Cover art by Dan Steffan (front) and Brad Foster (back), and p.22 art by Alan Hunter (via Derek Pickles).
The Black Crusade by Richard Harland, Aurealis/Chimaera
2004, 217pp, map, wraps.
At long last the prequel to The Vicar of Morbing Vyle, published in 1993. It seems to be set in 1894 - at this 10:1 regression rate we will be back to the original vileness in no time at all. This review copy contains a desperate note on a scrap of lined paper (and he wrote the other way!) signed "Martin Smythe", claiming it is all true. All what, you ask? It may not be safe to try to find out - the publisher's blurb on the back warns against reading three of the chapters.
But I read them anyway, and survived.... Great over-the-top
grotesque nonsense. Not marketed at this time in the US, but if
you go to the website www.vilewatch.com you can probably
discover how to obtain a copy.
"It Isn't Right;" or, Frank Johnson's Reason by Anon.,
American Sunday School Union, Philadelphia 1867, 280pp, illus.
By 1871 this had made its way to Greensboro Georgia according to the flyleaf inscription. The three plates appear to be metal engravings, and each chapter has a very ornate initial letter. The green cloth binding is stamped in gold.
The opening issue in this tale seems to be a class struggle
between an easy-going "builder" (what we now call a contractor),
and a rich man who wants his house renovated, over the use of
"profane language" by some of the workmen - even though the work
is to be completed while the rich man's wife and children are away!
The Da Vinci Code Special Illustrated Edition by Dan
Brown, Doubleday 2004, 467pp, illus, $35.00
But found deeply discounted at the local supermarket. I had read the novel and found it interesting to see the medieval artwork discussed, though the description in the text of "Madonna of the Rocks" does not match the image shown. But the Da Vinci and Durer pictures of "The Last Supper" are fully as peculiar as the text says. I discovered that only one of the Durer pictures of the Last Supper is in this book - I don't know how many he did, but I have found three different ones. And they all share the odd feature that one of the disciples is in Christ's lap! The theory that this novel is based on (previously discussed in non-fiction Holy Blood Holy Grail by Baigent, Leigh, and Lincoln) is that this is because the person in Christ's lap is Mary Magdalene, and that they were married and sired the royal families of Europe, thus giving real meaning to "the divine right of kings".
A novel obviously aimed at the movie industry - Tom Hanks has
been mentioned for the part of the protagonist, Langdon. I found
it fun to read, but more for the ideas than the silly plot.
Atlantis, The Mystery Unravelled by Jürgen Spanuth,
Citadel, New York 1956, 207pp, photos, maps, drawings.
Spanuth puts the lost land in the North Sea west of Jutland - I wouldn't argue with him about it!
Elsewhen Unbound by Steve Sneyd, Hilltop Press 2004, 64pp,
illus, wraps, £2.5 or $6.
A compendium of data on "Poetry in American SFanzines, the 1930s to 1960s", with great Alan Hunter covers and a Julia Morgan-Scott centerfold. The entries are alphabetical by name and by title of the major zines. An excellent reference!
Contact - Hilltop Press, 4 Nowell Place, Almondbury, Huddersfield, W. Yorks. HD5 8PB, England.
Bitter-Sweet / Monday Morning Over the World by Mark
Sonnenfeld & Gindy Elizabeth Houston, and John B. Michel,
respectively, Hilltop Press 2004, 16pp, illus, wraps, £1.74
Also from Steve Sneyd - these are poems bound Ace-Double-style with excellent cover art by Alan Hunter and introductions by Steve. The poem by John B. Michel (1917-1968), the famous member of the early Futurian fan group, is quite startling in its imagery.
Queer Books by Edmund Pearson, Kennikat 1970, 298pp, 42
A reprint of the 1928 edition from Doubleday. Nothing to do with homosexuality - these 15 chapters discuss mostly obscure tomes that Pearson found peculiar. But the county library in Greenville SC apparently found the title unbearable and withdrew the book from circulation. There are chapters on "temperance" novels, the forgotten romance of Alonzo and Melissa, etiquette books, lurid 19th-century true-crime books, and so on, with 42 plates showing the books discussed.
George Beahm, who edited our Vaughn Bodé index 30
years ago (the mind boggles....) had Fantagraphics Books send me
review copies of currently available Bodé softcover books:
Cheech Wizard Vols. I & II, quarto, 60pp and $12.95 each - these include both preliminary sketches as well as finished color plates.
Vaughn Bodé's Erotica Vol.3, quarto, about 48pp, also $12.95
Junkwaffel Vol.2, quarto, 80pp, $12.95
Lizard Zen, quarto, 40pp, $9.95
Vaughn Bodé Diary Sketchbook #1, 2, and 3, 7.5x9.5, about 65pp and $10.95 each - these are all from diary pages dated in 1965, but not every page is used.
Bodé Schizophrenia, 6.5x9, 128pp, $14.95. This includes "The Man" and "Noname" and more text than the others.
I did not know Vaughn well, and only saw him a few times. But
although I don't in general care much for "comix", I liked his
artwork. Like Mervyn Peake and Sidney Sime, he knew where the
lines should go, and could put them there. An amazing talent!
Artificios by Jorge Luis Borges, Alianza Cien, Madrid
1995, 94pp, wraps.
A postcard-size booklet with nine of his stories in Spanish.
This was sent to me from Argentina by Juan Carlos Verrecchia.
And he included with it a 1999 2-peso Argentine coin issued on
the centenary of Borges birth. This coin has a portrait of
Borges on one side, and on the other a curious image of a maze
surrounding a sundial, enhanced with an infinity symbol,
the Hebrew letter Aleph, and the numeral 4. The maze can be
traced on the coin, which is 3 cm (about 1.2 inch) in diameter.
Occult Sciences by M. R. James, Haunted Library, 2004,
24pp, illustrated, wraps, $11.
The illustrations are a portrait of James, and three drawings of demons - and very well done too. There is a 3-page introduction by Rosemary Pardoe. The title piece was given as a lecture by James on Feb. 5, 1881, and has been printed here for the first time from the handwritten manuscript in the Cambridge University Library, copiously footnoted.
M. R. James' idea of a lecture seems to have been to repeat
every fantastic notion he had ever read on the subject - the
footnotes, which take up as much as half of some pages, are
fully necessary to have any idea what he is talking about! Of
course I am no expert in the field - I had never heard before
that the first magical spells were given by the fallen angels to
the giants before the Flood, and written down and buried, to be
dug up by Noah's son Ham! The Lilith legend is mentioned as
well, and Islamic sorcery, and many other arcane matters. In the
end the lecture stops rather than concludes - James apparently
considered the whole business doubtful!
This was published as a supplement to The Ghosts & Scholars
M. R. James Newsletter #5, but is available separately from
Rosemary Pardoe, Flat One, 36 Hamilton Street, Hoole, Chester
CH2 3JQ, England - £6 in England. Dollar orders must be paid
in US currency.
Arts Unknown by Luis Ortiz, Nonstop Press 2005, 176pp,
copiously illustrated in b&w and color, notes, bibliography,
And worth every penny! This is subtitled The Life & Art of Lee Brown Coye and has a lot of his work that I had never seen. Beautifully printed in South Korea on coated paper. Mine is direct from the publisher and is autographed. I see that I am mentioned in the acknowledgements as having helped with obscure fanzines, but I must admit I have quite forgotten which or how.
