January 2012 | Rebecca Rego Barry

L.W. Currey

Catalogue Review: L.W. Currey, List #14

Today I'm taking a journey to the center of a genre I know little about ... science fiction. But the twenty-page Occasional List #14 offered by L.W. Currey of Elizabethtown, NY, is a pleasure to read nevertheless. The descriptions are straightforward, the color photography is well done, and there are 197 interesting and oddball books to enjoy.

Of course there are first editions of the ABCs of science fiction and fantasy: Asimov, Bradbury & Clarke, in addition to Pynchon, Tolkien, and Wells. Huxley, another big name in this area, is represented with a first edition of Brave New World in a fine, bright jacket ($6,500). And the cult-collectible H.P. Lovecraft (see here and here) is represented by a first edition of The Outsider and Others ($7,500).

The "painted" publishers binding of the first British edition of Jules Verne's The Master of the World ($4,500) is quite lovely, while the pictorial jacket featuring a smoking skeleton on Philip Wylie's The Murderer Invisible from 1931 seems more indicative of the genre ($2,250).

Some other titles of interest--for their names alone!--Willard Rich's Brain-Waves and Death from 1940, in which a scientist is killed in an experiment studying electroencephalography ($1,500); A. Merritt's Burn Witch Burn!, a "weird little mystery novel of witchcraft and deadly little dolls" ($1,750); and Reginald Glossop's The Orphan of Space: A Tale of Downfall, a 1926 novel that mixes science fiction with mysticism in a future war setting ($1,500).

Browse the entire list online and check around Currey's website. While he is an expert in the SF/fantasy genre, he stocks a much broader array of popular fiction and literary firsts.