This past Monday was the last day of Junior Unsubscriber’s summer holiday and so I said I’d take her for lunch, the park and do all the other things such young folk enjoy doing. It was drizzling during the morning which put a slight dampener on our initial plans but after heading out for a bumper sushi lunch and a bit of treat shopping we set of to the park for some much needed exercise. My spirits were high until I fell off her skateboard during a coaching session and almost smashed my glass back into a million pieces! When will I finally learn that I’m a 47 year old wreck of a man and no longer 16, thrusting and vital?
We later ran into Sheffield city centre for a wander around in the warm September sun and try to locate some sticky buns to consume. After parking the car I noticed a shop I hadn’t been in for a good many years called Rare And Racy, a place which I happily called my second home for most of my formative years. I asked Junior Unsubscriber if we could pay a quick visit to which she shrugged her shoulders and nodded blankly – oh, she knows me only too well.
After just fifteen minutes I came away with a hardback, two Silverberg novels plus an anthology and two other paperbacks for just £8! I probably could have unearthed a few more treasures but the extreme avant garde jazz being played at high volume in the shop was beginning to disquiet Junior Unsubscriber so we beat a hasty retreat in search of the aforementioned sticky buns.
So, all in all a great day – the small one was happy with her sushi lunch, treats and various activities whilst I was delighted with my wholly unexpected finds. I really must pay Rare And Racy a few more visits in future.
The shop can be be found at 164-166, Devonshire Street in Sheffield. They also have a website here which is worth looking at to get an idea of just what kind of treasure trove the place is.
Here are the aforementioned newly acquired books in all their glory;
Visions & Venturers by Theodore Sturgeon
1980 – Readers Union / The Science Fiction Book Club (UK)
Cover artist uncredited
Fabulously minimal cover which almost looks like an Open University manual on Technical Drawing.
The Green Brain by Frank Herbert
1975 – New English Library
Cover art by Bruce Pennington
Another cover which only serves to deepen my love of the human skull, here rendered brilliantly amidst swarming insects by Bruce Pennington.
Chains Of The Sea edited by Robert Silverberg
1974 – Dell Laurel-Leaf Library
Cover art by Gervasio Gallardo
Vornan-19 by Robert Silverberg
1972 – Tandem
Cover art by C. Achilleos
Next Stop The Stars by Robert Silverberg
1977 – Ace Books
Cover art by Don Punchatz
This frankly bizarre piece of cover art apparently shows a man in his long johns doing battle with a purple, two headed, four armed alligator-style alien and winning by the simple application of a large stick! I like it, although I’m just not entirely sure why…