Archive for November, 2014

Shoegazer Sunday: The Sleepover Disaster’s “Songwriting for Dummies”

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

For your Sunday dose of Shoegaze, here’s The Sleepover Disaster’s “Songwriting for Dummies.”

The Annual William Shatner Warning Not To Set Yourself on Fire Frying a Turkey

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

In the now-annual tradition, I bring you a public service announcement from William Shatner: try not to set yourself on fire while frying a turkey.

For those with low Shatner thresholds, the advice is:

  • Don’t overfill the pot with oil.
  • Turn off the flame when lowering the turkey into the oil.
  • Always fry your turkey away from your house.
  • Properly thaw the turkey before cooking.
  • Use a grease-approved fire extinguisher.
  • If you’re going to fry a turkey, this is pretty sound advice.

    Shoegazer Sunday: Great Northern’s “Numbers”

    Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

    Great Northern seems to be a duo that ends up sounding an awful lot like Curve, with some SPC ECO, Low, Garbage and Sarah McLaughlin thrown in for good measure, especially for vocalist Rachel Stolte. “Numbers” is pretty addictive.

    Library Additions: Two Arkham House Books

    Monday, November 17th, 2014

    I picked up two early Arkham House books from two different sources:

  • Hodgson, William Hope. The House on the Borderland and Other Novels. First edition hardback, a Very Good+ copy with bumping at corners, small dust print at bottom page block outer edge, and faint foxing to gutters, in a Very Good+ dust jacket with 1/16″ chip at heel, wear at points (including a pinhead hole at lower front edge), and extremely mild sun-fading to the spine; it’s actually a wonderfully bright example of the Hannes Bok dust jacket, and the only better copies I’ve seen were at least three times the price. Includes the title novel, plus The Boats of the ‘Glen Carrig’, The Ghost Pirates, and The Night Land, all of which were previously published individually (and all of which now go for well over a grand). One of the four large-format Arkhams, the other being H.P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider and Others and Beyond the Wall of Sleep, and Robert E. Howard’s Skull-Face and Others, all three of which I still lack. Joshi, Sixty Years of Arkham House, 16. Derleth, 30 Years of Arkham House, 16. Jaffrey, Horrors and Unpleasantries, 19. Nielsen, Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide, 16. Blieler, Checklist of Science-Fiction and Supernatural Fiction (1978), page 101. Blieler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, 821. Bought for £220 plus shipping off eBay.

    House Borderland Arkham


  • Walton, Evangeline. Witch House. Arkham House, 1945. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Joshi, Sixty Years of Arkham House, 11. Derleth, 30 Years of Arkham House, 11. Jaffrey, Horrors and Unpleasantries, 11. Nielsen, Arkham House Books: A Collector’s Guide, 11. Blieler, Checklist of Science-Fiction and Supernatural Fiction (1978), page 202. Blieler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction, 1655. Crawford, Donahue and Grant, 333, page 67. Barron, Horror Literature: A Reader’s Guide, 3-203. Tymn, Horror Literature: A Core Collection and Reference Guide, 4-216. Bought for $47 off the Internet. It seems that every time I would see a copy at auction, I’d ask myself “Do I already have a copy of that?” Now I know the answer to that question…

    Witch House

  • Shoegazer Sunday: Last Leaf Down’s “The Theme”

    Sunday, November 16th, 2014

    Here’s Last Leaf Down‘s “The Theme.” Nicely gothy and gloomy and echoey, and entirely appropriate for what’s turning out to be winter in November.

    Library Addition: First Edition of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged

    Wednesday, November 12th, 2014

    I picked this up at Half Price Books on Tuesday using one of their 40% off coupons:

    Rand, Ayn. Atlas Shrugged. Random House, 1957. First edition hardback (“First Printing” stated), a Fine- copy with just a tiny bit of bend at head and a tiny bit of pulling away of just the center of the top page block, and a tiny dust print at the outer bottom near page block edge, in a Very Good- first printing ($6.95 price and 10/57 code on front flap) dust jacket with shallow chipping at extremities (most notable at head and heel, perhaps 1/8″ at front and rear spine join points) and associated abrading, and blind-side age darkening, but otherwise an intact and fairly attractive example of the dust jacket. With clipping of a letter from Rand from the March 21, 1960 issue of Time magazine laid in. The novelistic summation of Rand’s Objectivist philosophy, Atlas Shrugged is one of the bestselling books (and most important political novels) of the 20th Century, and a central document for the Libertarian political movement. It’s also science fiction, not only featuring political and economic upheaval in a dystopian future, but also a new super-strong metal alloy and a hidden valley protected by a force field. In college, it took me two weeks to read the first 200 pages of Atlas Shrugged, and two days to read the last 800 pages. A personal favorite of both myself and my father. Bought for $270, marked down from $450.

