"Perversion for Profit"
Joey Hi-Fi's Weirdness Rodeo

Never give up! Never surrender!


GalaxyQuest (1999): the film adaptation of the Hugo Award-winning Redshirts (2012)

We have a lot of John D. MacDonald. I know I've said this before (a few times), but it is well worth repeating. He's one of the most prolific authors of the mid-20th century, and I'm missing, I think, one book that he wrote. Plus, as one of the most prolific authors and as someone whose prolificness (a word?) occurred during the golden age of the paperback, there are zillions of cover variants, art tweaks, random editions, etc... the result? A lot of John D. MacDonald.

That said, I occasionally... despair that I'll find something new. I still compulsively check the 'M' section of used bookstores, but the odds of me finding something interesting shrink every time. Hashtag: #extremelynicheproblemsofspoiledbookcollectors

And then you get days like yesterday. I haven't been shopping for a while and had an hour to kill before meeting Anne for dinner. I popped into a shop on Charing Cross and wham: a shelf of MacDonalds. Hardcovers. First editions. Reasonably priced. And mine

I'm not sure what the moral is, really. I suppose there's something terrifying in there about addiction, but I prefer to take the optimistic approach: if you're really excited about your collection, there's always something new and nifty. Or, as is my oft-repeated mantra, "better lucky than good".

Anyway, latest finds below the jump...

New toys:

The Last Coin by James Blaylock. An ex-library first edition. I've actually not read very much Blaylock, something I'm hoping to correct by the end of the month. The description of this book makes it sound a bit like Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October which is, well, no bad thing. (eBay)

Wildfire at Midnight by Mary Stewart. I just finished Madam, Will You Talk? (beautiful young widow, thriller/romance set in Avignon) and was casting around for another and found Wildfire (beautiful young divorcee, thriller/romance set in Skye). Plus, Anne's a not-so-secret Stewart-horder, and we didn't have this one. (Charing Cross)

City of Glass by Paul Auster. We've got some Auster around (signed, no less!) but I've never actually read City of Glass. For 50p from a library sale, bring it on. (Library Sale)

The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I'm one of the raving loonies that talks about this like it is the greatest book ever written. I've got collectible copies, but when it comes to reading copies, I'm like some sort of bumblebee: I'll buy one, read it, donate it. Like it is my biological mission to pollinate charity shops with copies of The Secret History. (Oddly, I do the same thing with The Bachman Books, no accounting for taste...) Regardless, with Tartt coming to the UK, I'd like to reread both this and The Little Friend by November. And, for 50p from a library sale... (Library Sale)

And, of course, the MacDonalds:

Barrier Island. British first edition (from Hodder & Stoughton, no less - I'm not even sure I realised they had a run at him.) Absolutely gorgeous cover. Shame that this is one of his worst books.

Condominium. British first - but from the more familiar Robert Hale, who published most of the early McGees and stand-alones in the UK. Also an astounding cover.

John D MacDonald
The Good Old Stuff. A collection of MacDonald's short fiction from the magazines, edited by Martin Greenberg, Francis Nevin and the Shines (the latter three are the MacDonald 'people', authors of his bibliography and such). Interestingly enough, it looks like this is exactly the US edition, but they just swapped out the title/copyright page. You can tell because it is a slightly different paper stock and about 1 mm shorter than the other pages. I wonder if there were extra copies going in the US or something...

Cinnamon Skin. A late Travis, and, actually, one I already had in this edition. But this will replace an ex-library copy, so I declare declare VICTORY. Weird cover - not beautifully done, but I like the "woman as hood ornament" symbolism that they're going for. I think.

The Best of Travis McGee. A cheap & cheerful omnibus from Hale, including Amber, Brown and Indigo. Amber is sort of conventionally seen as the 'best' (dunno why, not my favourite), Brown is pretty good and Indigo is my favourite. I like this omnibus because it is done with the bare minimum of production quality - there's no cover art and the text is clearly the three original book blocks shoved together, the numbering not only restarts with each book, but the type isn't even the same for each one!

So four new editions (all firsts) and an 'upgrade' for Cinnamon - victory!

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