Friday, March 21, 2014

Book haul and things that change

If you "friended" me on Facebook, then you know I was blabbing about going book shopping for the past few days. I took a vacation day today and did just that. (I also attended some family matters in the afternoon - so it wasn't all about me and it was a productive business and pleasure day.)

I thought I would ramble a bit on the subject, because I need a post anyway.

First, the store. I went to The New England Mobile Book Fair. It is neither mobile, nor a fair. It is a warehouse-sized bookstore and they are open year-round. It's not far from me but I only go a few times a year or I'd be out of money and out of space. It's a great store, in fact, it pretty much is a warehouse. It is not a used book store. These books are new. Over the years I've come home with a lot - even out-of-print stuff. When I find those gems, they're diamonds. Imagine finding a book in mint condition at the used book store. Well, here, it's truly mint if you find one. My best find?  Conan of Aquilonia, ACE 1977 edition. I bought it around 1997. It had been sitting on the shelf (or, in back and then brought out) 20 years. Maybe just for me, eh? ;)

Now, there used to be one trick to navigating the store. They used to keep everything by publisher and title. Not by genre (with a few end-cap like exceptions) and not by author. It took some getting used to. But, if you came prepared with a list of books upon which you had noted the various publishers, there were great finds to be had.

Not to mention just browsing the hell out of the place.

But things change, yes they do...-

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Hypothetical Mammoth Book of Karl Edward Wagner

No, sorry there isn't actually a book named The Mammoth Book of Karl Edward Wagner, though there should be!

Recently, I started poking around my handful of Mammoth anthologies. I have mostly horror tomes edited by Stephen Jones.

I love those things, though I tended to grab them for a single story. Going back over the tables-of-content, I am noticing authors who I am now aware of that I wasn't aware of when I bought the books - Manly Wade Wellman, David J. Schow, Hugh B. Cave, et al.  (Which is why I should find more reading time.)

Some of these Mammoth anthologies have even found their way to ebook versions.

Sooo... - long story long, I thought I'd put together a list of Mammoth appearances of Karl Edward Wagner. For those who are interested in reading him but find acquiring the Wagner collections and novels difficult, maybe these can help. Some of the ebooks are pricey but there are lots of good stories alongside Wagner's tales. If not available as ebook, some can be found cheaply enough used.

The Mammoth Book of Frankenstein (Kindle)
“Undertow” (A Kane tale)

The Mammoth Book of Wolfmen (out-of-print)
(a reprint of The Mammoth Book of Werewolves (out-of-print))
“One Paris Night” (A Becker tale)

The Mammoth Book of Vampires (Kindle - yes, you can preview it, just click where the cover image would be)
“Beyond Any Measure”

The Mammoth Book of Monsters (out-of-print)
“.220 Swift”

The Mammoth Book of Zombies (Kindle)

The Mammoth Book of Terror (out-of-print)
"The River of Night's Dreaming"

The Mammoth Book of New Terror (Kindle)
"The Fourth Seal"

Best New Horror 2 (Kindle) (technically, not Mammoth but edited by Jones and came up in my search)
"Cedar Lane"

In fact, there are also a large number of Best New Horror Stories. Wagner's name is on many of the covers, but I can't see the contents of the out-of-print ones. E.g.; number 4. (update; available for Kindle; number 3 and number 5)

Oh, of course, I just found this. I knew about it, but forget about it, too. Well, it doesn't have the Centipede collections or the ebooks or later Mammoth books, so my efforts aren't completely in vain.

Karl Edward Wagner Bibliography.

Also, according to that list, he had two stories in The Mammoth Book of Ghost Stories. (out-of-print)

Happy hunting!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Acting My Face by Anthony James

If, like me, you are a child of 1970s television and film, then you know the face, if not the name.

My wife has gotten very involved in our town's cable access television station. It turns out one of her compatriots is a very good friend of Anthony James. In fact, in the afterword her friend is mentioned as one of the main driving forces that convinced James' his memoir was worth writing and his personal story worth getting out to the public.

So, the above is a personally autographed copy to my wife.

I was wondering how a guy here in Massachusetts made an in-road of friendship with a L.A. Hollywood guy.

Well, a quick glance at the book told me.

Since 1994, Anthony James has been living here in Massachusetts, pursing the life of a retired actor turned artist. He retired from acting and moved across the country. In fact, he and I lived in the same town for an overlap of about five years! You'd think I'd have picked up on him at a grocery store or something! Then again, if I saw him, I would probably have done a double-take and then shook my head and thought, "He sure looks like that guy from Hollywood."

You never know - it is a small world.

I look forward to reading it!