Ace On Sunday #2

Ace Double Header

Last weekend, you may recall that I decided to embark upon a trip through some recent additions to my Ace Doubles collection as a substitute for the now completed Badger books which had become my usual Sunday reading partner. The plan is to select a new volume, complete the first title and then flip it over to read the other side on the following week. I began my journey with serial number D-457, Vulcan’s Hammer by Philip K. Dick (here) which was a sterling read as I expected it would be from one of my all time SF heroes. And so today I’ve turned over the book to reveal a title by John Brunner who I also wrote about last Wednesday (here) and stated that I was surprised to find how many of his novels I have in my library – this one had gone completely unnoticed until now.

Like its companion on the reverse side of the book, this tale bears a tagline which reads;

Human fuses for a galactic explosion

The cover art is superb showing a number of rocketships blasting away from an exploding, fiery planet. There’s something very familiar about this cover painting that I became convinced I had seen it used before on another title which sent me scurrying to the library shelves. I couldn’t locate a match after performing a cursory search so if you know where else it has appeared (if at all) then please do let me know.

Temporary diversion over, it’s now time for me to settle down in my favourite seat and read on. I’ll be back next Sunday with a new book to share so join me then for more Ace Double action. Your thoughts are always welcome so feel free to drop me a comment.

The Skynappers by John Brunner
(Serial Number D-457)
This version was published in 1960 by Ace Books
The cover artist is Ed Valigursky

D-457 The Skynappers by John Brunner


4 thoughts on “Ace On Sunday #2

  1. Guy 18/01/2016 / 8:01 pm


    I was delighted to see your new Ace Double project began with a work by Dick. While his output for the Ace Doubles series is often dismissed I have quite enjoyed works like Solar Lottery and the World Jones Made. Another Ace Double writer I love is John Brunner and again while I know he has more serious work like Stand on Zanzibar, I enjoyed the wild pulpish adventures of Rites of OHE, Sanctuary in the Sky and Threshold of Eternity. So I could not help myself, I had to pull Vulcan’s Hammer off the shelf and give it a read. I quite liked it, I found Dick’s comments on the balm of faith, given his own immersion in religious mysticism later in his life really striking. And no surprise, he continues to have a strong grasp of paranoia and mob psychology.

    As always I am quite enjoying your posts.
    All the best.


    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 19/01/2016 / 4:12 pm

      Thanks for your comments Guy, it great to know you’re still aboard for this next journey across my library shelves. I agree with you about PKD’s Ace output being somewhat looked down upon, I particularly enjoyed The World That Jones Made from this period of writing. I’d never read Vulcan’s Hammer though and was very pleasantly surprised by its depth and structure, it’s good to know I spurred you on to join me in reading it. I have some great titles lined up for the coming weeks so be sure to join me each Sunday as usual for more fantastic covers. Take care as ever my friend, all the best.


  2. Julian 18/01/2016 / 10:13 pm

    Hi Lee

    Ages since I’ve left a comment – I do often drop by for a quick read

    The Cover art on the John Brunner side of this Ace double was used as the cover of the UK Digit Books release of A.E.Van Vogt’s ‘The Weapon Makers’ Digit R454

    A very common practice with Ace cover’s being used on Digit books & usually not on the same titles

    Best wishes for 2016 Julian

    Liked by 1 person

    • unsubscriber 19/01/2016 / 4:22 pm

      Julian, it’s wonderful to hear from you again – you must drop me an email sometime and let me know how things are going for you and your family. Thank you so much for finally putting a name to this latest cover, it has been in my thoughts constantly since posting. I really should have known that the painting had also featured on a Digit novel as I included it in a series published last year, my mind is clearly fading due to advancing years! I hope that you’re keeping well and am glad to know that you still visit my humble blog, I have some more cracking covers to come over the next few months so do stay tuned for those. I look forward to hearing more from you soon. Take care my friend and all the best to you.


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