Well, that was a week - two panels, an awards ceremony, a launch and an AMA! All of it, well, bonkers and delightful. And that's not counting the stuff we missed: book launches by Gary Northfield and Al Ewing, talks by Lauren Beukes and Benjamin Percy, SCI-FI LONDON mayhem and the inaugural Write the Future. That's one geeky, geeky seven days.
[Psst. As always, if you were at "Storytelling without limits" with Lauren Beukes, Ben Percy and Warren Ellis - email us any photos and please, please share any feedback, suggestions or advice!]
But, you know what we get out of week like this? Upgraded books. Rather goofily, that's what I like to think about books that I've already collected that now I get to take to the next level (Elzar style - and yes, I use that clip a lot. But seriously, BAM! Spiceweasel!).
This week, that meant transforming proofs and first editions into signed proofs and first editions:
- The Shining Girls (Our box of South African editions showed up as well. If our flat shined any more, it'd be radioactive. We're a shine shrine.) So we've now got... signed SA paperbacks & hardbacks, a signed UK proof, a signed viewfinder promo thing (idea stolen from Adam Christopher, who did it first and made me jealous) and... an unsigned UK first edition. Because in all the chaos, that's the one obvious thing and we never got it done. Hrmph.
- Red Moon (harkening back to Tuesday night, I've never wanted an audiobook before, but now that I know Ben Percy reads his own? And, in hindsight, we should've asked him to read the text on The Shining Girls' trailer. THE GIRL THAT WOULD NOT DIE. GOODNIGHT PONIES.) Incidentally, Mr. Percy draws pretty adorable wolves in his book. Thumbs up.
- Gun Machine. Twice! The UK proof and the US first edition. Both of which are simply lovely. Again, somehow failed to get the UK first edition signed. Because... why do the obvious thing?
- The Snow. You don't realise exactly how many books - good books - that Adam Roberts has written until you know he's at an upcoming panel and scan your shelves for something to bring and realise that you could easily fill two bags...
- Fly By Night. We're all die-hard Hardinge (die-hardinge?) fans now. Managed to find a proof of this book, and I'm delighted that Ms. Hardinge signed it. With a goose, of course. We'll have to keep it away from Red Moon, as I'm pretty sure Saracen could take a wolf in a fair fight.
Still, the last two weeks' books haven't all been upgrades. That'd be way too sensible. I've listed/reviewed most of our new treasures - from Lyme Regis - already, but a few more strange new acquisitions:
- Michael Ende's The Neverending Story. A slightly battered (but with dust jacket intact!) first edition. Well, American first. The Germans had it 4 years earlier, and then the rest of the world. Still, this is actually a lovely book in almost all possible definitions of the word. Astounding design, great illustrations and a pretty good story. (Anyone else amazed by how much more the book resembles the [dire] second movie rather than the first?)
- Joyce Thompson's Conscience Place and Isidore Haiblum's The Tsaddik of the Seven Wonders. Review copies from the 1980s, with bookplates from the publisher. Worthless as collectors' items (except as curios), but they're both interesting books, so, why not?
- Lewis Spence's The Problem of Lemuria. I think I wrote a blog post in the past about unintentional collections, and here's another one - books on sunken civilisations. NO IDEA. I'm not even that interested, but you buy one Churchward book and, wham, next time you turn around there's a whole shelf o' Mu. Anyway, whether or not I actually read the damn thing, this is another one. A first, but missing the dust jacket and, annoyingly, the fold-out map. (Still, for £2.50, right?)
- John D. MacDonald's Dress Her in Indigo. The third Pan printing. Again, utterly without value, but it was a MacDonald cover variant I didn't have. So yay.
- Jane Gaskell's Atlan, A Pair from Space (a Belmont double with James Blish & Robert Silverberg) and Jonathan Craig's Case of the Brazen Beauty (another Belmont book, with a stunning Milton Lesser cover). Just... cool.
- Lawrence Block's Two for Tanner. A Gold Medal with a McGinnis cover. A weird McGinnis as well - with cartoony illustrations that seem outside of his usual style. Tanner gets his face inset in a box, a similar treatment to Travis McGee in his series. I'm very pleased with this find.
- O. Henry's Voice of the City. Further tales of the four million - O. Henry was the original voice of the 99%. A battered little hardcover, but reading a ton of O. Henry for Lost Souls really made me like the guy and his work. Glad to have this.