Essential Science Fiction #6 The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester June 29, 2015 22:46

The Demolished Man, by Alfred Bester, is an American novel, science fiction and inverted detective story, that was the first Hugo Award winner in 1953. The story was first serialized in three parts, beginning with the January 1952 issue of Galaxy Science Fiction, followed by publication of the novel in 1953. The novel is dedicated to Galaxy's editor, H. L. Gold, who made suggestions during its writing. Bester's title was Demolition!, but Gold talked him out of it. The Demolished Man is a science fiction police procedural set in a future where telepathy is common, although much of its effectiveness is derived from one individual having greater telepathic skill than another.

Alfred Bester (December 18, 1913 – September 30, 1987) was an American science fiction author, TV and radio scriptwriter, magazine editor and scripter for comic strips and comic books. Though successful in all these fields, he is best remembered for his science fiction, including The Demolished Man, winner of the inaugural Hugo Award in 1953.

Science fiction author Harry Harrison wrote, "Alfred Bester was one of the handful of writers who invented modern science fiction."

Shortly before his death, the Science Fiction Writers of America (SFWA) named Bester its ninth Grand Master, presented posthumously in 1988. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame inducted him in 2001.


The Revolutionary Effect of the Paperback Book June 27, 2015 23:08

The Revolutionary Effect of the Paperback Book

This simple innovation transformed the reading habits of an entire nation


Read more:

Featured Author: Harold Lamb June 26, 2015 17:33

Harold Albert Lamb (September 1, 1892 – April 9, 1962) was an American historian, screenwriter, short story writer, and novelist.

Lamb built a career with his writing from an early age. He got his start in the pulp magazines, quickly moving to the prestigious Adventure magazine, his primary fiction outlet for nineteen years. In 1927 he wrote a biography of Genghis Khan, and following on its success turned more and more to the writing of non-fiction, penning numerous biographies and popular history books until his death in 1962 in Rochester, N.Y. The success of Lamb's two-volume history of the Crusades led to his discovery by Cecil B. DeMille, who employed Lamb as a technical advisor on a related movie, The Crusades, and used him as a screenwriter on many other DeMille movies thereafter. Lamb spoke French, Latin, Persian, and Arabic, and, by his own account, a smattering of Manchu-Tartar.

Lamb's prose was direct and fast-paced, in stark contrast to that of many of his contemporary adventure writers. His stories were well-researched and rooted in their time, often featuring real historical characters, but set in places unfamiliar and exotic to most of the western audience reading his fiction. While his adventure stories had familiar tropes such as tyrannical rulers and scheming priests, he avoided the simplistic depiction of foreign or unfamiliar cultures as evil; many of his heroes were Mongolian, Indian, Russian, or Muslim. Most of his protagonists were outsiders or outcasts apart from civilization, and all but a very few were skilled swordsman and warriors.
In a Lamb story, honor and loyalty to one's comrades-in-arms were more important than cultural identity, although often his protagonists ended up risking their lives to protect the cultures that had spurned them. Those holding positions of authority are almost universally depicted as being corrupted by their own power or consumed with greed, be they Russian boyars or Buddhist priests, and merchants are almost always shown as placing their own desire for coin above the well-being of their fellow men. Loyalty, wisdom, and religious piety is shown again and again in these stories to lie more securely in the hands of Lamb's common folk.

While female characters occasionally played the familiar role of damsel in distress in these stories, Lamb more typically depicted his women as courageous, independent, and more shrewd than their male counterparts. Their motives and true loyalties, though, remained mysterious to Lamb's male characters, and their unknowable nature is frequently the source of plot tension.




Link to everything about Pan books 'The First Twenty Five Years of PAN Paperback Books' June 25, 2015 18:12

Tim K (Tim@TiKiT) offered up a link to his site that provides 'at least one example of every title PAN published under their eclectic numbering system apart from ... X705 Junior Crosswords Book 3 by Burgess'.

Visit - celebrating 25+ years of PAN Books.

The link is also included with the Pan entry at

Thanks Tim

Promoting June 25, 2015 11:25

Starting today, we are promoting on both Facebook and Google. We are also pinning featured books on Pinterest and soon you will be able to buy books directly from Pinterest. 

Increasing 'likes' on Facebook is important to get better positioned on Google and Bing. Each Facebook 'like' and 'share' helps us reach more people. 

