The Strange Case Of The Ballantine Job Lot

It all started some time ago now, I was happily browsing eBay on my iPad sipping a cup of tea when an auction caught my eye. It was for a job lot of fifteen Ballantine books in excellent condition with a starting price of just £10. There were no bids and only a few hours to completion. This had to be too good to be true!

I scrutinised the photos of the books in the ad, they were nearly all by Richard Powers. I knew I might have to bid hard in the closing stages and so planned my strategy meticulously. My head was full of calculations, how much would this collection go for if the books sold separately? I had plenty to think about whilst the clock ticked.

With a minute to spare there was a solitary bid which surprised me greatly given the rarity and usual quality of decent Ballantines around these days. I won’t disclose what I did put in as my final bid but it was a hell of a lot more than my winning price of just £12.16! That equates to approximately 81p for each book – staggering!

When the box arrived and was carefully unpacked, each book was indeed in excellent condition and I was a very happy soul for being the lucky winner of this Ballantine/Powers jamboree. It’s just a shame there are two uncredited covers amongst these beauties so if anyone has any bright ideas as to who they’re by then I’m all ears.

Here’s the haul in all it’s glory for you to enjoy;

Brain Wave by Poul Anderson
This version was published in 1954 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Brain Wave by Poul Anderson

E Pluribus Unicorn by Theodore Sturgeon
This version was published in 1956 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

E Pluribus Unicorn by Theodore Sturgeon

Of All Possible Worlds by William Tenn
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Of All Possible Worlds by William Tenn

The Fourth “R” by George O. Smith
This version was published in 1959 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Fourth %22R%22 by George O. Smith

Robots And Changelings by Lester Del Rey
This version was published in 1957 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Robots & Changelings by Lester Del Rey

Far And Away by Anthony Boucher
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Far and Away by Anthony Boucher

Beyond Eden by Davis Duncan
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Beyond Eden by David Duncan

The Marching Morons by C. M. Kornbluth
This version was published in 1959 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Marching Morons by C. M. Kornbluth

No Boundaries by Henry Kuttner and C. L. Moore
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

No Boundaries by Henry Kuttner:C. L. Moore

Turn Left At Thursday by Frederik Pohl
This version was published in 1961 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Turn Left At Thursday by Frederick Pohl

Search The Sky by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth
This version was published in 1954 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Search The Sky by Frederick Pohl:C. M. Kornbluth

Wolfbane by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth
This version was published in 1959 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Wolfbane by Frederick Pohl:C. M. Kornbluth

The Undying Fire by Fletcher Pratt
This version was published in 1953 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Undying Fire by Fletcher Pratt

Citizen In Space by Robert Sheckley
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Citizen In Space by Robert Sheckley

Gladiator-At-Law by Frederik Pohl and C. M. Kornbluth
This version was published in 1955 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

Gladiator-At-Law by Frederick Pohl:C. M. Kornbluth

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26 thoughts on “The Strange Case Of The Ballantine Job Lot

  1. Bernie Evans 07/04/2015 / 3:30 pm

    Hi Lee,

    my computer keeps telling me the page isn’t found. It has your blog header, and the links to recent pages, but not the actual Ballantine joblot page. ?????

    Love, Bernie xxxxx

    Like

  2. Lestaret 07/04/2015 / 3:38 pm

    Hi Lee,

    I’m not getting a link through to this post – 404 not found message. Just thought you ought to know…

    Chris

    >

    Like

  3. Bernie Evans 07/04/2015 / 6:35 pm

    FORGET THAT!!!

    It’s finally come through 🙂

    Love, Bernie xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 08/04/2015 / 12:27 pm

      Enjoy the books Bernie, tiny glitch my end. Look after yourself xxx

      Like

  4. Lestaret 07/04/2015 / 9:25 pm

    Excellent purchase sir! A very handsome addition to the library methinks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 08/04/2015 / 12:26 pm

      Thank you Mr Letraset, they are indeed a beautiful collection.

      Like

  5. lcmt 07/04/2015 / 10:20 pm

    Great bargain! I love a story about finding treasure for cheap. I cannot pick a favorite out of this bunch, all of them together are a marvelous representation of the artist Richard Powers. Thank you for introducing me to this artist, and to Ian Miller.

