*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: An octet of titles join the shelves, all published by the New English Library. First up is Bradbury’s The October Country, with a stunning wraparound cover by Josh Kirby, closely followed by Campbell’s The Moon Is Hell and Davis’ (ed.) The Old Masters. We have two titles by Terry Greenhough, The Wandering Worlds and Time And Timothy Grenville, the latter with Bruce Pennington cover art. Frank Herbert’s classic, Dune, is also graced by a Pennington cover. Finally we have Ward Moore’s Bring The Jubilee and Pohl’s Slave Ship.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: This time we’ve added eight Corgi SF books, all from the 1950s or 1960s. The five earliest editions are all the slightly shorter and squarer Pocket book size, while the later three are the standard (for their time) size. The earlier set consists of The Silver Locusts (Bradbury), Space On My Hands (Brown), The Big Eye (Ehrlich), World Out Of Mind (McIntosh) and Timeliner (Maine). Several of these have cover art by John Richards, although the cover art on Space On My Hands is by Charles Binger. Of the standard size Corgis we have another Bradbury, Something Wicked This Way Comes with a Bruce Pennington cover, New Writings in SF-13 (Carnell ed.) with a Josh Kirby cover and an unusual edition of Miller’s classic A Canticle For Leibowitz.
*Childrens’ Books: Although we already have a range of Enid Blyton books we have a few of her iconic series missing, which we start to rectify with this update. We’re adding three HC Secret Seven books, all later printings of the 1st editions. Starting with #3 in the series, Well Done Secret Seven, then proceeding to #6, Good Work Secret Seven and ending with #9, Secret Seven Mystery. Consisting of Peter, Janet, Jack, Barbara, George, Pam and Colin, the Secret Seven also includes the obligatory canine (but unofficial) member, Scamper the golden spaniel. Their adventures include a discovery in a tree-house, a stolen car and a search for a runaway.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: A fine selection of classic Science Fiction novels and short story collections here, in editions ranging from the 1960s to 2000s. Greybeard and Space, Time And Nathaniel from Aldiss, Dandelion Wine and The October Country (an unusual Ace UK edition) from Bradbury, Babel-17 and Nova from Delany, plus the brilliantly titled Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? (Dick) and we’ve only got to D so far! The Radio Beasts (Farley), I Am Legend (Matheson) and A Canticle For Leibowitz (Miller) take us up to M. We have both the 1st UK PB and US PB of Sellings’ Telepath/The Silent Speakers, and to round off we have More Than Human (Sturgeon). If you haven’t read these, then we recommend that you do. As an additional inducement many of these editions have fine cover art by the likes of Bruce Pennington and Richard Powers.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: You just can’t trust minions! Dr Evilla’s been very preoccupied in her Evilla Cave (conveniently situated below her secret alter ego’s stately residence), with her latest plan for world domination. Due to this she tasked her assistant, Greebo, with sorting out more Conan books to sell. Greebo’s pair of neurones weren’t able to cope and Dr Evilla was surprised to find an update consisting of Conan The Usurper and The Conan Doyle Stories! Greebo has now been assigned more menial minion duties, but the books remain enticingly on the shelves. The Conan Doyle stories, selected by John Dickson Carr, range over several genres and include Tales of the Ring, the Camp, Pirates, Blue Water, Terror, Mystery, Twilight and the Unseen, Adventure, Medical Life and Tales of Long Ago. Conan The Usurper has its eponymous hero battling deadly magic, murderous demons and incredible monsters – all in a day’s work for the mighty barbarian.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Robert E Howard packed an impressive amount of writing into his short life (committing suicide at just 30 years old). His influence can be gauged by the continuing interest in his work and his life. We’ve gathered together six non-fiction works that, through a mixture of biography and selected work by the great man, explore his achievements and lasting appeal. Titles consist of Dark Valley Destiny: The Life Of Robert E. Howard (de Camp et al), The Dark Barbarian: The Writings Of Robert E Howard: A Critical Anthology (Herron ed), Robert E Howard: Starmont Reader’s Guide 35 (Cerasini & Hoffman), Conan’s World And Robert E Howard (Schweitzer), Literary Swordsmen And Sorcerors: The Makers Of Heroic Fantasy (de Camp) and The Last Celt (Lord ed). Nearly all are 1st editions, and they can all be found just after the R E Howard listing in our catalogue.
