Flex Mentallo

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Everything posted by Flex Mentallo

  1. 'The Rose' is a wonderful and ultimately moving novella by Harness also from 1953. He failed to sell it to a U.S. publisher. It first appeared in the British magazine Authentic Science Fiction in that year. It was not republished in paperback in the UK until 1966, and it wasn't until 1968 that UK publisher Sidgwick & Jackson issued the (now very scarce) hardback edition. Its revival in the 1960s was the result of the interest in Harness's work of Michael Moorcock, It actually didn't make it into print in the United States until 1969. The hardback is a brute to find in decent shape. Nice copies tend to sell for quite a lot of money. ‘In a world where a terrifying Ultimate Weapon is just about to be perfected, a scattered handful of people are on the brink of making a giant evolutionary step and becoming more than human. The Rose is the story of two such mutants, one man and one woman. On their foreheads, strange horn-like growths sprout. On their backs, disfiguring humps grow. Together they fight in a new and deadly version of an ages-old battle, all the time seeking the mysterious Rose that will resolve the puzzling enigma on which the future of life itself depends…’ 'This astonishing tale... transfigures its source in Oscar Wilde's "The Nightingale and the Rose" into a transcendent paean to the victory of art over the coercions of science.' John Clute Harness made a kind of comeback in 1968 with the Ring of Ritornel when his earlier work began to be more appreciated. For whatever reason, it was 10 years before he wrote another novel, Wolfhead, in 1978. I personally don't find the later works quite recapture the earlier magic (a bit like Joseph Heller after Catch 22), though others may disagree. Though he was nominated for multiple Hugo and Nebula awards in later years, I find it astonishing that he never received an award for either of these fine works. The Rose was nominated for a retrospective Hugo in 2004 alongside other novellas published in 1953 but lost out to A Case of Conscience by James Blish. So there is some justice that he was named Author Emeritus by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2004.
  2. One of my favorites as well. It was first published as a novella in the May 1949 issue of Startling Stories as 'Flight into Yesterday'. Below is the first book publication in 1953. (I've steadily been upgrading my paperbacks to hardback and greatly enjoying the hunt for some of the rarer titles and editions. Harness was at the top of my list.) It was renamed The Paradox Men by Donald Wollheim for reprint as the first half of Ace Double #D-118 in 1955. "The novel plays high, wide, and handsome with space and time, buzzes around the solar system like a demented hornet, [and] is witty, profound, and trivial all in one breath." Brian Aldiss It was Harness who invented the concept of force fields which protect people against high-velocity weapons like guns but not against knives or swords, an idea later used in Frank Herbert's Dune (1965).
  3. Whatever you post will be extremely welcome - and for many of us, both fascinating and educational. Someone pass me the popcorn.
  4. still not sure I have ever seen one of these for sale I never did find one when I was putting that run together me neither Not my area of collecting so I looked at the census. Only three copies recorded, and the highest is only 4.0
  5. I'm with you on that. They don't get as much attention as other FH titles maybe, but they include some of Fiction House's best covers - and Jumbos arguably have the best interiors.
  6. I cant seem to find a link to the next CC auction on the site. Would you be kind enough to supply? I'm really curious to see this Fantastic #3!
  7. For what it's worth, I agree - but I hate to say, this may be the tipping point - unrestored books have become so expensive that a secondary market in 'frankensteins' might be 'timely' (no pun intended). I used to say (to anyone who would listen, which wasn't many) that bronze age comics would never be worth anything. How's that for foresight?
  8. What a wonderful assortment of pulp covers and splash pages! Thanks, Flex! Thanks - I've been out of the loop for a while so I may have overdone it!
  9. I remember when we used to call that a mullet (shudder). Kind of a sheep in lion's clothing don't you think?
  10. Just looking back through the early days of your thread, long before I joined the boards. Planet Comics seems to be one of your favorites. Did you ever complete the set BZ?
  11. A couple more from my favorite Jumbo period. #53 seems very tough to find in grade.