note: if you want your address published as part of your letter, then place it at the bottom of your letter under your name. Otherwise,
it will not be published.
Dear Mr Bowman,
First, I'm enclosing a check for a copy of your high resolution CD of cover pictures,
and for any good copy of Astonishing you might still have available. That was a favorite of
mine and I haven't had one in my hands for sixty years.
Second, I want to say how impressive is the high quality of your web site. As a person trying to get one going for our daylily business, I know how much work is involved, and I was dumbfounded by your site. I have to admit spending over an hour browsing there last night and downloading some of your lists.
Third, I would like to send you a list of 30's, 40's and 50's sf pulps I have saved- most of them individually bagged. At age 76 I'm torn between life long collecting and disposing of many of them. I've been retired fifteen years after forty years of, in order: WWII artilleryman, juvenile court counselor, high school teacher, and the last 27 years as a school principal. Through it all I stayed (off and on) a science fiction fan, having bought my first THRILLING WONDER STORIES in 1937 when there were very few sf mags available on the stands.
I've been on your mailing list occasionally in the past and I apoligize for taking up your time, but the impact of your web site caused me to write.
Glad you liked the website. But I always considered it a humble thing, as, being self taught, I use only the simplest of html language.
In reality, the website is just my paper catalog displayed electronically. I do have some simple rules. I always try to give paper catalog readers
a few weeks headstart over the electronic version. And the electronic version must stay simple and easy to download.
That means absolutely nothing moves on the page, and minimal graphics get displayed automatically.
Dear Mr Bowman,
I read your piece in F&SF marketplace concerning the catalog you are offering. That your classified is coming out of Indiana is really what
stopped me because I'm from Indiana, and haven't been back in over 20 years.. But back to your issue. I'm a prisoner in a state prison that just recently opened who are about to make major purchases to stock their F&SF books and paperbacks on the shelve all together. You can send your catalog addressed: ST LOUIS CORRECTIONAL FACILITY...
Personally I am a indigent prisoner. I could not afford your books but I have heard of cases where stock was not sold and the cover sent back to the publisher and everybody got a tax break where those books were donated? It's just wishes on a rumor because I have nothing but time and F&SF to take me away to other worlds. I have been in prison since 1974, starting out there in Pendleton and Michigan City, escaped in '79 and caught here where I have been since. I discharge from Michigan in 2 years and Indiana will pick me up to finish 132 years. So I will do a lot of hoping, exercising and reading. If you have a few books you can donate towards my sanity, I'm
Bertram Eubank #163944
St Louis, MO
I would provide a full address, but I learned years ago you can't just send things into a prison. You have to apply ahead of time and get on an approved list for each prison. Since I found out all the red tape involved, I haven't accepted any prison orders. I wonder what you do to get 132 years?
I apologize for the delay in getting my order to you. So I understand if most, if not all the books I've asked for are sold.
I am a layman in the study of Fortian phenomena. How could I pass up so many interesting titles? Your web site is a great idea. I just can't wait until it's interactive!
On another note: I am searching for a trade paperback I discovered in a corner bookstore in the late 70's. My brother loaned it out after I joined the Sub service and forgot who he gave it to! All I can remember about it is the title "Weird America" and it had a catch phrase like "the travel guide of America's most haunted and supernatural Sites!" or something like that. Anyway, it broke down by state historical spooky sites, places where unexplained things were found, and the classic "girl along the road" spots. It had an Indian and a snake on the cover, and I seem to remember the cover being red/orange and yellow. My hometown was listed for mysterious aerial/resoance explosions in the 60's and 70's. Everyone remembers the explosions but they don't believe me about the book. If you can help locate this for me, I would appreciate it.
If anyone can help Mr Burkett, contact him directly via email. I am not sure exactly what an interactive site is, but I'm sure I have no plans in that direction.
On January 18th of this year I ordered 12 old sf digests and pulps from you. However, no parcel has yet arrived.
