Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Paperback 975: The House That Stood Still / A.E. Van Vogt (Paperback Library 63-016)

Paperback 975: Paperback Library 63-016 (2nd ptg, 1968)

Title: The House That Stood Still
Author: A.E. Van Vogt
Cover artist: Uncredited

Estimated value: $8-10
Condition: 9/10

Best things about this cover:
  • "Pete... do you see that?" "What?" "That house ... it's not moving. It's just ... sitting there." "Dear God! You're right! Call for backup."
  • "DO NOT LOOK BEHIND THE MASK OR YOU WILL SEE THE TERRIFYING VISAGE OF ... Shelley? Shelley from Accounting? What are you doing here?"
  • That ziggurat is gonna want to have that growth looked at.
Best things about this back cover:
  • "Obliterate the universe from the heavens"? This doesn't sound ... right.
  • Immortals are always trashing shit and running away.
  • That last sentence needs a huge spoiler alert. Why would I want to read now?

Page 123~

"What's the good of having a forty-year-old heart and a ninety-year-old liver?"


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Monday, September 19, 2016

Paperback 974: Escape to Earth / ed. Ivan Howard (Belmont L92-571)

Paperback 974: Belmont L92-571 (PBO, 1963)

Title: Escape to Earth
Editor: Ivan Howard
Cover artist: Ed Emshwiller ("emsh")
Designed by: Irving Bernstein

Estimated value: $15
Condition: 9/10

Best things about this cover:
  • Love the "Barbarella" vibe on this one (though "Barbarella" is still several years in the future).
  • This is late Emshwiller. Still great Emshwiller. Beautiful, decorative, intricate space-tech surfaces. Bottom half is not much to look at, but the top is lovely.
  • Novelets! Is that how you spell that? Reminds me of when I first saw "cigaret" (Raymond Carver). Disorientingly defrenchified.
  • Hilariously, Google dictionary flags "novelette" as "derogatory."

Best things about this back cover:
  • I like the red-bordered spreadsheet look. Very early-80s / "Stranger Things"
  • Hey, look!: credits not just for Emshwiller, but for the *designer* as well!? Why can't all books be this good about crediting the art people!?
  • Manly Banister is the politest porn name.

Page 123~

[from "Temple of Despair" by M.C. Pease]

"You're dressed like a priest," Brandis said; "I don't want to get stoned."

One of the great out-of-context lines in Pop Sensation history.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

Paperback 973: The Road's End / Albert Conroy (Gold Medal 231)

Paperback 973: Gold Medal 231 (PBO, 1952)

Title: The Road's End
Author: Albert Conroy
Cover artist: [Barye Phillips]

Estimated value: $17-22
Condition: 8/10

Best things about this cover:
  • No joke, this dude looks eerily like 22-year-old me. Leering ladies in my doorway, not so much.
  • "There were too many women in his life"—you'd think at least one of them would help him clean that sty.
  • This appears to be some post-apocalyptic tale of drought, where water is money so you keep it close at hand and never wash anything.
  • Where ... did his fingers go? Fear claw!

Best things about this back cover:
  • "Curved feminine flesh" is less sexy-sounding than this book seems to think it is. More meat cut than sexpot.
  • "Who are you?" he asked. "And who am I?"—finally, a sleaze paperback that reflects the then-current trends in existentialist philosophy.
  • "I found a pasty man and put him in the shed. Can we keep him, mom? Can we!?"

Page 123~

My knee came up automatically and sank into his groin. And again. And again.

OK, I'm out.


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Friday, September 9, 2016

Paperback 972: The Doctor Died at Dusk / Geoffrey Homes (Dell 14)

Paperback 972: Dell 14 (1st ptg, 1943)

Title: The Doctor Died at Dusk
Author: Geoffrey Homes
Cover artist: William Strohmer

Estimated value: $15
Condition: 5/10

Best things about this cover:
  • I wonder about his right hand. What was he ... doing ... when he died? Loving his desk blotter?
  • Those are terrible, monstrous, pseudo-aquatic fingers.

