Monday, February 26, 2018

Paperback 1009: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea / Theodore Sturgeon (Pyramid G622)

Paperback 1009: Pyramid G622 (PBO, 1961)

Title: Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
Author: Theodore Sturgeon
Cover artist: Jim Mitchell (credited, back cover)

Condition: 8/10
Estimated value: $10-15

Best things about this cover:
  • I guess if your name's Sturgeon, writing about sea creatures is probably inevitable
  • Love the design on the dragon-eel, and the sub, and the font. Peak midcentury fantasy design
  • This was a movie, apparently. It was also a television show, which is streaming via Amazon Prime, which I discovered because who wouldn't be curious after seeing this book
  • The writing in this book is superior. Sparkling and witty in a way I do not associate with novelizations of B movies. But that's what happens, I guess, when you get a legend to do the work, I guess. Sturgeon is something else
Best things about this back cover:
  • AFIRE is a word I don't see that often, except in crosswords
  • I really, really want Destiny to be the name of some aquatic femme fatale
  • Here's the movie, free on youtube. The format is completely jacked, so I don't think I can bear watching it. Maybe if I ever get super-bored. I'm almost certain this book is infinitely superior to the movie
Page 123~
It was Emery, too, who wondered what had killed the whale. Even the ripped, tattered evidence of the 'cudas at work could not conceal that the whale had been riven, blasted, crushed. Someone aboard might certainly have thought of an answer if it had not been for the murder of O'Brien.
Normal reader: "Whoa, what a vivid image of a mangled whale being feasted on by barracudas." Me: "Hmmm .... CUDAS ... I wonder if I should add that to my crossword wordlist ..."


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Friday, February 16, 2018

Paperback 1008: Rogue Queen / L. Sprague de Camp (Dell 600)

Paperback 1008: Dell 600 (1st ptg, 1952)

Title: Rogue Queen
Author: L. Sprague de Camp
Cover artist: Mike Ludlow

Condition: 7/10
Estimated value: $8-10

Best things about this cover:

  • That seems a reasonable way to learn about sex tbh
  • "OK, so, step 1: put the spear away"—Earth-man
  • I'm sure that phallic rocket is in no way a phallic symbol
  • That is some very convenient cape and forearm
  • Her hair is amazing

Best things about this back cover:

  • "You ... complete ... me ... seriously, do it, complete me, I'm not a woman yet, get on with it."
  • You take the good you take the bad you take them both and there you have the Facts of Full Womanhood, The Facts of Full Womanhood!
  • That is the sloppiest damn ringed planet I even did see. It's like a 5-year-old drew a ball of yarn

Page 123~

"It is a curious feature of Terran culture that when the men do something of a stupidity they always blame their wives."

I like her.


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Friday, February 9, 2018

Paperback 1007: Tragic Ground / Erskine Caldwell (Signet 661)

Paperback 1007: Signet 661 (27th ptg, 1957)

Title: Tragic Ground
Author: Erskine Caldwell
Cover artist: James Avati

Condition: 8/10
Estimated value: $8-10 (weirdly couldn't find this 1957 printing at abebooks)

Best things about this cover:

  • That's a hell of a face-mash. And embrace. And wino.
  • "Oh, the juvenile delinquents and their dungarees and heavy petting, why, in my day... [glug glug glug] [pass out]"
  • I sincerely love her capri pants. And the title font.
  • This cover is close to immaculate.

Best things about this back cover:

  • [sniff sniff] What's that smell? .... oh, I see you're reading Caldwell. My, that's pungent.
  • "Casual ribaldry and haphazard lovemaking" is my new lifestyle ideal.
  • What is this, the Adjective Olympics? You can't get past a single damn noun without some adjective going, "Hey, look at me!" I'm surprised it doesn't end with "over 35,000,000 frank and febrile copies."
  • LOL that Saturday Review blurb. "Tired of cooked sex? Well have I got the book for you..."

Page 123~

Spence lay partly awake holding his knees against his stomach for warmth and wondering where his pants were.

Pantsless pungency!


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