24 December 2018

It’s Xmas time, our favourite holiday and we started it by picking up some copies of the 1978 run of F&SF magazine off eBay. Our F&SF collection is large but still missing a few copies here and there and when we saw the image of ‘Bhen’ we placed a bid without hesitation. That gives us ten of the twelve ‘Bhen’ covers so far.

Most covers for Fantasy & Science Fiction illustrate a particular story. But in 1975, when public interest in NASA and space exploration seemed to be declining, David A. Hardy created an illustration to draw attention to NASA’s work and make space seem fun again. He named the alien ‘ Bhen'  and over the next 40 years the fun-loving big green alien appeared on a dozen F&SF covers.

But there’s more, only once we got the copy did we realise that this edition is the highly sought after true first publication of Stephen King’s 'The Gunslinger’. It was followed by four more instalments:

April, 1980 - The Way Station

February, 1981 - The Oracle and the Mountains

July 1981 - The Slow Mutants

November 1981 - The Gunslinger and the Dark Man

these five issues were eventually published by Donald Grant as 'Dark Tower: The Gunslinger' in 1982.

We’d wanted to complete all five for some time now but the prices asked for the first issue are hard to justify and we’d forgotten the actual year, we thought it was Oct. 1979! But here it is, what a great start to the festive season! 


New in this week, C. Robert Cargill’s unforgettable post-apocalyptic “robot western” gets the Subterranean Press treatment with a stunning dust jacket illustration by Dominic Harman:

It’s a world where the last human died 15 years ago, and vast AIs known as OWI, or One World Intelligences, now connect millions of the robots who have forcibly inherited the Earth. 

Brittle is an outlaw, making her way as best she can by her code, refusing to give up her individuality to an OWI. 

But when Brittle’s own parts begin to break down under threat from another wasteland scavenger, Mercer, she must make an alliance she suspects is foolhardly. 

But it’s the only chance she has for survival. Guiding other bots across the Sea of Rust she knows so well under constant dangers—including not just insane robots, but the larger conflict between two OWIs—Brittle relives memories of the time before, the humans she knew, and the death of humanity as she fights to live to see another sunset. Looks good, a lot of very positive reviews out there.

We received a brace of Sub Press editions of late, due to their most recent ‘grab bag’ sale. It’s always great to get the box with it’s ten surprise books and this year was no exception starting with Emily St. John Mandel’s New York Times bestselling 'Station Eleven'. Yeah, this was definitely one we felt we’d missed out on getting initially but here it is with it’s glorious Vincent Chong dust jacket.

'Station Eleven' is a post-apocalyptic novel set in the southern provinces of Canada where an aggressive mutation of swine-flu has wiped out an estimated 99% of the world’s population in the space of a couple of weeks. This is not so much a story with a beginning, middle and end, but a story about what happens to the survivors after an apocalypse, what survival actually means, and what this type of event does to a person’s humanity.

Ever read a blurb and just want to read the book there and then?, well that’s how the latest ‘Lucifer Jones’ makes us feel and damnit we’re already busy with 'Thin Air’. We will get to it though ‘cause it sure looks like fun! We were so impressed by the Bob Eggleton art that we gave Mr Resnick his own page, and in doing so discovered that Resnick is the most awarded SF short fiction writer (living or dead) according to Locus.

Lucifer Jones is back—and on the run again. Having been barred from the United States, Africa (Adventures), Asia (Exploits), Europe (Encounters), and South America (Hazards), he is island-hopping his way across the Pacific to Australia, the one remaining continent that will tolerate his presence.

Seems like it should be an idyllic trip, but then, nothing is ever quite idyllic where Lucifer is concerned. He meets a rather large, rather unhappy couple when he encounters King and Mrs. Kong; he comes across a hermit with an opera singer’s name who has four gorgeous servants—Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; he falls in with an arduous collector—of heads; he gets passage aboard a ship whose crazed captain is in maniacal pursuit of the Puce Whale; and he eventually tops General MacArthur’s list of least favorite people.

During the course of his voyages he and the reader encounter old friends such as Capturin’ Clyde Calhoun (who brings ’em back alive; not intact, but alive), Erich von Horst (a con man’s con man), and Inspector Willie Wong (who has so many sons he has run out of names for them and uses numbers instead), as well as some new and equally memorable characters.

Join five-time Hugo winner Mike Resnick as he brings you more episodes from the life of his favorite creation, the Right Reverend Honorable Dr. Lucifer Jones (“Weddings done cheap, with a group rate for funerals.”).

Limited: 1000 signed numbered hardcover copies  

9 December 2018

We picked up a paperback of the first in Ben Aaronovitch’s ‘Peter Grant’ series at a sale recently. A brief browse of the first page had us hooked and now we have the complete collection in first edition, most signed! If you enjoy British humour and a bit of fun then these should be in your Xmas stocking. Cool dust jackets.

And from fun to seriously hard boiled as Richard K. Morgan returns after four years since his ‘Dark Defiles’, and a whopping sixteen since ‘Altered Carbon’, with a new stand alone novel set in the same world as ‘Black Man’. We have all of Morgan’s books to date in the UK first edition format and surprisingly there is no UK hardcover release on this one. 

'On a Mars where ruthless corporate interests violently collide with a homegrown independence movement as Earth-based overlords battle for profits and power, Hakan Veil is an ex–professional enforcer equipped with military-grade body tech that’s made him a human killing machine. But he’s had enough of the turbulent red planet, and all he wants is a ticket back home—which is just what he’s offered by the Earth Oversight organisation, in exchange for being the bodyguard for an EO investigator. It’s a beyond-easy gig for a heavy hitter like Veil . . . until it isn’t.

When Veil’s charge, Madison Madekwe, starts looking into the mysterious disappearance of a lottery winner, she stirs up a hornet’s nest of intrigue and murder. And the deeper Veil is drawn into the dangerous game being played, the more long-buried secrets claw their way to the Martian surface. Now it’s the expert assassin on the wrong end of a lethal weapon—as Veil stands targeted by powerful enemies hellbent on taking him down, by any means necessary.'

Del Rey First edition hardcover.

Next on our reading list!

Just in time for Xmas and to ensure that you are excited for the next HBO instalment, George R.R. Martin releases, what is to a awful lot of fans, a book that is in the wrong direction. Instead of giving us the next in the series, ‘Winds of Winter’, Martin gives us a 300 year prequel that is by the way also incomplete, it being volume one! That being said, it is a George R.R. Martin book and a very Tolkienesque move, so if you love ‘Westeros’ then this is for you.

Set 300 years before the events in 'A Song of Ice and Fire', 'Fire and Blood' is the definitive history of the Targaryens in Westeros as told by Archmaester Gyldayn, and chronicles the conquest that united the Seven Kingdoms under Targaryen rule through the Dance of the Dragons: the Targaryen civil war that nearly ended their dynasty forever.