We are selling books but the site is also growing as a reference source for information on vintage paperback authors, publishers, cover art and essential books from target genres. We also plan to start archiving books from all genres to insure good copies are available for future research and reference. Look for a Kickstarter campaign soon to get this effort started. 

We appreciate your support and feedback!


5 vintage paperbacks with nice cover art June 23, 2015 17:41


Essential Science Fiction #6: The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury June 22, 2015 16:05

The Illustrated Man is a 1951 book of eighteen science fiction short stories by Ray Bradbury that explores the nature of mankind. A recurring theme throughout the eighteen stories is the conflict of the cold mechanics of technology and the psychology of people. It was nominated for the International Fantasy Award in 1952.

The unrelated stories are tied together by the frame device of "the Illustrated Man", a vagrant former member of a carnival freak show with an extensively tattooed body whom the unnamed narrator meets. The man's tattoos, allegedly created by a time-traveling woman, are animated and each tell a different tale. All but one of the stories had been published previously elsewhere, although Bradbury revised some of the texts for the book's publication.

The book was made into the 1969 film starring Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom, adapted from the stories "The Veldt", "The Long Rain", and "The Last Night of the World".

A number of the stories, including "The Veldt", "The Fox and the Forest" (as "To the Future"), "Marionettes, Inc.", and "Zero Hour" were dramatized for the 1955-57 radio series X Minus One. "The Veldt", "The Concrete Mixer", "The Long Rain", "Zero Hour", and "Marionettes Inc." were adapted for the TV series The Ray Bradbury Theater.

Ray Douglas Bradbury (August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012) was an American fantasy, science fiction, horror and mystery fiction author. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and for the science fiction and horror stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951), Bradbury was one of the most celebrated 20th-century American writers. He wrote and consulted on many screenplays and television scripts, including Moby Dick and most notably, It Came from Outer Space, and many of his works have been adapted into comic books, television shows, and films.



Great book on the history of the American pulp paperback: 'American Pulp' by Paula Rabinowitz June 18, 2015 16:22

How Paperbacks Brought Moderrism to Main Street

"There is real hope for a culture that makes it as easy to buy a book as it does a pack of cigarettes."--Eduard C. Lindenan (prominent American educator) New American Library ad (1951)

American Pulp tells the story of the midcentury golden age of pulp paperbacks and how they brought modernism to Main Street, democratized literature and ideas, spurred social mobility, and helped readers fashion new identities. Drawing on extensive original research, Paula Rabinowitz unearths the far-reaching political, social, and aesthetic impact of the pulps between the late 1930s and early 1960s.

Published in vast numbers of titles, available everywhere, and sometimes selling in the millions, pulps were throwaway objects accessible to anyone with a quarter. Conventionally associated with romance, crime, and science fiction, the pulps in fact came in every genre and subject. American Pulp tells how these books ingeniously repackaged highbrow fiction and nonfiction for a mass audience, drawing in readers of every kind with promises of entertainment, enlightenment, and titillation. Focusing on important episodes in pulp history, Rabinowitz looks at the wide-ranging effects of free paperbacks distributed to World War II servicemen and women; how pulps prompted important censorship and First Amendment cases; how some gay women read pulp lesbian novels as how-to-dress manuals; the unlikely appearance in pulp science fiction of early representations of the Holocaust; how writers and artists appropriated pulp as a literary and visual style; and much more. Examining their often-lurid packaging as well as their content, American Pulp is richly illustrated with reproductions of dozens of pulp paperback covers, many in color.

A fascinating cultural history, American Pulp will change the way we look at these ephemeral yet intriguing books.

Paula Rabinwitz is a professor of English at the University of Minnesota. Her books include Black and White & Noir: America's Pulp Modernism, and is the co-editor of Habits of Being, a four volume series on clothing and identity.

Available at Amazon

Featured Science Fiction Author Robert A. Heinlein June 17, 2015 14:31

Robert Anson Heinlein July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science fiction writer. Often called the "dean of science fiction writers", he was an influential and controversial author of the genre in his time.

Heinlein was named the first Science Fiction Writers Grand Master in 1974. He won Hugo Awards for four of his novels; in addition, fifty years after publication, three of his works were awarded "Retro Hugos"—awards given retrospectively for works that were published before the Hugo Awards came into existence. In his fiction, Heinlein coined terms that have become part of the English language, including "grok" and "waldo", and speculative fiction, as well as popularizing the terms like "TANSTAAFL", "pay it forward", and space marine. He also described a modern version of a waterbed in his novel The Door Into Summer, though he never patented or built one. In the first chapter of the novel "Space Cadet" he anticipated the cell phone, 35 years before the technology was invented by Motorola. Several of Heinlein's works have been adapted for film and television.