    Atlas Shrugged

    Library Additions: Three Lovecraft Titles From Hippocampus Press

    Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

    Got in three Lovecraft-related new books by Hippocampus Press, all of which I have available through Lame Excuse Books as well:

  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Joshi, S. T. Lovecraft and a World in Transition. Hippocampus Press, 2014. First edition hardback, one of 500 copies signed by Joshi (the only edition), a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Collection of Joshi’s most important essays on Lovecraft (of which there have been many). List price $65.

  • (Lovecraft, H.P.) Derie, Bobby. Sex and the Cthulhu Mythos. Hippocampus Press, 2014. First edition trade paperback original, Fine. Gahan Wilson cover. Non-fiction work examining sexual themes in a wide variety of Cthulhu Mythos-related work. List price $20.

  • Webb, Don. Through Dark Angles: Works Inspired by H. P. Lovecraft. Hippocampus Press, 2014. First edition trade paperback original, Fine. List price $20.

  • Also, not in yet but forthcoming: H. P. Lovecraft’s Collected Fiction: A Variorum Edition, a three volume set of the definitive texts of all Lovecraft’s fiction, showing all the different edits made in his stories either by Lovecraft or his various editors. This will be a three volume set limited to 500 copies with a list price of $180.

    E-mail me at if you’re interested in picking any of these up.

    Library Additions: Six Signed First Editions

    Monday, November 10th, 2014

    The only unifying theme is that all of these are signed first editions:

  • Buckley, William F. Marco Polo, If You Can. Doubleday, 1982. First edition hardback, a Fine- copy with slight bending at head and heel in a Very Good price-clipped and spine-faded dust jacket with shallow chipping at head. Inscribed by the author: “For Roger Birk/Warm regards/Wm. F. Buckley, Jr.” Blackford Oakes spy thriller. Bought for $5.99 at Half Price Books; I only checked it because it had a Mylar dust jacket protector on it. Actually the second signed Buckley I have, along with the copy of Right Reason he signed for me my senior year in college.
  • Clement, Hal. Half Life. Tor, 1999. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by Clement: “”Hal Clement” (Harry C. Stubbs)”. Bought for $19 from an eBay seller.
  • Gibson, William. The Peripheral. Putnam, 2014. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed to me by Gibson at BookPeople on November 2, 2014: “TO LAWRENCE/WM GIBSON”. Near-future SF that sounds interesting. About a hundred people turned out for the Gibson signing, which is the second biggest crowd I’d seen there next to Neil Gaiman’s signing for Anansi Boys. I’ll have several signed William Gibson items available in the next Lame Excuse Books catalog.
  • Knight, Damon. Why Do Birds Tor, 1992. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Knight: “for Mark/Damon Knight”. With review slip laid in. Bought for $12.50 from an eBay seller.
  • Morgenstern, Erin. The Night Circus. Doubleday, 2011. First edition hardback, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Signed by the author. Fantasy, a first novel that got a lot of positive buzz. Bought for $27 (including buyer’s premium) off Heritage Auctions.
  • Noon, Jeff. Vurt. Crown, 1993. First hardback and first American edition, a Fine copy in a Fine dust jacket. Inscribed by Noon: “To Shirley/Good Feathers/Jeff Noon” (with a drawing of a feather). Supplements an unsigned edition.

    Jeff noon Sig

  • Ultimate Anime Hero

    Monday, November 3rd, 2014

    I know several people who will find this amusing…

    First spotted on Fox’s Animation Domination High Def, which I’d feel more comfortable recommending if it weren’t currently 85% Axe Cop by volume….

    Shoegazer Sunday: Dean & Britta’s “Nightnurse”

    Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

    Not sure this is actually Shoegaze, but it’s by two former members of Luna. They sound like they were thawed out of the same 1960s time capsule as Austin Powers, sort of Nancy Sinatra dueting with Andy Williams on Quaaludes.