" 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

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

New Arrivals and a chatty post

In early Oct. we snuck off for a week long stay at the Sylvia Hotel in English Bay. This summer we had cancelled a trip to London for the second time and we wanted to do something. I have to say this is one of my favourite spots in the world. There is bay with mountains and cargo ships waiting to unload in front, Stanley Park and it's seawall to the right and Denman street with a huge selection of restaurants to the left. Also tons of people walk their dogs along the shore which makes for great viewing. I love it. Much of the rest of Vancouver is accessible by water taxi or foot and that means bookstores. The book covers span the entire spectrum from "what were they thinking" to pretty cool. 

The first store we visited was also a bindery. I got the Pangborn, (cover by Richard Powers)  and Helen was able to get a very interesting edition of Alice in Wonderland. Since the main thing we missed in London was the Alice exhibit at the V & A, this was only fair. 

The next was a small shop called The Paper Hound, which actually only had a couple of shelves of science fiction amid other wonderful holding, I got my first but probably not last Rupert Annual. Okay I bought the 2021 at our neighbourhood British Pantry the other day. Since I am indecisive and the book shop was central to several areas we planned to visit and since Helen is good natured enough to put up with a lot, we visited three times over the course our stay. We next visited a large used bookstore with mounds and towers of books everywhere and over priced PKD aces in glass cases. But I realized the internet may have spoiled this kind of chaos for me, plus their SF holding overall seemed insufficient for the size of the shop and uninteresting we bought nothing there.

The Paper Hound however while small was beautifully curated.  

A lovely understated cover by Daniel Schwartz.

The Lessing series is the kind of vast impenetrable British/European future history of human kind that haunts my shelves and TBR pile. Jacket Design by David Proust. 

I did not buy this very reasonably priced Shasta first edition until my third visit. I hate the cover of this man in what is obviously his Mom's housecoat so much. Looking at it again Mom must have been pretty tall. However as I lay awake in my bed at the Sylvia listening to the rain. (Immortalized in the Blue Rodeo song English Bay here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrhL5yAS2jI

I heard the rest of my Van Vogt collection remonstrating with me. It was after all family. Harold W. McCauley claimed credit for this, why?

God knows, I bought it for the cover by Harry Borman and a rather confused summary on the back. The summary claims SF roots, the cover seems more sword and sorcery.

This is a wonderful cover by Alan Brooks. 

This was interesting . I knew I had to buy A Ticket to Nowhere but left it where it was displayed on the shelf while I looked around, Helen then appeared with it and said you have to get this for your collection. She was right.

I have discussed the UK publisher Badger books several times, a great discussion and the first place I learned about them is at this link from the wonderful unsubscribed blog, sadly no longer updated.

Vega books in Clovis California seems to have reprinted some Badger books with the same covers. However the ISFDB does not indicate this was the case here. I see no other novels listed for Don Begher, but authors for both Badger and Vega often seemed to use house names. Helen and I both loved the juxtaposition of the strange craft and log cabin. The cover was unattributed.

Sayers is my favourite mystery writer and one of the few I still read. These also fall into the great cover category. The covers were unattributed?

A couple more vacation snaps. Happy Reading. 

1 comment:

  1. "The Lessing series is the kind of vast impenetrable British/European future history of human kind that haunts my shelves and TBR pile" -- indeed! I have some of the volumes and none of the fortitude necessary to give them a go...

    Tempted by her solo SF novel The Memoirs of a Survivor (1974). Maybe if I enjoy it'll I'll tackle her immense sequence.