Robert A. Heinlein books:


Featured Book 'A Graveyard To Let' by John Dickson Carr June 14, 2015 22:22

A Graveyard To Let is a mystery novel by the American writer John Dickson Carr (1906–1977), who published it under the name of Carter Dickson. It is a locked room mystery and features the series detective Sir Henry Merrivale.

Summary:  Sir Henry Merrivale, detective and explainer of the impossible, is visiting the United States. He has been invited to visit millionaire Frederick Manning, to "witness a miracle" at his country home. Manning's three children are nervous about a secret which their father has threatened to reveal very soon—although it is probably not his relationship with a lady named Irene Stanley, whom Manning freely admits he is "keeping".

The morning after Sir Henry's arrival, and just as the house party hears police sirens drawing closer to the Manning home, Frederick Manning dives into the swimming pool, fully clothed, and vanishes. His clothes and hat float to the surface, but he is nowhere to be found.

Sir Henry must untangle Manning's personal and business dealings and follow the trail of clues to find Manning and reveal a criminal.


Books on Collecting Vintage Paperback Books and Pulps June 12, 2015 16:20

New to collecting or just looking for reference books on collecting vintage paperback books and pulps. 

'Antique Trader Collectible Paperback Price Guide' by Gary Lovisi

'500 Essential Cult Books The Ultimate Guide' by Gina McKinnon

'Queer Pulp' by Susan Stryker  Perverted passions from the golden age of the paperback

'Sin-A-Rama'  Feral House Book  Sleaze sex paperbacks of the sixties

'Dames, Dolls & Delinquents A Collectors Guide to Sexy Pulp Paperbacks' Gary Lovisi

'Paperback Prices and Checklist' by Graham Holroyd

'The Blood and Thunder Guide to Pulp Fiction' by Ed Hulse

'Huxford''s Paperback Value Guide by Bob and Sharon Huxford

'Official Price Guide Paperbacks' by Jon Warren

'Cumulative Paperback Index, 1939 - 1959' by Robert Geginald

'Lesbian Pulp Fiction' by Katherine V. Forrest

'Collectible Magazines Identification and Price Guide' by David K. Henkel

'Strange Sisters The Art of Lesbian Pulp Fiction 1949 - 1969' by Jaye Zimet

'Paperbacks, USA A Graphic History, 1939 - 1959'  A Blue Dolphin Book

'Uncovered The Hidden Art of the Girlie Pulps' by Douglas Ellis

'Pulp Art' by Robert Lesser  Original Cover Paintings for the Great American Pulp Magazines

'Undercover An Illustrated History of American Mass Market Paperbacks' by Thomas L. Bonn

'The Blood and Thunder Guide to Collecting Pulps, by Ed Hulse

'Dope Menace The Sensational World of Drug Paperbacks 1900 - 1975' by Stephen J. Gertz

'Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers' by Lee Server

'Hip Pocket Sleaze The Lurid World of Vintage Adult Paperbacks' by John Harrison

'Paperback Confidential Crime Writers of the Paperback Era' by Brian Ritt

'Bad Mags 2' by Tom Brinkman

'Collectible Paperback Books A Vintage Paperback Reference' by Jeff Canja

'Hancer's Price Guide to Paperback Books Third Edition' by Kevin Hancer

'Hard Boiled America The Lurid Years of Paperbacks' by Geoffrey o'Brian

'The Book of Paperbacks' by Piet Schreuders

'The Adventure House Guide to the Pulps' by Doug Ellis


Essential Science Fiction #5 'Earth Abides' by George G. Stewart June 12, 2015 10:05

Earth Abides is a 1949 post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by American writer George R. Stewart. It tells the story of the fall of civilization from deadly disease and its rebirth. The story was set in the United States in the 1940s, in Berkeley, California. Isherwood Williams emerges from isolation in the mountains to find almost everyone dead.

Earth Abides won the inaugural International Fantasy Award in 1951. It was included in Locus Magazine's list of best All Time Science Fiction in 1987 and 1998 and was a nominee to be entered into the Prometheus Hall of Fame. In November 1950, it was adapted for the CBS radio program Escape as a two-part drama starring John Dehner.

