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


12 thoughts on “Powers and Lehr From The Netherlands

    • unsubscriber 17/12/2014 / 12:43 pm

      Thanks Admiral, I don’t often get as many of these to the pound as I’d like! All the best.


  1. Joachim Boaz 17/12/2014 / 12:46 pm

    Well, Starship is a brilliant book. And I do want to try Kersh — isn’t he a German SF author? (if I remember corrently)

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 17/12/2014 / 12:49 pm

      I believe Kersh is German yes, and I know you have a weakness for Powers covers too. Never seen this one before – Powers cover or not so looking forward to it. All the best Joachim.


  2. Julian 17/12/2014 / 4:24 pm

    I love Richard Powers art – He was incredibly prolific during that late 50’s early 60’s period almost single handedly responsible for the entire Ballantine Sci-Fi & Horror output. Amongst my fruitless collecting endeavours was a desire to get every one of his Ballantine covers {there are stacks of them!}
    Gerald Kersh was very much a British writer & an incredibly good one, Harlan Ellison considers him his favourite ever author & I really wouldn’t argue with that assertion – He could charm, amuse, tease & scalpel with a simple phrase Primarily remembered for his two London underground novels ‘Fowler’s End’ & the classic ‘Night and The City’ {filmed twice} – He also wrote the incredibly moving war novel ‘The Dead Look On’
    His Sci-Fi & Macabre output was mainly in the short story format, though he wrote one full sci-fi inspired novel ‘The Great Wash’
    Well worth reading across all genres

    Good to hear you got some treasures from Milo in the Netherlands – I haven’t spoken to him in ages but a couple of years back I bought a load of American paperbacks off of him & he was always a complete gent

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 17/12/2014 / 4:32 pm

      Thanks for the comment Julian, good to hear from you. Don’t we all love a bit of Powers and these three are particularly fine examples of that prolific period of his. I’d love to own a complete set of Ballantine/Powers books but I can’t imagine the search ever ending!

      I must look up more Kersh after your glowing recommendation Julian, it’s always great to pick up books that others have enjoyed reading.

      And as for Milo, I’ve bought a few gems from him in the past and he is a complete pleasure to deal with.

      Thanks again for you comment, you’re always welcome to drop by with a few nuggets of wisdom. All the best to you and yours.


  3. Julian 17/12/2014 / 5:55 pm

    Kersh the individual was a fascinating man – He was very popular in and around the second world war writing prolifically about his own war experiences, tried his hand at all manner of jobs & he could be by all accounts vey difficult to get on with – His very rare 1st novel ‘Jews Without Jehovah’ was withdrawn after just a few hours with less than fifty copies sold as a number of very irate relatives were threatening libel actions against perceived slanders.
    He actually changed his citizenship to American & ended his life there as he felt disenfranchised in/by Britain – It probably is primarily down to Harlan Ellison’s endorsement that he has a considerable following today & still some books in print.

    Times have changed, I remember about 20 years ago being excited at getting my first copy of ‘On An Odd Note’ for I think $20 – It’s a nice little book in that it was a first collected edition of these short stories

    I don’t have a definitive ‘Powers’ list of Ballantine covers {do you?} My guess is way over 100 {perhaps nearer 200} Plus all of the great covers he produced across many genres for Dell, Signet, Berkeley, Paperback Library etc, etc

    I’ll have a look through all of my Ballantine’s after xmas & see if I can dig out some Richard Powers duplicates for you – They are boxed away at present

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 17/12/2014 / 7:59 pm

      Kersh, does sound like a very interesting character from your information about him. As for the number of Powers/Ballantine covers, I don’t have a definitive list only a list of his green all works in a great art book about him by his daughter. I’d imagine around 200 would be a good guess though and some of the prices eye watering.

      I’ll look forward to seeing if you have any duplicates to throw my way, there’s always room for another few Richard Powers covers in my library.

      All the best Julian.


  4. Lestaret 18/12/2014 / 10:31 am

    The Vance and Kersh covers are really special. Powers at his best in my opinion. Lovely stuff.

    Liked by 2 people

    • unsubscriber 18/12/2014 / 11:40 am

      I totally agree with your comments Mr Lestaret, The Kirsh cover is my personal favourite closely followed by the Vance. It’s so rare to get books of this calibre together in one package like this. Best wishes.


  5. lcmt 21/12/2014 / 10:46 pm

    What Lestaret said. I love the graphic design on the Kersh & Vance covers.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. unsubscriber 21/12/2014 / 10:54 pm

    I thought you’d have a weakness for those two cover paintings in particular. They’re extremely fine examples of this artist’s work from his most creative period. Best wishes.


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