A Badger Book On Sunday With The Reverend R. L. Fanthorpe, Chapter 41

Rev Fanthorpe Frame

Another Sunday rolls around again which means another pick from the Badger shelf of my library for today’s reading pleasure. This week I’ve selected a title by Lionel Roberts which is of course the good Reverend Fanthorpe under another of his many pseudonyms. The tagline is as follows;

No one realised where the ship came from… Until too late

The cover depicts a classic Emsh astronaut complete with his marvellously imagined suit and helmet. Emshwiller paints these illustrations so damn well adding plenty of finely wrought detail to the main figure and this one is no exception. I love the blank expression on this guy’s face as a rocketship takes off in the background and all around him seems to be exploding in a hail of fire.

Join me next week for more Badger action and I’ll share another selection from library with you. Feel free to leave a comment if you enjoyed this week’s book.

The In-World by Lionel Roberts
(Serial Number SF37)
This version was published in 1960 by Badger Books
The cover artist is Ed Emshwiller

Badger - Roberts, The In-World

Roberts, The In-World (Back)

Music To Fall Asleep To

I suffer terribly with extremely uneven sleep patterns. My nights are sometimes days and vice versa, I try to grab a nap whenever I can to keep my batteries topped up but I do like a little music playing to help me along. This can be a frustrating exercise though, pick the wrong album and I’ll be up in five minutes to change it for something else. The volume has to be just right too – loud enough to hear but quiet enough so as not to disturb the desired slumber. I do however have a good selection of LPs that fit these criteria quite well and so I thought I’d share a few of them with all you insomniacs out there. Are you a fellow sufferer with a sonic trick up your sleeve? Please let me know in the comments;

Stars Of The Lid – The Tired Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid
2001 – Kranky

The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid

The heavyweight champions of somnambulistic drone, Stars Of The Lid have ploughed an increasingly drowsy furrow since their first release back in 1995. This LP was something of a pinnacle in their development, an expansion of their oeuvre into a hefty two hour suite of interconnected, languid drones. This is music that sounds more like dust motes caught in the still, bright sunlight of an early summer’s morning or an inexorably advancing, tenebrous mist. I have listened to this album literally hundreds of times since its purchase and never cease to be moved by its glacial splendour whether slowly falling asleep or simply unwinding after the rigours of the day. Quite simply put, the aural equivalent of Valium but infinitely more enjoyable.

Motion Sickness Of Time Travel – Self Titled
2012 – Spectrum Spools

Motion Sickness Of Time Travel

I’ve been a huge fan of Rachel Evans’ work since discovering an early Motion Sickness LP some years ago and have amassed a large collection of her work. She is extremely prolific releasing many albums each year but her quality control never seems to dip. I’ve chosen this album as it works out at a single track per side, four slabs of oozing, soporific beauty. Across ninety minutes of playing time, Evans utilises synths, guitars and her own fragile voice which is usually doubled-tracked and bathed in a glowing reverb. There’s definitely something of the Berlin School about parts of the LP but these four long, spaced out tracks are clearly her own creations. An album to bathe and wallow in as you soak up the sounds like a myriad of tiny fizzing soap bubbles. This could be prescribed by your doctor as an alternative to a sleeping tablet.

Klimek – Dedications
2007 – Anticipate Recordings

Klimek

Sebastian Meissner crafts a beautifully meditative LP using heavily processed sounds sourced from electric and acoustic guitars before applying all manner of laptop trickery. Sometimes the guitars are replaced by pianos in soft focus, frayed and blurred at the edges. Sparse drones appear and disappear, crackles, buzzes and the humming of electricity are all present but never overpowering. I’ve listened to this album many times in a number of different states and it never ceases to have a calming effect on me. It’s no coincidence that Meissner’s previous LP was titled Music To Fall Asleep. A wonderful record to drift away to.

Jürgen Müller – Science Of The Sea
2011 – Digitalis Recordings

Jurgen Muller

This album was initially released by Digitalis under the guise of an archival private press LP made by a German oceanic scientist in the late 1970s. The faintly new agey synth arpeggios drifting across faintly pulsing rhythms were supposed to reflect Müller’s love of the sea as he recorded his music on a houseboat in the town of Heikendorf. This back story has now been revealed to be nothing but a hoax, but the music still remains incredibly evocative of a certain period in time. There’s a faint, coastal whiff of Ghost Box/Open University about these tracks that ebb and flow through modulated synth washes, waves lapping, fish shoaling. It’s a beautifully made record which keeps its watery mood throughout and I for one don’t care when it was recorded or who by. It’s a gorgeous piece of dropping off kit that I rarely reach the end of before I’m asleep which is absolutely no slur on this fine record.

