Archive for David A. Kyle

History, Ideas and Dreams, in Science Fiction

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 27, 2013 by Aaron

PictorialBecause of Mr David A Kyle’s association with Gnome Press, I took a bit of an interest in his subsequent activities in books and publishing.  Two items of real interest to me were a couple of unusual books he put out in the mid ’70s – A Pictorial History of Science Fiction and The Illustrated Book of Science Fiction Ideas and Dreams61hEg6z0SELI picked up the Pictorial History a couple of years ago, and have been hunting for a decent copy of the latter.  Proudly, a couple of days ago I snared a signed copy of SF Ideas and Dreams.  These are oversize books packed with illustrations and content.  I’ll do a pictorial feature and comment a little more on these two when the recent purchase arrives.  In the meantime, click each image to check out reviews.  Enjoy.


Close Up: Typewriter in the Sky & Fear

Posted in 1951, Close Up with tags , , on December 18, 2009 by Aaron

closeupL. Ron Hubbard

I jumped on the opportunity to pick this book up.  And I know, it’s not in good shape – probably the worst in my collection aside from my reading copy of City and my ex-library Iceworld.  At $52 for this the price perhaps is a little steep, but from what I can determine it’s not outrageously too much for this title in this condition.  Let’s check out the damage.

I can use one word to sum up the condition of this book: shabby.  You can see the spotting on the jacket and the spine is noticeably faded.  The artwork by David Kyle is a little unconventional, but I like it nonetheless.  Sans jacket it’s not much different.
I really like the imprinting on the front board as GP did for several of their earlier titles.  In this case a cool confluence of the Fear eye and the Typewriter ribbon.
The top and bottom view, along with the close examination of the spine extremities only reinforce the overall first impression.

The spine is a bit wobbly and has a slight lean.

Both the head and tail of the binding are quite badly bruised.
Here’s a closer view of the nasty wear on the top rear edge of the front board.

The jacket, as you noticed over the last five pictures, is in generally poor condition.  Foxing, discoloration and overall wear.
Opening it reveals further misery.  One lengthy split along the front hinge…

..and another beginning to develop in the rear.
The back of the jacket is consistent at least.
Year: 1951
Paid: $52
Art: David Kyle
Quantity: 4000 copies
Binding: Tan boards with black lettering on the spine with a ‘typewriter ribbon and eye’ device embossed on the front board.
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated.
Comments: A shabby but important addition to my collection.  I’m in two minds about the worth at that price.
Expand Upon:, Internet Speculative Fiction Database


Big Box

Posted in New Arrivals with tags on October 28, 2009 by Aaron

I had a big box arrive two days ago, a rather special big box that I had been really looking forward to, and there’s a small but interesting story behind it.

I had an email out of the blue from one Brian Pearce.  The email’s subject was Gnome Press, by way of Red Jacket Press. I knew who Red Jacket Press were as I have referenced them a couple of times here.  In case you don’t, they are a small publishing company who specialize in faithful reproductions of early out-of print specialty press titles such as those by Gnome Press. You can find their site here.  Anyway, Brian came across my site and decided to send me an email.  He introduced himself and Red Jacket Press and explained how they came to be.  It turns out that Gnome Press co-founder David A. Kyle is his father-in-law!!  Wow.  Brian nicely offered to send me copies of the two GP books he has in print – Judgment Night by C.L. Moore and Wilmar Shiras’ Children of the Atom.  He would also include a re-bound jacket-less ex-library copy of City and the Gnome BCE of Sands of Mars.  Great!!  I of course was very enthusiastic about the idea.  So, in the Big Box were those four books plus two more!!  Brian also threw in a copy of another one of their reprint titles, Roads by Seabury Quinn originally from Arkham House, and George O. Smith’s GP title The Path of Unreason.  I am very happy and grateful to say the least!!

Needless to say, I inspected the Gnome reprints very carefully.  I don’t have Judgment Night yet, but I do possess a copy of Children of the Atom – I’ll do a comparison between the two here sometime, and also a mini-Close Up on Judgment Night.  I can tell you though, that these facsimile editions are very, very good.  Beautifully presented with a hard slipcase, I can see a lot of work went into expressing the feel of the original books.