*Childrens’ Books: Originally a radio series, Anthony Buckeridge’s tales about Jennings were so popular that a succession of books about his exploits were published. We have four hardcover novels, to wit: Jennings’ Little Hut, wherein we discover why Jennings shouldn’t consider a career in the construction industry, Jennings And Darbishire, which reveals why Jennings is unsuited to a career in journalism, According to Jennings, in which we discover why Jennings is unlikely to become an astronaut and finally Jennings, Of Course! in which Jennings tries to be helpful, generally with hilariously unhelpful results. Three of these pictured below; all four have dustjackets, protected by removable archival film, as with all the dustjackets of our hardcover books.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Not a meal suggestion, but four books that will definitely leave you satisfied. First up, Greg Bear’s Infinity Concerto, a quite different look at a trip to ‘Fairyland’, then two books by C J Cherryh. Heavy Time deals with the early period of human expansion into the space, while Hunter Of Worlds explores the effect of human alien contact as she does so well (fans of the Foreigner series may recognise some traits of the Atevi in the iduve). Finally Gene Wolfe’s Operation Ares looks at a different type of Martian invasion.
*TV/Film Tie-Ins: A multiplicity of Doctor Whos in this week’s update as we feature 10 Target novelisations new into stock, featuring all seven regenerations of classic Doctor Who. The First Doctor: The Daleks & The Romans; the Second Doctor: The Dominators; The Third Doctor: Death To The Daleks & The Daemons; the Fourth Doctor: Full Circle, the Fifth Doctor: The Caves Of Androzani; the Sixth Doctor: Timelash; the Seventh Doctor: Remembrance Of The Daleks and all first five Doctors in… (you guessed it) The Five Doctors! All are in grades ranging from GD to VF (except the Five Doctors is only FA with a large cover scuff and watermark on lower part of pages (see scan below). Many classic stories now included in our inventory — I’m sure our shop must be bigger on the inside…
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: This update is brimming over with terrifying tales. Shiver with Lovecraft’s Library double Sinister House/Cold Harbour (Leland Hall and Francis Brett Young), while from Lovecraft himself there’s The Dunwich Horror And Others (in a prestigious Arkham House HC edition) and from Lovecraft and August Derleth there’s The Lurker At The Threshold. Tremble as you read The Horror Stories Of Robert E Howard, a collection of tales by Jerome K Jerome, City Of The Sea And Other Ghost Stories (a special limited edition), or Lair Of The Dreamer: A Cthulhu Mythos Omnibus by Franklin Searight. Finally, if your nerves are up to it there are two novels by Ira Levin, Rosemary’s Baby and The Stepford Wives, The Novel of the Black Seal by Arthur Machen and a perennial favourite, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Three Great Pan editions of Peter Cheyney’s detective / Secret Service novels, all adorned with wonderful Peff (S J Peffer) cover art. Dames Don’t Care features Lemmy Caution, Dark Duet has Michael Kane (!) involved in counter-espionage while Dark Wanton features Quayle, Head of A Secret Service department setting a group of agents to hunt down a pair of Nazi war criminals.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror / Crime, Spies & Sleaze: This update features a set of books where authors have crossed from established genres to explore new horizons. Jack London, Hank Janson and Edgar Wallace, best known for Crime have Science Fiction novels with The Star Rover, The Unseen Assassin and The Green Rust respectively. In fact, cognoscenti of Hank Janson’s Reginald Heade cover art will find the distressed damsel on the cover of The Unseen Assassin very similar in pose and dishevelled clothing to those adorning the detective fiction (although the background art is by Ron Turner). J B Priestley, now best known as a playwright has a Crime novel – Salt Is Leaving. The last three publications defy easy classification, but we’ve put them in our Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror category: The Starcomber, originally a novella by Alfred Bester, Catch-22 (Joseph Heller) is it Fantasy? Horror? a Polymesmeric Bestseller? and finally Dragaonflame And Other Nightmares by Don McGregor, who’s best known as a comics writer.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: An update showcasing the broad range that fantasy encompasses. The Beckoning Fair One (Oliver Onions) is a classic with more than a tinge of horror. The great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, George MacDonald is featured twice, in The Golden Key, suitable for children, and in Lilith, which is considered to be his darkest work. The Forgotten Beasts Of Eld (Patricia McKillip) is more elegaic in manner, while The Castle Of Iron (L Sprague de Camp & Fletcher Pratt) and The Disappearing Dwarf (James P Blaylock) take a humorous approach.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Here’s a trio of tales from one of the masters of hardboiled detective fiction. Bloody Sunrise features Tiger Mann, while The Girl Hunters and The Flier both feature Mike Hammer. Spillane once described his style as ‘the chewing gum of American literature’ and these three are perfect examples.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: This release consists of a set of novels originally published between 1950 and 1965, mainly by authors who first achieved recognition in pulp fiction, but also Stanislaw Lem, represented here by The Cyberiad (1977 edition), but perhaps best known for Solaris. The reinvented pulp authors are Asimov (The Stars Like Dust, 1958 edition), Budrys (Who?, 1960 Badger edition), Chandler (Space Mercenaries, 1960s edition) and E E ‘Doc’ Smith (First Lensman, 1973 edition).
