Archive for William Gray Beyer

Close Up: Minions of the Moon

Posted in 1950, Close Up with tags , on January 27, 2013 by Aaron

closeupWilliam Gray Beyer
1950

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.

William Gray Beyer - Minions of the Moon

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.

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The boards look nice. Clean and minimal bumping to the extremities of the spine.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Year: 1950
Paid: $45
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.
Currey: Absent
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

condition

Expansion into the Final Quarter…

Posted in New Arrivals with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 3, 2013 by Aaron

Andrew North - Plague ShipLong time since a meaningful post.  Timely is an update on the Odyssey as over the past couple of days I’ve been successful on eBay.  Recalling the last state of play on this, I had received a superior copy of Minions of the Moon to that I already had, and a nice Plague Ship was on the way. Frederik Pohl & Jack Williamson - Undersea Fleet Well, Plague Ship arrived and a misdirected Gray Lensman (amongst a couple of other things which I’ll talk about presently..) landed with my parents in New Zealand.  Arriving here about a month ago was the middle third of Frederik Pohl’s and Jack Williamson’s Undersea Trilogy – Undersea Fleet.  Over the past week I’ve picked up Talbot Mundy’s Purple Pirate and another Williamson title in conjunction with James Gunn – Star Bridge.  Both these are on their way, and Doc Smith’s Gray Lensman will be in an aid package from the homeland due to be sent soon.

Taking these into account, there are only 16 titles left to acquire. ‘Only’ is slightly misleading as the balance of the catalog are all (with one or two exceptions..) perennial big ticket editions such as the 6 remaining Conan titles, the Foundation series, Simak’s City and… I, Robot.

Two in Two…

Posted in Gene Wolfe, New Arrivals with tags , , , on September 19, 2012 by Aaron

Two books came in over the past two days.  Yesterday came that chapbook Christmas Inn by Gene Wolfe and William Gray Beyer’s Minions of the Moon arrived today.  I’ll do a Close Up on that in a moment.  Scott (the chap from whom I purchased Minions) had several other GP titles available, all of which I already had but one – Plague Ship by Andrew North (a pseudonym of André Norton).  I grabbed that as well and it’s on it’s way.

Have a quick look at the chapbook.  It’s regular octavo size, but is only about 8mm thick – and that’s including the hardcovers!


As you can see, this is number 38/200 of those that weren’t given away to PS Publishing hardcover subscribers.

Regarding the other book, one of the attributes that Minions of the Moon most often exhibits is a sunned or faded spine on the dust jacket, and one that my original copy displays quite effectively.  The reason I bought this copy is because that there is NO fading at all to the jacket.  Compare the two here.

You can see which is the new non-faded one. The faded copy has the Brodart cover on and that further distorts things. In reality, the difference is much more pronounced than is shown here. Anyway, I’m very happy with the latest copy. The book is in a little better condition overall too.