Apr 072014
Paperback 760: Dell 696 (1st ptg, 1953)

Title: Slan
Author: A.E. Van Vogt
Cover artist: Uncredited, aarrgh!

Yours for: $20


Best things about this cover:
  • "I Was a 22nd-Century Gun Moll!"
  • Her mouth! Is she talking? Hissing? Shouting "Slan!"?
  • I have seen the future. It is full of 8th graders' atom diagrams.
  • Pretty bold to paint right on top of a well-used bandage.
  • Quintessential mid-century sci-fi cover art. Iconic. Beautiful. Perfect.


Best things about this back cover.
  • Why aren't people named "Groff" any more? Or "Jommy"?
  • Idea: Western / Scifi epic with a hero named "Slim Tendrils"…
  • I'm guessing that's not "Jommy" on the cover. But who knows what the future holds…

Page 123~

The impression smashed into fragments. Granny.

That has to be the weirdest two-sentence sequence in literary history.


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Mar 122014
Paperback 751: Softcover Library B853X (PBO, 1965)

Title: The Oddballs
Author: Stacey Clubb
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: Not For Sale—part of the Doug Peterson Collection


Best things about this cover:
  • "I don't think they're so odd," he said, self-consciously.
  • So many questions. Such as, where has her right arm got to? Or, why their bed is a parallelogram?
  • Remember the fad of wearing two differently colored stockings!? Me either.
  • "You awake? … tickle tickle! … alright then, I'm just going to remove your head with my jaws now, OK? Just relax."
  • "The only practical sex was unnatural sex!" — Having trouble understanding the use of the word "practical" here. "Well, see, I would just put my penis in your vagina, but … it's really not practical for me ... right now … at this juncture … you know? So, let's just bring in the elephant and the mustard and see how it goes, mkay? It's just easier that way."


Best things about this back cover:
  • Shadowy = Lesbiany. In case you're unfamiliar with paperback code.
  • INA, ha ha! Calling all crossword constructors, we got a live one!
  • I want a business card that reads "Encourager of odd rites and practices."

Page 123~

The sting of his blow had not penetrated.

Nope, sorry, that was just the first thing I opened to. Hang on … OK, here we go:

"Bernice," he called out.

But the bikini-clad goddess who appeared casually at the top of the mezzanine stairs in response to his blithe summons was not, of course, Bernice.

If ever there was a name custom-made for softcore porn, that name is Blithe Summons.


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Feb 232014
Paperback 745: Gold Medal 111 (PBO, 1950)

Title: The Wild Horse
Author: Les Savage, Jr.
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $10


Best things about this cover:
  • The horse or the girl! Every man must choose.
  • When you find your horse "desirable," well, it reacts like this.
  • Few writers were more savage than … Les Savage!"
  • Musculature lovingly drawn by someone who appears to have spent a Lot of time underneath a horse.


Best things about this back cover:
  • "If you like girls and horses and especially girl horses, prepare your blood for stirring!"
  • Oh, the horse is a him. The plot thickens.
  • Look, there's "horse lover" and then there's whatever bizarre romance novel shenanigans is going on here. If your horse is kindling in your breast a wild dream of possession for more than four hours, see a doctor.
  • He's written best-sellers before, so … who's to say he won't some time again in the future. Les Savage!

Page 123~

"Why not put it in words, Rockwall? It's been in both our minds for a long time now. You can't deny it, can you?"

I really, really want the horse's name to be 'Rockwall.'


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Feb 122014
Paperback 741: Ace D-357 (PBO /PBO?)

Title: Lady in Peril / Wired for Scandal
Author: Lester Dent / Floyd Wallace
Cover artist: Uncredited / Uncredited

Yours for: $18


Best things about this cover:
  • Nice, ominous, off-kilter, killer-POV shot. 
  • She has incredibly good posture for someone about to be brutally murdered. Style points for erect bearing and dramatic hand placement.
  • This painting is like a giant metaphor for "No Means No"—What part of "Do Not Enter" do you not understand!?
  • Lester Dent helped create the pulp hero Doc Savage.


Best things about this other cover:
  • LOVE the design on this one. Strategic bursts of red against a semi-abstract green/white background. Nice variation on the floating head motif. Green rectangle with the tagline "Tune In And Die" brings balance and drama. 
  • Those guys are amazing dancers. Shake those hips, boys!
  • I kind of dress like the victim but I secretly aspire to dress like the killer.

Page 123~

"Can I look around?"
"Look, but keep your prints to yourself."
"I left some last night."

"If you know what I mean…"


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Jan 182014
Paperback 734: Bantam A1847 (1st ptg, 1959)

Title: Fire, Burn
Author: John Dickson Carr
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $9


Best things about this cover:
  • So, uh, title: are you giving instructions to the fire (which I doubt it needs), or … are you Frankenstein's monster remarking up on what fire does, or …?
  • "Oh, hi there, I was just fixing my hair and … my boobs? … oh yes, there they are. Whoops, how careless of me."
  • Giant pink bookmark.
  • Cape/cane frame.
  • God, 19th-century interior decorating was dreadful.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Least flattering author pic of all time.
  • Amateurish bats are oddly charming.
  • I hope that Lady Flora is either a rapper or has a sister named Lady Fauna.