Best things about this back cover:
  • Mapback!
  • Morgantown! Winner: Most Rectangular Town in America, 1943!
  • Morgantown! Winner: Most Sparely Appointed Town in America, 1943!
    Morgantown: Enjoy Our Vast, Vast Open Spaces and Seven Trees!

Page 123~

Ingram wasn't looking in the microscope now.

Be sure to catch the sequel to this book, entitled "No Time For Microscopes" (Fall 1944)


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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Paperback 971: Convict Lust / Robert Wallace (France 58)

Paperback 971: France 58 (PBO, 1963)

Title: Convict Lust
Author: Robert Wallace
Cover artist: photo cover

Estimated value: $25-30
Condition: 7/10

Best things about this cover:
  • Fishnet headboard. Interesting.
  • Bouffantastic!
  • Her get-up, despite color clashing, is pretty cute. Those stockings, however, were not meant to be seen below the ankle.

Best things about this back cover:
  • This non-centered block of text is oddly common. There doesn't appear to be any particular aesthetic at work. Maybe it adds the aura of "cheap and forbidden" the publisher's trying to create.
  • Hemingway's "The Killers" has a main character called "the Swede." I'm guessing this story isn't as good as "The Killers."
  • This book should've been called "His Welding Equipment."

Page 23~ (Page 123 being boring and unrepresentative)

A few hours ago I was a happy-go-lucky goof-off going on twenty-seven. Then I run into the best lay in the land and—presto! chango!—I'm an old broken-down jerkhead and frightened stiff.

You tell 'em, Chango! (rhymes with "tango"). P.S. the first sentence of this novel is "She ripped off her panties and hopped into bed." In medias res!


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Monday, August 22, 2016

Paperback 970: The Illustrated Man / Ray Bradbury (Bantam 991)

Paperback 970: Bantam 991 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: The Illustrated Man
Author: Ray Bradbury
Cover artist: [Charles Binger]

Estimated value: $15
Condition: 8/10

Best things about this cover:
  • Happy Bradburthday! (b. Aug. 22, 1920)
  • Ooh, the rarely seen *male* Fear Hand. Cool.
  • First story in this collection is "The Veldt." It is holy-smokes great. Legendary. Rereading today.

Best things about this back cover:
  • This is the greatest back-cover bio of all time. OF ALL TIME.
  • Decry the hogwash!
  • After this book came out, Bradbury continued writing for another *60* years.
  • Had no idea he rocked the bow tie. Hot.

Page 123~

(LOL ... uh, this book is missing p. 121-152; not torn out, just ... never included!? Whoa. So ... p. 23!)

The first concussion cut the rocket up the side with a giant can opener. The men were thrown into space like a dozen wriggling silverfish. They were scattered into a dark sea; and the ship, in a million pieces, went on, a meteor swarm seeking a lost sun.

[Opening paragraph of "Kaleidoscope"] [insert quiet admiration here]


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Saturday, August 20, 2016

Paperback 969: Half-way to Hell / Serg Ross (France F41)

Paperback 969: France F41 (PBO, 1963)

Title: Half-way to Hell
Author: Serg Ross
Cover artist: photo cover

Estimated value: $20-25
Condition: 7/10

Best things about this cover:
  • Feels closer than that.
  • It's like he emerged from the sea just to have his soul sucked out of his face.
  • The vibe here is so "Exploitation" that it makes me a little uncomfortable. The horrid decor. The cheesy plaid dude. The alcohol. Nothing good is happening here.
  • It's a fold-out cover, but not a continuation of the cover picture (thank god). Not gonna show it, as it is a photo of a random naked woman and you can see her nipple and while I know none of you care and I don't care, I've had my website(s) blocked for harmless stuff like that before. Also, the photo continues the ick vibe of this cover, and I think we've had enough. . . . wait, I can just block out the "offending" nipple ... hang on ... 


Gratuitous nude photo! Enjoy. Or don't.

And now the back cover:

Best things about this back cover:
  • I am not "highly stimulated" by any of this, especially with that damn monster-kiss hovering over everything.

Page 123~

"That's the bartendah, I take it?" Tom asked, pointing obviously at Adam. "Those niggahs are always late."

Ugh. This book is the worst. Booo!


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