fading to spine), in plastic dust jacket protector. Currey, page 391. Bought for $5.

    Ordeal Otherwhere

  • Wallace, F. L. Address: Centauri. Gnome Press, 1955. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with the usual age-darkening to the paper, in a Very Good dust jacket with shallow chipping at head and heel, rubbing along spine and fading to spine, and other touches of wear, in the first state binding (gray boards lettered in black). Chalker/Owings, page 202. Kemp, page 236. Bought for $8.
  • Wilhelm, Kate. The Infinity Box. Harper Science Fiction, 1975. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine- dust jacket, with just a trace of surface wear (exaggerated in the scan); this reflective metallic dust jacket is usually found much, much more badly scratched up. Currey, page 538. Bought for $5.99.

    Infinity Box

  • Library Addition: Henry Kuttner First Signed to Robert Bloch

    Monday, October 23rd, 2017

    I try to collect at least one signature for every writer I seriously collect. I have signatures for H. G. Wells, H.P. Lovecraft, Clark Ashton Smith, Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke and Tom Reamy, to name a few.

    I also have a few books signed by C. L. Moore, but not (until this item) any by her husband, Henry Kuttner, who were both behind the Lewis Padgett pseudonym. Kuttner, a first rate writer, died in 1958, and works signed by him seldom come on the market. However, I found the following first edition online, and not only is it signed, it’s an inscribed association copy.

    Padgett, Lewis (Henry Kuttner and possibly C.L. Moore). The Brass Ring. Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1946. First edition hardback, a Very Good+ copy, with uneven fading to the spine (looks to be lightening in relation to the dust jacket) and age darkening to pages, in a Good+ dust jacket with a 1″ chip to bottom front and 1/4″ chipping at head and heel. Not a great copy, but it does have a great inscription on the front free endpaper: “For Bob —/In memory of a happy childhood at the old Basutoland reformatory,/now dust./Hank/(“Lewis Padgett”)”. It also has Bloch’s signature at the top of the page. Currey, page 291 (which says this was in collaboration with C. L. Moore). Hubin, Crime Fiction: 1749—1980, page 309 (which credits this to Kuttner alone). Bloch and Kuttner were friends and collaborators, making this a very important association copy from one SF giant to another. Bought, after much haggling, for $500 from a dealer online.

    Brass Ring cover

    IMG_1844