Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Robert Asprin: Thieves' World

    It's no secret I'm a huge fan of Thieves' World. Growing up, and especially in middle school, anything Robert Asprin was my kind of fantasy. Mix a little humor, with equal parts high fantasy, and add a splash of random nuttiness and you find yourself at one of the greatest fantasy book series collaborations of all time.

     For me it started back in the early 80's, and reading the back of this book in the library started a whole realm of free thinking and imagination brewing in my adolescent mind. Some of the authors I followed through the years, most really, originated in the storytelling in this very first book. Robert Asprin also caught my attention with other series, notably, MythAdventures and Phule's Company. Admittedly I did not read Phule's Company until I was an adult, but loved it all the same.

     Another few authors that have contributed a lot to the series, Jody Lynn Nye and Lynn Abbey, kept my interest in other series all through the 80's and early 90's. These are still common to find books, being available in a multitude of different omnibuses, comics, and reprints. A first edition first printing paperback sells for around $15 on ebay. The role playing game Sanctuary fetches around $50, and anything autographed by Asprin or Abbey can drive up the price a little bit, but the books are not in high demand at the moment. I've had a great deal of luck getting first editions on Amazon, ebay, and thrift stores around my area.

     Do yourself a favor, buy these books while they are cheap. They have a cult following for a reason, the world is immerse, the characters priceless and the stories you will remember forever.

*Note* I took all the pictures at my desk in my office. The autographed copy I have is the book cover only, given out at conventions during a book promotion tour for the original Thieves' World. Yes I used my broken iPhone, but i realized it still takes great close up photos!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

I bought someone's collection.

     I typically cruise craigslist about twice a week for books. Almost always, I find nothing. I've only been lucky around five times on craigslist in six or so years, and it was someone advertising from a flea market or garage sale. As the title suggests, I did indeed buy someones small, 160+ book collection for $20.00.

     Kid moved out, dad tried to get in to some of the R. A. Salvatore books, and said they were a little too violent for his taste. He was asking $40, and said he had 142 books, and he happened to be only three block away from my house. I pulled a $20 from the ATM at 711, pulled up to his house five minutes later and offered half of what he was asking. He was very happy to take it, said they were taking up too much damned room in his garage. I took the boxes and put them in the car and started to drive away, when he called me. "Come back, I found another box and some loose ones." I turned around, and he left them in a pile in the middle of his driveway for me to take.

     Unfortunately my camera on my phone is really blurry lately, except for close up images, so I didn't take nearly as many pictures as I normally would. I did take the blurry one above, and one more..

     A book mark from a book store/cafe in North Carolina called Bogarts. Almost all of the hard covers had one of their multicolored book marks, and their stickers were on almost all of the books, which I had to take off. I guess I'm plugging a place I've never been, but their website is cool, and I wish we had a book cafe in SWFL. http://www.bogartsbookstore.com/

    This adds a significant amount of books to the book case in my office, that already contained 450ish books, so I will be buying another two bookcases in the coming months. I'll do a collection update after I get my phone fixed, I've picked up a few hundred more books since October of last year.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

     I will say one thing: The best part of the new year, is that the old one is behind us, and what a year it was! I'll give you a quick update on what's been going on since October: Work. Heaps upon heaps of work and work related nonsense. I still love my job, and everything is going well. Often times I feel under appreciated, but I suppose that's pretty much any job you do, and I'm prone to those feelings no matter what. I never did find out what was going on with the web hosting. I paid for and bought the domain, moved everything over, paid the Blogger fee, and boom, it was magic and pretty easy actually. Firsteditionfantasy.com was doing it's thing, then poof, it's gone. Had to undo everything to get the blog back online. Google never responded to any of my help requests and emails, so here we are back at the old digs.

     What did I accomplish this year? (personal, blog, professional)

1) Blog is at an all time high on the visitor front.
2) I had lunch with the Mayor of the city I live in.
3) I joined several charity organizations.
4) My wife and I bought a dog, his name is Ollie.
5) Lost some weight.

     Professionally and personally, 2015 was by far the best year of my life. I've made new lasting friendships, and knocked out some long term goals past last year's ones.. namely, buying a house, and improving my living situation in general. Thankfully, some new book stores and thrift shops opened not too far from me, so it looks like fresh content is on it's way.



Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blogger Issues - Sorry!

     I logged in a few minutes ago to make a post on the blog, get some things updated, and it's gone, the whole thing is just missing. I checked the blogger dashboard and I can make new posts and do things, but my domain is now missing. When I type in the address manually, my domain was purchased by an outside company, and they want me to pay them to register it. (Godaddy) I'm not sure how this is possible, since I bought the domain name years ago, and I'm up to date with the payments. I removed the redirect from the dashboard, so now we are back at firsteditionfantasy.blogspot.com.

     My apologies if you could not see the blog for four or five days. I've sent a message to google, which is actually pretty hard to do, being that their help site is a maze of turn arounds and dead ends leading to no solution to anything really.

Monday, September 28, 2015

5 Things Essential for Book Hunting

     Like Dean Corso from The Club Dumas, you must be prepared when out book hunting. Should anything happen to you, or something unexpected come up while your out at the flea market, swap meet, or garage sale, having the right tools with you can really help.

