William Gray Beyer
I originally got this as one of three or four GP titles I picked up in NZ back in mid-2009. I bought it then because it was cheap $18 and would expand my collection. But like the rest of those I bought on that occasion (with one exception), I wasn’t satisfied. They were all of inferior condition and I probably shouldn’t have picked them up. However, I did, and disregarding the sunning on the spine that copy of Minions was in pretty good condition.
Fast forward three years and I got hold of a copy that didn’t exhibit the endemic issue that seems to plague certain GP titles of which this title is one. The aforementioned sunning. Just digressing a little and I think I have mentioned this before somewhere, there seem to be three or four books that are notoriously difficult to find without a (usually severely) sunned spine – Pattern for Conquest, The Porcelain Magician, Minions of the Moon and Castle of Iron. You can get sunning on any book, and I of course have quite a few that are, but these four books… I’ve been collecting GP for about 5 years, only a short period of time admittedly and due to my location here in Korea my experience is limited to online contact, but I have never seen a copy of any of these books that hasn’t been affected by exposure to the sun. Just to illustrate the point, a mint unused copy of Castle of Iron‘s dust jacket went for about $325 on eBay a few years ago. A crazy price perhaps, but it does illustrate the desirability of a pristine jacket for a book that jacketless in Fine condition probably wouldn’t fetch 40 bucks. What is it with the prevalence of this condition on these titles? Is it the color? Is it the grade of inks used?
Ok, back to what we have in hand here.
No sunning at all. Beautiful. There is a little rubbing to the cover though. The art isn’t exactly inspiring for me as to what the contents might be, but I guess we’ll find out in due course.
The boards look nice. Clean and minimal bumping to the extremities of the spine.
Immediately apparent here is the slight cock to the spine. The jacket edges are excellent – slight wear is quite noticeable due to the dark color of the jacket. In handling the book this is far less significant.
You can see that the ink still retains that vivid quality which is so quick to disappear with exposure to sunlight. There are a couple of cracks and chips on the jacket at these points, but no big deal really.
Some rubbing evident on the back, but this doesn’t detract too much from the overall quality and great impression this copy shows in real life.
Art: Edd Cartier
Copies: 5000 (Eshbach, Chalker & Owings, wikipedia)
Binding: Jade cloth / red lettering on spine, red title logo with crescent moon on the cover.
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated
Chalker & Owings: MINIONS OF THE MOON, by William Gray Beyer, 1950, pp.190, $2.50. 5000 copies printed. Jacket by Edd Cartier.
Comments: I was very happy to pick this up as a replacement for my previous copy which itself was nice aside from the sunning. Not an expensive title but one I hold dear because of it’s condition – especially the spine of the jacket.
Expand Upon: wikipedia.com, Internet Speculative Fiction Database