Underground Reading: The Gutter and the Grave by Ed McBain
Jack Vance 28.8.16 – 26.5.13 by David Gullen

Collections +1

The DamnedA few bits and bobs that bolster existing collections:

John D. MacDonald's The Damned. For years, the first (and only) hardcover edition of a JDM book was the first British printing, generally done by Robert Hale. This is true for the Travis McGee series, especially - making many of the 1960s Hale printings quite valuable. The tradition was revived by Hale in the 2000s, and they produced lavish (perhaps a better word is "lurid") hardcovers of many of JDM's standalones. Again, for many, the first UK printing and the first hardcover. These modern Hales are almost universally horrendous - serious eyesores. And this copy of The Damned is no exception.

Interestingly enough, I'm not sure these even sold especially well. They're pricy (this one was £17.99 in 2005), and most of the second-hand copies either go for twice that or pennies. The latter category, like this one, are ex-library books. My deductive reasoning sez: the books only sold to collectors and institutions. Anyway, the JDMs were all in an sulk because I praised Ed McBain on Friday. They're needy, so I got them a new friend. (Abebooks)

Struwwelpeter. Research. But also every house needs a copy of these charming cautionary tales. Just in case. (Skoob)

Douglas Coupland's JPod. I was really excited to stumble on this - the British limited edition shipped as a signed hardcover, packed up with an oh-so-achingly-trendy knockoff Lego figure (Cubes™) of one of the characters. This is all in the box, etc. Very nice find. That said, it wasn't until I got home that I realised I don't actually collect Coupland. Two Microserfs and a JPod doth not a collection make. Maybe it is some sort of latent generational guilt or something? (Skoob)

HV Morton's LondonH.V Morton's London. A collection of all three of Morton's books of essays - The Heart of London, The Spell of London and The Nights of London. Lest anyone think that I'm the only loon in this household - the collection of vintage London books is Anne's work. In this case, she has two of the individual books, but wanted the third. Plus, as she noted, it has the dust jacket (which is really lovely). 

The Adventure Rocketship! launch at Forbidden Planet was great for upgrading a book or three - Lavie Tidhar signed his copy of an early Pendragon Press collection (Triquorum One) and his new Martian Sands and Jon Courtenay Grimwood kindly scrawled in copies of redRobe, The Exiled Blade and a proof of Pashazade. Plus, both signed a copy of Adventure Rocketship! of course... Our home is an seemingly inexhaustible supply of books by both these authors, which makes signings very handy. I'm ok with that. (Hope they are.) (Forbidden Planet)