Rare SF on the Block at Heritage Auction 4/6

paper boat by atwood

I’ve been previewing Heritage Auction’s Rare Book Signature Auction scheduled for April 6, where endless numbers of intriguing sf/f/h works will go under the hammer.

Here is a series of clippings from HA’s promotional articles about the genre material.

  • The Science Fiction and Fantasy portion of the auction was assembled by Lloyd W. Currey, who has brought together a large offering of classic titles in excellent collectible condition. From a stellar copy of Isaac Asimov’s Foundation Trilogy (Lot 45002) to Donald Wondrei’s copy of the first Arkham House book, Lovecraft’s The Outsider (Lot 45113), a collection of stories collected and edited by August Derleth and Wandrei himself. And from Franklin V. Spellman’s large collection of Lord Dunsany (Lot 45064) to Bradbury collector and friend Bob O’Malley’s excellent set of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series (Lot 45103), inscribed in the first volume by King and illustrator Michael Whelan. Many excellent copies of Bradbury works with personal inscriptions to Bob O’Malley are also present here, such as Dark Carnival (Lot 45014), Fahrenheit 451 (Lot 45016), The Martian Chronicles (Lot 45021) and The October Country (Lot 45024).
  • For lovers of H.P. Lovecraft, there are many lots of special interest, aside from the outstanding copy of The Outsider mentioned earlier: One being ten autograph letters signed totaling forty-six pages in Lovecraft’s hand (Lot 45111) and another is an original typescript for The Festival (Lot 45112) one of the first Cthulhu Mythos stories.
  • Additional standouts include excellent copies of titles by Edward “Doc” Smith, Robert A. Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, and Frank Herbert among many others, so please look through the auction to see if there are any treasures for your collection.
  • There are so many special lots of interest, but a few favorites include a unique hand-made manuscript book by Margaret Atwood titled Paper Boat (Lot 45203) that was made as part of an initiative by Solutionaries, a climate change education project for young people;
  • a wonderful group of five Curious George titles, each with an original drawing of George and inscribed by H.A. Rey (Lot 45296);
  • a finely-bound set of C.S. Lewis The Narnia Chronicles (Lot 45288);
  • Sea Kissed by Robert Bloch, a first printing of the author’s first book, an unauthorized forty-page booklet collecting four short stories first published in Weird Tales (one in collaboration with Henry Kuttner), which was published in England in February 1945, a few months before The Opener of the Way, his first book published in America. A signed contract between Edgar Rice Burroughs and A. C. McClurg and Company for Tarzan and the Ant Men 1924, signed by Burroughs and others. A unique copy Again, Dangerous Visions edited by Harlan Ellison, the major original SF anthology of the 1970s, with a 2-page “Idea for a story” handwritten by Ellison on the verso of the front free endpaper and the recto of the credits leaf. In addition, Ellison has annotated the title page as follows: “Save this story idea / for the new book / Harlan Ellison / 3 Jan 79“, and written a full page of ruminations on writing on the dedication page.
  • Metropolis by Thea von Harbou, the 1926 first edition in dust jacket of this anti-utopia set in a gigantic mechanized city in the year 2000. It was the basis for the brilliant film by Fritz Lang, an adaptation with a mythic scale that would not be challenged, “The Shape of Things to Come” aside, for decades to come. A rare 1880 3-volume first edition of J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s The Purcell Papers, a posthumously published collection of twelve early stories by one of the most important and innovative figures in the development of the ghost story. A typewritten manuscript of H. P. Lovecraft’s “The Festival,” a circulating carbon copy, undated, but circa late 1933, of a short story first published in Weird Tales in January 1925, titled and signed by Lovecraft on a cover sheet accompanying the 10-page typescript of the story. A stunning like new copy of H. P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider and Others, from the estate of Donald Wandrei, cofounder (with August Derleth) of Arkham House, the book’s publisher. A rare paperbound advance copy of The Moon Pool, A. Merritt’s first book, with the Joseph Clement Coll frontispiece illustration reproduced on the front cover. Oliver Onions’s own copy of the first printing of Widdershins, a landmark book in the history of supernatural fiction, with his signature and address at the top edge of the front free endpaper, below which he has inscribed the book to Percy H. Muir (1894-1979), a prominent twentieth-century antiquarian bookseller, book collector, and bibliographer.
  • A first edition of Clark Ashton Smith’s The Dark Chateau and Other Poems with a signed inscription by Smith to friend and fellow writer E. Hoffmann Price. Out of Space and Time by Clark Ashton Smith, a contemporary presentation copy of the first edition with signed inscription by Smith to Samuel Loveman on the front free endpaper A 12-line Autograph Letter written by Bram Stoker to Charles E. Potts, on Tour 1887 — 1888 Lyceum Company letterhead, thanking him for sending pictures and clippings and in return, sending Potts a copy of his lecture on America.
  • The 1902 Doubleday, Page first printing of Bram Stoker’s The Mystery of the Sea, a presentation copy with signed inscription by Stoker dated 22 March 1902, a week before the book’s official publication date. Theodore Sturgeon’s It, a single story printed in advance of his first book, Without Sorcery, a collection of his short fiction in which “It” would appear. About fifty copies of the story were printed on proofing paper and distributed at the 1948 World Science Fiction Convention to promote the book. Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut, an advance copy of the first edition, one of an estimated twenty-five to thirty copies bound using the dust jacket as a wrapper and sent to reviewers prior to publication. Stanley G. Weinbaum’s Dawn of the Flame and Other Stories, the author’s posthumously published first book, one of the five copies with the uncredited introduction by Raymond A. Palmer, which was suppressed by Weinbaum’s widow who considered it to be “too personal.”
  • Also represented is Stanley Kubrick, including a signed typed letter asking to look at a moon model that hints at his pre-production plan for his film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and first editions of books likeThe Shining and A Clockwork Orange which served as the source material for his works. Unlike his predecessor Hitchcock, Kubrick’s approach to the psychological drama was one that involved an exploration of genre and just a pinch of dark comedy.

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