Lee Brown Coye (1907-1981) seems to have been the
quintessential "starving artist" - he was continually concerned
with paying the rent and his studio was burned out twice. And
yet he lived to a good age and seems to have been as happy as
much wealthier people. I have always admired the grotesque art
he did for Weird Tales and Arkham House, and wondered what
sort of person could create such things. Ortiz has done an
excellent job on both his life and his art.
The Horsed Vassal by John E. Berry, 2004, 94pp,
illustrated in b&w and color by ATom.
John Berry published this on the 50th anniversary of his first published article in Walt Willis' famous fanzine Hyphen. It's a humorous memoir of his days in the British army during WWII. The title is a ghastly pun, which I did not get until I read the explanation - I will not include it here....
Berry has either an excellent memory or a great imagination -
I don't remember anything from 50 years ago in this remarkable
If you want to try to get a copy, the address is:
John Berry, 4 Chilterns, South Hatfield, Herts. AL10 8JU, England
Vaughn Bodé: Rare and Well Done by Greg Theakston and
Scott Duffield, Pure Imagination 2004, 100+pp, illus, wraps $20
This biography of Bodé has a lot of personal detail of his all too short life, and is copiously illustrated in b&w, with color covers. Much of the art is from fanzines - I supplied a few scans myself. It was sold originally, as far as I can tell, through a few specialty shops and over eBay. The book itself gives the address 516 State Street, Brooklyn NY 11217, but nothing about S&H charges, and no URL or e-mail address. You could try Scott Duffield's e-mail address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Superstitions of the Irreligious by George Hedley,
Macmillan, New York 1951, 140pp
Hedley seems to have been a theology professor at Mills College, and says that this book is an expansion of a 2500-word sermon. I found the book at the Last Chance Thrift Store and was attracted by the title; and, on looking into it, by other peculiarities. The "superstitions" are enumerated in the table of contents - 1 through 9½. And there are the Biblical quotes on p.v, the same verse (Acts 17:22) from the King James version and the Revised Standard version respectively:
Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious.
Hedley undertakes to "explain" this apparent discrepancy - but
as with most sermons I have heard, his argument is a mixture of
the obvious and tenuously supported pontification.
The Robert Crumb Handbook by R. Crumb and Peter Poplaski,
MQ Publications 2005, 440pp, illustrated by the author in color
and b&w, index, bookmark, music CD, $25
I love Crumb's art, and there's a lot of it in this fat little book, which was printed in France (where Crumb lives now). The CD is good too!
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Long Beach Public Library Foundation, Long Beach (CA) 2005, 196pp, illustrated by divers hands, #484/2500, $45
A review copy kindly sent me by George Beahm, along with the special bookmark, a pamphlet about the "Long Beach Reads One Book" project, and a specially designed button. Ray Bradbury contributes a new introduction explaining the origins of the book and title, and Tim Kirk contributes four excellent endpaper illustrations. Other artwork is by the winners of a contest among local artists. Contact:
about availability of copies.
This of course is the classic SF novel about the apparently
immortal problem of government abuse of power to suppress free
expression - each generation seems to have to fight the battle
again, even here in the US, where the 1st Amendment to the
Constitution clearly states that the government may make no
law abridging the freedom of the press. The point is that
nothing that could be published would be as dangerous to liberty
as the power of the government used to suppress publication.
The Book of the Three Dragons by Kenneth Morris, Cold
Spring Press, Cold Spring Harbor (NY) 2004, 232+pp, key to
pronunciation, notes, Trade Paper, $11.95
I had not known that the 1930 1st edition of this book was incomplete, apparently cut short at the length the publisher wanted! This edition replaces the lost ending, which had been preserved by the Theosophical Univerity Press as the heirs to the literary estate of the author. Alas, the proofs were not properly checked - as I read the book I marked 16 pages with typographical errors. The press e-mail address is:
The Key to Pronunciation is fun - they attempt to untangle the
archaic Welsh (mostly proper names) but point out that enjoyment
of the book in no way depends on getting this just right.
Douglas Anderson contributes an excellent 2-page introduction on
this book and the author.
This is a complex story told in an exotic style. It's based on
the Welsh myth cycle called "The Mabinogion". The dragons are
not the sort that maidens are rescued from, or those found
lolling about on piles of treasure - here the dragon is merely
one aspect of a demigod. All of the characters are heroes or
demigods - social conscience and economics (not to mention basic
physics) are of no concern at all. In a way it reminds me of
what I have read of video role-playing games - the heroes and
even the demigods are continually stealing and losing assorted
magical weapons, clothing, and musical instruments. But as with
grand opera and many fantasy books, it is to be enjoyed for the
music and spectacle, not the logic.
Wild Animals I have Known by Ernest Seton-Thompson,
Scribners, New York City 1900, 360pp, illustrated by the
Note the date - one of the "wild animals" is a dog named Bingo, and the Bingo chapter opens (p.146) with:
Just how old is the Bingo song? This looks like
fake medieval spelling to me, but did Seton-Thompson make up the
doggerel or had he heard it somewhere? He did not invent
"Stingo" at any rate - that was the name of a traditional strong
The Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood, Bantam 2000, 260+pp, $19.95.
Sherwood, according to the blurb, is senior producer of the NBC Nightly News. The title is not metaphorical - the plot actually involves the title stunt, an extension of an actual feat by a man who ate a small car, with data on the mass and material of the giant aircraft. Science-fiction, or fantasy?
The Music of the Primes by Marcus Du Sautoy,
Perennial/HarperCollins 2004, 335pp, illus photos and diagrams,
index, trade paper, $13.95
An excellent history of the age-old attempt to resolve the mathematical mystery (why does their distribution appear to be unpredictably random?) of the "prime numbers" (integers that are not evenly divisible by any smaller integer). I almost imagined that I understood the Riemann Hypothesis - a million dollar prize awaits anyone who can prove or disprove it. For centuries this research was considered the ultimate "ivory tower" project, with no possible practical application - now the security of Internet transactions is based on the factorization of very large prime products.
It occurred to me to wonder how the lists of integers with
two prime factors, or three, or more, compare with
the list of primes, which are the numbers with one, namely
the number itself. Oddly enough, while there are 25 primes less
than 100, there 34 numbers with two prime factors, 25 with
three, 9 with four, etc. I wonder how these statistics would
vary with larger numbers....
The English Leopard by Mark Valentine, Stable Cottage
2005, 12pp, wraps, £1
The House of the Sun by John Howard, Stable Cottage 2005, 12pp, wraps.
These arcane poetry booklets may be obtained from Mark:
Stable Cottage, Priest Bank Rd
Kildwick, Keighley West
Yorkshire BD20 9BH
for £1 each. The first one actually carries the archaic price of "one sovereign"! And the envelope, in addition to computer-generated Royal Mail postage, carried a £1 Rockall Post stamp - I asked Mark about this, and he says it is "semi-official". Rockall (you can Google it) is an uninhabited rock in the North Atlantic that energetic loonies occasionally visit as a stunt.
The English Leopard traces the heraldic leopard to its
metaphorical lair - there are extensive notes, the first of
which notes that the word "leopard" was meant for the offspring
of a lion and the mythical "pard". There is also a long
facsimile extract from a book about "heraldic anomalies".
The House of the Sun and In a Yellow Wood appear
to be prose poems about specific haunted landscapes - rather
spooky. I was trying to think if I had ever encountered a
haunted landscape in person - I can't really think of any.
Perhaps they are only found in places of longer human
habitation.... This hill in the north Georgia mountains was
probably a pine forest visited only rarely by Indian hunters
before this subdivision was laid out in the mid-70s to serve as
a bedroom suburb for the Atlanta megapolis.
