Monday, January 10, 2011

Blacx Ice & Books Signed by Dead Authors

This is what is called black ice, and often it will pile up along street corners and turning lanes. I took these two shots after getting off the bus from up on Fullerton. Now, the photo above. I found a beat up old table at the Salvation Army, and now I have a place to display books I have that are autographed by writers now dead. Its a tough call on which one is dearest to me. Robert Bloch signed Psycho when we were on a panel together. He saw the Corgi imprint and joked that he had never known that edition of the book at all. Mr. Bloch was quite the deadpan. A few years later, he signed The Star Stalker and The Scarf, two books that are more like Hollywood mysteries, a phase he had gone through in the late 1940s. Then there is Evan Hunter. I have a signed copy of The Blackboard Jungle and Runaway Black, a very obscure novel from the early 1950s, written under the pseudonym Richard Marsten. (I have both editions, Marsten and Hunter.) With all the hoobajoo about Huck Finn lately, there is no way that this book could be published today without controversy. The title Runaway Black pretty much sums it up. I also have a copy of Author's Choice, Karl Edward Wagner actually bled onto the page, after cutting himself on what he thought was a screw cap on a bottle. I suppose I could clone him. There are a few other books on display by living authors, the most prominent being Richard Matheson's I Am Legend and The Shrinking Man.


Charles Gramlich said...

A fistful of good reads there.

HemlockMan said...

Great books. Now I want to read RUNAWAY BLACK so bad I can almost see it in my hands.

Here in the South, "black ice" is something else entirely. Here, it refers to invisible patches of ice on roadways. One is driving along minding one's own business, when suddenly you hit a patch of "black" ice and go spinning, running off the road, where you die in a horrid one-car accident, your car crumpling into metal tissue paper against a 200-year-old oak tree.