Centuries before the events of 'A Game of Thrones', House Targaryen – the only family of dragonlords to survive the Doom of Valyria – took up residence on Dragonstone. Fire and Blood begins their tale with the legendary Aegon the Conqueror, creator of the Iron Throne, and goes on to recount the generations of Targaryens who fought to hold that iconic seat, all the way up to the civil war that nearly tore their dynasty apart.

What really happened during the Dance of the Dragons? Why did it become so deadly to visit Valyria after the Doom? What is the origin of Daenerys’s three dragon eggs? These are but a few of the questions answered in this essential chronicle, as related by a learned maester of the Citadel and featuring more than eighty all-new black-and-white illustrations by artist Doug Wheatley. Readers have glimpsed small parts of this narrative in such volumes as 'The World of Ice & Fire' but now, for the first time, the full tapestry of Targaryen history is revealed. 

25 November 2018

In one week Philip Reeve’s ‘Mortal Engines’ hits the big screen thanks to Peter Jackson. We’re excited. To help people grapple with 'municipal darwinism’, Reeve has released ‘The Illustrated World of Mortal Engines’, an oversized coffee table book featuring artwork from seven artists. Because there was a delay due to a printing error, anyone who pre-ordered the limited edition received a bonus oversized print signed by Reeve, cool huh? See more on our new Philip Reeve page.


The passing of Ursula K. Le Guin this year was a great loss, one of the earliest fantasy books we read was a paperback copy of 'A Wizard of Earthsea’ during a summer holiday at the beach. Never forgotten that. Now celebrating the 50th Anniversary of 'A Wizard of Earthsea’, Gollancz have finally released a definitive edition illustrated by Charles Vess, a perfect choice of artist in our view:

'The Books of Earthsea - The Complete Illustrated Edition ' published by Gollancz, London in October 2018, one of 250 limited copies of the illustrated Books of Earthsea, signed by renowned artist Charles Vess. This limited numbered edition is presented in a beautiful foil blocked slipcase in marine blue Wiblain, the same materials used for the U.K. trade hardcover and includes a five page introduction by Ursula K. Le Guin dated February 2016, seven full page colour plates, over fifty b&w illustrations, as well as the short story 'The Daughter of Odren', published for the first time and her last story 'Firelight’.

Recent arrivals include these large matching TPB copies of three novels by Phyllis Eisenstein, the first two make up ’The Elementals Series’ a planned trilogy, the third book of which lies unpublished since the collapse of Meisha Merlin Publishing. All are out of print now, but ’The Sorcerer’s Son’ is as great YA novel as they get. Trivia Alert: Eisenstein is an old friend of George R. R. Martin and convinced him to include dragons in his 'A Song of Ice and Fire’ (he needed convincing?). Martin then dedicated the third novel in the series, 'A Storm of Swords', to Eisenstein. 


Speaking of George R. R. Martin, Sub Press have begun pre-orders on their signed limited edition of GRRM's 'Fire & Blood', to be printed on premium paper, featuring an original dust jacket and a number of exclusive full-color plates by Gary Gianni. It’s not cheap!.

11 November 2018

Our cup runneth over right now, between book sales and publisher releases we are getting some fantastic new arrivals. Subterranean Press typically feature heavily, check these out:

The Sub Press editions of ‘The Expanse’ are a collectors dream, book six continues with the Daniel Dociu art and no titles. We’ve started a page so you can appreciate all six covers together.

Next up is another stellar work from Jeff VanderMeer, post his groundbreaking Southern Reach Trilogy (‘Ascension’ was the first novel) he followed up with the powerful dystopian fantasy, ‘Borne', in 2017. Now in 'The Complete Borne', VanderMeer expands that novel’s original vision through supplementary narratives that enlarge our understanding of his astonishing fictional world.

The centrepiece of this collection is the original novel itself. ‘Borne' offers a portrait of a broken, toxic future dominated by three elements: the immense flying bear known as Mord, an elusive figure called simply the Magician, and the remnants of a once powerful organization called The Company. Into this dying world come Rachel, a woman who survives by scavenging food and discarded “biotech,” and Borne, a bizarre and protean figure unlike any you have ever encountered. Their evolving relationship forms the heart of the novel and leads to a conclusion you will never forget.

‘Borne' is filled with strange, often misbegotten creatures, the products of unchecked Company experiments. In a heavily illustrated supplement called “Teem’s Bestiary,” we learn a great deal about the nature and history of such singular creatures as memory beetles, mudskippers, damsel flies and red salamanders. Of special note is the perhaps mythical creature known simply as “Strange Bird,” the title figure of the harrowing—and deeply affecting—novella that follows.

The dust jacket illustration by Vasily Polovtsev is surely one of the most striking of the year. The book is quite stunning. The new weird indeed.

And two further limited editions from landmark trilogies that should need no introduction here, Pierce Brown just got his own page:


We’ve also completed adding all of Peter’s books to the site. We received a heap of paperbacks and of course, as we do, Peter had some favourites which made up the bulk of his books. So whilst there were more than 150 books added these are the main events, worth checking out folks...


23 October 2018

Subterranean Press led us to this release by Dark Regions Press (cool name) and we couldn’t resist the Vincent Chong DJ, so we got a copy, very nice. Originally published in 2014 this is a landmark debut and we note a forthcoming Netflix movie starring Sandra Bullock due in December.

'Something is out there, something terrifying that must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. No one knows what it is or where it came from.

Five years after it began, a handful of scattered survivors remains, including Malorie and her two young children. Living in an abandoned house near the river, she has dreamed of fleeing to a place where they might be safe. Now that the boy and girl are four, it's time to go, but the journey ahead will be terrifying: twenty miles downriver in a rowboat--blindfolded--with nothing to rely on but her wits and the children’s trained ears. One wrong choice and they will die. Something is following them all the while, but is it man, animal, or monster?'

We’ve managed to get another set of Clive Barkers ‘Books of Blood’, this time in a used B-format paperback omnibus. We have the highly expensive Sub Press edition for the collector, but if you’re just interested in finding out what all the fuss is about then these are for you.

This two-volume edition features all of the remarkable horror short stories with which he kicked off his career.These enthusiastic tales are not ashamed of visceral horror, of blood splashing freely across the page: "The Midnight Meat Train," a grisly subway tale that surprises you with one twist after another; "The Yattering and Jack," about a hilarious demon who possesses a Christmas turkey; "In the Hills, the Cities," an unusual example of an original horror premise; "Dread," a harrowing non-supernatural tale about being forced to realize your worst nightmare; "Jacqueline Ess: Her Will and Testament," about a woman who kills men with her mind. Some of the tales are more successful than others, but all are distinguished by strikingly beautiful images of evil and destruction. No horror library is complete without them.


