Teece’s Bit… A Shadow Over Rotherham

A few months ago, I suggested to my fellow vintage paperback collector and music aficionado Teece that he might pen a few articles for me to use on my blog. I’m very pleased to say that he accepted my invitation and so here is his first guest spot;

 Teeces Bit Header

Harpers bookshop in the shadow of the imposing soot-encrusted church in Rotherham town centre was where I first got my unholy fix of science fiction and cosmic horror. The shop provided the haven of otherness which I craved as a teenager in the grim years of the early 1970s. Heading for those shelves bulging with creeping terrors and lurid futures, I felt I was transgressing… crossing a line that my parents, teachers and peers remained firmly the other side of. Just the sight of those weird and wonderful names on the book spines was enough to set my imagination racing – Philip K Dick, Cordwainer Smith, A. E. van Vogt, H. P. Lovecraft, Roger Zelazny, William Hope Hodgson, C. M. Kornbluth and the rest. It felt good to align myself with these literary misfits and malcontents in the shunned yet darkly fertile ghetto of ‘genre’ fiction. An escape from reality? Well no, this was the start of a journey into the deeper recesses of the human mind. These writers hold up a mirror – albeit twisted, warped and troubling! – to that strange and shifting place we call the real world.

One day I walked into Harpers and some new Panther editions of HP Lovecraft were on display. The covers were astonishing. Mind-blowing. I’d not read Lovecraft yet but I knew I had to have these books. If the stories were half as good as the cover art, crikey was I in for a treat. So I bought the books, read them, loved them, and have been re-reading them ever since. Sadly, inevitably, Harpers bookshop is no longer with us, but I still have the HP Lovecraft books (with cover art by Ian Miller) as you can see from these lovingly crafted photos by Mr Unsubscriber. And if there’s one thing better than an old favourite paperback on the shelf that you keep coming back to, it’s that book sitting next to it which you still haven’t got round to reading yet, but which is ready and waiting to take you on a new journey into the unknown.

(Click on an image for a larger view.)

At The Mountains Of Madness And Other Novels Of Terror
1973 – Panther
cover art by Ian Miller

Lovecraft At The Mountains Of Madness

The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward
1973 – Panther
cover art by Ian Miller

Lovecraft The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward

The Haunter Of The Dark And Other Tales Of Terror
1974 – Panther
cover art by Ian Miller

Lovercraft The Haunter Of The Dark

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12 thoughts on “Teece’s Bit… A Shadow Over Rotherham

  1. Lestaret 25/06/2014 / 8:24 pm

    “Heading for those shelves bulging with creeping terrors and lurid futures”

    Fantastic. Very evocative. The bookshop, if it were still open today would probably be a Waterstones and I doubt anyone would head in there with anything approaching the anticipation you did, or leave with more than they bargained for… Nice one.

    Like

    • unsubscriber 25/06/2014 / 8:26 pm

      Well put Mr Lestaret, I’m sure Teece would agree on that point as I most certainly do.

      Like

  2. Bernie 26/06/2014 / 10:43 am

    It’s always sad to hear of a bookshop having closed down, even though I haven’t lived there for years now I still miss Andromeda in Birmingham.

    As for the pictures, what can I say except for WOW!! Great covers and some fantastic scanning, you must let me know how you did it!

    Like

    • unsubscriber 26/06/2014 / 10:49 am

      This bookshop was a frequent haunting place of Teece’s and I’m sure he misses it terribly. The Miller covers are great aren’t they? As for scanning, I just photographed each cover and spine then stitched them together manually. It was a lot of work but I’m chuffed with the results. Thanks Bernie.

      Like

      • Bernie 26/06/2014 / 10:56 am

        I should think you ARE chuffed with the results, so much better than I get with Irfanview, further investigation required I think 🙂

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      • unsubscriber 26/06/2014 / 10:59 am

        Thanks for the kind words Bernie, good luck with your investigations.

        Like

  3. franzwesten 01/07/2014 / 10:06 am

    That Haunter of the Dark cover is an absolute stunner! I hadn’t seen that one before. They are all great, but that one in particular. I will have to rummage around for Miller covers!

    Like

    • unsubscriber 01/07/2014 / 10:11 am

      They’re great cover aren’t they, I spent quite a while stitching them together but it was time well spent to see the pictures in all their glory. I did a piece on some other Ian Miller covers in my collection here;

      https://unsubscribedblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/ian-miller-covers/

      I’d love to see more if you have them though. He’s another favourite SF illustrator of mine.

      Like

  4. johncnash 16/11/2014 / 6:47 pm

    Phwoar! Good stuff. The Haunter of The Dark is the only one I’ve got. I have lots of other Lovecrafts but only the one with the Ian Miller cover. I’m going to have to hunt those others down now. Cheers for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 16/11/2014 / 6:49 pm

      They’re beauties aren’t they Mr Nash? Good luck in hunting down the others, I haven’t managed to find the two I’m after and I’ve been searching for years now. They’re a bit on the rare side…

      Liked by 1 person

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