Archive for Frederik Pohl

Expansion into the Final Quarter…

Posted in New Arrivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2013 by Aaron

Andrew North - Plague ShipLong time since a meaningful post.  Timely is an update on the Odyssey as over the past couple of days I’ve been successful on eBay.  Recalling the last state of play on this, I had received a superior copy of Minions of the Moon to that I already had, and a nice Plague Ship was on the way. Frederik Pohl & Jack Williamson - Undersea Fleet Well, Plague Ship arrived and a misdirected Gray Lensman (amongst a couple of other things which I’ll talk about presently..) landed with my parents in New Zealand.  Arriving here about a month ago was the middle third of Frederik Pohl’s and Jack Williamson’s Undersea Trilogy – Undersea Fleet.  Over the past week I’ve picked up Talbot Mundy’s Purple Pirate and another Williamson title in conjunction with James Gunn – Star Bridge.  Both these are on their way, and Doc Smith’s Gray Lensman will be in an aid package from the homeland due to be sent soon.

Taking these into account, there are only 16 titles left to acquire. ‘Only’ is slightly misleading as the balance of the catalog are all (with one or two exceptions..) perennial big ticket editions such as the 6 remaining Conan titles, the Foundation series, Simak’s City and… I, Robot.


New Arrival…

Posted in New Arrivals with tags , on June 29, 2011 by Aaron

Pohl’s Drunkard’s Walk arrived today.  It’s in excellent condition, Near Fine in fact.  A surprising aspect of the book is the white pages.  I would have expected some at least mild browning, but the block looks almost new.  I wonder if a higher grade of paper was used here.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 12, 2010 by Aaron

Picked up a copy of Earthman’s Burden, a CD of Chalker and Owing’s The Science Fantasy Publishers and what looks to be a very nice copy of Mel Oliver and Space Rover on Mars over the past week.

Earthman’s Burden seems to be a reasonable copy, and I’m very happy with what seems to be a NF copy of Mel Oliver and Space Rover.  I’ve been searching for a CD of The Science Fantasy Publishers for a long time now.  The hardcover version tends to be quite pricey and I guess the shipping would be high (it’s quite a big heavy book).  So I’m pleased to get hold of the digital version and hoping I can learn something new about Gnome Press and some of their publications.

Close Up: Undersea City

Posted in 1958, Close Up with tags , , , on July 31, 2010 by Aaron

closeupFrederik Pohl & Jack Williamson

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:, Internet Speculative Fiction Database


New Arrival

Posted in New Arrivals with tags , , , on July 20, 2010 by Aaron

I got Undersea City in the mail today.   I have a couple issues about the item I received.  Contacted the seller for his reaction to my concerns.  Will let you know when I hear back.

I’m Back…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 11, 2010 by Aaron

So, since December, after a crippled crawl leading to a months hiatus in terms of reading, reviewing, photographing and pretty much all other Gnome Press related activities, I’m back.  This should be good news to my parents, wife (all of whom really have no interest in this anyway), the occasional accidental surfer and possibly a certain Frenchman.

What’s been happening??

Well, I finally got a MacBook for one.  Beautiful piece of technology it is too.  After about 20 years of being frustrated by Windoze nonsense I feel free.  I was an avid gamer, and I think that was the only thing that really kept me willing to endure crashes, endemic malware, device shenanigans and all manner of other nonsense that I had to put up with.  Of course it was an absolute joy to play games like Doom, Quake, Halflife, Counterstrike, Call of Duty, Far Cry and Crysis (you can see what kind gamer I was..) the way they were meant to be, but after an enforced year+ of having to struggle with my wife’s 7-year-old laptop when I wasn’t snatching moments on her PC to process my images (my other hobby is photography – you can check me out on Flickr here), I’ve lost much of the interest I had.  It’s also nice not to be concerned with all the constant upgrading that goes along with staying on the cutting edge of gaming.  Relief.

Of course, Apple stuff is more expensive than PC stuff, but the way I see it now, with that extra investment I’ve bought out of the problems and into stuff that just works.  And it does.  Beautifully.

Getting off that horse, in other news, this blog has been referenced on The Way the Future Blogs. Now that ain’t just any blog, it’s the blog of the great Frederik Pohl, who also happens to be a Gnome Press published author.  If you are any kind of science fiction fan, you certainly don’t need me to tell you about him, if not, go and check him out.  The reference is part of his excellent series of posts on Isaac Asimov.  Well worth reading: part I, part II, part III, part IV and this blog is referenced in the form of a link in part V.  What’s so cool about this, is that my humble efforts here have received recognition (from such an eminent personage like Mr Pohl..) as (perhaps) the Internet source for Gnome Press.  It’s very humbling and gratifying.  I don’t do this for gratification of course, I do it because I love it.  But still…  More installments in the Isaac Asimov series would appear to be forthcoming, I’ll post links if/when they do.

I’ve put my library up on LibraryThingThis post in James’ Auxiliary Memory prompted me to look into it.  I’ll post a little more about that at a later date.

Speaking of Flickr, I’m the president/leader/public sock puppet of the Seoul Photo Club.  As part of that position, I write a sometime-weekly photography column for Korea’s biggest English language newspaper, The Korea Herald and have been interviewed in various media in the past (I wish these people would ask me about Gnome Press..).  My latest interview was at radio station TBS eFM.  I include it here for easy access by my family back in New Zealand.  And as an ego boost.

I just discovered that I can’t upload audio to WordPress without purchasing an upgrade.  That’s too bad.  I uploaded it to Youtube (in two parts as it’s just a little long..) so as to stream it from there.  The workaround is a bit clunky, but needs must.  I added the Club’s logo to make it look at least a little more interesting.

What have I got planned??  Several things are still outstanding.  This is my todo list in no particular order:

Finish reading Judgment Night
Review Typewriter in the Sky & Fear
Do a Close Up of SF’57
Get an email interview underway with David Kyle
Re-read and Review Renaissance
Exercise more
Lose weight

That’ll do for now… and it’s nice to be back.