We mentioned that we were heading to a book sale on our last update, well that’s come and gone with another brace of books for us to process, but whilst we work through them we couldn’t help but crow about this Folio box set we found:


7 October 2018

ERB Books Inc., the Tarzana based publisher, have just released the seventh book in the Pellucidar series and, as with the ‘Land of Terror’  promotion it features two reprint editions of the title, one by Grosset & Dunlap and the other by ERB. The dust jackets (there are two variants for each book) feature new artwork by Bob Eggleton (the G&D edition) and Thomas Grindberg. Love the full wrap art matching the seascape of ‘Land of Terror’. These books have great interior illustrations from a range of artists. Stunning stuff! There’s more about these editions at the Burroughs page.

Centipede Press have released the third book in their ‘Masters of Science Fiction’ series, this one featuring the late Richard Wilson. The book is as per usual a great piece of work weighting in at over 700 pages. We love that Centipede have chosen cover artists Jim & Ruth Keegan for the series to date, the covers are fantastic! We’ve created a ‘Masters of Science Fiction‘ page in our ‘Collections’ section so you can see all three together, can’t wait for # four.

We’re still processing a number of book club editions of SF classics we picked up a while ago. Amongst those are these, the first three of Manly Wade Wellman’s ’Silver John’ series. We’ve the same in first edition but couldn’t resist getting these great copies of a little known gem.  Karl Edward Wagner wrote: "These stories are chilling and enchanting, magical and down-to-earth, full of wonder and humanity. They are fun. They are like nothing else you’ve read before." 


We are still working our way through Peter's collection, this time we add all of the E.E.’Doc’ Smith paperbacks, so many that ‘Doc’ finally gets his own page!


23 September 2018

This genre is all about imagination, some artists can shape that with their work, few with greater impact than Bruce Pennington. It was Bruce’s artwork on ‘ Shadow of the Torturer’ that led us to ‘ The Book of the New Sun’, which is now one of our all time favourites. Strangely enough we have only now completed our set of UK first editions. They’re beautiful!

Until we got a copy we never realised that the art on book four does not match the paperback picture (also done by Bruce and the most pinned copy). The image is duller and includes an aircraft of sorts which does not exist on the paperback cover. We can find no reason for this, if you know drop us a line please! 

See them all on our Gene Wolfe page or clicking on the image.

Looking for huge space opera, don’t mind books that build on characters and themes for some time before exploding? then happy day!, Peter F. Hamilton has started a new trilogy and as an added bonus it’s not set in the ‘Commonwealth’!

'Know your enemy – or be defeated.

AD 2204

An alien shipwreck is discovered on a planet at the very limits of human expansion – so Security Director Feriton Kayne selects a team to investigate. The ship’s sinister cargo not only raises bewildering questions, but could also foreshadow humanity’s extinction. It will be up to the team to bring back answers, and the consequences of this voyage will change everything.

Back on Earth, we can now make deserts bloom and extend lifespans indefinitely, so humanity seems invulnerable. We therefore welcomed the Olyix to Earth when they contacted us. They needed fuel for their pilgrimage across the galaxy – and in exchange they helped us advance our technology. But were the Olyix a blessing or a curse?


Many lightyears from Earth, Dellian and his clan of genetically engineered soldiers are raised with one goal. They must confront and destroy their ancient adversary. The enemy caused mankind to flee across the galaxy and they hunt us still. If they aren’t stopped, we will be wiped out – and we’re running out of time.'

We’ve been collecting the PS Publishing Stephen King limited editions for some time now, this latest edition splits the original book into three parts, housed in slipcase, with original artwork from Daniele Serra. Stunning as per usual. Check out the Stephen King page.

Just in case you missed this:

Late last night and the night before,

    Tommyknockers, Tommyknockers,

     knocking at my door.

I want to go out, don't know if I can,

    'cause I'm so afraid

    of the Tommyknocker man.

Something was happening in Bobbi Anderson's idyllic small town of Haven, Maine. Something that gave every man, woman, and child in town powers far beyond ordinary mortals. Something that turned the town into a death trap for all outsiders. Something that came from a metal object, buried for millennia, that Bobbi accidentally stumbled across.It wasn't that Bobbi and the other good folks of Haven had sold their souls to reap the rewards of the most deadly evil this side of hell. It was more like a diabolical takeover...an invasion of body and soul--and mind….

We have mentioned that we have a lot coming in lately, anyway each of these signed limited editions below deserve special mention which we can’t do here, please head on over to the respective General Section page or click on the image, and scroll to the book to read more. We’ve also uploaded more of Peter’s books - Piers Anthony this time.


9 September 2018

Once again Subterranean Press blow us away with their work, here is the eighth volume of 'The Malazan Book of the Fallen' with a new artist, Marc Simonetti, for this volume in the series. This is a doorstopper of a book, it’s like each instalment is larger than last.

In Darujhistan, the city of blue fire, it is said that love and death shall arrive dancing. It is summer and the heat is oppressive, but for the small round man in the faded red waistcoat, discomfiture is not just because of the sun. All is not well. Dire portents plague his nights and haunt the city streets like fiends of shadow. Assassins skulk in alleyways, but the quarry has turned and the hunters become the hunted. Hidden hands pluck the strings of tyranny like a fell chorus. While the bards sing their tragic tales, somewhere in the distance can be heard the baying of Hounds...And in the distant city of Black Coral, where rules Anomander Rake, Son of Darkness, ancient crimes awaken, intent on revenge. It seems Love and Death are indeed about to arrive...hand in hand, dancing.

Signed/Limited to 500 copies

We had some luck at a sale recently managing to get our hands on the first 19 instalments of ‘ Aurealis’, that's every copy of Australia’s premier SF magazine from 1990 to 1997. Considering that Aurealis helped shape the 1990’s into Australia's ‘Golden Age of SF’ it’s a great addition and we are particularly impressed by the Australian themed artwork including Shaun Tan's huge contribution.


Jack Womack is said to be William Gibson’s favourite author and is about as out there as it gets. He hasn’t published any fiction since 2000, however the six book ‘Ambient’ series is certainly worth a visit if ‘dystopian’ is your thing.  Womack creates an alternate world that is dominated by the ‘ Dryco Corp.’ The various members of the Dryden family, owners of Dryco, seem to be involved in endless, borderline-psychotic plots to increase their power over the world around them. Oh, and Elvis is worshipped as a god...

The author's first novel. In 21st century Manhattan, a good portion of the citizenry consists of freaks engendered by a nuclear accident on Long Island. The freaks, or 'ambients,' of the title still retain a sense of community missing everywhere else in the world, however. Civic authority, such as it is, lies in Dryco, a conglomerate that controls the government. But things are falling apart inside Dryco. CEO Dryden Jr. believes that founder Dryden Sr. is destroying the company's solvency by speculating in Bronx real estate. Dryden Jr. persuades O'Malley, the novel's protagonist, to assassinate his father. The attempt misfires, and O'Malley must scramble to save his own life. 

