*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: A large addition to the shelves of more than 15 anthologies, with well-known editors including Asimov, Carnell, Carr, Ellison, Knight, Merril, Mills and Wollheim. Four are HC, Classic Science Fiction: The First Golden Age (Carr), A Pocketful Of Stars (Knight), The Best Of The Best (Merril) and Science Fiction At Large (Peter Nicholls). The last is a fascinating collection of essays about the interface between science fiction and reality, taken written for a 1975 symposium, and includes contributions from an eclectic cast such as Ursula Le Guin, Edward de Bono, Alan Garner, Harry Harrison, Robert Sheckley and Philip K Dick.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: A fine update in the fantasy hero tradition, written or inspired by Robert E Howard, mainly 1st UK PBs and featuring some notable cover artists. Works by the man himself are King Kull, the Skull-Face trilogy (all with Chris Achilleos cover art) and Marchers Of Valhalla. Howard, Nyberg and de Camp are represented by Conan The Avenger and Howard, de Camp and Carter by Conan Of Cimmeria, both with Frank Frazetta cover art. L Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter were inspired to write the only non-Howard book in this update, Conan Of The Isles, with cover art by John Duillo. Finally, we must give a special mention to Chris Achilleos, for creating at least five pieces of heroic barbarian cover art without a single scantily clad nubile/pneumatic female in view.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: This week’s update is devoted to Lancer, a publishing company that knew what it liked, both in terms of swashbuckling storytelling and cover art. Writers such as Lin Carter, Gordon R Dickson, Robert E Howard, Richard A Lupoff, C C MacApp, David Mason, Robert Moore Williams, Robert Silverberg and Jack Williamson were published in books adorned by striking covers by artists such as Frank Frazetta (Conan Of Cimmeria – Howard et al, Kavin’s World – Mason, The Reign Of Wizardry – Williamson), Jack Gaughan (One Million Centuries – Lupoff), Jeff Jones (Zanthar series – Moore) and Jim Steranko (Prisoners In The Sky – MacApp and The Shores Of Tomorrow – Mason). Many feature the lovely, distinctive purple page edge colouration, and most are 1st US PB.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Here’s an update brimming with classic authors and titles, often 1st PB – like a box of chocolates, it’s hard to know where to start! Asimov’s I Robot joins Biggle’s Watchers Of The Dark, Farmer’s The Stone God Awakens, Le Guin’s The Dispossessed and The Wind’s Twelve Quarters (Vol. 1), Moorcock’s The Knight Of The Swords, Stewart’s Earth Abides and Swann’s Green Phoenix. Other highlights of this collection consist of Leinster’s Planet Explorer, Davidson’s Mutiny In Space (with Jack Gaughan cover art), two excellent works by Keith Roberts, Pavane and The Chalk Giants. In the first he imagines an alternate history of Britain if the Armada had succeeded, while in the latter he conjures up a fearful future. Hal Clement represents the best of hard SF, conjuring up a completely believable planet and aliens in Mission Of Gravity, and another, but very different alien in Eye Of The Needle. Saving the best for last (unlike a box of chocolates) we have Spinrad’s The Iron Dream aka Adolf Hitler’s blockbuster SF hit. All of these books are guaranteed to give you hours of reading pleasure; your only problem will be choosing.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: New to our shelves this week are two Science Fiction novels, both 1st UK PB, with vibrant covers that belie their ages of more than 60 years. Rogue Queen (L Sprague de Camp) shows a presciently punk-hairstyled woman joining spear brandishing men in an attack (artist unidentified). An important book, it’s renowned for being the first to broach sexual themes. Vanguard To Neptune (J M Walsh), with cover art by Ron Turner, is slightly less well-preserved, but the quality of the colours has to be seen to be believed.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Robert Bloch’s eponymous title sums it all up: a selection of horror anthologies to entertain and terrify you in equal measure. As well as that, we have Tales of Terror & Suspense (Ed. Stewart Benedict), 4th Fontana Book Of Great Horror Stories (Ed. Christine Bernard), Weird Shadows From Beyond (Ed John Carnell), Arthur Conan Doyle’s Ring Of Thoth, Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales Of Mystery And Imagination, and the very vintage Pan Tales Of The Supernatural. Great late night reading! Full details of grades and prices, as always, in our catalogue.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: A small update of four excellent Science Fiction anthologies join our shelves today. Two are Penguin editions, Tom Boardman (Ed): Connoisseur’s S. F. and Ferman & Malzberg (Eds): Final Stage. The inimitable Damon Knight is represented by Orbit 2, and another prolific editor, August Derleth, by New Worlds For Old.