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Dr Fu Manchu’s evil empire has expanded with the addition of three stylish Pyramid (US) editions of his adventures. The Island Of Fu Manchu dates from 1963, The Mask Of Fu Manchu from 1966 and the (comparatively) modern The Return OF Dr. Fu Manchu dates from 1970. SORRY, THESE HAVE NOW SOLD
We’re looking forward to meeting Bookshop Crawlers! This event runs from today till Sunday (11th February), when we will be open especially for book lovers. Don’t forget to visit the London Bookshop Crawl page to find out more and to get your ID. For these 3 days only we’re offering 10% off all items bought from the Books section and a selection of free books (maximum 5 per customer).
*Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy: H P Lovecraft’s influence can be judged from the large number of works written about him, exploring his background and his relationship to other influential writers of his day. We’ve added six titles, several rare, which aim to explore the man behind the macabre. Two take the form of literary criticism, Burleson’s H P Lovecraft: A Critical Study and St Armand’s The Roots Of Horror In The Fiction Of H P Lovecraft, one is autobiographical, Lord Of A Visible World: An Autobiography In Letters (Lovecraft, Joshi, & Schultz), and one a biography, Lovecraft At Last (Lovecraft & Conover). The remaining two cover Lovecraft in film, Lurker In The Lobby: A Guide To The Cinema Of H P Lovecraft (Migliore & Strysik) and a circle of his friends that formed the Kalem Club, Lovecraft’s New York Circle (Hart & Joshi). Giving you a chance to learn far more about Lovecraft than can be gleaned from his fiction, all of these are listed just after the author himself in the catalogue to make them easy to find.
*Science Fiction, Horror & Fantasy: H P Lovecraft is now seen as a natural successor to Edgar Allan Poe, but his life followed the tragic arc typically expected of artists. The bulk of his work was originally published in pulp fiction, most notably Weird Tales, so it was usually considered not be ‘literature’. Lovecraft is most famous for his Cthulhu stories, and the literary group that gathered around him, notably Robert E Howard, Clark Ashton Smith, August Derleth and E Hoffman Price all contributed to that mythos. During the 1960s Lovecraft’s work was revived and re-evaluated, becoming far more popular, and granting him cult status as a highly influential author. This is why we’re very pleased to announce a large addition to our selection of Lovecraft’s work, including not only fiction such as At The Mountains Of Madness, Dagon, Tales Of The Cthulhu Mythos, The Horror In The Burying Ground, The Horror In The Museum (in the prestigious Arkham House edition), The Tomb, More Annotated H P Lovecraft and The Ancient Track (Poetic works), but also non-fiction: Collected Essays and Letters To James F Morton.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: Perfumed / Pampered, a pair of novels published bound together by Midwood (Tower) are typical sleaze novels from this publisher, but they are elevated by the inclusion of ten full-page black and white illustrations by Frank Frazetta. This is an extremely rare book with high collector interest, in VG/FN grade on sale for £150. There is minor creasing at the spine and very slight binding separation towards the rear, but no loose pages.
Although we normally only use images from our own copies, in this case, to avoid damage, we’ve used stock images to show a sample of the illustrations. Front and back cover images are of the actual copy of the book.
