Close Up: Undersea City

closeupFrederik Pohl & Jack Williamson
1958

I’m always excited in anticipation of receiving a new book.  I should have learned by now that over-excitement more often than not leads to disappointment.  I can only think of one occasion offhand where my expectations have been well and truly exceeded.  And quite a few where I have been crestfallen to a greater or lesser degree.  But, that’s all part of the drama and excitement of being a book collector.  It’s always, at the very least, interesting.

On this occasion I did have high hopes.  The flaws were described well in the auction, but weren’t noticeable in the provided image.  I thought, “Great, he’s being very honest about stuff that needn’t be mentioned”, but it wasn’t quite that way.  Let’s have a look.
At casual glance, looks great!!  But careful inspection of the image reveals what I couldn’t see in the auction.
Now, you can see the two flaws described in the auction as “…two small tears on top border of front cover.”  One indeed is a small tear with an associated crease about three times the length of the tear running up to the edge.  The other is not a small tear.  It is a large tear.  And the creasing is also significant.  These I would have definitely spotted in the auction and hence my surprise upon receipt of the book.  The image was apparently from a different copy he had up sometime in the past.
Boards are in good condition.  Currey ‘B’.

The view from the top and bottom is, aside from that tear, very nice.Spine sits nicely and the binding is very tight.
The head and tail are likewise in excellent shape.
The GP bugbear of the poor quality paper shows itself with the typical age-toning of the block.
Not as bad as some that I have.  Nice ocean surface rippling across the top of the chapter pages too.
The back of the jacket is nice and white and exhibits little rubbing or wear.

Year: 1958
Paid: $15
Art: Wallace Wood
Quantity: 5000, 2000 remaindered (Eshbach), 5000 (wikipedia)
Binding: Currey priority ‘B’ – gray cloth with red lettering on the spine
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated
Chalker & Owings: UNDERSEA CITY, by Frederik Pohl and Jack Williamson, 1958, pp.224, $3.00. 5000 copies printed, but only 3000 bound in two bindings, first black boards (about 2000), second gray cloth c.1959 (1000); rest “remaindered” and probably destroyed in liquidation. Jacket by Wallace Wood. Reprint: Ballantine.
Currey: UNDERSEA CITY, Hicksville, N.Y.: The Gnome Press Inc., Publishers, [1958]. Two bindings, priority as listed: (A) Black boards lettered in red; (B) Gray cloth lettered in red. First edition so stated on copyright page.
Comments: Damn tear on the cover.  I don’t know how to rate an otherwise VG+ book with a defect like that.  Offset to a certain degree by the truly outstanding price for this title.
Expand Upon: wikipedia.com, Internet Speculative Fiction Database

condition

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One Response to “Close Up: Undersea City”

  1. Love the cover.
    Man that is nostalgic. It almost makes my head swim.

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