*TV/Film Tie-Ins: No, not the Marvel heroes for once, but the iconic TV series from the 1960’s featuring Steed, Cathy Gale, Emma Peel and Tara King, here represented in novel form. There were four UK published novels in 1967 featuring Steed & Mrs. Peel, which were later reprinted by Berkley Medallion Books in US, followed by a further five original US novels. Not only do we have all nine Berkley Medallion US PB (American first editions), but we also have two of the four UK PB originals, and even more excitingly, a Meet The Avengers Star Special magazine from 1963, featuring Cathy Gale and Steed. If you’re as excited as we are about these items, you can find details of grades and prices in our on-line catalogue. ‘Mrs. Peel — we’re needed!’
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Even though this section was close to full, we just had to add this wonderful anthology update. It includes well-known editors such as Judith Merril (10th Annual S-F, The Best Of Sci-Fi 4 and 5), Damon Knight (Beyond Tomorrow and Worlds To Come), R P Mills (A Decade Of Fantasy And Science Fiction and The Worlds Of Science Fiction) and Groff Conklin (17 x Infinity and The Big Book Of Science Fiction¹). There are also some more unusual editors such as Pamela Sargent (More Women Of Wonder) and Norman Spinrad (The New Tomorrows). Highlight of this update, however, is the Playboy Book Of Science Fiction And Fantasy (edited by Alice K Turner), which includes works from established authors such as Ray Bradbury, Ursula K Le Guin, Norman Spinrad, Damon Knight, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, J G Ballard, Frederick Pohl, Arthur C Clarke, Larry Niven, Harlan Ellison, Philip K Dick, Robert Silverberg and Joe Haldeman as well as more unexpected contributors such as Donald E. Westlake, Stephen King and Doris Lessing, all taking the opportunity to explore rather more adult themes than they are normally known for. This section has now spilled over onto a display shelf, so if you get a chance to visit the shop, make sure you check both areas out.
¹Proving that you can’t believe everything you read, the stories are great, but this is one of the smaller anthologies on offer.
Kirk: What do you make of them?
McCoy: It’s fumetti, Jim, but not as we know it!
Spock: Fumetti (literally little puffs of smoke in Italian) are photonovels, using photos or stills with speech balloons added.
McCoy: Dammit Spock! Do you have to be so logical?
Kirk: Well, what’s special about these?
McCoy: They’re about us!
Spock: Twelve Star Trek fotonovels were published, and they’re all here, and in high grades. Fascinating!
*Childrens’ Books: The popular aviator Biggles returns in five FN Dean & Son hardcover editions from the mid-1970’s. These all have very attractive pictorial boards rather than dust jackets, and have all been well looked after by their previous owner. Titles include Biggles Air Detective, Biggles & The Black Peril, Biggles Flies Again, Biggles in the Cruise of the Condor and Biggles Pioneer Air Fighter.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: An octet of Leslie Charteris’ ever popular Simon Templar books have joined the bookshelves. The majority are Pan editions, but we also have a Hodder and Stoughton yellow cover edition of Follow The Saint and a high grade (VF) Coronet edition of The Saint Intervenes.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: During the 1970’s interest in Dracula was rekindled by a newly discovered link between Vlad the Impaler and Bram Stoker and a plethora of films, notably with Christopher Lee as the Count. Fitting right in to the milieu was the Return Of Dracula series by Robert Lory (officially joining our shelves for the first time, although he also wrote many Expeditor books under the house name of Paul Edwards), featuring the adventures of a (metaphorically) defanged, resurrected Count Dracula. A sliver of stake close to his heart, implanted by a telekinetic paralysed criminologist (who else?), prevented any evil-doing. Today we release the first six of the nine novel series: Dracula Returns, Dracula’s Brothers, Dracula’s Gold, The Drums Of Dracula, The Hand Of Dracula and The Witching Of Dracula. Something to really get your teeth into!
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: As the nights draw in and the mercury falls, Halloween looms. In keeping with our Halloween Week Updates we’ll be releasing spine-tingling books daily. We start with a wide selection, ranging from classics by Bram Stoker (Dracula and The Lair Of The White Worm) and Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (Carmilla) to more modern, but equally chilling works such as James Darke’s Witches (The Escape, The Meeting and The Killing), Peter Saxon (Satan’s Child and The Torturer), Robert Bloch (American Gothic and Night-World) and a trilogy by Robert Stallman (The Orphan, The Captive and The Beast).
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: It was just after 10.30 and the shopowner was still switching on lights as I bid Farewell, My Lovely to the dame who had driven me here. The shop front was blue, with a High Window. The white shops on either side made it look like a skink tongue sandwich. The Little Sister had told me that The 13th Spy with The Eyes Of The Tiger would be there to discuss the case of the Killer In The Rain. I went in – a bell chimed as the door opened………..
…… Nick Carter had used the time since arriving at the shop to reconnoitre: the layout map from the Brain Boys had been as exact as ever, but even they, he mused, hadn’t been able to solve the conundrum of the man he was due to meet. John Dalmas or Philip Marlowe? Which was the real man – or were the rumours of a third identity – Raymond Chandler- true?…….