Yesterday, opening the entrance door in weary disappointment I remembered Howard DeVore once telling me more than 20 years ago how he had some rather pricey old pulps packaged up for someone who had ordered them and sent the money- but somehow he'd lost the fellow's address and he'd been waiting months for the fellow to get around to querying why they hadn't arrived- so he'd know where to send them.
Kinda miss running up to Dearborn Heights every year or two to look over all those goodies that used to be in Howard's garage- and have him regale me with tales about some of the sf authors he knew. He would never tell me which one had spent that time in the mental institutuin! And I know he wasn't referring to Richard Shaver either. I somehow thought it was maybe Walter Miller. And Howard enjoyed telling the tale of how he'd acquired his copy of the very first issue of Weird Tales, even though it was coverless! More than anything it;s that run of Weird Tales I most envied in his collection. Have wanted so very long to acquire some kind of copy of that C L Moore/Henry Kuttner collaboration in maybe the 1939 issue
of Weird Tales with I believe Jirel of Joiry in the tale. One that has never been reprinted. Howard made mention of it once to me. Kinda wonder if he's alive and kicking!
Norman E Masters
Dear Mr Bowman,
Yes, it has finally happened. I have run out of room and time simultaneously. It's taken me a couple of months to catalog what I have to offer,
the five pages of which is attached..
I live in a house the size of a postage stamp (750 sq ft); thus, a painful decision to sell those magazines. I've collected books for 50 years,
and have finally run out of drawers, walls, bookcases, etc. Being a pack rat for life has disadvantages, but I'm such a book-a-holic that I never
cared. I also have some of the first Playboys, from the 50's and 60's. My tendancy is to NEVER discard anything that I have enjoyed reading,
or might yet enjoy reading. Mainly, I love sf & fantasy, but lately I've begun to dip into mysteries and submarines (only the nuclear boats though,
no diesels for me). The deaths of Marion Zimmer Bradley and James White were a great blow to fandom; imagine no more Darkover or Sector General.
Hard to cope with, but I guess we are all aging.
The thing that bothers me is that many of the books I see on the shelves now are media tie-ins, less and less original ideas out there.
Also, the computer has taken away peoples' time to read, I think. Teens don't seem to be reading as they used to. AND- the idea of on-line books
is, to me, ridiculous. The major advantage of a book is that you can take it anywhere and be entertained. Long supermarket lines or stop lights no longer bother you if you have a book. Books on tape have gained lots of popularity too. I usually have 3 books going at once; 1 paperback, 1 hardback and a tape in the car. Also, buying on-line has no charm. The wonder of going to a bookstore, smelling the books, browsing, finding something unexpectantly, is what sets a true book lover apart and is so much FUN! Buying on-line negates all that, plus there is little browsing; you gotta know what you want, AND pay shipping. No thanks.
I tend to agree with you. But in my area there are fewer and fewer real bookstores, unless you count the mall bookstores which are mostly a waste.
Received your latest pulp catalog & pocket book listings a couple of months ago, so I would strongly suspect it's about time for me to shoot another order up your way. Why did I wait so long? Well, sir; I waited until the local county library had its annual fund raising book sale, and the wife and I donated some books and such-- primarily to make room for me to order more goodies from you! So, without further ado, here is my order from FCM's January 2000 Special Millennium Issue catalog.
Bobby G Warner
About 20 years ago my son and I travelled out to California to buy Forrest J Ackerman's "extras". They were contained in 3 car garage perched on a hillside in the Hollywood hills. We struck a deal on the pulps in the garage, and my son and I packaged them up into standard moving boxes. As we moved the stuff out to his patio, he was moving more stuff in from several of his sub-basements that went down the hillside. By the time we had the 64th box packed up, he had finished refilling the 3 car garage! It's a neverending battle to find shelf space.
