Archive for The Menace from Earth

Ballpoint Blues…

Posted in Book Care with tags , , , on January 25, 2012 by Aaron

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I picked up a copy of Heinlein’s The Menace from Earth.  I paid $175 for it plus another $40 for insured shipping.  On the face of it, it’s not a bad price to pay for the second most desirable Heinlein title (if average price is any indicator) from the GP stable (Methuselah’s Children seems to be the most sought after GP Heinlein).  All looked good, and I was quite satisfied with what I paid.  Unfortunately a ballpoint pen had been applied to the front of the dust jacket.  The vendor never mentioned this and it wasn’t apparent in the image supplied.  In fact the description stated “There is no previous owner’s name or mark anywhere in or on the book or dust jacket.”  When in actual fact there is the pen on the front, and also there is a previous owners name on the front free end-paper.  Check out the cover.  First, the image as seen on eBay:

Come to think of it, if I was truly familiar with the cover image, I should have picked up the errant markings.  Now that I know they are there, I can see them well enough.  Can’t see the pen marks, but can see where the original ink has been removed in trying to erase them.  Now two pics taken by myself:

Clicking through on my images will get you a big size look.  You can see the markings quite clearly in the image above.  The pic below gives you a real in your face view.

It really annoys me when the vendor either a) doesn’t have a close look at what they’re selling, and for $175 that’s quite irresponsible, or b) chooses not to disclose any and all flaws, which is just plain dishonest.  Not sure into which camp he falls here.

The vendor did offer a full return refund though, including postage.  That’s still no excuse for any oversight or misleading of the customer.  I could just send it back, but I have it now, and I don’t really want to do that.  I’ve been interested lately in the restoration route so I’ve sent it, along with my now two-piece The Porcelain Magician jacket, off to a book restorer in the States.  They are going to give me a quote on restoring them.  Should be interesting.  No doubt the cost might exceed their true worth, but what the hell, it will be an educational exercise.  With regards to the Heinlein title, it might prove to be worth it in the longer term anyway.  I’ll keep you posted on progress…

UPDATE 26/01: I have corresponded with Jerry whom I bought this book off.  We have resolved this to my total satisfaction.  Jerry is jbs15 on eBay.  Jerry is a gentleman of integrity and cares about books and his customers.  Highly recommended.

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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…