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 08/04/2015 / 12:25 pm

      Glad you enjoyed these Lin, it’s good to know I’m introducing people to some of these wonderful but forgotten artists. Powers is my all time favourite so this was a bumper haul for me although Miller is pretty close. Both have great large format books of their work available if you’re interested to see more. All the best.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lcmt 10/04/2015 / 2:12 am

        I have the Ian Miller book saved at Amazon. I will look for the Powers book. After I spend my tax return on necessities, maybe I will enough left over for a book or two.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. fromcouchtomoon 08/04/2015 / 2:48 am

    What a great find! Lucky you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 08/04/2015 / 12:16 pm

      Thanks, I really did get lucky on this one. All the best.

      Like

  7. Joachim Boaz 08/04/2015 / 12:15 pm

    Wow, what a find. Do you realize that Marching Morons alone in the US is $10 on amazon? I found my copy for $3 and thought I had a steal…. Duncan is a crap author unfortunately — but I do stare at that particular Powers cover and wish Duncan could write so I could have it on my shelf. I have the same Undying Fire cover (another terrible novel) — it has a cool back as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joachim Boaz 08/04/2015 / 12:16 pm

      And what Wolfsbane cover is so much better than my later edition…. Another novel I never managed to read all the way through. Bizarre and rather, eh.

      Liked by 1 person

      • unsubscriber 08/04/2015 / 12:20 pm

        I’ve also got a lovely penguin version but haven’t read either yet I’m ashamed to say….

        Like

    • unsubscriber 08/04/2015 / 12:19 pm

      I certainly did my maths before bidding, Ballantines come up so rarely on UK eBay and to grab then for that price… crazy! All the best J.

      Like

      • Joachim Boaz 08/04/2015 / 12:20 pm

        Gladiator-at-Law is worth a read. It’s not The Space Merchants but certainly worth the few hours it’ll take to get through. Kornbluth lived in one of the first planned communities in the US — and hated it. You can see his anger and despair having been conned into following the propaganda of 50s homeownership/American dream stuff post-War.

        Liked by 1 person

      • unsubscriber 08/04/2015 / 12:29 pm

        Thanks J, I’ll give it a go. Sounds like an intriguing back story.

        Like

  8. Bernie 09/04/2015 / 9:13 am

    This is a fabulous addition to your recent blogs. The story of how you obtained them is fascinating, and I told you you are lucky, this proves it, well done you.

    As for the covers, what a cornucopia of greatness. I can’t name a favourite this time, and I’ve tried but can’t name the unknown ones either, sorry!

    Thankyou so much for sharing this with us, I’ll be coming for another look at it several times I’m sure.

    Take care, Bernie xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 11/04/2015 / 1:55 pm

      Glad you enjoyed these covers Bernie, I had a feeling you would! Impossible to pick an outright favourite with so many great Powers covers on display. Lovely to hear from you as always, look after yourself xxx

      Like

  9. Postcard Cafe 09/04/2015 / 5:59 pm

    A fine collection and once again you’ve done a great job with the full cover image of Brain Wave. I enjoyed reading about how you came to acquire them. Placing a high bid to a sensible maximum is always a good strategy and it is always so much more rewarding when you get a bargain 🙂 Best wishes, Mr C

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 11/04/2015 / 1:52 pm

      Thanks for your kind words Mr C, I do love a good bargain!

      Like

  10. Guy 16/07/2015 / 2:10 am

    Hi

    Some great books here. You have two of my favourite Ballantine covers, Brain Wave, I also really liked the story and Of all possible worlds which I have not read yet but wanted based on the cover for a long time, I got bogged down on Wolfsbane but will try it again and I quite enjoyed Search the Sky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 16/07/2015 / 6:36 am

      Thanks for your comments Guy, glad you enjoyed the covers. Of All Possible Worlds is a great collection and well worth owning, I actually have another version of this one by Mayflower-Dell featuring Easter Island heads on the cover! Wolfsbane is an odd one but I found it worth persevering with in the end. All the best.

      Like

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