Of course the other books will also make their way onto this blog sooner or later.  They are all fantastic additions to my library.  Thank you very much Brian.

Close Up: Renaissance

Posted in 1951, Close Up with tags , , on June 21, 2009 by Aaron

closeupRaymond F. Jones

Part of a bunch of 4 books I got from Joe.  He bought them and some others in the ’90s as a kind of investment.  He’s offloading them now.  The book is in pretty good shape but a couple of salient flaws are apparent.  As usual, we look at the cover first, and it looks ok at first glance, but if we inspect a bit closer we can see some nasties.
Nice cover.  Some pretty general and standard edge wear to the jacket, but with a closer image we can see the issues.

A small hole on the wrap-around edge and a spot of something that looks like gum or glue or some such thing.  To be fair, Joe alerted me to these issues here so I did know what I was getting.
With the jacket off the book looks super.  Boards are clean but a kind of a strange crimping or folding at the tail of the spine.  Something Joe didn’t mention and which surprised me a little when I peeked under the front flap, you can see below.

Stewart got this book from someone (I can’t make out the name) back in ’55.  I’d love to know the history here.  Anyway, you can see the paste-down and the endpaper are a little darkened, the same is true at the back of the book.  If we turn a couple of pages, we can see the block itself is still nice and white.
And also an inscription and signature from Gnome Press co-founder, cover artist and book designer David A. Kyle.  Cool.  Note those two spheres, we’ll look at them later on.
No dramas from the top or bottom of the book.
Spine sits nice and square and the block is nice and white with no staining or foxing.  The head and tail of the spine reveal no surprises, except we can see the wear there in a bit more detail.
Just a couple of small closed tears there.  Isn’t the block nice and white though??
I’ve mentioned a couple of times in other Close Ups about the small touches that I really like about Gnome Press book design.  There is another example in this book.  Remember the two spheres I mentioned earlier?
The tag-line for the book is “A Novel of Mankind on Two Worlds” or “A Science Fiction Novel of Two Human Worlds” depending on where you look in the book.  The two little spheres obviously represent that.  These are the only two places in the book they appear, and it’s such a small, subtle touch.  I like it.
The final major issue appears on the back.
Nasty.  Big chunk out there.  Aside from that, very little discoloration or staining on the back.
Despite the issues, I am very happy to have this particular copy of this book.

Year: 1951
Paid: $40
Art: David A. Kyle
Quantity: 4000 copies
Binding: Blue boards with red lettering on spine.
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated.
Comments: Pretty good copy. Nice with Mr. Kyle’s signature. Unfortunate flaws, but I’m not too worried about them.
Expand Upon:, Internet Speculative Fiction Database


I was very lucky…

Posted in Book Care, New Arrivals with tags , , , , , , , , on June 19, 2009 by Aaron

As I mentioned in this post a couple of days ago, I would be very lucky if I received those books by Friday.  Well I was, and I did.  They are all in good condition as I expected.  Even a little better, in fact.  All except one in dust jacket protectors, but I’ll rectify that later and replace the others – I want bright, shiny new ones on.  I must thank Joe (otherwise known as ‘nycatlady’ on eBay) very much.  He was patient with me, packaged the books superbly and gave me an excellent deal on top.  I highly recommend him as a seller.

Renaissance, by Raymond F. Jones, signed by the Gnome Press co-founder, book designer and cover artist David Kyle.
Space Lawyer, by Nat Schachner.
Address: Centauri, by F.L. Wallace.
SF ’58: The Year’s Greatest Science Fiction and Fantasy, edited by Judith Merril.

Total price $78 + postage.

New Arrival…

Posted in New Arrivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by Aaron

The Shrouded Planet arrived today.  Cool.  A book I’ve been looking forward to for a while, I finally have.  It wasn’t in quite a good a condition as I’d hoped, but it’s not too bad.

In other news, Joe agreed on the deal and I can expect a package of  four books from him sometime in the near future.  I’m very excited about it.  SF’58 edited by Judith Merril, Nat Schachner‘s Space Lawyer, Address: Centauri by F.L. Wallace and Raymond F. JonesRenaissance.  Renaissance is signed by cover artist and Gnome Press co-founder David A. Kyle.  Nice.  Thank you very much Joe, I appreciate your patience and effort a lot!!