Dear Mr Bowman,
As I am primarily interested in the sf stories written by Jane Roberts, I have ordered those issues of F&SF which contain her stories. When it is not possible to send me the condition I ordered, please send me an issue of a lesser condition. When I have sent to much money, could you please photocopy issues September 1958 and April 1959?
I often get requests to photocopy issues of magazines. There are several reasons why I cannot do this:
- it violates copyright law in most instances
- I don't have the time. This is a hobby to me. I work at a
regular job for 50-60 hours a week, so my time off is
precious. I'd really not like to spend it photocopying magazines, even if I had the equipment, which I don't.
- It destroys the magazine. It difficult to lay interior pages flat without destroying the binding
Dear Mr Bowman,
I trust this missive finds you well and in good spirits.
I wonder if you might help me in the matter of identifying a novel I read many, many years ago when I was but a lad. Unfortunately such trifling details as the authors name and the publisher have long since faded from memory. What I do remember was that it was a hardcover edition, British I think, of a disaster novel following the unique premise that a biological experimentor had succeeded in tremendously increasing the intelligence, and possibly as a consequence the innate aggressiveness, of such common experimental subjects as the cat, the dog, and the Norway rat. These test subjects had subsequently escaped confinement and in a very few years multiplied into pests of such unanticipated virulence as to disrupt the conduct of civilized enterprise on a quite fundamental level. Cats became unsentimental predators which no longer viewed humans as lying outside their prey size-range, dogs lost all sympathy for their former masters, apparently viewing us as nothing but a troublesome competing predator, to be
hunted by packs displaying an uncanny and unwelcome grasp of strategy, and rats, while remaining unimpressive as individuals, began to exhibit a grasp of organized enterprise such that telephone service and electrical distribution were hopelessly disrupted and no stored food was safe from them.
I remember little of the actual plot, which was too advanced for my years. Indeed, it was only the fact that the work was labeled "science fiction" which convinced the librarian to allow me to take a work of fiction from the adult shelves, since in her mind no distinction existed between the works of such as Verne and Wells and "young people's literature". I do remember one excellent set piece in which the wife of the protagonist is driven by her terror of an attacking feline into a fatal fall from a bedroom window.
I realize how thin this is as clues to identify some obscurity which came out at a time when British writers were cranking out one disaster novel after another (No Blade of Grass) comes to mind), but I am sufficiently impressed with your own and your readers' erudition that I feel confident that someone may know the answer. Anyway, thank you for your attention.
G E Valenta
Heber Springs, AR
I have found my memory of late is not too good at recalling such trivia. I can now re-read books I haven't read in 20 yearsand they are completely new to me. I suppose if this trend continues, I can thin my library down to a single book and just reread it on a regular basis. But I'm sure some of our readers still have their memories intact.
I am looking for two issues of a pulp magazine called Fantastic Stories of Imagination from November and December 1962. I understand that the magazine called Fantastic had a variety of names over the years, but I don't know if the one you listed as Fantastic Science Fiction might be the same as Fantastic Stories of Imagination at that period of time.
I don't know what the cover of the November issue looks like, but I can describe the cover of the December issue. There are several people in space suits on a barren planet who are being transformed into trees and are taking root on the planet. The story which I am after is called "IT's Magic, You Dope" with part one in the November issue and the conclusion in the December issue.
So, if I am describing what it is you have for sale then I will be bery pleased to place the enclosed order. If I've made a mistake then if you wouldn't mind just letting me know and destroying my check. I'd appreciate it.
Magazines had so many name changes I have found it difficult to list each one. My solution to this problem is the CDROM I am offering. Eventually, I hope to offer covers of all Fantastic Pulps up to 1960 or so. Then you can see what it is I have for sale with certainty.
Dear Mr Bowman,
Some months ago (close to six, I believe), I placed an order for several books from Fantastic Collectibles. Among the titles I ordered was the one I wanted most of all- "Eco-Fiction" by John Stadtler was no longer available and you sent a refund. I am still hoping to find a copy of Eco-Fiction. I see that it's on your website list as of today, and I'm wondering if it is back in stock. If so, please let me know; I'd very much like to get a copy. I read it many years ago, a copy I'd borrowed from my sister who long since gave it away. I want my son and daughter to read the stories.