Belong – Colorloss Record
2008 – St. Ives

Belong

Ok, so I’m tossing in a cheeky EP after the above three albums but only because listening to the four cover versions of 60s tracks contained within its grooves is akin to being rolled up in a thick duvet and placed near a window where a band are playing in the distance behind a blanket of fog after the drummer has gone home. This whole release is wrapped up in so much soundproofing that only the bearest minimum of sound leaks out. Forget lyrics or chord changes, this is a twenty minute blur of gorgeousness that I tend put on repeat for at least an hour. Nothing about this LP says anger or aggression despite the fact that it’s essentially a heavily guitar-driven record. It simply strokes your fringe away from your eyes, kisses your forehead and says “night night”.

Sleep well fellow insomniacs, sleep well…

A Delivery From The U.S. Part Three

For the past two weeks I’ve been featuring books that were purchased through eBay from a rather splendid chap called Otis who resides in the U.S. (here & here). This week is the turn of the heavyweights amongst my final selection, four hardbacks.

I don’t often buy these particular versions of novels preferring instead the cheaper and more readily available paperback editions. There’s also much more in the way of choice of cover artwork too but when these four beautifully wrapped titles appeared on my iPad screen, I knew I’d have to buy them. Here they are then in all their glory, let me know your thoughts via the comments as always.

The Computer Connection by Alfred Bester
This version was published in 1975 by Berkley/Putnam Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Computer Connection by Alfred Bester

The Best Of Leigh Brackett edited by Edmond Hamilton
This version was published in 1977 by Nelson Doubleday Books
The cover artist is Jack Woolhiser

The Best Of Leigh Brackett edited by Edmond Hamilton

Silence Is Deadly by Lloyd Biggle, Jr.
This version was published in 1977 by Doubleday Books
The cover artist is Emanuel Schongut

Silence Is Deadly by Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

Medusa’s Children by Bob Shaw
This version was published in 1979 by Doubleday Books
The cover artist is Michael Grumley

Medusa's Children by Bob Shaw

A Badger Book On Sunday With The Reverend R. L. Fanthorpe, Chapter 40

Rev Fanthorpe Frame

It’s Sunday again and so another trip to the Badger shelf of my library is in order before my day can truly begin. More from John E. Muller this week, you must know this one by now surely – it’s the pseudonym for R. L. Fanthorpe, John S. Glasby and A. A. Glynn. Let’s check the tagline before we turn to the cover shall we?

There was terror in the ominous cloud above the city, the day of the bomb had arrived

This one’s a classic atom bomb style yarn from the chaps featuring a terribly sombre cover piece. It features the aforementioned ominous cloud looming over the ruins of a no doubt once great city as three disembodied heads look on with grave expressions on their faces. It’s also worth noting that the first man is sporting a fantastically louche pointed goatee beard which I can’t help but find terribly impressive. I also love what they’ve done with the rear cover on this title – why, it’s the front cover but rendered in a kind of negative style. Who says you have to be totally poe-faced about such a weighty topic as the impending atomic destruction of mankind?

And now to read my friends, I’ll be back again next Sunday with another selection from my Badger collection to share with you so be sure to join me.

The Negative Ones by John E. Muller
(Serial Number SF109)
This version was published in 1965 by Badger Books
The cover artist is Harry Fox

Badger - Muller, The Negative ones

The Negative Ones - Back

A Delivery From The U.S. Part Two

Last week, I wrote about placing an order via eBay for a list of books from my good buddy Otis in the U.S. (here). I then went on to feature the first half dozen of these fabulous titles for you to drool over.

This week I’m presenting the second set of six vintage paperbacks in an attempt to create a much more easy to digest format rather than dumping a whole load of covers in front of you to sift through. Once again, do let me know your thoughts in the comments.

