The Müller-Fokker Effect x 3

I rarely buy the same book twice because a better cover comes along but that’s not to say I never do this. Indeed, I have a library shelf groaning with copies of H.P. Lovecraft volumes bearing many of the same titles but wrapped in different covers. I call these my ‘vanity purchases’, books which will never be read as I already own a perfectly good copy exactly for that very purpose. But then this happened…

One day, I came across a copy of John Sladek’s rather fine novel The Müller-Fokker Effect on eBay for a rather paltry sum and decided to hit the ‘Buy It Now’ button immediately. Here is that very volume published by Pocket Books in 1973 with rather fetching cover art by Gene Szafran;


Before the book had even arrived through my letterbox, another copy appeared on eBay bearing a cover extremely similar to a copy of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream OF Electric Sheep which I had purchased earlier that day. I knew I had to have it and again hit the familiar blue button below the listing. A few days later I had both copies sitting on my table for cataloguing, this particular version was issued by Panther in 1972 and has stunning cover art by McInnery;


During the brief period of browsing which had uncovered both these volumes, I had noticed a few copies of a third version of this very tome – a first edition hardback no less with a very bizarre psychedelic cover. The starting prices were always over the £45 mark and so I passed them over with a sigh. Then, one evening I stumbled across a copy with a starting price of just £10. I duly clicked the ‘Watch’ button and proceeded to keep an eye on it over the next few days. There were no bids with only one minute to go before the auction ended and so I tentatively placed an offer just over the £10 starter. To my surprise, I won the auction without a single counter bid and so now had three copies of the same book. Published by Hutchinson in 1970 and bearing the most amazing cover drawing by Bill Botten, here’s the front of the dust jacket:


Even the rear of the book is great showing Sladek looking like some kind of anarcho-hippie freedom fighter or a member of Hawkwind circa 1976;


It’s hard to tell which is the ‘vanity purchase’ here as all the covers are so fantastic (the book is brilliant too by the way) but I think my library would be missing something if I didn’t have all three sitting on its shelves.

12 thoughts on “The Müller-Fokker Effect x 3

    • unsubscriber 07/04/2014 / 7:11 pm

      Thanks N, I think I needed some blogging therapy this evening.


      • Postcard Cafe 07/04/2014 / 8:51 pm

        I hope you’ll be treating us to some more of your blogging therapy back on a regular basis! Best wishes, Mr Cafe 😉


      • unsubscriber 07/04/2014 / 9:23 pm

        Thanks for the kind comment. I have a few more pieces in the works which you may enjoy Mr Cafe, watch this space…


  1. Lestaret 07/04/2014 / 7:10 pm

    Always worth having three books when the covers are this good! Glad to have you back!


    • unsubscriber 07/04/2014 / 7:12 pm

      I knew you’d understand perfectly Mr Lestaret. Thanks for the comment, more to come hopefully.


  2. stuart Anderson 07/04/2014 / 7:28 pm

    Good to see you making a much welcome return to the world that we bloggers inhabit – greetings, human!


    • unsubscriber 07/04/2014 / 7:30 pm

      It’s good to be back Mr A, a little blogging therapy is definitely working wonders. Hope you and yours are well, looking forward to seeing you all soon hopefully.


    • unsubscriber 07/04/2014 / 8:21 pm

      Sorry Joachim, they’re all staying put for the foreseeable future. Glad you enjoyed them though.


      • Joachim Boaz 07/04/2014 / 8:23 pm

        I know, I was jesting. But yes, I need to find one — the first two you listed.


      • unsubscriber 07/04/2014 / 8:25 pm

        The first one seems easy to find on eBay, it’s the second and third that I had most luck with I think.


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