" In this universe the night was falling; the shadows were lengthening towards an east that would not know another dawn. But elsewhere the stars were still young and the light of morning lingered; and along the path he once had followed, Man would one day go again"

Arthur C. Clarke Against the Fall of Night

Friday, October 2, 2020

The new bookshelf or my life remembered in objects (Part Two)

Some time ago, the "Big Bricks," as Bud Webster used to refer to the large hardcover science fiction anthologies, found their way across the hall and into the bedroom, hence the need for the new shelf. (For Bud's columns) see the Handy Resources on this blog. They remain here on shelf three along with a few H.P.L. titles however the bulk of this material remains in my study. 


One item I did bring over was The Viking Portable Library Novels of Science, which contains Lovecraft's "The Shadow Out of Time". I think this is one of Lovecraft's best stories and one that is clearly science fiction. It is perhaps indicative of a path Lovecraft might have fruitfully continued had various issues on conspired to derail his writing career. It is also one of his first appearances in hardcover. "In 1945 Wollheim edited the first hardcover anthology from a major publisher and the first omnibus, The Viking Portable Novels of Science." 

I am quite interested in Wollheim's relationship with the mythos and intend to pursue it further.

On the right side of we see three items that have some significance for me. My mother-in-law, a successful artist, painted the tile. The wren was carved by Art, an older gentleman who took painting lessons from her. Years later, he took up carving, and we often encounter him at summer craft shows. I am impressed with his birds and has happy to buy this example. The tower with the two balls carved inside so they can move without falling out came from the home of my Great Uncle Lorne. I believe his wife Nellie's family was in the lumber business, so it might have come through them. I never knew Nellie. When she died, Lorne boarded off the upper floor of the big brick farmhouse they lived in. When I knew him, there were two almost impassible and fascinating downstairs rooms full of knick-knacks and furniture, including an upright piano and an organ you pumped with your feet. Lorne lived in the kitchen, sleeping if I remember correctly, on a couch. When he died, and we went upstairs, it seemed he had simply gone downstairs one day, leaving anything he did not want in place. 

He was kind to me; when we went to visit, he had saved the toys that came in the cereal boxes on the window sill for me. I remember blue plastic Inuit or arctic explorers. I wish I had them today. It has been some 50 plus years, so my memory may not be that accurate, but that is the gist of it. 

I think I will cover the last two shelves tomorrow. I am enjoying the exercise and I am in no hurry. I just realized it is Oct and I have to dig out A Night in the Lonesome October by Zelazny, I am already behind.

Let's end with a Pika from a recent trip to the mountains.


  1. I envy you your collection of big brick SF anthologies. I have several of the ones you have but not all. If you haven't read Silverberg's column in Asimov's this month, you should - he mentions "The Shadow Out of Time."


  2. Thanks Jim I will look for the Silverberg article. Once I found Bud Webster's articles on collecting Anthologies I was hooked and these big hardcovers were the ones I focused on. I have always preferred the SF short story so these were an easy sell.

    Thanks for commenting.