Time Trap by Keith Laumer
This version was published in 1970 by Berkley Medallion Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Time Trap by Keith Laumer

Day Of The Beasts by John E. Muller
This version was published in 1971 by Macfadden Books
The cover artist is Jeff Jones

Day Of The Beasts by John E. Muller

Notions: Unlimited by Robert Sheckley
This version was published in 1968 by Bantam Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Notions Unlimited by Robert Sheckley

The Stars Around Us edited by Robert Hoskins
This version was published in 1970 by Signet Books
The cover artist is Gene Szafran

The Stars Around Us edited by Robert Hoskins

The Ruins Of Earth edited by Thomas M. Disch
This version was published in 1972 by Berkley Medallion Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Ruins Of Earth edited by Thomas M. Disch

All The Colors Of Darkness by Lloyd Biggle, Jr.
This version was published in 1968 by Paperback Library Books
The cover artist is uncredited

All The Colors Of Darkness by Lloyd Biggle, Jr.

A Badger Book On Sunday With The Reverend R. L. Fanthorpe, Chapter 39

Rev Fanthorpe Frame

This week’s delve into the Badger archive to find a book for the day has turned up something quite unique, a title which has nothing whatsoever to do with the good Reverend Fanthorpe. Instead we get an early novel by respected author Murray Leinster no less! I wonder how many other titles were published by Badger featuring work by such authors as Leinster? It’s about time someone got around to writing a book about this seminal pulp powerhouse and it’s output including a thorough and extensive bibliography. But enough of these musings, it’s about time we cut quickly to the tagline;

Was he the only man on earth who could call his mind his own?

And as befitting the work of such an esteemed writer, the cover is by Emsh rather than some underpaid hack staff artist – and what a beauty it is too! A silvery woman stands with her arms up to the heavens as she emits some kind of crackling energy which envelops a series of fascinated onlookers. They all appear unharmed by this strange feat except for one of the men who screams in agony – presumably because his brain is being stolen. It’s classic Emsh alright and I love it.

Time to dig in now and discover the secrets that these musty pages contain, join me here again next week for more Badger goodness – who knows what I’ll turn up next!

The Brain Stealers by Murray Leinster
(Serial Number SF33)
This version was published in 1960 by Badger Books
The cover artist is Emsh

Leinster, The Brain Stealers

The Brain Stealers - Back

A Delivery From The U.S. Part One

When I have a little spare cash, I always head over to take a look at what my good buddy Otis has to offer on eBay. I have to wait until I have sufficient funds to make a larger purchase because I always know he’ll definitely come up with the goods like every time I’ve browsed his vast selection of titles. There’s never any point in buying just one or two books from the U.S. because of the ridiculous postage charges that most sellers levy but Otis calculates his payment by weight and so it makes total sense to negotiate a bulk buy to take best advantage of the final total.

A few weeks ago I found myself in that very position and so happily sat there with my iPad in my hand furiously tapping the ‘Watch’ button until I had created a decent sized list. This was then trimmed judiciously and an email sent to Otis requesting a postage quote. Given the time differences involved, he’s always on the ball and got back to me fairly promptly with a price – the deal was done!

I’m always shocked at how speedy the delivery of my order is too and this time was no exception, within a week the postie knocked at my door bearing a large cardboard box full of vintage treasures. Once inside I quickly ripped open the lid and sifted through my prizes like a container full of rare, delicate gems.

I’ve split the books into three parts for ease of viewing, here are the first six titles for your delectation. Comments at the ready…

What’s Become Of Screwloose? And Other Inquiries by Ron Goulart
This version was published in 1973 by Daw Books
The cover artist is Josh Kirby

What's Become Of Screwloose? And Other Inquiries by Ron Goulart

The Infinite Cage by Keith Laumer
This version was published in 1974 by Berkley Medallion Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Infinite Cage by Keith Laumer

Greener Than You Think by Ward Moore
This version was published in 1961 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Greener Than You Think by Ward Moore

Daughters Of Earth by Judith Merril
This version was published in 1970 by Dell Books
The cover artist is Robert Foster

Daughters Of Earth by Judith Merril

A Far Sunset by Edmund Cooper
This version was published in 1968 by Berkley Medallion Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

A Far Sunset by Edmund Cooper

The Shape Changer by Keith Laumer
This version was published in 1973 by Berkley Medallion Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Shape Changer by Keith Laumer