1) Smart Phone - This is an easy one. You can price check books or see if you are missing one on the fly. Need to call someone? Having google ready to go at a moments notice is amazing, and few people really do it when collecting books. Good for notes, time, internet, camera, etc. Take pictures of book shelves everywhere you go. Technology is so good right now, you can zoom in and see individual books, and if you need them or not.

2) Money - You should always have cash on you! If you have a budget for that day, double that just to be safe. Typically I carry around $30 with me at any given time, maybe a small amount more. I only want to spend around $10-15.. but if you have read any of my below posts, you know how that goes.

3) Messenger Bag - Dean Corso carries one, you should too. I'm bad at this, and my bag strap broke so I'm in the market for a new one, and may get one tomorrow. Get something leather, durable, and waterproof. Leather lasts forever and will protect your precious cargo. You can put additional money, a magnifying glass, and your hand written lists/notes in there, and now you have a bag to put all your scores in.

4) A pen and note pad, and a hand written list of exactly what you want. - Be it a general list, or specific for completion of a series. Your phone could die, or get wet, or you may forget to use it. If you write it down, its faster to just reach in to your bag and get a quick peek at the list. More times than not, if you write something down, you have a much easier time recalling that particular memory.

5) Another set of eyes - I'm pretty much always alone, but when I have someone with me, I literally always find something I'm looking for. You can let each other know what you need, and when scanning books, he may pick up on something you missed, and visa-versa. Having a like minded friend who collects some of the same stuff is invaluable, never be afraid to get someone to go with you.

Vintage Science Fiction Book Covers: Part 3

     Welcome to part three of Science Fiction Book Covers. In the last two installments, I used books from the book cases in the living room, now i'm in the office, and it's much easier to reach over to the left and grab some stuff. I took the pictures over an old issue of Epic I was reading. Hope you enjoy.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Facebook, Website, Changes.. Oh my.

     Three changes in all, not huge things, but big things for the blog in the way of progression. The short version is: We are getting some updates around here that I have been meaning to do for a long time. I'll explain. I went to a social marketing convention last week, SocialFresh. It's three days of how to just be better bloggers, how to get your website and blog noticed, etc. My employer sent me to learn all about everything marketing on the Internet. I'm no slouch, but I did pick up a lot, and applied some of that to this blog. I also made a few goals to shoot for, in 2016.

     What are the changes?

Change #1) It's no longer a ".blogspot" website, but has a domain of it's own. www.firsteditionfantasy.com. I docked the page name some time ago, finally just moved it over. Old links and everything still work at the blogspot address. Welcome to firsteditionfantasy.com whether you like it or not.

Change #2) Social Media integration. I made it's own facebook page, designed the logo for it (above, the title to this post!), and made some adjustments to my hash tag list and so on. I'll also be expanding the number of labels, and mentioning them in the bottom of the posts.

Change #3) Changed the design slightly to give it a more personal feel. I'll also be opening up more about myself, pictures of me interacting with the books, and so on. I know what you may be thinking, and no I'm not horribly disfigured.

     What's the end goal for the blog? 

Goal #1) The blog no longer needs fine tuning in either design or direction.

Goal #2) The blog stay essentially free of advertisements. At some point I will do Amazon targeting ads between posts, based on what books I'm writing about. Example: I found a cool book! (Buy it here, wink, wink) It will not be in the middle of the post, or at the top, just between so you can scroll through them. This will be later on this year, or early next.

Goal #3) The blog become self sustaining. I pay X for hosting, and my time is worth Y. Z is the amount of money the small ads will generate for me. X + Y = Z. If I make more, and Z is larger than the sum of both X and Y, I consider it a win, and more beer/book money for me. At any point if I make more than $100 per month, I'll consider that a huge win just at life in general, being that is one month of mortgage for me.

     More to come. Please comment or email me below if you have anything you want to share in the way of changes, or my goals for 2016.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Rainy Day Book Haul - Daw Dray Prescot Score

    Had beer to drop off at several locations, and bring home dinner for the wife, and wouldn't you know, I drove right by The Book Rack, a store I have posted about several times before. I've been working on the woman who works there for a while on some books in a box (also posted that before!) and I think I'm going to give it another shot and see if she will come off the price.

Click to enlarge panoramic picture

     I looked for the box of Daw originals at the front desk and did not see them this time, and my heart sank. Did someone buy them? I breathed a sigh of relief when I turned the corner and they they all were on the shelf for .75 cents a piece. For those who are paying attention, I'm trying to collect all the yellow spine Daw originals between the late seventies and early 80's. This book store I picked through long ago, but they had the first 38 Dray Prescot novels in a box with a hefty price tag. I lucked out today! Typically they go for $7-$8 each on feebay, more as a collection. All that aside, it's long series, 52 total as of 2014, and a good read. I've read the first eight.

     Look at the covers, condition is really good. Spines are perfect. Some are missing, but I have the ones missing in the book case in the living room somewhere. The last bottom right hand picture is the other books I picked up for about .50 cents each, some pretty good old ones in there. The Forgotten Realms book, Viper Hand, has eluded me for a long while, and even considered getting it off Amazon to finish off the Maztica trilogy. The lady working the counter told me they no longer take credit cards, so had to haul my ass back out in the rain with a car full of kegs to get to an ATM. Totally worth it. Spent around $25 total, and I'm very pleased with the outcome!

    Thanks for reading, until next time.