Houston is a great town. It’s a helluva place for a man to make a living. It’s a helluva place for a man to make a living doing what I do, and it’s a city the guy you hire to fix your garage door can afford to live in. It’s also a pretty good place to buy books. Sadly, I’m departing for more…rural surrounding. So I made one last swing through Houston’s best used bookstores.
First up was Half Price Books. Not the best place in the world for the old school stuff, but better once I realized there was a separate pulp/collectible shelf. I picked up Lord of Thunder by Andre Norton, Trullion: Alastor 2262 by Jack Vance, and The Glory That Was by L. Sprague de Camp.
My second stop was Kaboom Books, a gem I had somehow missed thus far. It’s huge and has an incredible selection of the pulp masters. Entire shelves of Vance, Norton, etc. I was able to complete Vance’s Alastor Cluster (I already had Marune: Alastor 933), pick up the first of Norton’s Witch World books (I already had Web of the Witch World), the first two books in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Venus Series (Pirates of Venus and Lost on Venus), Leigh Brackett’s Eric John Stark: Outlaw of Mars (collecting the first two short Eric John Stark novel), and Alfred Bester’s The Demolished Man (the very first Hugo Award winner for Best Novel).
My final stop was Becker’s Books. Becker’s Books is what used to be a guy’s personal collection, and it looks it. It’s a claustrophobic labyrinth of shelves with books stacked haphazardly everywhere. It took me a while to find the science fiction section, but I was again pleasantly surprised by what I found. I added Leigh Brackett’s The Long Tomorrow, my first Lin Carter, The Warrior of World’s End, and my first Poul Andersons: The High Crusade and Fire Time (both Hugo nominees).
I’m going to have to see what I can dig up in my new home. But at this point, I think I can afford to kick back and start reading (perhaps by year):
Pirates of Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1932)
Lost on Venus by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1933)
The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester (1952)
The Glory That Was by L. Sprague de Camp (1952)
The Long Tomorrow by Leigh Brackett (1955)
The High Crusade by Poul Anderson (1960)
Lord of Thunder by Andre Norton (1962)
Witch World by Andre Norton (1963)
Eric John Stark: Outlaw of Mars (1964)
Trullion: Alastor 2262 by Jack Vance (1973)
Fire Time by Poul Anderson (1974)
The Warrior of World’s End by Lin Carter (1974)
Wyst: Alastor 1716 by Jack Vance (1978)