Archive for Highways in Hiding

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

condition

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Oops…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 29, 2011 by Aaron

I’m just sitting in a Lotteria (Korea’s McDonalds) in Busan waiting to go to the ferry terminal as the GF and I are off at 9am to Fukuoka in Japan for the weekend.  I was messing around with different blog themes and I have screwed things up somewhat.  I’ve lost all my widgets, links and formatting in the sidebar.  Damn.  Anyway, we boarded the train in Seoul last night and arrived here in Busan at about 4am.  As I said, off to Japan on the fast ferry soon and returning from there at 4pm tomorrow.  We jump on the KTX (Korea’s bullet train) and hit Seoul before midnight tomorrow.  Whistlestop.

I’ve brought Highways in Hiding along for the ride…

Busan Train Station at about 4:30am via iPhone

Brief Reflections from The Dark Tower

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 21, 2010 by Aaron

I recently finished listening to the Dark Tower series by Stephen King.  This is the second time I’ve listened to it, the first being about four years ago.  It’s very good.  At least, I enjoy it immensely.  The reason I mention it here is that Mr King throughout the seven books in the series alludes to or directly mentions many, many literary figures, their books and their creations.  Just by way of example, Arthurian legend figures prominently, The Wizard of Oz and Frank L. Baum are ascendant at one point, the similarities to The Lord of the Rings are unmistakable, Dr Seuss, Harry Potter, Robert Heinlein, Richard Adams… the list goes on and on.  Movies and TV series are similarly referenced.  Check out the series’ Intertextual References section at wikipedia. The series is a bibliophile’s (especially an SF&F bibliophile’s) trainspotting paradise.

Of interest to us here are the references to works from Gnome Press.  I picked up two concrete references and one that I’m not so sure about.  The most obvious example is the name of one of the organizations that the Crimson King uses as a front and that manufactured most of the technology that is now decaying in Roland’s world – ‘Northwest Positronics’.  The obvious reference is to the kind of brain that Isaac Asimov’s robots have in I, Robot – they have positronic brains.  Just as I write this, it occurs to me that the ‘Northwest’ part could potentially be a reference to Northwest Smith – C.L. Moore’s erstwhile gunslinging spaceman from Gnome titles Shambleau & Others and Northwest of Earth.  Just now, as I wrote that, it also occurred to me that I might not be drawing such a long bow here.  Northwest Smith is indeed a gunslinger unmistakeably cut from the same cloth as Roland of Giliad.

Next, Calvin Tower, obsessive book collector and proprietor of The Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind, calls young Jake a ‘Hyperborean wanderer’ when Jake picks up his copies of Charlie the Choo Choo and the book of riddles.  Again, this is an unambiguous reference to the Conan the Barbarian series, Hyperborea lying somewhat to the north of Conan’s homeland.  This is probably also a nod to Clark Ashton Smith who is also referenced a couple of times in the series.

The third reference I detected is less direct.  When Pere Callahan is telling his story to Roland’s ka-tet as they wait for the ‘wolves’ to descend on the town of Calla Bryn Sturgis, he calls his world-shifting wanderings across parallel versions of the United States, his journeys through ‘highways in hiding’.  Now, if this was just mentioned once, I might dismiss this as a coincidence, but it is specifically referred to in that way at least four or five times.  Too many, in my opinion, to not be a nod to George O. Smith’s 1955 book Highways in Hiding – the latest to be added to my Gnome Press collection.

There we go.  Apologies for the largely unexplained references to characters and situations in the Dark Tower series, but do yourself a favor and read (or listen to) it.  It’ll make sense then, and you’ll also have a ball trying to catch all those references.  Not to mention enjoying a wonderful story.

New Arrival

Posted in New Arrivals with tags , , on September 14, 2010 by Aaron

Highways in Hiding arrived a couple of days ago.  It was sent to New Zealand by mistake, my mistake as I didn’t have my shipping addresses straight.  Not the first time that’s happened, but it’s fixed now.  I had a couple of other things to be sent over from NZ as well, so it wasn’t a huge inconvenience.  A set of macro extension tubes for my Pentax 6×7 camera, and several very nice copies of 2000AD of ’77 and ’78 vintage.

Unfortunately I no longer have a DSLR, so I can’t take satisfactory images for Close Ups at present.  Using the Pentax – a medium format film camera – for such a task is extreme overkill.  I might have to borrow one from someone… or buy another.

I have also recently moved house from Gugi-Dong in Seoul to very near Yaksu Station.  At present I’m in temporary accommodation until my permanent place becomes available in a month or so.  Consequently, almost everything is remaining in boxes until then.

Misdirection…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 9, 2010 by Aaron

Highways in Hiding was sent to New Zealand.  So, in a similar fashion to some other books a while ago, it will be delayed in getting here.  It will be in good company for the trip though.  I picked up some very nice copies of very early 2000AD issues on auction in NZ recently, so they need to make the journey as well.  I really must ensure my shipping address is consistent across all Internet avenues.

The byproduct of this delay is that Science Fiction Terror Tales will turn out to be the book that caps (or should I say crowns) the first 50% of my GP collection.  Highways will kick off the downhill run.  Well, ‘downhill’ might be the wrong turn of phrase as that implies things getting easier.  Nothing could be (a lot) further from the truth.

Another to add…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on July 26, 2010 by Aaron

Just won George O. Smith’s Highways in Hiding on eBay.  Looks like a very nice copy according to the description and accompanying images, but I’ll keep my emotions in check (see the Close Up post for Undersea City coming next for a bit more on that).

A couple of posts back I mentioned buying Coming Attractions.  That was a couple of weeks ago.  I’ve still not heard from the seller regarding the total price including shipping.  I’m a little concerned….