This is a UK fisrt edition copy (1988) with the Peter Andrew Jones DJ.

We’ve been gathering Easton Press signed limited editions of Neil Gaiman’s work and were really happy to get this copy of ‘ The Graveyard Book’. Gaiman won both the British Carnegie Medal and the American Newbery Medal recognizing the year's best children's books, the first time both named the same work. The Graveyard Book also won the annual Hugo Award for Best Novel and Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book.

'After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family…'

Chris Riddell, who illustrated the British children's edition, made the Kate Greenaway Medal shortlist. It was the first time in the award's 30-year history that one book made both the author and illustrator shortlists. 

19 August 2018

Congratulations to N.K. Jemisin for winning the 2018 Hugo Award and making history to boot with the first back to back winning trilogy ever! Given the six finalists, we’re pleased as punch that our choices over the past year took out the tri-factor - 1st, 2nd and 3rd.


Having only recently discovered the world of ‘Mortal Engines’, and joined the legions now eagerly anticipating the release of the Peter jackson movie in December, we were pumped to get this signed limited edition of short stories. Reeve has dedicated the book to Jihae "who plays Anna Fang with such style and grace that I realized she needed some more stories".

In a dangerous future world where gigantic, motorized cities attack and devour each other, London hunts where no other predator dares. But Anna Fang - pilot, adventurer, spy - isn't afraid.

The three stories show gripping, moving, exciting moments in Anna Fang's life: her childhood as a slave aboard the moving city Arkangel, a showdown against a robotic Stalker that is terrifyingly out of control, and her free life as an intelligence agent for the Anti-Traction league.

While ‘Riverworld' is Farmer's best known series, informal polls done at pjfarmer.com have shown that the Science Fiction Book Club collections of the 'World of Tiers' novels, have introduced more fans to Farmer than anything else. So it was great to stumble upon this set during our recent US visit. Considered by some critics to be more adventure tales that science fiction, which is a surprise given the Barsoom and Tarzan similarities and not to mention the Boris artwork of course. 


The highly anticipated third book in Sabaa Tahir's New York Times bestselling 'Ember Quartet'. Unfortunately the series is a victim of the ‘change in artwork’ curse halfway through. It’s a pretty substantial change for the UK editions, however spare a thought for the US, theirs was an even greater departure. Fans are not happy, but do seem to love the series.

Beyond the Empire and within it, the threat of war looms ever larger.

The Blood Shrike, Helene Aquilla, is assailed on all sides. Emperor Marcus, haunted by his past, grows increasingly unstable, while the Commandant capitalizes on his madness to bolster her own power. As Helene searches for a way to hold back the approaching darkness, her sister's life and the lives of all those in the Empire hang in the balance.

Far to the east, Laia of Serra knows the fate of the world lies not in the machinations of the Martial court, but in stopping the Nightbringer. But while hunting for a way to bring him down, Laia faces unexpected threats from those she hoped would aid her, and is drawn into a battle she never thought she'd have to fight.

And in the land between the living and the dead, Elias Veturius has given up his freedom to serve as Soul Catcher. But in doing so, he has vowed himself to an ancient power that will stop at nothing to ensure Elias's devotion–even at the cost of his humanity.

Signed limited hardcover. 

04 August 2018

The 2018 Hugos will be presented at the 76th Worldcon, in San Jose, California, on August 19. Of the six novels in the running for ‘Best Novel’, three are titles we’ve added over the last year, ‘Provenance' (Ann Leckie), 'The Collapsing Empire' (John Scalzi) and ’The Stone Sky’ (N.K.Jemisin). Obviously we’d like any of our picks to win however ‘Stone Sky’ seems to have the momentum having already won both the Nebula and Locus Awards. It’ll make Hugo history on a number of points and cement what is already a remarkable achievement. 

With that in mind one can understand the disbelief that there are only 700 hardcover copies (of any book in 'The Broken Earth’ trilogy) published worldwide, 400 by Subterranean Press and 300 by Orbit (UK), all of which are signed limited editions. We are lucky enough to have copies from both publishers, having just received these beauties:


Peter Newman blew us away with his debut ‘Vagrant’ trilogy which was a strange and slightly creepy delight, with a goat mind you. So we are really keen on his next venture which certainly seems to build on Newman’s cred as someone adding a new twist to the genre. We’re also really impressed that Voyager are sticking with Jaime Jones for the artwork, he did a great job on the ‘Vagrant’ trilogy. Check out more on the blurb in the ‘General’ section, love the air of disquiet the back cover brings...

Ok, here’s a big SF debut referred to as a blend of ‘Dune’ meets 'The Name of the Wind’ and the start of a heavy series - ‘The Sun Eater ’. For those who enjoy the kind of world wonder seen in ‘The Book of the New Sun’, it’s got blasters and swords folks!:

Hadrian Marlowe, a man revered as a hero and despised as a murderer, chronicles his tale in the galaxy-spanning debut of the Sun Eater series, merging the best of space opera and epic fantasy.

It was not his war.

The galaxy remembers him as a hero: the man who burned every last alien Cielcin from the sky. They remember him as a monster: the devil who destroyed a sun, casually annihilating four billion human lives—even the Emperor himself—against Imperial orders.

But Hadrian was not a hero. He was not a monster. He was not even a soldier.

On the wrong planet, at the right time, for the best reasons, Hadrian Marlowe starts down a path that can only end in fire. He flees his father and a future as a torturer only to be left stranded on a strange, backwater world.

Forced to fight as a gladiator and navigate the intrigues of a foreign planetary court, Hadrian must fight a war he did not start, for an Empire he does not love, against an enemy he will never understand. 

22 July 2018

"It was a dark, blustery afternoon in spring, and the city of London was chasing a small mining town across the dried-out bed of the old North Sea.”

With this great opening line Philip Reeve launches the ‘Hungry City Chronicles’, an award winning YA quartet that will see the first book released in a Peter Jackson film later this year. Rather than read the blurb, check out the trailer:


We were so impressed we went and bought the first edition set published by scholastic, nice!


Crime fiction isn’t really our thing, however we periodically get some in due to favoured publishers producing great books, Haffner Press is a classic example. Our interest in Haffner books started with their Leigh Brackett and Jack Williamson series and continued on with Edmond Hamilton and Henry Kuttner. Haffner typically do great stuff and we dutifully bought their collection of Fredric Brown crime novels and so here we are with another irresistible crime book, this +900 page tome is certainly good looking!

