Thursday, August 21, 2008

Paperback 129: Negative Minus / R. L. Fanthorpe (Badger Books SF88)

Paperback 129: Badge Books SF88 (PBO?, ca. late '50s)

Title: Negative Minus
Author: R.L. Fanthorpe
Cover artist: uncredited

Yours for: $15

Best things about this cover:

  • Is "Negative Minus" a thing? I need a math ruling.
  • Shouldn't this book just be called "plus?" That, or "The Night I Went Trick-or-Treating Dressed as an Owl and Those Hippies Put LSD in the Candy Corn and The Great Uncle of The Great Gazoo Coaxed Me Into Killing People By Scratching My Nose and Promising Me More Candy Corn..."

Best things about this back cover:

  • I believe this write-up was written under the influence of the aforementioned Gazoo juice. It's really vague ... and features a character with the most improbable name of "Stelgen"
  • Alpha Centauri?! It's always Alpha Centauri with these people! Pick a new place!
  • If "Stelgen" was "born" from a "star," I'm going to barf.
  • New title for the book: "Stelgen Was Not a Genius." It would explain a lot about the cover (whichever one of those two folks "Stelgen" is...)

Page 123~

"I've never wanted anything so much," answered Suessydo. "I'm a normal, healthy, red-blooded male, but I've never met any attraction anywhere to equal the power, the pull of that voice. By the eight purple stars of Qoink, I've never heard such melody and such sweetness. By the seven blue dragons of Bfup, there was never such a melody before."

"You are using some strong oaths," returned Suhcolyrue.

"I use them as an expression of strong thoughts," replied the Captain.

I swear to you that none of that is made up. I'm just not that good. And now, inspired by the "Captain's" fantastic name, I leave you with Phil Collins.

Good day.



Anonymous said...

Shouldn't this be book 129? Or did 128 find its long-lost twin?

I believe Alpha Centauri is popular because it's a cool name and the closest star to the Sun.

warren said...

That excerpt is mind-vaporizingly ghastly. I swear it by the vermilion sands of Arfarbarg!

Alpha Centauri might also be popular because it's the first non-Sun star most people can think of when asked to name one.

Thing is that despite its proximity, it's smaller than our primary and might not even have any planets.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting these Fanthorpe gems. R.L. Fanthorpe is claimed by some to be the most prolific (as well as the most horrific) science fiction author of the pulp age.

See more here:

And his own website (he's still alive) is here:

Corey Wilde said...

By the waters of Babylon, I lay down and wept!

JamiSings said...

I just can't get over the cover picture. It's like some little kids idea of a ghost costume for Halloween. Why is the big scary red face wearing a sheet? I'm glad we can't see the rest of him or I suppose we'll be getting KKK members in outter space jokes next.

Michael5000 said...

If they hadn't written "The thing swooped out of the darkness like an animated cloud" on the cover, it probably wouldn't have sold nearly so well.

G said...

I just want to add my thanks for Phil Collins, who may be from Alpha Centauri himself.