postheadericon Two Timers

I got the one I wanted most out of all the items I’m bidding on eBay this week. Bob Shaw’s The Two Timers in the Gollancz hardback edition. £35 with free postage (postage can sometimes add up to as much as twelve pounds to the price; particularly if I’m buying from America). This is pretty good considering the prices elsewhere start at around about £50 plus postage for the cheapest copies available on the web. And it’s a very uncommon book to find on the web, particularly as it’s a very old novel of Shaw’s. It’s said to be in good to very good condition but I’ll see what it’s like when it arrives, which hopefully won’t take too long seeing as the seller is in the UK. I have an SF Book club hardback edition which I read years ago and found it to be a very engrossing book.

8 Responses to “Two Timers”

  • Hmmm too expensive for me. Mind you I’d love to find some early Clarke first eds,especially a first ed. of 2001-signed-now THAT would be expensive!

  • admin:

    It’s a bit more than I hope to pay (I expect change when I get something free) but as I mentioned in a previous post I let a copy of another book go that was being sold near the price I just paid for Two Timers.

    Lucky me that Shaw isn’t in the same collectible bracket as Clarke. A quick search on shows that signed copies of 2001 go from four quid for a 1972 edition up to and beyond two grand!

  • 4 quid for a signed copy,sounds alright! 😉

    Well I just came up with an idea for a story,a horror story! Just need to know how to write it up…

  • admin:

    Make sure your idea is written down somewhere; it’s easy to forget things. Although I’m in two minds about it. Phil Lynnot used to say he never wrote down any of his music: if he forgot it that meant it wasn’t good enough to remember. Did you ever get a copy of How To Write Science Fiction? That has some pretty good tips on how to develop ideas into stories.

  • Oh I have the idea, its saved in several places, heres the synopsis:

    Couple driving home from a late party,car crashes near the woods. Man gets out to check the car is ok,and try to find where they are. Its dark,no moon and theyre on the edge of a woodland. He struggles to get a signal on his phone then sees something thru the woods,a light. Thinking its a motorway or town he decides to investigate. He goes back to the car to tell girlfriend his plans and she has to stay in the car(hurt leg/foot perhaps)
    He makes his way into the woods but soon gets disoriented and before long he’s lost. He hears something and is drawn towards the sound. Stumbling in the dark he trips over a tree root,losing his phone. He gets up,dusts himself off and walks into a huge tree. The noise returns louder and suddenly something is around him,feels like rope. He screams but it is muffled.
    Next day girl wakes up and decides to look for him. The day is bright but cloudy,and she makes her way into the woods,calling his name. Then she spots something on the ground;it is his phone! She picks it up and pockets it. Turns around and sees an old oak tree with tattered ropes around the base. She stoops then screams;the ropes are bloody. Upset she carves his name into the tree and walks back to the car,confused. Behind her the name she carved drips. But instead of sap,blood runs down the tree’s trunk…

  • admin:


    Why don’t you think about:

    Branches and leaves cause them to crash, leaving the girl unconscious or semi conscious. Man doesn’t want to leave the car to search for help but is forced to as something is trying to get in. It sees him, the girl being semi conscious is not of interest to it. Runs through forest trying to phone. No good. Stumbles, finds himself being hauled back, something around his feet. Too late to scream. Next day girl awakes, car ok. No sign of boyfriend but his phone lying at base of tree. As she turns away boyfriend’s face emerges and is seen on the tree.

  • Hmmmm, its got legs but that sounds more of a monster movie, and I want to go for a supernatural element. They were driving home from a party, she’s drunk, well sloshed, so falls asleep. He’s stuck in the car, cant get a signal on his phone so maybe he thinks he’ll have better luck outside. Maybe something is drawing him towards the woods, some presence. Maybe years ago he carved his name in that tree, Jack, and now the tree is calling him back.
    She finds the tre the next morining, strange, why is Jack’s name on that tree. Its faded, nearly grown out-must have been years ago, but where’s Jack?? Suddenly the carving changes. Is it her imagination or is the wound weeping,like a stuck sapling. Only its not sdap thats oozing out….

  • admin:

    If you want a supernatural feel to the story try working on setting. I believe that in those types of stories setting and mood is as important as anything else. If you can get a copy of Shaw’s How To do get it. Not only is it a good read there are lots of practical tips in it on writing.

    Does it have to be outside at night, with trees? What about daytime, in a house, an antique piece of furniture? Or some other setting. It’s worth throwing various ideas around before committing. After all that’s exactly what Shaw did with Slow Glass: he says in the book he tried telling the story about it a few times in various ways before he finally chose the one he did in Light of Other Days. (Which is how he managed to patch a novel out of slow glass, by bring the stories together into a themed book.)

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