I am enclosing a SASE for your convenience. I look forward to your answer. (By the way, I thought it might interest you to know that in my little hamlet of Bearsville-- a part of Woodstock, NY, there lives directly across the street from my house one Mary Pangborn, the 92 year old sister of the late sci-fi writer Edgar Pangborn. She's a retired chemist and is still quite sharp and active.)
My stock changes daily, as I buy 2 or three small collections every week, and a monster sized collection several times a year. Thanks for the SASE. I rarely answer mail
anymore if none is included. I get over 100 letters every day, and I don't have time to answer every one. Besides the cost of postage (that would
be over $40 per day!) I can't afford the time it takes to write out 100 addresses. Remember, this is a part time hobby- I work for a living at a full time job.
We are all the sum of our experiences, and when we encounter something new, we each react somewhat differently depending upon those experiences. I have been moved deeply by some books, and when I have suggested others read it, particularly my kids, they usually react- "what's the big deal?". They obviously have a different set of experiences and are affected differently or not at all by the book. Hope you have better luck with your children with this book.
WOW! WOW! WOW!
These were my first reactions when I found your website last night. I couldn't believe my good fortune. I have been a collector of Mack Reynolds books for many years, but last month I got bitten by "The Big Bug" and have been searching for all his works since.
I knew about his books, but recently found out about his pulp stories. He did literally hundreds of them in dozens of titles using four pseudonyms. Ouch! Only a dedicated (crazy?) fan would attempt such a feat. I guess that's me!
Anyway, enclosed is my first order. I can guarantee there will be more. I didn't list alternates as any refund you send will go towards the next order.
I don't know if you do want lists, but do keep an eye out for the following... These are my top priority right now, but were not on your website list.
Joe Horka Jr
No, I don't do want lists. But check back at the website or the latest catalog on a regular basis. My stock varies considerably from time to time.
Dear Mr Bowman,
I am interested in the following SF books from your extensive list (see attached). I'd like to ask you for two things:
a. I have had bad experience with shipments that did not arrive from abroad. Can you bill me, instead of paying prior to shipment? My daughter lives in the USA and she'll send you a check immediately upon receipt of the books to her place.
b. I buy a lot of books from many vendors (Marx books, readables. etc) Since I am a volume buyer I get anywhere from 10% to 20% volume reduction. The small list I sent you now reflects part of my interest in your books- large enough to be interesting to us both but small enough to minimize risks (as I said I have had very bad experience with packing of books- resulting in complete destruction of many books so I am careful) Can you also give me such a volume discount?
Do I have to stand on one foot and hop up and down as I fill the order, or are these the only conditions I have to satisfy? I am sure you are an honest person, but how do I know that? I used to average one bad check a month before I went on the Internet. Now I am getting 3 or 4 a week. I hate to see money orders and certified checks, as these are being fabricated by con artists on their printers, and prisoners in prison printshops at an alarming rate. So I trust customers that I have been doing business with for years, as I have found book people to be the most honest people on earth. But a total stranger expecting me to ship $90 worth of books to a third person at a New York address is not reasonable. By the way, I have never had a complaint of damaged books in 30 years. As far as discounts, I consider that most of my prices are near wholesale already. This is certainly demonstrated by the fact that a high percentage of my orders come from other dealers and bookstores. You listed 60 books at $1.50 each. W
here else can you find 20-30 year old paperbacks by classic writers such as Bradbury, Asimov, Conklin, Knight, Niven, Silverberg, Williamson, etc for $1.50 each?
I came across your website and am very interested in purchasing some books from you. I am a fanatical reader of Andre Norton.
Please look over the list I have enclosed and let me know what books you still have available and a total cost. I am especially interested in any hardbound books you may have by Andre Norton.
