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Powers and Lehr From The Netherlands

It was two weeks ago that I came across three eBay auctions from the same seller, all of which were for books that looked like they had Richard Powers covers. I hadn’t seen these before and so I pulled out my trusty Powers guide to check them – they were indeed the great man’s work. The auctions were due to finish in a few days so I added them to my watch list and kept a silent eye on them.

With just minutes to go before the auctions closed, only one book had seen any interest and that was only a single bid for the starting price of £2.50. I kept my nerve then crashed in at the last moment with my best & final bids and ended up winning all three books! I had a message from the seller who was based in the Netherlands that he’d found a fourth book which should have gone in with this lot so he was kindly sending it on free of charge with the others I’d bought. Another act of random generosity – huge thanks Milo!

It only took a week for the parcel to arrive and I eagerly opened the cardboard wrapping to see what I had purchased. There they were in front of me at last – two Ballantines and two Signets with three Richard Powers covers between them and one by Paul Lehr. I was ecstatic, they were all in excellent condition for their advanced ages and the covers were pretty much completely unblemished.

Once again, much appreciation and thanks to seller Milo for the extra title, these are four special books. Let me know your thoughts in the comments;

To Live Together by Jack Vance
This version was published in 1956 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Vance, To Live Forever

Double Star by Robert A. Heinlein
This version was published in 1957 by Signet Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Heinlein, Double Star

On An Odd Note by Gerald Kersh
This version was published in 1958 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Kersh, On An Odd Note

Starship by Brian Aldiss
This version was published in 1960 by Signet Books
The cover artist is Paul Lehr

Aldiss, Starship

A Badger Book On Sunday With The Reverend R. L. Fanthorpe, Chapter 9

Rev Fanthorpe Frame

It’s getting closer now – not that I have a brightly decorated tree, well stocked drinks cabinet and fridge jam packed with various nibbles. No, I stay well away from all that business choosing to believe that it’s merely a gigantic con trick to make us spend money we don’t have and gorge ourselves on food & drink. So with that out of the way let’s get on to books and see what I’ve chosen for today’s excursion into the weird and wonderful.

It’s yet another John E. Muller title which means it was penned by the trusty trio of R. L. Fanthorpe, John S. Glasby and A. A. Glynn. The all-important tagline reads;

“There was nothing wrong with the clock, only it went backwards!”

Now, I love a bit of time travelling in a novel and this cover clearly depicts our hero going as far back as prehistory in what I can only describe as an xmas tree bauble… what the? Of all the time machine designs I’ve seen adorning book covers this one has to be the strangest – very festive but odd all the same.

It’s time for me to dive in now and see what happens to the man who conquered time in a festive tree decoration.

The Man Who Conquered Time by John E. Muller
(Serial Number SF68)
This version was published in 1962 by Badger Books
The cover artist is Henry Fox

Badger - Muller, The Man Who Conquered Time

A Plethora Of Penguins Part Two

In the first part of this article published last week (here), I talked about the number of unfinished collections of Penguin books I have sitting on my library shelves and how frustrating a situation this is for an obsessive like me. It’s true that I have several success stories which go some small way to redressing the balance but I just have too many gaps otherwise to feel like I’ve achieved any sort of overall cohesion in terms of my Penguin books.

It’s at times like this that I remember the true nature of what I set this blog up to be; a virtual art gallery of book covers which are displayed in a way they can’t be seen when stored on shelves. I’m trying my best to view this situation more about sharing the art and design of the books themselves with other like minded people rather than owning a complete collection which makes me feel a little better about my sorry predicament. It also cunningly leaves the somewhat trickier job of writing reviews to other, far better bloggers than myself and serves to make casual visitors more aware of the visual aspects of these wonderful old books.

Here then dear reader are another eight covers from titles which belong to a number of my unfinished Penguin collections for your enjoyment. Feel free to comment on any points raised in the article or just the covers themselves;

Drunkard’s Walk by Frederik Pohl
This version was published in 1966 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Kenneth Randall

Pohl Drunkard's Walk

The Joyous Invasions by Theodore Sturgeon
This version was published in 1967 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Alan Aldridge

Sturgeon The Joyous Invasions

The Robert Sheckley Omnibus by Robert Sheckley
This version was published in 1975 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is David Pelham

Sheckley The Robert Sheckley Omnibus

A Case Of Conscience by James Blish
This version was published in 1963 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Max Ernst

Blish A Case Of Conscience

The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester
This version was published in 1966 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Lester Waldman

Bester The Demolished Man

Yet More Penguin Science Fiction edited by Brian Aldiss
This version was published in 1963 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Matta

Anthology Yet More Penguin Science Fiction

Alternating Currents by Frederik Pohl
This version was published in 1966 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Erich Hartmann

Pohl Alternating Currents

Into Deepest Space by Fred and Geoffrey Hoyle
This version was published in 1977 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Peter Tybus

Hoyle Into Deepest Space

A Badger Book On Sunday With The Reverend R. L. Fanthorpe, Chapter 8

Rev Fanthorpe Portrait

This Sunday’s selection was a fairly easy pick as I’ve had my eye on this one for quite some time now. First the formalities; Thornton bell is once again a writing tag-team pseudonym, this time for the duo of R. L. Fanthorpe and Harry O. Mansfield. It’s not a regular Badger book either but a Supernatural Special (Strange, Weird, Eerie…) which are always a bit more lurid than the usual straight sci-fi fare.