This year we’re very excited (maybe the !!! gives it away?) to be taking part in the London Bookshop Crawl, which will be happening over the weekend of 9th – 11th February. The Bookshop Crawl, as you might imagine is like a pub crawl, only with books, and is an opportunity for booklovers to visit lots of (mainly) independent booksellers and be rewarded in the process.
We’ll be offering 10% off all purchases from our Books section, and a selection of free books (up to 5 per customer). In addition, for this Sunday (11th) only, we’ll be open from 10:30 to 18:00.
If you want to join in, or just find out more, just click here.
*TV/Film Tie-Ins: Even better, it’s Gerry Anderson style action, as Joe 90 aims to W.I.N., the Space:1999 crew explore four episodes and the Thunderbirds team set off on their first adventures. All 1st UK paperbacks, in conditions ranging from FA/GD to VG.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Four more Moorcocks (apart from being a bit of a tongue-twister) are always welcome on our shelves. This time we’ve added Phoenix In Obsidian with the Eternal Champion, an early US version of Stormbringer (with a Jack Gaughan cover), The Singing Citadel and The Stealer Of Souls (two more early Mayflower Elrics with other characters). Join Elric as he agonises eternally, the Eternal Champion in his agonies and numerous other characters in the struggle between Order and Chaos that only Moorcock could conjure up.
Nestled away in the Crime, Spies and Sleaze category of our Book Department are several volumes featuring the distinctive art of Reginald Heade, described by some American afficiandos of the ‘gangster pulp digest’ genre as ‘England’s finest artist’ and indeed his finely detailed paintings that adorned the covers of hardbacks and paperbacks in the mid 20th Century were a cut above the illustrations featured on the vast majority of similar fare. Although his work ranged through many genres and subject matters, he is best remembered perhaps for the voluptuous women (often in a state of distress/undress) who graced the covers of books by Hank Janson, Paul Renin, Michael Storme, Roland Vane and countless others. Heade himself was a man of mystery about whom little is known, other than he worked in London; there are no photos of him, nor does anyone claim to remember meeting him. Fortunately, he left behind a large body of wonderful work, the legacy by which he will be remembered. Here are a few examples from our stock; although some Heade cover books turn up quite often, others are very rare indeed and command huge prices if and when they come up for sale (some it seems never do!).
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: A small update of 1960s editions that introduces two new authors to our shelves, in addition to some old favourites. New to our listings are Behold Here’s Poison (Georgette Heyer) and Above Suspicion (Helen MacInnes). We’ve also added John Buchan’s classic The Thirty-Nine Steps, Death In The Clouds by Agatha Christie and Miss Pym Disposes by Josephine Tey – all entertaining reads in great vintage editions.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: The Horror level has just gone up several notches as five more titles lurch into the category. This time we’ve added a rarity, Dark Menace by Charles Birkin, three classics – The King In Yellow (Robert W Chambers), Frankenstein (Mary Shelley) and The (original) Pan Book Of Horror Stories (ed. Herbert Van Thal) – and a not so fantastic voyage on The Uncharted Seas (Dennis Wheatley).
*TV/Film Tie-Ins: Fresh into our ever popular TV/Film Tie-In section are the New Avengers in The Eagle’s Nest, the Man From U.N.C.L.E.’s Radioactive Camel Affair and The Prisoner’s A Day In The Life, all featuring TV covers. Best of all, for anyone considering a new career for the New Year, is the ABC Of Espionage, compiled under the auspices of the Men From U.N.C.L.E.
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: At long last we replenish our stocks of Modesty Blaise paperback novels, including A Taste For Death, Last Day In Limbo, Modesty Blaise, Sabre-Tooth & The Impossible Virgin. Often compared to her contemporary James Bond, we have always found Modesty to be superior! If you haven’t tried Modesty, she really is the best policy, and at prices between £3-£8, an excellent choice!
*Crime, Spies & Sleaze: … by which we mean crime adventures published in the currently fashionable larger size, rather than the classic 7 1/16″ x 4 3/8″ format. Dating from the 1980s and 2000s, we have Double Indemnity (Cain, the novel that led to the classic film), The Hollow Man (Carr, generally regarded as the finest locked room mystery ever written), Cobra Trap (O’Donnell, the last Modesty Blaise book) and Kiss For A Killer (Fickling, a Honey West adventure, the character that had her own stylish TV series in the 1960s). Perhaps most interesting of all is The Black Gang (Sapper, featuring classic British hero Bulldog Drummond and friends).