A good friend, Peter, recently decided to clear out some old books and kindly donated his SF stuff to us. We’re busy sorting through the six boxes of goodies and will upload these over the next coming weeks. But we’ve made a start with the A.E. van Vogt (clearly Peter’s favourite author) and Burroughs paperbacks, so check those out. Some classic stuff there:


02 July 2018

We were determined not to start with a Subterranean Press book this time round (mind you it was a challenge), but we settled on the interesting ‘Senlin Ascends’, the Josiah Bancroft debut novel and the first of his ‘Books of Babel’ series. Originally self-published in paperback in 2013, this has now been scooped up by Orbit UK and published in paperback and limited hardcover edition (300 copies). Due to the late uptake by Orbit, book two is available in paperback already.

'The Tower of Babel is the greatest marvel in the world. Immense as a mountain, the ancient Tower holds unnumbered ringdoms, warring and peaceful, stacked one on the other like the layers of a cake. It is a world of geniuses and tyrants, of airships and steam engines, of unusual animals and mysterious machines.

Soon after arriving for his honeymoon at the Tower, the mild-mannered headmaster of a small village school, Thomas Senlin, gets separated from his wife, Marya, in the overwhelming swarm of tourists, residents, and miscreants.

Senlin is determined to find Marya, but to do so he'll have to navigate madhouses, ballrooms, and burlesque theaters. He must survive betrayal, assassination, and the long guns of a flying fortress. But if he hopes to find his wife, he will have to do more than just endure.

This quiet man of letters must become a man of action.'

Orbit first edition hardcover

Limited to 300 signed copies

We’re about a third of the way in, detailed and rich and certainly not fast paced as yet. At this point Senlin is a bit of a plonker.  We love the premise, so original.

In 2015 Subterranean Press released the glorious fantasy anthology ‘Rogues’. In 2018 they follow up with a companion volume: ‘The Book of Swords’. Featuring slightly fewer authors but still heavy hitters such as Martin, Lynch and Hobb,and the artwork of Ken Laager. This was limited to 326 copies, down from the original 500 of ‘Rogues’. Obviously both are signed by all contributors.

Rumours are that Subterranean will be releasing another volume, ‘The Book of Magic’, later this year. This would be a suprise but that’s what some sellers are stating on eBay. 

Find out more on both books in the Anthologies section.

One of the things we enjoy about book collecting is that it can take decades but something always seems to pitch up, we’d had a copy of both ‘Rynosseros' and ‘Blue Tyson’ for years but ‘Twilight Beach’ we only picked up a couple of weeks ago. This series has garnered a lot of praise as a great Australian fantasy in the vein of Jack Vance. PS Publishing are due to publish the series in (hopefully) 2018. These are now on our reading list.


11 June 2018

We missed out on getting a copy of ‘I Travel by Night’ back in 2013, however in a recent Subterranean Press sale we got the chance to pick up the sequel for a good price, so what to do?. Introducing gunslinging vampire protagonist, Trevor Lawson, McCammon weaves a tale about the terrors of the Dark Society, featuring the gothic sensibilities of old New Orleans, and the unforgiving violence of the untamed frontier of 1886. The Michael Whelan cover art is a bonus.


Andy Weir’s debut novel ‘The Martian’ was  a huge success, albeit only after it was self published, his second novel is a shoo-in bestseller. Subterranean Press have got on board early with a follow on edition of ‘Artemis’ that matches their edition of ‘The Martian’. What we had not connected earlier was the dust jacket art for both books was done by Daniel Dociu, whose art on the Sub Press editions of  ‘The Expanse’ series has been blowing us away.

The Blurb: 'If you’re going to commit the perfect crime, you might as well shoot for the moon…

Jazz Bashara has been a resident of Artemis, the lone city on the moon, since she was six years old. Too bad for her, she’s not one of the wealthier inhabitants. Instead she lives fifteen levels down in a grungy coffin that’s only good for sleeping. Jazz barely makes ends meet as a porter delivering goods between Artemis’s five bubbles (Armstrong, Aldrin, Conrad, Bean, and Shepard). Of course, not everything she delivers is legal.

So when traffic in simple contraband leads to a potential heist with a major payday, how can Jazz resist? She doesn’t even want to. But as she lays and executes her plans, there’s a problem. The stakes of this gamble put her smack in the middle of a play for control of Artemis itself--a game she’ll be lucky to get out of alive.'

We certainly are featuring a lot of Sub. Press books currently, things should normalise once we get past the recent bulk lot, in the meantime here’s some more:

Steampunk anyone?, meet Langdon St. Ives, Victorian scientist and adventurer, respected member of the Explorers Club and of societies far more obscure, consultant to scientific luminaries, and secret, unheralded savior of humankind. From the depths of the Borneo jungles to the starlit reaches of outer space, and ultimately through the dark corridors of past and future time, the adventures of Langdon St. Ives invariably lead him back to the streets and alleys of the busiest, darkest, most secretive city in the world -- London in the age of steam and gaslamps, with the Thames fog settling in over the vast city of perpetual evening. St. Ives, in pursuit of the infamous Dr. Ignacio Narbondo, discovers the living horror of revivified corpses, the deep sea mystery of a machine with the power to drag ships to their doom, and the appalling threat of a skeleton-piloted airship descending toward the city of London itself, carrying within its gondola a living homunculus with the power to drive men mad…. Interested? find out more in the General section.


03 June 2018

Sylvain Neuvel has concluded the 'Themis Files’ with ‘Only Human’. This is a trilogy about giant robots, alien invasions, sinister organisations and it’s brilliant! Love the dust jackets of these.

We always thought the biggest threat to humanity would come from the outside. We were wrong.

As the human race picks up the pieces of destruction left behind, a new world order emerges. New alliances are formed. Old divisions are strengthened. And, with a power struggle fuelled by the threat of mutually assured destruction, nothing is certain.

At a time when the world's nations should have been coming together, they have never been more divided.

With the human race teetering on the brink of total war, Rose, Vincent and Eva must choose sides. But doing the right thing might mean making the ultimate sacrifice. 


Centipede Press have been talking up the release of Caitlin Kiernan’s ‘Cthulhu Mythos’ anthology for some time now and the final product certainly lives up to the hype!  

A stunning oversized volume in slipcase, the edition is limited to 500 copies signed by all contributors: Caitlín R. Kiernan, Michael Cisco, S.T. Joshi, and the artists: Piotr Jablonski, Richard A. Kirk, John Kenn Mortensen, and Vince Locke. 

Since H.P. Lovecraft first invited colleagues such as Frank Belknap Long and Robert Bloch (among others) to join in his creation of what has come to be known as “The Cthulhu Mythos”, dozens of authors have tried their hand at adding to this vast tapestry with varying degrees of success. 

But no one, absolutely no one, has contributed such a body of brilliant and profoundly original work to the Mythos as has Caitlín R. Kiernan.