Page 123~

If anyone had seen the pistol fall from Flora's muff, or seen him hide it under the hollow-based lamp, they might both stand in the dock on a charge of murder.


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Dec 022013
Paperback 724: Merit Books 612 (PBO, 1962)

Title: Live With Me
Author: Jerry M. Goff, Jr.
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $27


Best things about this cover:
  • I honestly don't know what I'm looking at. Unless her bra straps clasp behind her head like some kind of necklace, I can't see why her elbows are up that high. Is she making her boobs do a little dance performance? Her companion seems intrigued.
  • Those are some straight-up terrible hands. Or hand, I guess. Hands are always the giveaway. Only the best artists can do hands right. The reason for the giant boobs and Krazy Eyes is to distract you from the terrible, terrible hands. 
  • That left boob has a mind of its own. It seems to be experiencing the gravitational pull of the artist-lady's gaze.
  • What is up with that lady's gown? Here is the dialogue I like to imagine they are having: "I like your gown." "Thank you." "Are you headed to a ball?" "Balls don't interest me much … if you know what I mean …" 


Best things about this back cover:
  • Hey look, it's the artist lady, back from Barbados and possessed by twelve demons!
  • "… lovely, normal and stunning …" ??? Can't wait for all the red hot normality.
  • So basically Suzanne Pleshette goes on a telekinetic lesbian rampage. Got it.

Page 123~

"Tell us. Does she wash your back when you bathe? She did the other girls. That was always her first approach."

"Her second approach involved ball gowns, sketch pads, and mind control. I'm a little fuzzier on the details there…"


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Nov 102013
Paperback 720: Brandon House 741 (PBO, 1965)

Title: That Kind of Girl
Author: Stanley Curson
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $35


Best things about this cover:
  • Which kind of girl? Prematurely gray? Exceedingly tanned? Vinyl-loving? Shoe-collecting?
  • Seriously, those shoes, in all their green-ness and out-of-context-ness, totally make this cover.
  • V is for Vortex Of Forbidden Love 
  • I like that Ms. Gray is making a big "V" with her arms. Why she's covering her crotch with jazz hands, I don't know.


Best things about this back cover:

  • The pic itself is kind of adorable.  Hey! Lurid text! Leave those kids alone!

Page 123~

Anne gripped his organ experimentally …

OK, I cheated. This is page 122. But what was I supposed to do? Ignore this sentence? I throw myself on the mercy of the court.


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Nov 042013
Paperback 719: Avon T-497 (1st ptg, 1961)

Title: The Fiery Furnace
Author: Lawrence Williams
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $15


Best things about this cover:

Alan Cumming *is* … The Fiery Furnace!
Anyone know what his "strange compulsion" is. I want it to be Barbie™collecting.
Though that is a pretty decent Floating Head, I'm gonna say this cover could use more her, less him.


Best things about this back cover:
  • Oh my god how much do I love the photo of Smirky McAscot? (a lot)
  • Do they not have obsessions in Europe? What kind of logic is that?
  • Had to look up "Sicilian knife" to see how it differed from, say, a bread knife. Seems there is a traditional Italian art of knife-fighting called "Paranza Corta," but, acc. to Wikipedia, "It is still taught by individual masters but is not organized in a format suitable for divulgation to the masses." Yes, I've always found divulgation very tricky business indeed.

Page 123~

Carla was watching him, her chin set lightly in her hand, listening proudly to her businesslike lover in his professional capacity.

I guess that's better than listening to your professional lover in his businesslike capacity. Close call.


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Oct 232013
Paperback 713: Berkley Medallion G291 (PBO, 1959)

Title: Flight
Author: Edgar Jean Bracco
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $10


Best things about this cover:

  • Lasers!
  • Simple, clean lines. Shitty-looking sky, but still, oddly elegant in its simplicity.
  • Love the "Flight" font and its positioning on the horizon.
  • Surely the copywriter could've gotten another "A" word into that tagline.


Best things about this back cover:

  • "Authentic!" See, that's an "A"-word.
  • ETO is a common crossword answer. PTO, not so much (i.e. never).
  • "Annals" always makes me do a double-take. Also, another solid "A"-word.

Page 123~

"You gone nuts? How we going to—"


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Oct 162013
Paperback 711: Perma Books M-4005 (1st ptg, 1954)

Title: The Velvet Doublet
Author: James Street
Cover artist: Uncredited

Yours for: $9


Best things about this cover:

  • "Hey! Can you grab that velvet doublet!? ... There! ... No, there! It's right ... [sigh] Damn, I'm gonna have to jump in..."
  • Just what you've been waiting for: an accidental belated Columbus Day tribute!
  • I do love a cover with animated hands—they really do add emotional dimension to a painting.


Best things about this back cover:

  • My second-favorite word on this cover is "Lepe" and my first-favorite is "wenched"!
  • I'll take "MARAELA" for all her potential power as a crossword answer.
  • Screw the doublet, kid. You want the doubloon. DOUBLOON! Ask Columbus. He'll know.

Page 123~

Acros beamed the lordliness of his trade as he showed me the tiller and let me feel it and pointed up to a small opening in the quarter-deck and through this I saw a speck of sky and a bit of sail, and nothing more.

The first half of this sentence *really* reads like sea-porn.


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