Archive for Ed Emshwiller

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

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:, Internet Speculative Fiction Database


Close Up: The Forgotten Planet

Posted in 1954, Close Up with tags , , , on May 3, 2009 by Aaron

closeupMurray Leinster

This is a book I have been looking forward to acquiring, and I’m glad to be able to do the Close Up.  I owe Mike at Mars Books & Wood a big thanks for allowing me a bit of flexibility in picking up this and ‘This Fortress World’.  It’s certainly an attractive cover, one of my favorites.  I think I’ll read it next.  There were two different versions of the dust jacket for this book.  See the Reference Errata, Anomalies, Trivia & Other General Info page for more detail on that.  This is one of three books in my library that have come from the library of Gregg and Tina Riehl, you will see their stamping on the first free end paper.  ‘This Fortress World’ and ‘The Shrouded Planet’ being the other two.  There are a couple of small issues we will examine, so lets have a look.

Beautiful cover, nice and bright.  Likewise the boards.

I really like that sprinkling of planets on the front of the boards there.  If you have been following the Close Ups, you’ll know I really appreciate those nice little touches.  The top of the text block is a little dust stained.

And as you can see, the bottom of the block look quite nice.  The block itself hasn’t succumbed to significant browning.

If we compare the head and tail of the spine, we can see that in a similar fashion to the block, the exposed boards at the top of the book have rust-colored spotting and the bottom is quite free of these blemishes.  The dust jacket is in fantastic condition apart from some small wear on the tail and those few nicks at the head.  The only problem is that it is price-clipped.  Darn.

There’s also a bit of glue staining you can see there.  The Riehl’s library stamp is on the front free end paper.  I’m not sure whether I prefer this kind of statement of ownership, or a regular book plate.

It does look quite classy though.  The cover art is credited to Ed Emshwiller as you can see below.

Or more precisely, the jacket design.  I don’t know if that is significant, but the actual art itself proclaims something different.

You can see quite plainly that Ric Binkley’s name graces the cover.  Interesting.  Let’s close the book on this Close Up and look at the clean rear cover and the vital stats.

Year: 1954
Paid: $45
Art: Ed Emshwiller credited, but Ric Binkley’s name on the cover.
Quantity: 5000 copies.
Binding: Currey priority ‘D’ binding. Grey cloth with dark red lettering on the spine. Nice sprinkling of celestial spheres on the front board.
GP Edition Notes: 1st Edition
Comments: A nice copy of this book, very pleasing.  An interesting little tidbit regarding the cover artist.
Expand Upon:, Internet Speculative Fiction Database


Close Up: All About the Future

Posted in 1955, Adventures in Science Fiction Series, Close Up with tags , , on April 1, 2009 by Aaron

closeupMartin Greenberg, editor

Another in the ‘Adventures in Science Fiction Series’.  This Close Up should be fairly straight forward as there is only two real points of contrary comment, we’ll get to those presently.  The first thing we always look at is the cover, and that is the major source of coolness about this publication.  Fantastic design and great images of science fiction from 1955.  Cover artist Ed Emshwiller is renowned for his prolific and high quality work.

Lovely cover.  However, the two small issues appears when we open the book.  First, it has been price-clipped.

And second, there is some dealer’s scribblings on the front free end-paper.

Nothing I’m overly concerned about.  The dust jacket is worn, especially at the corners.

As you can see it’s in darn good condition apart from that damned jacket.  It’s a shame.  If we whip the gear off we can appreciate the great condition on the book itself.

Just some very slight bumping at the top and the bottom of the spine, but absolutely no external markings.  Nice.

That darned dust jacket again.  You can see the quite obvious wear down the edge there.

I’ve just started reading it.  One of the introductions (there are two) is by Robert Heinlein and makes for extremely interesting reading and well worth doing so.  I wonder if anyone would have any objection to me reproducing it on this blog??

Year: 1955
Paid: $32
Art: Ed Emshwiller
Quantity: 5000 copies
Binding: Grey boards with orange cloth shelf back.  Silver lettering to spine.
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition
Comments: Worn jacket, price-clipped and small dealers inscription mar this otherwise nice book.
Expand Upon:, Internet Speculative Fiction Database