News & What's New - September 2013
Twinkling jewels
30 Sep 2013
Again some obscure publishers brought chapbooks with Philip José Farmer's novelette "They Twinkled Like Jewels". The text is for free on the internet, see the book page. So its easy to publish a chapbook for a few or more dollars, often much too expensive for what you get.

I missed the two publications in 2012 from Tebbo and CreateSpace till now, but have corrected it on the book page. Recently, in May 2013, another chapbook was published, from Positronic Publishing.

These chapbooks cannot be ignored for the bibliography, because they are official publications. They even have an ISBN mostly. But Farmer's estate doesn't get a penny from these books. Probably the reason why the Official PJF Web Page ignores this kind of publications.

Kent Lane, the son of the Shadow
24 Sep 2013
Philip José Farmer wrote the science fiction story "Skinburn" about Kent Lane. This «...is not your usual espionage story, as might be expected from Philip Farmer...», wrote the editor of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction with its publication.
He was right, very strange things happen that cannot be explained in a simple way. Lane's theories about the cause are not believed.

If you want to read the story, it will be included in Tales of the Wold Newton Universe, coming next month from Titan Books!

Farmer wanted to write more stories about the son of the Shadow. PJF: «...I have plans for Lane, who will carry on his distinguished father's career, though in a less violent manner...».
A novel, The Bronze Serpent, its previous title was Why Everybody Hates Me, was announced several times between 1975 and 1980, but never published.

While Farmer didn't write more of Kent Lane, only recently this character does appear –in a minor role however– in Win Scott Eckert's great novella The Scarlet Jaguar.

David Hardy
Recognized artwork
23 Sep 2013
I received the information that the artwork on the Titan Books' cover of The Peerless Peer, the part in the upper right corner of Tarzan and the lion, was done by Clinton Pettee.
Clinton's art was used as the cover for The All-Story, October 1912, illustrating Edgar Rice Burroughs' story "Tarzan of the Apes" (see here).

The central part of this illustration has been used on the cover of The Peerless Peer.
Thanks Willem.

Clinton Pettee
Unknown Canadian
21 Sep 2013
This time my good friend Willem Hettinga, with the help of his Canadian friend Bill, surprised me with a Canadian edition I didn't know of.
The novel A Woman a Day (1960) was reissued by Lancer Books in 1968 under the title The Day of Timestop. This book also has a Canadian edition, "Printed in Canada", with exactly the same data as the US edition.
I have added this edition on the book page of the novel.

Willem helped me with some other Canadian editions for my collection too (Flesh and The Fabulous Riverboat), but they were already known in the bibliography. Thanks Willem and Bill!

Frank Kelly Freas
Too far out of my ruined mind
18 Sep 2013
Dementia is a terrible disease. Bit by bit you're losing your memory. But what is it called when you have a total loss of memory of four days at a time? That is what happens after an alien artifact has entered the Earth's orbit.

The novelette "Sketches Among the Ruins of My Mind" (1973) is the second attempt by Farmer to write a story for the Star Trek series. But like the first –see the previous entry– the treatment for the story was rejected by Gene Roddenberry, the producer, as 'too far out'.

But Farmer wrote the story for publication, used the subtitle of the novel Blown as the title for this story (the two are not related), an had it published in the anthology Nova 3, edited by Harry Harrison.
In his foreword to the story Harrison wrote: «Now he takes a familiar idea, loss of memory, and shows that we have never considered all of the chilling possibilities that it might involve.»

"Sketches Among the Ruins of My Mind" was chosen by Terry Carr as one of the stories of next year's Best Science Fiction selection.
Terry Carr wrote: «...it develops logically, inexorably, all the way to an ending that, in retrospect, should not be surprising».
The story was nominated for the Locus Award in 1974.

Thuy Le Ha
Colossal dead woman floating in space
14 Sep 2013
Philip José Farmer in his foreword to the story "The Shadow of Space": «"My little old maiden aunt in Iowa won't understand this," Gene Roddenberry said. "It'd be too far out for her. Besides, do you have any idea how much money it would cost to do the special effects and make all the models we'd need?" Roddenberry, the producer of the soon-to-be-launched Star Trek series, and I were in his office. He had just read my treatment for a script .... "It's out, definitely out. Not for me," Roddenberry said ... Now, looking back, I can see that he was right. The idea of a faster-than-light spaceship expanding until it burst out of our universe would be too far out for most TV viewers, At that time anyway.»