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Just over a handful of fresh Digit books have arrived on the bookshelves: Bulmer’s The Fatal Fire and The Secret Of Zi, Cooper’s Voices In The Dark (short stories), a Kornbluth & Pohl collaboration, Search The Sky and Lan Wright’s Assignment Luther. Saving the best for last, despite coming first alphabetically, we have Aldiss’ Non-stop, the 1st UK PB for this novel, celebrated with a splendid Emshwiller cover.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Three very different forms of horror writing have arrived, perfect for anyone who thinks Halloween is over too soon. Something Nasty In The Woodshed (Bonfiglioli) has a very unheroic hero, Tales Of Horror And The Supernatural Volume 2 (Machen) features a selection of chilling tales and Dracula (Stoker) has Something Very Nasty In The Coffin.
*Comic Strip Books: We’ve added five new books to this compact and bijou section: The Executive’s Comic Book featuring Goodman Beaver (Kurtzman & Elder) and Fiction Illustrated # 1 – 3 (considered to be among the first graphic novels). #1 features Schlomo Raven Public Detective (Preiss & Sutton), # 2 features Starfawn, ‘in the tradition of Star Trek’ (Preiss & Fabian) and #3 features Chandler, ‘a hard-boiled detective’, written and drawn by Steranko. More alert readers will have counted up to four and be wondering what the fifth book is – in addition to the standard version of Fiction Illustrated #3 we also have the Curtis Circulation variant, distinguished by the ‘cc’ logo and numbered 02764 instead of P4078.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: We’re delighted to have new in 8 of Badger’s Supernatural Stories. The series ran from 1954 to 1967 and was mainly written by Robert Lionel Fanthorpe and John Glasby, using a variety of pseudonyms. Each book was rigidly written to have 45,000 words, leading to some incongruous instances of padding or extremely rapid plot resolutions, depending on how close the author got to the target. A mere £22.50 was paid for each book, so the publishers got what they paid for! Most issues resemble pulps, having several short stories instead of one novel; these are listed under the editor’s ‘name’, John S Manning (actually Maurice Nahum), while single story issues are listed by author. Each comes with a lurid cover, usually courtesy of Henry Fox. Just a few titles to whet your appetite – enough to show that they lived up to their slogan – Centurion’s Vengeance (SN 49), The Phantom Ones (SN 48) and The Sorcerers Of Bast (SN 31). We also have the last in the series, SN 109, which has as its feature story The Thing In The Mist by Max Chartair.
*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: Our latest book update is in keeping with the spirit of our latest window display (Halloween), with 16 collections of horror stories assembled by Alfred Hitchcock. These are a mixture of ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ and ‘Alfred Hitchcock’s’ titles, but both share a predilection for dubious puns (The Best of Fiends, Slay Ride, Coffin Break and Murder Racquet being just a few examples).
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: With the sequel to Blade Runner wowing viewers in the cinemas, this is an apposite time to add more Philip K Dick books, including, of course, the original Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? and its movie version, Blade Runner. In addition we’ve added A Handful Of Darkness, A Scanner Darkly, Martian Time-Slip and The Game Players Of Titan.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Just added, a small set of 1st PB editions, including Port Eternity (Cherryh), Dreamsnake (McIntyre), The Space Circus (Raymond) and This Immortal (Zelazny). Humour is well-represented, with The Silver Eggheads (Leiber) taking a swipe at the publishing profession, The Fickle Finger Of Fate (Keel) skewering certain superheroes (Batman? Superman?) and A Farce To Be Reckoned With (Zelazny & Sheckley) having fun with the eternal battle between Good and Evil.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: It’s always a pleasure to announce more Heinlein books being available. In this restocking update we have Assignment In Eternity, Double Star, I Will Fear No Evil (1st US PB), Starship Troopers, The Door Into Summer, The Puppet Masters and Time For The Stars. The only thing left to say is – Enjoy!
