" In this universe the night was falling; the shadows were lengthening towards an east that would not know another dawn. But elsewhere the stars were still young and the light of morning lingered; and along the path he once had followed, Man would one day go again"

Arthur C. Clarke Against the Fall of Night

Friday, December 9, 2016

New Arrivals Ray Bradbury

As I have mentioned before the number of used book 
stores here has declined. However yesterday on a 
trip to the Italian Market for coffee and a pastry
with a friend, we stopped at Cabin Fever Books.

My friend found a juvenile for me by an author I had 
not read. The cover is unattributed.

I love Zelazny especially during his pre-Amber phase before he 
went trumps on his seemingly never ending pattern of milking
the saga of Oberon and his innumerable offspring, and here 
is one I have not read.

cover by Carl Lundgren

And of course I had been looking for The Years of the City
with the Paul Lehr cover.

But the zinger was a 1974 copy of The Martian Chronicles with
slipcase, published by The Heritage Press with illustrations by,
the greatest of Ray Bradbury's illustrators, Joseph Mugnaini.
 I am a big Bradbury fan. In Bradbury An Illustrated Life
(a wonderful book in it's own right), Jerry Weist notes that 
upon seeing Mugnaini's paintings for the first time Bradbury 
phoned the artist and the men became life long friends.

Wow. these geek me out.

John Glenn Born: July 18, 1921, Cambridge, Ohio, United States Died: December 8, 2016.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

New Arrivals

Yesterday I managed to sneak in a visit to Fair's Fair books 
while my wife and a friend shopped for some Mid Century Items 
down the street. Yippee!!

You never know what a used book store will yield. 
This trip the gems were a number of Paul Lehr covers.

A great Paul Lehr with a full scale figure, cool.

Beyond Tomorrow cover uncredited.

I knew I wanted this Brunner the second I saw the cover 
on the web. It was nice to find it without paying
 ABE pricing. The artist's name is under the right toe 
(your right) it is hard to make out,  
ISFDB states it "Appears to be PDRICK".

This copy of Venus Equilateral has a nice Jack Gaughan cover. 
I am not a huge fan of his work but I like the old school
ship and space station. This edition was printed in 1967 
but the stories appeared in Astounding starting in
1942 so the cover fits.

Peter Jones, I have a sentimental attachment to his work.
I also like the Weird Tales connection to early SF  and the 
contents looked fun. 

A Word about Weird essay, Robert Bloch
Preface, Mike Ashley
Skulls in the Stars, Robert Howard
The Three Marked Pennies, Mary Elizabeth Counselman
He That Hath Wings, Edmond Hamilton
The Distortion Out of Space, Francis Flagg
The Utmost Abomination, Clark Ashton Smith and Lin Carter
Eternal Rediffusion, Eric Frank Russell and Leslie J. Johnson
The Drucker, Ray Bardbury
The Black Kiss, Henry Kuttner and Robert Bloch
The Survivor, HPL and August Derleth 

Friday, November 25, 2016

David Kyle 1919-2016

I just learned that David Kyle passed away in Sept 2016. The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction notes that he was a member of First Fandom and a writer, publisher, and illustrator. He was, with Martin Greenberg, a founder of Gnome Press perhaps the greatest of all the SF small presses. It also has some of the coolest book covers. He was the author of three authorized adventures in E.E. "Doc" Smith Lensmen series each devoted to one of the none human Second Stage Lensman. Some 20 years ago I received a number of books on SF film and illustration from a friend. It was two books by Kyle that I consider largely responsible for my interest in the history of SF and its appearance in pulp magazines. They also help convert me from a reader of SF to someone who actively collected a wide range of SF titles and authors.



Ideas & Dreams: cover based on Amazing Stories 
cover (May 1944) by Malcolm Smith

Science Fiction: cover based on Thrilling Wonder Stories 
cover (Oct. 1936) by Howard V. Brown

Left: Back cover by Frank R. Paul appeared in  
Amazing Stories (Dec. 1941) Serenis, Water City of Callisto

Right: Back cover by Frank R. Paul appeared in  
Amazing Stories (April 1942) A city in the 21st Century

To  see more of Paul's Wonderful images please see the link 
below to the great blog Battered, Tattered, Yellowed & Creased.


The Second Stage Lensmen Books, Bantam, 1980-1983
The cover artist for two out of three is Bob Larkin

Some Gnome Press Titles

Children of the Atom, cover by Frank Kelley Frease (1953)

City, cover by Frank Kelley Frease (1952)

Cosmic Engineers, cover by Edd Cartier (1950)

Iceworld, cover by Ric Binkley (1953)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

I go in Search of Wonder ( Sit down Damon I will get to you )

A lot has been said about the Sense of Wonder in SF. Recently some books appeared on ABE that have caused me to launch my own search. I intend to discuss, on an ongoing basis, titles that capture what "wonder" means to me. I have Damon Knight's book as well as other books of SF criticism, but at present I will use the four short quotes below, from the article "Sense of Wonder" in the online version of The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction to provide some parameters for my search.

"Sense of wonder" is an interesting critical phrase, for it defines sf not by its content but by its effect."

""The second interesting thing about "sense of wonder" is that, by consensus, it can be found par excellence in a number of books that are usually regarded as rather badly written."

"The "sense of wonder" comes not from brilliant writing nor even from brilliant conceptualizing; it comes from a sudden opening of a closed door in the reader's mind."

"it is created by the writer putting the readers in a position from which they can glimpse for themselves, with no further auctorial aid, a scheme of things where mankind is seen in a new perspective."

The first story I have identified is "Twilight" by Don. A Stuart (John W Campbell) an old favourite, the second, a novel I may or may not have read many years ago but remembered nothing of, I (re)read last week Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. Clarke.

The same vendor that was selling Wonder's Child 
also had this beautiful set of the Starchild Trilogy, 
 1973 (2nd ed.) with lovely covers by Jacques Wyrs.