In this remarkable collection the author has selected over two dozen of her best Lovecraftian tales ranging from “Valentian” to her more recent classic “A Mountain Walked” as well as including the complete Dandridge Cycle, as well as a new story, “M Is for Mars.” In short, this is a cornerstone volume for Kiernan fans and Mythos devotees alike. 

The stories are fully illustrated with over 30 new full page illustrations by Richard A. Kirk, John Kenn Mortensen, and Vince Locke. The full wraparound dustjacket and frontispiece are by Piotr Jablonski.

The interior pages are just amazing folks!

In a related coincidence we’ve received a number of books from Subterranean Press’s last sale. Amongst these are a handful of Brian Lumley works which include some of his “Cthulhu Mythos” contributions. We were also really impressed by the Bob Eggleton artwork! So much so that Brian now has his own page:  check it out here

20 May 2018

Centipede Press have just released the second book in the Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser series, 'Swords Against Death'. The book features work produced over a thirty-year period, including five classic novelettes of the genre that show Leiber’s progression from excellent to perhaps the very best that the field has ever produced. These five novelettes are ably bolstered by five terrific short stories, demonstrating Leiber’s ability to excel at any length. With an introduction by Steve Rasnic Tem and artwork by Dominick Saponaro. 

We’ve just been told that ‘The Expanse’ tv series will, unbelievably, end after season three on SyFy (let’s all pray for another network pickup). Thankfully Subterranean Press continue publishing the critically acclaimed series with the specially commissioned Daniel Dociu artwork on the full untitled dust jackets. Check out the latest arrival  - book five: ’Nemesis Games’. ‘Babylon’s Ashes’ will be available for general public pre-order at Sub. Press on 1July.

We been fairly lucky with debut novels over the years and we are always ready to give something new a go. So this week we have two signed limited debut novels to try, we’re particularly interested in ’Senlin Ascends’ (originally self published in 2013) and will start reading it right away, so more about it once we’re into it. ’The Wolf’ has had some great reviews, and amazingly Leo Carew is the next George RR Martin! who would have thought?... 

Violence and death have come to the land under the Northern Sky.

Beyond the Black River, among the forests and mountains of the north, lives an ancient race of people. Their lives are measured in centuries, not decades; they revel in wilderness and resilience, and they scorn wealth and comfort.

By contrast, those in the south live in the moment, their lives more fleeting. They crave wealth and power, their ambition is limitless, and their cunning unmatched.

When the armies of the south flood across the Black River, the fragile peace between the two races is shattered. On a lightning-struck battlefield, the two sides will fight - for their people, for their land, for their very survival.

06 May 2018

Our reading has been a bit preoccupied with older books in the genre this year and we’d just reached the point of ‘taking it up a notch’ on our last post when John Scalzi released his latest - fantastic!

John Scalzi returns with 'Head On', the standalone follow-up to 'Lock In'. Chilling near-future SF with the thrills of a gritty cop procedural, 'Head On' brings Scalzi’s trademark snappy dialogue and technological speculation to the future world of sports.

Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent’s head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are “threeps,” robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden’s Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real and the crowds love it.

Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

Is it an accident or murder? FBI agents and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, are called in to uncover the truth—and in doing so travel to the darker side of the fast-growing sport of Hilketa, where fortunes are made or lost, and where players and owners do whatever it takes to win, on and off the field

 We enjoy almost anything Scalzi does, he makes reading such a pleasure, so it’s no surprise that we’re really into this book currently.


We went to a large book sale last week and are now busy posting all the new arrivals, as per usual there’s always something that we get that causes us to reflect a bit. In this case it’s the two B-Format copies of ‘Song of Kali’, which given our recent viewing of the excellent ‘The Terror’ tv series reminded us of all things ‘Dan Simmons’ including how disturbing this novel was:

‘Song of Kali’ was Simmons debut novel which won the World Fantasy Award in 1986 and is probably the shortest of his works at around 350 pages, so it’s quite accessible.

Calcutta: a monstrous city of immense slums, disease and misery, is clasped in the foetid embrace of an ancient cult. At its decaying core is the Goddess Kali: the dark mother of pain, four-armed and eternal, her song the sound of death and destruction. Robert Luczak has been hired by Harper's to find a noted Indian poet who has reappeared, under strange circumstances, years after he was thought dead. But nothing is simple in Calcutta and Lucsak's routine assignment turns into a nightmare when he learns that the poet is rumoured to have been brought back to life in a bloody and grisly ceremony of human sacrifice.

This is the Earthling Press Edition with the stunning cover art by the great Francois Baranger.  


As time rolls by it becomes rarer to find early Pratchett works at book sales so it’s always a pleasure to find something we don’t have like this little gem, the fourteenth Discworld novel:

The Josh Kirby cover art is just amazing and there’s always a story right?...

Whilst Kirby normally loved working on a Pratchett book, this one was a frustrating nightmare to him, as the publishers kept rejecting it as inappropriate, or unsuitable, or otherwise not fit for their best-selling author's cover.

Kirby ended up doing at least three different versions of the cover art, one of which, in a much-altered form, was used for the hardback, depicting as many of the book's characters and scenes as possible in a broad panorama. A second version (depicting Nanny Ogg and Casanunda confronting the King of the Elves) was used for the paperback (left).

The Horned King is outsized in more ways than visible as hinted by Pratchett’s mention that this underground cavern bears a runic incription translating as ‘I’ve Got A Great Big Tonker’

22 April 2018

We could almost repeat our last update as once again our latest arrival is a Subterranean Press ‘modern’ classic in the signed limited format. 

N.K. Jemisin won the Hugo Award for 'The Fifth Season’, book one of ‘The Broken Earth’ trilogy in 2016, and repeated that with the 2017 Hugo Award for the sequel ‘The Obelisk Gate’, will the final volume take out the treble?, it’s one of six finalists for 2018’s award… We do look forward to getting that from Sub Press too.

The Blurb:

'Among the last recorded words of Emperor Mutshatee, before his execution, were these: “Don’t be fooled.”

But will Essun—once Damaya, once Syenite, now avenger—be fooled? Will the request made of her by Alabaster Tenring, destroyer of the world, seal the fate of the Stillness forever, or is something stranger and even more dangerous in the offing?

And will her daughter Nassun, coming into her full power as an orogene, ever find her mother? Will either of them discover the secret of why the catastrophic Fifth Seasons periodically savage the Stillness?

In this story of their separate journeys to find one another and to uncover the truth of their world’s terrible, cyclic wracking, Essun and Nassun face even greater challenges than they did in The Fifth Season. Greater mysteries, too, with answers offered from strange sources that compel and tantalize, if they can be trusted. If those offering the answers are not trying to play you the fool.'

Limited to 400 signed numbered copies.