The cover tagline reads;

“Man could control the atom, but not this Horror from a by-gone age”

A sinister, vaguely oriental looking chap tugging on a terrific long, pointed beard stares down at a terror filled lady whose blouse has mysteriously loosened to reveal her brassiere. Hmmm… This is some kind of terrifying Horror indeed, a gaze that can loosen a lady’s outer garments at forty paces – womankind beware!

Time to see what’s really afoot now and discover what hideous evil these pages from a by-gone age actually contain;

Chaos by Thornton Bell
(Supernatural Special Serial Number #SN92)
This version was published in 1964 by Badger Books
The cover artist is uncredited

 Badger - Bell, Chaos

A Plethora Of Penguins Part One

I love Penguin Books. I think it all started at secondary school because we had so many of them in our library – rows and rows of orange, blue and green spines. Somehow the smell of musty books takes me right back there and I’m sat at a long table on an uncomfortable steel framed chair reading a Penguin Book. It comes as no surprise then that I should have picked up a fair few Penguin Science Fiction books in later years.

Some time ago, I was sent a link to a website listing all the Penguin SF books to date (here) and I was off again, clicking on thumbnails and attempting to complete whole collections of fantastic looking books. This site has been a great tool in helping me decide what I want to find but also a source of unhappiness as it taunts me with pictures of those books which continue to remain unobtainable to me.

I’ve written about a couple of my major Penguin triumphs (here and here) but also about my biggest failure to date (here). I was wondering the other day how to deal with my remaining Penguin-related fragments in terms of displaying them on the blog when I decided I should just gather up some of my favourite covers from the tangle of incompleteness and present them here simply as a plethora of Penguin Books for your viewing purposes. As stated before elsewhere, these covers are just far too good to be sat on a shelf displaying their spines, their beautifully designed covers should be shared with the world.

So here they are, the first batch of eight rather excellent covers from various unfinished Penguin collections which sit forlornly on my library shelves. It’s a testament to my defeat that this article has been written but one from which I hope you will at least derive some enjoyment. Let me know your thoughts on the covers and your own collection failures in the comments;

Final Stage Edited by Edward L. Ferman and Barry N. Malzberg
This version was published in 1975 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is David Pelham

Penguin Anthology Final Stage

The Day It Rained Forever by Ray Bradbury
This version was published in 1966 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Romek Barber

Bradbury The Day It Rained Forever

Telepathist by John Brunner
This version was published in 1968 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Carl Struwe

Brunner Telepathist

Wolfbane by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth
This version was published in 1967 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Pohl Kornbluth Wolfbane

Mission Of Gravity by Hal Clement
This version was published in 1963 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Yves Tanguy

Clement Mission Of Gravity

The Pollinators Of Eden by John Boyd
This version was published in 1978 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Peter Cross

Boyd The Pollinators Of Eden

The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick
This version was published in 1976 by +Penguin Books
The cover artist is Peter Goodfellow

PKD The Man In The High Castle

Gunner Cade by Cyril Judd
This version was published in 1966 by Penguin Books
The cover artist is Ian Yeomans

Judd Gunner Cade

A Badger Book On Sunday With The Reverend R. L. Fanthorpe, Chapter 7

Rev Fanthorpe Frame

Another Sunday begins and so does the search for another Badger book to while away a few hours. I seem to remember picking this one up as part of a job lot but then I could be mistaken (as I often am these days). Still, all that really matters is that this looks like yet another cracker from the House of Badger!

The author John E. Muller is of course a pseudonym for the prolific trio of staff writers during this particularly fertile period of the 60s – R. L. Fanthorpe, John S. Glasby and A. A. Glynn.

Once again, that all-important tagline is present on the cover and states;

“She was lost in a weird, wild dimension – full of strange Secrets.”

Another great cover adorns the book; a young, blonde scientist/nurse fiddles with some sparking electronic equipment whilst a disembodied face etched with concern – possibly of the chief scientific officer himself – looms over her in half-shadow. Not as lurid as some cover art included in this series granted but I love this image for its simplicity and sense of explosive foreboding.

It’s time to step into this weird, wild dimension and find out the answers to those strange secrets…

Phenomena X by John E. Muller
(Serial Number SF116)
This version was published in 1966 by Badger Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Badger - Muller, Phenomenax

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