Illustration: Ed Verraux

So, Farmer used the idea of the treatment for a story. The first version of this was rejected by an editor, –by Joe Elder for his anthology Eros in Orbit– reason why Farmer rewrote some (erotic) part of it. It then got published in the magazine If (1967), and saw many publications after the first one.

Vaughn Bodé
Unknown cover artist
8 Sep 2013
I love good cover art on SF books. It is for that reason also that I want to give credit to the artists who did the paintings. Alas, not all the book publishers do give a  solid or clear credit to the cover artist.
Sometimes it can be deduced from a signature in the painting. In other cases I'm able to recognize the artist's work and check one of the many art books in my collection or the sources online if I'm correct.

Sphere Books (UK) published in 1970 the first three books of the World of Tiers series: Maker of Universes, The Gates of Creation, and A Private Cosmos. The artist of the three surrealistic and somewhat psychedelic covers was not credited.

The Galactic Central bibliography, Philip José Farmer: Good-Natured Ground Breaker, by Phil Stephensen-Payne, and Gordon Benson Jr. credited the paintings to Melvyn (Melvyn Grant) with two of the covers. I never questioned it, and took over the names in my bibliography.

We were wrong as it proofs. Because of a question by Michael Hutchins, moderator at the ISFDB, if I was sure about Melvyn doing the covers, I began to doubt. I could not proof he did these. Melvyn's work of the same time looks pretty different. I wrote Melvyn Grant an email and in his answer he denies doing these paintings. He did some paintings for later editions of the same novels from Sphere Books, but not these.

In my research another artist's name popped up, Bill Botten. He did several, similar covers in 1970 for Sphere Books. On his website he even claimed the painting for The Gates of Creation, but not of the other two. I wrote Bill also an email, if he could confirm to be the artist of the three paintings. His apology came soon, he had made a mistake by including the cover of Gates. This was not by him, and he immediately removed it from his list of covers.
Bill Botten was art director at Sphere Books at the time, but he doesn't know who did the covers because as he wrote "it is so long ago that my memory will not stretch that far back".

The discussed covers are now corrected and credited to 'unknown'. If any of you knows the painter...?
The Charge of the Light Brigade
6 Sep 2013
For his collection The Book of Philip José Farmer Phil would have liked to include samples of each of the many fields he had worked in.
Farmer in his foreword: "To include one sample of each would make a book twice as long as this, maybe three times as long. Also some of the samples would have to be novels."

The collection also could not include his Hugo Award winning
novella "Riders of the Purple Wage". Instead he choose an extract of the novella, with the title "Sexual Implications of the Charge of the Light Brigade". This one has now its own story page.

Richard Clifton-Dey
More Kilgore Trout
5 Sep 2013
And again Farmer collector Fred Fischer (Houston, TX, USA) found and bought a book unknown till now in the bibliography. The information and scans he shared with us.

It is the fifth or fitteenth, a matter of how one or in this case the publisher counts, undated Dell printing of Venus on the Half-Shell.
Thanks Fred!

See also the Wikipedia entry of this novel.

Flesh, more than first meets the eye
1 Sep 2013
Already the ninth Farmer reissue from Titan Books (UK), the novel Flesh (1960, rewritten 1968). It got some pretty good reviews with the previous editions:

«Farmer must have had lots of fun writing this because I had quite a bit reading it. (Tony Lewis)»

«For a book that was written nearly half a century ago, on the other side of the so-called Sexual Revolution, it still works well as a satire of sex, religion, and politics. (Mondo Ernesto )»

But the novel also received less enthusiastic reviews, for instance:

«There are vivid flashes of imagination that no one but Philip Farmer could even come near, but even so, it isn’t a good book. (Joanna Russ)».

Both the authors of the two Afterwords in the book, Dennis E. Power and Michael A. Baron, think otherwise and explain this to the readers in very interesting essays.
I have said it before, but the extra material, often very interesting and enlightning, in the editions of Titan Books, make the books even more worth buying.

Added Books
Six new additions on the book pages this month.

The reissue from Titan Books (UK), 2013.

They Twinkled Like Jewels
Three print-on-demand chapbooks, from Tebbo and CreateSpace, both 2012, and from Positronic Publishing, 2013.

Venus on the Half-Shell
The fifth (or fifteenth) printing from Dell, 1987.

A Woman a Day
The Canadian edition, as The Day of Timestop, from Lancer Books, 1968.

These are the numbers for the book pages this month.

1787 publications
1170 different covers

© Zacharias L.A. Nuninga -- Page last updated: 15 Jan 2014