Close Up: Journey to Infinity

closeupMartin Greenberg, editor
1951

We saw what it looked like on the inside, so to speak, now for what the external appearance amounts to.  First, a bit of provenance.  This copy I have was previously owned by Charles Miller (the ‘Miller’ in Underwood-Miller Publishing) apparently.  I was told this by the chap I purchased it off, he actually bought it out of Miller’s library.  The nice Art Deco-ish cover art is by Edd Cartier and represents well the structure of the book which I talked about in the review.

There is what looks like sunning down the spine, but I’m not entirely sure whether it is or not.  Perhaps someone out there can confirm that.  One of the features of this book is that it has been inscribed by the editor Martin Greenberg.  Now, I don’t know about you, but I am very unsure if this is Mr Greenberg’s signature.  It says “To Jack with much affection ??”

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Admittedly it could be.  I can stretch my imagination to that possibility with no effort at all, but it certainly doesn’t obviously say “Martin Greenberg”.  Not to me at least anyway.  Again, I would greatly appreciate any confirmation on this particular point.

The top and bottom of the book look great.

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It’s nice and clean and sits square.  No lean in the spine.  Great.  You can see on the bottom, however, that there has been a bit of chipping along the boards (I’ve highlighted the bottom front corner there).

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Close up, the extremities of the spine look good.  Dust jacket nice, Fine in fact.  This is not a first state jacket though, on the back are listed books which appear subsequent to this.

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This book was published in 1951 and you can see heading the list is The Robot and The Man, a 1953 publication.  The rear of the jacket also looks great as you can see.  If we take it off, we are able to see the nice binding with attractive silver lettering.

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It’s the small touches that make the difference.  Have a closer look at the lettering and the fabric on the front board:

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See the symbol for infinity above the Gnome Press lettering and the man reaching for the stars??  Beautiful.

Year: 1951
Paid: $60
Art: Edd Cartier
Quantity: 5000 copies in the first printing, 2500 in the second according to Eshbach.
Binding: Olive boards with silver lettering on green cloth shelf back.
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated on copyright page.  I’m not sure which printing my copy is from, but it does have a second state dust jacket if that’s any indication.  See the General Info page for more details.
Comments: Super. I was very tempted to go Fine, but that chipping on the bottom of the boards makes me think otherwise.  Reluctantly, I think Near Fine is more appropriate.  I would appreciate input from anyone who might have any insight into the sunning issue and especially the inscription: is it actually Greenberg’s signature and who is Jack??
Expand Upon: wikipedia.com, Internet Speculative Fiction Database

condition

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2 Responses to “Close Up: Journey to Infinity”

  1. Christophe Says:

    Hi Aaron!
    Great site you’re building there! I’m a (French) Gnome Press collector as well. I had been thinking for a (long) while about doing the same thing (along with Fantasy Press for which I have a 99% complete set) but definitely couldn’t find the time…Anyway; to answer your question about Greenberg’s signature: I own a signed copy for Travelers of Space dedicated from Greenberg to Forry Ackerman and although I’m no specialist in autographs, it definitely looks very, very similar… Could send you a pic if you want…
    Voilà!
    Best regards and keep up the good work!
    Chris 😉
    P.s: A french site on specialty press : (I helped a bit on this section)
    http://www.collectorshowcase.fr/sp_gnome_page1.htm

  2. Many Thanks Chris!! Much appreciated.
    Nice to see all the Gnome covers collected in one place like that. Cool.
    Thanks for the tip on Greenberg’s signature. Puts my mind at ease. If you could send us a pic, that would be great!! Cheers.
    Aaron

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