Solitaries of the Sambuca by Daniel Mauldsley, Burns &
Oates, London 1914, 252pp, illus. photos, appendix.
This is the book mentioned in the 1924 book Christopher and Cressida by Montgomery Carmichael (see IGOTS 26), who writes an introduction here, insisting that Daniel Mauldsley is a real person. The frontispiece photo, captioned "A Hermitage", reminds me of the Monty Python skit about hermits - it looks like a bunch of motel cottages (13 more or less identical in the picture) except that they are linked by footpaths with no space for cars.
The other two illustrations, labelled vice-versa from the
list to the actual plate, are "Mr. Mauldsley's picture" and "Mr
Casauban's picture" - not pictures of these men, but b&w
photoprints of medieval religious paintings. The plot of what is
obviously a novel has to do with the disappearance of Mr
Casauban into a hermitage called Sambuca in Italy, to the
mystification of his friend Mr.Maudsley. From there it gets
complicated - Ch.X is entitled "From the Anchoretic to the
Coenobitic Life". The appendix is "Mr Casauban's
Division of the Psalter for Weekly Use".
I suspect that if I read this book several times, I still
wouldn't know what the point of it is!
Ven y Enloquece & Luna de Miel en el Infierno
both by Fredric Brown, Gigamesh, Barcelona 2005, 478/520pp, trade paper, 16.95/17.95 euros.
The translations into Spanish, whose titles translate as "Come and Go Mad" and "Honeymoon in Hell" respectively, are attributed to Nuria Gres and Maximo Miguel, and the second volume has an 18-page bibliography. These are the first two of four volumes meant to publish in Spanish the entire SF works of Fredric Brown - the last two will be Universo de Locos ("Universe of Madmen" - "What Mad Universe"?) and Vagabundo del Espacio ("Vagabond of Space"). The Estate of Fredric Brown, as represented by Barry Malzberg, is acknowledged on the copyright page.
These are fat trade paper books on acid-free paper, sewn in
signatures and bound in heavy card covers with folded
edge-flaps. The only artwork is the wraparound covers by Juan Miguel
Aguilera - paintings which illustrate the short story titles
from which these book titles were taken.
I am not a Fred Brown completist, and have not been to Spain -
I got these because of an e-mail exchange with the publisher.
They wanted a picture of Fredric Brown for the back flap, and I
scanned the one from the dust-jacket of The Lights in the Sky
Are Stars (Dutton 1953) and e-mailed it to them. An excellent
project as far as I can tell - my Spanish is not up to
evaluating the translations! I was surprised to see that both of
these volumes are subtitled y otros cuentos de Marcianos,
which means "and other tales of Martians" - but while Fred Brown
is noted for Martians, Go Home, he was by no means fixated
on Martians, and most of these stories (including the two from
which the collection titles were taken) lack any reference to the
The Box From Japan by Harry Stephen Keeler, Ramble House
2005, 424pp, wraps.
This was originally published in 1932, but is set in a world
where there was no WWII. This is a monster - Keeler is a
dreadful writer full of bizarre ideas, and he does go on - 424
pages of very small print. It's a Ramble House book - I had
e-mail from a Louisiana journalist lady who had interviewed
Fender Tucker and wanted to know what to think of him and Ramble
House. I think he's a few pages short of a masterpiece, but he's
having fun in a fannish sort of way. Most of his Keeler reprints
are homade with a PC and a glue gun.
The Box from Japan had to be much larger in format because
of the length of the text. He got a nice cover from the same
Australian artist that did Blake's An Island in the Moon
with me. I have forgotten what I paid for this, but you can
easily look it up online.
The Scarlet Fig by Avram Davidson (1923-1993), The Rose
Press, London 2005, illus. divers, appendices, 285pp.
I was just beginning to wonder if I should make enquiries about this book, which I paid for some time ago. I have lost the reference and there is no price or invoice enclosed. This is #202 of 550 copies. It is the last of the Vergil Magus books, following The Phoenix and the Mirror and Vergil in Averno; and parts of it appeared in Asimov's, Weird Tales, and The Infinite Matrix. Besides the title story, there are five appendices, including samples cards from Davidson's 5000-card notes for a Vergil Magus Encyclopaedia.
A large book (7.25x11), slightly battered in the trip from the
UK, no d/w but attractively bound in gold-stamped cordovan.
There is no contact data in the book, but the return-address
sticker reads: The Rose Press, 22 West End Lane, Pinner,
Middlesex HA5 1AQ, England.
Byzantium An Illustrated History by Sean McLachlan,
Hippocrene Books, New York 2004, illus. photos and diagrams,
appendices, bibliography, index, 254pp, wraps, $14.95
Sean and I have corresponded and traded zines for some time, and he kindly sent this copy of his book about the Byzantine Empire. And an excellent book it is - very clearly written and well illustrated. The appendices include a timeline, and tables of the ruling dynasties.
Sean says that his next book will be a history of Missouri;
and that he has joined the Esoteric Order of Dagon. These items
are probably not related in any rational way....
Seekers of Dreams, ed. by Douglas Anderson, Cold Spring
Press, Cold Spring Harbor NY 2005, 314pp, wraps, $14.
A large anthology, distributed by Simon & Schuster. Dunsany, Lovecraft, both William and Kenneth Morris, Ligotti, Jonathan Carroll, Montague Summers - and several writers I never heard of. The editor also supplies notes on each entry. The blurb notes that the selection is designed to be as varied as possible.
Can't Get Off the Island by Greg Pickersgill, for
Claire Brialey and Mark Plummer produced this collection of Greg's fanzine writing for the August 2005 WorldCon, and kindly sent me a complimentary copy. Not your father's fanzine - this is typeset in double-column, something like 10-pt, so there are a lot of words here. They note that the typos from the original mimeo are not preserved. The material covers the range from 1970 to current, including cyber-writing. I will not give the street address of the publisher here, but Claire Brialey can be queried at email@example.com.
Greg is a colorful writer with a rather non-linear style. I
never heard the epithet "...with more mouth than trousers..."
anywhere else. These are fun to read, but hard to comment on.
Unrest of Their Time by Nellie Kirkham, The Cresset Press,
London nd (but said to be 1938), 263pp, glossary.
A very odd time-travel novel - the traveling is in dreams and quite involuntary. The sub-plots don't come together for me, but it's beautifully written and the atmosphere of the recreation of medieval England is remarkable. This not the England of the Court or the nobles, but that of the vagabonds and the lead-miners of Derbyshire. I don't find a date, but there is a remark that it was 5 years after the end of serfdom, apparently the last quarter of the 16th century. A lot of the glossary is taken up with technical and legal details of the lead-mining business. I did not have to consult it - most words are clear enough from context. It reads easier than Burgess' Clockwork Orange (which also had a glossary) with its Russian-based slang.
Another odd feature of this book is the color-coded text - the
present (apparently contemporary 1930s England) is in black, and
the past is in red - not a bright red, but a sort of rust color,
no problem reading it.
Walpuski's Typewriter by Frank Darabont, Cemetery Dance,
Baltimore 2005, 108pp, illus. Bernie Wrightson, $25
Ever so often I take a chance on a writer I never heard of.... I like Wrightson's artwork anyway (odd that he isn't credited on the title page) - and I collect typewriters. The machine here is a demon-possessed IBM Selectric II. Walpuski carries it about in a case - I never knew a Selectric to have a case, though I have a couple of Model 72s in adapted suitcases. The Selectric II is heavier - you wouldn't want to carry it far!