George Rippey Stewart (May 31, 1895 – August 22, 1980) was an American historian, toponymist, novelist, and a professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. His 1959 book Pickett's Charge, a detailed history of the final attack at Gettysburg, was called "essential for an understanding of the Battle of Gettysburg". His 1949 post-apocalyptic novel Earth Abides won the first International Fantasy Award in 1951.


New set of books added to the 'Unexplained Phenomenon' collection June 12, 2015 01:23

Just in time for the upcoming new X-File episodes, we added a set of books from the 60s and 70s featuring UFO/Extraterrestrial, Occult, Spiritism/Ghosts and Prophecy. Most of these books are in near Fine to Fine condition. You can bet Fox had most of these in his library. Find them at

Our complete inventory of strange and unexplained phenomenon books are at

We have a couple of boxes of X-File books that we will add to the collection before the new episodes premiere. 




Essential Science Fiction #4 'When Worlds Collide' and the sequel 'After Worlds Collide' by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer June 11, 2015 15:16

Essential Science Fiction #4 'When Worlds Collide' and the sequel 'After Worlds Collide' by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer. When Worlds Collide is a 1933 science fiction novel co-written by Philip Wylie and Edwin Balmer; they both also co-authored the sequel After Worlds Collide (1934). It was first published as a six-part monthly serial (September 1932-February 1933) in Blue Book magazine, illustrated by Joseph Franké.

Sven Bronson, a South African astronomer, discovers that a pair of rogue planets, Bronson Alpha and Bronson Beta, will soon enter the solar system. In eight months, they will pass close enough to cause catastrophic damage. Sixteen months later, after swinging around the Sun, Bronson Alpha will return to pulverize the Earth and leave. It is hoped that Bronson Beta will remain and assume a stable orbit.

Five months before the end, desperate mobs attack the camp, killing over half of Hendron's people before they are defeated. With the rocket tube breakthrough, the survivors are able to build a second, larger ship that can carry everyone left alive (originally there was room for only 100 of the roughly thousand people Hendron had recruited). The two American ships take off, but lose contact with each other. Other ships are seen launching from Europe; the French ship's tubes melt, causing it to crash. The original American ship makes a successful landing, but it is unknown if anyone else made it. The survivors find that Beta is habitable.

The sequel, After Worlds Collide, details the fate of the survivors on Bronson Beta.




Essential Science Fiction #3 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley June 8, 2015 15:52

Essential Science Fiction #3 'Brave New World' by Aldous Huxley. Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540 (632 A.F.—"After Ford"—in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, psychological manipulation, and classical conditioning that combine profoundly to change society. Huxley answered this book with a reassessment in an essay, Brave New World Revisited (1958), and with Island (1962), his final novel.

In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Brave New World fifth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 2003, Robert McCrum writing for The Observer included Brave New World chronologically at number 53 in "the top 100 greatest novels of all time", and the novel was listed at number 87 on the BBC's survey The Big Read.



Great Mystery Novel #1 The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett June 7, 2015 18:12

Great Mystery Novel #1  The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett. The Maltese Falcon is a 1929 detective novel by Dashiell Hammett, originally serialized in the magazine Black Mask beginning with the September 1929 issue. The story has been adapted several times for the cinema. The main character, Sam Spade, appears in this novel only and in three lesser known short stories, yet is widely cited as the crystallizing figure in the development of the hard-boiled private detective genre. Raymond Chandler's character Philip Marlowe, for instance, was strongly influenced by Hammett's Spade. Spade was a departure from Hammett's nameless detective, The Continental Op. Sam Spade combined several features of previous detectives, most notably his cold detachment, keen eye for detail, and unflinching determination to achieve his own justice.

In 1998, the Modern Library ranked The Maltese Falcon 56th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.




Essential Science Fiction #2 "War of the Worlds' by H.G. Wells. June 6, 2015 21:51

Essential Science Fiction #2 "War of the Worlds' by H.G. Wells.The War of the Worlds is a science fiction novel by English author H. G. Wells. It first appeared in serialized form in 1897, published simultaneously in Pearson's Magazine in the UK and Cosmopolitan magazine in the US. The first appearance in book form was published by William Heinemann of London in 1898. It is the first-person narrative of an unnamed protagonist in Surrey and that of his younger brother in London as Earth is invaded by Martians. Written between 1895 and 1897, it is one of the earliest stories that detail a conflict between mankind and an extraterrestrial race The novel is one of the most commented-on works in the science fiction canon.

