Archive for The Carnelian Cube

First in a Long Time…

Posted in Gene Wolfe, New Arrivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 10, 2012 by Aaron

Happy New Year people…

Well, I haven’t been able to get enthused about reading for a long time.  Still collecting though.  I’ve picked up a several new books since that last long time ago post.  L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt’s The Carnelian Cube, the Northwest of Earth collection from C.L. Moore, another collection, The Menace from Earth by Mr. Heinlein and currently a signed, inscribed non-fiction work Lost Continents from L. Sprague de Camp is on the way.  I also picked up a seemingly near-new jacket for The Porcelain Magician by Frank Owen.  I say ‘seemingly’ because the thing had a rather severe crease right down the center of the spine.  So severe in fact, that it promptly fell in two when extracting it from the shipping tube.  I was very disappointed, but thankfully the vendor was great and gave me a full refund.  I’m going to send it away to a restorer to get a quote on repairing it.  I haven’t had much luck with dust jackets lately as the jacket for The Menace from Earth has some ball-point pen writing on the front.  It was invisible in the auction image and the seller never mentioned it.  The markings are faint, but obvious to any cursory examination, and unmistakeable to a collector.  I think I’ll send that away for a restoration price too.  It’s a real shame as the book and the jacket are in very good condition otherwise.  Still, the restoration route could be interesting.

Also I’ve been expanding my Gene Wolfe collection.  I succumbed and picked up PS Publishing’s limited (100 copies) and slip-cased first edition of The Very Best of Gene Wolfe, as well as the similarly limited and slip-cased first edition (250 copies) of Kerosina’s Storeys from the Old Hotel.  In addition, I picked up The Shadow of the Torturer series from Innovation Comics, based on Gene Wolfe’s legendary books.  I never knew this existed until I ran into it on eBay.  Apparently it was supposed to run to 6 issues, but only made it to three.  I wish it ran to completion.  It’s quite good.

Also, I’ve been part of a book myself!!  When I was president of the Seoul Photo Club, back in 2009 we embarked on something called The Seoul Metro Project.  The fruits of which you can find on Magcloud.  It’s one photo from every stop in the Seoul subway system (over 400!) pulled together into a beautiful coffee table photo book in which I contributed a section on Line 3.  Many thanks must go to my good friend, Seoul Photo Club stalwart and one of the finest photographers I know, Flash Parker whose brainchild the whole thing was and who put the book together.  I recently wrote an article outlining the background to the project that will be published in next (February 2012) edition of Groove Korea magazine.

I’ll get some images of those offending jackets up before I send them away.  I don’t know when that might be, as I’m in an English language immersion camp in the countryside north of Seoul at present and my books are of course not with me.  I’ll have another three weeks out here but maybe I’ll have time in my fleeting weekend visits home to snap something.  We’ll see…


So, where the Hell have I been? And doing what?

Posted in New Arrivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2011 by Aaron

It’s been a while.  I’m about to deliver a bunch of excuses, but they are reasonably valid.  First though, what’s been going on on the Gnome Press front??

I’ve been acquiring books steadily though at a slower pace than in the past.  Earthman’s Burden arrived, as did Mel Oliver and Space Rover on MarsEarthman’s Burden was a bit of a disappointment – not quite the condition I imagined, but Mel and Space Rover is great.  Very hard to get a good copy of that because it was, I suppose, a genuine juvenile title and subject to abuse by said juveniles and also popular for libraries.  I’m extremely happy with it.  I’ve also picked up some other titles since.  A reasonable copy of Northwest of Earth by C.L. Moore, a worn copy GP’s first title The Carnelian Cube by L. Sprague de Camp & Fletcher Pratt, an NF replacement for the my disappointing copy of Arthur K. Barnes’ Interplanetary Hunter and also an excellent copy of one of Gnome’s flagship titles (and another proud feather in my collecting cap)  Against the Fall of Night by Arthur C. Clarke.  I’m very, very pleased with it.  Click through for a bigger look.

The CD of Chalker and Owing’s The Science Fantasy Publishers is fantastic.  A veritable mine of information on, well, everything in book SF really.  It came with all the supplements as well.  It has a nice large info-rich section on Gnome Press that I might deliver here sometime.  I hope no-one will mind…

A few weeks ago I did a presentation on Gnome Press and my collection to a society who’s name escapes me at present.  They have presenters each week on many and varied subjects for the interest of their members.  It was an interesting and enjoyable experience delivering my passion to an audience of Koreans (I live in Seoul for those who aren’t aware..).  I learned a lot in the process and would be keen to do it again sometime.  I put together a PowerPoint presentation and spoke for an hour regarding a brief history of SF publishing up to the Golden Age and a little beyond, as well as talking about Gnome Press and their place in SF publishing history and my collection.  I had my entire collection there and handed a few of the more interesting titles around for closer inspection.  It was a bit nerve-wracking having my precious copies of Science Fiction Terror Tales and Against the Fall of Night passed around the group…  The PowerPoint is quite large, but I’ll figure out a way to make it available here somehow.  It is light on info so will be without context and as a result perhaps a little meaningless as I like to keep presentations to brief bullet points and do a lot of talking.  But I guess it’ll be of interest.

So what exactly is going on that prevents me from keeping you up to date??

Chief among the reasons is that I am occupied with two jobs until 10:30pm, Monday to Friday – I have no free time at all during a normal week.  On top of that, my business partner and I are getting a business off the ground here in Korea and when I’m not doing my day (and night) job, we are focused on that.  Time is at a premium.  Hence I have not read at all for about 6 months.  I’m starting to feel it.  My collection sits on the bookshelf staring at me reproachfully.  Photography, my other interest, has slipped as a result also.  I’ve given away the presidency of the Seoul Photo Club and dropped off that pastime significantly.  I just have to make some time somehow as I’ve slipped into a routine that’s not conducive to hobbies.

More later…