It Doesn't Have To Be Right…

… it just has to sound plausible


Look what the postie brought

Book haul time again. It’s been a month since the last one, so once more you get to see what new items I’ve added to my already-groaning bookshelves. Instead of a single photo, I’ve broken it down this time into several pictures.

First up is a trio of non-fiction books: Personal Landscapes by Jonathan Bolton, a study of British poets in Egypt during the Second World War (poets such as Lawrence Durrell, Keith Douglas, John Jarmain, Terence Tiller, Bernard Spencer, and others); a signed copy of A Short History of Lyme Regis by John Fowles, for the collection (see here); and Seven Miles Down by Jacques Piccard & Robert S Dietz, the only book written about the bathyscaphe Trieste‘s descent to the floor of Challenger Deep fifty years ago (see here).

Next up is four first edition genre novels. On the right is a signed and numbered slipcased edition from Kerosina Books of DG Compton’s Scudder’s Game, which also includes Radio Plays. In front of it is A Usual Lunacy, also by DG Compton and signed, and published by Borgo Press. Next is Colonel Rutherfords’ Colt by Lucius Shepard, for the Shepard collection (see here). Finally, Phillip Mann’s The Eye of the Queen, which completes my Mann collection (expect a book porn post on his novels soon).

Here are a couple of old British sf novels which were listed on my British SF Masterworks list (see here). No Man Friday by Rex Gordon I’ve had for a couple of months, but A Man of Double Deed by Leonard Daventry is a recent purchase. Expect reviews of both to appear on this blog soon. In fact, I intend to review most of the books on my British SF Masterworks list, the hard-to-find old and obscure ones almost certainly.

This is In Arcadia, a signed and numbered chapbook published in 1968 by Turret Books. It contains the eponymous poem by Lawrence Durrell, and music by Wallace Southam. The pair did two such chapbooks – I’ve had the other one, Nothing is Lost, Sweet Self, for a while (see this Lawrence Durrell collection post here).

And finally, here are four books for the Space Books collection. Sky Walking is astronaut’s Tom Jones’ memoir (no, not that Tom Jones, another one; the name, well, it’s not unusual). First Landing is a sf novel about the, er, first landing on Mars, by Robert Zubrin, an expert on the topic. Mars Underground by William K Hartmann is also about settling the Red Planet but is non-fiction. And last of all, Reflections from Earth Orbit by Winston E Scott is another astronaut autobiography. All four books are signed.

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Book Porn – Shepard & Shiner

Lucius Shepard and Lewis Shiner are among the finest writers of fantasy (and the occasional science fiction) currently being published. Shepard has won a Hugo Award, a Nebula Award, two World Fantasy Awards, a Sturgeon Award, a Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire (France), a Kurd Laßwitz Award (Germany), five International Horror Guild Awards, a Rhysling (poetry), and a Shirley Jackson Award. He also won the Campbell New Writer Award for 1985. Shiner has not been so lauded and to date has only won a single World Fantasy Award. But then, many of his novels have been presented as mainstream rather than fantasy.

Both are writers whose novels and stories I admire as much as I enjoy. So I collect them. First editions, of course. Many are also signed – but both are frequently published by small presses, such as PS Publishing and Subterranean Press, which produce beautifully put-together signed limited editions.

But on with the photos. Below are the books I own by both writers. My Shepard collection is far from complete, but the Shiner one is… although there is a Collected Stories due to be published later this year by Subterranean.