I should be writing T & T, but I’m taking the easy way out (again) and bragging on my book collection. I really feel like writing, but I don’t feel like creating–heh, so here come some more book covers and lame anecdotes. I need to get this done so I can get these books off the floor and back on the shelf. These are in no particular order–just the order they happened to stack in. My brain is in much the same condition.
Jennifer is a (distant) friend of mine. We know each other to say hi. I admire her very much, but have never really had any opportunity to get to know her very well. I wish I could get her into a Tunnels and Trolls game. Her autograph says: For Ken Thanks for the invite to the library! Jennifer Roberson. I asked her to come help put on a program at the Cholla Branch Library back in the day. She very graciously accepted and was a big hit with the attendees.
Michael Andre-Driussi was a T & T fan who got in touch with me long before I started Trollhalla. He was also something of a genius and a literary critic. HIs favorite author was Gene Wolfe. He turned his hand to creating a glossary/dictionary of everything important in the Severian books by Gene Wolfe and produced this very handsome book, becoming a sort of Boswell to Wolfe's Johnson. I haven't heard from him in a long time. He has a badly outdated web page, and has probably become a college professor of literature. His very modest autograph is tucked away behind the title page and says simply: Michael Andre-Driussi.
Kate's hardback autograph is about the same as her paperback autograph: For Ken Best wishes! Kate Elliott.
During the 90s Vernor Vinge was one of the most popular SF writers around, and we had him as a Guest of Honor at Coppercon. I took advantage of the chance to meet him and talk to him, and get him to sign this book. It says: To Ken St. Andre with best wishes. Vernor Vinge (really an indecipherable glyph of considerable complexity--I think I see an N and a G in it) Coppercon '94.
Zelazny had a wonderfull feel for demigods as heroes. I really liked his Shadowjack in this book, and I lifted the character type to become one of the monsters you might meet in my Monsters! Monsters! roleplaying game. Liz Danforth liked it too and drew a marvelous portrait--half real, half invisible. The autograph is a simple: Roger Zelazny, and I suppose that's all I deserve for a book club edition.
D.R. Evans and I were struggling to make a name for ourselves in SFWA at about the same time back in the early 90s. He wrote this YA book and got it published by a minor publisher, but fell on hard times and I never found out what became of him. The signature is just: D R Evans.
I met Steve Allen and his wife Jane Meadows on that trip to Washington D.C. His autograph is small elegant. Hers is big and bold. It reads: To Ken--Steve Allen JAYNE MEADOWS.
Steve Allen was a genius. Author, comedian, television personality, songwriter–the man could do it all. A brief biography of him is available here: http://www.wyyr.com/Steve-Allen.html. It seemed to me he had a practically perfect American life. I’m envious.
Steve and Jane shared the writing of the mysteries and also the autographs. I bet that Jane was the real mystery fan in the duo, and Steve just went along with her.
And here’s the last book in the current series: Dragon by Clive Cussler. I have a Clive Cussler story. I was in Washington D.C. for the American Booksellers convention. Back in the day the country was flush. Libraries had enough money to send librarians to conventions around the country. I took advantage and went to Washington. On the first day of the convention, in a huge hall stuffed with hundreds of publishers, ten times as many authors, and tens of thousands of fans/people/attendees I heard an announcement that Clive Cussler was giving away and signing his new book. I decided to go to it, even though it was completely on the other side of the convention. By the time I arrived there was a line 100 yards long stretching halfway across the hall, and I was near the end of it. I didn’t give up. I stayed in the line and hoped I would get through. The autograph sessions were only an hour long. Clive signed and signed. The line moved slowly along. After about 45 minutes some assistants came and told people that they weren’t going to finish in time, and that Mr. Cussler wouldn’t be able to sign for those of us at the end of the line, but that we could still have the free book. Many people took the book and left. I stayed in line. Clive signed furiously, but he ran out of time and had to vacate the table for the next author while there were still about ten of us left. We were ready to walk away when Cussler walked over to us, told us to follow him, and led us off to the side so we wouldn’t be in the way of the next line. The assistants had already given us a book, so Clive stood there for an extra 10 minutes and talked to us and signed our copies. I have never read the book, but I still have it, and treasure the incident, because it seemed to me that was the way an author really ought to treat his fans.
The autograph is in a jaunty up-slanting series of lines and says:
To Ken Cheers! Clive Cussler. The year was 1990.
And that concludes my current series on autographed books. I’m bound to return and talk about my collection again some time, but I’ll try to come up with as new topic.
If you ever met any of these authors, or have some fine autographs you’d like to brag about, please leave a comment.
While I have time and enthusiasm, let me launch into part 2 of my autographed books collection.
In my opinion, there is a hierarchy of book quality. Hardback books from quality publishers like Donald M. Gramt are near the top of the list, while cheap paperbacks you can buy at the supermarket are near the bottom. Really old books from previous eras of publishing rank even higher, but I don’t really own any of those, and certainly not autographed copies.
I just pulled 18 autographed books off the shelf. 3 of them don’t have cover images on the internet. Even if I leave those off, 15 books is a lot to hit you with, so I’ll do half of them this time, and half next time.
In no particular order:
This one has a great autograph, and I suspect it was his trademark. Written in red magic marker on the faux title page (the page with the title on it that comes just before the true title page): Wolfishly, Gene!
Editors deserve some appreciation too. I got this as a free handout at an American Booksellers Association convention in Washington D.C.--the only time I've ever been to our nation's capitol. It was a giveaway, and I went through a long line to get Gardner Dozois's signature. And that's all I got: Gardner R. Dozois.
I was very fortunate. Because I wrote to him once when I created the Amber diceless pbm roleplaying game, which obsessed our Phoenix group of friends and some others from around the country for about a year to get a map of Amber--he created that first map at my request--some of us Phoenicians became his friends. When that happened I got several Zelazny signatures. He was surprisingly modest and simply wrote: Roger Zelazny.
I don't remember where, but it must have been 1989 because it was brand new at the time--probably that same trip to Washington D.C. I got a lot of free books, and got them signed on that trip. The signature says: Punch. Dave "Iron Man" Barry.
Adam Niswandir is a friend of mine. I first met him when he opened a used and rare books bookstore half a mile from my home in east Phoenix. He had wonderful stuff in that bookstore, and too expensive for me to buy. Later he closed the bookstore and started writing his own fantasy books. I see him once or twice a year at Phoenix SF conventions. The signature says: Of 750 special WHC copies, this is #8. Adam Niswandir. The year was 1994.
Donald M. Grant is a publisher of high quality small press books. He got his start publishing special editions of Robert E. Howard stories, and branched out into Steven King and other authors of "pulp" entertainment. This novel by Gilmour is in the H. Rider Haggard tradition. The signature on the flyleaf simply says William Gilmour.
This is a small press book from Carcosa Press. At the very end of Wellman's life, some of us in Phoenix got to correspond with him a bit. I had read him and liked his stuff in some pulp sf mags that I got when I was a teenager, and I told my younger friends, Mike Stackpole and Liz Danforth about him. We had a mini Wellman fanclub in Phoenix back around 1980. This book has a bookplate on the flyleaf signed: Manly Wade Wellman George Evans. Evans is the illustrator. Wellman was born in 1903 and died in 1986.
That’s all I have time for right now, but I’m enjoying telling these stories about the books I own, and the people, all more famous than I will ever be, that I met or knew back in the day. I will continue this series tomorrow. 🙂
If you ever got an autograph from, or knew any of these people, why not leave a comment?