Tales Of Horror And The Supernatural; Volume Two

Welcome to the second selection of horror and supernatural books pulled from the darker corners of my library shelves. Last week I began by presenting a half dozen titles as an update to last year’s three part series (here) and so I thought I’d carry on by listing a further six books I’ve been enjoying since the start of the year.

I’ve started this pick of covers with another Arthur Machen paperback, an author who has remained a perennial favourite of mine through the years since first discovering his work as a teenager. Also included is a rather brilliant collection of strange shorts by Robert Bloch, an omnibus of novellas by John Buchan – also known as Baron Tweedsmuir of Elsfield and a number of anthologies.

Once again, I hope that you appreciate the odd cover art from these weird books as I do. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments as always and join me again next week for more science fiction frolics.

The Novel Of The Black Seal by Arthur Machen
This version was published in 1965 by Corgi Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Novel Of The Black Seal by Arthur Machen

The Living Demons by Robert Bloch
This version was published in 1967 by Belmont Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Living Demons by Robert Bloch

In The Dead Of Night edited by Michael Sissons
This version was published in 1962 by Panther Books
The cover artist is uncredited

In The Dead Of Night edited by Michael Sissons

6 And The Silent Scream edited by Ivan Howard
This version was published in 1964 by Consul Books
The cover artist is uncredited

6 And The Silent Scream edited by Ivan Howard

The Watcher By The Threshold by John Buchan
This version was published in 1962 by Digit Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Watcher By The Threshold by John Buchan

Tales Of Unease edited by John Burke
This version was published in 1966 by Pan Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Tales Of Unease edited by John Burke

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Tales Of Horror And The Supernatural; Volume One

Several months ago, my good friend Mr Nash over at the rather wonderful When Churchyards Yawn blog wrote an illuminating piece on a book called The Horror Horn by E. F. Benson (here) which sent me scrambling to the shelves in order to retrieve my copy. I duly re-read the book and began to explore the rest of my library shelves containing horror and supernatural titles which I have been enjoying ever since alongside the usual SF novels.

After finishing reading several of these volumes I decided it might be a good time to feature some of them here as an update to last year’s three part series (here, here & here) which proved to be just as popular as my usual science fiction offerings.

I hope that you enjoy the covers of this first selection of strange old books as much as I have enjoyed reading them and maybe even decide to track a few of them down for your own collection. I shall return next week with a further half dozen volumes tucked under my arm for your perusal so be sure to join me then. In the meantime, please do share your thoughts in the comments.

Tales Of Horror And The Supernatural by Arthur Machen
This version was published in 1963 by Panther Books
The cover artist is R. J. Reynolds

Tales of Horror & The Supertnatural by Arthur Machen

The Unexpected edited by Leo Margulies
This version was published in 1961 by Pyramid Books
The cover artist is John Schoenherr

The Unexpected edited by Leo Margulies

The Horror Horn by E. F. Benson
This version was published in 1974 by Panther Books
The cover artist is Bruce Pennington

The Horror Horn by E. F. Benson

The Twisters by Vern Hansen
This version was published in 1963 by Digit Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Twisters by Vern Hansen

The Horror From The Hills by Frank Belknap Long
This version was published in 1965 by Brown, Watson Books
The cover artist is uncredited

The Horror From The Hills by Frank Belknap Long

Dr. Caligari’s Black Book edited by Peter Haining
This version was published in 1969 by New English Library Books
The cover artist is uncredited

Dr. Caligari's Black Book edited by Peter Haining

Ace On Sunday #14

Ace Double Header

It’s time to flip over the Ace Double book I randomly selected from the shelves last week and find out which title I’ll be spending my usual lazy Sunday reading. The title of today’s novel is Destination: Saturn by David Grinnell & Lin Carter. Turning the cover reveals the following blurb printed on the inside page;

In his own way, Ajax Calkins was a modest man. Modestly Wealthy – he was just a multi-billionaire. Modestly ambitious – he only wanted a world of his own. Modestly cooperative – he’d let the rest of the universe alone if they would let him alone.

And he did have a world of his own, too. The strange planetoid Ajaxia with its load of pre-asteroidal science was all his – and even Earth recognised that, provided they could come to an agreement.

But it was the sneaky Saturnians that were upsetting his applecart. Rather than make a deal, they fabricated their own Ajax Calkins, set him up, and walked off with Ajaxia.

That was the sort of thing sure to make Ajax lose his modesty – and set off after his kidnapped world single-handed – with the rest of the Earth-Mars fleet too many million miles in the rear!