I am very sorry, but I cannot honor your request for the following reasons:
- You didn't enclose a SASE
- I have an unbroken rule that the 1st person sending a check gets the books What happens if someone sends a check between now and when (if) you decide to respond? I used to do this, and I found that about 40% of the people who asked me to set aside books ever sent a check for them.
- Where do I get the time to do this? Should I take time out from filling orders on hand from people who have already been waiting too long for their orders to do this? What about the 50-60 orders I have on hand waiting to be filled.? Do I have to go through these to determine if any of the 30 books on your list are already spoken for by orders on hand? Perhaps I am just in a bad mood from having my eye poked too much lately (see related article on my eye surgery for the gruesome details) but it seems that there are a lot of people who make requests that are not very reasonable.
Dear Mr Bowman,
My husband recently told me about a science fiction story he read as a teenager in the late 1950's. He said he would love to re-read it as the story has stuck in his mind all these years. Unfortunately, he does not recall either the name of the book or the author. He does recall that it was half of an Ace Double. The story he recounted was as follows:
Two friends joined together to head a projedt of building and flying the first vehicle that would make it to another planet. One friend was the brains behind the technology of the operation. The other friend would pilot the craft. The project was initially successful and the pilot friend took off while technology/science friend monitored from earth. Although they planned for the contingency of rocks and rubble smashing into the craft while in space, the pilot was unable to repair damage that was caused to a particular area of the craft. He cut himself to lubricate the passage his hand hadto travel to reach the damage but was unable to fix it. He ended up frozen in space. Centuries passed. Another spacecraft finds him, revives him. He learns of these people's world, a peaceful society where everyone more or less worships a computer. When he comes to their planet (Earth?) he comes to realize that the computer is actually his old friend the rocket scientist whose brain has been melded into the machine.
I am hoping that you can help me identify the title or author. Perhaps you even have a copy of the book for sale? My husband just mentioned this in conversation and does not know I am looking for the story. If I am lucky enough to find it, I will surprise him with it as a gift. Therefore I have provided my office address, phone number and e-mail.
Just a quick note to say how much I am enjoying your great CD of covers. Great product. Do you know any good sources for early Manhunt and Mike Shayne mags?
Dear Mr Bowman,
I am attempting to locate copies of magazine articles by Albert Payson Terhune. While these stories are not science fiction, many of them were mystery or adventure stories and appeared in various pulps as well as other magazines. Unfortunately, I do not have a complete listing of such stories or an index for the periodicals.
Pulp Magazines where Terhune stories are known to appear are Top Notch Magazine and Argosy. He also had stories in Mystery, the Illustrated Detective Magazine in the 1930's. The latter was a glossy, non-pulp publication.
If you have copies of any of these publications, I would be greatly interested in information on the issues available.
A book by Terhune which I am also very interested in locating is Around the World in 30 Days, an updated version of the Jules Verne novel, appearing originally in serial form in Top Notch Magazine in 1914 and available in book form from Street and Smith at least from 1914 through 1927.
If you know of any form of index giving the story contents of individual issues of any of the above publications, I would be very interested in learning of such.
While I am primarily interested in obtaining actual copies of the indicated magazines or book, I am also interested in obtaining copies of the stories in any form. If you know of any reproductions of these periodicals, I would be very interested in learning of such.
4803 76th Street
Lubbock, TX 79424
Enclosed is an order for several of the excess magazines from your collection. I had read "IF" for several years and derived pleasure from their stories.
I have no recollrction of which stories appeared in any particular issue, but one remains in my mind. It was about a robot named Super Joe Molloy who was the title character, I believe. If you have this particular copy as excess in your collection, I would be very grateful if you could substitute it for any other issue appearing on my order.
Warren J Collins
1580 Silver St NW
Bremerton, WA 983111
I have no recollection of such a character. Perhaps one of our readers does. If so, please contact Mr Collins or myself.