Darabont notes in the introduction that this is a silly story
that he wrote some 20 years ago. Good fun however, and the four
Wrightson plates are quite good.
When I bought the above, David Wynn at Mythos Books
kindly sent me review copies of two trade paperbacks from his press:
The Lovecraft Chronicles by Peter Cannon, Mythos Books
2004, 179pp, illus. by Jason Eckhardt, wraps, $15
One of the plates shows HPL drinking with Arthur Machen in an English pub, and another shows a Saturday Evening Post cover for Shadow Over Innsmouth - so these must be chronicles from an alternate reality! The color cover painting includes a movie poster of Reanimator starring Laurel and Hardy.
The Tales of Inspector Legrasse by H. P. Lovecraft & C. J.
Henderson, Mythos Books 2005, 217pp, $20
Inspector Legrasse appears in The Call of Cthulhu, which appears as the first Tale - the rest are by Henderson. I have not read them yet - it will be interesting to see how the series goes!
Dancing With Mermaids by Miles Gibson, The Do-Not Press,
London 1997, 184pp, wraps, £7
A trade paper reprint of the 1985 edition. I don't remember where I got it or why - I ran across it while making an inventory of the books. The cover art is silly and has nothing to do with the story, which is a sort of neo-gothic fantasy set in an obscure seaside town in England. But the language is poetic, and the characters are interesting. They got a blurb from Ray Bradbury to put on the back - "Absolutely wonderful". I can see why he would like it, the style is similar to his. I liked it a lot myself. I see I have one other by the same author, The Sandman, published at about the same time.
Building a Cool House for Hot Times by Joy V. Smith,
PublishAmerica, Baltimore 2004, 61pp, photos and diagrams,
Joy is a fan and sent me this review copy of her description, with photos and diagrams, of the building of a small residence, including site and cost details. And interesting design - three small bedrooms, and office, and a kitchen (each around 170 sq.ft.) and an enormous Great Room on the middle with a large screened porch across the back.
Encores in Fade by W. Lambert III, Carousel,
Hollywood 1981, 160pp, wraps, $1.75
Hard to imagine what the title could possibly mean! The cover shows a monster - reptiloid but with 6 legs on each side and a Godzilla-like head and torso and three eyes - disemboweled by a Conanesque hero armed with a sword (we are told toward the end that it has a gorninean handle) and shield. The first chapter is named "The Ending" and the rest are named for characters, some of them unpronouceable (Qrlic defeats me, at any rate), and introduced with quotes from an imaginary and incomprehensible book called "The Beginning".
Hard to tell the inventions from the typos - the word
"pellpmell" seems from context to be "pellmell" - but I don't
think we can blame the "goolit" killed by the "tenger beam" on
the typesetter. Or the "sin-sinto guidance plate". But from the
context I would have expected "operation" where we find
I bought this to send George Wells for his bad book
collection, but I may keep it for my own....
Phillip Ellis in the Antipodes (who spiffed up the HTML
coding in some of the online IGOTS issues for me) offers to
write poetry to order for International Reply Coupons - these
IRCs can be sent anywhere and the recipient can redeem them in
his own local postage. At least for countries in the Postal
Union. His rates are 1 IRC for each 5 lines of verse. A limerick
is conventionally 5 lines, though I have seen them printed as 3.
A sonnet is always 14 lines, so you could get a sonnet from Phil
for 3 IRCs.
Phillip A. Ellis
2/3 Monterey Avenue
Banora Point NSW 2486
Ken Ozanne and wife Marea visited over Halloween on
their latest trip around the world and we went to various book
and thrift stores and restaurants that I was not familiar with -
they like Golden Corral, and we found that you can eat far more
than is good for you there for about $8. I didn't know about the
place - probably no one goes there any more because it's too
I had forgotten that last year Ken sent a 10-page printout
about his travels, talking of making a CD from the photos - when
he was here, we did indeed download 100s of megs from his
digital camera and put them on a CD-RW.
Festus by Philip James Bailey, James Miller, New York
1874, 391pp, 10 plates.
In a leather binding with the owner's name (Cora Ida Nutting) gold-stamped on the front, all edges gilt, marbled endpapers. Apparently a popular book in its time - it's the 30th edition. And there is a "Preface to the American Edition", so Bailey was probably British. The illustrations seem to be (little as I know about the matter) steel engravings, and quite good. The only credit is hidden in tiny inscriptions on the frontispiece - the artist seems to have been one Wagstaff, and the engraving done by Andrews.
This is a theological fantasy in the form of an epic poem -
God and Lucifer are the characters that first appear, and Festus
seems to be a Faust-like character who is tempted by Lucifer.
Bailey's dedication to his father is not encouraging to the
prospective reader - he closes by saying that he has
...strang my harp with golden strings.
Diagnosis by Transillumination by W. J. Cameron Ph.G.,
Cameron's Publishing Co., Chicago 1924, 64pp, photos, $2.00
Dr. Cameron - I have no idea what degree Ph.G. denotes - apparently invented Cameron's Dentalamp. This is said to be of "100 candlepower", and was to be used to detect various problems with the teeth by shining the light through them - even though X-rays were available at the time.
A second section of the same book promotes the Vitalitester.
Dr Cameron explains the importance of the pulp inside the tooth,
which contains the nerve, and says that some dentists were
testing vitality of this nerve electrically with mains current
(110 volts AC) - at considerable risk to themselves and the
patient! He proposes instead this Vitalitester, which contains a
coil wound with "more than ¾ of a mile of wire" - that is, a
spark coil. This would give a very high voltage, but at too low
a current flow to do any permanent harm. I don't know if they
still use this sort of device - I know I have seen them in
dentist's offices. I once had it applied to my own personal
mouth, and felt the shock down to my toes.
Dr. Cameron was apparently a man of culture - his book opens
with a portrait of Joseph J. F. Le Maire "The First Regular
American Dentist", and closes with a quotation from Alexander
"Be not the first by whome the new are tried,
Nor yet the last to lay the old aside."
Psychometric Analysis by Max Freedom Long, DeVorss, Santa
Monica, 118pp, diagrams.
There is a 1959 copyright claim by the "Huna Research Association". References to the Huna and "the Secret Science" sound quite Lovecraftian - a page in the back seems to hint that this has something to do with deciphering a code devised by the Kahunas of Hawaii.
After a lot of twaddle about French Biometers made by M. Bovis
of which the secret has been lost, the "sticky shadowy body of
the low self", and "shadowy ectoplasmic threads", we get to the
meat of the matter - a detailed description of how to do
biometric readings with a pendulum.
The construction of the pendulum of the device from a darning
needle and aluminum foil is detailed - the suspension thread
should be just 4 inches long. Once it is made, it is tested
against lines drawn on a piece of paper by letting the "low
self" make the pendulum swing along a chosen line.
There are 26 sample readings given at the back, each with a
page of explanation and the diagram representing the pendulum
motion on a diagram - why these are all printed sideways is not
clear. The explanations of what the pendulum patterns mean are
not at all clear either, though some are quite radical. One
indicates a criminal, another madness, another a defective
child. Others are on global politics - Dag Hammarskjold "has
leadership, flexibility of mind and a strongly constructive
nature", while the Russian diplomat Gromyko "will continue to be
a difficult man to work with" because he is "constructive in a
fanatical way". Another chart is on "Egypt as represented by
Nasser", and the analysis drags in Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah,
and Iraq. Kaiser Wilhelm, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Woodrow Wilson
and Mao Tse-Tung all get a page. The cooperation of the subjects
is in no way necessary - apparently the pendulum is swung over a
Snythergen by Hal Garrott, McBride, New York 1923, 157pp,
illustrated by Dugald Walker
I saw this in a local rare-book emporium and paid over $50 for it - I couldn't resist the bizarre artwork, especially the frontispiece of Snythergen and his pig Squeaky. I suppose I could put it here in b&w, and in the cyber-version in full color.