…….Spotting the Killmaster I headed for the Book section at the back of the shop. He moved like The Golden Serpent and was dressed smartly, in the latest fashion – no wonder the doxies fell like ninepins for him. He was holding The Judas Spy – the right book. I picked up The Lady In The Lake and looked him in the eyes……..
……..Could this world-weary and jaded man be the legendary PI he was expecting? Would he be able to trade information important enough to defeat the Commie menace? Only one way to find out. Nick gave the code phrase, “Operation : Moon Rocket”, and was pleased to hear ” A Bullet For Fidel” in response. The man gave Nick a quizzical look, arched an eyebrow and said “Well, Trouble Is My Business”.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Taking advantage of the extra space on the bookshelves, we have added more than thirty horror titles, many of them anthologies. Authors/editors include Lady Cynthia Asquith, Algernon Blackwood, Ray Bradbury, Robert Bloch, John Burke, R Chetwynd-Hayes (Unbidden), Peter Haining (notably Dr Caligari’s Black Book), Edward D Hoch, Harry Ludlam, Eric Frank Russell (Dark Tides), Kurt Singer and Herbert Van Thal. There are also two listed under No Author, presumably because they are so bloodcurdling that no-one was prepared to admit to them. So as the nights draw in, what better way to spend a long dark evening than enjoying a spine-chilling tale or two?
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Not content with directing some of the most effectively terrifying films, Alfred Hitchcock lent his name to compilations of tales of chilling death in several collections often revealing a penchant for appalling puns. We have a number of books from each of ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents..’ and ‘Alfred Hitchcock’s ..’ series of anthologies, as well as his ‘My Favourites In Suspense 1’. Featuring renowned authors such as Jerome Bixby, Robert Bloch, John Burke, Ruth Chatterton, Jonathan Craig, Roald Dahl, August Derleth, Hal Ellson, Brett Halliday, Edward D Hoch, James Holding, Damon Knight, Fritz Leiber and Arthur Porges and numerous others, you’re guaranteed a spine-tingling time reading these.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Often dubbed ‘the poor man Sherlock Holmes’, there’s still no doubting the popularity of Sexton Blake, who has probably had far more fiction written of him than the world’s greatest detective. Our range has now been enhanced by the addition of six novels and more than twenty digests from the famous Sexton Blake Library. These are picture library sized, but mainly text. The series ran from 1915 to 1968, and our new influx of stock dates from the late 1950’s to the early 1960’s, following the 1956 revamp by W Howard Baker when the covers took on a more gangster/sleazy mode and were drawn by notable artists such as Reginald Heade (as on The Wicked Three shown below). Written by a ‘harem’ of notable writers including Wilfred McNeilly, W Howard Baker, Michael Moorcock (moonlighting as Desmond Reid), Peter Saxon and Jack Trevor Story, the longevity of the series is testament to the quality of the plotting and writing. And a factoid: one of Sexton Blake’s arch-enemies, was Zenith the Albino – who is widely acknowledged to have inspired Moorcock’s morose hero Elric.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: The Baroness, written in the 1970’s with tongue firmly in cheek, features an aristocrat by marriage who takes multitasking to extremes: international playgirl, model, millionairess and superspy. In these books she takes on and defeats a dazzling array of foes including Dr Thing, sex-starved Otto Funke, neo-Nazis, savage Arab oil potentates, Russian viruses, and S.P.O.I.L.E.R.. We have all eight of the US editions, mainly in VG – FN grades.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: A great selection of books by two great authors, chosen to add to the titles already offered. From Isaac Asimov we have Prelude To Foundation, Foundation and Forward The Foundation, I, Robot and The Rest Of The Robots, The Caves of Steel and The Stars In Their Courses. From Arthur C Clarke we have 2001 A Space Odyssey, Rendezvous With Rama, Earthlight and The Deep Range. We also have three late 1950’s Corgi editions, Pebble In The Sky (Asimov) and The City And The Stars and The Sands Of Mars (Clarke).
*Childrens’ Books: A variety of classics join the Children’s section today, including two more Enid Blyton adventures (Ring’o Bells Mystery and The Rilloby Fair Mystery), Moonfleet (Falkner), Wishing Water-Gate (Elinor Lyon), 101 Dalmations (Dodie Smith), What Katy Did (Susan Coolidge), Treasure Island (Stevenson) and Terry’s Only Term (Ethel Talbot). In addition we have a pair of Nathaniel Hawthorne stories collected as The Pomegranate Seeds and all three of the Earthsea tales By Ursula Le Guin, an unusual Captain W E Johns adventure, The Death Rays Of Ardilla and another Billy Bunter (Billy Bunter Afloat).
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: W∴ W∴, otherwise known as William Bound, produced his Qhe! series in the 1970’s. Qhe – mystic, divine ruler of the tiny Himalayan state of Pashman, jet-set guerrilla, cosmic-Bond and superlover (well, there’s a surprise) fights the good fight with his uncivil servant Willard, a deadly snake-charmer in a pinstripe suit. We have the complete series, all four in FN or VF grade, and all 1st UK PB editions.