Archive for the 1956 Category

Close Up: Highways in Hiding

Posted in 1956, Close Up with tags , on June 6, 2011 by Aaron

closeupGeorge O. Smith
1956

I’m reading this one at the moment. This copy is in VG condition and sports great Ed Emsh cover art that’s still quite bright. I like the artwork on this, although the theme is quite dark and a bit of a mystery unless you are aware of the story.  What are those strange things?  Why a stone(?) fist?  I (most people?) like a cover that allows us at least a little insight into the story.  For example, Starman’s Quest – two spacemen, we get the idea.  Iceworld – kids and an alien, got it.  This is one of the reasons I really dislike the later cover art as I mentioned in the Close Up for Two Sought Adventure.  This here sets up more mystery than insight, but some like that I guess.  Let’s have a look.

Quite nice overall with no glaring issues except looking generally old.  No issues sans dust jacket but some slight bumping to the head and tail of the spine.

Looking at the edges at the top and bottom of the book we can see the aged look highlighted.


Some slight curving to the edges of the boards with a couple of small dings. The block is typically GP darkened as well with the pages well on the way to becoming brittle.

A close look at the head and tail reveals some wear on the jacket.

Negligible wear on the tail of the dust jacket.  The edges all-round are in excellent condition in fact aside from the top of the spine.
A book plate affixed to the front pastedown tells us that one William Robards Wetmore once had this copy in his library. I wonder if it lived next to any other GP titles?

William seems to have looked after it, at least.  Cheers.
A bit of age darkening makes the rear of the book look old, just like the rest of it.  Still, nice and clean with no rubbing.

Year: 1956
Paid: $41
Art: Ed Emshwiller
Copies: 4000 (Eshbach, wikipedia)
Binding: Tan cloth with dark green lettering on the spine
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated
Chalker & Owings: HIGHWAYS IN HIDING, by George 0. Smith, 1956, pp.223, $3.00. 4000 copies printed. Jacket by Ed Emshwiller.
Currey: HIGHWAYS IN HIDING. New York: Gnome Press, Inc. Publishers, [1956]. Three bindings, probable priority as listed: (A) Tan cloth, spine lettered in dark green; (B) Gray boards, spine lettered in red; (C) Black boards, spine lettered in red.  First edition so stated on copyright page.
Comments: A reasonably nice copy of this title.  I wish it didn’t just look… old. It doesn’t deserve to look that way as it’s actually quite nice, yet it does. $41 not too bad a price either I think.
Expand Upon: wikipedia.com, Internet Speculative Fiction Database

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Close Up: SF: The Year’s Greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy

Posted in 1956, Close Up with tags , , on October 13, 2009 by Aaron

closeupJudith Merril, editor
1956

This is the first installment in a long-running annual anthology series put together by Judith Merril, but I’ll talk more about the series itself in the Review for this.  This is the rarest and typically priciest title in the series, and like its brother I recently did the Close Up on, this is in almost flawless condition.  Actually better than it’s younger sibling. And like with that, there in’t really much to say.  So lets check it out.

Fantastic condition. The dust jacket is completely without issue. Sharp edges all around, bright colors, no fading on the spine – absolutely beautiful. Another cool thing is that the cover art is by Ed Emshwiller. After this, the subsequent Gnome Press editions in this series were inked by W.I. Van der Poel, of whom I am NOT a fan.

The cloth boards are sharp. Looks great. Currey ‘A’ binding too, which is even better.
With the view from the top we can see the only issue this copy has, but well have a closer look at that in a second.


Spine sits square and the binding is tight. You can see the edges of the jacket are nice and sharp. The block is barely discolored at all.

Here’s a closer look at that issue.  I looks like a bit of liquid has at some point gotten on to the cloth somehow.

The jacket is great.  You can see the only touch of wear on the front corner of the tail.  Negligible.
It has a book plate.  It’s one we’ve seen before on The Survivors – different name though.
Mark Wm. Waterbury.  I assume the Wm. stands for William.  I’d like to shake his hand for taking such wonderful care of this book.
The back is spotless and bright.
I have to give a plug to Mike at Mars Books and Wood.  This isn’t actually the copy I picked up.  I purchased the other copy he has there and he said to me he had a better example he could give me for a few dollars more.  I said “Ok.”  Mike and I have had dealings before.  I got Forgotten Planet and This Fortress World off him a while ago on very good terms, so I had a degree of confidence in what I would receive.  Confidence well placed.  Many Thanks Mike!!

Year: 1956
Paid: $93
Art: Ed Emschwiller
Quantity: 3000 copies
Binding: Currey priority ‘A’.  Red cloth with black lettering on the spine.
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated.
Comments: A superb copy. I’m going to suggest that this is in Fine condition despite that small stain at the top of the spine – am I stretching the truth?? $93 seems to be a pretty good price, I’ve seen worse examples offered for a lot more.
Expand Upon: wikipedia.com, Internet Speculative Fiction Database

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