New Six O'Clock Saints by Joan Windham, Sheed & Ward, New
York 1945, 104pp, illus. b&w by Caryll Houselander
Alas, this copy is missing the dust-jacket, which might have explained that it is a sequel to "Six O'Clock Saints" - but Addall shows that there was indeed such a book, in 1934. Ms Windham seems to have busied herself for years producing books with "Saint" in the title. Nor is there any introductory matter to explain just what a "six o'clock saint" might be. The 15 chapters are each on one saint.
The artwork is quite nice, probably why I bought the book. I
can't tell whether the saints are holy or whimsy - the chapters
all start with "Once upon a time..." and the characters and
conversations are very much in the fairy-tale mode, including
talking animals and the pretentious capitalization of
common nouns. Nor are there any dates given. I didn't know there
was a St. Kenneth or a St. Alice (who seems to have also been
Queen of Italy), or a St. Mungo. References I have on the matter
do find Kenneth (Canice) in the 7th century, and Mungo
(Kentigern) in the 6th century - but the only Alice (Aleydis)
listed was not Queen of Italy or anywhere else.
A Book for a Corner, ed. by Leigh Hunt, Putnam, New York
This is an ancient anthology with commentary, part of the "Library of Entertaining Miscellanies". The dual page counts represent the "First Series" and "Second Series" being bound together - they got a lot into a book in those days! This 450+ page tome is only 5x7½ inches and an inch thick. The entries may well have appeared previously as magazine articles, but there is no attribution.
Some of the entries are much too thick Victorian sentimental
twaddle for me to wade through, but others are interesting.
There is a large sample of Robinson Crusoe, and Pultock's
"Peter Wilkins' Discovery of the Flying Woman", part of a book
said to be an imitation of Robinson Crusoe but with
fantastic elements. There is also a large selection from the
works of the African explorer Mungo (see above!) Park.
Tales by Leigh Hunt, Walter Scott Publishing, London nd,
388pp, frontis by Peter Prouty
From the title page - the binding says "Tales and Adventures" by Leigh Hunt, "The Evergreen Library" and, as publisher, "Simpkin". This is not nearly as old a book as that above by the same author, but the content is similar. There is a long silly tale based on a poem popular in 1777 called Ver-vert; or, The Parrot of the Nuns based entirely on the humor of cloistered nuns having to hear a bird repeat rude language. There is also a detailed explanation of the Lady Godiva legend, and the evidence that somesuch thing actually happened.
Apocalypse Wow! A Memoir for the End of Time by James
Finn Garner, Simon & Schuster 1997, 174pp, illus, $14.95
Inspired by the turn of the millennium, Garner compiles and comments on various theories about the end of the world. I was particularly struck with his description of the Prophecy of St.Malachy that there would only be 112 Popes - and, depending on how you count them, the count is about up.
This is not a particularly serious tome however - the pages
are numbered in Roman numerals, and the footnotes are actual
images of tiny bare feet. Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce get a few
pages each, and failed prophets like the haberdasher who founded
Jehovah's Witnesses. Crop circles and the Number of the Beast
(long thought to be 666 but recently discovered to have been
copied incorrectly - it's actually 606, so all that tedious
"beasting" will have to be redone) are also mentioned.
The Girl Who Heard Dragons by Anne McCaffrey, Tor 1994,
352pp, illus Michael Whelan, $22.95
I don't collect the Pern books, though I read the first few way back when. I bought this in a thrift store because I like the Whelan artwork. Oddly enough, though the cataloging lines on the copyright page list it as a Pern book, only the title story is set there. There are lots of dragon pictures, but they seem to be inserted at random. The 14 stories after the title story are a mixed lot of science-fiction and fantasy - and no previous publication is attributed, so I suppose this is an original collection. Well, mostly original - 2 of the 14 are listed in the Miller/Contento index as having appeared in magazines.
The last story involves a viking named Elric, but is it
Moorcock's Elric? "Time winds" are mentioned, but there are also
skiffy elements - and this Elric speaks broken English.
Seven Men by Max Beerbohm, Knopf, New York 1922, 239pp,
illustrated by the author.
The local Book Nook is near my dentist, so I stopped in there rather than endure the waiting-room. All I came away with was this odd volume. There are five chapters, and the first is the famous story Enoch Soames, about a man who made a deal with the Devil and whose ghost was supposed to appear in the Reading Room of the British Museum on June 3, 1997 - people watched for him, I'm told. The other four chapters are similarly bizarre and convoluted tales, involving five other men. The author's sketches of them are collected at the back of the book. But there are only six men in the five chapters - who is the seventh man? Beerbohm himself, perhaps....
Passport to Narnia by George Beahm, Hampton Roads
Publishing Co., Charlottesville (VA) 2005, 200pp, illustrated by
Tim Kirk, photos, map, bibliography, index, wraps, $12.95
There is also an essay on C. S. Lewis by Neil Gaiman, and the bibliography includes websites. Both the Narnia books and the derivative films and TV productions are covered, and the collectible items generated by the latest film. There are even a couple of pages on the "Turkish Delight" candy that Edmund is addicted to in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!
To me the main attraction of the book is the wonderful artwork
by Tim Kirk, which includes a map of Narnia. But I only read the
books once, and that long ago - my sister wore out the 2-volume
edition reading it to her three children, and remembers the
details of the plots much better than I do. George kindly sent
me a copy for her!
The only thing missing here is a bibliography of the editions
of the books themselves. I have four myself, and odd volumes
from two others - and that's just in English. I suppose there
must have been translations. Nor do I know whether there are any
significant variations in the English texts published over the
The book is available on amazon.com; and the publisher has a
The Shining Ones by Iain Smith, published by Mark
Valentine, North Yorkshire 2005, 12pp, wraps, £2.50
This tribute to Arthur Machen's "Bowmen of Mons" WWI story is published in an edition of 100, and might be gotten from Mark Valentine:
or even Mark Valentine - address given above un The English Leopard
I got it from Joe Moudry over in Birmingham Alabama, who knew I
wanted one through the Caermaen Yahoo-group and so got an
An excellent atmospheric tale of the Great War!
Golf in the Year 2000 by J. McCullough, Rutledge Hill
Press, Nashville 1998, 160pp, illus. by David Wariner, $14.95
This is said to be a reprint of a book originally published in London in 1892 by T. Fisher Unwin. This copy, which I found at the local Last Chance Thrift Store, carries a notice - "With the Compliments of PerryGolf, the provider of Luxury Golf Travel for the next Millennium". Was that added to this copy (it's in a different ink, but doesn't look like a rubber stamp) as a promotional item - or is it part of the joke? Was McCullough a real 19th-century golfer who wrote as "J.A.C.K."? A search of the rare book sites finds only a 1984 "facsimile edition" (on which, the editor admits, this text is based), so I wouldn't bet a lot on it either way - but the blurb claim that it predicts the year 2000 with "uncanny accuracy" is suspicious.
The golfer of the tale, one Alexander Gibson, falls asleep on
a golf course in 1892 and reawakens in 2000, having been left in
an open coffin because he never seemed to be quite dead. The
world he encounters is not "our" 2000 - some of the gadgetry is
common enough (a watch set in a ring), some is feasible but
unlikely (nationwide subways), and some is utterly impossible (a
liquid that makes a century of beard vanish without a trace).