I suspect that this one may well turn out to be a ‘romp’, a theory supported by the rather comical Kelly Freas cover featuring the somewhat regally attired Ajax Calkins standing next to his Saturnian imposter.

But now to read and learn how this farcical scenario plays out. If you’ve enjoyed the cover from this wonderful vintage novel then feel free to come back next Sunday when I’ll choose another Ace Double from the library of the unsubscriber. Be sure to share your thoughts in the comments as always.

Destination: Saturn by David Grinnell & Lin Carter
(Serial Number H-85)
This version was published in 1968 by Ace Books
The cover artist is Kelly Freas

Destination Saturn by David Grinnell & Lin Carter

Ace On Sunday #13

Ace Double Header

Last weekend I took a break from my usual Ace Double routine due to a variety of random delays and so today I’m feeling pretty excited to be back choosing a new volume from the shelves for company. My random selection has brought forth serial number H-85 which was published in 1968 and have decided to read Invader On My Back penned by British author Philip E. High.

The blurb from the inside page has this to say;

What are you, stranger from a century to come?

Are you a Delink: Tough, warped, always anti-social, impossible to trust?

Are you a Scuttler: A seemingly nice guy who dares not go out in the daylight, who scuttles along in shadow and fears to look up?

Are you a Stinker: The kind of person everybody wants to kill on sight, someone they’ve got to stamp out in fury real fast?

Are you a Norm: A guy who just wants to get along in the world, and never will with all those others around?

Or are you one of the terrible new ones – a Geek: Who thinks the world is his oyster and that everyone else has got to be crushed… and maybe has the talent to do it?

Intriguing, albeit a little harsh on us geeks I think. The Jack Gaughan cover piece is as brilliant as expected from this great artist and depicts two rocketships flying underneath a rather psychedelic bird. I love the slanted typography used for the title and author’s name too.

Righto, my brew is fresh and my vape is to hand – it’s time I began to read and discover just why we humble geeks have riled Mr High so much. I’ll be back again next Sunday to turn over the book and find out what’s on the flipside so do join me then. Your comments are as always welcome on this title or Ace Doubles as a whole.

Invader On My Back by Philip E. High
(Serial Number H-85)
This version was published in 1968 by Ace Books
The cover artist is Jack Gaughan

Invader On My Back by Philip E. High

Off The Shelf; Philip José Farmer

This time I’ve decided to pull eight books by Philip José Farmer from the shelves of my library for closer inspection. I came to Farmer quite late on, only discovering him through a title from 1962 called Alley God which I picked up due to it’s wonderful Richard Powers cover. I thought it was a pretty good read and so started buying other titles as I came across them. I’ve enjoyed most of his work so far particularly the 1960 collection Strange Relations which is highly imaginative and suitably twisted.

The first two covers presented below feature gloriously psychedelic paintings by Bill Botton. There is a third title in this series (The Gates Of Creation) but I haven’t managed to find it through any of my various sources or contacts as yet, I live in hope however. The remaining books have quite differently styled covers ranging from the beautiful to the bizarre.

Let me know your thoughts on this selection in the comments and feel free to share any recommendations as I always like to hear what others have enjoyed reading.

A Private Cosmos by Philip José Farmer
This version was published in 1970 by Sphere Books
The cover artist is Bill Botton

A Private Cosmos by Philip Jose Farmer

The Maker Of Universes by Philip José Farmer
This version was published in 1970 by Sphere Books
The cover artist is Bill Botton

Maker Of Universes by Philip Jose Farmer

The Green Odyssey by Philip José Farmer
This version was published in 1957 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Green Odyssey by Philip Jose Farmer

The Lovers by Philip José Farmer
This version was published in 1961 by Ballantine Books
The cover artist is Richard Powers

The Lovers by Philip Jose Farmer

Tongues Of The Moon by Philip José Farmer
This version was published in 1970 by Pyramid Books
The cover artist is not credited

Tongues Of The Moon by Philip Jose Farmer

The Stone God Awakens by Philip José Farmer
This version was published in 1973 by Ace Books
The cover artist is J. H. Breslow

The Stone God Awakens by Philip Jose Farmer

Behind The Walls Of Terra by Philip José Farmer
This version was published in 1975 by Sphere
The cover artist is Peter Goodfellow

Behind The Walls Of Terra by Philip Jose Farmer

Time’s Last Gift by Philip José Farmer
This version was published in 1975 by Panther Granada Books
The cover artist is by Peter Tybus

Time's Last Gift by Philip Jose Farmer