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Kurt Vonnegut remains one of our most popular SF authors, so we’re very pleased to be able to expand the number of books on offer from him. This time we’ve added Cat’s Cradle, Player Piano, Wampeters Foma & Granfalloons and Welcome To The Monkey House. We’ve also added God Bless You, Mr Rosewater and Jailbird, neither are strictly SF, but written in Vonnegut’s unique, surreal style and highly entertaining.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Today we’ve added eleven collections by nine great authors, published in the quarter century between 1962 and 1987. Represented twice are Alan E Nourse with The Counterfeit Man and Tiger By The Tail and Theodore Sturgeon with Caviar and E Pluribus Unicorn. Also represented are Brian Aldiss (The Canopy Of Time), Frederic Brown (Nightmares And Geezenstacks), Arthur C Clarke (Tales From The White Hart), Avram Davidson (Or All The Seas With Oysters), Harry Harrison (Prime Number), Damon Knight (Natural State And Other Stories) and C M Kornbluth (The Explorers). All experts in their field, these are guaranteed to entertain – don’t say we don’t spoil you!
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Another SF update by publisher brings us to Penguin, known for their good taste in books. Our earliest book is a venerable 1946 copy of H G Wells’ Island Of Dr Moreau, only FA, but deserving a special mention for reaching it’s eighth decade. From the 1960’s comes Ballard’s The Terminal Beach, Bester’s Tiger! Tiger!, Boardman’s Connoisseur’s S.F., Judd’s Gunner Cade and Pangborn’s A Mirror For Observers. Finally two published in the 1970’s, Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange and Peake’s Titus Alone. Excellent books and some stunning covers, as the images show; what more could you ask?
*Childrens’ Books: As it says on the tin, a selection of classics have joined our shelves, ranging from Lewis Carroll’s Alice (both tales in one book), facsimiles of original editions of Frank Richards’ Billy Bunter’s Bolt and (as Hilda Richards) Bessie Bunter of Cliff House School and Enid Blyton’s first story of the Famous Five, Five On A Treasure Island. We’ve also added The Whispering Mountain (Joan Aiken), The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen (Alan Garner) and The Hundred And One Dalmations plus it’s sequel, The Starlight Barking, by Dodie Smith.
*Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: Our Science Fiction restocking continues apace with a selection of books published by Sphere. With legendary authors such as Gordon R Dickson, Philip Jose Farmer, Robert Heinlein, Fritz Leiber, Larry Niven, Alexei Panshin, Clifford Simak, Cordwainer Smith and Jack Williamson (deep breath), it’s no wonder that Sphere books remain very attractive.
*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: Our latest additions are a selection of Pan paperbacks dating from 1953 to 1979. Arthur C Clarke (Childhood’s End, The Sands Of Mars) is joined by Richard Cowper (signed copy of The Road To Corlay), C S Lewis (Voyage To Venus), Bob Shaw (Orbitsville and Other Days, Other Eyes) and Clifford Simak (Why Call Them Back From Heaven) as well as a collaboration between Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson (Farthest Star).
*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: After a lengthier hiatus than we would wish, the Books section presents five Hard Cover works by Philip K Dick. A man of wide-ranging talent, he wrote mainstream novels as well as Science Fiction, and we’ve stretched our boundaries a little to accommodate two non-SF books. So what do we have? The non-SF titles are The Broken Bubble and The Dark Haired Girl, both 1st editions from 1989 and 1988 respectively. The SF titles consist of Valis, World Of Chance and a collection entitled Robots, Androids, And Mechanical Oddities – The Science Fiction Of Philip K Dick (ed. Warrick & Greenberg). In addition to being a 1st UK HC, Valis is distinguished by being a Trade edition, from a run limited to only 1500 copies. This copy seems to have spent some time at W1A, having BBC stamps on the front and back pages. World Of Chance is the only one of the five to lack a DJ, but it is the oldest, being a 2nd UK HC from 1957. Robots, Androids, And Mechanical Oddities collects 15 of Dick’s short stories, each with an introductory note by the editors.
*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: Five Harry Harrison books join our shelves today, showcasing his riotous imagination and talent for galaxy-spanning fun in addition to his talent for more straightforward Science Fiction. Bill The Galactic Hero was identified by Sir Terry Pratchett as ‘simply the funniest science fiction book ever written’, and in these books Bill is joined by Jason dinAlt (Deathworld 2), Professor Arnie Klein (In Our Hands, The Stars) and the Stainless Steel Rat himself, Slippery Jim diGriz, as they scheme, finagle and battle to make sense of Worlds Gone Mad!