But to me the prose reads more like an imitation of 1890s style
than the real thing. But good enough fun - and I got it at a
Thorn Ogres of Hagwood by Robin Jarvis, Silver
Whistle/Harcourt 1999, 244pp, illustrated in b&w by the author,
The art is quite nice, and the prose is poetic. But the plot elements are mostly borrowed, and the moral viewpoint is confusing. The prologue has a vixen, hunting for a tasty duck to feed herself and her young, fall prey to the awful Thorn Ogres - but how are the ogres any more "awful" than the fox? The story then gets started with the Frodo/Kim/Grasshopper analog - Gamaliel Tumpin, a young "Werling" just learning to "wergle". The Hobbit-like Werlings have only one magical talent - they are shape-shifters. There's a Pucca, and the queen is named Rhiannon.... Said to be the first book of the Hagwood Trilogy. I might well have liked it when I was 10 or 12!
Moonmilk and Murder by Aaron Mark Stein, Doubleday 1955,
A complex and unlikely plot, though not on the Keeler level, but the characters and locale are interesting, and the action moves well. There is no fantasy content. I had never heard of "moonmilk", but apparently (unless it was invented for the purpose of this murder mystery) it is a term for a cave-wall deposit used by speleologists.
The Inverted Pyramid by Bertrand W. Sinclair, Little
Brown, Boston 1924, 339pp
There is actually an "inverted pyramid" stamped into the binding (the only graphics in this novel) a sort of 8-level ziggurat of picture panels. The panels are inverted as well, but even looking at the cover upside-down, they convey little to me - buildings, people, etc., but too small for any useful detail. I may have picked this up because the first page, which involves two teenagers in a dugout canoe on the Pacific NW coast (Vancouver Island) in 1909, has the author's superfluous opinion that "Jules Verne vulgarized holy science and proved himself an unwitting prophet with Captain Nemo's submersible". Alas, that seems to be the last thing of interest in what amounts in the end to no more than a soap opera novel.
Dorothy Return to Oz by Thomas L. Tedrow, FamilyVision
Press, New York 1993, 254pp, $19.95
An odd late entry to Oz literature, with its ungrammatical title and lack of artwork. The only graphics is a crude "yellow brick road" and sketchy "emerald city" on the dust jacket. Alas, the text is similarly uninspired. This may have been promoted as part of a package of "Family Reading" books - an attempt, perhaps, to poison the well and drive people back to the Glass Teat, television.
Radiomovies by Jenkins, Jenkins Laboratories, Washington
DC 1929, 143pp, photos, diagrams
That's the title on the spine and the pre-title - the cover and title page have "Radiomovies/Radiovision/Television". Even though his portrait is the frontispiece, to get any more of Mr. Jenkins' name, we have to reach p.128 where there is a group photo of the Laboratory staff - C. Francis Jenkins.
Mr. Jenkins was ugly as a mud fence, but multi-talented. His
"Visual Radio" patent numbers fill p.129, and he also invented a
landing altimeter for aircraft, a "lightning motor", a device
for predicting hurricanes, a ground-speed meter, and a device
for transmitting weather maps by radio.
On pp.126-127 there are facsimiles of the signatures of
visitors to the Laboratory - not all legible. But I can make out
Orville Wright and Mary Roberts Rinehart.
In the last few pages (titled "Why a Flag Flutters" on the
Contents page, but "The Law of Free Movement" on the page
referenced) the author waxes philosophical. He quotes (or
misquotes?) Alice in Wonderland on why a flag flutters -
the Old-Man-in-Mountain supplied flutters for flags, rustles
for silk dresses, and a very superior quality of post-hole. I
don't remember that from Lewis Carroll's classic, and it doesn't
sound quite right either - nor does it appear in the online text
supplied by the Gutenberg Project. He then gets into basic aerodynamics,
including amateur experiments, and describes how he invented (in
1894!) a high-speed movie camera that would run at 200 feet/sec,
once he discovered how to force an air layer to form between the
film and the metal so that the film wouldn't catch fire from
I was surprised to see that book-dealers at addall.com
value this book in the $300 range - I got it at the Last Chance
Thrift Store for $2.
Let's Go To Australia by George F. Taubeneck, Conjure
House 1946, 301pp, endpaper maps, appendix
Judging from their logo, Conjure House specialized in books for slight-of-hand artists. There are no photos - odd in a travel book. Even odder are the first two chapter titles - 1-Very White People, 2-Very Black People. The first chapter has a chapter on the "Keep Australia White" movement of the time, while the second chapter describes the aborigines as "smelly niggers" and asserts that "they have no religion at all" but "are very superstitious".
I see that this book is defective in another way - pp.17-32
appear twice, though nothing seems to be missing. The printer
seems to have repeated a group of pages within the signature, an
The Shaft in the Sky by John Temple Graves Jr, Doran, New
York 1923, 295pp.
A novel of the Great War (later called World War I) that is divided into two books - "A New Earth" and "A New Heaven". There is an introductory quote from a "Senator Calhoun at Essex" that mentions our soldiers in Europe having seen the Angels of the Marne - something like Arthur Machen's "Bowmen of Mons" perhaps.
Book One opens with a lot of soap opera, but in Ch.6 - the war
over - we find our hero reading about race riots in Washington
DC with ten dead. I have no idea whether this is history or
alternate history! In Ch.10 our hero is almost elected to the
House of Representatives, and women are "newly enfranchised" -
that seems contemporary, as US women got the vote in 1920.
Book Two is more politics and soap opera, with a useless and
inconclusive ending. At least we find out that the "shaft in the
sky" of the title is the Washington Monument. A flop altogether
- a warning to the unwary not to buy another moldering tome on
the basis of a poetic title....
I also heard from:
Gaubni Athushir, who e-mailed me in March 2005 to mock my brief comments in the 1997 IGOTS about the novels of Julian Gracq. Chacun a son gout said the farmer (as he kissed the wrong end of the cow).... One of the perils of putting old zines online I suppose!
Phyrne Bacon, who sent a Christmas card - long ago Phyrne sent me two huge binders of alphabetized card images of prozines reviews of SF books. This is attributed to Piers Anthony.
Graham Bates, who (with some others of the fictionmags Yahoo group) joins in the search for Esther Carlson of Moon Over the Back Fence fame.
Su Bates, who sent a Christmas card with photos of her kids and a long note. I had corresponded and traded with Dave Bates for years before he died in February of 2004. Ken Ozanne mentioned visiting Su on his recent pass through the US.
Ruth Berman, who liked the Brad Foster cover and the Gilliland cartoons, and discusses the business of fantasy novels with character name-lists in the front (or back).
John Berry, who says the Brad Foster cover on IGOTS 26 is the best he has ever seen - and he must remember ATom!
Merv Binns, who sent his homade full-color skiffy Christmas card from Down Under,
Sheryl Birkhead, who sent a Christmas card and also liked the Brad Foster cover.
Dainis Bisenieks, who sends an interesting back-page ad from an old magazine offering the Oliver 5 typewriter at a discount. And writes of proofreading a pulp novel that has Pittsburgh flooded by the destruction of a 500-ft-high dam on the Ohio River - the Ohio flows out of Pittsburgh!
Ray Bowman, who sends a rambling 3-page form letter about how if you have any old pulps, you should sell them to him.