The plot has been related to invasion literature of the time. The novel has been variously interpreted as a commentary on evolutionary theory, British imperialism, and generally Victorian superstitions, fears and prejudices. At the time of publication, it was classified as a scientific romance, like Wells' earlier novel The Time Machine. The War of the Worlds has been both popular (having never gone out of print) and influential, spawning half a dozen feature films, radio dramas, a record album, various comic book adaptations, a television series, and sequels or parallel stories by other authors.




Essential Science Fiction #1 Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne June 5, 2015 22:31

Journey to the Center of the Earth is a classic 1864 science fiction novel by Jules Verne. The story involves German professor Otto Lidenbrock who believes there are volcanic tubes going toward the centre of the Earth. He, his nephew Axel, and their guide Hans descend into the Icelandic volcano Snæfellsjökull, encountering many adventures, including prehistoric animals and natural hazards, before eventually coming to the surface again in southern Italy, at the Stromboli volcano.

From a scientific point of view, this story has not aged quite as well as other Verne stories, since most of his ideas about what the interior of the Earth contains have since been disproved, but it still manages to captivate audiences when regarded as a classic fantasy novel.

It was brought to film in 1959 as an adventure film adapted by Charles Brackett from the novel. Journey to the Center of the Earth was directed by Henry Levin and stars James Mason, Pat Boone and Arlene Dahl. It was a great movie.






Dark Shadows June 5, 2015 22:11

Remember Dark Shadows? It was a gothic soap opera that aired from 1966 to 1971. Dark Shadows featured Barnabas Collins the resident vampire and was joined by werewolves, zombies, man-made monsters, witches, warlocks, time travel, and a parallel universe. There was a fairly lame remake staring Johnny Depp a few years ago. I just added 20 Dark Shadows novels (…/…/dark-shadows). Fun reads.


43,000 Years Later June 5, 2015 22:10

Cool book to read after "1984. "43,000 Years Later" by Horace Coon. We have a near fine copy 1958 print 1 (…/43000-years-later-2). In the year 0A.D., according to traditional dating ideas, Jesus Christ was born. Forty-three thousand years later Earth is visited by an exploratory expedition from the Great Galaxy. This expedition is led by Zolgus, an imperious, hard-minded autocrat, Yundi, an even-tempered person of balanced education, and Xia, a romantic student of the social sciences. These three find that the earth is bereft of much of its animal life, though the vegetation still grows lushly. A brief examination of earth's geography reveals that somewhere around 2000A.D. a nuclear cataclysm took place, which destroyed the main species, all civilization, and much of the animal life. Mystified and chastened by this discovery the three researchers begin excavation to try to piece together some of the truth of how this disaster came to take place and why.


'1984' by George Orwell June 5, 2015 22:10

Featured book. A real nice copy of George Orwell's "1984". Nineteen Eighty-Four, sometimes published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in 1949. The novel is set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance and public manipulation, dictated by a political system euphemistically named English Socialism (or Ingsoc in the government's invented language, Newspeak) under the control of a privileged Inner Party elite, that persecutes individualism and independent thinking as "thoughtcrimes". Many of its terms and concepts, such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2 + 2 = 5 and memory hole, have entered everyday use since its publication in 1949.



Just added 700 books June 5, 2015 22:10

Just added over 700 vintage books ( Many with great cover art.

Memorial Day June 5, 2015 22:10

Memorial Day week. A good time to sit back and read a novel or history about those that served. Many of the vintage books we offer are out of print and not available as ebooks. Browse the catalog and select History or War to find additional titles.

Launch May 1,2015 May 16, 2015 17:47

Closing on final details. 

Launch set for May 1, 2015

Johnny Got His Gun May 16, 2015 17:47

Just read "Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo. Not sure how I missed this earlier. This is an anti-war novel written in 1938. It is about a young soldier returning from WWI trapped in a severely injured body. After struggling to remain sane he finally figures out how to communicate with the outside world. I won't spoil the ending but two themes stuck with me. The Strong (powerful) send the Weak (less powerful) to war much like slaves; and as long as war is profitable, the Strong will send the Weak to fight wars.

This book was popular during the anti-Vietnam war time frame.

We have 2 copies of the 1970 paperback addition available

Getting Ready to Launch April 27, 2015 10:41

Everything is ready to go. 

There are roughly 22,000 books in the inventory for launch and a few thousand more to add to the inventory. More books are being added to the backlog everyday. 

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