I can’t help myself. I know I buy books at about a 5 to 1 ratio of how quickly I can read them, but I see stuff and am all “I’m going to read that eventually!” Well, this weekend was no different, except in that it may be one of my most impressive hauls yet.
I finally found a copy of Nine Princes of Amber; for the longest time, I’d given up on grabbing various Zelazny books I’d find at thrift stores, because I had ended up with a random assortment of mid-to late Amber books that I didn’t want to read until I’d read the first one. Well, now I’ve got the first one. Not only did I find NPoA, I got The Visual Guide to Castle Amber which is sort of like a system-agnostic setting supplement module disguised as a handsome hardbound book. But to take things a step further down the Amber rabbit hole, I found one of those solo RPG Choose Your Own Adventure books that takes place in the Amber setting. And a similar book from the same line that is a Starship Troopers solo RPG CYOA with a foreword written by Gary Gygax. Illustrated Changeling looks like it’ll be pretty awesome, and despite its alleged flaws, I couldn’t pass up a hardback of Jack of Shadows for $3.
It doesn’t stop there: I actually had to pass up a few books that I really wanted, because I was already getting hardbacks of Araminta Station and Ecce & Old Earth by Jack Vance, as well as a floppy 35cent pulp print of The Space Pirate.
Because they’re short and were only $1, I got the 1st and 3rd Dreamlord books to supplement the 2nd (which was never printed with a number in either of its editions apparently).
You’d think that was an impressive haul, but wait, there’s more! I got an issue of Top in SF with the Bradbury/Brackett collaboration Lorelei. Sure, it’s a reprint (the PS with Lorelei is one of the Holy Grails of SF pulp), but it’s something! I also got the Fantastic with Leiber’s “Dr Adam’s Garden of Evil” as the cover story, and the all-star F&SF with Flowers for Algernon.
In fact, the place I went had a TON of issues of F&SF from the 50s. I’m kind of impressed by how boring the average F&SF cover has always been.
Before I can even think about diving into the new haul, or even whittling down the stacks from previous hauls, I need to finish The Egyptian, which had been sitting on my shelf for far too long. The Egyptian was probably one of my favorite movies of all time. It might also be shaping up to be one of my favorite books.
I’ve always got a kick out of the fact that the most well-known lines of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” were plucked and paraphrased from Sinhue’s epic speech at the end of the movie:
“I will wear the clothes of a slave and kick the sandals from my feet and speak to the wives as they fry their fish before their mud huts before the river, to the porters on the docks, to the smiths by the bellows, to the slaves under their yokes, and I will say ‘A man cannot be judged by the color of his skin, by his clothes, his jewels, or his triumphs, but only by his heart. A good man is better than a bad man. Justice is better than injustice. He who uses mercy is superior to him who uses violence, though the latter call himself Pharaoh and make himself master of the earth. We have but one master: the God who made us all. Only His truth is immortal, and in His truth all men are equal!”
I’m not criticizing King, I’m saying he knew epic when he saw it and had great taste.
Later this week, Fortress Europa, maybe a Short Review, and almost certainly an update/reminder on the zine project.