Harry Buerkett, who sent a cyber-copy of his Of Haggis & Hagiography, a fascinating analysis of correspondences between Cordwainer Smith's Norstrilia stories and Frank Herbert's Dune stories. It has appeared in Bruce Gillespie's Steam Engine Time #5 - see:
Tom Cockcroft, who says that at least one of the authors in Esenwein's Adventures to Come (said to be the first anthology of SF) did publish elsewhere - J. S. Bradford's Even a Worm appeared as a small book and was reprinted in Famous Fantastic Mysteries in June 1945, and was praised by no less than F. Towner Laney. Tom also notes that J. Berg Esenwein was editor of Lippincott's Magazine 1905-1914.
Kevin Cook, who sends his Sons of the Blue Wolf with a memorial to Richard Minter (1920-2004). Richard Minter was a pulp collector who helped me with the Hannes Bok Index long ago - somewhere (my aging brainpan seems to recall) I have an 8x10 b&w glossy of him.
Kevin mentions the revival of Necronomicon Press and says he
wrote Michaud - someone else asked me if Michaud was still
involved in this enterprise. I have no idea.
Margaret Cubberly, who sends a clipping of her column for the newspaper in Gloucester VA, and other political and philosophical ephemera. Margaret and I were two of the Sagacious Seven that founded the Hampton Roads SF Association. The Christmas letter from her and Norman notes that he is still shuffling barges up and down the East Coast!
Chester Cuthbert sends many letters with assorted clippings from the Winnipeg paper.
Scott Duffield, who was co-editor of the new Vaughn Bodé: Rare and Well Done and sent a complimentary copy because I had scanned some fanzine art for him.
Phillip A. Ellis, who writes that he has started a collection of "anonymous poetry" - even that collected orally. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ken Faig, who is now editor of The Fossil for The Fossils, Historians of Amateur Journalism - he sent a 1-page inventory summary of the amateur journalism collection that Mike Horvat gave to the University of Oregon - a thousand bound volumes and hundreds of boxes.
Al Fitzpatrick, who sent a Xmas card and numerous letters.
John & Diane Fox, who sent a Xmas card with a picture of one of the rare Blue Mountain orchids.
E. B. Frohvet, who sends a subtly political Xmas card.
Jim Goldfrank, who sends a photo of the Mayan pyramid at Chichen Itza that he didn't climb, and a Christmas card with photos of his dogs!
D. Gary Grady, who resends his Slanapa comments as a letter of comment.... Gary notes that there is a website, http://www.oakland.edu/enp, with links to material on the remarkable mathematician Paul Erdös.
Gary also says that Google will include an article such as
the or a in a search if it is part of a phrase -
that had not been my experience, but things may have changed
since I last tried it, or I may have been thinking of the Addall
search engine. Yes - a Google search on [libby "the apprentice"]
produces 60% as many hits as on [libby the apprentice].
Mary Gray, who sends a Froggy Santa card - looks like an adaptation of the Tenniel frog footman from Alice in Wonderland.
J. F. Haines, who does the poetry zine Handshake, sent me one is an envelope with a 68p (UK) stamp showing a guy in a blue shirt eating an apple, with the cryptic caption "Changing Tastes in Britain". Huh?
Thomas Hall, who was interested in the "Ashmolean" booklets.
Richard Harland, whose The Black Crusade mentioned here last time won Best Horror Novel and Best Novel at the Aurealis Awards (Australia's version of the Nebulas) in January.
John Hertz, who sends offprints from Chronicle of his reports on the 2004 LunaCon and WorldCon. The LunaCon page has caricatures of him by Stu Shiffman and Ulrika O'Brien!
Alan Hunter, who sends his own handmade Christmas card!
Ben Indick, who says he has enough stuff and isn't going to buy the house next door to have room for more.
Ruth Judkowitz, long missed from the SFPA, sends a winter solstice card.
Herman Stowell King, who sent a very late 2004 card or a slightly early 2005 card!
Elaine Koogler, who sent a Christmas card - Elaine is my cousin, and as far as I know the only relative who was ever in the Society for Creative Anachronism.
R'ykandar Korra'ti (called Dara) who has run the Fanzine Lending Library at NorWesCon for some years now - a good place for unwanted duplicates. E-mail email@example.com
Brant Kresovich, who send an antique-style Christmas Card.
Kris & Lola in Spain sent a flyer for Call & Response, which claims to be "the best zine written by an Italian living in Japan" - I wonder how many there are!
Ken Lake, who had phoned me shortly before he passed away on January 23. His 2004 Christmas card said that would be his last Christmas. We never met, but I enjoyed his apazines and our correspondence. His sister, Margaret Challenger, sent me an e-mail.
Lolita Lark (aka Lorenzo W. Milam), who found the IGOTS files on the WWW (at fanac.org) and was kind enough to say he enjoyed them. He notes that the Fessenden Review that I mentioned a few issues back is not defunct as I had imagined, but transmogrified into Ralph in 1994 - see http://www.ralphmag.org.
Joseph Major, who says that the C L Moore item from her step-daughter in the last issue means that her second husband is no longer blocking reprinting of her work. I didn't even know she had had a second husband!
Tom Molloy, who sends a large postcard from Ireland showing Guinness being delivered with the morning milk (but is milk still delivered daily anywhere?), and the message that he is "on his way to a hiccup convention in Scotland" in a "Mini-Cooper with 24-ply tires".
Harry Morris, who send a postcard saying he had run across my name in the acknowledgements in The Art of Mahlon Blaine. He also notes that his IBM Composer has died - probably cheaper to get a PC than repair one of those!
Dale Nelson, who was amazed that I found the two old Charles Williams plays in a thrift store. I have queried the official Charles Williams Society about these - not listed on their website. I assumed they were by the Charles Williams of "Inkling" fame, but it is a common name.
Dale also searches for earlier appearances of garn for
go on, inspired by the dialog of the Orc Shagrat in The
Two Towers - couldn't find anything in Dickens, but W. W.
Jacobs has a character (probably a sailor) use the expression in
Many Cargoes, and also finds it used by a London
dockworker in People of the Abyss by Jack London, and a
sailor in The Ghost Pirates by William Hope Hodgson. He
says it's probably Cockney.
Christopher O'Brien, who took my mention of an e-mail from Ray Bradbury a bit too seriously and asked me for his e-mail address. I did not mean to imply any personal correspondence with Bradbury - this e-mail was part of a Planetary Society promotion, not a personal communication.
Steve Paul, who asks me about several old fanzines. Does anyone have a 1968 Mentat, or Geis' Psychotic 27 from that year?
Curt Phillips, who sends a 2-page hand-written LoC on IGOTS 26 - on lined "Physician Orders" paper. Maybe these were left in the padded cell by mistake.... Curt (like many others readers) liked the Brad Foster cover, and tried to decipher the words in the open book. The published cover - after passing through my LaserJet and a copyshop machine - does not retain the resolution necessary. In the original the words are somewhat clearer: verso-"and so this ? did look upon ? work, ? he did realize that while the vast majority of the books, actually all ? for on weak clos? that only bod? was in any obvious position as well as so would really require some ? ? ? to this ? to look like ? way sort [recto] actual concern on the ?, just like a ? book and to ? appear to be ? text, yet ? ? it wouldn't" and the reader's hand obscures the rest of the second page. One of those things man was not meant to know, perhaps - it looks like a bad copy of a real text more than something invented on the spot.
Curt also remembers a used-book dealer who glued library-card
pockets into his stock (some no doubt already had them) so that
he could keep a card there with the price on it....
