Close Up: Space Lawyer

closeupNat Schachner

This is a title I’ve been looking forward to acquiring.  It’s always had some sort of mysterious allure for me.  I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s the name, perhaps the color(!), perhaps it’s because I love cover art by Ric Binkley.  Whatever it is, I have it now and we get to check it out in detail.  It’s a little on the rough side, but not too bad.  Let’s have a look at the cover.  Just love the art.  Cool.
The major issue with the jacket (well, one of the two major issues) is a bit of soiling.  It’s evident on all parts of the jacket, and particularly noticeable on the spine.  The other issues on the dust jacket are the wear and chipping.  We’ll get a closer look at them later.
The boards also have a couple of issues.  A little staining along the bottom of the front board and some kind of discoloration on the upper area of the back.
I wonder what caused that…  Anyway, the spine is nice and square and still quite tight.  Not much damage to the edges of the jacket.
Very little staining to the block, good.  I did mention wear earlier, so let’s have a closer look at the head and tail of the spine.
The head is quite nice, no real damage there.  The tail shows some chipping though.  That’s not the worst of it on the jacket, however.  But before we look at the real nasty, I just want to take a peek inside.
Very slight discoloration starting to become apparent, but what I really wanted to show were those nice arcs.  Yet again, nice little touches from Gnome Press which I (as you know) appreciate and love.
There is a bit of foxing to the rear free end-paper and paste down.  It’s a bit hard to make out in the photo, but there’s some wrinkling to the free end-paper too.
And a bit of wear to the right-had upper corner there.
I pointed out the soiling earlier, it’s quite prominent on the spine.
Nice close-up of Ric Binkley’s spacecraft.  But you can see that soiling.  At first I thought it may have been foxing coming through from the rear side of the jacket, but after having the jacket protector off for these pics, I could see it wasn’t.  Does anyone have any advice with regards to removing this?  Gentle work with a soft eraser seems to be mildly successful.
And there it is.  The worst part of the book.  Nasty, nasty chip off the top rear corner and a significant chip off the front corner, along with a closed tear.  This is what really lets this copy down.  Quite obvious from the rear view too.
Dammit.  Anyway, you can see the general soiling here also.
Those faults aside, this copy still represents a pretty good bargain.  $15 is a very reasonable price for this book even in this condition.

Year: 1953
Paid: $15
Art: Ric Binkley
Quantity: 4000 copies
Binding: Yellow boards with emerald green lettering on spine.
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated.
Comments: Reasonable condition.  A few quite significant flaws, but $15 is still a nice price.
Expand Upon:, Internet Speculative Fiction Database



4 Responses to “Close Up: Space Lawyer”

  1. Christophe Says:

    Nice copy even with its small issues. A very hard book to find in near mint condition. Yellow boards and pink jacket… not the right combination to keep a book clean. And at a real bargain price! Nice buy!

  2. I also have a copy of this old gem, but mine differs slightly. It also states FIRST EDITION (1953 Gnome Press) Library of Congress Card # 53-12603 … but mine sadly has no dust jacket remaining. It is a hardback and is pale blue-green with designs on the front and back cover … a sort of stylized floral pattern with acorns and snails which at first glance appears to be paisley until closer examination. It is a library discard (stamped as such in several places inside the front and back covers) with the little card pocket glued inside the front cover remaining. It’s in remarkably good condition for its age, pages a bit discolored with small water damage spots here and there and a couple of small page tears, but nice tight binding and no real damage to speak of. It has the nice arcs, of course. It isn’t in nearly as good of a condition as your copy, but I found the cover design interesting. And here’s the deal . . . One day a year or so ago while walking my dog, I rescued this beauty along with several other old books from a box on the curb outside a vacant house – waiting for the local trash pick up. So a nice find, and free is always good.

    • Thanks for the input J Wolf. Yes, it’s amazing the things you can find on the side of the road sometimes!! 🙂 Regarding the binding, it’s probably been rebound at some point, hence the unusual design on the boards. But I hope you read (or have read) it, it really is a fun story!! Cheers.

  3. Ah … rebound. That would make sense since it’s an ex-library book from the early 50’s. It doesn’t have the Gnome Press logo on the spine either, and the title is smaller print and running perpendicular to the spine instead of along it lengthwise. Interestingly enough the corners of the pages are rounded off too, but very smoothly – looks original. Probably all a part of the rebinding process. I haven’t read this one yet but it’s on my to-read list. 🙂

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