Archive for Science Fiction Terror Tales

Close Up: Science Fiction Terror Tales

Posted in 1955, Close Up with tags , , on August 17, 2010 by Aaron

closeupGroff Conklin, ed.

This title is one of the pinnacles of Gnome Press collecting. This was one of the books I’d resigned to the last legs of my Odyssey. In book collection circles it seems to share the rarefied atmosphere inhabited by such titles as Asimov’s  I, Robot and Foundation, Simak’s City and Against the Fall of Night from Arthur C. Clarke.  It’s certainly not the most expensive of titles – any of those mentioned in similar condition would fetch more – but urban legend has it that it’s the rarest of all the GP books.  The reason, I read somewhere (and I wish I knew where exactly, I can’t for the life of me remember), is that it was a particularly popular title with libraries.  Once a book hits a library it get’s stuff glued into it, stamped, taped, rebound and generally receives all manner of abuse.  Hence picking up a copy in reasonable condition is a rather special occasion.

So, for this special occasion, cue the golden horn wielding cherubs and garlands of wild flowers.  Here we go.
Groff Conklin, ed. - Science Fiction Terror TalesNot bad.  Looks like some slight sunning on the spine, but otherwise pretty good.  Colors are still bright and the dust jacket in general is free from any rubbing.  Sans jacket it also looks sharp.
Nice. No wear on the edges of the boards at all and only some slight bumping to the head and tail. Looking from the top we see a couple of problems.

First, the discoloration here is quite evident and we can see some spotting. Also some creepy-crawly has had a bit of a munch on it at some stage. Thankfully though the hole only goes about a quarter inch deep. The bottom view is a little better.

The edge of the block is much cleaner with less discoloration. A closer look reveals no surprises.

The edge of the jacket is excellent all-round with that slight wear at the extremities of the spine. No problem.
A bit of age toning inside.

But nothing unusual for this vintage. Some foxing where the paste-down and front free end-paper meet, non-existent at the rear.

All in all, very nice. The rear of the jacket is a continuation of the front – minimal rubbing and shelf wear, still bright too.

Year: 1955
Paid: $267
Art: Ed Emshwiller
Quantity: 5000 copies (Eshbach)
Binding: Red cloth with black lettering on the spine
GP Edition Notes: 1st edition so stated
Chalker & Owings: SCIENCE FICTION TERROR TALES, edited by Groff Conklin, 1955, pp.x/ 262, $3.50. 5000 copies printed. Points: Because of the relative scarcity of this title, we were initially inclined to believe not all were bound, but have since determined that the print run is correct; Conklin had an exceptional public library status as a must-order anyway and this received a superior review from Kirkus. Reprints: Mass market pbs., Pocket Books, 1954; again, 1969.
Currey: absent
Comments: I consider myself very lucky to have a copy of this book.  The condition is nice enough and a fair price for such.
Expand Upon:, Internet Speculative Fiction Database



Big Fish…

Posted in New Arrivals with tags , , on August 17, 2010 by Aaron

Well, it arrived today.  Science Fiction Terror Tales.  I’m very happy with it and a Gnome Press dream is fulfilled.  I am of course very eager to get the Close Up done, I’ll be photographing it this evening, so expect something in the next few days.


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.


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 7, 2010 by Aaron

I think that’s the term in pro sport when a club signs a star player. Like when the L.A. Galaxy signed David Beckham, or a few years ago when my beloved New Zealand Warriors contracted Steve Price. ‘Marquee signings.’

This morning I picked up one of the marquee titles in the Gnome Press line-up.  Science Fiction Terror Tales edited by Groff Conklin.  I didn’t really mean to win it either.  It started at $195 and I put in a maximum bid of $251.  About 30 seconds from the finish someone trumped my max bid.  I thought about it a bit and came to the conclusion of “What the hell,” and just as a token I submitted a bid of $260.  I was in a rush as time was obviously ticking away and in the last couple of seconds I got it in.  Unbeknown to me, I had inadvertently hit the ‘9’ instead of the ‘0’ and entered $269 by mistake.  This rushed mistake won me the auction – beating the other bidder at $266.88.  A happy mistake.  Now all I have to do is pay for it.  So, I’m also going to pay for this mistake.

For what looks to be at least a VG copy of what is by popular wisdom the rarest of the GP titles, it’s a fair price.  I am very excited about receiving this.

It’s also, incidentally, the first book in the 50 – 75% bracket of books obtained.  A great way to kick off the third quarter.

One At A Time

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 29, 2009 by Aaron

I’m currently reading Five Science Fiction Novels put together by Martin Greenberg.  Just to be different (I like thinking of ways to be a little different), I’m going to read and review each of the five separate stories in between reading other books.  At the end, I’ll average the ratings to arrive at a final one for the anthology.  Sound like a plan??  Cool.

A copy of Groff Conklin‘s anthology Science Fiction Terror Tales went for $75 on eBay the other day.  I was sorely tempted to bid.  This is one of the rarer GP titles, but albeit in reasonable condition, it was an ex-library copy with the associated defects.

I’m struggling with the Review for Renaissance.  I have mixed feelings about the book, and it was a very complex read.  It might be a while before I see my way clear on it.  Might even have to read it again…