Today I received a Gollancz edition of The Palace Of Eternity which complete my (UK) hardback collection of Bob Shaw books.
It was a long time coming as this book is particularly rare; the only copies I have seen online have been selling for a couple of hundred pounds. So it was with some trepidation that I purchased a copy online for the princely sum of £27. However when the book arrived it was the real deal, a bit battered and bruised but a Gollancz edition, not a book club edition and not ex library.
It’s been a long time, as the song says.
There hasn’t been much activity on the Bob Shaw front. I’ve only got one of his books to get in hardback, Palace of Eternity, before my Gollancz collection is complete. I did try to buy it on eBay but my best offers kept getting knocked back.
Once the hardbacks are complete it is then on to getting all his short stories, which means various Science Fiction magazines.
But, bought from eBay, was the special edition of Interzone by and about Bob Shaw: number 67 from January 1993. According to the Editorial is was due to appear a year previously but was delayed due to the death of Bob’s wife: indeed the issue is dedicated to the memory Sadie Shaw.
There’s two Bob Shaw stories in this issue, A Time To Kill and Alien Porn. There’s an interview with Bob Shaw by Helen Wake, Brian Stableford does a review of Shaw’s work and finally there are extracts from Shaw’s non-fiction book How To Write Science Fiction.
The only thing new to me is A Time To Kill, seeing as the other piece of fiction, Alien Porn, is an extract from Warren Peace – which is nicely placed at the middle of the magazine, and therefore has the staples going through it.*
I’m saving A Time To Kill for later on in the week, when I can sit down, read and savour a brand new (to me) Shaw story.
There were a couple of interesting titbits throughout the magazine though. Apparently The Ceres Solution was heavily edited for the UK edition – I’ll have to buy a US version to re read it – and there was hint that a revised edition (‘new, improved version’) of this novel could be released in the UK. That never happened but there’s nothing stopping Gollancz doing it. Bob Shaw himself provided the cartoons for the How To Write Science Fiction section. Also revealed was that the character from Who Goes Here, Warren Peace, was to have appeared in two more novels after Warren Peace. One wonders how far, if at all, Bob Shaw got with these?
I was also able to compare Interzone past and present. Interzone is still going strong, although it doesn’t appear to number issues any more, and is bloody good value for money nowadays considering the cover price of the 1993 issue was £2.50 (put up that very issue) and the cover price for Interzone now is £3.95. I don’t think that’s much of an increase over nearly twenty years.
*You have to read either Warren Peace or the story to understand this reference.
I have an alert on Google Reader for Bob Shaw which threw up a nice little surprise today. I knew he was involved in a television programme in the early eighties but couldn’t find it online no matter how many searches via searches in Google and YouTube I did.
Today it has appeared. The programme is Celebration, from Granada TV. It features Bob Shaw, Byran Talbot and the second part is a short film. The programme is in two parts – including original adverts.
The programme is quite interesting, although Bob doesn’t delve too dip into any subject – as can be expected for a 30 minute programme. The story is ‘green’ in its philosophy, quite a nice little piece but it isn’t television. It’s a weird mixture of prose, TV and comics.
Links are below but bear in mind that this is YouTube and all links on the web are never permanent.
Not had much time to make posts lately as other matters have taken over. However, recently I did the semi regular search for Bob Shaw hardbacks and found that one dealer on Abebooks had lowered their price on one of the more difficult to get Bob Shaw novels, 1 Million Tomorrows.
I’ve bought quite a few books from Abebooks and the service has been great. So it was snaffled and the book arrived a few days later; and is in excellent condition. Again I wonder if people read books or if I’m just a messy reader?