Derek Pickles, who sends a number of interesting clippings, including an obituary of Sir Gordon Tait, who at the age of 19 was a junior lieutenant on a British Navy ship that captured an intact Enigma machine from a German ship - and rose to become an admiral.
Toni & Hank "Wolflord" Reinhardt, who send a winter solstice card with a beautiful picture of a howling wolf!
Bob Sabella, who in spite of his severe typerrhea found time to write me - he says he got halfway through the Dave Eggers "Heartbreaking Work" before giving up. The first couple of pages were more than I wanted!
Gianni Simone, who sends the first issue of his zine Call & Response. Gianni teaches Italian in Tokyo, and abuses copy machines in his spare time.
Steve Sneyd, who also liked the Brad Foster cover. He also encloses a clipping from the Jan.6'05 Guardian of a letter from Salman Rushdie noting that "graven images" of the Prophet Mohammed were quite common in Islamic art at one time.
Dale Speirs, who sends his Opuntia and a clipping on the last typewriter repairman in Calgary.
Milt Stevens, who comments extensively on the old South Carolina history book I mentioned in IGOTS 26. He notes that even California had an anti-miscegenation law until 1940 - but enforcement of it had been abandoned.
Mark Valentine, who notes that the Peter Lamborn Wilson whose book I reviewed is also involved in a campaign to found the Second Vermont Republic and secede from the U.S. Mark also blames me for getting him interested enough in Avram Dadidson that he ordered The Scarlet Fig from the Rose Press - so did I, but it was delayed. Finally appeared, see above.
Juan Carlos Verrecchia, who sent me the Jorge Luis Borges Artificios mentioned above.
Alex Vidal at Editiones Gilgamesh in Barcelona who says they are sending me their 2-volume collection of Fredric Brown stories as thanks for my having scanned a photo of him for them.
Bud Webster, who sends scans of the two very rare variant dust-wrappers he has for Esenwein's "first original SF anthology" Adventures to Come mentioned last time - he had written it up for the Curiosities column in F&SF.
Henry "Knarl" Welch, who invites me to condense some of IGOTS as "recommended reading" column for his Knarley Knews. I'm flattered, but don't think I would know how to do that - I really don't think much in terms of recommending anything.
Peter Winnington, who was as amazed as I was that I found both volumes of the Everyman Don Quixote with the Mervyn Peake dust-jackets at the local Last Chance Thrift Store.
Heinz Wohlers, who found in the online IGOTS the ancient comments I had made about the mysterious phrase "the Age of Phisterus". Heinz notes that he had translated into German the story Phisterus by Robert Lowry that dates that word to 1942, and gave a URL link to the story. But the story does not explain the source of the name, nor use it in the way I heard it from the old Atlanta book scout Emory Bradley (1904-1991), who would say something like "you remind me of a man from the Age of Phisterus" - in this story, "phisterus" is a sort of all-purpose expletive. So it remains a mystery.
The Time Traveler Convention
May 7, 2005, 10:00pm EDT
(08 May 2005 02:00:00 UTC)
East Campus Courtyard, MIT
(42.360007,-071.087870 in decimal degrees)
But - could they tell if any of them came?
The back cover artist, Brad Foster (see http://www.jabberwockygraphix.com), sent this page along with the artwork - as they say on TV, Adult Discretion is advised!
Before reading this list, see if you can figure out the real titles that the parody titles are derived from. (All those books that actually have an author included are real titles, so don't worry about decoding those.)
The titles below in bold face are of actual adults-only novels with science fiction/fantasy themes.
Alas, Babydoll Nightie (Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank)
An Alien In Heat (An Alien Heat by Michael Moorcock)
The Analist Gates (The Anubis Gates by Tim Powers)
The Bearded Clams of Steel (The Caves of Steel by Isaac Asimov)
Bigger Than Human (More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon)
Bikini Girls of Dune (Dune by Frank Herbert)
The Blowup Doll Masters (The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein)
Boobworld (Ringworld by Larry Niven)
Bordello Earth (Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard)
Brave New Orgy (Brave New World by Aldous Huxley)
Bugfuck Jack (Bug jack Barron by Norman Spinrad)
The Climax Rider (The Shockwave Rider by John Brunner)
A Clockwork Vibrator (A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess)
Dangerous Porn (Dangerous Visions ed by Harlan Ellison)
The Day of the Clitoris (The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham)
The Devoured by John Cleve
The Door Into the Virgin (The Door Into Summer by Robert Heinlein)
Do Robots Wetdream of Electric Ewes? (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick)
Drag Queen Quest (Dragonquest by Anne McCaffrey)
Fahrenheit 69 (Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury)
Father of the Amazons by Pete Lewis
The Flesh Hunters by Lee Wyatt
The Forever Whore (The Forever War by Joe Haldeman)
The Foundation Garments Trilogy (The Foundation Trilogy by lssac Asimov)
Fuckenstein (Frankenstein by Mary Shelley)
The Great 24 Hour "Thing" by Andrew J. Offutt
Have Condom - Will Travel (Have Spacesuit - Will Travel by Robert Heinlein)
High Thrust by Renee Auden
A Hooker of Mars (A Princss of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs)
Hookers for Algernon (Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes)
Hot Black Hole by Jerry Little
I, Dildo (I, Robot by Isaac Asimov)
Intergalactic Orgy by Obie Kahn
The Invisible Peeping Tom (The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells)
Jetman Meets the Mad Madam by Hardley Savage
Journey To the Center of Her Pussy (Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne)
Laid in the Future by Rod Gray
The Long, Hard, Throbbing Tomorrow (The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett)
Lord of the Cock Rings (Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien)
Manlib! by John Cleeve
The Man Who Fucked Himself (The Man Who Folded Himself by David Gerrold)
The Massage Chronicles (The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury)
Mission of Orgasm (Mission of Gravity by Hal Clement)
The Moon Is a Horny Mistress (The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein)
Nineteen Sixty-Nine (Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell)
Nipplemancer (Neuromancer by William Gibson)
Orgasmist Trilogy (Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake)
Orgies In Space by Tom Nestle
An Orgy for Leibowitz (A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller)
The Oversexed Astronauts by M. Coxe
Penetrators of Time by Merlin Kaye
The Persistence of Arousal (The Persistence of Vision by John Varley)
Rear Enderís Game (Enderís Game by Orson Scott Card)
The Right Hand for Yanking (The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K LeGuin)
Rogue Cleavage (Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys)
Satyr Trek by Ray Kainen
Sex Station (Way Station by Clifford Simak)
Slut Crash (Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson)
The Sluts My Destination (The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester)
Something Wanton This Way Cums (Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury)
Somewhere Over The Orgy by Maggie Kaye
The Spurting man (The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester)
The Spurt In Her Eye (The Mote in Godís Eye by Larry Niven & Pournelle)
The Stainless Steel Dildo (The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison)
Starship Humpers (Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein)
Stranger in a Strange Ass (Stranger In a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein)
The Titty Machine (The Time Machine by H.G. Wells)
Tongues of His Face, Pricks of His Loins (Doors of His Face, The Lamps of His Mouth by Roger Zelazny)
To Your Horny Bodies Go (To Your Scattered Bodies Go by Philip José Farmer)
20,000 Babes Under the Sea (20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne)
The Vibrator of Heaven (The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K LeGuin)
Virginís End (Childhoodís End by Arthur C. Clarke)
Whistle Them Willing by Richard E. Geis
World Where Sex Was Born by Peter Kanto
Yolanda: The Girl From Erosphere by Dominique Verseau