We have been updating our NESFA Press book images and were reminded why we like these guys:

'War and Space' and 'Robots and Magic' collects a variety of science fiction and fantasy stories written by Grand Master Lester del Rey. Including the stories 'Helen O’Loy,' 'To Avenge Man,' and del Rey's last short story, 'The Fairy Godmother,'  The collection is introduced by Terry Brooks. John Picacio created the cover art. Edited by Steven H. Silver.


Two collections of James Blish short works including ‘ A Work of Art’  edited by James Mann and cover art by John Berkey: 


And a nice surprise, an overlooked A.E.van Vogt sitting amongst the NESFA sets, and as another bonus the book has great cover art by no less than Bob Eggleton, whose work we were recently praising on the ERB editions of Burroughs ‘Land of Terror’ set.

Transfinite: The Essential A. E. van Vogt contains the most popular and important stories from van Vogt's wide and varied career. Between 1939 and 1986—a span of almost 50 years—almost 100 of his short stories, novelettes, and novellas were published. The stories included in this volume range in scope from the vast reaches of time and space found in "The Rull" or "Far Centaurus" to the more closely defined settings such as in the humorous and possibly deadly "A Can of Paint.” The book includes  ‘Black Destroyer’ and ‘Asylum', a finalist for the 1943 Best Novella Retro Hugo!


The Eggleton cover art features a ‘Coeurl’, a sentient alien which featured in van Vogt’s ‘Black Destroyer’ as the cover story for the July 1939 Astounding SF magazine issue, the issue now considered the start of ’The Golden Age of SF’ . It was van Vogt's first published story and the ‘Coeurl’ were incorporated in van Vogt’s later novel ‘The Voyage of the Space Beagle’. We like that Eggleton stayed with the original description of the aliens tentacles with finger like ends, these were later changed to suction cups in ‘Space Beagle’.

08 April 2018

Subterranean Press has released a number of ‘modern’ classics in the signed limited format that have gone on to become highly prized, the list would include ‘Gardens of the Moon’, ‘The Blade Itself’ and ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’ to name a few. Joining that list is ‘Red Rising’  which is a typically stunning edition that is already fetching a few hundred dollars more than the published price on eBay. We’ve noted just how good this trilogy is previously (look up Pierce Brown in the general section) and if you haven’t read this yet, maybe this will tempt you… As a piece of trivia (ha!) Brown’s fans have called themselves ‘Howlers’, there’s even a 'Howler Legion' webpage.

Our last visit to a sale turned up three book club editions from Philip Jose Farmer’s classic Riverworld saga. We’ve just got in the missing volume. We read these decades ago and they were certainly enjoyable then, a foundation series in the Science Fantasy genre.

Imagine if you will, a race of beings powerful enough to build a planet and wind a twenty-million-mile-long river around it. A race that is able to record Earth's past and resurrect everyone that had ever lived along the banks of that almost endless river. Imagine thirty-seven billion inhabitants all being reborn on the same day, in the same bodies that they had inhabited in their mid-twenties. People from every society, of every race and every time. Imagine them all living at once, in a world where food and other necessities are provided for them, without them having to support themselves. If you can imagine that, then you have some idea of what it is like to live on the River World. But who are they and why did they do it?


We have lots of books that need some time in the sun, so as we redo the images of the older books we’ll showcase some of these that you should take a look at:

Jonathan Lethem’s first novel, 'Gun, with Occasional Music' is a merging of science fiction and the Chandleresque detective story, which includes talking kangaroos, radical futuristic versions of the drug scene, and cryogenic prisons. The novel was published in 1994 by Harcourt Brace, with a distinctive aged pulp dust jacket. Cool isn’t it?. The novel was released to little initial fanfare, but an enthusiastic review in Newsweek, which declared Gun an "audaciously assured first novel", catapulted the book to wider commercial success. We certainly enjoyed this one.  'Gun, with Occasional Music' was a finalist for the 1994 Nebula Award, it was the Winner of the Crawford Award for best fantasy novel and the Locus Award for best first novel of the year.  Here’s our signed copy. 

'Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems - he has a monkey on his back, a rabbit in his waiting room and a trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is a 'brave new world' where evolved animals are members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage.

Metcalf has been shadowing Celeste, the wife of an affluent doctor. Perhaps he's falling a little in love with her at the same time. When the doctor turns up dead, our amiable investigator finds himself caught in a crossfire between the boys from the Inquisitor's Office and gangsters who operate out of the back room of a bar called the Fickle Muse.’

25 March 2018

Ever let something go and then wish you hadn’t? In the early 2000’s we had a set of Alastair Reynolds first three Revelation Space novels which we sold and never replaced in first edition. 'Revelation Space',  a landmark SF novel that set a darker tone to the space epic, sits on the same shelf as 'Consider Phlebas' and 'The Reality Dysfunction’ in our view.  So when we heard about the first signed limited edition of this classic we snapped up a copy. And it’s different to say the least...

Revelation Space from Foruli Ltd, a publisher focused more on rock music than SF and an odd choice for Reynolds, is shipped in a huge box (largest box for a single book we’ve ever received) the book is itself inlaid in a custom box and Foruli state that:

'The book is not intended to be considered in isolation. It is part of the entire package, the other elements of which cosset and protect it, holding it like a treasured artefact and affording far greater protection to the book than most books receive. The book within the other elements should therefore last a considerable period of time.’

So don’t loose the box… Then there’s the weird choice of binding, again Foruli have tried something different:

'Various considered design decisions were made with the intention of reflecting the aesthetic running through the narrative of the Revelation Space series of books. Rather than have the binding material overlap the boards, we decided to instead trim right up to the edge of the book block to expose the underlying structure of the manufacture. We considered that this is how tastes might have developed in Alastair Reynold's universe.’ 

The book is also presented with a number of Reynolds art prints.

All in all, this ‘artefact’ is a space hoarder!

Check out more edition information at the Alastair Reynolds page.

On a more traditional note we received this absolute gem from Centipede Press, you may recall our note on the stunning ‘Swords and Deviltry’, the first of what will be the definitive eight-volume set comprising the saga of Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser by Fritz Leiber. As if the signed limited edition isn’t special enough, Centipede Press have issued 50 deluxe oversized slipcased editions, we were lucky enough to make the cut. Here’s the comparison in terms of size, it doesn’t fit on our scanner! The book also has the DJ image inlaid on the front cover. Additionally the stunning Tom Kidd DJ has no titles.  See more at the Fritz Leiber page.

Time travel is a constant theme within SF and one popular sub-genre is the 'alternate history’. Here the author focuses on a pivotal point in time and says ‘what if?’. There are many examples, with ‘The Man in the High Castle’ probably at the top of the list of most. We recently picked up these by the late Robert Conroy. We’ve not read any of his work but it seems enjoyed by a number on Goodreads.


