My dad is cleaning out his studio bookshelves and I’m receiving boxes of books. I found this one in the last shipment. It’s from 1943, edited by Donald Wollheim, one of the founders of modern American sci-fi as a writer, editor and fan.
The cover still looks great and has flying cars. Flying cars are always off in the future aren’t they?
The book has a few stories I hadn’t come across before (see below).
Sadly the book is in its last stages. It can still be used, but it’s close to its last read. There is no price on it, though on the back it says “Ship this book to a boy in the armed forces anywhere for-only 3¢”
It’s a Pocket Book Inc. release and doing a bit of research it turns out that Pocket Books produced the first mass-market, pocket-sized paperback books in America. Starting in 1939. Its now a division of Simon and Schuster. I have 25 or 30 old paperbacks I am making my way through. They are next to worthless I suppose but I enjoy them for a lot of reasons. The old paperback smell reminds me of the libraries and of my dad’s studio too. Also the excitement of seeing what was at the time a brand new Big Idea. Paperbacks. Cheap books to bring great literature (or not so great) to everyone. They have a unique energy and display some odd design choices because it was all so new. And science fiction was slowly making its way into the minds of millions of readers. I troll these books looking for early stories by Philip K. Dick and other sci-fi writers that enamored me when I was young.
And how can you beat ‘Fantastic Tales of Super-Science’ across the top.