11 March 2018

We’ve only recently discovered ERB Books Inc., a Tarzana based publisher, thanks to their eye catching ‘Land of Terror’  promotion which featured two reprint editions of the title, one by Grosset & Dunlap and the other by ERB. That so excited us that we got both books and then discovered that there was an earlier edition of ‘Back to the Stone Age’ published by ERB in 2015. We now have a new copy of all three books and wow, what a nice set. The dust jackets (there are two variants for each book) feature new artwork by Bob Eggleton and the original by John Coleman Burroughs. Love the full wrap art. There’s more about these editions at the Burroughs page.


25 February 2018

We caught the 'Red Rising’ trilogy just as book three was coming into print. We said that surely the series couldn’t match up to the hype and we were happily wrong, so very wrong. Now Brown returns with a second cycle and once more the reviews are out of this world… Here’s the UK signed limited edition of ‘Iron Gold’ and on a related vein we hopefully have the Sub Press limited edition of ‘Red Rising’ on the way, can’t wait.

The Blurb: They call him father, liberator, warlord, Reaper. But he feels a boy as he falls toward the pale blue planet, his armor red, his army vast, his heart heavy. It is the tenth year of war and the thirty-second of his life.

A decade ago, Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Now he must risk everything he has fought for on one last desperate mission. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself?

And throughout the worlds, other destinies entwine with Darrow’s to change his fate forever:

A young Red girl flees tragedy in her refugee camp and achieves for herself a new life she could never have imagined.

An ex-soldier broken by grief is forced to steal the most valuable thing in the galaxy—or pay with his life.

And Lysander au Lune, the heir in exile to the sovereign, wanders the stars with his mentor, Cassius, haunted by the loss of the world that Darrow transformed, and dreaming of what will rise from its ashes.

Red Rising was the story of the end of one universe, and Iron Gold is the story of the creation of a new one.

It cannot be disputed that the influence of Lovecraft continues to cast a dark web nearly a century since his work hit the shelves, perhaps no more so than amongst artists, look at these stunning new arrivals - the 'Crawling Chaos’ cover just nails the whole sense of his work. 


And finally some classic SF from the creator of ‘Solaris’ in a uniform and quite nice set of B-Format paperbacks.


08 February 2018

The Subterranean Press edition of Joe Abercrombie’s first short story collection has arrived, once more featuring the artwork of Raymond Swanland, the artist used for all of the stand alone novels to date. Another great cover which forced us to revisit our original images for the others in the series, 'The Heroes’ being the standout.

'Sharp Ends' combines  previously published, award-winning tales with exclusive new short stories. Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue's gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law. For example:

“A Beautiful Bastard: The Union army may be full of bastards, but there’s only one big enough to think he can save the day single-handed when the Gurkish come calling: the incomparable Colonel Sand dan Glokta.

Made a Monster: After years of bloodshed, the idealistic chieftain Bethod is desperate to bring peace to the North. There’s only one obstacle left – his own lunatic champion.

Small Kindnesses: The hopes of Shevedieh, the best thief in Westport, to turn her back on crime, come crashing down when she finds a huge drunkard sleeping in her doorway. Doing the right thing always comes at a price…

The Fool Jobs: Curnden Craw has been sent with his dozen to recover a thing from beyond the Crinna. One small problem. No one seems to know what the thing is.

Skipping Town: Shevedieh and Javre, ill-matched adventurers, find themselves forced to flee yet another self-made disaster."

An amusing book.

We’ve just been to the first big book sale of the year and it was a cracker, we found lots of interesting books which we’ll process over the coming weeks. What was unusual about this sale was the number of vintage books we found, for example check out these copies of 'The World of  Ā’. The left copy is a first edition, third print from 1948, the right is a1950 bookclub edition. Just for fun we added the Easton Press  signed edition as the ‘Collections’ link on the right and a trade paperback copy to the 'New Arrival’s’. The Ā symbol was replaced by 'Null - A’ in later publications to reduce costs and completely removed from the 1970 revision by van Vogt.


We love the old style blurb’s and ads that were the thing in the 50’s era, they’re great. And although book club editions, here are the 1950’s editions of the first in Asimov’s ‘Elijah Baley’ series, Sturgeon’s classic nine short story collection and a solid Judith Merril anthology. You just don’t find these around these days.


And finally for today, check out this set of L.Ron Hubbard’s 'Mission Earth' in the limited leather edition, probably one of our most surprising finds to date! We can’t seem to find a copy of these for sale anywhere on the web currently.

We will try to list things of interest from the site on eBay, so look for our irregular listings under ‘wyrdbooks’.  

21 January 2018

We start 2018 by finally sorting out our Easton Press books and updating all of the images. So if you love leather books take a gander at our Easton Press page in the ‘Collections’ section. 

Handling every Easton edition we have reaffirmed our appreciation of just how great these books are, so look to 2018 for an upsurge in Easton’s at Wyrdbooks. There is a healthy debate as to the value of an Easton book, given that they often reprint standard editions, like everything it’s down to what you want and current price. There are cheap Easton books out there, but the SF genre generally retain or increase in value, as compared to say a copy of Moby Dick. We also note that collectors are often divided between Folio and Easton Press, again it’s a preference thing, you know ours...  


We are super-excited about the upcoming Netflix release of Altered Carbon. We cannot over state how good this book is, and if the TV adaption is half as good it’ll blow people away. A bit of a worry is We do how they will manage the violence that is key to this story. Hopefully they don’t dumb it done too much.  A debut novel and the first of three featuring ‘Takeshi Kovaks’, please read the books folks! 

'It's the twenty-fifth century, and advances in technology have redefined life itself. A person's consciousness can now be stored in the brain and downloaded into a new body (or "sleeve"), making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen. Onetime U.N. Envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Resleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats existence as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning.’  

This is the Subterranean Press signed limited edition with the Vincent Chong artwork. The ABE list prices for this puppy are just ridiculous, we will watch what happens on eBay over the next months with interest. We do have some cheap paperback copies if you’re stuck, check out all of the books on Richard Morgan’s page.

Oddly enough we ended 2017 with a Brandon Sanderson novel and lo, 2018’s first new arrival is none other than the latest of Sanderson’s self-published anniversary novels. In Leather!

Published by Dragonsteel Entertainment.

A sequel to the beautiful Mistborn: The Final Empire, the Dragonsteel edition of Well of Ascension is bound in premium bonded-leather, and the pages are smyth-sewn. Well of Ascension is printed in 2-color offset black and red inks on quality, acid-free paper, includes a bound-in satin-ribbon bookmark, full-color endpapers by Howard Lyon, gilded pages, and two-color foiling on the cover. A 24-page 4-color offset art gallery starts off the edition and features never-before seen artwork and fan art. The Dragonsteel Leather edition of Mistborn: The Well of Ascension is 797 pages. Stunning book.